Oslo Summer Park

Oslo Summer Park

Oslo Summer Park is the biggest climbing park in Oslo and very popular with locals and visitors alike.  There is climbing for everyone, regardless of age or skill. There are over 150 elements among the trees, across 9 different routes of varying difficulty.  The routes range from half a meter over the ground, up to 20 meters up in the tree tops.  Don’t worry if it happens to be raining – just put on rain clothes!
However the Summer Park is more than climbing!  It is the place for renting bikes, radio cars and walking in beautiful nature with spectacular views over Oslo and the surrounding region. 
You can bring your own picnic or buy food in the kiosk.  We also recommend the excellent Frognersæter restaurant which is half way down the road towards the Holmenkollen jump.  Here you can buy reasonably priced meals which are Norwegian specialities.

It would be a good idea to combine visiting the Summer Park, with a stop at the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and the Ski Museum.  There is good parking at the Park. 
Visitors going to the Summer Park by public transport can take Bus 250 to Nationaltheatret stop in Oslo and then tram 1 up to Frognerseter stop (see picture below).  From there it is a 14 minute walk up to the park.

Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

Drammen Spiral tunnel (Spiralen Drammen)

The spiral tunnel in the city of Drammen is a unique experience and in fact has been ranged by CNN Travel as one of the world’s most special tunnels.  You enter from the town and drive up 1650 meters in six and a half spirals , to emerge at Skansen. Here, apart from the magnificent view over the city, the river, and far away across the valley to the snow topped mountains of Blefjell, you will find a restaurant, outdoor folk museum and lovely paths for walking or skiing.  A dense network of these paths is lit in the winter for evening skiing.

The tunnel was excavated in 1953 when stone was needed for road and harbour building in the city.  It starts 50 meters above sea level and comes out at the top at 213 meters over sea level. The tunnel is in the shape of a helix and the car driver will soon find that he can set the driving wheel in one position to take the vehicle all the way up to the top.  Pedestrians may not use the tunnel and instead there is a zigzag track up the hillside.

In the photos above you see the Spiral Troll who stands guard half way up the tunnel.  If you decide to take the 2 km walk (please see the map below, from the car park, through the folk park where there are houses, a shop, a cabin and several Norwegian style farm store-houses (stabbur) then you’ll pass these and more.  The old style shop is open all the Sundays in May, June, August and September from noon to 3 p.m.  They sell pancakes, coffee, icecream, lemonade and candies.   Along the last 500 meters of the walk, there are magnificent views over the Drammen river and to the mountains beyond.  And pleasant benches to rest while enjoying it.  I especially recommend Hans Hansen’s viewpoint!  You end back at the restaurant, where there is a canon, pointing over the city below, to fascinate children.

Asker Municipality’s Millennium Walk round Sem Lake

Asker Municipality’s Millennium Walk round Sem Lake

The people of Asker municipality voted the path around Sem Lake as the designated site for the year 2000.  This is a pleasant walk of about 5 km.  It is very popular with both the local population and visitors to Asker.  A view of cows in a pasture on the lake shore has been used for advertising purposes by a well known chocolate maker!
On Thursday, Friday and Sunday, there is a café, Bryggerhuset, about half way round.  The opening times are below.  You might also like to have a snack at the NaKuHel Smia café close to the main road, Semsveien. NakuHel Smia is open every day until about 3 p.m.  It opens at 10 a.m. on weekdays and 11.30 a.m. at weekends.

The map below shows the parking lot on the south of Sem Lake.  You then walk to the west and follow the path to Hans Christian Aaby’s farm where the Bryggerhuset café is open some days.  After this you can continue your walk, past the very pretty waterfall and further past the path down to the Kindergarden.  You continue to the NaKuHel Smia café.  Then back to the parking lot.  This constitutes a pleasant walk of about 5 kilometers.

You’ll see lots of horses on your walk.

Opening times for the Bryggercafé – but please note that in summer, the cafe is NOT open on Mondays. It is closed all of July month.

The waterfall about half a kilometer further from Bryggerhuset café.

In the fields around the lake, there are cows, sheep and horses.

Oscarshall – The Royal Summer Palace

Oscarshall – The Royal Summer Palace

Oscarshall, the Royal “summer palace” in Oslo, is a magical place, not very much visited by tourists. This is a small, beautifully maintained palace on the peninsula of Bygdøy in Oslo.  During opening hours you are welcome to wander in the grounds, from the palace right down to the sea and you will find lunch or a snack at the Queen Josephine café.  However joining a guided tour is a very special experience for the palace transports visitors back to the mid 1800’s.

Oscarshall is open from 1st June to 30th August, from Wednesday to Sunday.   From 31st August to 9th September the palace is only open at weekends Friday – Sunday.
Opening hours are from 11:00 – 17:00.

Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

Kongen’s Utsikt – The King’s Viewing Platform

The King’s Viewing Platform is 484 meters above the Tyrifjorden and Steinsfjorden lakes.  You can either start at Sundvolden and hike the 1300 meters up to Kleivstua or you can drive up to Kleivstua parking area beside the hotel (this is a toll road and costs NOK 30,-)  From Kleivstua you hike the rest of the way on a well marked (blue stripes on trees) path to the the viewing platform. This takes about 30 minutes each way and when you arrive, the steep parts of the path have been worth the effort for the views are amazing!  However it is sensible to bring water bottles and perhaps a snack to eat at the top.

We enthusiastically recommend the restaurant at Sundvolden Hotell. Pictured are the King’s View Chicken salad and the delicious Prawn sandwich (Rekedigg).  Either cost about Nkr 200,- in 2019.  The chef uses herbs from the Hotel herb garden.

Gaustatoppen

Gaustatoppen

Gaustatoppen is a spectacular mountain top – at 1883 meters and in clear weather it is possible to see approximately 60,000 sq.m., one sixth of Norway’s mainland.
However a visit to Gausta also offers amazing nature experiences throughout the year – beautiful paths, ski tracks, the wonderful Gausta railway, places to stay and restaurants.  If you want to do this trip in one day, it is important to start early in the morning as driving takes about two and a half hours each way.  Many choose to spend a day or two at the town of Rjukan on their way to or from the West Coast of Norway.

In the last week of August each year, there is a night arrangement when several thousand people walk up to the top of Gausta mountain and on arrival enjoy a spectacular concert on the highest stage in Norway.  The climb/walk up is 4.4 km long and takes about 2 hours. Participants carry torches and there are 17 beautiful light points along the way.

The arrangement is free but it is important to book somewhere to stay the night.  Warm clothes, mountain boots and a head-lamp are required.

The Gausta railway is a cable track which runs right inside the Gausta mountain.  The ride takes about 15 minutes and takes 20 passengers each time.  For the first 50 years, the railway was a completely closed NATO construction.  Today everyone can experience this amazing train ride inside the mountain.
Prices:
Adult single ticket 300,-  Return 390,-
Child 4 – 15 yrs single ticket 150,-, Return 195,-

The railway is open every day from 10th February – 21st October.
9.00 hrs to 18.00 hrs

For more information, please consult the Gausta railway website