Things to do in Oslo
Oslo is one of those rare capital cities where the outdoors is right on your doorstep. Fringing the city residential suburbs to the north is the vast Marka forested area, divided into Nordmarka, Østmarka and Lillomarka, making Oslo a popular winter sport destination. To the south of Sentrum is Oslofjord with a plethora of islands and inlets where you’ll find the locals come summertime.
For skiing and boarding just 20 minutes from the city centre, head to Oslo Vinterpark Tryvann. Easily accessible by T-bane, Oslo Winter Park is open from mid-November to April and offers 18 slopes, 7 lifts and 2 terrain parks plus 2 half-pipes and a super-pipe for the boarders. There’s an onsite ski school if you’re not handy with a board or skis, with night skiing also available. Holmenkollen is also an ideal area for cross-country skiing and sledding.
In summer, Oslo locals also head to Holmenkollen, the Marka forests and the city parks to enjoy hiking, cycling and the green spaces. Frogner Park, which includes Vigeland Sculpture Park, is a popular spot just 10 minutes from Sentrum. In the warmest months, Oslofjord comes alive with boats of all shapes and sizes bobbing on the water. Take the public ferries to the inner islands to explore historic sites, beaches and quirky architecture and go hiking in the nature reserves. You can even camp overnight on one of the islands.
When the weather’s not so good, or if you’re after a dose of culture, there’s no shortage of museums and cultural sites to pique your interest dedicated to everything from Viking history to well-known Norwegians (artist Edvard Munch and playwright Henrik Ibsen, to name a couple), and the royal palace. For our pick of what to see and do in Oslo, here’s our top 5 faves.
You may not have heard of Edvard Munch, but you’ll definitely know his most famous painting, ‘The Scream’. The extensive Munch Museum is dedicated to the life and works of Norway’s most well-known artist who bequeathed his estate to Oslo, and yes, ‘The Scream’ is on display here!
Subversive, intriguing and thought provoking, Oslo’s Vigelandsparken is the world’s largest sculpture park by one artist, Gustav Vigeland. The vast park examines the cycle of life as seen through the Norwegian artist’s unique vision, which includes tantrum-throwing toddlers and serene children.
Just south of Oslo’s city centre lays the vast inlet known as Oslofjord and the local’s favourite summer playground. Dotted with a variety of unique islands, beaches and nature preserves, island-hopping around Oslofjord by ferry, boat or kayak is one of the must-do activities in Oslo.
For an insight into Scandinavia’s and Norway’s seafaring past, don’t miss the artifacts and everyday items found around Oslofjord at Oslo’s Vikingskipmuseet. The 3 almost intact examples of unearthed Viking longships on display here are a must-see.
Just 20 minutes from Oslo’s city centre is the world’s oldest ski jump and ski museum. Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Ski Jump is not just for the powder enthusiast, the platform at the top of the ski jump offers amazing views of the city and you can zipline off here in summer as well!