9 Top Tips for Visiting Oslo

Oslo is a wonderful spot to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing city break slightly off the beaten track. It’s quite compact, infinitely walkable and unendingly interesting! Here are my 9 top tips for staying in Oslo.

Archway in the Akershus Festning Fortress

1. Stay in a Hotel Close to Oslo Central Station

As I’ve already said, Oslo is exceptionally walkable. If you stay near Oslo Central Station (Oslo S), you have quick and easy access to trains to the airport, destinations to all over Norway and other destinations in Scandinavia! There’s also a large collection of shops in the adjoining shopping centre.

There are also lots of restaurants that are less than 15 minutes walk away from this general area. The closest sight is also possibly Oslo’s most famous, the Oslo Opera House!

2. Book a Hotel that Includes Breakfast

As you may be aware, Norway, like the rest of Scandinavia, can be quite expensive. If you choose your hotel correctly you can avoid paying a small fortune on your accommodation. However, you will still need to eat, no matter where you stay. If you book a hotel with breakfast you will be able to eat your fill to ready yourself for a big day of touristing! This will also mean that you may be able to get to dinner that evening, with only a small snack to keep you going.

3. Take in a Show at the Oslo Opera House

This is a must for anyone who is interested in theatre/opera/ballet. Even if you aren’t, this place is really worth the visit! The best part is that you can walk all over the roof of this magnificent building. It’s quite a surreal experience to be able to walk directly up to the windows and look down into the foyer and see people going about their business. It’s also a great spot to get that all important Instagram photo!

Night at the Oslo Opera House

If you want to read more about the Oslo Opera House and attending the opera there, click here.

4. Get Yourself an Oslo Pass

Like with the Vienna Pass (for info on that, click here), the Oslo Pass is a no brainer. You get free access to many, if not most, of the main attractions and discounts on load more. You even get discounts in some shops and restaurants which can be fantastic, as eating out can be quite pricey.

My Oslo Pass and the Information Book

The book you get with the Oslo Pass is really clear and concise. It gives you some info on each attraction/restaurant/activity. As far as cost is concerned, it’s quite reasonable. It’s fairly on a par with similar cards for cities across Europe. Here are the prices:

5. Go for a Fjord Cruise

Now, before I go any further, I do need to say that The Oslofjord is not the most scenic. It is however quite interesting. The one I took was with Batservice Sightseeing AS. It was on a motor sailing yacht which was delightfully quaint. The day I went, it was absolutely FREEZING! Well, at least it was for me, the Irish guy who is used to a temperate climate! Hahaha. They were well prepared for this though. They had lots and lots of blankets available for everyone! You could also get hot drinks on board, which was a definite help too!

Warming up with my Cup of Tea on the Boat

I wasn’t alone on this cruise and I have to say we had great craic (Irish for fun)! At one point we were wrapped up like we were on an Arctic Expedition! The scenery was quite nice! It was fascinating to see all the different styles of homes on the islands, many of which are only accessible by boat. I couldn’t get my head around the fact that all this peace and quiet was only a few minutes out from Norway’s biggest city! It could’ve been a totally different world! You also get a totally unique view of the city when you’re out on the water.

Small Island with Houses in the Oslofjord

6. Try the Local Cuisine

Firstly, I need to say that SOME restaurants that serve traditional Norwegian food include whale on their menu. Most places that serve it will make it clear before you take your seat by use of a sign. This allows you to find another place to eat if you feel this is morally unacceptable, or against your personal beliefs/opinions. Don’t allow this to cloud your opinion of what can be a delightfully tasteful culinary experience.

Anyway, you can try local cuisine of other types. There are a multitude of Norwegian style restaurants. Traditional dishes include fish soup and meats such as venison, beef and reindeer. Unfortunately there aren’t many options for vegetarians or vegans. This is improving throughout Norway and many places will also have these options. It might not be traditional Norwegian food though…

Trying Out Some Traditional Norwegian Cuisine

7. Hop up to the Holmenkollen

Hop on the metro and take to approx. 15 minute journey from the city centre up to the stunningly beautiful Ski Jump that is the Holmenkollen. This beautiful piece of architecture boasts an amazing view of Oslo, the Oslofjord and the surrounding countryside. There’s also a wonderful ski museum which is a must if you have any interest in winter sports! Better yet, access to everything is free with the Oslo Pass!

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump

8. Visit the Huge Selection of Museums

Oslo has a hugely diverse selection of museums and galleries. There’s everything from the Norwegian Folk Museum to one about Polar Exploration! In the Folk Museum, you can explore all aspects of normal life in Norway down through the centuries with acres of exhibitions and reconstructions both indoor and outdoor.

The Reconstructed Stave Church at the Norwegian Folk Museum

Another really intersting one is the Viking Ship Museum which houses Viking Burial Ships that are about 1200 years old!

The Oseberg Viking Ship at the Viking Ship Museum

The Akerhus Festning is a Fortress and Royal Castle that also contains a few museums, as well as being a living museum itself. Definitely worth a look!

9. Spend Some Time Exploring the City

As I said already, Oslo is extremely walkable. You can stroll around the very compact city centre and stop off at a few great spots! My favourites were walking in and around the recent developments along the waterfront and the area surrounding the Royal Palace.

The Norwegian Royal Palace

Although I didn’t get to visit when I was there due to time restrictions, there’s an amazing park a short journey on public transport away from the city centre. It’s called the Vigeland Park. It’s a huge outdoor space filled with lots of amazing sculptures. The next time I’m in Oslo, I will most definitely be paying it a visit!

Oslo: Lots Seen, Lots More to See (on my Next Visit)

4 responses to “9 Top Tips for Visiting Oslo”

  1. Jared James says:

    There are beautiful places to visit in Oslo, I am looking forward to Fjord Cruise and others also what would be the best time to visit Oslo where fewer people around and weather would be awesome…
    Jared James recently posted…Sea Eagle SE9 Review: Multipurpose Portable & Lightweight Fishing boatMy Profile

    • admin says:

      I think the best time to visit Oslo is either late May or early September. The weather is a bit better and the crowds will be smaller than they would in the summer months. Beware though, there can be days where it gets colder than you might expect.

  2. Jared James says:

    As long its not Hot I am Good, Thanks for sharing I make sure take some warm cloths in the bag 🙂 Thanks for responding 🙂

    • admin says:

      You’re very welcome! Hope you have a great time!

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