18 Things to Do in Oslo, Norway / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant

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18 Things to Do in Oslo, Norway

Nude beach. Food halls. Viking ships. Breathtaking views. Oslo, the metropolitan capital of Norway, sits at the head of Oslofjord. Oslo has cold winters as well as warm sunny days by the fjord. The Norwegian capital has Michelin star restaurants, nature parks, museums, & whatever you want to do. If you're endlessly researching for the essential list of things to do in Oslo, Norway, this list has 18 top activities in Oslo all year round.

About Carmen

If you came here because you searched for things to do in Oslo, Norway, you probably don't know much about me. Hey, I'm Carmen, a travel influencer & blog coach from San Diego, California. I've traveled to 20 countries. I started my blog in 2011. One of my greatest hobbies is finding bargain flight tickets. These are some of the best things to do in Oslo. I traveled to Norway end of October/early November, so there's still a lot of things to do in Oslo during autumn & winter.

The Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway is a free thing to do in Oslo in winter
At the highest point of The Vigeland Park
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The Vigeland Park

Separate from the Vigeland Museum, The Vigeland Park at Frogner Park contains over 200 sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland. The sculpture park consists of the Monolith, the bridge, & the fountain. The Monolith shows 121 human figures holding onto each other in various positions. The bridge shows 58 sculptures of men, women, & children, while the fountain depicts a group of men holding a vessel with water spilling out. The fountain wasn't running while I was there, so it looked like a bunch of dudes holding a bowl. Did I mention all the figures are naked? Tip: Vigeland Park is free to enter every day, 24 hours a day (or night).

The view from Akerhaus Fortress on a rainy day in Oslo, Norway
Akerhaus Fortress on a rainy day

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress also called Akershus Castle was completed in the 1300s. Entrance to the fortress grounds is free to walk around, which is the ideal option for anyone on a budget. The clear skies & green grass against the stone castle look beautiful in the summertime, but the Akershus festning (that's the Norwegian name) is pretty romantic on a rainy autumn/winter day. Tip: Akershus Fortress makes an excellent sunset vista point; look out at the fjord with the city lights glistening as it gets dark.


Aker Brygge

Walk along the boardwalk of Aker Brygge, a strip of eateries by the water. It's pretty small. I walked by it during a wintery evening. This is the ideal spot to wine & dine with friends, loved ones, & of course, alone. This place is buzzing during the summertime, but there wasn't much happening when I walked by on a November night.

Oslo Cathedral at nighttime in Norway
Oslo Cathedral at night

Oslo Cathedral

Why not pop in the cathedral while you're checking off free things to do in Oslo, Norway? I was walking by the Oslo Cathedral (Oslo domkirke) & ended up making it for part of an evening service. The chorus echoing in the cathedral will ring in my ears forever.

Street art at Ingens Gate in Oslo
Stumbled upon the street art at Ingens Gate

Street Art at Ingens Gate

Make sure this magical alleyway filled with street art is on your free things to do in Oslo list. Oslo has quite a lot of art throughout the city, but Ingens gate is located in the Grünerløkka neighborhood near the Akerselva River. Walk under the magnificent chandelier; the dangling charms sound soothing when the wind hits it ever so gently. Drop by Ingens gate alley for an array of artwork. It's small & charming, but you won't be disappointed.

Mathallen Oslo has Tex Mex, Asian Tapas, & more good food options
People eating at Mathallen Oslo food hall  


Mathallen Oslo

Food halls are one of my favorite ways to eat in Oslo other than stopping inside a grocery store for munchies. Mathallen Oslo offers a tempting range of food from Asian tapas, Tex Mex, fresh seafood, & more. This is the perfect spot to stock up on cheese, meat, veggies, & yummy baked goods. Oh, & Mathallen Oslo is conveniently located near the street art at Ingens gate! Tip: Walk up to the second story to see a bird's eye view of the hall & see if the boutiques are open. 

Eat yummy food at Vippa Oslo near the Port of Oslo
Grab a bite to eat at Vippa Oslo near the Port of Oslo

Vippa Oslo

Another food hall? Why yes. I wouldn't have it any other way. Food halls are a convenient, affordable way to grab a bite to eat or satisfy multiple food personalities, rather than your typical sit-down restaurant. Come to Vippa for multicultural food stands & a stunning view of the Port of Oslo.

