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Two days in Oslo: A Travellers Guide to Norway's Capital

Nestled amidst breath-taking fjords and lush greenery, Oslo is the vibrant capital of Norway that harmoniously combines modern life with a rich cultural history. This gorgeous spot is very surprisingly often overlooked as a European city break option- but with countless museums, endless hike options and an influx of vibrant districts to explore, there is truly something for everyone in Oslo. If you are looking for the perfect itinerary to maximise your time in Norway’s captivating capital, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got you covered with this perfect 2 day guide to Oslo.

Oslo is quite a small city, so it’s definitely feasible to be able to walk most of it. Therefore, I’d definitely recommend trying to find some accommodation close to the city centre to save on metro costs! Some of the best neighbourhoods to stay in are:

  • Sentrum (if it is your first time in Oslo)

  • Aker Brygge (best for shopping, dining and being close to the waterfront)

  • Grunerlokka (coolest district to stay in)

Let’s also get this out of the way now- Oslo is also a very expensive city. In fact, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world. I did manage to find some ‘affordable’ accommodation but be aware that Oslo definitely won’t be the cheapest option!

Here are some accommodation options to suit every budget:

This hotel has gorgeous big rooms, is located right in the centre of Oslo and breakfast is included! It is pricy, but would be lovely if you were looking for somewhere a bit special.

Again, this won't be the cheapest option but seems quite good for the price! Rooms look great and again a really good, central location

This is where I stayed during my trip to Oslo! We booked quite last minute but still only paid about £80 each for two nights accommodation. The location was really good- we were minutes walk from the Central Station which made it really easy coming in from the airport, and pretty much walking distance from anywhere we wanted to go in the city. The apartment was nice and had a small kitchen in it as well which was great!

Okay let’s dive into Oslo!

Day 1:

Begin your day (of course!) with coffee. Oslo takes its coffee culture very seriously so there are a ton of great coffee and cake spots. Here are some of my favourite picks:

  • Tim Wendelboe - This cafe is multi award winning - one of the best coffee spots in Oslo! More on this particular spot later...

  • Kafe Celsius. Head for for gorgeous views over Oslo with the added bonus of delicious cake!

  • Stockfleths Lille Grensen is one of the oldest coffee houses in Oslo, definitely not one to be missed.

  • Mocca Coffee Shop - unbelievably premium coffee in a super relaxed environment.

Start your sightseeing with the iconic Oslo Opera House, viewed as a modern day architectural marvel! It’s one of the most photographed spots in the entire city and is home to the National Opera and Ballet. The Opera House is located right on the waterfront- you can actually walk up to get some pretty stunning views over the water! It’s also located in Gamle Oslo Area, which is a really cool area of Oslo. You can find some other interesting architecture, the famous MUNCH museum and wander the lively area of Grønland.

Next head to visit the Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle that has guarded Oslo since the 13th century. You can go inside the castle, which contains banquet halls, the Royal Mausoleum and the government’s reception rooms (entry is free with the Oslo Pass! LINK THIS). It also houses the Norwegian Resistance Museum, shedding light on Norway’s World War II history.

The grounds are open to the public for free and offer the most amazing views over the Fjord. We just wandered around the grounds to soak up the beauty of Oslo- this would be a great spot to bring a picnic and a book and relax for a few hours.

Take a break from walking and enjoy a cruise on the Oslo Fjord! This is one of the most popular things to do- and for good reason. The different perspective of the city’s skyline is really stunning and it gives you a chance to learn more about the history of Oslo and the Fjords. In typical Oslo fashion, the cruises can be a little pricy but the price often includes a 2-3 hour guided cruise.

If you are looking for a budget friendly alternative, 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 cafe 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!

Next up, wander through the Karl Johan's gate district. This is a really lively area of Oslo, and links to a lot of other really cool spots. Right up at the top is the Oslo Palace- you can simply wander around the outside, or take a tour within for a glimpse into the regal history and traditions of Norway. Watching the changing of the guards is also very popular!

Take a stroll through Grunerløkka, which was one of my favourite districts we visited! It is nestled on the Eastern bank of the Akerselva River and is known as a vibrant and electric neighbourhood. Visit some of the trendy boutiques, cosy cafes and lively bars and make sure you pay a visit to Blå, a super cool music venue!

For dinner, I would recommend heading to Mama Pizzeria. They don't take bookings so make sure to turn up a little early but the pizza was absolutely insane, I would highly recommend.

Day 2:

For your second day in Oslo, I would recommend getting out of the city centre. Part of the draw of Norway is the immense beauty of the nature so make sure you take some time to explore it.

One amazing place to visit not far from Oslo city centre is Holmenkollen. You can get there easily by train; head to Oslo Central Station (Oslo S) and jump on the train with the destination 'Holmenkollen'. The journey should take around approximately 20 minutes and will cost around 36. Grab yourself a window seat because the views are really spectacular!

Holmenkollen is an Olympic ski jump that towers above the surrounding trees and countryside. You can climb to about the half way point (which is still very high!) for free or you can pay to climb all the way to the top. There is also a museum (entry to this includes access to the top of the ski jump) and there is also a ski jump simulator and a zip line!

While you are there, remember to take some time to visit the Holmenkollen chapel, a quaint wooden church nestled within the scenic landscape and head off on a wander walk to explore the nearby forests, trails and viewpoints.

When you are back in Oslo, pay a visit to Tim Wendelboe which is run by World Barista Champion and World Cup Tasters Champion. The cafe is one of the most famous spots in Oslo and is well worth a visit! The iced cappuccino is served in a martini glass and the hot cappuccino is one of the best I've ever had! The neighbourhood the cafe is located in is also super colourful and well worth spending a few hours wandering around.

Overall, I could not recommend Oslo more! The city truly has it all- history, culture, delicious food and stunning natural beauty. Two days will be enough to explore the best of Oslo but I would highly recommend giving yourself more time to then delve more deeply into the nature of Norway- you won't regret it!

So pack your bags and let Oslo show you why it's one of Europe's coolest cities to explore. I hope you found this blog useful and feel free to reach out with any questions.

Lots of love,




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