26 Best Things To Do in Oslo, Norway on Your Next Holiday
When you’re visiting Norway, you’ve got to stop by Oslo. Laced with traces of viking history and Norwegian culture, this city is full of art, history and fun.
Are you ready to explore Norway’s capital? Start with this list of the 26 best things to do in Oslo.
Finding the Most Amazing Things to Do in Oslo
Oslo, Norway’s capital, is situated on the southern coast of the country. It is known for its rich culture and entertainment.
Whether you’re planning your first trip to Oslo or you’re a regular visitor who wants to unlock some of the cities hidden gems, you’ve got to check out out our list of the most fun things to do in Oslo.
Do you want to tour Norway the right way? Contact Hekla today to learn how to book your tour!
1. Enjoy the Nightlife
Grünerløkka is one of the most popular places in Oslo for a night out on the town, but you can find exciting nightlife venues all around the city.
In Oslo, you can throw a stone and hit a bar, club, disco or pub. This city stays alive and bumping all night long.
If you are traveling solo or with a group of friends, going out at night can be a great way to meet new people.
Check out some of the hottest venues in this chilly city and prepare to dance be night away.
Best Spots for Nightlife in Oslo
2. Bike Around Town
Biking is a common mode of transportation in European cities. Renting a bike allows you to get some exercise while exploring a new city.
Before you rent a bike in Oslo, map out all of the locations you’d like to hit. This will avoid wasting any time trying to plan your next stop when the clock is ticking on your rental.
If you plan on biking the streets of Oslo, make sure that you pack the proper apparel. Choose an outfit that you’ll be comfortable in as your cruise the city’s streets.
3. Hang Out on the Roof of the Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is one of the most spectacular attractions in all of Oslo. It serves as a traditional opera house and hangout spot.
The roof of the Oslo Opera House is one of the coolest features. You can walk onto this slanted roof from the ground level.
The permission to walk on the roof of the Oslo Opera House is expressive of the laid back culture of Oslo.
Try to come by the Oslo Opera House when it’s not that busy so that you can get a more clear view of the city.
4. Stop by the Ski Museum at Holmenkollen
Skiing is natural in a land full of slopes and snow. The Ski Museum at Holmenkollen houses a collection of ski equipment from celebrities and athletes around the globe.
Since then weather in Norway is particularly cold and snow throughout a decent chunk of the year, theski museum is a symbol of Norwegian culture.
If you stop by in the winter, you may have the opportunity to hit the slopes yourself.
5. Visit the Norwegian Folk Museum
Museums are a great way to dive into the culture and learn the history of a city. The Norwegian Folk Museum displays a variety of exhibits including the Folk Art, Folk Dress and Sami Culture exhibits.
This museum is open for regular hours from January 1st through September 30th and limited hours during the offseason.
The Norwegian Folk Museum has a cafe on site so you can buy food. You also have the option of bringing your own food and having a picnic lunch.
Admission to this museum is 16 euros for adults and 4 euros for kids and teens. This already affordable attraction also offers family pack admission for 32 euros.
6. Take a Stroll Down Damstredet
Damstredet is a community in Oslo with a rustic feel that breaks up the typical modern architecture of this city.
This little corner of Oslo is the home to many artists and freethinkers. Damstredet was once a rundown area but its new inhabitants have made it a warm community.
The streets of this town are perfect for taking a relaxing evening stroll.
7. Snack Around the City
Getting to know a city through its cuisine is always a good idea. Lucky for you, Oslo is a city full of delicious food.
When you’re in Oslo, you have to try the pickled herring, traditional flatbread and kumla. Kumla is a traditional potato flatbread.
If you’re looking for a “junk food” choice, try a whale steak. This large sea creature is said to taste quite like a moose or reindeer.
Make sure you stop by all of Oslo’s greatest restaurants.
Where to Eat in Oslo
- Colonel Mustard: Looking for the best burger around town? Stop by Colonel Mustard. This restaurant is themed after Clue, the board game.
- Grand Cafe: For classic Nordic dishes, you’re going to want to pop into Grand Cafe.
- The Kasbah: This restaurant is a cafe that specializes in vegan and vegetarian cuisine. The Kasbah is perfect for those who follow plant based diet or are just trying to get in their daily dose of veggies.
- Fiskeriet: If fish and chips are your jam, you’ve got to stop by Fiskeriet. This little restaurant has got the best fish and chips in all of Oslo.
8. Skate Around a Frozen Fountain
If you are in Oslo in the wintertime, you’ve got to go ice skating at Spikersuppa.
When this beautiful fountain freezes over, admission is free to all. If you would like to skate, the equipment rentals are just about 12 euros for adults.
