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Things to do in Oslo

Things to do in  Oslo

Welcome to Oslo

The urban heart of Norway, Oslo is packed with world-class art museums, cozy cafes, and head-turning architecture. Walking tours, guided bike rides, and hop-on hop-off buses are among the best ways to explore the Norwegian capital’s cultural highlights, which include Vigeland Museum, Aker Brygge shipyard, Akershus Fortress, and the Viking Ship Museum. Another popular way to explore Oslo is through its food; the burgeoning culinary scene draws foodies from the world over. The city’s proximity to nature also makes it a popular jumping-off point for cruises around Norway’s fjords and forays to Bergen and Tromso.

Top 15 attractions in Oslo

#1
Oslo Opera House (Operahuset)

Oslo Opera House (Operahuset)

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Impressively designed by architectural firm Snøhetta, and made from white granite and marble and evocative of a floating glacier, the Oslo Opera House is a widely recognized landmark in Oslofjord. Home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, it boasts a magnificent auditorium and complementary performance spaces for a variety of musical and dance performances.More
#2
Oslofjord

Oslofjord

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Norway’s cosmopolitan capital lies at the head of Oslofjord, a narrow body of water 68 miles (107 kilometers) in length that leads out to the strait of Skagerrak and eventually to the Baltic and North Seas. The fjord’s islets are its main attraction, home to sandy beaches, cycling and hiking routes, and historic lighthouses.More
#3
Oslo Royal Palace (Kongelige Slott)

Oslo Royal Palace (Kongelige Slott)

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Oslo’s neoclassical Royal Palace was designed by architect Hans Linstow and built in the early 19th century for King Charles III, who reigned over a united Norway and Sweden. Today it is the official city residence of King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja, and is open during the summer for guided tours of some of its 173 palatial rooms.More
#4
Fram Museum (Frammuseet)

Fram Museum (Frammuseet)

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This highly recognizable pyramidal structure on the Bygdøy Peninsula is dedicated to Norwegian polar exploration and houses the most famous Norwegian polar-exploration boat of all time, the icebreaker Fram, which explore polar regions from 1893 to 1912, and extraordinary features images from the daring explorations of the great Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen.More
#5
Oslo City Hall (Radhuset)

Oslo City Hall (Radhuset)

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Clad in heavy red bricks, the Oslo City Hall is impossible to miss in central downtown Oslo. The administrative seat of the City Council, the building may look simply functional, however, it houses important murals and artworks from celebrated Norwegian painters and sculptors. Here, within its stately walls, the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held.More
#6
Akershus Castle (Akershus Slott)

Akershus Castle (Akershus Slott)

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Set on the banks of Oslo Fjord, Akershus Castle (Akershus Slott)—also known as Akershus Fortress (Akershus Festning)—was built in 1299 as a residence for Norway’s royal family. Over the years it has served as a fortress to protect Oslo against sieges from rival Swedish forces, as a Renaissance castle, and as a full-fledged 19th-century prison.More
#7
Vigeland Sculpture Park (Vigelandsanlegget)

Vigeland Sculpture Park (Vigelandsanlegget)

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Comprising of more than 200 bronze, granite, and cast iron sculptures by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, Oslo’s Vigeland Sculpture Park is the world’s largest such complex made by a single artist. Located within Frogner Park, it is also one of Oslo’s top attractions, drawing more than a million visitors a year.More
#8
Bygdøy Peninsula

Bygdøy Peninsula

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Jutting out from the westxa0 side of Oslo into the Oslo Fjord, the Bygdøy Peninsula is known for its clutch of museums highlighting Norwegian culture and history of exploration. A one-stop cultural and leisure destination, the stunning area has sand beaches and hiking and cycling trails, and an organic farm at Royal Manor, the King of Norway's summer residence.More
#9
Munch Museum (Munchmuseet)

Munch Museum (Munchmuseet)

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Housing Norwegian symbolist painter Edward Munch's life’s work, the Munch Museum opened in 1963 to commemorate what would have been the artist’s 100th birthday. The museum features works and belongings he had donated to the city; a magnificent collection of paintings, prints, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, notebooks, photographs, art tools, furniture, as well as his extensive collection of letters.Please note: The Munch Museum is reopening at a new location along the Bjørvika waterfront next to the Opera House in late 2021.More
#10
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum)

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum)

