A couple weekends ago my two favorites ladies and I indulged ourselves with a girls weekend to Oslo. It was my first time in Scandinavia and I am SMITTEN. Oslo was all of my Scandi design/art/nature/pastry dreams come true. One of the few places I've visited that I would happily move to.

The inevitable question: "Isn't it expensive over there???"

The answer is yes, for sure, but honestly? I didn't find it much pricier than Dublin, and I've spent way more money on a weekend in London than I did in Oslo!

We arrived late at night on Friday and left in the afternoon Sunday, so when I say we had 24 hours of city exploration I mean it. Funnily enough, most people I know who have been to Oslo have only been there for minimal amounts of time (probably due to the whole 'being expensive' thing) so here's my list of highlights that I think are a must for a quick trip to this gorgeous city!

Start with coffee/green juice and cinnamon buns at the mind blowingly delicious United Bakeries

Norweigan cinnamon buns (properly known as Skillingsboller) are insane, 10/10 would recommend, but this place in particular is especially delicious. If you don't have a sweet tooth in the morning no worries, they have plenty of savory treats on their menu!

Once you've properly stuffed yourself, head into the Paleet Shopping Center and feast yourself upon the rose golden Scandanavian design heaven:

Thank god I only brought a carry-on or my credit card would have been in BIG trouble. Everything was so Instagramable and lovely, I could have spent hours trolling all the shops.

Next, head over to the water to catch a boat tour. I honestly could not recommend this enough. You see the fjord, the islands and all of the incredible homes + a little history of the area for 200 NOK ($30!).  Note: if you're visiting during the summer. get there EARLY. We arrived 40 minutes before sailing and were the last people able to buy tickets!

We also caught what was probably the best weather possible:

It was this tour that sold me on the whole 'moving to Oslo' thing. Some people own their own private freaking' islands:

Cozy adorable homes and amazing green backyards surrounded by water, and you can casually take your boat to commute to work in the city center. Goals.

Or if a private island isn't your thing, you could always own a mansion with a separate bath house. The white house on the right of the photo above is a perfect example of this scenario - the big white house is the estate, and the mini white house is their bath house. Bath houses were originally intended for people to be able to walk from their house to the water and be able to change into their swimsuits in complete modesty, but people use them for loads of different things nowadays. Some people even sell theirs or rent it out!

After your boat journey is finished, take a stroll over to the Oslo Opera House -

Even if Opera isn't your forte (pun intended) the building itself is incredible, and you can walk up to the roof and get a lovely (free!) view of Oslo. Also, this place has free bathrooms. So I mean, you can't go wrong.

Next, make your way up to the district of Grünerløkka (still don't know how to properly pronounce that) - but stop  along the way for a refuel at Fuglen (listed as one of the best coffee shops in the world!) and pop into Baker Nordby across the street for even more Nordic pastries. I realize I suggested pastries for breakfast as well, but trust me, you'll want your fill while you're here!

(The Baker Nordby logo) 

Once you're in Grünerløkka, do yourself a favor and aimlessly explore. This district is incredible and filled with amazing shops, street art, markets and food. 


Make sure to walk by Bla, a restaurant/nightclub. Even if you don't want to eat or party, the art surrounding it is so cool -

For some actual food (not pastries...unless you want it to be hehe) check out Matahallen, it's a traditional Scandinavian food hall in Grünerløkka and has virtually everything under the sun you could possibly want - from seafood to asian cuisine to fresh produce: 

Next, hop on Oslo's (incredibly easy to use) tram and visit the Oslo Fortress for some Norweigan history and beautiful views of the water: 

Followed by dinner and drinks in Aker Brygge, a lovely district with loads of restaurants that happens to be an excellent place to watch the sunset: 

Note: Though I brought my DSLR with me to take some bomb ass photos of my trip, I neglected to bring a memory card because I am a moron (my luck with cameras recently has been no bueno) so apologies for the quality of the photos, but I hope the beauty of this city came through well enough! There's plenty of other things you can do in Oslo - it's chock full of museums, parks, views and adventures. A couple places I'd love to visit when I go back: the Viking Ship museum and Frogner Park for its famous weirdo statues. I'm also DEFINITELY coming back and venturing up north to see the Northern Lights one day! If you're questioning whether or not to go, the answer is YES. I've had a lot of people tell me they thought it was boring, but truly if you have an appreciation for design, nature and enjoy a relaxing atmosphere, there's no way you won't enjoy yourself!