Top Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Oslo (Norway)
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Norway, one of the countries located in the Scandinavia, has significantly improved in the last century, thanks to the discovery of a significant oil source on its territory. Nowadays, Norway has become one of the wealthiest and happiest countries in the world. There are more and more people wanting to see this fantastic country during their holidays. And just like many other countries, the leading destination of Norway is its capital city, Oslo.
Oslo is a stunning city, that, just like other Scandinavian cities, has the perfect balance between antiquity and modernity. This fact results in many exciting things to do in Oslo for the tourists. There are plenty of breathtaking views that you can enjoy while you go sightseeing in Oslo. There is just everything for everyone, no matter how old you are, in Oslo.
Since Oslo is a famous both summer and winter holiday destination, the best time to visit Oslo depends on what you are looking for in Oslo. If you want to experience the famous midnight sun, then your best time to go to Oslo is in June or July.
So, is Oslo worth visiting? Yes, of course. However, if you are still having doubts about it, then why don’t you go ahead and read this amusing Oslo travel guide?
Useful travel tips for every traveler (Budget or not!)
→ Learn how to find cheap flights: Read our Skyscanner guide on how to find flights!
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Oslo travel tips
- 2 Where to stay in Oslo?
- 3 Short in time? Go sightseeing in Oslo on tour!
- 4 Experiences and top things to do in Oslo
- 4.1 Treat Your Eyes And Your Ears
- 4.2 Have Fun Under The Sun
- 4.3 Hop on Exciting Rides
- 4.4 Soothe Your Eyes
- 4.5 Enjoy The Work of Art Outdoor
- 4.6 Be Impressed by The Vikings
- 4.7 Dash Through The Snow
- 4.8 Relive The Lives of Great Explorers
- 4.9 Be A Beer Genius
- 4.10 Get Your Mind Blown by The Modern Architecture
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- 7 Do you need inspiration for your next trip? Here are our top posts!
- 8 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Quick information and Oslo travel tips
- Currency? Norwegian Krona
- Languages? Norwegian and English
- Where is this place? Located in Southern Norway
- What is Oslo famous for? Skiing, The Royals, and architecture.
- Best time to visit Oslo? All year round. But if you’re not a fan of winter, come in summer, spring, or autumn. The weather won’t be extreme but mind that spring and autumn might be wet from the rain. Just make sure to bring a good winter jacket and travel shoes with you!
- How to get there? You can take the plane if you’re coming abroad or other big cities in Norway. Otherwise, you can also come by cruise or train (from other big cities).
- Other famous places in Norway? Oslo, Tromsø, Åleslund, Trondheim, Svalbard, Stavanger, Lofoten Islands, Bergen, West Fjords, Bodø, Fredrikstad, Alta, Røros, Helgeland, and Jotunheimen National Park. You can check all the top places to visit in Norway, click this to read the post.
- Famous neighboring countries? Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland
- Other European cities similar to Oslo? Stockholm, Copenhagen, Reykjavik, and Helsinki
Do you need a visa for Norway?
Norway is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.
You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Oslo?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Where to stay in Oslo?
Short in time? Go sightseeing in Oslo on tour!
Experiences and top things to do in Oslo
Treat Your Eyes And Your Ears
If you are an opera or a ballet enthusiast, you should go to the Oslo Opera House. The Oslo Opera House is the home to The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Built in the Bjørvika neighborhood of Oslo, this incredible Oslo landmark represents the modern side of Oslo. The breathtaking architecture style of this building has made Oslo Opera House receive several awards. In 2008, it won the World Architecture Festival held in Barcelona.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at this stunning building, you can join a guided tour held by the opera house. During the 50 minutes guided tour, you will be able to explore the massive structure and see the lives of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet members. There are two kinds of guided tours, one is using English, while the other one is using Norwegian.
Have Fun Under The Sun
You want something more physical, something more outdoorsy, and something more challenging, then you should go to Oslo Summer Park. Oslo Summer Park lies in Tryvannsveien, and it has become one of the best Oslo tourist attractions.
Oslo Summer Park is a climbing park. Here, you will find several rope obstacles that you have to go through. Don’t worry; you will be okay. Before you get into action, you are required to put on some safety gears, such as helmets and harnesses. You are also instructed to follow the safety lesson first before you can start. Children under 12 are allowed to take up the obstacles as long as one adult accompanies each child.
