About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Forests, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Cross-country Ski Areas, Hiking Trails
Historic Sites, Castles
Bars & Clubs
Bars & Clubs
Bars & Clubs
Gift & Specialty Shops
If there's anything more romantic than taking in a night at the opera or the ballet, then it may just be The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet building itself. Made from glass and marble in a contemporary style that dominates space and slopes directly into the sea, the glittering complex's oaken interior is steeped in light and provides epic sound quality. Recommended as a spot for couples to take in a show hand-in-hand, and be moved by music and dance, the National can also be explored by sightseers through daily tours of its backstage and costume areas. Its roof terrace is always open and available to stroll, and its in-house restaurant serves meals to remember.
Vigeland Park is a stunning expanse of green land dotted with statues and many works by famed Norwegian sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. Share a picnic in a shady area, stroll the verdant lanes, or just enjoy the peaceful snowy scene, depending on the season. A pleasant outdoor museum, and a nice break from the busy city center.
For art lovers (and for any couple that's ever had a row), the iconic Scream painting by Edvard Munch is a must-see at the National Gallery. Besides an impressive collection of his works, the museum is also home to masterpieces by Van Gogh, Picasso, Goya, Monet, Modigliani, and more. Walking through their stately collections, which focus on European (especially Norwegian, of course) art throughout the ages, couples can experience the romance of other eras.
For the couple who loves being outdoors, scenic Nordmarka is just the place. In any season, this wildlife area provides hikes with fantastic views, clearly marked walking paths, and cycling routes; plus, it wide open spaces set in an enchanting landscape of lakes and forest offer a perfect place to snuggle up for a rest stop, and take in mother nature. And if you're missing civilization, don't worry: there's a cafe nearby where you can warm up (and use the facilities).
If you're into film, catching one at the Colosseum can make for a relaxing afternoon or evening out. The gargantuan, classically-designed theater can seat nearly 1,000 people per hall, and sports a THX sound system that reaches every seat in the house. Its status as one of the largest cinemas in Europe, coupled with its lineup of films both classic and new (along with international sporting events), makes it the ultimate spot to take in a black and white film or a soppy RomCom together.
For foodies, FoodTours.eu Oslo is the perfect way to try traditional Norwegian food and wine together on your trip. The tour guides you around town on an easy walk that includes a history lesson, and each of the locations you stop at includes a new local specialty: Norwegian honey, reindeer meat, trout, lamb, and fish eggs, as well as drinks like freshly-made apple juice and locally brewed beers. This is the best way to try it all, and to toast your better half over multiple meals! Going with a group means you might even make a few new friends too (who can hold the camera for you both, finally!).
The Botanical Gardens, with its calm ponds and perfumed air, is a wonderful spot to visit with your special someone. Whether you're visiting the greenhouse and the rock garden in colder months, or marveling at the Viking herb garden and the Victorian water lilies in warmer weather, there's something for every season and for everyone. A great place for a walk with lilting paths and good viewing areas, a lungful of fresh air in the flower-studded foliage here shouldn't go amiss.
Fans of Henrik Ibsen's plays and other works will find the Ibsen Museum a charming stop in Oslo. Even if you've never heard of Norway's starlit writer, the old-world charm of this former home itself — from the lovingly re-created rooms to the oil paintings, furnishings, and decor — will transport you back to a fairytale time, where manners and taste were paramount, and gossip took place behind closed doors. With a lot to see and a lot to learn, the Ibsen Museum is wonderful for book lovers, history lovers, and those who would like a glance at what living and courting in high society was like in times gone by.
The elegant palace is simple and sophisticated, welcoming visitors to enjoy a glimpse of royal lifestyle. Whether you're touring Oslo with your King or Queen, enjoy a walk through history on the Palace Tour, marvel at its size from the outside, and take advantage of its most wonderful feature: the grounds. The palace grounds are available to the public nearly year-round, and welcome couples for picnicking, bird watching, playing sports, or simply sitting and relaxing. The palace is also situated near some of Oslo's best shopping, so it's a good hub for a great day out in the city.
Built in 1890, the National Theater still stands venerable and glorious amid a sculpture garden. Taking in a play together here can make for a grand night out, and the theater's rotating schedule means there is usually something for everyone, including classic plays and opera. For couples especially, balcony seats for performances are recommended; however, the theater is worth a stop to view the architecture and interior decoration alone.
For the laid back couple looking for a suitable Oslo nightlife option, Schouskjelleren is a microbrewery with a roaring fire, comfy benches, and knowledgeable staff. Located in an old cellar with ambient lighting, couples can enjoy good conversation with each other here over draught beers at a fair price. (Schouskjelleren doesn't play music, so you won't strain yourselves trying to shout across the table!). An easygoing spot to take your time at.
