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Riding the City
Compared with many capital cities, riding in Oslo is easy and relaxing. If you stay away from the larger roads and dual carriageways north and east of the Operahuset, your journey unwinds on uncrowded roads with, for the large part, careful and courteous drivers. Watch out, however, for the tramlines, which can catch a wheel and are slippery when wet.
With the fjord to the south, Vigeland sculpture park to the north-east, the Munch Museum to the north-west and the Ekeberg to the east, Oslo is easy to navigate around. The Operahuset, kvadraturen (old town), town hall, palace and station are all central and within five minutes ride of each other. Frogner and Grünerløkka, Majorstuen and Bislett are all neighbourhoods worth visiting and an easy cruise away.
See below for bike hire details, or use the municipal hire scheme. These bikes, which rather pleasingly resemble Choppers, have three hub gears and are great fun to ride. Some have a back-pedal brake; all are high-geared enough to hit a decent speed. To use them you need a swipe card, which can be picked up at the tourist offices next to the Natural History Museum and the station. Eighty kroner gets you a card for the day: keep each bike for up to three hours at a time and you won’t be charged anything more. There are relatively few docking stations around town but the city is small enough that you’ll make short work of all trips.
Ride to… Kvadraturen
Oslo’s handsome old town, with its armoury, bank and crumbling brick buildings, is perfect for a Sunday afternoon spin.
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Ride to… the Vigeland sculpture park
Created by artist Gustav Vigeland in the middle of the sprawling Frognerparken, the 32-hectare landscaped sculpture garden is home to 212 of the artist's muscular, stylised sculptures celebrating the human form.
Frognerparken: Nobels gate 32, 0268 Oslo [ map ]
Ride to… Akker Brygge and the boat to Bygdøy
Once the heart of the city’s working docks, the area’s renovated warehouses are now home to shops, designer outlets and boutiques. In summer, visit the Solsiden restaurant on the water for the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste. Aker Brygge is also where the number 91 ferry bus stops. Take your bike on the boat to the suburb of Bigdøye, where museums await – or simply watch the sun going down from the weathered wooden dock, and the boats putt-putting through the fjord.
Solsiden: Akershusstranda 13, Skur 34, 0150 Oslo [ map ]
Ride to… Holmenkollen
For a challenging training ride strike out to the north, towards the ever visible Holmenkollen ski slope. The elegant steel structure seems to float in the air and there’s a museum and coffee shop to pass the time. Or punish yourself on the six kilometre climb which leads to some of Oslo’s wilder roads.
Kongeveien 5, 0787 Oslo [ map ]