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15 Things To Do In Oslo, Norway - Updated 2020

things to do in oslo
Anne
Anne
Updated

Oslo is Norway’s capital city and is located at the head of the Oslofjord. The city is renowned for its fascinating museums and green spaces, which can be enjoyed in summer, as well as a winter park, where skiing and snowboarding are available. Visitors can book the perfect Airbnb in Oslo’s Sentrum, then rent solar-powered bikes to explore one of the many convenient cycle tracks brought in as an effort to promote a cleaner environment. This modern and exciting destination is also host to several festivals, dedicated to opera, world music, dance, rock, literature, and film. There is a zoo to visit, plus several outdoor exercise parks, as well as many museums and cultural centers. If you don’t know where to start, you can also join an awesome GetYourGuide tour. The following things to do in Oslo, Norway, will fill your Norwegian holiday with fun and adventure.

1. Visit the stately Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jorge Láscar used under CC BY 2.0

One of the best things to do in Oslo is to find out about the city’s history at Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle located at the end of the headland, in the city of Oslo. Built to protect the city, construction was completed in the 1300s and has it stood up to many sieges over the years. The fortress was later modernized into a royal residence and a renaissance castle. Guided tours are available in summer and the fortress also hosts many major concerts and ceremonies. On the same premises, you can find the Norway Resistance Museum, mentioned below.

Akershus Fortress

Address: Oslo, Norway

Website: Akershus Fortress

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2. Tour the fascinating Viking Ship Museum

Oseberg Ship - Viking Ship Museum (Oslo)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Larry Lamsa used under CC BY 2.0

The fascinating Viking Ship Museum, in Oslo, forms part of the Museum of Cultural History. There are three Viking ships on display here, including the Oseberg, Tune and Gokstad. There are also smaller boats, a cart, sledges and various tools and household utensils from Viking days. While in the museum, visitors can enjoy an adventure movie “The Vikings Alive,” which screens on the wall and ceilings, inside the museum. One ticket gives visitors access to the Viking Ship Museum and the history museum, described below.

Viking Ship Museum

Address: Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo, Norway

Website: Viking Ship Museum

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3. Check out the exhibits at Kon-Tiki Museum

Kon Tiki museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user Maciej Z. used under CC BY 2.0

The Kon-Tiki Museum is a fascinating visit, offering exhibits related to Thor Heyerdahl’s famous expeditions. Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1947, on a balsa wood raft, named the Kon-Tiki, which can be seen in the museum. He also made other expeditions in reed boats, named Ra, Ra II and Tigris. Ra II is also available to view, in the museum, along with various objects relating to his journey and excavations made on the Galapagos Islands.

Kon-Tiki Museum

Address: Bygdøynesveien 36, 0286 Oslo

Website: Kon-Tiki Museum

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4. Spend an afternoon at Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user EliziR used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is located in the city of Oslo, in a beautiful four-storey building, and featuring a mix of permanent and updated exhibitions. On the ground floor, is an exhibit relating to the Middle Ages and the Viking age. The second and fourth floors offer exhibits of antique art and Egyptian mummies, along with artefacts from various Arctic exhibitions. There are also exhibits relating to American, East Asian and African cultures. Your ticket includes a visit to the Viking Ship Museum, mentioned above.

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Address: Museumsveien 10, 0287 Oslo, Norway

Website: Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

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5. View contemporary art displays at Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ottestad used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A point of interest in Oslo, this beautiful museum building is part of the modern-day city and offers displays of contemporary art by Northern European and other artists, in three pavilions. There are works by artists from other countries, including Brazil, China, Japan, India and America. The pavilions are housed under an impressive glass roof, shaped like a boat sail, to mirror the nearby Oslo harbour.

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

Address: Strandpromenaden 2, 0252 Oslo, Norway

Website: Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

6. Learn about the sport of skiing at Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower

Holmenkollen Ski Museum
Source: Pixabay

Located at the base of the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, the ski museum was founded in 1923 and is considered to be the oldest ski museum in the world. The museum offers exhibits relating to more than 100 years of skiing competitions, as well as artefacts relating to the history of skiing, going back some 4,000 years. There are also various artefacts relating to polar exploration and an observation deck on the tower offering panoramic and beautiful views of the city. There is also a café and gift shop on site, as well as a ski simulator.

Holmenkollen Ski Museum

Address: Kongeveien 5, 0787 Oslo, Norway

Website: Holmenkollen Ski Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

7. Stroll around Frogner Park

Frogner Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Godot13 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Frogner Park is the largest in the city and a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. A well-known tourist attraction in Oslo, the park offers the Vigeland Sculpture Park as well as beautiful open and green areas for picnics and barbecues. There is also a large rose garden in the park, with around 14,000 plants on view. There is also an open air pool in the park, as well as the Frogner Stadium, the original Frogner Manor House and the Oslo City Museum. There is also a restaurant and café, open in the summer months.