The rink is usually frozen solid enough for skate from November to March. If you are in Oslo in the winter, you cannot miss the opportunity to skate on this lovely fountain rink.
9. Explore the Art at Astrup Fearnley Museum
The Astrup Fearnley Art Museum is one of the finest in Oslo. This museum of modern art has a number of rotating exhibits that showcase collections of beautiful works.
Many of the works in this museum could be considered contemporary abstract art. Many of the pieces are up to the viewer’s interpretation.
This museum has been wowing visitors since 1993. It remains one of the most prestigious art galleries in all of Oslo.
The Astrup Fearnley Museum has relatively limited operating hours, some days just noon to 5:00 PM, so be sure to check the times when you make your plans to visit.
The museum is quite affordable. It offers substantial student discounts and free admission to children under 18 years old.
10. Take a Ferry to Bygdøy
Bygdøy is a peninsula that juts out just to the side of Oslo. This little spot off the mainland is the perfect place for nature lovers to beat the business of the big city.
On Bygdøy, you can find a variety of museums and fun places. Bygdøy also has a beach where you can lounge and play in the sand, weather permitting.
The peninsula also has a famous farm called the Royal Manor. Much of Bygdøy is quite green and lush.
11. See the Bodies at Vigeland Park
Vigeland Park is the home to hundreds of beautiful statues. The statues are of bodies that have been frozen in motion.
The purpose of this wonderful exhibit is to allow onlookers to marvel at the splendor of the human body. With these detailed sculptures, you can appreciate every curve and angle of the the beautiful human body.
When you’re in the park, feel free to mosey into the Vigeland Museum, as well!
12. Enjoy a Show at Folketeateret
Folketeateret, which means “People’s Theater,” is the perfect place to spend your evening.
Even if plays aren’t typically your cup of tea, you may consider spicing things up and stopping in for a show.
This theater offers both regular seats and a VIP section with more luxurious accommodations.
At Folketeateret, you can catch plays and musicals like THe Sound of Music, Swan Lake and Whitney Queen of the Light.
Ticket prices range between 40 and 80 euros each.
13. Check out the Norwegian Royal Palace
The Royal Palace in Oslo is the beautiful home of the Norwegian Royal Family.
The construction of this marvelous palace began in the early 1820s. It was designed to serve as a symbol Norway’s rich culture and history. Karl Johan laid the cornerstones of the palace, but it was not dedicated complete and inaugurated for another 24 years.
The Royal Palace continues to serve as a both the home and workplace for the royal highnesses.
During the summer months, guests are able to take guided tours of the palace.
The palace was designed with elegance and extravagance, as one would expect a palace to be. Some of the most notable rooms are the vestibule and the fine dining rooms. The palace is also equipped with a chapel and several lavish banquet halls.
14. Roam Around the Akershus Fortress
The Akershus Fortress is one attraction in Oslo that is meant to be explored. The fortress has served practical purposes over time, but today it stands strong as a symbol of the great nation of Norway.
Many people visit the Akershus Fortress to explore the greenery and escape the stifling air of the city.
There are multiple buildings on the grounds of the fortress, including a chapel, castle and a couple of museums.
You can take a guided tour of the Akershus Fortress or show yourself around. If you decided to tackle the fortress on your own, download the map of the fortress trail, or follow the compass of your heart around the grounds.
15. Visit the Botanical Gardens
Oslo is the home of several botanical gardens. These gardens are each a bit different in style.
The main garden is structured as an arboretum. It houses nearly 2000 different species of plants. In this garden, you’ll find mostly trees and shrubs.
There is a very special garden that was designed for people with a variety of disabilities to enjoy. The Scent Garden is full of plants that were hand chosen and arranged in order to appeal to the sense of smell. This allows people who are visually impaired to enjoy the beauty in a way that is unique to them
Several other gardens house numerous exotic plants, which make it them appealing to visitors.
Since the weather in Oslo gets a bit chilly, many of the gardens are set up in greenhouses to protect them from the weather.
16. Grab a Bite to Eat in Aker Brygge
Formerly used as a full service ship year, the Aker Brygge Wharf is a popular hangout spot in Oslo. It is known for its delicious restaurants and wonderful atmosphere.
Tapas and small plates are popular dining options at Aker Brygge.
If you’ve got a boat for your time in Oslo, you’re welcome to ride up to one of the 50 open dock spots on the harbor.
No matter how you approach the wharf, you’ve got to stop for a bite to eat.
17. Stroll Along the Akerselva River
The path along the Akerselva River makes for one of the most peaceful walks in the city. This scenic route has many wonderful stop you can make.
There are plenty of places to pop into for a hot coffee or snack. The Mathallen Food Court is one of the places along the way.
