Over the years Oslo has garnered international popularity thanks mainly to its sprawling metropolis positioned within Norway’s winter playground. The city never hibernates, not even when the snow starts to fall, always providing fascinating culture, attractions and things to help immerse you in Norwegian life. Oslo caters to all travellers, with numerous free attractions, along with once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are worth the high price tag. While staying in Oslo, you can spend days exploring the various nooks and crannies of the city centre, or head out into the wilderness for skiing in winter or scenic hiking in summer.
Most Popular Attractions
With Norway’s strong Viking past it is no surprise that one of Oslo’s most popular attractions is its Viking Ship Museum. This is a rather unique museum compared to others in the world, housing near-perfect archaeological remnants of Viking ships. This isn’t the only ‘unusual’ museum in the city. You can also visit the Norwegian Museum of Magic, a collection of exhibits on the country’s famous magicians, and the Holmenkollen Ski Museum with its own Winter Olympic ski jump and ski jump simulator. Step back a few centuries with a visit to the 13th-century Akershus Fortress, originally created to protect the city and later used as a prison. You can take self-guided tours through the fortress’ grounds. If you’re visiting during the snowy months of the year, you might want to head to Oslo’s largest ski resort, Oslo Winterpark. With 18 slopes, a terrain park and a ski school, there are plenty for skiers and boarders of all skill levels.
Must-Dos In Oslo
Regardless of what time of year you’re visiting Oslo, you would be amiss not taking an opportunity to get outside and embrace the city’s active lifestyle. Head out on a cruise to see the spectacular fjords off the coast or stay ashore and try your hand at ziplining in Holmenkollen, dancing the tango at Tango Tango or paintball at Adventure Parxs. There’s also delicious Norwegian cuisine to taste around the city. You might like to start the day with a light brunch at the atmospheric Café Sorgenfri, which has quirky artefacts hanging from the roof. Once the sun sets, Oslo’s nightlife gets underway. One of the main bar areas in town is Karl Johans; however, the west side of the CBD also has a flashy club scene. Make sure you take advantage of all the free cultural attractions scattered throughout the city, including Vigeland Sculpture Park (aka Frogner Park), the Botanical Garden and the Noregian Forest Museum. These all provide enriching experiences without eating into your travel budget.
For those wishing to stay right in the middle of Oslo, your best bet is finding a hotel or B&B near the main street of Karl Johans. This will place you amongst a lot of restaurants, shops, attractions and nightlife. However, the city’s efficient public transport means it is easy to get around even if you’re not staying near the centre. Another great area to stay is near Holmenkollen. Although it’s slightly out of town, you’ll be close to the Ski Museum and Tower and the picturesque Bogstadvannet Lake. There are also a few spectacular islands off the coast of Oslo, such as Lindoya and Bleikoya, which have peaceful summer homes, perfect for shutting off the outside world.
Recommended Tours & Passes
|Visit Oslo Pass
Get the most out of your visit to Oslo with this cost-effective sightseeing pass that grants you free entry to 36 attractions, free guided walks and free inner-city public transport.
|Nordic Food Walking Tour
Indulge in Oslo’s culinary delights on this 3.5-hour walking tour that takes you to food shops where you sample Scandinavian food, craft beer and other regional specialties.
|Oslo Fjord Sightseeing Cruise
Enjoy a two-hour sightseeing cruise around Oslo Fjord, passing islands with summer homes, forested hills and other natural highlights.