oslo travel guide - the top thing

The Oslo Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | August 4, 2023

1. Visit the Oslo Opera House

The Oslo Opera House boasts striking modern architecture, with a glass facade that gracefully reflects the surrounding downtown Oslo area. Visitors can take organized guided tours to delve into its design and rich history, offering an insightful experience beyond just admiring its impressive architecture.

Once inside, guests can enjoy panoramic views of Oslo from the rooftop, providing a unique vantage point for capturing memorable photos or simply soaking in the city’s allure.

For those interested in catching performances at the opera house, tickets and tour passes are readily available through the official website or at the on-site ticket desk. Accessing this architectural marvel is convenient as it is located near train stations and is open to visitors for most of the day.

2. Explore the Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo offers a captivating journey back to the 9th century, where visitors can marvel at remarkably preserved Viking ships. The ancient vessels and maritime traditions provide an unparalleled glimpse into Viking culture, showcasing exceptional craftsmanship.

At the museum, guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in history by exploring artifacts and exhibits related to these seafaring people. From intricately designed weaponry to everyday items like a tiny sewing kit, each exhibit in museums tells a unique story about life during the Viking Age.

Visitors are also provided with laminated cards or digital explanations that guide them through their exploration of this fascinating museum. This ensures that several visitors can gain a comprehensive understanding of the exhibits in museums on display, making it an educational experience for all ages.

3. Walk around the Vigeland Sculpture Park

Marvel at over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, each showcasing the artist’s unique style and vision in Oslo. The park is not only a testament to Vigeland’s talent but also a reflection of Oslo’s commitment to preserving sculptures and celebrating art.

Visit the iconic Monolith and Wheel of Life sculptures, which stand as grandiose structures within the park, drawing in travelers from all over the world. The original plaster sculptures by Vigeland add an extra layer of historical significance to this already awe-inspiring outdoor gallery.

Experience a unique outdoor art gallery that offers more than just sightseeing type experiences with sculptures, exhibits, and architecture. The park boasts walking and bike trails, allowing travelers to immerse themselves fully in its beauty while enjoying leisurely strolls or invigorating rides through its expansive grounds.

The neighborhood surrounding the sculpture park adds an inviting atmosphere to any visit, with charming cafes and shops providing opportunities for relaxation after exploring the sculptures in this stunning area.

4. Discover the history at the Norwegian Folk Museum

Step back in time by exploring historic buildings and exhibits in Oslo, offering a glimpse into Norway’s rich cultural heritage. The museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits, showcasing traditional crafts and folk art demonstrations that captivate visitors.

Witness informative guides bringing early farm life to life through engaging storytelling, providing visitors with noteworthy details about the past. Moreover, former museumgoers have praised the captivating style Setesdal farmstead for its authentic representation of Norwegian rural architecture.

The museum in Oslo also offers exhibits and tours for visitors interested in traditional dances as it hosts performances that showcase popular flavors of foreign military influences on Norwegian culture. Many museumgoers and visitors have found these displays to be entertaining and educational.

For previous travelers seeking immersive experiences in Oslo, the Norwegian Folk Museum provides an excellent opportunity to delve into Norway’s past while enjoying outdoor activities such as horse-drawn carriage rides or tasting traditional food prepared on-site.

5. See contemporary art at the Astrup Fearnley Museum

The Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo offers a captivating experience for art enthusiasts and travelers, featuring modern masterpieces by international artists. Visitors can immerse themselves in thought-provoking installations and exhibitions that showcase diverse contemporary art movements.

The museum’s architecture is a work of art itself, with its austere exterior contrasting the vibrant creativity within. Located near downtown train stations in the city, it boasts extensive collections that include paintings, sculptures, and contemporary design pieces.

Traveler visitors described the museum as an “oasis of inspiration,” highlighting how the exhibits provide a unique insight into today’s artistic landscape. From portrait busts to plaster models, there’s something to pique the interest of every visitor.

Visitors interested in exploring Oslo’s arts scene beyond traditional museums like the National Gallery, this city is a must-visit. Its proximity to other cultural landmarks such as the 19th-century National Theatre and the city adds further appeal for visitors and arts and architecture enthusiasts.

6. Enjoy the view from the Holmenkollen Ski Jump

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump offers breathtaking panoramas of Oslo and its surroundings, making it a must-visit spot for visitors seeking stunning views. The adjacent ski jump not only provides an adrenaline-pumping experience but also serves as a historical landmark, allowing visitors to learn about its storied history and significance.

Visitors can view original jumps and skis on display at the Ski Museum. The museum’s informative exhibits offer visitors an engaging look into future skiing conditions and advancements in the sport.

