We seem to have an ongoing theme, by visiting a Scandinavian Country every spring. I don’t hate it either. I have a special place in my heart for Scandinavia. We have been to all of them, with the exception of Finland, and I must say that Norway is probably my favorite. We didn’t even mind that the weather seemed to change every 20 minutes, from rain to sleet and back to a sunny, gorgeous day. Rinse and repeat. The people are completely friendly and the food is top notch. We didn’t have a bad meal the entire trip! It’s amazingly clean and tidy. Even the subway’s are pristine and impeccable. Everywhere your eyes land, it’s like gazing at a Pinterest photo.
I must admit, we thought we would run out of things to do, but quite the opposite happened really. Before the trip we were trying to find things to see. In the end, we didn’t have enough time to see everything we wanted to. Here, I will list 15 things you must see when you’re in Oslo.
- Aker Brygge is known for its pier and marina. It’s nestled with eateries and cafes with outdoor seating adorned with a blanket for cooler evenings. Serving upscale Nordic and french cuisine, and casual fares such as burgers and steaks. There is a summer boat moored nearby, and catch a ferry ride for the scenic Oslo Fjord.
2. Vigeland Sculpture Park located in the Frogner Park has more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. Be sure to visit anytime as it is open year round, 24 hours a day. There is no entrance fee.
We strolled through the park in about an hour. It’s quite beautiful and not far from Oslo center. Be sure to check out The angry boy, The monolith and The wheel of life while you’re there.
3. The Botanical Gardens in Oslo is a hidden gem. The views from the walk are breathtaking and you can pop into the Natural History Museum since it’s within the park.
The Botanical Gardens was founded in 1841, belongs to the Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo. The garden seeks to increase the public awareness of the importance of plant diversity.
4. Mathallen Oslo is a venue for unique culinary experiences with the best of Norwegian and other International foods. Mathallen has over 30 special outlets and eateries, plus it’s a great social meeting place. Stop by and celebrate the joy of wonderful food.
5. Viking ship museum. No trip to Oslo is complete without visiting the best preserved Viking Ships in the world! And they are indeed impressive. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses archaeological finds from the Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg and the Borre mound Cemetery.
6. Gol Stave Church is a stave church originally from Gol in the Traditional region of Hallingdal. This is very impressive to see in person. It is located in the Norsk Folkemuseum (folk museum). It has become the main attraction at this museum.
7. Norsk Folkmuseum. Since I mentioned it, you cannot see the Stave Church unless you are in the Folk museum, which is impressive in itself. Mainly an outdoor open air museum. You stroll throughout recreated towns with more than 150 buildings. There was a sense of uneasiness while we walked through a couple of “towns” with no one in sight. It felt as though I was walking through abandoned areas, which makes this a very cool museum.
8. Head over to the cutest streets in Oslo– Damstredet and Telthusbakken. They are short, sloping streets with cute, photogenic homes along the way. I really enjoyed walking through this neighborhood and taking photos here–it was certainly a highlight of Oslo. This area is walking distance from Central Oslo, and a must experience when you come to visit.
9. Nobel Peace Center is a showcase for the Nobel Peace Prize and what it represents. It’s small enough that you can easily experience it in under an hour. The Center is also an area where culture and politics merge to promote involvement, debate and reflect topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution. Be sure to check out the room of lights, where you can enjoy reading about those that have been awarded this prestigious honor, in a garden of 1000 fiber-optic lights!
Nobel Peace Center’s Garden of Fiber-optic lights, showcasing those with this prestigious award.
10. Grunerlokka is Oslo’s hipster area, known for its street art, upscale bars, and mellow cafes. It’s a great location to stroll through and treat yourself with some jewelry or vintage fashions at an Indie Boutique. In the area there is a walking trail following the Akerselva River, which also has small quirky parks and industrial venues.
Grunerlokka offers Indie Boutiques, stylish bars, art and vintage fashion. A very unique part of Oslo and nearby, a gorgeous walking path along the Akerselva River.
11. Holmenkollen Ski jump and museum is a historic landmark and embodies more than a century of skiing tradition. It was used in the 1952 Winter Olympics. It’s located on top of a mountain. At the top of the actual ski jump, the views are incredible. You are able to see most, if not all, of Oslo in the distance. A nice cafe invites you for traditional Norwegian fare, then pop into the museum and learn about the history of skiing. The museum is one of a kind, as it has history about Norwegian Polar exploration, artifacts, and modern snow sports, too.
Be sure to make your way to the top of the ski jump, where you have access to breathtaking views of Oslo. You do not want to miss the “one of a kind” museum while you’re here, too.
12. Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private museum and is beautifully located in the Oslo Fjord in a building designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. It’s a magnificent building and it unites art, nature and urbanity.
13. The Fram Museum and Fram ship tells the story of the many Arctic and Antarctic expeditions by the explorers Nansen, Sverdrup, Wisting and Amundsen between 1893-1912. The 1893 Arctic expedition was planning to freeze Fram in the Arctic Ice sheet and float with it over the North Pole. Fram is said to have sailed farther North and farther South than any other wooden ship. You can board this actual ship at the Fram Museum.
14. Karl Johans Gate is the main street in Oslo. It was named in the honor of King Charles 111 John. Here you will find many of Oslo’s tourist attractions: In addition to the Royal Palace, Central Station and Stortinget. It’s a pretty walk and you will need to pop over to get a photo with the Tiger. (Below)
Grab a picture with the Tiger on Karl Johans Gate.
15. Akershus Fortress has a gorgeous walking path with unique views of Oslo’s Marina. We didn’t have a chance to visit inside the fort, but we managed to spend a lot of our morning along the outskirts.
Spend time walking around Akershus Fortress to get unique views of Oslo’s Marina.
There are so many beautiful sights walking around this wonderful city. The food is amazing the city is clean and the people are phenomenal. If you want a recommendation for the best dining experience, go to Solsiden Restaurant. It’s located by the Akershus Fortress, and is in the last picture on this blog post at the bottom of the photo. Hands down the most beautiful place, with outstanding views, and the BEST food we had in Oslo.