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Jutting out into Oslo Fjord, the Bygdøy Peninsula is a one-stop leisure destination just west side of the city center. It is Oslo’s ‘Museum Island’ and hosts several maritime museums as well as the open-air Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum).Highlighting Norway’s colorful cultural history from 1500 to present day, this wonderfully family-friendly museum presents an array of more than 150 buildings brought together from all over the country, each representing different regions and eras and including a reconstructed traditional Samigoahti (tent) and the exquisite, 13th-century wooden stave church from Gol, north of Oslo.There are several streets of wooden houses from Oslo and its suburbs, as well as a three-story, 19th-century apartment block, rebuilt here to showcase life in the Norway of the last two centuries, from an elegant Art Nouveau interior to a suitably scruffy 1980s student bedsit. Permanent exhibitions include a collection of Sami national costumes from the northern reaches of Lapland, toys and folk art. There’s a full schedule of temporary exhibits and photographic displays, plus folk dancing and horse-and-carriage rides; the museum’s staff are all kitted out in traditional costume and run a farm and saw mill.More
#11
Karl Johans Gate

Karl Johans Gate

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Stretching from Oslo Central Station to the Royal Palace, Karl Johans Gate is Oslo’s main thoroughfare. Named after King Charles III John, the street is home to many of thexa0city’s top attractions, including the Royal Palace, Stortinget, National Theatre, Central Station alongside pubs, restaurants, and a variety of shops.More
#12
Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke)

Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke)

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Consecrated in 1697, Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke) is used for Norwegian Royal Family weddings and funerals. The public is also welcome to admire its interesting architectural details, including a 1950 tempera ceiling by Hugo Louis Mohr, stained glass windows by Emanuel Vigeland, and magnificent altarpiece with acanthus carvings.More
#13
Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset)

Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset)

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Set on Oslo’s Bygdoy Peninsula, the Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskipshuset) houses an extensive collection of Viking-era artifacts discovered around Oslo Fjord. The museum is best known for its Viking ships, which have been painstakingly reconstructed and elegantly displayed in pristine white galleries.More
#14
Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Holmenkollen Ski Jump

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Holmenkollen Ski Jump is a unique and fun landmark that represents Norway’s illustrious skiing tradition, and one of Norway’s best-loved visitor attractions. Attracting a million visitors every year, the historic attraction and amusement park includes a cross-country skiing and biathlon stadium, a ski museum, ziplines, and simulator that lets you experience your very own jump.More
#15
Kon-Tiki Museum

Kon-Tiki Museum

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In the splendid Kon-Tiki Museum, experience the incredible seafaring feats of the explorer and ethnographer such as his legendary expedition from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. The museum displays the very balsa wood raft he used as well as a variety of boats and other artifacts from the famous groundbreaking journeys.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Oslo

How to Spend 1 Day in Oslo

How to Spend 2 Days in Oslo

How to Spend 2 Days in Oslo

How to Spend 3 Days in Oslo

How to Spend 3 Days in Oslo

Top activities in Oslo

Self-Guided Full Day Trip From Oslo To Bergen with Flåm Railway And Sognefjord
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Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
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Oslo Highlights Bike Tour

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USD45.51
Oslo Nature Walks: Island hopping
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Oslo Discovery Tour
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Oslo Discovery Tour

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Private Full-Day Round Trip from Oslo to Sognefjord via Flåm Railway
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Private Full Day Roundtrip From Oslo To Sognefjord with Flam Railway
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E-Scooter Oslo City Tour (Private)
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Oslo City Private Walking Tour
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Oslo City Private Walking Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Oslo

