As you may have gathered by now, there are so many cool things to do and activities in Oslo, but did you know that there are also some pretty cool hotels in the Norwegian capital too?
Oslo boasts a bunch of great hotels scattered around the city. One of my favourite and centrally located hotels in Oslo is the Terminus Hotel, which I have written a little review about as well. With so many great hotels to choose from in Oslo, you want to stay somewhere fun and comfortable.
If you have read my guide to visiting Oslo on a budget, you’ll know that there are many fun hacks that will get you a long way in the city. One of my favourites is downloading the apps for 7-Eleven and Narvesen, and entering your birthday as one of the days you are travelling to Oslo. On the day you will get a free coffee and a treat!
#13 Travel by tram to see the most of the city
Oslo has a great public transport system, consisting of underground subways, buses and trams. The latter is by far one of the best ways to explore the city, and can provide you with spectacular views of Oslo’s famous ‘Barcode’ area (pictured above). For an overview of the different ways to get around in Oslo, check out the route maps before you go.
#14 Go shopping in Bogstadveien
Bogstadveien is a nice shopping street just behind the Palace. The area is quite fancy, and you can easily spend an entire day people-watching along this street. They have shops for any budget, from H&M to By Malene Birger. You’ll also find some great restaurants along Bogstadveien.
#15 Visit the National Gallery
The Norwegian National Gallery contains Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, so if you are an art lover – you’ll want to pay a visit. Famous paintings such as The Scream and Madonna by Edvard Munch can be found here. Definitely one of the most cool things to do in Oslo, especially for an art enthusiast!
#16 Catch a concert
You may be surprised to hear that Oslo actually has a thriving music scene! Telenor Arena, Oslo Spektrum and Valle Hovin are the larger arenas in the city, where you can catch the bigger tours. There are also several smaller venues, such as Sentrum Scene, where you can catch more intimate, often acoustic shows as well.
#17 Go see a musical at Folketeateret
There are plenty of great musicals going on in the city, just make sure you know whether it’s in English or Norwegian first! Folketeateret have been showing the likes of Les Miserables and Mary Poppins for example.
#18 Take a photo with the big tiger
Outside the Oslo Central Station, you will find a large statue of a tiger. Don’t ask me why, but Oslo’s nickname amongst Norwegians is actually ‘the tiger city’. Whether the nickname or the statue came first, I don’t know. Taking a photo with the tiger has become a tourist staple, however!
#19 Go to the Viking Ship Museum
If you are interested in Oslo attractions revolving around the history of the Norwegian Vikings, this should be at the top of your list of things to do in Oslo. A visit to the Viking Ship Museum is not to be missed, and is in my opinion one of the most unusual things to do in Oslo, Norway! Here you will find restored Viking ships and loads of interesting history to explore.
#20 Have a nice dinner at Aker Brygge
Oslo is located by the Oslo fjord, and there are plenty of areas close to the water where you will find stunning views and the opportunity to go for a nice walk. Aker Brygge is a short walk from Karl Johan (the main shopping street), and boasts plenty of restaurants along the fjord. Here you can enjoy everything from a proper steak to Spanish tapas. You’ll really find something for everyone.
If you are visiting Oslo in the summer, make sure to arrive early to scout out a restaurant, or to book your table in advance. It can get very busy on Aker Brygge, especially on the weekends.
#21 Have cocktails in the Grünerløkka neighbourhood
There are several neighbourhoods in Oslo, and they all have their distinct style and reputation. Grünerløkka is considered the hipster area of Oslo, and you’ll find it a little east of the city centre. In the evenings you will find that the neighbourhood comes alive, with many restaurants, bustling bars and an exciting nightlife.
#22 Visit the food markets in Mathallen
Mathallen is a ‘food hall’ inspired by the European indoor food markets. Here you will find stalls, cafes and restaurants, and many food-related activities throughout the year. Make sure to visit their website before your trip to make sure not to miss anything fun!
#23 Go ice skating in Spikersuppa in the winter
‘Spikersuppa’ means ‘the nail soup’ (as in construction nails, not the ones on your fingers), which is a fun nickname given to this water/fountain in the centre of Oslo. You will find it along the Karl Johan Street, and in the winter it freezes over and is turned into a free ice rink!
#24 Have a walk on the roof of the Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is more than just a cultural hall, it is one of the best things to do in Oslo during your visit. The fun design of the Opera House attracts many visitors, and having a walk around the roof is a great Oslo activity for a sunny day. Grab a coffee to go and enjoy the views of the harbour!
#25 Spend a day at Tusenfryd amusement park
If you are looking for thrills, head to Tusenfryd! This amusement park just outside of Oslo is actually Norway’s largest amusement park. You’ll find buses running from the Oslo Bus Station to the park, making it really easy to visit!
#26 Visit the Norwegian Folk Museum
The Norwegian Folk Museum is a great activity in Oslo! This open-air museum has 160 historic buildings, showing you how Norwegians have been living for hundreds of years. You will find indoor exhibits as well, including one displaying the evolution of the Norwegian Bunad (our national costume) throughout the years, amongst other exciting displays.
#27 Explore Akershus Fortress
Akershus Fortress overlooks the harbour of Oslo and is a castle and fortress dating back to the 1300s. It has been a prison, the seat of the royal family, and currently holds barracks belonging to the Norwegian army. There are daily tours taking you around the grounds of Akershus, and they also have a visitor centre where you can get all the information you need. If you are unsure of where to start and what to see in Oslo first; start here. You are also just a short walk from Aker Brygge, so it’s the perfect thing to do in Oslo before dinner!
#28 Walk around in Damstredet
Damstredet is one of the most beautiful streets in Oslo, due to the lovely wooden houses along it. This is definitely one of the more unknown suggestions, but a must if you are looking for some proper Oslo sightseeing! Basically, this area is just really pretty and makes for a great photo spot. All the houses in Damstredet date back to the 1800s, and I promise you that you’ll enjoy a little stroll along this street.
#29 Jump on a ferry to Bygdøy
If you are visiting Oslo in the summer, catching one of the classic ferries to the Bygdøy Peninsula is a must. The ferries depart near Aker Brygge, and make for a scenic tour on the Oslo fjord. The ferries are free with the above-mentioned Oslo Pass, and the ferries operate on a pretty regular schedule.
#30 Rent a bike and explore the city on your own
Why not ditch the schedules and simply rent your own bike to do some exploring? There is no better way to see the city than on your own terms, and you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to navigate around Oslo. Just remember to stay in your lane and follow the traffic signs, and you’ll be good to go!