Of the three Scandinavian capitals, Oslo is definitely the youngest child.

While Stockholm and Copenhagen were busy inventing dynamite and opening the world’s best restaurant, Oslo was crashing and burning (literally) with a fair amount of sailing and hiking thrown in the mix. The result is a cultural diversity all its own. Oslo’s museums are interesting, but not pretentious; its landmarks are grounded in reality, not extravagant. The river running through the middle of the city separates wealthy, established houses and cultural landmarks from the young, international neighborhoods to the east. And within just a few kilometers of it all are mountains for skiing, fjords for sailing, and islands for exploring. All this variety doesn’t come cheap, though. Since Oslo isn’t Scandinavia’s go-to destination for young travelers and backpackers, the hostel scene is sparse and high prices can make it difficult to experience all there is to offer. At the same time, crowds are smaller overall, making it easy to make the most of every museum, sculpture, and restaurant.