Go to the nude beach at inner islands Oslo Fjord
The Inner islands of Oslo Fjord offer many summertime activities

Islands of Inner Oslo Fjord

Spend the day exploring the Oslo Fjord, a 68 miles/100 kilometers long with many islands freckled. The islands are a hub during the warmer months with everyone swimming, hiking, & having fun outside. On the island of Hovedøya, there are monastery ruins from the Middle Ages. Drop your knickers because Langøyene island has a nudist beach on the southern tip.

Gokstad & Oseberg Viking Ships at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
One of the large ships at the Viking Ship Museum

Viking Ship Museum

As the name suggests, the museum contains the beautifully restored Gokstad & Oseberg Viking Ships. These ships were used in burial rituals for rich Vikings. The ships are positively massive & you can walk up a couple steps to a second story to see inside the ship. If you're looking for a souvenir, the Viking Ship Museum has a cool gift shop too. Tip: Stay around for the Vikings Alive visual journey projected onto the walls of the museum. I enjoyed the music & animation as an entertaining way to learn about the Viking Age.

Norwegian Folk Museum

Located at Bygdøy in Oslo, the Norwegian Folk Museum (Norsk Folkemuseum) is the optimal place to learn about Norwegian folk art, folk costumes, the Sami culture, & people I knew nothing about prior to visiting the museum. Don't forget to also the Open Air Museum, which is part of the Norwegian Folk Museum.

Oslo, Norway's cutest thing to do is the Open Air Museum
Just a small corner of the Open Air Museum at the Norwegian Folk Museum

Open Air Museum (at Norwegian Folk Museum)

The Open Air Museum turned out to be a hidden gem that I can't recommend enough, easily one of my favorite parts of Oslo! If you enjoy the outdoors, quaint villages, old towns with history, this is the place for you. The Open Air Museum displays Norwegian rural & urban buildings from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Visit the Old Town, the countryside, the Setesdal farmstead, & Tip: Find the barn to see cows, pigs, chickens, & rabbits up close! 

Things to do in Oslo, Norway: National Gallery
Posing next to "The Scream" by Edvard Munch

Munch Museum

The Munch Museum (Munchmuseet) houses the work of Edvard Munch, a Norwegian painter. You might recognize his most famous piece, "The Scream." Munch was raised in Christiania, which is modern-day Oslo. "The Scream," however, isn't located at the Munch Museum; it's at the National Gallery. We had some trouble locating the museum as it was under construction due to a planned expansion of the museum. Upon his death, Munch donated over 1,000 paintings to the government & that's when the country built the Munch Museum.

National Gallery

Note: The National Gallery is closed until 2020 while they move to a new museum location.

The National Gallery (Nasjonalmuseet) in Oslo, Norway houses Edvard Munch's "The Scream" & "Madonna" as well as other notable Norwegian artists, such as J.C. Dahl, Thomas Fearnley, & Harald Sohlberg. Together The National Gallery & the Norwegian Museum of Architecture comprise the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern (Astrup Fearnley Museet) contains collections of contemporary art with a focus on acquiring pieces that push boundaries, & perhaps even comfort zones. The building design itself aims to welcome visitors to look out at the boats on the fjord. Some popular pieces included: "God Alone Knows" by Damien Hirst, "Michael Jackson" & "Bubbles" by Jeff Koons.

Oslo City Hall City Council
The brick exterior of the Oslo City Hall

Oslo City Hall

We walked by Oslo City Hall (Oslo rådhus) many times. You can't miss its big, beautiful, brick exterior. The City Hall is home to Oslo's administrative body as well as their City Council. Guided tours of City Hall are available all year long.

Ekebergparken Sculpture Park by Salvador Dalí Venus de Milo aux tiroirs, 1936.
Salvador Dalí's Venus de Milo aux tiroirs at Ekebergparken Sculpture Park

Ekebergparken Sculpture Park

Ekebergparken is essentially an outdoor art gallery with sculptures from Salvador Dalí, Auguste Rodin (I went to the Rodin Museum in Paris), Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Sean Henry, & other magnificent artists. You could spend hours here finding fun things to do as you stroll through the woods & spot artwork along the way. Tip: Check out the spectacular views of Oslo during sunset; the city lights up at night. Bonus Tip: They host a free tour of the Skyspace on Sundays.


