Things to do in Oslo, Norway
Oslo is another place that I’d wanted to visit for such a long time, but never quite made it to the top of the bucket list. And was in honesty, another reason why the Scandinavian itinerary on Enchanted Princess was so good.
In Oslo, we decided we would explore the city on our own. Again, there is so much to see and do that we only touched the surface of what’s on offer, particularly when you consider the wider Oslo Fjord and surrounding area of beauty.
What to see and do in the city centre
Oslo is again another very walkable city, at least around the immediate city centre, which is perfect to get a flavour for the destination in a day. Even better, Oslo is one of those ports where the ship docks right in the middle of the city (and I mean, right in the middle). This is perfect to hop off and explore at your leisure. As the weather was stunning, we wanted to spend as much time outside enjoying the sites and exploring.
Right by the ship you will find Akershus Fortress. This is a medieval castle from the 13th Century which originally was built to protect and provide a royal residence for the city. There’s all sorts to explore here, including the gorgeous Renaissance Castle. It affords some great views across the city and of course the ship!
A short walk from the city you’ll come to one of my favourite moments in Oslo, the incredible Opera House found right on the waters edge. This is such a stunning and iconic building and again, if you’re will to walk to the top it has some great views across the city.
This is also a great spot to see ‘She Lies’. This is a public sculpture by artist, Monica Bonvicini made of stainless steel and glass. It floats on the water and turns in line with the tide and wind, changing the experience of the sculpture.
The main street of Oslo is located about 5 minutes walk from the opera house, Karl Johans Gate. This a lovely thoroughfare that opens out as you make your way towards the Royal Palace of Oslo. This 19th Century Palace is the official resident of the current Norwegian Monarch.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg here. As you wander off to the various side streets you’ll find lots of interesting bars and restaurants. If you’re willing, take a little detour north to Damstredet and Telthusbakken. This is a quiet part of town and is home to a well-preserved and inhabited wooden houses from the late 1700s and 1800s. It’s really beautiful and worth the detour to see.
Heading south from Karl Johans Gate, you will find yourself back at the port. Here you will find the various ferries and tours where you can easily explore Oslofjord (I would love to do this at some point!). Here you will also find the bustling area of Aker Brygge.
Aker Brygge is the site of a former shipyard, which has been transformed into a cool area full of fun restaurants, cafes and boutique shops. We spent quite a bit of the afternoon mooching and exploring around here – it was great to grab a drink and enjoy the view out over the fjord. Make sure you walk all the way to the end where you will find Tjuvholmen City Beach. This is a great spot to relax later in the day. You can also find the interesting Nobel Peace Centre here.
Other things to do
There are so many things to do in Oslo, and here are a few more that I wish I had had time to see on our visit – but worth going to if you have a chance.
When visiting Oslo, you will find there are cafes pretty much on every street corner. There really is a bustling coffee culture here so why not join in?
There are a lot of interesting museums in Oslo and if you have time definitely visit some of them. Thankfully many of them are located in the same area on the peninsula of Bygdøy – including the Viking Museum, the Fram Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
There’s many reasons to visit a number of these museums, including the Viking Ship Museum, which features three Viking era burial ships. It is famous for the completely whole Oseberg ship, the largest known ship burial in the world. Also visit the Fram Museum, which tells the story of Norwegian polar exploration, and includes the vessel Fram.
One for those that love art, stroll through the biggest sculpture park in the world, created by artist, Gustav Vigeland. Over 200 sculptures.
There are so many cute islands that dot the inner Oslo Fjord, so why not take a ferry and island hop for the day. Lots of opportunities to enjoy lush forests, beaches, and hiking.
Click below to head back