For a sophisticated night out, Verite's wine and cocktail bar is a superb choice. While their menu also accommodates foodies and coffee loves, with a solid selection for lunch and dinner, the real treat here is their wine collection. Try a wine tasting in its upbeat interior, ask the staff for a suggestion based on your pallet at the bar, or pop open a bottle of bubbly and toast to a successful Oslo trip — and to each other!
Coffee bar by day, cocktail bar by night, Fuglen isn't a retro-themed cafe: it's really been serving Cups of Joe to Oslo locals since the 60s! Its throwback decor coupled with its mean cups of coffee make it one of the best spots to refuel or grab a light breakfast together, indoors or out. Coffee aficionados will be pleased to know that the beans are imported from all over the world, the drinks themselves are customizable, and if you fall in love with a bean (it doesn't count as cheating) you can buy some to take home. Plus, the retro space is also part jazz club... is there anything more romantic than Count Basie & Cortado?
If you're looking for Oslo's trendiest area, Grunerlokka is it. Filled with cafes, boutiques, and quaint little parks, this is where a new-age vibe meets old-world charm. Its youthful energy comes out at night, when wine and cocktail bars, pubs, and tapas places stay open late, and a truly international variety of both food and people fill its streets. So put on your comfy shoes, because this is definitely a walk-around spot, with plenty to explore and abundant people-watching opportunities.
Best when the weather is warm but beautiful in any season, Huk Paradisbukta Beach is the local go-to place for swimming, tanning, jogging, and hanging out. Couples can enjoy everything from a dip to a friendly match on the volleyball and basketball courts here, where the long docks and sandy shores are a popular romantic destination year-long. Staying to watch the sun set over the water is also recommended!
At the uppermost part of Ekeberg art park (worth a visit in itself to see the sculptures and have a nature walk), the Vantage Point at Ekeberg offers one of the most spectacular views of Oslo's' mountains, sea, and city center, offering couples a dreamy panorama, and a wonderful spot to take a souvenir photo.
A cruise around Olso's fjord on a real sail boat is an idyllic option for an afternoon out. At Norway Yacht Charter AS, tours last between one to three hours, and give you the rundown of all the important sights along the beaches. Couples are given their own table, and access to a prawn buffet for the trip. A gorgeous way to take in the sights, enjoy fresh air, and have a lovely meal, all in one. Plus, evening tours are designed just for couples, and include wine on the menu. With stunning views and clear waters, you might even go Gilligan and opt for the three hour tour!
Whether you love a sweet tooth, or you are one yourself, the desserts at Sebastien Bruno Fronger shouldn't be missed. Sumptuous chocolate and wonderful macarons have made Bruno's name world-famous, and if legendary status isn't enough of an aphrodisiac to entice you here to share a bite or two, then the promise of equally delicious cakes might just do the trick!
Hos Thea is a gem in Olso's gourmet dining scene. A romantic dinner at the tucked-away restaurant will see couples enjoying a multi-course meal of creative and excellent traditional food, transformed into truly unique dishes, and presented warmly. Whether it be the host, the owner, or the chef, someone will almost always double-check that you are enjoying your meal, and whether you're tucking into their famous fallow deer on butternut squash, scallops and sea bass, or finishing up with some rhubarb and dessert wine, you most probably will be.
Located at the Holmenkollen Hotel, De Fem Stuer is known for ascribing to tradition: both in its customary Norwegian fare, and the beauty of the Norwegian woodwork that decorates the restaurant itself. Boasting magnificent views from its window tables and outdoor terrace, as well as a roaring antique fire to keep couples toasty on cold days, De Fem Stuer is the place to go for a luxuriant candlelight dinner. Just be sure to opt for old favorites like pork or lamb, which the restaurant does best!
For a nightlife option with a view, the Top Floor Bar & Restaurant combines wonderful cocktails with a panoramic lookout of the city from on high. With dim lighting and contemporary decor, it is a fashionable modern space, and in addition to cocktails, it has a solid wine and beer menu on tap. While the Top Floor does serve food and light bites, drinks are best paired with desserts here. Anyone for sharing a papaya panna cotta?
Beautiful Cru is another great Oslo dining spot where couples can have a romantic and tasteful meal. Fresh gourmet cooking and attentive staff are complemented by Cru's inviting ambiance, where both meat eaters and vegetarians/vegans alike can be led through a delicious, multi-course menu. Best of all, Cru has its own wine cellar, with amazing bottles and wonderful vintages which have been stocked to match meals perfectly. Don't be afraid to ask the staff to recommend the best bottle or glass for your food!
At the curiously named Thief Spa, you'll be stealing a whole lot of relaxation. Situated over Oslo Fjord, the peaceful space includes a pool, hot tub, sauna, salt treatment room, and hot showers across two floors. Couples can indulge in a number of skin and massage therapy treatments, and tuck into fresh fruit and chocolate at their leisure. So unwind and enjoy: once you enter Thief Spa, there's no limit to how long you're allowed to stay and while away the hours rejuvenating after lengthy periods spent traveling and sightseeing.