Several food stalls are selling great food here, so you do not need to worry about getting some extra energy. If you want to bring your food or even a picnic basket, you are more than welcomed to do so.
Hop on Exciting Rides
In case you bring your whole family to take a trip to Oslo with you, you need to find a place where everyone can have some fun. And, one of the best Oslo tourist attractions to do so is Tusenfryd.
Located just outside Oslo, Tusenfryd is the most famous theme park in Norway. It takes only less than half an hour to reach this fun theme park since it is only 20 km away south of Oslo. This amusement park is situated in Vinterbro to be exact.
Tusenfryd first opened on June 11, 1988. It has around 31 rides, including four exciting roller coaster rides. The latest roller coaster to be installed in this park is the Western Expressen. The steel roller coaster can reach the speed of 40 km per hour, and the highest point of the track is 17 meters above the ground.
After you feel content from trying the rides in this Oslo amusement park and you need to freshen up, you can go to the mini waterpark located in Tusenfryd. It is called Badefryd. To enter this waterpark, you do not need to pay anything more. It is already included in the theme park entrance fee.
Keep in mind that the park closes during the winter. Tusenfryd opens from April to October.
Soothe Your Eyes
During your trip to Oslo, try to head to Tøyen area. There you will find this charming large landscaped garden. Known merely as Botanical Garden or Botanisk Hage in Norway, this extensive garden has around 1,800 different plants.
There are several interesting parts of the Botanical Garden. One of the most exciting parts is the Scent Garden. This part of the park is designed to enhance the experience of blind and disabled people while they are in the Botanical Garden.
The greenhouses in this Oslo tourist attraction can be visited from Tuesdays to Sundays. They open from 11 AM to 4 PM.
Enjoy The Work of Art Outdoor
If you want to enjoy the beautiful nature and art at the same time while you are in Oslo, then you should make your way to Frogner Park. This park is part of Frogner Mansion located in the southern part of Frogner Park. Covering an area of 45 hectares, Frogner Park is landscaped beautifully, making it one of the most favorite tourist attractions in Oslo. It is the largest park in Oslo. Finding some peaceful spot in this park is easy.
In several parts of Frogner Park, you will be able to find statues or sculptures made by Vigeland, a famous sculpture artist. Frogner Park is considered to be the most significant sculpture park all over the world. It will be an excellent point for you to sit in the park, admiring the impressive sculptures while enjoying some warm food or drink.
If you go to Frogner Park, there are more things to do than just sightseeing. Here you can dip yourself in the pampering bath in Frogner called Frognerbadet. You can also do some sports there. There are tennis courts available within this park.
Be Impressed by The Vikings
The Scandinavian people are well known for their notorious ancestors, the Vikings. If you are interested in learning more about this powerful and fearless tribe, one of the most exciting things to do in Oslo is going to The Viking Ship Museum. Located in Bygdøy, the Viking Ship Museum is a part of the Museum of Cultural History.
If you go to this one of the most popular Oslo points of interest, you will be able to see three Viking ships on display. Those ships are Oseberg ship, Gokstad ship, and Tune ship. The most impressive ship would be the Oseberg ship.
The archeologists were able to retrieve the whole ship from the most massive ship burial in the world. Beside Viking ships, there are many other engaging artifacts in this Oslo museum displays, such as horse cart, sled, carving, buckets, and many more, giving us a clearer picture on how this tribe lived their lives back then.
Dash Through The Snow
Not only in the summer, but Oslo tourism also has a lot to offer during the winter. For those of you who love skiing or other winter sports, you can pack your winter suit and head to Oslo Winter Park. It only takes 30 minutes to get there from the center of Oslo.
Listed as one of the best places to go in Oslo, this ski resort has 18 slopes with ranging difficulty levels, starting with the easy ones for the kids and the beginners, to the difficult ones for those who have great ski skills. That is why Oslo Winter Park is one of the most popular ski resorts in Oslo because it suits everybody. There are 11 lifts available in this Oslo ski resort to get you to the top of those slopes.
Relive The Lives of Great Explorers
Down in Bygdøynesveien, not too far from the Viking Ships Museum, there is another unique museum that you can visit during your trip to Oslo. It is called the Fram Museum. Established in 1936, the Fram Museum is dedicated to those great and brave explorers who risked their lives in the extreme Norwegian Polar Expedition.
