A weekend in Oslo is the perfect getaway up North. The city has plenty to offer to keep you busy from dusk till dawn (in summer the sun might shine for as long as 17 hours). Here you have 10 things you can do when in Oslo:
Find out Oslo’s history at Akershus Fortress
The Akershus Fortress is a fort that dates from the 13th century and contains two museums. It was a medieval castle, a prison, a royal residence and in time it developed into a renaissance castle. The fortress has large furnished halls and unique tapestry, as well as a church with royal sarcophagi. From the gardens you have an amazing view of the harbor.
Discover the Nobel Peace Prize winners
While entering the Nobel Peace Center you will get into the world of the winners of this famous prize. The center is presenting its laureates for Peace in a dedicated room with fiber-optic lights and small displays containing their short biography. Also, you can immerse into the life and work of Alfred Nobel.
Walk on the steps of Henrik Ibsen
The visit of The Ibsen Museum will easily transpose you to the 19th century when this famous Norwegian playwright and poet lived. The house has restored original interiors and decor. Here is the actual apartment where he spent his last years of life, wrote several important books and died. At the entry you may find books with his plays in English. Outside the house you can follow his quotes permanently embedded into the pavement across the streets of the city.
Watch a ballet at the Oslo Opera
The building of the Oslo Opera House attracts the attention both from the ground, as well as from the water. Having a unique architecture, the building has a great panorama rooftop platform. If you are an opera or ballet fan, there are performances also throughout summer. Otherwise, get a guided tour or have a glimpse of the rehearsals through the huge windows.
Have a ski jump simulation at Holmenkollen
Located outside Oslo, the sky jump of Holmenkollen is easily accessible via train. Breathing the fresh air, you have amazing views over the Oslo city and fjords from the observation deck of the tower. Inside, it hosts one of the oldest ski museums in the world. For ski lovers, there is a simulator of 3-4 minutes which includes a ski jump and a downhill 4-D simulation. This was my favorite spot of the trip to Oslo.
Check out the Oslo City Hall
Once in Oslo harbor, you cannot miss the red bricks building which is fronting the harbor. The City Hall can be visited and there are depicted motifs from the Norwegian history. In the summer the entry is free and each Sunday you can listen to the wonderful carillon.
Make an evening fjord boat trip
The summer days are very long, so an evening cruise is the perfect way of seeing Oslo at sunset from the waters. There are several boat tours to pick from, however I chose the 3-hours boat trip with prawn buffet. Such cruises are made on wooden sailing ships which are going around the Oslo’s fjords. You have a great perspective of the city and of several islands and lighthouses. The “all you can eat” prawns buffet comes with lemon, mayonnaise, bread and butter .
Take a stroll in the Norwegian Folk museum
In case you have extra time in Oslo, but you do not have time to visit other locations in Norway, the Norwegian Folk Museum comprises it all. This is a large open-air museums where houses from different regions of Norway are reunited. Among others, there are: a gas station, a wooden church, a farm animal, an apothecary. The kids will love this place as they can feed the animals or have a horse ride.
Grasp art indoors and outdoors
If you are an art lover, do not miss two of the greatest museums of the city: Munch Museum and the National Gallery. The Munch Museum hosts a great collection of the Norwegian artist’s paintings, drawings and prints. Nevertheless, his most famous painting – The Scream – is located in the National Gallery where, among others, paintings of Manet and Cezanne can be admired.
The Vigeland Park is the largest sculpture park in the world which was made by a single artist. Gustav Vigeland has created especially for this park more than 200 works in bronze, granite and iron.
Get on board of the Fram polar ship
The Fram Museum houses the most famous polar ship – Fram, which is the strongest wooden ship which had expeditions far Nord as well as far South. In the museum, you can get on board of this ship and see displays of how the crew managed to survive the cold. In the Gjoa building another ship can be seen – Gjoa, which is the first ship to navigate the whole of the Northwest Passage.
Have you already visited Oslo? Share with the other readers which was your favorite spot or what else would you add to this list.