Perched in the southern region of Norway, Oslo is the capital city that’s totally gorgeous for a weekend trip away. That’s why we’ve visited a few times now, it’s just perfect for those weekend breaks… especially as there are so many amazing things to do in Oslo.
That being said, a weekend trip to Oslo often requires a little bit of planning. You’re not going to fit everything in your schedule but you can sure as heck choose your favourites.
That’s why I wanted to share some of my top things to do in Oslo for your next trip.
You’re going to have such a blast in the city!
Take a look at some of the best things to do in Oslo, below.
1.) Explore the Akershus Fortress
Get a sneak peek of Oslo’s history at this 13th-century fortress that was built to protect the city from pesky invaders.
Best of all, It also has a Renaissance castle that was home to many kings and queens and while it’s not a royal residence anymore, it still serves as a great spot to see. Of course, the views of the Oslo Fjord from here are unbeatable on a clear summer day.
Plus, entry to Akershus Fortress is free (which makes it even more appealing).
2.) See the Viking Ship Museum
Perched in the Bygdøy area of the city, the Viking Ship Museum is one spot you’ve gotta visit if you’ve got a keen interest in Viking history. Inside, It houses an impressive collection of Viking vessels including the Oseberg, the Gokstad (which is my favourite), and the Tune.
Plus, when you buy a ticket, it’ll also give you free entry into the Historical Museum (for 48 hours).
3.) Stroll through Vigeland Park
If you love art and sculpture, you can’t leave Oslo without visiting the world’s biggest sculpture park made single-handedly by artist, Gustav Vigeland. It really is one of the best things to do in Oslo if you’re looking for a stroll.
Walk around and explore more than 200 bronze, wrought iron, and granite sculptures at marvel at this iconic area of Oslo.
If all that walking has worked up your appetite, there are some tasty restaurants in the area including Herregardskoa, hos Thea, and Lofotstua which all serve up some yummy treats.
4.) Visit Oslo Cathedral
The Oslo Cathedral is the perfect spot to take a little break from all that walking around Oslo. Now, the cathedral itself dates back many hundreds of years (but has been renovated a good few times).
Oh, and don’t forget to look up at the beautiful ceiling paintings by H.L.Mohr. They’re something else! 😍
If you’re hankering for a little bit of grub after all that exploring, pop into Campo de Fiori who conjure up the tastiest Italian cuisine in all of Oslo.
5.) Explore the Aker Brygge Neighbourhood
Oslo is a totally friendly city to visit. In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Oslo is to explore its gorgeous neighbourhoods.
Head to the upscale neighbourhood of Aker Brygge that was developed on the site of a former shipyard. The boardwalk is full of yummy restaurants, quirky cafes, and unique little boutiques.
On your way there, you might even pass by the Nobel Peace Center that’s worth seeing on your stroll.
Oh, and don’t forget to check out Tjuvholmen City Beach that’s just at the end of the boardwalk itself. It’s so much fun on a hot summer day.
6.) See the National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design
The National Museum of Oslo is unique in that it comprises of different venues across the city featuring different exhibitions.
There’s the National Gallery, the National Museum: Architecture, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and more.
Make sure you have plenty of time to visit all these venues and of course, don’t forget to check out “The Scream” by Edvard Munch.
It’s easily one of the best things to do in Oslo if you’re a total art fiend.
7.) Explore the natural beauty of Nordmarka
For a welcome break from the city, head to the beautiful forest of Nordmarka.
Even if you don’t have a car, you can still get to spots like; Holmenkollen, Frognerseteren, Sørkedalen, and Sognsvann and head off on your own adventure from there.
From many walking trails at different activity levels, lakes, overnight camping spots, fishing opportunities, and skiing in the winter. You can see a list of some of the best ski routes in Normarka, here.
8.) Spend time in Grünerløkka
Think of Grünerløkka as the Shoreditch (London) of Oslo. What was once a gritty working-class area has now been revamped into a funky place with many vintage shops and quirky cafes.
For a quick bite to eat, pop into Mathallen Foodhall, or head over to The Nighthawk Diner for a throwback to a vintage American joint (their BBQ Badboy is so yummy).
For an out-of-this-world dining experience, book a table at Kontrast that serves up the most amazing fine dining dishes.
Oh, and don’t forget about the charming Sunday flea market that happens most of the summer, too.
9.) Discover the Kon-Tiki Museum
Dedicated to Thor Heyerdahl’s adventures at sea, this museum features the famous “Kon Tiki”, a handmade balsa wood raft that was used by him in 1947 as well some of his other crafts and Easter Island artefacts.
It’s a great spot to visit if you’re familiar with Thor Heyerdahl’s, though you might want to give this a miss if you’re not too familiar.
Afterwards, pop for a tummy-filling bite to eat at Freddy Fuego. This place serves up the BEST burritos in Oslo. It’s nothing fancy but totally delicious.
10.) Spot the Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower
Skiing is an integral part of Norwegian culture, with the Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower being one spot you’ve gotta see. After all, it’s the oldest of its kind anywhere in the world.
Many international ski jumping competitions are held at the Holmenkollen and there’s an actual museum inside the ski jump too. Best of all, it’s open every day of the year.
Whilst there, don’t forget to spot the Holmenkollen Chapel, too. It’s a gorgeous little chapel that’s so typically Norwegian.
11.) Visit the Oslo Opera House
This has to be one of my favourite things to do in Oslo as the building is just so pretty. The Oslo Opera House is a jaw-dropping structure that is considered to be an iconic modern Scandinavian building.
Apparently, it’s supposed to resemble a glacier on the waters of the Oslofjord, which I can kinda see.
You can check out their website to see upcoming shows and If there’s one thing you cannot miss at the Opera house, it’s the roof with the stunning carpet of marble patchwork.
12.) Sail the Oslo Fjord
If you’re lucky enough to be in Oslo when the weather is good, you must take a cruise on the Oslo Fjord.
There are plenty of ferries at Aker Brygge that you can choose from and if time permits, we’d even recommend going island hopping.
Afterwards, pop back into the city and visit the Royal Palace and gorge at Way Down South (for the best ribs in the city).