My 10 Favorite Things to do Oslo

Posted on July 31, 2016 by in Things to Do (City Guides), TOP Travel Destinations

IMG_4695

Things to do Oslo – Understand

Oslo is a city with just 600,000 inhabitants but it feels much bigger and more ‘stately’ than the number suggests. Given its 60 degrees of latitude north, you may think it would be shockingly cold, but the Gulf Stream moderates winters and summers can see frequent heatwaves.

IMG_4886

Oslo a city of the future but has managed to keep its history alive. You will find friendly people who speak fluent English almost without exception. Generally, people seem to be delighted that you come out to visit Norway.

The country is expensive and Oslo is no exception; food and drinks will cost you dearly. However, the options below will help you find exceptional places on a moderate budget.

Things to do Oslo – Safety

Even safer than other Scandinavian cities, I can hardly imagine falling victim to a crime here. Norwegians are also strikingly honest – even more than what you find in other Scandinavian countries.

Things to do Oslo – Get Around

There is an express bus from Oslo Airport to the city for $16 one-way. Inside the city, walking is the best option; I easily walked 6 miles in one day.

IMG_4706

There are a number of bike rental places in town (for a moderate $12) that will make getting around by cycling a good option.

IMG_4703

IMG_4704

Don’t even think about taxis and Uber is equally expensive. Also, many roads are closed to traffic.

It is a good idea to figure out the local bus system. Drivers are friendly and the distances in Oslo are not too big.

Things to do Oslo – Sights

Oslo isn’t as pretty as Stockholm and lacks its long, regal history but there is plenty to see.

IMG_4711

IMG_4898

IMG_4885

IMG_4705

IMG_4708

Astrup Fearnley Museet

The excellent contemporary Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art has an enviable location right at the end of the Aker Brygge boardwalk by the marina.

IMG_4900

IMG_4710

Even if you don’t want to pay the hefty $15 entrance fee (which I think is split between permanent and temporary exhibitions), you should come out here on a sunny afternoon.

IMG_4709

IMG_4892

IMG_4893

IMG_4894

IMG_4896

IMG_4895

On a hot day, Norwegians will flock to the seaside and surprise you with a more Mediterranean feel of Oslo.

IMG_4887

IMG_4891

IMG_4889

Oslo Opera House

It is not quite Sydney, but the Oslo Opera House is right at the water’s edge and deserves your attention.

Things to do Oslo

Things to do Oslo

Royal Palace

During the summer months, Oslo’s Royal Palace (home to the King and Queen of Norway) is open to the public for guided tours. Adult admission costs 135 NOK ($16).

IMG_4883

IMG_4882

Dronningparken

Dronningparken (The Queen’s Park) is part of the palace grounds.

IMG_4881

IMG_4880

IMG_4707

IMG_4696

Things to do Oslo – Eat & Drink

Tim Wendelboe

Tim takes coffee seriously – and design as well. The small but inspiring location is right next to a small park and they make espresso drinks that can hardly be made any better.

IMG_4698

IMG_4700

IMG_4702

IMG_4701

Focaccaeria

Focaccia is like pizza – right? Well, not exactly, but this shop has taken the risk and branded itself Focaccaeria and spins out delicious and cheap pieces of heaven. It closes at 6PM – so go there early for dinner.

IMG_4697

Crowbar & Bryggeri

Drinking isn’t cheap in Norway but this bar serves several great creations from tap including two IPAs. The seats outside in the pedestrian zone are rustic but allow for some serious people watching.

Things to do Oslo

Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri

This place is really hidden and it’s hard to find the door and the entrance to this Munich-style cellar. However, I’m glad I found it as the beers are quite something; the ‘smokey ale’ tasted like nothing I ever had. The other beers I tried were also superbly creative. I really liked this place.

IMG_4714

Delicatessen Tapasbar

Hands down some of the best tapas I’ve ever had. It’s a small menu that is cooked to perfection by the chef. The staff are all friendly and its open windows with the setting alongside the park is fantastic. It’s also not expensive. How much better can life get?

IMG_4712

IMG_4713

Things to do Oslo – Where to Stay

Like many Scandinavian cities, the Club Carlson brand Radisson is the leading brand in the city and has many properties to choose from. I stayed at the Radisson Blu at Oslo Airport which is connected to the terminal and very convenient.

IMG_4694

IMG_4693

However, it feels too much of a’ mass operation’. The mattresses were extremely soft and the breakfast uninspiring, but it’s still a decent option.

IMG_4689

IMG_4686

4 / 5 stars