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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oslo National Gallery (Nasjonalgalleriet)

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The Oslo National Gallery houses a proud collection of works comprised mainly by works of Norwegian painters from the 19th century until about 1945. These are including but not limited to famous landscape painter J. C. Dahl, T. Fearnley, H. F. Gude, naturalist painter and illustrator C. Krohg, and G. P. Munthe. There is also a special separate exhibit devoted to the much beloved Edvard Munch and his world renowned painting ‘The Scream,’ back in action after its theft in 2006.There are also works by other Scandinavian artists including pictures by El Greco, Rubens and Rembrandt, as well as a collection of modern works and a room containing replicas of antique sculptures.In 2003 the National Gallery joined with three other Norwegian museums to become the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design, making them all in effect the cultural and historical hub of Norwegian culture and art.With such an array of collected art, The National Gallery contains the largest collection of domestic and international art in the country and simply cannot be looked over by any visitor.Please note: The Oslo National Gallery is currently closed for renovation. The reopening is scheduled for 2022.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

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How to Spend 3 Days in Oslo

Top activities in Oslo

Oslo To Bergen Self-Guided Full Day Trip with Flåm Railway And Fjord Cruise
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Oslo Discovery Tour
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Oslo Discovery Tour

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Oslo Alternative Culture and Street Food Tour
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Oslo Christmas walk

Oslo Christmas walk

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Oslo Airport Transfer

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Oslo Airport Transfer

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US$191.53  US$28.73 savings
Oslo's Christmas Spirit Private Walking Tour
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The Viking Planet Adult ticket

The Viking Planet Adult ticket

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Discover Oslo on foot

Discover Oslo on foot

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Recent reviews from experiences in Oslo

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Winer day wonders in Oslo
Frandah_L, Dec 2022
Winter Sightseeing Cruise on the Oslofjord with Optional Stop at Bygdøynes
Experiencing the beautiful sights of the Oslofjord and city from the boat on a freezing winters day with friends wrapped in a warm blanket and enjoying a warm cup of glogg
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It was an amazing...
Tracy_L, Nov 2022
Oslofjord Sightseeing
It was an amazing experience, it was great to see the islands, with traditional houses.
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Vistung Oslo in my...
Anny_G, Sep 2022
The Fram Museum Admission Ticket
was happy to find this app with suggestions for activities in Oslo.
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Great local culture tour and stories!
Alyssa_N, Aug 2022
Oslo Alternative Culture and Street Food Tour
We actually got great portions of food and it was refreshing to see a different side of Oslo from the pristine buildings and modern architecture!
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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!
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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.
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Great Tour!!
Lauren_J, Jul 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
The selection of sights to visit was wonderful.
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Enjoyable trip
ChandraSekhar_K, Jul 2022
2-Hour Oslo Fjord Sightseeing Cruise
Got an opportunity to see the other side of Oslo.
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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.
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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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Thank you Sven for a wonderful day. Great full day Tour.
Deborah_C, Aug 2022
8 hours Full-Day Exclusive Oslo Tailormade Guided Limo Tour - Best Cruise Shore!
He had perfect English and a great sense of humor.
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Great personalized tour!
Mark_L, Aug 2022
8 hours Full-Day Exclusive Oslo Tailormade Guided Limo Tour - Best Cruise Shore!
Excellent way to see and learn about Oslo’s history.
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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.
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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!
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Oslo
David_F, May 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
You get to see many different landmarks.
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Oslo - city tour
Andy_B, Dec 2021
Oslo City Walks - In the Heart of Oslo
She spoke perfect English, full of fun factual information and brought the city to life!
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A great choice!
Madhu_A, Mar 2020
Winter Sightseeing Cruise on the Oslofjord with Optional Stop at Bygdøynes
It was a great way to see Oslo from the water.
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Absolutely Fabulous Tour!
Miriam, Feb 2020
Oslo Winter Highlights Bike Tour
You see the most important places you need to see in a short time frame but are never under stress!
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Would recommend!
Diana N, Jun 2019
2-Hour Oslo Fjord Sightseeing Cruise
It was great to see Oslo from the water and get a little history of the city.
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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
CET (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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Frequently Asked Questions
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