Double holiday to Paris and Oslo

Two Countries, One Holiday

Around January, I got an email from a traveling agency, about their offer of double city breaks. I was intrigued, yet the idea of spending only two days in one city and two days in another city didn’t sound appealing to me at all. So I decided to plan my own trip, as I always do. I knew the first city would be Paris, but the plan for the second city changed a lot (from Brussels to Étretat). But when I saw cheap flights to Oslo, I knew that was where we were supposed to go, since I’ve always dreamed about visiting Norway. My friends were as enthusiastic as me so a few months later we were at the airport, boarding the first plane that week. Here’s how it went, in more pictures than words….

First stop: Paris

I’ve always wanted to go back to Paris, since I’ve loved it ever since I first saw it. For some reason though, this time was more underwhelming than I was expecting. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time there, but I feel like I had very high expectations. The irony is, I’ve wrote about high expectations before. Woe is me. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve traveled and seen quite a lot of places from the first time I wandered on the streets in the capital of France, yet I still had in my mind an image I formed when I didn’t know what else was out there.

Another thing I discovered was that I need to learn how to better organize a few days in a huge city, so that everyone sees what they want to see, no one gets upset and most importantly, no one runs from one place to another. If I could go back in time, I would do it differently. Then again, just send me back to last week and I’ll see how it goes. 😆

Regardless, I had a great time and I don’t regret the first city on our little tour. I saw a lot of new places, as well as revisited some I’ve loved the first time. Without giving too much away, here are a few pictures from the sights I’ve seen….

 

Paris Sacre Coeur
La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre
Paris Arc de Triomphe view
View of La Défense from the Arc de Triomphe
Paris Jardin du Luxembourg
The Medici Fountain in the Jardin du Luxembourg
Paris Champs Elysees
Champs-Élysées getting ready for Bastille Day (or as the French call it, La Fête Nationale)
Paris locks on Pont des Arts
Locks on Pont des Arts

Second stop: Oslo

I’ve always dreamed about visiting Norway and since there was no time to go to the Western fjords, I was determined to make the most about my time in the capital city, Oslo. Prior to the trip, I’ve read a lot of blogs and in 90% of the cases, people were only talking about how expensive it is, that it’s a rather boring city and that the Norwegians were as cold as their weather. I decided I would wait and form an opinion of my own, but feared it would be like the one of the people who visited it before me.

I was wrong. Or they were wrong. Point is, someone was wrong. Because not only have I found the city to be completely charming, it actually made it on my list of the top five cities I love the most! And everyone had the same impression as I did, my friends were actually talking about how cool it would be to live there. I remembered their harsh winters and it was a no-no for me. 😉 Still, during the summer it’s unbelievably lovely. From morning(-ish) to midnight we would walk on its streets and never got tired of the view, as we admired its beautiful buildings and photographed the enchanting Oslofjord.

Here are some pictures, for proof….

Oslo Central Station
Area around the Oslo Central Station
Oslo Oslofjord
House on the Oslofjord
How to visit Oslo on a budget
Mandatory shot of a ship from the Viking Ship Museum
Oslo Damstredet
Damstredet, a charming street with beautiful houses
Oslo Nordmarka
Stunning view while hiking in the Nordmarka

Did I get your attention? Make sure to read my future, more detailed posts, about how I queued for three hours at the Catacombs in Paris, but only 10 minutes at the Louvre, the adventures I had on Bastille Day, what I’ve seen in Oslo, why I loved it so much and how I survived its high prices.

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  • A M A Z I N G! You totally got my attention and I will for sure be waiting for the next posts! I have to admit I was really curious to see how your trip went! I also always wanted to visit Oslo, I even have a friend there, I almost went there this year, but somehow we didnt work. About your expectations of Paris, dont worry, people talk so much about that city that you are not the only one who have lots of expectations. When I went there the first time I didnt have any, so I was amazed 🙂 Im glad you enjoyed your trip…the pictures are stunning!!!! And I loved this little place Damstredet… I would love to go there 😀

    • Damstredet was indeed lovely, we went there in the evening and it was peaceful and quiet. Hope you get to visit Oslo one day, it is SO worth it! 🙂

  • Irry

    I am pretty sure that your high expectations of Paris were due to it being your first ever holiday. It impressed you the first time, but it will fall short every time afterwards (cause you’ve seen it before and cause you’ve seen so many cool places since). Also, was this your first time going somewhere you’ve been before?