star-5
Amazing for friends!!!
Sheila_M, Aug. 2022
3-Hour Norwegian Evening Cruise Aboard a Wooden Sailing Boat on the Oslo Fjord
The seaguls soaring through the air was a sight to see and the islands of oslo were quaint!
star-5
Our tour guide Josh was...
Heather_S, Jul. 2022
Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
Great way to see Oslo.
star-5
Very enjoyable tour
James_R, Jul. 2022
Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
Biking is a great way to see Oslo.
star-5
Excelente choice to see...
Marysabel_M, Jul. 2022
Oslo Combo Tour: Grand City Tour and Oslo Fjord Cruise
Excelente choice to see Oslo the tour lady was phenomenal.
star-5
A great way to see Oslo
Troy_M, Jul. 2022
Oslo Combo Tour: Grand City Tour and Oslo Fjord Cruise
This was a great way to see all of The best things in Oslo in a day!
star-5
Worked well for us!
Camille_K, Jul. 2022
Oslo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Oslo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
We had only one day in Oslo and wanted to see many sites.
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Hop on hop off was...
Keet4, Jul. 2022
Oslo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Oslo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
It got us to and from Vigeland park in a timely manner and we also got to see parts of Oslo.
star-5
Great Tour!!
Lauren_J, Jul. 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
The selection of sights to visit was wonderful.
star-5
Enjoyable trip
ChandraSekhar_K, Jul. 2022
2-Hour Oslo Fjord Sightseeing Cruise
Got an opportunity to see the other side of Oslo.
star-5
A very good tour!
Subda_B, Jun. 2022
Oslo Highlights. Best Private Walking Tour of Oslo with a Local Guide.
Our guide Tanya was very good, she made sure we got to see the important part of the downtown Oslo, went out her way to give us more sightseeing tips.
star-5
Best way to see Oslo
Harsh_G, Jun. 2022
Oslo: Express City Tour by E-scooter
Great way to see the city of Oslo with a local who’s passionate about the place.
star-5
We felt like a local
Liesel_S, Jun. 2022
Explore Oslo, The Norwegian Way
This tour was a great way to see Oslo in just one day.
star-5
Excellent tour
David_T, Jun. 2022
Oslo Nature Walks: Island hopping
Great way of to see some beautiful parts of Oslo.
star-5
A Great tour!
JackP_F, Jun. 2022
E-Scooter Oslo City Tour (Private)
This was an incredible day and the perfect way to see Oslo!
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Oslo
David_F, May 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
You get to see many different landmarks.
star-5
Outstanding Oslo Guide
Ozzie_I, Jul. 2022
Oslo Easy Walk 2 hours
I feel that I have a new friend in Oslo and hope to visit with her again.
star-5
Excellent tour
Roisin_C, Jul. 2022
Oslo Nature Walks: Island hopping
Well organised and all the activities were really fun and interesting.
star-5
Quick trip to Norway
Valerie_J, Jun. 2022
Private Full-Day Round Trip from Oslo to Sognefjord via Flåm Railway
So many waterfalls and spectacular scenery!
star-5
A unforgettable trip
Gang_L, Jun. 2022
Private Full-Day Round Trip from Oslo to Sognefjord via Flåm Railway
Like he said, it is worthwhile to see the beauty of Norway to travel out of Oslo for a day or two.
star-5
This is a great way to...
Susan_N, Jun. 2022
Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
This is a great way to see the highlights of Oslo.
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All about Oslo

When to visit

Deciding when to visit Oslo really depends on what you plan to do there. Summer’s great for warm-weather activities such as fjord hopping, while winter’s ultra-freezing temperatures are perfect for winter sports. Coincide springtime visits with May's National Day, which sees the streets fill with parades, marching bands, and locals wearing traditional costumes.

Currency
Norwegian Krone (NOK)
Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)
Country Code
+47
Language(s)
Norwegian Bokmål

People Also Ask

What is Oslo best known for?

Oslo is known for its fjord setting and a waterfront lined with cultural attractions from the Munch Museum to the striking Oslo Opera House. The city’s maritime history encompasses Vikings and polar explorers, which you can learn about at the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram Museum.

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How many days do you need in Oslo?

Two or three days in Oslo should be enough time to see most of the city’s attractions, including the Oslo Opera House, National Museum, Royal Palace, and Fram Museum, and to get onto the fjord by boat. With more than three days, you can add on a day trip to Lillehammer.

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Can you see Northern Lights in Oslo?

Yes. Technically you can see the northern lights in Oslo, but it is unlikely. The city is too far south for reliable aurora-viewing and there is too much light pollution to see them when they do appear. Northern Norway, especially Tromsø, is a better place to see the northern lights.

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Is Oslo or Bergen better?

Oslo and Bergen are wonderful cities. Both are filled with history and have thriving cultural scenes, and both have access to water. Bergen, which is surrounded by mountains, has the slight upper hand when it comes to nature. Oslo is a better bet if you want a cosmopolitan city feel.

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What can't I miss in Oslo?

Don’t miss visiting the Munch Museum and National Museum. Art lovers should also explore the sprawling sculpture parks at Vigeland and Ekeberg—the view from the latter is noteworthy. Get out onto the water, whether island-hopping by boat or jumping into the chilly fjord from one of its several floating saunas.

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Is Oslo worth visiting?

Yes. While Oslo is often overlooked in favor of Copenhagen and Stockholm, it is a gem of a city that is filled with culture, history, and stylish and creative people. One of its greatest assets is its ease of access to nature: a perfect complement to the modern cityscape.

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