The capital of Norway, Oslo, stands on a promontory at the end of the Oslo Fjord, where the snow-covered slopes, ideal for skiing, seem to merge with the icy waters of the sea.
Along the coast of the city, there are scattered historical evidence of the Viking Age, which is concentrated mainly on the Byugdoy peninsula. Many of Oslo’s most interesting museums are located here, for example, the interesting Viking Ship Museum.
The city center will amaze you with its trendy neighborhoods, pedestrian shopping streets, and numerous green oases such as Frogner Park. Going north, you can visit one of the oldest ski museums in the world.
It is located under a ski jump, offering spectacular views of the city and the fjord. Check out our guide to the most interesting things to do in Oslo to better plan your trip to the Norwegian capital.
Start your day by walking through the Karl Johan Gate
The first thing you need to know is that the gate means “road” in Norwegian. It is not surprising that Karl Johan Gate is a charming main street in the center of Oslo, which you can walk right after leaving Oslo Central Station. But before you start walking, stop for a minute in a small square to soak up the atmosphere of the city.
Moving east, you can continue along the Karl Johan Gate and visit restaurants, bars, nightclubs, boutiques, shops, and shopping centers. And if you feel hungry, don’t worry! You will be able to taste dishes from all over the world (Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese…) and sit on one of the beautiful terraces overlooking the street.
Don’t miss the Viking Ship Museum
At the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, on the so-called “museum peninsula” Byugdoi, you can get acquainted with the life of the great navigators of the North. This attraction is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, so with a ticket worth about 100 kronor per person, you can visit two museums for the price of one.
Inside you will find one of the most valuable national treasures of the Vikings and get to know some of the perfectly preserved ships found in the famous cemeteries of Tensberg and Borre in Westfall.
Discover Grunerlokka: take a walk through one of the most interesting areas of Oslo
A few kilometers from the beating heart of Oslo, don’t miss the Grunerlokka area. Grunerlokka is considered one of the most fashionable districts of Oslo with its streets decorated with graffiti and one of the most stylish bars and nightclubs in the city. Many fashion boutiques are selling high-end clothes and vintage items.
On weekends, Grunerlokka squares come alive with markets, do not miss the opportunity to find truly original gifts and taste delicious local delicacies. Spend your day listening to music! Follow the trails leading to nearby parks and attend a concert of residents.
Don’t miss the Gustav Vigeland Sculpture Park
The central part of the vast Frogner Park in Oslo is characterized by a series of bronze and granite sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland. And known as the Vigelandsanlegget or Vigeland Installation. Walk across the 100-meter bridge that connects the entrance gate to the central fountain. And admire the 58 stunning bronze sculptures standing along with it.
Try to find Sinnataggen, Angry Child, one of Vigeland’s most famous sculptures. Along with the imposing Monolith and the Wheel of Life. But that’s not all. Even on the playground, there are bronze figurines depicting cute babies in funny poses. Discover them all!
Learn about the history of Norway at the Norwegian Folklore Museum
In this beautiful open-air museum in the popular area of Bugdoi, about a 15-minute drive west of the center of Oslo. You can stroll among wooden huts and historical buildings. Also known as the Norwegian Cultural and Historical Museum. The Norwegian Folklore Museum is one of the oldest of its kind and has more than 100 traditional houses from different parts of Norway.
Some of them are enlivened by the demonstration of staff in antique clothes. While others feature a variety of collections of crafts, weapons, and toys from the past.
Don’t miss Akershus Fortress
This stunning medieval castle dates back to the early 14th century, during the reign of Haakon V in Norway. And has long been a military outpost and prison. Despite its less than cheerful past, the fortress is a real sight and towers over the southern shore of Oslo Harbor from the top of a picturesque cape.
If you come to Oslo in the summer, join tours of the fortress and see the church, courtyards, arsenal, and royal halls. Nearby you will also find the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the Defense Museum.
Go to the Westkantorvet flea market
If you plan to visit Frogner Park in Oslo in the period from March to December, do not forget to look at the Westkantorvet flea market. It is usually held on Saturdays in a tree-lined parking lot a few minutes’ walk east of the park.
At the Westkantorvet flea market, you can find almost everything, from paintings and sculptures to Norwegian and Chinese enamel jewelry. But that’s not all. Among the approximately one hundred merchants present. You will also find small stalls with local delicacies. Take the opportunity to taste delicious Norwegian waffles with jam… You won’t regret it!
Enjoy one of the best views of Oslo from the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and the Ski Jump Tower
Located about a 30-minute drive north of downtown Oslo, this popular ski jumping site is home to the world’s oldest ski museum. The Holmenkollen Ski Museum houses a collection of objects telling about the centuries-old history of skiing, including various polar expeditions.
But the best part of visiting the Holmenkollen Ski Museum is undoubtedly the observation deck at the top of the springboard tower, from which, on clear days, there is a beautiful view of Oslo and its fjords.
Try rokt laks
You can’t say that you’ve been to Oslo if you haven’t tried the famous Norwegian salmon and traditional dishes at least once. The most common typical salmon dish is rokt laks, smoked salmon. Norwegians have been smoking meat and fish for centuries to preserve them. During the winter months, and thanks to the way this technique sublimates tastes.
This signature dish has become one of the most beloved and famous all over the world. That is why Norwegians are proud of it and sell it in all grocery stores. There is also a more complex version with dill and salt, which is called rokt orret. Find out what your favorite is!
End your day with a show at the Oslo Opera House
With a bold and modern design inspired by the slope of the Norwegian ski slopes. The Oslo Opera House is one of the city’s iconic buildings. The theater is home to Norwegian Opera and Ballet, but often among its wonderful halls. There are also orchestras and ballets from other countries and theaters. If you’re not a fan of the genre, don’t worry.