Oslo is a must visit, weekend escape destination. With its amazing history, cool culture and vibrant nightlife, it attracts every type of person, but all this comes at a cost, it is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. Here are our top 10 things to do in Oslo, and some tips to avoid breaking the bank.
1. Akershus Slott
Akershus Fortress is Norway’s most important medieval monument. But enter at your own risk. Legend has it that the fortress is haunted by ghosts. The chambermaid ghost of Mantelgeisten has tormented the guards for years, and if you listen carefully, the galloping hooves of a dead horse can be heard near the front gate.
If you are feeling brave enough then the opening hours are September 10am – 4pm, October – April 12pm – 5pm
2. Oslo Opera House
Rising from the waters of Oslofjord like a glacier, the white Italian carrara marble and granite of Oslo Opera House shimmer and glisten in the cool Scandinavian sun , making it the gem of Oslo. Be sure to climb to the roof and experience the amazing views.
For the ultimate experience, take a guided tour. These are every Wednesday at 1pm, Saturday at 12:pm and Sundays at 1pm.
If a guided tour is not enough, you can watch one of the many amazing performances that take place here on a regular basis.
3. Viking Ship Museum
No trip to Oslo is complete without exploring and learning about one of the country’s most important historical periods, the Vikings. The best way to do this is to visit the Viking museum.
See the 1200 year old Oseberg, which dates back to as early as 800ad. It was the grave for a Viking queen who, along with all her possession, was buried in the ship. The well preserved Gokstad dates from 890. Incredibly, these ships were both discovered in clay burial grounds, and you’ll be amazed by how well they are preserved.
Opening Hours: May – September 9am – 6pm, October – April 10am – 4pm;
4. Fram Museum
If you have an interest in polar exploration then the Fram Museum will be high on your list. The Fram is famous for three Polar explorations from 1893-1912.
See what life was like onboard the ship as the museum takes you on a journey using archive footage and photos. See the heart of the ship in the engine room, see where the men slept, and where they ate. As you get an idea of life onboard a polar exploration vessel, as lived by the brave men who lived the experience.
Opening Hours: varies by season. Check the website for current hours.
5. Vigeland Park
Vigeland Park features 22 bronze and granite sculptures, set in 3 sections along the central bridge, the Monolith Plateau and the fountain. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the gardens with your partner, or take the kids, they’ll love the outdoor space and the chance to explore. The best time to visit is winter. The snow forms a lovely, clean blanket among the sculptures, and the kids can have a little fun too.
Vigeland Park is open 24 hours and entrance is free.
6. ICEBAR Oslo
“It’s already cold, why would I want to be colder?”, I hear you shout, but ICEBAR Oslo is one of the hottest drinking places in town. Brave the cold temperatures to see this amazingly sculptured Ice bar. With 50 tons of Swedish ice used to create everything from the chairs, to the glasses. Don’t worry, on arrival you’ll be given a fur cape and some gloves, as well as a drink of your choice.
The venue is limited to a 60 person capacity so reservations are recommended
7. Eternal Peace Flame
Since 2002, the eternal peace flame has brought warmth and inspiration to the city. Located on Oslo’s Aker Brygge, it was donated by Sri Chinmgy, founder of World Harmney Run.
Nearby, you can draw inspiration and see the works of some incredible people at the Nobel Peace Center, where there are exhibitions about the Peace Prize winners and current issues.
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm.
8. Henrik Ibsen’s Quotations
Follow in the footsteps of Henrik Ibsen, the famous playwright. Walk in his footsteps and follow the path from his home near the Royal Palace down Karl Johan’s Gate to the Grand Cafe, where he would have his lunch every day. When Oslo doust in a white blanket of snow, Ibsen’s famous quotations can be seen along the route in the sidewalk in stainless steel.
His life’s work can be seen in the house he lived in, which is now a popular museum.
Opening Hours: May – September 10am – 5pm and September – May 11am – 4pm;
The birthplace of the New city. In 1624 a dramatic fire ravaged the city. The Danish-Norwegian king, Christian IV decided to rebuild the city, and this was the birthplace. “The new town will lie here” he cried out, and the new town, Christiania, was born from that very spot. You can’t miss the giant pointing finger, marking the moment and a constant reminded to the history of the place. There are still some beautifully, well preserved 17th century buildings, and the area is home to the city’s oldest restaurant, Café Engebret.
10. Oslo Domkirke (Oslo Cathedral)
Built in 1697, Oslo Cathedral is the at the heart of the city. The pulpit, altar piece, and organ front with acanthus carvings are all originals. The large ceiling murals were painted by Hugo Lous Mohr between 1936 and 1950. Stare into Emanuel Vigeland amazingly crafted stained glass windows. Guided tours of the Cathedral can be booked on weekdays or just by and gaze at this amazing piece of Scandinavian architecture.
Top Tip: Oslo Pass
If you intend on visiting many a lot of museums then I highly recommend the Oslo Pass. It allows the holder free entrance to all of Oslo’s most popular museums and attractions, including most of the attractions on our list. It also allows you free access to buses, trams, and the ferries to Bygdøy. Visit Norway provided us with the 72 hour Oslo Pass
The mini cruise ticket is valid for 24 hours and it allows you to hop-on/hop-off at Bygdøy, City Hall and the Opera House.
From amazing architecture to beautiful wild landscapes, Oslo has something to offer everyone. Art, nightlife and history, it can all be seen here in this incredible city, without having to break the bank. Oslo will be sure to leave an imprint on your memory like no other place.