    Don’t worry about making a schedule to please everyone, it worked out pretty well overall. And I, for one, expected Paris to be very tiring and to involve a lot of rushing around. It was hard but it’s what we signed up for.

    If there’s one thing where you should have listened to me but didn’t, it’s regarding the food places. Especially when there’s a budget, we need a list of places we can go to that are near the sights, cause walking for one hour out of our way to look for a Subway is silly.

    Oslo was perfect, I don’t even have comments, I loved everything so much!

    • No, I’ve been to Barcelona two times and I loved it even more the second time. I was expecting to walk a lot in Paris, so I didn’t mind that. You never said to make a list of food places for Paris, just for Oslo! 😛 I didn’t worry about that in Paris because I thought it’s a huge city and something affordable with be in our way every time. Guess not. 😕

  • I must admit, just from the few photos here it looks like you had a far better time in Oslo than me! Look forward to reading more 🙂

    • I had an absolutely amazing time, I’d love to go back and visit the city again. The next post will be about Oslo and it will have a bunch of other photos 🙂

  • Man, your Oslo looks good but Paris looks absolutely great! How much time did you spend there?
    I think I might have commented this before when discussing expectations, but I think Paris is the #1 victim of inflated ones. There’s just so much mythology around it, and we become afflicted by it regardless of whether we live in London, New York or Moscow.

    • I spent four nights in Paris and three nights in Oslo. While I don’t regret this choice, I wish there were more time for Oslo. I think my expectations of Paris weren’t about the city itself but more about how I imagined the trip would go (what to do, where to go)….

  • I say the same! Paris photos look great! I am still trying to plan my second visit to Paris. From this post, I understand I should probably keep my expectations low, else my trip will be underwhelming as well. Paris, being an amazing city doesn’t deserve this feeling at all!!
    Oslo on the other hand looks nice. Probably, I might google around and ask you for any information I may need!

    • I’m sure you will fall in love with Paris again, it is indeed an amazing city and you can’t get bored there. This being said, one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy my time there as much as I though I would is because I wanted to see a lot of things in a short period of time, not taking account of the queues or the weather.

      I will be posting more articles about both Oslo and Paris, so come back soon 🙂

  • Looking forward to hearing more about Oslo! I love all of the Nordic countries that I’ve been to, but sadly Norway isn’t one of them (yet).

  • This was the first time I visited a Nordic country and I’m totally hooked, I’ve already started thinking about visiting Sweden next year and my boss was telling me today how lovely Finland is. 🙂

  • Great idea to combine two destinations like that – one you know and one you don’t. I love Paris and have been back again and again, but it’s definitely true that you need to just pick a small part to see as it’s so big. Look forward to hearing about your Bastille Day experiences, ours in Strasbourg was great but a bit smaller scale!

    • I also wanted to revisit some parts that I’ve loved the first time and there wasn’t enough time for anything. Next time I’ll go though, I know exactly what I want to see. A smaller scale might have been better, since Paris was more crowded than I had imagined…

  • France (particularly Paris) and Norway – two countries I’m dying to visit! So jealous of your double-whammy holiday!

    ~ Sara

    • I hope you do get to visit them, they’re two amazing countries! 🙂

  • Was it strange going from one place to another one that’s very different? I have to say that although Oslo doesn’t have the best reputation of the Nordic capitals, it’s one of my favourite cities too!

    • I haven’t really thought about it, I was too excited to get to Oslo, so there wasn’t any weirdness. I agree, it doesn’t have the best reputation, but it’s a city that is worth a visit in the summer! 🙂

  • My my my! You have officially made me missed Paris BIG TIME! I’m so glad you made the effort to do a double city trip! Must’ve been so much fun. And I’m glad you enjoyed Oslo and proved people wrong! A destination can leave different impressions to people and it’s always amazing to finding it out on your own 🙂

    • Funny, I kind of miss Paris too and I already know what I want to see should I visit it again. The whole trip was great, Oslo was a nice surprise, it’s a shame it doesn’t get so many visitors though…

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