Norway is a truly beautiful country with mountains, forests, fjords and glaciers and its capital is no exception. Surrounded on all sides by nature, and with a rich and varied history, Oslo offers its visitors both a memorable and fascinating stay.
One of the most interesting attractions in the city is the Nobel Peace Center. Filled with interactive and educational exhibits, it tells the stories of the deserving recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. The temporary exhibits highlights some of the pressing issues in the world today.
Head out the Bygdøy area and you'll come across two of the most popular museums in Oslo. These are the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. In the Viking Ship Museum you'll see the remains of three Viking ships and the skeletons found in two of them, while the open-air Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is home to buildings from periods throughout Norwegian history. Oslo is also home to some great galleries like the Munch Museum, the National Gallery and the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
Everyone, not just art lovers, will find themselves entranced by the Vigeland Sculpture Park. One of the most stunning sights in the world, it is home to over 200 sculptures of the human form. The park is the brainchild of artist Gustav Vigeland and is visited by huge numbers each year.
Shopaholics will be perfectly at home in Oslo thanks to the abundance of shops, malls and department stores. Karl Johans Gate is the main shopping street, and it runs from the main train station all the way to the Royal Palace.
Grünerløkka, Oslo, Norway
Hip and trendy Grünerløkka to the north of the city centre is an alternative haven and one part of Oslo that you really shouldn’t miss. Here you’ll find numerous small boutiques, vintage stores and colourful produce shops. Home to the popular Sofienberg Park, this area is one of Oslo’s most well-loved in terms of bars and restaurants. From tiny coffee shops to busy eateries, you’ll have no trouble finding somewhere to suit your appetite. Along with that, there’s a wide array of nightspots to check out too.
Bygdøy, Oslo, Norway
For a taste of the picturesque Norwegian countryside, this is the part of Oslo to check out. As well as hosting some of the area’s premier museums, including the Viking Ship Museum and the open-air Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Bygdøy is also home to the Royal Farm and if you keep your eye out you’ll see the uniformed soldiers guarding its borders. After working up an appetite by walking in the woods or along the pier you’ll find a number of cool cafés where you can relax.
Frogner, Oslo, Norway
A must for visitors to Oslo, Frogner is home to the impressive Frogner Park as well as the unmissable Vigeland Sculpture Park. Green areas, beautiful flowers and stunning works of art make this one of the most picturesque parts of the city. These great attractions are augmented by a number of cosy cafés and a great selection of trendy boutiques and smaller stores.
Aker Brygge, Oslo, Norway
One of the more touristy areas of Oslo, but still a part of the city with much to offer visitors. You’ll be able to check out the historic Nobel Peace Center, as well as Oslo’s Town Hall. The pier here plays hosts to a lot of cool boats and the ferry to Bygdøy also leaves from here. Shoppers will be happy here too, thanks to the Aker Brygge Shopping mall and its numerous stores. Restaurants and bars are in no short supply in this area, and you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to have a bite or a beer.
Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
From the Royal Palace to the National Gallery, Oslo’s bustling city centre has a vast array of attractions, museums and galleries to occupy culture vultures of all ages. As well as that, you’ll find some of the city’s best shopping in this area including the stores along Karl Johans Gate and large department stores like Steen & Strom and GlasMagasinet. One of the most energetic parts of Oslo in terms of nightlife, Sentrum is teeming with all kinds of restaurants, bars and clubs.
Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Oslo’s main shopping street stretches from the main train station all the way to the Royal Palace. Thronging with shoppers, it is home to a wide array of stores. Both international and international brands are well represented along here including H&M, Vero Moda, Mango and many more. You can also check out the Paleet shopping centre situated along Karl Johans Gate. As you wander from store to store, you’ll be entertained by a number of street performers.
Stranden 3B, Aker Brygge, Oslo, Norway
With its funky modern interior and great location in the oft visited Aker Brygge area, this shopping centre is a very popular spot for those looking to spend a few kroner. Lots of top brands have stores here, including Benneton, Bik Bok, Vero Moda, Gant and more. Shoppers here will find everything from men’s and women’s fashion to cosmetics.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm, closed Sun.
Stenersgata 1, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
This behemoth is a must for all shopping enthusiasts who visit Oslo. From electronics to interiors, fashion to gifts, this large mall houses around 100 stores throughout its 5 floors. A busy spot, it is home to international and local brands galore. Some of the more recognisable names include Body Shop, Oasis, Bik Bok and H&M, along with many, many others.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat 10am-8m, closed Sun.
Kongensgate 23, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Spread over 6 floors, Steen & Strom and plays host to a huge selection of merchandise. Here shoppers will find women’s and men’s fashion, cosmetics, accessories, furnishings, household items and much more. Internationally renowned brands such as Diesel, Chanel, Burberry, Lacoste, Mexx and Dior are just some of the top-notch brands you’ll have the opportunity to purchase in this bright, airy department store.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-6pm, closed Sun.
