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  • Writer's pictureLucie Plchotová

What to visit in Oslo?

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

It is often overlooked due to its higher prices than its southern neighbors. Norway's capital city should be at the top of any European bucket list — that statement is multiplied tenfold for adventurers, history buffs, and nature lovers. The Norwegian hub is teeming with activities all year round, where Viking history meets modern architecture and Mother Nature's magnificent fjord backdrops. Visitors are rarely disappointed when they discover the diversity on offer in this Scandinavian metropolis, which includes fascinating museums, jaw-dropping fjord cruises, hidden microbreweries, and Michelin-starred restaurants. Let's go explore Oslo!

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What not to miss?

Oslo Opera House

The Opera House is a 21st-century marvel and one of Scandinavia's most iconic modern buildings. Its primary function is to showcase opera and ballet performances, designed to resemble a glacier rising from the fjord. In many ways, this structure marked the beginning of a new era for Oslo and the revitalization of its waterfront. Take a walk on its roof for a fantastic architectural experience with great city views.

The Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress is an excellent place to learn about Oslo's history while also enjoying a pleasant summer day. The construction of Akershus Castle and Fortress began in 1299 under King Håkon V. The medieval castle, completed in the 1300s, was strategically located at the very end of the headland and withstood several sieges over the centuries. The court was modernized and converted into a Renaissance castle and royal residence by King Christian IV (1588-1648).


An old industrial building houses the city's food court. The various stalls offer a variety of low-cost international cuisine, including pulled pork tacos and crab sandwiches. Because of its location at the city's apex, it is slightly off the beaten path. Locals enjoy the eclectic mix of Oslo's food cultures in a relaxed atmosphere with stunning sea views.

Urban Sauna

Sizzling in an urban sauna is one of the most incredible things to do in Oslo. Aside from the coals, there are several places in the harbor where you can warm up before a refreshing dip in the fjord. Saunas have numerous health benefits and are an excellent way to immerse yourself in local culture. SALT is a nomadic art project where you can relax in water-filled barrels, while KOK is a floating sauna with breathtaking views of the fjords.

Ekeburg Sculpture Park

This wooded park with 31 sculptures is approximately a 30-minute walk from central Oslo and is where Munch found inspiration for The Scream. The park is always open and accessible to the public. It contains works by artists such as Salvador Dali and Damien Hirst and a top-notch restaurant, Ekebergrestauranten.

What else to visit?

Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower

A massive Olympic ski jump, easily accessible by Metro, with a viewing platform and a museum delving into skiing history and polar exploration, as well as snowboarding and modern skiing. No visit to Oslo is complete without taking in the panoramic views from the top of this impressive tower, which has the best views in the city. Book a full-day tour that includes the ski jump.

National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design

Oslo's new National Museum will open on June 11, 2022. This is the Nordics' largest museum. The former National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Norwegian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design have all been incorporated into the new museum. The new museum features a permanent exhibition of approximately 6 500 objects. Design, arts and crafts, fine art, and contemporary art will be displayed together. As a result, the permanent exhibition highlights intriguing connections between previously shown collections at three different museums.

Akerselva River

The 5.1-mile-long Akerselva river flows from Lake Maridalsvannet to downtown Oslo, dividing the city's east and west sides. The river's trails are ideal for hiking and cycling. Strolling along the river is a great way to explore different neighborhoods, including Grünerlkka, the hipster district, lined with vintage boutiques, quirky cafes, and pubs. Ingensteds nightclub and Nedre Foss Gard for alfresco dining.

Nobel Peace Centre

This interactive exhibition honors the prestigious Peace Prize and its previous winners. While the permanent collection focuses on the winners, the constantly changing exhibits range from photos of extreme wealth to those examining anorexia. It provides an intriguing insight into the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize and issues concerning war, peace, and conflict resolution. It's also very family-friendly, with children under 16 admitted for free.

Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum, a branch of the University of Oslo's Cultural History Museum, houses jaw-dropping finds from four Viking burial sites around the Oslo Fjord. The museum is on the Bygdy Peninsula and is highlighted by the Oseberg Ship. This 9th-century burial ship was excavated in 1904-05 and is as good as new because it had been encased in watertight and airtight mud for the entire time. Similar ships from Tune and Gokstad are equally exciting, as are the artifacts discovered buried with them, such as beds, small boats, a full cart, tent components, wood carvings, textiles, and other treasures found in Viking graves.

How to travel there?

All international and national train lines arrive at Oslo Central Station, located in the heart of Oslo. Local trains and some regional services stop at Nationaltheatret, Skyen, and Lysakerstations.