In the center of this Oslo museum, you will find the original Fram, the Norwegian vessel that took the Norwegian Polar Expedition team to the polar region. Inside this historical ship, you can see it exactly just what it looked like during the exploration. Visitors are allowed to enter this astonishing ship.
Not only the great Fram vessel, inside the Fram Museum, you can also see images of some of the polar animals, such as penguins and polar bears.
The Fram Museum opens throughout the year, but please check the website first for their operational hours, because it can change several times a year.
Be A Beer Genius
Who says beer is not as classy or as sophisticated as wine? This unique Oslo place to go will prove you the other way. Ølakademiet or The Beer Academy is a place run by a group of people who have a big passion and in-depth knowledge of beer.
Ølakademiet offers you courses, activities, and tours that will make your knowledge in beer improve. You can learn about different types of beer and how to pair them with food. You can also learn about the brewing process.
Activities held by Ølakademiet are available for individuals and small groups. They even have delightful programs for bachelor and bachelorette parties. No wonder Ølakademiet has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oslo.
Get Your Mind Blown by The Modern Architecture
The great thing about Oslo is that the city has the perfect balance between the legacy from the past and the innovation for the future. You can feel this ideal balance in the city’s architectural styles. In the last few years, Oslo has become the playground for architects to bring their unique modern designs into reality. Have a stroll around the new neighborhoods in Oslo to see these brilliant architects’ masterpieces. You will be stunned with the shapes of buildings you have never seen before.
Head to Tjuvholmen which is next to the Oslo fjord, or Vulkan on the banks of river Akerselva and get ready to be impressed by the unique buildings you find there. Most of these buildings are not only sophisticated in their physical appearance, but they are usually eco-friendly too.
When you visit Oslo, having a stroll exploring these trendy neighborhoods is one of the best things to do in Oslo. It will really lift your mood.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can you do in Oslo for free?
There are attractions in Oslo that are free of charge and these are the following:
- Witness the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace
- Churches in Oslo are free to visit
- Most museums are for free during Thursdays
- Some of the famous landmarks in Oslo are for free, too! Here are a few examples:
- The Parliament House
- Akershus Castle & Fortress
- Norwegian National Ballet & Opera House
- Parliament House (Stortinget)
- Æreslunden Cemetery
Can you see the northern lights in Oslo?
Since Oslo is located in the south of Norway, the chances of you seeing a Northern Light is quite slim. That said, it is not impossible! If you really want to see this famous phenomenon, it is best if you travel to Northern Norway famous for this like Svalbard.
What is there to do in Oslo in 2 days?
You can see most of the attractions listed in this post in 2 days. Since you’re visiting for a short time, it is best adviced to stay just in Oslo. Of course, you can also do tours that will take you to most of the top things see in Oslo. Here are a few examples:
- Oslo Highlights 3-Hour Bike Tour
- Oslo: Hop-on Hop-off City Sightseeing Tour
- Oslo: 2-Hour Walking Tour
What is there to do in Oslo in winter?
If you don’t mind the cold, there are a lot of outdoor activities you can partake, here are a few examples:
- Go skiing at Oslo Ski Center
- Go Ice Skating at Frogner Ice Skating Rink
- Enjoy sledding in some of Oslo’s neighborhoods
One day in Oslo What should I do?
If you have a budget, it is suggested to take a tour to really make use of your time spent in Oslo! This walking tour might be for you.
What should I wear in Oslo in winter?
First of all, make sure to get good quality winter jacket and travel shoes when you visit Oslo in winter. Other than that, check out our winter packing list for more information regarding how to dress properly for the cold.
Need help to plan your trip? Start with these useful tips!
- Best Carry On Backpack: Top Weekender Backpack Reviews
- Best Luggage: Top Suitcase Reviews
- Backpacking Minimalist: How to Travel with Less (Minimalist Travel)
- Minimalist packing list for women
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Important travel tips and tricks:
- Before Flight Travel Checklist: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need!
- How to Find Cheap Flights Everywhere (Using Skyscanner)
- Why You Should Get a Travel Insurance for Your Next Adventure
- Hotel, Hostel, Airbnb, or Guesthouse: Which One to Choose for Accommodation?
- Top Travel Tips to Use When You Get to Your Destination
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