Stortorvet 9, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
One of the top department stores in Oslo, GlasMagasinet is a shopper’s paradise filled with local and international brand names. Across its 4 floors, you’ll come across clothing, shoes, cosmetics, accessories, household items and more. Mexx, Dior and Chanel are just some of the brands you’ll encounter in this well-trafficked store.
Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-6pm, closed Sun.
Sørkedalsveien 66, Hammersborg, Oslo, Norway
This important memorial cemetery houses the resting places of some of Norway’s most notable citizens. A wander through the honorary cemetery area will bring you to the well-kept graves of both Munch and Ibsen, along with many others. Established in 1902, the cemetery is also home to an important war memorial and a chapel.
Universitetsgaten 13, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Housing a collection of over 48,000 works of art, the National Gallery is a mecca for art lovers wishing to see paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings and much more. It hosts such eminent works as the iconic ‘Scream’ by Munch, along with paintings by greats like Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and Picasso. From the surreal to the sublime, this gallery should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Open Tues-Wed, Fri 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm, closed Mon; admission free.
Sars' gate/Monrads gate, Tøyen, Oslo, Norway
A beautiful expanse of green, the Botanical Garden was established in 1814 and today is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Tall trees provide shade, while the glasshouses hold a wealth of colourful flowers, prickly cacti and much more. Of all this beautiful garden’s assets, the Scent Garden might be the most enjoyable. A feast for the senses, it provides a veritable smorgasbord of sights and smells to be savoured.
Open Apr-Sept 7am-9pm, Oct-Mar 7am-5pm, gates on at 10am Sat-Sun; admission free.
Bankplassen 4, Sentrum, Oslo, Norway
Filled with awesome example of modern art, this museum houses a number of temporary exhibits in addition to its comprehensive permanent collection. Exhibits run the gamut from video installations to paintings of the human form. From the creepy to the colourful, all the art works on display across the museum’s two floors are incredibly impressive and well worth a look.
Open Tues-Wed, Fri 10am-6pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm, closed Mon; admission free.
Festnings-Plassen, Oslo, Norway
One of the oldest attractions in the Norwegian capital, this castle was built in 1300 and served as both a fortress and residence for the royal family throughout the centuries. Now used by the government for state occasions.
Toyengate 53, Oslo, Norway
Housing over twenty thousand drawings, prints, paintings and sculptures by Scandinavia’s most famous artist this museum is dedicated entirely to the creator of ‘The Scream’.
Museumsveien 10, Oslo, Norway
An excellent collection of all things Norwegian including recreations of one hundred and forty of the country’s original buildings as well as over two hundred and twenty thousand exhibits including everything from everyday household utensils to fascinating tapestries and carvings.
Voksenkollen, Oslo, Norway
The highest lookout point in all of Scandinavia, Tryvannståtrnet lies almost two thousand feet above sea level and allows breathtaking views of the city which actually reach as far as neighbouring Sweden.
Frogner Park, Nobelsgate 32, Oslo, Norway
Built on a 75-acre park in western Oslo, this is a collection of over 200 sculptures in granite, bronze and iron all of which were created by the renowned Gustav Vigeland. The highlight of the exhibition is a monolith consisting of over one hundred figures which are all carved in one piece of stone and reach over fifty feet in height.
Huk Aveny 35, Bygody, Oslo, Norway
This museum is home to the three Viking burial vessels, the Gokstad, Tune, and Oseberg,which date from between 800 and 900AD and were found preserved in clay. Of the three, the 20 metre long Oseberg is the most impressive containing the burial chamber of a Viking queen whose remains were in the boat when it was discovered.
Stortorvet 1, Oslo, Norway
Well you can’t really visit a city without having at least a quick look at its main cathedral and Oslo’s won’t disappoint. Built in the sixteen hundreds, it was restored in 1950 and currently houses numerous works by Norwegian artists as well as a five story tall organ.
Hokvikodden, Baerum, Oslo, Norway
A museum built with the sole purpose of housing a couple’s private art collection, sickening isn’t it, this is home to the artistic works gathered by former skating champion, Sonja Henie and her shipping tycoon husband, Niels Onstad. With over 1,800 works by Munch, Picasso, Matisse and Miro you can also see Sonja’s collection of trophies which number somewhere around six hundred.
Radhusbrygge 3, Radhusplassen, Oslo, Norway
Batservice Sightseeing run tours around the harbour from mid-May to late August and offer excellent views of the fortress of Akershus as well as the islands in the inner part of the Oslofjord. A brilliant way to spend an hour or take the three and half hour evening cruise which includes a dinner on your return.
, Oslo, Norway
Sixty miles outside Oslo, this is the country’s only fully preserved walled town and is an extremely popular day trip among visitors to the capital. The best way to get there is by ferry but you can also take a train or bus from Oslo’s central station. An excellent getaway and only half an hour away.