Express coach services are frequently a less expensive, yet still comfortable and flexible, alternative to flying or taking the train. Coaches from Norway and abroad arrive at the Oslo Bussterminal in the heart of Oslo. The bus terminal is located at the city's largest public transportation hub, so getting to your destination is simple.

There are direct ferry connections between Oslo and Kiel in Germany and Copenhagen and Frederikshavn in Denmark all year. The port of Oslo is close to many attractions, making the city a popular stop for many cruise ships.

Most major European cities, as well as some cities in North America and Asia, have direct flights to Oslo. The most well-known airports are Oslo Airport at Gardermoen and Sandefjord Torp. Flight time estimates (some examples): London-Oslo takes 2 hours, New York-Oslo takes 7.5 hours, and Rome-Oslo takes 3 hours.

When to travel there?

The best time to visit Oslo is from May to August when the temperatures rise, and there are surprisingly low room rates available, though these often fill up quickly. Daytime temperatures are typically in the 60s and 70s, but evenings can be chilly, so bring a coat. In the summer, Oslo, like Stockholm and Reykjavik, can have nearly 24 hours of daylight, with the famous midnight sun appearing in June or July. On the other hand, there are winter days when it is nearly pitch black. This is accompanied by cold weather and temperatures in the 20s.

Average costs

What amount of money will you require for your trip to Oslo? You should budget around 120€ per day for your vacation in Oslo, which is the average daily price based on other visitors' expenses. Previous visitors spent an average of 26€ per day on meals and 21€ on local transportation. In addition, the average hotel room in Oslo costs 143€. So, a one-week trip to Oslo for two people costs, on average, 1,686€. All of these average travel prices were gathered from other travelers to assist you in planning your travel budget.

Where to eat?

Many of Oslo's best restaurants are easy to find, but searching for some of the city's hidden gems can be worthwhile. Here are seven examples.

Grådi (a play on the Norwegian word for 'greedy') can be found between the apartment buildings in Sørligata, Tøyen. On weekdays, Grådi serves lunch and dinner; on weekends, it serves brunch. The menu features traditional Scandinavian lunch items such as Skagen toast, rye bread with cheese and marmalade, blueberry pancakes, and eggs. The majority of the dishes cost around 100 NOK. It doesn't matter if you go to Grådi for breakfast or an evening drink; the atmosphere is the same.

Brutus is located in Grønland, just behind the police station. Nature wine will be served here by some of the city's leading nature wine experts. Book a table, try the six-course menu, or stop for some bar snacks. You'll enjoy them both! The Icelandic chef prepares the dishes using simple ingredients, with vegetables at the center. Here's your chance to try traditional Scandinavian dishes like pork ribs or mackerel with a modern twist.

Handwerk Botaniske in an old manor is located in idyllic surroundings inside Oslo's possibly most beautiful garden, the Botanical Garden. The café is open all year, with outdoor tables in the summer, and is the ideal spot for a coffee or lunch after a visit to the Botanical Garden. Handwerk's sourdough bread and rolls are delicious, but if you want to try a little bit of everything, their lunch plate, which represents a typical Norwegian lunch, comes highly recommended.


Holmenkollen Ski Festival

The Holmenkollen Ski Festival (also known as the Holmenkollen Skifestival or Holmenkollrennene) is a traditional skiing event held in Oslo's Holmenkollen neighborhood. The event's official name is 'Holmenkollen FIS World Cup Nordic.' The event began in the nineteenth century and is held at Holmenkollen National Arena and on skiing hills such as Midtstubakken and Holmenkollbakken. Holmenkollen has hosted several World Championship events, including Skifest & RAW AIR and the Biathlon World Cup.

Oslo International Church Music Festival

The Oslo International Church Music Festival (Oslo Internasjonale Kirkemusikkfestival) was founded in 2000 by Bente Johnsrud and features choirs, concerts, pipe organists, and gospel groups performing in various churches and cathedrals, including the Medieval church Gamle Aker. This event takes ten days in March and is held to support church music in Norway.

Oslo Jazz Festival

The Oslo Jazz Festival (Oslo Jazzfestival) is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 by Aage Teigen. Every year in mid-August, over 60 concerts are held at approximately 15 venues in Oslo. This Norwegian music event features live jazz performances ranging from traditional to Dixieland and New Orleans jazz, among other styles. The Oslo Jazz Festival has featured performances by Charles Lloyd, Herbie Hancock, Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen, and many other artists.

We've reached the end of the article about Oslo. This city has a fantastic atmosphere, and we believe you will love it as much as we did! In the meantime, you can read other articles on our blog. How about Stockholm, Helsinki, or Malmö? Do not forget to follow us @thewalkingparrot to be continuously updated on the new releases. We will be back soon with a new article!

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