If you visit Oslo regularly, you’ll notice how beautiful the scenery around the river is as it changes with the seasons.
18. Tour The City by Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus
Touring Oslo on a hop-on/hop-off bus is always a good choice. This type of tour allows you to see all of the most popular spots in the city while giving you the time to explore them thoroughly.
With this particular tour, you have 24 hours to hop on and off as you please. The actual bus route is 90 minutes long and stops by 18 wonderful destinations.
These destinations include the Royal Castle, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Oslo Opera House, the Viking Ship Museum and Norwegian Maritime Museum.
19. Enjoy the Norwegian Music Scene
Music is a big deal in Oslo. The city is decked with many concert venues and music halls.
From the Oslo Opera House to Folketeateret, music is engrained of the energy of the city. You can regularly find concerts and musical productions throughout the city’s many venues.
Many bars and pubs are centered around live music performances and karaoke nights.
If music makes you happy, Oslo is a great city for you to visit.
20. Stop by the Viking Ship Museum
Most major Scandinavian capitals have viking museums, but the Viking Ship Museum of Oslo is special.
This museum extracted artifacts from viking burial spots. Everything from human remains to wood carvings was recovered during the dig. Studying these artifacts gave the archaeologists a better idea of the lives of the vikings.
Tickets to this museum can be reused at the Cultural History Museum to see additional viking exhibits. Tickets cannot be purchased on the website, so you can get your tickets at the museum’s box office upon your arrival.
21. Venture Back to Your Childhood at the Tusenfryd Amusement Park
Take the family to Tusenfryd Amusement Park for a day of fun and excitement. This park is has roller coasters, kiddie rides, food and more.
There is truly something for everybody at Tusenfryd Amusement Park.
Adult tickets vary in price by the day, but they are typically around 40 euros a head. Children’s tickets are around 35 euros.
Download the Tusenfryd app today for tickets and additional information.
22. Shop ‘til You Drop at Bogstadveien
Bogstadveien is a fabulous plaza that offers some of the best shopping in Oslo.
Many exclusive Norwegian stores are located in this area. It is also full of fancy hotels and venues for entertainment.
Bogstadveien is definitely a more posh part of town. Prepare to be impressed by the elegance.
23. Have a Snack at the Mathallen Food Markets
If you are looking for the best food court in Oslo, look no further. The Mathallen Food Hall is exactly what you’ve been searching for.
The Mathallen Food Markets are a fan favorite in Oslo. Here you can find a variety of food stands and small markets.
What makes Mathallen Food Markets so special is that it has a blend of both Norwegian vendors serving authentic cuisine and other foreign vendors selling foods native to their homelands.
You can find snacks from Spain, Hungary and Italy. One of the best shops is Smelt. This French food stand sells grilled cheese made on fresh baked bread.
Make sure you come to Mathallen Food Court with an empty stomach.
24. Walk Down Karl Johan
Karl Johan is one of the most popular streets in all of Oslo. It is named after a Swedish King who ruled over both his home country and Norway.
This road takes you straight to the city center. The Karl Johan Gate is where several streets meet at a plaza of sorts.
Karl Johan Gate is an area that is regularly enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Make sure you make a round through!
25. Tour Oslo by Train
The Oslo City Train takes you to five amazing destinations, including Karl Johans Gate, Opera House, the Parliament building and the Royal Palace.
This train tour only runs in the summer months, so be sure to plan accordingly. The train is 14 euros for adults and free for small children.
This is a fun way to see the city. It is the perfect activity for the entire family!
26. Mini Golf into the Night
You probably think of mini golf as an activity for kiddos or a place for quiet first dates, but Oslo Camping has a totally different putting approach.
Rather than a snack bar at a mini golf green, Oslo Camping has 18 holes in the middle of a bar.
This is such a fun place to gather your friends or, better yet, make new friends! Are you ready to put your putting—and drinking—skills to the test?
Northern Europe Travel Guides
If you like Oslo, prepare to fall in love with other beautiful destinations around Northern Europe.
Check out some of our other travel guides! Perhaps you’ll find the inspiration to extend your trip.
- Visit Copenhagen
- Best Things to Do in Lithuania
- Travel Iceland’s Golden Circle
- Unlock Reykjavik
- What to Do in Norway
If planning your own trip sounds like a bore, contact us today to learn about some of our amazing tours and excursions.
Plan Your Visit to Oslo, Norway Today
Norway’s capital is a magical city. There is so much to do and explore in Oslo. From the modern art to the traditional cuisine, Oslo has got it all.
Be sure to research these 26 fun things to do in Oslo so that you can pick the ones that are the most interesting to you.
Which activities will be filling your itinerary?
Book your flight and start planning your trip today!