Best things to do in Oslo, Norway - Oslo Opera House
The remarkable view from the roof of the Oslo Opera House


Opera House

The Oslo Opera House is home to the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. Stay entertained with internationally acclaimed opera & ballet performers, or head to the roof for plays, concerts, & other events throughout the year. The architecture of the building is meant to be accessible & open. Tip: It's free to walk up the roof of the Opera House, so head there for an epic view. Add this freebie to your things to do in Oslo list!

King & Queen of Norway live at the Royal Palace in Oslo
The Oslo, Norway Royal Palace 

Royal Palace

Want to stand near royalty? Well, the King & Queen of Norway live right here at the Royal Palace in Oslo. A lot of royal meetings & official dinners take place here. Foreign heads of state don't stay at Airbnb, like me, they stay at the Palace! The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer months, yet another experience I missed out on because I visited Oslo, Norway in November.

Things to do in Oslo, Norway bingo


Where to Stay in Oslo, Norway

I stayed in an Airbnb whilst in Oslo. I shared a room with my boyfriend, our Airbnb host, & his dog. We had an amazing experience. If you're interested in creating an Airbnb account, please use my *affiliate link* to receive a $30 credit toward your account.

* Disclaimer: If you click &/or make a purchase through my Airbnb link, I make a commission when you sign up. It's at no additional cost to you, in fact, you should receive $30 toward your account. Learn more about my disclosure. :]

Got a question? Leave a comment & I will answer it.
Did I miss something? Comment your favorite things to do in Oslo, Norway.


Things to do in Oslo, Norway image for Pinterest


24 comments

  1. Radostina BlagoevaApril 25, 2019 at 12:36 AM

    So amazing that you've traveled to 20 countries. WOW!
    Beautiful photos!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  2. You had me at breathtaking views, who doesn't want that? It's amazing that you traveled in 20 countries, I traveled mostly in Europe but I want to explore more!! x

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

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  3. There are so many beautiful sights around Oslo! I'd totally see the Royal Palace and the Viking Museum, these are right up my alley. I also love looking for panoramic views when I travel, so the Opera House seems like a great place to check out. Thanks for such a helpful post!

    Julia x
    Last Post: Four Reasons To Start Exercising Now | https://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.com/2019/04/four-reasons-to-start-exercising.html

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  4. I don't know anytging about Norway, so I didn't consider going there, but it looks like there are a lot of things to see and do!

    www.sundaydahlias.com

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  5. Norway is so stunning! I just love your photos so much. So many things to do and enjoy while traveling here and it is perfectly charming :)
    http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2019/04/exclusive-first-look-marc-jacobs-box.html

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  6. I have never been to Oslo, Norway but it looks so beautiful!
    Nice Post! Have a great day!
    Allurerage
    Rampdiary

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  7. Seems like such a fun city to go to! I went to Tromso in February and am definitely going to discover more of Norway. Thanks for the tips!

    Xo Noor
    Www.nonstopnoor.com

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  8. Wow I love how you captured the snow in your pictures. It looks and sounds just amazing there!

    http://www.ruthyannie.com

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  9. Wow how incredible I am sure it was more beautiful in person !
    -Robin
    Runwayteacher.com

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  10. What a charming place! Lovingy our photos dear.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  11. Scandinavian countries are my fave.
    Amazing tips
    Thanks for sharing.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

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  12. It's taken 29+ years but I love to travel! :] Do you have a favorite country??

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  13. So true. I love good views! Do you have a favorite country in Europe??

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  14. Panoramic views are my favorite as well!! Do you have any travel plans this year?? :]

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  15. I didn't know anything about Norway prior to visiting but it was beautiful! :]

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  16. Thanks so much. Norway is stunning! :]

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  17. It is beautiful! Do you have a favorite country?? :]

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  18. How was Tromso?? What did you to there? :]

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  19. It's not snow, it's my editing. Oops!! Haha. It did snow one day though. :]

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  20. So true!! Yes, some of the views HAVE TO bee seen in person to be appreciated. :] Do you have a favorite country??

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  21. Thanks Jessica. Do you have a favorite country??

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  22. They're so gorgeous! Do you have a favorite country?? :]

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  23. Yes! I just came back from Vienna, Austria and my next big trip is New York in August! Have you been there? xx

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  24. Emanuel Vigelands Mausoleum is only open on Sundays, the most amazing hidden place, you should take time to find it if you are in Oslo on a Sunday

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Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

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