Today we are setting our sights on all the very best things to do in the enchanting city of Oslo, Norway. Nestled amidst breath-taking natural beauty, Oslo is a vibrant city that seemingly combines modern commodities with a deep and fascinating history.
Here are 10 of the absolute best things to do in Oslo!
1. Visit Akershus Fort
Perched high up on a hill overlooking Oslo’s harbour, the Akershus Fortress is a must visit! Explore its ancient halls, learn about its rich past or just soak up the panoramic views of the city with a picnic. Don’t miss the changing of the guards ceremony!
2. Wander Vigeland Park
Vigeland Park has to be on any Oslo itinerary. It is home to the world’s largest sculpture park dedicated to a single artist, Gustav Vigeland. Spend a sunny afternoon strolling along winding pathways lined with over 200 captivating bronze and granite sculptures. It truly feels like a little oasis of tranquillity in the heart of an otherwise busy city.
3. Oslo Opera House
This was one of the first spots we explored when we arrived in Oslo, and one of my favourites! The Opera House is located right in the city centre and is an architectural masterpiece that seems to rise majestically from the waters of the Oslo Fjord. You can stroll up onto its sloping roof (for free!) which offers the most stunning view of the city’s skyline. Whether you are here to catch a performance or just soak up the vibrant atmosphere, I’d highly recommend adding this spot to your list!
4. Drink Coffee at Tim Wendelboe
There had to be at least one coffee recommendation on here! No city break is complete without several visits a day to cute little coffee houses, and especially not while in Oslo. Did you know Norway ranks as the second biggest coffee drinking country in the world? This means when wandering the streets of Oslo, there is a different coffee shop on pretty much every street corner. Head to my guide on Two Days in Oslo for a full list of coffee recommendations, but my absolute top has to be Tim Wendelboe! The café has become world famous after winning World Barista Championship in 2004, Nordic Roaster Competition across multiple years and World Brewers Cup Championships in 2010 (plus many, many more!). If you are a coffee lover, a visit to Tim Wendelboe definitely has to be on your Oslo itinerary.
5. Explore the Grünerløkka neighborhood
Known for its trendy atmosphere, NAME is a paradise of vibrant streets, filled with an electric mix of boutquies, cafes and street art. Indulge in delicious food, grab a cup of artisanal coffee or just take a wonder and soak up the likely and creative vibes! I’d recommend spending at least a few hours just wandering here.
6. Visit the Holmenkollen Ski Jump
Take a trip out the city centre to the visit a real Olympic ski jump! You can pay to visit a museum and venture all the way to the top of the jump, or just head half way up for free (this still gives you insane views!). Afterwards, take a wander through the beautiful settings.
7. Take a boat trip on the Oslo Fjord
One of the best things to do in Oslo is to see the city from the water! There are a ton of different boat trips available, usually around 2/3 hours and the price will include a guided tour. Relax, admire picturesque island, isyllic coastal landscapes and charming seaside villages. The perfect way to spend a chilled afternoon in Oslo.
8. Visit Hovedøya Island!
If you are looking for a budget friendly way to go on a boat trip, you can take a short ferry journey over to the beautiful Hovedøya Island. The journey takes roughly five minutes, costs about £6 return and is a wonderful chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of Oslo city centre. The island is renowned for its lush greenery, scenic walking trails and picturesque beaches, making it a haven for outdoor lovers. There are beautiful swimming spots and beaches, nature trails to explore, ancient ruins to discover and even a café during the summer months! Even if you have chosen to go for the longer cruise around the Fjord, I'd still highly recommend popping to Hovedøya Island for an hour or so!
9. Go Museum Hopping
Oslo is famous for its plethora of museums, which showcase a fascinating blend of history, art and innovation. Some of the top contenders are the Viking Ship Museum which houses amazingly preserved Viking vessels dating back to the 9th century, the Munch Museum which has an extensive collection of artwork by renowned Norwegian painter Edvard Munch and the Nobel Peace Centre, dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize and its winners.
10. Eat at Mama Pizza
Of course I couldn’t talk about the ten best things to do in Oslo without including some kind of food option! My favourite place we ate over the weekend was Mama Pizza, an amazing Italian in the centre of the city. They don’t take bookings and can get quite busy, so come a little early!
And then you have it! Ten of the very best things to do in Oslo during your city break. There are so many other unmissable things in the city (I feel a Part 2 incoming) but this is a really good place to start.
I hope you enjoy Norway’s vibrant capital city as much as I did – enjoy your travels!
Lots of love,