The tilted elevator ride up to the top of the ski jump in Oslo adds an element of thrill while providing ample photo opportunities and a stunning view. Visitors can capture incredible views of the city from this vantage point or simply spend time soaking in the beauty of Oslo’s landscape.

7. Learn at the Nobel Peace Center

Explore interactive exhibits on peace, conflict, and activism. Engage with thought-provoking multimedia displays that shed light on human rights abuses, climate change, and efforts to make the world a better place.

Discover inspiring stories of Nobel Peace Prize laureates who have worked tirelessly to promote peace and create positive change in the world. The center provides information about prior award recipients and their impactful works.

The Nobel Peace Center is located in Oslo’s city center, making it easily accessible for visitors. It offers an insightful experience for both adults and kids interested in learning about coveted awards such as the iconic Nobel Peace Prize.

Visitors can delve into the history of the prize, including its connection to Oslo’s City Hall where the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place each year. This immersive experience allows guests to gain a deeper understanding of how individuals and organizations have contributed to global peace efforts.

8. Stroll along the Aker Brygge waterfront

Aker Brygge in Oslo offers a delightful mix of activities, from waterfront dining and shopping to entertainment options. Visitors can indulge in tasty food at waterfront restaurants in Oslo while enjoying breathtaking water vistas. The area is perfect for a leisurely stroll, with picturesque promenades providing stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

The western part of Oslo’s Aker Brygge features a bustling street that serves as a central thoroughfare for locals and tourists alike. Here, visitors can explore the brick facade buildings and trendy shops that line the streets, creating a vibrant atmosphere.

At the southeastern end of Aker Brygge in Oslo lies a ferry pier offering convenient access to nearby islands and attractions. This adds an extra layer of exploration for those looking to spend time and expand their Oslo experience beyond mainland activities.

In addition to its daytime charm, Aker Brygge in Oslo comes alive after dark with its vibrant nightlife scene and cultural events. The area hosts various concerts, art exhibitions, and festivals throughout the year in Oslo, making it an ideal destination for evening entertainment.

9. Visit the Royal Palace and its gardens

The Royal Palace in Oslo offers visitors a glimpse of Norway’s royal residence, showcasing impressive architecture and lovely rooms. The palace park in Oslo features beautiful grounds with gorgeous displays, making it a popular attraction for sightseeing.

Exploring the lush gardens in Oslo provides an opportunity to admire the landscaping and stunning city views while learning about the monarchy’s history and traditions. The palace tour allows several visitors to witness the grandeur of this historical site, including its impressive marble walls.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich culture as they stroll through the picturesque gardens and take in the beauty of this majestic castle. The combination of captivating architecture and serene surroundings makes it a must-see for anyone visiting Oslo.

10. Take a boat tour of the Oslofjord

Cruise through scenic fjords with stunning coastal views and discover charming islands, fortresses, and coastal landmarks. The adjacent Oslo Fjord offers several fjord tour options, providing an opportunity to immerse in the breathtaking natural beauty while learning about the region’s history and culture.

Many travelers opt for cruise operators that offer informative guided tours in Oslo, ensuring both relaxation and education during the journey. With various ferry companies and tour passes available, visitors can choose from different types of experiences such as fishing excursions or group tours.

For those seeking adventure, inflatable boats are also available for exploring hidden gems along the northwest passage of the fjord. Short ferry rides in Oslo allow tourists to hop between islands at their leisure.

The Oslofjord is not only a picturesque location but also provides an excellent setting for photography enthusiasts looking to capture memorable moments against the backdrop of Norway’s stunning coastline.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top things to do in Oslo?

Oslo offers a plethora of activities! From visiting the iconic Opera House to exploring Viking history at the museum in Oslo, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss strolling through Vigeland Sculpture Park or taking in breathtaking views from Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo.

Is it worth visiting the Norwegian Folk Museum?

Absolutely! Immerse yourself in Oslo, Norway’s rich cultural heritage at this open-air museum. Explore traditional houses, churches, and artifacts in Oslo – it’s like stepping back in time without needing a DeLorean!

How can I make the most of my visit to Aker Brygge waterfront?

Take a leisurely stroll along this vibrant area in Oslo filled with shops, restaurants, and stunning views of the fjord. It’s perfect for people-watching and soaking up that classic Scandinavian charm.

What’s unique about the Astrup Fearnley Museum?

This contemporary art haven in Oslo showcases cutting-edge works by both established and emerging artists. Prepare to have your mind blown by avant-garde pieces in Oslo that will leave you pondering life’s deepest questions… or just scratching your head in confusion!

Should I take a boat tour of the Oslofjord?

Without a doubt! Hop aboard for picturesque vistas of islands, forests, and charming coastal villages. Plus, you get bonus points for living out your inner Viking fantasies on these epic waters!