Washington, D.C. is more impressive. Paris is more chic. Tokyo is more modern. Berlin is more shopping friendly. But Oslo is home.
I have visited a number of great cities around the world, and many of them have left lasting impressions on me. But as far as I know Oslo is the only one of these cities where you can hop on the metro or a bus from anywhere in the vibrant city centre and within half an hour be deep in the forest or out on the fjord.
In my opinion Oslo is at its best in May or June. That is when you have the best chance of experiencing days like today, when all you want to do is stroll down in the park and read a book, or take the ferry out to one of the islands where you can bathe in the cool seawater of the fjord. It is sunny outside, but thanks to the Scandinavian climate and a slight breeze, it isn’t hot. It is perfectly comfortable to sit outside in the sunshine, sipping an iced tea at a local café (like I am doing right now). This is one of those days when Oslo feels like a bigger city than it really is, because so many people are outside. People are smiling at strangers for once. They are showing off white arms and legs, not yet touched by much sunlight this season. In a few hours they will be lightly tanned arms and legs, or, if you’re like me – light pink.
Oslo in June is what makes Oslo in January worth enduring.
Disclaimer #1: No, I am not paid by the Norwegian Tourist Agency or some such institution to write this. I really do feel this way about Oslo at times.
Diclaimer #2: To prove the above... I wrote this yesterday. Today we're back to "cloudy with a chance of Norwegian summer". Sigh.