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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 10 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
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#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
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
#10
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

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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City Sightseeing Oslo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
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Private Full-Day Round Trip from Oslo to Sognefjord via Flåm Railway
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Oslo Discovery Tour
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Oslo Discovery Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in Oslo

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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.
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.
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Biking to Vigeland park...
Leslie_H, Jun 2022
Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
Biking is a great way to see the city of Oslo.
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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Good Value
Rachel_D, Jun 2022
Oslo Combo Tour: Grand City Tour and Oslo Fjord Cruise
This trip was well worth the money, we got to see many of the highlights of Oslo and it was well run with a friendly and helpful, guide and driver.
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Oslo
David_F, May 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
You get to see many different landmarks.
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Top Quality View of Oslo
Paul_R, May 2022
Oslo Discovery Tour
With only one day in Oslo, the Discovery Tour was a perfect opportunity to see and learn so much about the city and history.
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A great day in Oslo
John_L, May 2022
Oslo Combo Tour: Grand City Tour and Oslo Fjord Cruise
It was a wonderful way to see and learn about Oslo and it’s history.
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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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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.
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Great way to see Oslo when short of time.
Sophie_W, Jun 2022
E-Scooter Oslo City Tour (Private)
The E-Scooter tour was a great way to visit all the sights and the tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.
star-5
Great way to experience Oslo
Karen_R, Jun 2022
Oslo Highlights Bike Tour
Great way to see the city of Oslo and learn about its history.
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Oslo - city tour
Andy_B, Dec 2021
In the Heart of Oslo Walking Tour with Local Guide
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 Cruise on the Oslofjord
It was a great way to see Oslo from the water.
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Oslo fjord
akikobuyo, Jan 2020
Winter Cruise on the Oslofjord
I was able to see Oslo fjord & other sightseeing places from the cruise ship.
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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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Excellent way to see Oslo during cruise port stop
Dianne_C, Jun 2019
Oslo Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing Oslo Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
The stops were in great locations to the main tourist attractions (we went to the Viking Museum and Vigeland Park) so having this option available to us made our day in Oslo wonderful.
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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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Frequently Asked Questions
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