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Things to do in Oslo

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Welcome to Oslo, the mesmerizing capital of Norway! Surrounded by lush landscapes and nature’s bounty, Oslo is a truly enchanting place with no shortage of attractions. 

In addition to its breathtaking scenery, Oslo has myriad cultural offerings – from the captivating Viking Ship Museum and the unrivaled National Gallery to the Vigeland Sculpture Park and Kon-Tiki Museum.

This city brims with incomparable cultural experiences and also provides easy access to nearby cities and regions packed with marvels waiting for you to discover. Browse our range of luxury Norway tours to find out more about exploring this incredible country. 

If you have any questions for our US-based team, simply get in touch and we’ll provide you with all the information you need.

In the meantime, let’s get started on our picks for the best things to do in Oslo!

Admire the Historic Majesty of Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral
VisitOSLO/Nancy Bundt

Oslo Cathedral is Norway’s main church and a popular tourist attraction. The cathedral was built in 1070, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in Scandinavia. It’s located right in the city center, so you can visit it without needing public transportation or a taxi.

The cathedral is open every day except for Sundays and some holidays throughout the year—check out the Oslo Cathedral website to see what days are included in your visit!

Take in the Stunning Views from Oslo City Hall

If you’re looking for a beautiful panoramic view of Oslo, the top of Oslo City Hall is the place to go. The City Hall is centrally located in the city, and its observation deck offers stunning views of the city skyline, the fjord, and the surrounding countryside. 

You can easily reach the top of City Hall by elevator, and the view is well worth the trip. On a clear day, you can see for miles in every direction. It’s a great spot for taking photos and admiring the city’s beauty. 

When you’ve finished exploring Oslo, there are countless spectacular views waiting for you outside the city. Our blog Top Five Scenic Norweigan Routes provides an introduction to just some of the highlights.

Explore the Artistic Beauty in Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park
VisitOSLO/Tord Baklund

Vigeland Park is a sculpture park in Oslo containing more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. It is the largest sculpture park in the world dedicated to the works of a single artist. 

The park covers an area of just under 2,000 acres on the peninsula between Lake Akerselva and the freshwater lake Lutvannet in downtown Oslo. It attracts over one million visitors annually from all over the world.

The sculptures are made from granite, with some bronze figures added later in Vigeland’s career, as well as several painted wooden figures. 

The inscriptions are written in Norwegian or English depending on age; many were written for children or families before World War II but have become popular with tourists of all ages who visit during summer when there’s never-ending daylight!

Is the prospect of experiencing the Midnight Sun part of the reason why you want to visit the Nordic region in summer? Find out more about planning a trip to Scandinavia during the Midnight Sun.

Marvel at a Modern Masterpiece: Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House
VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

The Oslo Opera House is a modern architectural masterpiece located in the heart of Oslo, Norway. Built in 2008, the building is constructed of Italian marble and angular glass and is designed to look like an iceberg floating in the Oslo fjord.

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, who also designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris and The Shard in London, it is one of the most ambitious buildings in Norway. 

Inside, visitors can see a stunning lobby, complete with a grand staircase and a hanging chandelier. A spacious auditorium also hosts world-class performances of opera, ballet, and musicals. 

On the roof is a large plaza with a stunning view of the city and the surrounding harbor. Whether you’re a fan of the arts or want to experience some unique architecture, the Oslo Opera House is well worth a visit!

Both our Scenic Norway Luxe and Norway Luxe Winter tours begin in Oslo. So if you can already feel Norway beckoning you, be sure to look through these itineraries and see which one suits you best.

Feel Like a King or Queen at The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Oslo is a must-visit for anyone interested in Norway’s rich history and culture. The palace is a grand building with a beautiful facade and lush gardens. Inside, there are many rooms to explore, including the grand hall, the royal chapel, and the royal apartments. 

Visitors can also explore the palace grounds, where they will find statues, fountains, and a variety of other attractions.

Guided tours of the Royal Palace are available for those interested in learning more about the building, its history, construction, and the story of the Norwegian monarchy.

A tour is also the only way to see some of the palace’s most impressive features, such as the spectacularly decorated interior and the stunning views from its balconies. With its beautiful architecture, lush gardens, and fascinating stories, it’s an experience you will never forget!

Do you want to take a deeper dive into this fascinating country’s history and cultural heritage? Consider visiting these UNESCO sites in Norway.

Aker Brygge

Aker Brygge is a popular place for people to hang out and enjoy food, shopping, and entertainment. It’s a great spot to get a feel for Oslo.

It’s also where you’ll find one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Akershus Fortress was built in response to a series of devastating fires that destroyed much of Oslo in 1624 and 1694, including almost all its wooden buildings. 

The fortress has been home to Norwegian royalty since 1814, but today it serves as a museum open to tourists year-round.

The Munch Museum

Munch Museum
VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

The Munch Museum in Oslo is a must-see for art lovers. Located in the same neighborhood where Edvard Munch once lived, the museum offers visitors the opportunity to experience over 1,200 of his works in one place. 

From iconic paintings like “The Scream” to lesser-known sketches and prints, the museum has something for everyone. Visitors can explore the artist’s personal belongings and learn about his life and work through interactive displays and audio tours. 

The museum offers a unique way to connect with the artist’s life and work, making it a must-visit attraction for art connoisseurs.

There is also a shop where you can buy books, posters, prints, and other Munch-related items. Just make sure you have enough space in your suitcase by following our packing list for a Norway summer vacation.

Admire the Bravery on Display at Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum

Holmenkollen Ski Jump
VisitOSLO/Florian Frey

If you’re interested in skiing and Norwegian culture, you’ll want to visit the Holmenkollen Ski Jump. This is a ski jump, not a ski slope, like many people think it is. Instead of gently dragging your skis across the snow as you would on most slopes, Holmenkollen’s steepness requires that you launch yourself into the air using specially designed skis (called “split boards”) that allow for quick take-offs. 

The first competition was held in 1892 and was won by Sigmund Ruud―a member of the Norwegian Ski Team who went on to win three gold medals at the 1908 Olympics!

The museum also has exhibits of other famous athletes who’ve competed there throughout its history. These include Stein Eriksen, who set a world record for distance flown during one jump back in the 1950s, and Oddvar Brå, who already had three World Cup wins under his belt but broke another record when he flew over 250 meters.

Embrace the Explorer’s Spirit at the Kon-Tiki Museum and Fram Museums

Kon-tiki Museum
VisitOSLO/Gunnar Strom

The Kon-Tiki Museum and Fram Museum are in Oslo and are must-sees for anyone visiting the city. The Kon-Tiki Museum is home to Thor Heyerdahl’s expedition, a journey across the Pacific Ocean using a balsa wood raft inspired by pre-Columbian Peruvian people. 

The museum also has exhibits on other expeditions, including those that Fridtjof Nansen and Otto Sverdrup led.

The Fram Museum houses exhibits related to Arctic exploration, especially those led by Roald Amundsen and Otto Sverdrup. It also features an impressive collection of ship models and artifacts related to Antarctic expeditions, such as Scott’s Terra Nova Expedition.

Looking for even more travel advice from Scandinavian specialists? Check out our list of five things to know before you visit Norway.

Discover Oslo and More on Our Norway Tours!

We hope you’ve found these tips for the best things to do in Oslo inspirational and informative! If you’re more certain than ever that this amazing country is one you must visit, check out our range of luxury Norway tours.

Do you have questions about any aspect of our Norway tour packages? Please contact us and we’ll get back to you as quickly as possible.

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