Norway, along with the other Nordic countries, is routinely regarded as one of the most expensive places to live in all of Northern Europe. Yet, as the saying goes, “the finest things in life are free,” and that’s surely not an exception in exciting Oslo.
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Top 10 Places to Visit in Oslo
Oslo, with its fjord location and scenic surroundings of woodland and mountains, is a joy to explore on foot or two wheels. See vibrant neighbourhoods teeming with locally owned boutiques, cafes, and bars before unwinding in one of the city’s many parks.
Oslo is a picture of nature at her most stunning. Skiing in the winter and cruising the Oslofjord in the summer are two of Oslo’s most well-liked activities. Whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor activity, Oslo has something for you.
Visitors interested in art and history will find much to keep them occupied in Oslo’s various museums, including Edvard Munch’s The Scream. There is something for everyone in Oslo, whether they prefer the indoors or outside.
When the weather outside is frightful, tourists may go inside and enjoy some of Norway’s finest museums and galleries. Whether you like the indoors or the outdoors, you’ll find plenty to do in Oslo.
1. Viking Ship Museum
When the Vikings sailed the northern seas many centuries ago, they struck fear into the hearts of the land they were about to attack. In the Viking Ship Museum, you can see some of these fearsome ships without having to worry about their sinking.
The museum has been a symbol of Norwegian culture and history since it opened in 1926; its collection includes three authentic Viking ships from the 11th century. In their heyday, the largest Viking ship could carry more than 60 men, ensuring the success of Viking attacks that once conquered England, Paris, Normandy, and other places in Western Europe.
Textiles, tools, and domestic objects discovered in Viking tombs are also on show at the museum. Your trip to Oslo wouldn’t be complete without seeing these ancient vessels and artefacts.
2. Oslo Opera House
Sydney’s Opera House, with its prime harborfront location and marble-topped, frequently-climbed roof, pales in comparison to its Norwegian counterpart in Oslo. One of the most exciting things to do in Oslo is to take a tour of the opera house, and the views from the top are unparalleled.
Take in the sights of Europe’s most dynamic capital city on your left. The brightly painted, wooden summer homes that line the Oslofjord to your right are a great place to get lost in thought.
Before venturing inside to check out the three theatres, public rooms, and halls, you can take pictures of your pals who aren’t afraid of heights. The oval chandelier in the main auditorium is a work of art, built with 5,800 hand-cut crystals.
3. Fram Museum
It is only right that Norway, the home of such illustrious arctic explorers as Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen, and Otto Sverdrup, should honour their achievements. The Fram Museum is dedicated to showcasing Norway’s role in polar exploration.
The Fram, Norway’s first arctic expedition ship, and the Gja, the first ship to navigate the Northwest Passage, are both housed there. The museum sits on the Oslo peninsula of Bygdy, which is also home to several other maritime exhibitions.
The northern lights spectacle on the Fram occurs every 20 minutes. There are signs in ten different languages around the museum.
4. Vigeland Park
More than 200 sculptures in wrought iron, bronze, and granite by one artist, Gustav Vigeland, make up the impressive collection at Vigeland Park. It is the largest collection of sculptures by a single artist anywhere in the world, and the park itself was planned by that artist in the middle of the twentieth century.
Several of the statues depict sexually suggestive positions involving naked figures. The majority of the sculptures can be broken down into the following five sections: the Bridge with a children’s playground, the main gate, the Monolith plateau, and the Wheel of Life. One of the best-known destinations in Oslo is Vigeland Park.
5. Holmenkollen Ski Museum
Norway has a long tradition of producing elite alpine and cross-country skiers. The Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower is the best site to learn about skiing. This one-of-a-kind museum is housed in the Olympic ski jump and teaches visitors about the sport’s 4,000-year history.
The view of Oslo from atop the ski jump tower is breathtaking. Every winter, the ski jump is utilised for competitions, but spectators who want to feel what it’s like to zoom down a modern ski jump will have to settle with a simulator.
6. New National Museum
The New National Museum is the largest cultural centre in all of the Nordic countries, with space for more than 100,000 works of art. Visitors are greeted by a wide array of magnificent displays upon entering.
Learn the methods behind the iconic Scandinavian design that fuels international stores like IKEA, and be challenged by Edvard Munch’s The Scream, all while admiring the gorgeous crowning costumes of Norway’s queens.
Located in the heart of the city next to the City Hall square, this museum is the result of a massive development project in Oslo that brought together the collections of four other museums. The museum’s most impressive space is a massive, brightly lit exhibition hall where temporary exhibitions are frequently displayed.
7. Akershus Fortress
The Akershus Fortress is a fantastic museum of Oslo’s past. The fortress was constructed in the late 13th century and successfully defended Oslo from foreign invasions. The fortress, which once stood on the headland of Oslofjord, was renovated and transformed into a Renaissance-style palace by a later Viking monarch.
It should come as no surprise that Disney based Elsa and Anna’s palace in Frozen on Akershus, which has served as a royal residence, Renaissance castle, military base, and prison over the years. As an open-air museum, Akershus now provides visitors with a glimpse into this remarkable past at no cost to them.
8. Aker Brygge
You should definitely check out Aker Brygge while in Oslo. The intriguing shopping, dining, and entertaining opportunities along the boardwalk draw crowds to this lively neighbourhood at all hours of the day and night.
Relax on the seaside pier on a bright day and take in the unique design of Aker Brygge, which blends historic shipyard structures with whimsical new construction. In the middle of Oslo’s bustling business sector, you might even stumble onto a concert or a pop-up event for fashion, art, and culture.
There are more than 30 stores and 40 eateries here, making it a great place to people-watch while perusing the wares.
9. Astrup Fearnley Museet
The Astrup Fearnley Museet, located on the bustling promenade that round Oslo’s harbour, is one of the best museums in Scandinavia dedicated to modern and contemporary art. A trip to the museum begins outside.
Go around a system of waterways, bridges, and lawns that feature works from the Selvaag collection of sculptures. As you enter the museum’s main pavilion, light from outside floods in through the glass ceiling.
Cross the picturesque bridge to the second building, where you’ll find a collection of stunning modern art by renowned artists, and explore rotating exhibitions and new commissions by artists from across the world.
The museum’s new €90 million structure is stunning, with plenty of room for exhibits, a gift shop, and a cafe. Visit London’s ‘The Shard,’ a building designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, and see his work for yourself.
10. Natural History Museum & Botanical Gardens
Norway’s greatest natural history museum covers 4.5 billion years of our universe’s existence. This day excursion will leave you in wonder of our planet thanks to the magnificent displays depicting many of the world’s creatures and their different habitats, including skeletons of dinosaurs and whales.
Nonetheless, the museum also does a good job of raising public consciousness about crucial topics; for example, the Climate House highlights the significance of activism and individual efforts to improve the world.
Visit the Botanical Gardens if you want to spend some time amid plants from all over the world. The park is a lovely canvas of colours in the fall, and the garden is full with gorgeous flowers and fantastic plant scents in the spring and summer.