Norway’s famously beautiful fjords and mountains bring countless tourists flocking to this corner of Scandinavia every year. And where better to start a Norwegian adventure than by visiting the capital city? Oslo is chock-full of impressive sights, from its picturesque setting on the Oslofjord to its stunning historic buildings and museums. Stand in the presence of wonderfully preserved Viking ships at the Viking Ship Museum, experience the majesty of the Royal Palace, or explore the impressive edifice of the Akershus Fortress - and that’s just scratching the surface. But with such dizzying choices where do you start? Well, these day trips from Oslo won’t just open your eyes to some of the phenomenal spots in the city itself, but also in the beautiful landscape around about. Read on for a great list of day trips from Oslo, Norway.
Sitting on the northern shore of Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, this famous ski resort in the south of the country wears its sporting heritage on its sleeve. The host town for the 1994 Winter Olympics, the facilities used for that memorable event, such as the Lysgårdsbakkene ski jumping centre - rub shoulders with the Norwegian Olympic Museum. The town is also home to such cultural and historical attractions as the striking Lillehammer Art Museum and the Maihaugen open air museum - which boasts 200 period buildings. Family fun can also be had at the Hunderfossen Family Park with its dozens of rides.
Address: Maihaugvegen 1, 2609 Lillehammer,
Opening hours: Varies depending on time of year. See website.
Price: Adults: 135 NKR (15.54 USD); Children (age 5 to 15) 65 NKR &7.48 USD; Seniors/students: 95 NKR (10.94 USD)
As well as the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, this Oslo neighbourhood will make for a pleasant place to enjoy a walk in the open air. And the neighbourhood’s place in art history is assured - one of the world’s most famous paintings, Edvard Munch’s The Scream, was actually painted from Utsikten within Ekeberg. The area’s hilly nature also makes for great city views - the Ekeberg Restaurant, for example, offering a great vantage spot while dining. The Ekeberg Stairs, meanwhile, enjoy views across to several islands such as Langøyene. Fans of history will also want to make a beeline for the area’s stone age rock carvings.
Ekebergparken Sculpture Park
Address: Kongsveien 23, N-0193 Oslo
Website: Ekebergparken Sculpture Park
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
3. Henie-Onstad Art Centre
Sticking with the artsy theme, those who enjoy contemporary works will likely want to head for the Henie-Onstad Art Centre, which lies just 6 miles (10 km) south of Oslo and hosts a range of exhibitions and performances. Founded just over 50 years ago by famed figure skating legend and Hollywood star Sonja Henie and her husband and art collector Niels Onstad, the site today houses 110 different works and is so popular that it welcomes more than 100,000 visitors a year.
Henie-Onstad Art Centre
Address: Sonja Henies vei 31, 1311 Høvikodden
Website: Henie-Onstad Art Centre
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed Mon)
Price: Adult: 120 NKR (13.82 USD); Student: 70 NKR (8.06 USD); Children go free
Surrounded by fjords and mountains, Bergen boasts a number of picturesque settings, such as the old wharf and colourful wooden buildings that line the shore at Bryggen. And as for the surrounding mountains, the Fløibanen funicular railway transports sightseers up the Fløyen mountain, for spectacular panoramic views of the city. One of Bergen’s most popular attractions, it carries 1 million passengers every year to the summit - with its restaurant, terraces and hiking trails. Other noted sites include the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene, which commemorates the city’s key role within the famous trading empire of the Hanseatic League. The Bergen Aquarium, 12th-century Fantoft Stavkirke and KODE art museums - with works by Johan Christian Dahl and Edvard Munch - are also worth a visit.
Self-Guided Full Day Trip From Oslo To Bergen with Flåm Railway And Sognefjord
Duration: 12 hours
Fans of the great outdoors may wish to give the hike from Oslo to Grefsenkollen a whirl. Located just north of the city’s downtown area, it enjoys beautiful views of Oslo and its wood and fjord setting. What’s more, the hike is not overly long, just 3 km (2 miles) one way, and there are bus options for those looking to spare their legs. And once you finish your journey, there’s a popular restaurant at Grefsenkollen in which to indulge those taste buds. Those feeling adventurous can also use Grefsenkollen as a stopping off point to explore other walking trails deeper into the forest, for a true day trip.
