I’m back in Norway! I still have loads to write about Finland (and, SPOILER: Estonia!) but I’m also feeling all warm and fuzzy over being back home in Norway and wanted to tell you about the coolest mini holiday I took in Oslo before heading back up into the mountains.
Now, I’ve been fairly upfront in the past about not really loving Oslo. Though I think I’ve also made it clear that my lack of love for Norway’s capital city has a lot to do with my lack of experience there. I had seen a bunch of the tourist sites, but tourist sites rarely make me fall in love with a city.
So like, duh, I needed to spend more time in Oslo! Except the problem was (and kind of still is) that there were so many other places in Norway I was more eager to see.
Rewind about a month ago to when TripAdvisor contacted me asking if I’d like to test out their booking service. They wanted me to plan a mini holiday at the end of January using their site to research and book a hotel, but I knew I would have just spent two weeks in Finland and I’d be all hotelled out so I turned them down.
But then I remembered my promise to myself to see more of Oslo, so I decided to take a quick peek to see if I could find a nice place for Dan and me to stay for a couple of nights on my way home from Finland. Okay fine, I also really wanted an excuse for Dan to drive to Oslo so that I wouldn’t have to take the bus home.
And that’s when I found Camillas Hus.
Basically when I looked on TripAdvisor I knew I would have just spent two weeks in hotels and that I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of the city, so I wanted a place that was unique and interesting enough to be a destination in itself.
Camillas Hus was built in 1845 as part of the palace architect Linstow’s plan for the area right around the Royal place. And one of the house’s earliest tenants was Camilla Collett, a famous Norwegian novelist and women’s rights activist.
And when I ran the hotel by my mother who has lived in Oslo and knows the city much better than I do, she told me that my sister was actually named after Camilla Collett! How crazy that TripAdivsor led me there, right?
So it was a little surreal getting to stay in her old home. The hotel itself is new, but they’ve done an amazing job of keeping with the period theme while also maintaing the comfort level of a luxury hotel. I loved the old bathtub, the writing desk, and even the old fashioned (yet brand new) pull chain toilet.
And in a bizarre, yet when I think about it also kind of typical way, visiting Oslo with zero expectations gave me the opportunity to actually begin to fall in love with it. I again looked on TripAdvisor to find some areas to explore, as well as some Indian food, which is always on my itinerary when I’m in a big city.
I have the TripAdvisor app on my phone (as I’m sure most travelers do, duh) so it was really easy to find places to eat and things to do – I simply used the “Near Me Now” button and then chose what I was looking for!
I loved wandering through the old streets of Frogner up to Majorstuen, and then getting the tram back down into the Oslo center and having dinner at a delicious Indian restaurant (the TripAdvisor reviews were spot on!) in Grønland.
I had also planned to keep with the period theme by taking a walk through Damstredet, which also has homes from the 1800s and even back to the 1600s, but instead Dan and I ended up going to the cinema. I guess that’s what happens when two mountain dwellers go to a big city!
But all this meant something quite exciting: I’m really looking forward to returning to Oslo to explore it more. I hate not having any good recommendations for people headed there, and I’m determined to change that.
For now, if you’re looking for a unique luxury getaway in Oslo I don’t think you could do much better than Camillas Hus. Or you can get on TripAdvisor and find a hotel named for one of your family members’ namesakes.
This post is sponsored by TripAdvisor, but all opinions are my very own!