Although occasionally overshadowed by its beautiful natural landscape, Oslo is a city that seamlessly blends the lush forests and snow-capped mountains into the sprawling urban environment. That is all part of its charm. The locals of Oslo have found a way to thrive and build a culture all their own without much harm to their beautiful natural environment. However, Oslo isn't just about being beautiful, it also serves as a getaway for the rich and famous. Within visitors can find a number of luxury shops, restaurants and accommodations to please that elite clientele.
While Oslo has its fair share of shopping malls and department store, there is only one place where the luxury boutique shopper will want to head. Paleet is the city's most central and opulent shopping street. Along this street is a weatherproof complex flooded with natural light from the skylights that houses 45 boutique shops inside. Here visitors can find the hottest in Norwegian fashion as well as some international labels, but at a much higher price than would be found elsewhere. The boutique stores also sell upscale and quality candles, incense, sweaters, art and houseware. However, the best buy within this shopping complex aside from the domestic fashion labels is the cosmetics. Oslo, as well as the rest of Norway, produces high quality makeup, perfumes and skin products that make excellent souvenirs for the discerning woman visiting Oslo.
Oslo hosts a long and storied history, but it is not usually what draws visitors to it. Most people come to this city for its world class cross country and downhill skiing. Just 20 minutes from busy city streets, visitors are privileged to an untouched natural landscape with 700 kilometers of prepared cross country skiing trails while downhill skiers will want to head to Holmenkollen for its challenging runs. However, if that short drive out of the city is just too far for some visitors, central Oslo is blessed with its own modern alpine ski centre, Oslo Winter Park, where downhill skiers and snowboarders will find some unique challenges,
Cruising the Fjord
While many visit Oslo for its extensive cross country skiing near the mountains, the surrounding area is seen at its best from the water. There are a number of cruises that weave through the small green islands of the fjord to show off Norway's iconic Scandinavian landscape. Six Star Cruises presents the best fjord cruises not just in Oslo but of the other fjords of Norway as well. Visitors can arrange private tours of the fjords and are taken out on the water in true celebrity style. Visitors can enjoy cruises on their large luxury yacht with a fully stocked bar and meals can be arranged on board. Throughout their cruise, they will spot massive waterfalls tumbling down green mountains into the sea, whales breeching the serene water, visit ancient Viking cities as well as dock hop to some of Norway's most fabulous coastal modern cities. Those who choose to take night time cruises at the right time of the year can view the amazing Aurora Borealis or the Midnight Sun that make for an unforgettable visit.
Many Oslo chefs have developed their menus with old Norwegian recipes, but they have kept up with modern technique and flavours. This meld of classic flavours and modern methods has resulted in some exciting variations on the food scene in Oslo. With flavours from Asian and Mediterranean cooking styles flooding the restaurants to create their new and creative "New Nordic" cuisine, it's an exciting time to be hungry in Oslo.
For those who want the best taste of this New Nordic cuisine combined with the best scenery of Oslo, the Dem Fem Stuer restaurant is the place to head. This restaurant serves up first-rate food nearby the famous Holmenkollen ski jump and overlooking the sprawling modern Oslo from above. Dem Fem Stuer blends Nordic cuisine with exotic ingredients to create truly special meals like their carpaccio of whale or sirloin of elk.
Most of the accommodations in Oslo are centrally located between the Royal Palace and Oslo Central Station. The nicest part about the hotels in the city is that even the cheapest little place is of fine quality, but the luxury hotels are an absolute wonder.
For those that desire the best stay in town, the Hotel Continental delivers. At this Oslo landmark, history meets luxury as guests are offered a sophisticated stay in stylish guest rooms and posh common areas. While the rooms are beautiful decorated in a modern, clean Nordic style and host a stunning view over downtown Oslo, it is the gracious service that prevails throughout. Hotel staff wait on visitors every need with visible sincerity and the quick and quality service is especially notable in their five-star restaurant. The hotel is centrally located across from the National Theater and close to many cafes, clubs and historical buildings that make it perfect for any visitors whether they are travelling for business or pleasure.