Address: Grefsenkollveien 100, 0490 Oslo
Website: Grefsenkollen restaurant
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 12pm - 8pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 11am - 8pm
6. Drøbak Christmas Town
Drøbak on the shores of the Oslofjord is regarded in Norway as the reputed birthplace of Santa Claus, or Julenissen. That reputation manifests itself at the Julehuset (or Christmas House) in the town square, and Santa’s Post Office next door. Yes, that’s right, lots of children’s letters to Father Christmas actually wind up in this historic town. Of course, there is more to the traditional fjord town than just its charming Christmas spirit. Its coast is popular in summer, and it’s home to a number of attractions. These include a sculpture of three mermaids on the shore, a popular aquarium and the imposing 19th-century Oscarsborg Fortress - the latter of which sits on islands in Oslofjord and can be reached via motor launch trips.
Address: Havnebakken 6, 1440 Drøbak
Opening hours: Varies. See website.
Sitting on the Oslofjord about 100 km (62 miles) south of Oslo, Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway - founded by the Vikings all the way back in the 800s. Indeed the town is home to the Oseberg Mound where a stunningly preserved 9th-century Viking vessel was unearthed by archaeologists. That ship may now be housed in a museum in Oslo (more on that a little later) but those links remain - when a modern reconstruction (the Saga Oseberg) was launched in 2012, it was moved from Tønsberg. It can still be viewed on the waterfront - and there are even Viking experiences you can enjoy aboard. Other notable landmarks include the Slottsfjellet, an impressive 19th-century tower which serves as a memorial to the ruined Tønsberg Fortress.
Address: Ollebukta 3, 3126 Tønsberg
Website: Saga Oseberg
From the impressive 11th-century edifice of Nidaros Cathedral to the colourful portals of the 17th century Old Town Bridge - Trondheim boasts plenty of historic architectural charms. Indeed, the popular Trondelag Folk Museum boasts more than 80 buildings - some of which date back as far as the 12th century - for you to explore. Those looking to take to the water may wish to hop on a ferry and visit the former fort and monastery island of Munkholmen. Other attractions include the Kristiansten Fortress with its tours and museum, while families seeking a bit of fun will likely want to make a beeline for the Pirbadet water park on the seafront.
Address: 7015 Trondheim, Norway
Website: Kristiansten Fortress
Opening hours: 9am - 12am (daily)
Holmenkollen in the Vestre Aker area of the city is famed for its landmark Holmenhollbakken ski jumping hill, which has been home to competitive sport for more than 125 years. What’s more it can house as many as 70,000 spectators and has hosted such major events as the 1952 Winter Olympics, as well as the Nordic World Ski Championships on multiple occasions. There’s also the annual Holmenhollen Ski Festival. Outwith the season you can still make the most of your time with a zipline experience down the ski jump itself.
Address: Kongeveien 5, 0787 Oslo
Opening hours: 9am - 8pm (daily)
10. Bygdøy Peninsula
Bygdøy is home to no fewer than five national museums, including one that houses the beautifully preserved Viking vessel unearthed in Tønsberg - the famous Oseberg ship. In fact that vessel is one of three Viking ships housed in the aptly titled Viking Ship Museum. Other cultural highlights include museums to such exploration luminaries as Thor Heyrdahl and Roald Amundsen - indeed the latter’s exploits are remembered at his preserved ship Fram, which he used when becoming the first person to reach the South Pole. Other attractions include the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History with its traditional buildings. The peninsular is also home to popular parks and beaches.
Viking Ship Museum
Address: Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo
Website: Viking Ship Museum
Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (May 1 - September 30); 10am - 4pm (October 1 - April 30)
Price: Adult: 100 NKR (11.51 USD); Student/pensioner: 80 NKR (9.21 USD); Under 18s and students go free
Plenty to see within easy reach of Oslo
Oslo may boast plenty of fantastic attractions itself but, as these entries show, there’s a world of memorable historical, cultural and natural marvels within easy reach of the capital. Venture a little further afield and you’ll be richly rewarded. Where will your explorations take you?
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