Oslo - bright, unique and full of surprises
More than 50 museums and places of interest, including outdoor sights, theater and music festivals, vibrant nightlife, excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and sports – no matter what for you come to Oslo, you will never get bored here. Everyone will find interesting things to do and see in Oslo.
The best attractions in Oslo
If it is your first visit to the Scandinavian city or you come here for a few days and wish to you know it better then pay attention to the most popular attractions.
Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
Norwegian Opera building is an architectural landmark of Oslo which attracts so many tourists that there are even guided tours: three days a week an English-speaking guide will take you through the rooms of the Opera. By area, the opera house with three concert halls and about 1,100 other premises is equal to a football field.
Natural stone, glass, concrete, marble, wood, minimalist and futuristic details both in the interior and exterior design – be ready to see an architectural masterpiece. You can listen to classical music, visit a photo or an art exhibition, or climb onto the roof of the building and admire the city – everyone will find something to do here.
Oslo City Hall
Another modern building in Oslo, but in a totally different style, is the Oslo City Hall, built in the middle of the last century. Massive towers of the City Hall are visible highin the city center making a lasting impression, especially if you come there at the sunset on a clear day. But the main value of the City Hall that every year on Dec. 10 the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded here.
Lush greenery, places for a picnic or just walking, fountains, unique sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron – all this can be seen right next to the center of Oslo. The largest and most visited park in the city is the Vigeland Park, and it is not a surprise at all: in a single place there are more than 200 sculptures, most notable of which is ‘Monolith’, more than 14-meter-high sculpture, carved from a single stone and depicting 121 human bodies in different poses. Near the park there is a Vigeland museum telling about the life and work of the famous Norwegian sculptor.
Many tourists undeservedly pass by the main temple of the Norwegian capital. Built back in 1697, Oslo cathedral has been recently renovated and now everyone can admire wonderful stained glass windows, painted ceilings, antique altar and listen to organ music (the schedule is found on the entrance to the cathedral).
Oslo Harbor and Old Town
There is an Old Town in every European capital. And it's a great place to feel the local spirit better. Go to Oslo harbor where you can admire arriving and departing large and small ships, yachts, and then explore the 18th-century buildings in the Old Town contrasting much with its modern architecture, for example, the Norwegian Opera located very close to the harbor.
Viking Ship Museum
It is hard to imagine a trip to one of the Scandinavian countries without learning the history of the Vikings? If you visit the island of Bygdoy and The Viking Ship Museum you will have an opportunity to enjoy the exposure of three ships as well as objects found on the ships that the ancestors of today's Norwegians used about 1,000 years ago, and that almost as many years spent at the bottom of the sea.
The Royal Palace
At the end of Karl Johans gate, the most popular street in Oslo, there is the Royal Palace surrounded by the palace park with ponds, lakes and picturesque sculptures. Before the palace you can watch the colorful ceremony of the guard’s changing. In summer, with a rise of tourist flow, there are English-speaking guided tours of the Palace and various exhibitions. The palace, built almost two centuries ago, should be included in the program of Oslo as it keeps a lot of interesting facts about the city.
A visit to the Akerhus fortress is one of the best ways to explore the history of Oslo from the 13th century – from that time the fortress defends the residents of the city. When walking through the majestic medieval castle tourists can visit the cellars with cameras for prisoners, a chapel where beloved married and which houses the remains of many Norwegian monarchs. Today the fortress is the Ministry of Defence Headquarters and the Norwegian Armed Forces. In summer the Akershus Castle takes tourists from 6 am to 9 pm.
Another castle that is worth your attention is the Castle Oscarshall. Built in 1852, it is a work of art thanks to many famous Norwegian sculptors and artists having decorated it.
Holmenkollen National Arena
One of the landmarks of Oslo is Holmenkollen ski jump – known all over the world thanks to its modern design. You can see it from almost anywhere in the city. Many sportsmen reached here their best records. At its base there is a museum of skis, the oldest in the world. Holmenkollen is interesting not only in cold months: in summer you can go cycling, fishing or just relax from the city noise in nature.
Things to do in Oslo with children
If you are planning a vacation in Oslo together with children you should not worry: there are enough interesting activities for the youngest travelers.
Amusement Parks and Attractions
A favourite park for the whole family is an amusement park Tusenfryd with a Ferris wheel, the biggest rollercoaster in Europe, a summer Water Park, outdoor pools, cycling tracks, a climbing wall, a Viking village and many other attractions, the list of which is replenished each year.
If you have enough time you can safely go to the country's largest Water Park – Bo Sommarland located a couple of hours away from Oslo. In the Water Park there are entertainments for both the youngest travelers (kids’ pools, playgrounds) and their parents (slide water with elevation 19 m, a swimming pool producing artificial waves for surfing).
Many children can be interested in watching animals. To do this, you can visit the Reptile Park where there are more than 100 species of lizards, spiders and snakes. And having arrived in Oslo in the summer you can get to the exhibition of farm animals in the southern part of the city. Kids will love to watch rabbits, cows and other domestic animals.
A unique feature of Oslo is in the opportunities for not only recreation here but also a rich cultural program: the number of museums that can interest visitors of all ages is striking.
So, where you can go with children:
- The International Museum of Children's Art which brings together the works performed by children from around the world: sculptures, paintings, appliques and other crafts. There are also separate literature and dolls sections. Regularly master classes are hold.
- The Museum of Natural History consisting of several buildings with different exposures: a botanical garden and a greenhouse with exotic plants; zoological museum with exhibits of animals from different parts of the world; Dinosaur Museum – the only one in Norway, and many others. Neither you nor your children will get bored here.
- In the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology children will learn the history of medicine, see modern hydropower stations and rare vehicles. In interactive center children can learn to control robots.
- If your kids dream of glory or working on TV then take them to an interactive children's center at the Norwegian television station. There they not only become familiar with TV specifics but try themselves in the role of broadcasters.
Feel free to come to Oslo with children – your whole family will remember the holiday for a long time!
Cheap Holiday in Oslo
Oslo is not the cheapest holiday destination but if you carefully plan your holiday you can minimize your expenses. We offer you the top 5 ideas for a budget holiday:
- Sightseeing. The only thing you need is a good weather. If you do not to go too far then start your sightseeing tour with the Norwegian Opera, then move to the Harbor and the Old Town, then you can walk to the Town Hall, admiring the local architecture on the way. Having rent a bike you will spend quality time in addition.
- Walking through the parks. Visit the Vigeland Park and the park at the Royal Palace – there you can not only relax out in the nature but also see the works of the famous Norwegian sculptor.
- Active recreation. Oslo beaches are perfect for bathing in the summer. Go to the island Bygdoy or one of the Oslo fjords. And in the winter you can skate, for example at the rink Nirvasen in the city center, or ski on one of the free routes around the city.
- Festivals. A year round Oslo pleases the natives and travelers with bright festivals, with a free entrance to many of them: in June it’s the Music Festival, and in September – the Culture Night when most museums arrange an open day.
- Museums. It’s hardly to believe bit true that visiting museums in Oslo does not cost much, and sometimes can be free. Having bought Oslo Pass, you will be able to visit more than 30 museums, go by public transport, and enjoy special offers at restaurants for 24, 48 or 72 hours.
Also on Sunday, a number of museums in Oslo make entrance free: the National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Architecture, the largest art galleries. On Tuesdays you can get free into the Stenersen Museum and admire the collection of contemporary Norwegian art.
Oslo strikes with a unique combination of very different opportunities for recreation: active, cultural, romantic – whatever you choose, an enjoyable stay in the Norwegian capital is guaranteed!