Frogner Park

Address: Kirkeveien, 0268 Oslo, Norway

Website: Frogner Park

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8. Plan a visit to Norway's Resistance Museum

Norway's Resistance Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wolfmann used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Norway Resistance Museum is located inside Akershus Fortress and offers exhibits relating to the domestic history of Norway, during World War II, from 1940 to 1945. There are various photos, posters, objects and original newspaper clippings from the time. The museum is located in a 17th-century building, separate to the fortress and includes a memorial to Norwegian patriots, who were executed in the war.

Norway's Resistance Museum

Address: Akershus Festning, 0015 Oslo, Norway

Website: Norway’s Resistance Museum

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

9. Take a day tour of Hovedøya Island

Hovedøya aerial
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wilhelm Joys Ande... used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of a number of small islands off the city’s coast, Hovedøya is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. The island is small but well known for its beautiful green nature and flowers. There are two boat routes out to the island from the city. In the summer months, a café is available, and there are the ruins of a monastery on the island, which is also an interesting visit. There are also several beaches suitable for swimming on the island. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Oslo, this island offers plenty of activities.

Hovedøya Island

Address: Oslo, Norway

Website: Hovedøya Island

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

10. Spend the day out in nature at University Botanical Garden

Botanisk hage Oldemors have
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Helge Høifødt used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The University Botanical Garden is one of Oslo’s most beautiful, green spaces with a large variety of plants, shrubs and trees. Particularly the blind will enjoy the Scent Garden, arranged to offer gorgeous scents of the various plants, to those who cannot directly enjoy their beauty. On site are the Palm House and the Victoria House, dating back to the 1800s and exhibiting exotic plants from all over the world.

University Botanical Garden

Address: Sars’ gate/Monrads gate, Tøyen, 0562 Oslo

Website: University Botanical Garden

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

11. Watch a performance at Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House seen from Langkaia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Helge Høifødt used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Plan ahead before you get to Oslo and book tickets to catch an upcoming performance at Oslo Opera House. Tickets to the opera and ballet, as well as concert tickets, are available on their official website. Besides coming here to watch a show, visitors are welcome to enjoy panoramic city views from the plaza and check out the art projects on display around the property.

Oslo Opera House

Address: Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1, 0150 Oslo, Norway

Website: Oslo Opera House

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

12. Book a guided tour of the Royal Palace

Royal Palace - Oslo, Norway - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sergey Ashmarin used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This picturesque and stately building is the official residence of Norway’s monarchy and dates back to 1814. The palace is usually open for tours during the summer, so if you’re traveling to Oslo between the months of June to September, this is a must-visit. Besides admiring the architecture, visitors can watch the changing of the guard and tour the grounds. Taking a walk around the palace at night is also a great option, since the building is lit up with yellow lights when the sun goes down.

The Royal Palace

Address: Slottsplassen 1, 0010 Oslo, Norway

Website: The Royal Palace

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

13. Check out Holmenkollbakken

Holmenkollbakken 14 march 2010
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bjoertvedt used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re a fan of winter sports, you may recognize Holmenkollbakken, a ski jump hill that’s a part of Holmenkollen National Arena. If you’re not familiar with ski jumping, then a visit here is a must because there’s also a ski museum, a cafe, a gift shop, and viewing tower on-site. The museum is located under the ski jump, and guests can learn about the history of skiing and see displays related to the sport. The viewing tower is the best part since you’ll be able to go to the top of the ski jump and get the best city views.

Holmenkollbakken

Address: Kongeveien 5, 0787 Oslo, Norway

Website: Holmenkollbakken

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

14. Tour the stave church from Gol

Gol Stave Church
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mark Healey used under CC BY-SA 2.0

An interesting structure in the modern city of Oslo, Gol Stave Church dates back to 1157. Once a stave church - a medieval Christian church made of wood - this attraction is now a museum listed as a Norwegian Cultural Heritage Site. Visitors will be able to see some medieval artifacts and murals inside.

Gol Stave Church

Address: The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Museumsveien 10, 0287 Oslo, Norway

Website: Gol Stave Church

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 3pm; Sat - Sun: 11am - 4pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

15. Sample traditional cuisine on this Taste of Oslo walking tour (from USD 125.0)

Besides joining tours and visiting historic places, there’s no better way to learn - and remember - a city than by tasting its food. Eat like a local and join this food tour so you can sample the best food in Oslo. For three to four hours, your guide will take you to six stops where you’ll not only learn some local history but also get a chance to taste dishes from four different places. The last stop is Mathallen Oslo, where you’ll sample cheeses, cured meat, and beer.

Taste of Oslo Walking Tour

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

10 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Oslo, Oslo - Southern Norway, Norway

Enjoy your tour of beautiful and contemporary Oslo

Downtown Oslo Norway skyline
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tim Adams used under CC BY 3.0

With its history and modern, contemporary buildings, along with many attractions and parks, Oslo is a fascinating city to visit, while travelling in Norway. Be sure to try these fun things to do in Oslo during your holiday.

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Anne Sewell was born in England, but has spent most of her life in Africa - Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa - and now resides on the beautiful Costa del Sol in southern Spain. She loves writing...Read more

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