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Welcome to the country with room for everyone, no matter who you want to be or love. Here's how Kadir, Anna, and Klára experienced the Norwegian capital and Oslo Pride – Norway's biggest celebration of love, freedom, and diversity.

“If we were to sum up Oslo Pride in just one word, it would be ‘moving’," says Anna Grúňová with a smile.

Together with partner Klára Slivoňová and friend Kadir Telli, she was invited by VisitOslo and Visit Norway to take part in Oslo Pride, the largest LGBTIQ+ event in Norway.

"Everyone we met was so friendly and supportive. The number of people participating in the celebration, including thousands of people who were not gay, was simply overwhelming. Even firefighters, police officers, and the army joined the parade! That made a big impression on us. The music was perfect, and so was the vibe. Every street was decorated with rainbow flags. It seemed like the whole city had prepared for the parade,” she adds.

Oslove at first sight

The festival is held annually in June/July and aims to contribute to the acceptance of everyone. For over a week, human rights and LGBTIQ+ issues are very much on the agenda through art, culture, debates – and parties.

Over 40,000 people from near and far congregate in Oslo to celebrate diversity and inclusion and help fight discrimination.

Oslo is a place where people accept you for who you are.

Klára Slivoňová​

Visitor

Most Norwegians have a liberal attitude towards LGBTIQ+ people, and the country was among the first to enact laws to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. In fact, Norway ranks in the top ten of the ILGA-Europe 2024 rating of 49 European countries.

What did you do in Oslo besides Pride?
“We explored the city by foot, bike, and boat. We visited the Oslo Opera House, which is an impressive piece of architecture. We dug into Viking history at the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdøy peninsula, and we studied the fascinating sculptures in Vigeland Park in Frogner. Another highlight was walking through Damstredet, a picturesque cobbled street in central Oslo with charming wooden houses,” says Anna.

How does Oslo differ from other capitals you've been to?
“Although Oslo looks small on the map, it feels big. We quickly realised that the city is packed with things to see and do. We fell in love with the combination of urban life and nature, which several viewpoints reflected. From some places, we could see the city and the fjord in one direction and dense forests in the other. Oslo is a very green city overall, with several nice parks that the locals seem to take good care of. The fact that the sun barely sets during summer – for only three or four hours – gives you plenty of time (and energy!) to experience the city to the fullest,” says Anna enthusiastically.

What makes Oslo an LGBTIQ-friendly travel destination?
“We felt that Oslo was a very welcoming city, a place where people accept you for who you are. For instance, nobody was looking at us when we were holding hands. Instead, some people actually walked up to us and said: ‘This is your celebration, but we also want to take part in it’,” Klára explains.

Which Oslo flavours will you remember?
“The brown cheese (brunost), obviously. It really tastes like caramel. Besides that, we had a great food experience at Lille Herbern, a restaurant located on a tiny island near the city centre. We took part in the preparation of the food, and it all turned out very tasty: mussels, shellfish, and other kinds of fresh seafood. We also had lots of great coffee experiences during our stay.”

What did you bring home?
“Five big bags of liquorice (I can't get enough of it!), traditional woollen socks, a winter hoodie, a Viking helmet, a bag of coffee beans, and, of course, some brown cheese,” says Anna with a chuckle.

What made the biggest impression on you in Oslo?
“The people, the views, and the many green lungs. We could have spent a whole day in the Vigeland Park if we only had more time. The efficient public transportation made it easy to explore the city, and the Oslo Pass, which also gave us free access to some attractions, came in very handy. It was cool that we could even use the Oslo Pass on the ferries that connect the city centre with the surrounding islands,” says Klára.

Any advice you would give to visitors to Oslo?
“Don’t be afraid to ask the locals. People in Oslo are very friendly and often give you great advice. Get hold of a map, buy the Oslo Pass, and plan at least one picnic in a park. The distances are short but the experiences are plentiful so it might be a good idea to make a plan before you start exploring,” says Klára.

Oslo Pride

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