When you hear my country’s name Norway, I wonder what you associate my country with is it wonderful fjords, Trolls, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, is it Vikings, might even be Oil and wealth? Or may be one of World’s richest countries? During the recent development due to COVID-19 you might even consider us arrogant and successful handlers of such a situation as our Danish neighbors? Whatever you might associate it with, I am going to change your perspective. At least, that is the purpose of writing and sharing information in this blog. By reading through this blog and its posts, we will agree that Norway is wonderful, both in terms of its residents but most in terms of its terrain and natural beauty.

View where we searched for Trolls

I will not lie or disagree with you that Norway actually is a quite expensive country to live in or just to visit. However, if you know your way around the country is not that much expensive either. If you have been planning to visit Norway for some time, but yet not had the opportunity because you have figured out how expensive it is to visit Bergen, Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Ålesund, Svalbard, Lofoten or even just Oslo? Oslo where you do not even find the Trolls, and would have to travel all the way to Bergen! In this blog, I will show you Oslo as you never have seen it before. Bold claim you might consider, however, I will show you the hidden gems of Nordmarka and Østmarka. These two are more than enough for you to explore, no need to travel all the way to the above mentioned cities. Ab course, you do not get the majestic mountains as you get on the vestal cost of Norway, neither do you get to view the magical mountains of the North or mid Norway, but I can promise you this, you get almost the same experiences just in smaller packs.

When people visit Norway they tend to spend some time in Oslo. Normally, they do check out what are the things to do, which places are worth visiting to check off Oslo from the visited cities list. Most of people end up visiting the museums, Vigelandsparken (Frognerparken), Skihopp at Holmenkollen, Akerbrygge, Karl Johans gate, Fortress at Akerbrygge, Kings palace, Oslo Opera and Barcode. Few even end up at Ekebergrestauranten for the sake of its great food and views. Some adventure seeker follow the Akerselva through the city and get amazed by the stunning beauty found in the middle of the city. However, the fewest ever make to hidden gems like Østensjøvannet, Maridalen (also known as gateway to Nordmarka), Skullerud which is by the way gateway to this heaven called Østmarka.

If you want to experience the nature at its full glory showing you the true colors of Norway on a budget, keep on reading. In the following blog posts, I will show you or at very least tip you about places you can and should stay, if and only if you like to experience the Norwegian forests i.e. within the province of Oslo. If you are willing to spend some time and effort to get out in our beautiful nature, your efforts will not be unrewarded.

Nordmarka (North woods), Østmarka (East woods) are parts of Oslomarka which is almost 1700 square kilometers with forests surrounding Oslo. Furthermore, there are almost 2100 kilometers with marked hiking trails in these these forests. We cannot compare this with Pacific crest trail in US which is 4265 kilometers and passes through several states, but to compare, you have no carnivores or rattle snakes to worry about either. You might meet the Norwegian forests king out there aka moose , but normally he will leave you alone as long as you don not mess with him or his family, especially the young ones. What makes this even more special is that you have a lot of cottages and cabins managed by DNT that can be rented. You can choose to stay at a hotel for a couple of days, and rest of the time can be spent in these cabins. However, be aware that, it will not be that practical to drag around a lot of luggage or equipment as there are no buses and taxis that can carry you right to the door step of these cottages and cabins. If you can and prefer to stay in a tent, well then your stay can for certain be free of charge.

If you have made this far, I can share with you the good news that the banner picture of this site is from Nordmarka, so it that is something you would like to explore in person, pack your bags and get ready to visit our marka. I started to write this blog post with lack of Trolls in Oslo, however, these too are plentiful if you have the eye to spot them and recognize them. More on this in the post about Østmarka.

How to get there?

If its the first time you are in Norway or in Oslo, you will be amazed how easy it is to get around in this town. We are pampered with good if not great public transport. Wherever you choose to stay, getting to Østmarka and Nordmarka is not difficult at all. To enter Østmarka you have several choices, normally it will be Metro line 2 or Metro line 3 in the directions southbound or eastbound. You also have the option to take buses which leave you at the door steps of Østmarka and Nordmarka. When travelling to Nordmarka you can either enter through vest or east, entering from vest you have optioins of both bus and Metro, while entering Nordmarka from east your option is bus. In each of the posts, I will try to describe the route on how to get there using the most effective transport medium and you be the judge for what is correct. If you are intending to do some of the normal stuff that most tourist do, you might benefit from buying the Oslo Pass. You can read more about it here Oslo Pass. However, if you are going to mostly follow the advice that I provide here in this blog, you might benefit by buying day or week travelling tickets for the public transportation. You can read more about the prices and choices available here Ruter prices.

Visit Oslomarka

If you have visited any of the other blog posts, you might have realized that this blog belongs to someone you would normally categorize as a nerd. Well to be specific an IT-nerd who speaks and talks in terms that are not understandable for most normal people. Well, it turns out that these geeks and nerds also are human beings, are perfectly capable of having normal conversation and can do stuff what normal people do. Me being an example, I like travelling in the forests and explore new places. One of the things I love most is to visit unknown places and then hopefully get rewarded by the majestic views and scenes. You find a lot of information about the forests surrounding Oslo, but you find very limited pictures showing what each hill has to offer, or which waterfalls are the most beautiful and filled with water. This is the issue that I will try to resolve by describing the routes, and showing you actual pictures of the place. So let us get started. Posts will be tagged either Østmarka or Nordmarka. To be honest, Nordmarka has to offer the most pristine forests, even though Østmarka has its own charm, but if you ask for my personal opinion, I just love Nordmarka.

View Oslomarka blog posts

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