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What to do in Oslo? The 10 must-sees to visit!

to visit the capital of Norway? But where to go and what to see in this superb European city? You look for what to do in Oslo? Here is the 10 essentials not to be missed when you discover Oslo!

1. Oslo Opera House

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The Oslo Opera House is the city’s most iconic landmark. When you discover the Norwegian capital, you cannot really miss it… Located in the Bjørvika district, it was inaugurated in 2008 and has since contributed to highlighting the cultural life of Oslo. With his very modern architecture, this white marble building leaves no one indifferent. It is also one of the largest buildings built in Norway since the Nidaros Cathedral in the fourteenth century. On site, you can attend an opera performance, a ballet or a concert, even if admiring it is already a spectacle in itself. You should also know that the Oslo Opera has several very good restaurants.

2. Oslo museums

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Most museums in Oslo focus on the Bygdøy Peninsula, located west of the city. In particular, you can discover the Kon-Tiki museum, the navy museum or the Fram museum (mythical polar expedition ship). However, two museums in Oslo are particularly interesting and deserve attention: First, you will find the viking ship museum, which features some of the best preserved Viking ships in the world. These boats were all discovered in the Oslo Fjord. They were buried during over 1100 years. Unfortunately, this museum is closed for works until 2025. In addition, you can also discover the norwegian folk museum who, like in Stockholm, presents 155 traditional houses exposed in the open air, which one can visit freely. This museum is very interactive, with shows, the preparation of culinary dishes and the opportunity to visit the interior of certain buildings, with period decoration. Moreover, the staff of the museum wears traditional costumes. Something to make your visit even more lively! Thus, this museum will appeal to both children and adults.

3. Vigeland Sculpture Park

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Gistav Vigeland is a 20th century sculptor of Norwegian origin who has devoted a large part of his life to the realization of the park of Vigeland. Indeed, we find in this park more than 200 sculptures made by the artist, in bronze, granite or wrought iron. All these sculptures represent men, women, children on the cycle of life and relationships theme. The characters are always very expressive, which makes them almost alive… The most famous works are the statue of the “angry boy”, “the monolith” and “the wheel of life”. But all of them will make you smile or touch you in their own way… This park is open all year round and free access. You can spend an hour or two there and take the opportunity to take a break. Because yes, Vigeland Park is above all a huge green space in the heart of Oslo.

4. Holmenkollen Ski Jump

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The Holmenkollen ski jump is the most visited sports facility in the world, but also one of the oldest. Indeed, this structure has been used for ski jumping competitions since 1892 and continues to host them. Made with 1200 tons of steel and built in more than 69 m in height, it is impressive to discover. However, the athletes in competition set off there at almost 90km/h… At the foot of the ski jump, you can find the ski museum, founded in 1923. He shares the history and evolution of this sport and the Olympic Games. The entrance ticket allows you to try a ski jumping simulator: thrills guaranteed! Holmenkollen is located about 10km north of Oslo. This structure is easily accessible by metro or bus from the city center.

5. Akershus Citadel

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Located west of Oslo, Akershus Citadel is a medieval fortress. Its strategic location has given it a story full of twists and turns. Indeed, this citadel has known important battles throughout history. It was even claimed that whoever controlled this fortress controlled Norway! Over time, Akershus Citadel also served as a prison, until the end of World War II. It still has military functions today, although it is also one of the most famous tourist attractions from Norway. In particular, you can visit its ramparts and the interior of the castle. The different rooms are perfectly preserved and well decorated: imposing lounges, banquet halls, dungeons, crypt… You will have enough to immerse yourself in history as if you were there!

6. The National Gallery of Norway

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The National Gallery of Norway in Oslo is the museum that owns the largest art collection in the country. There are more than 4,500 paintings, nearly 1,000 sculptures, but also audio creations and drawings. Among the emblematic works of this gallery, we necessarily highlight The Scream by Edvard Munch and The Madonna by the same artist. However, the vast majority of the artist’s works are exhibited at the munch museum, also established in Oslo. In addition, you will also find in this gallery works by Picasso, El Greco, Van Gogh and Monet. With its 500,000 visitors per year, we can say that this museum is one of the most attractive in Oslo. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday.

7. Grünerløkka district

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This district is one of the trendiest in Oslo. During the industrial revolution, it was developed to accommodate workers’ residences. Then, during the 20th century, the Grünerlokka district has been transformed, welcoming in particular urban art. Colorful murals have emerged there. Cafes, restaurants and independent shops have begun to set up there. Today this neighborhood is busy day and night. It’s a trendy place where you can go shopping, have a coffee in a cozy atmosphere or spend an evening with music.

8. Akker Bryge district

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For more than a hundred years, the neighborhood of Aker Brygge hosted a major shipyard. Today, it has known how to modernize and now has attractive shops, restaurants and bars. It’s a neighborhood where we like to meet, stroll and take advantage of the proximity of the water. A superb walk is also possible along the seaside. What’s more, if the weather is nice, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a coffee on the terrace and a nice view of the Oslo fjord.

9. The Royal Palace in Oslo

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Sober, recent… The Royal Palace of Oslo attracts the eye, but also raises some questions from visitors. It was built in the first half of the 19th century during the reign of Charles III John, King of Norway and Sweden. Even today, it is main place of residence of the Norwegian royal family. It’s known as one of Oslo’s main landmarks, although it doesn’t look particularly impressive at first sight. Its advantage? The changing of the guard which, as in London, offers a daily show from 1.30 p.m. The ceremony lasts approximately 40 minutes. Moreover, to visit the interior of the palace, you will have to book a guided tour. These take place only in the summer. Otherwise, you can stroll in the surrounding park or the particularly charming neighborhood that surrounds the monument.

10. Mathallen Market

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This covered market is an ideal place to taste the best Norwegian specialties when visiting Oslo. We find there a modern and trendy environment, with products from small producers, cooking tastings from around the world and even cooking classes. Large terraces are available to visitors for a meal or a coffee. Going to the Mathallen market will give you the opportunity to taste tasty dishes, at any time of the day, during your trip. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, All day long. Oslo is a beautiful city with a lot to offer visitors, from its stunning scenery to its rich history and culture. If you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing getaway, Oslo is the perfect place for you. Here are a few ideas for things to do on your trip:
  • Stay at a luxury hotel. There are many beautiful and luxurious hotels in Oslo, perfect for pampering yourself and enjoying the finer things in life. Some of the most popular options include The Thief, The Grand Hotel, and The Plaza Hotel.
  • Visit a spa. Oslo has a number of world-class spas, where you can relax and rejuvenate with a massage, facial, or other treatment. Some of the most popular spas include The Well, Artesia Spa Grand Hotel, and Thief Spa.
  • Take a boat trip on the Oslofjord. The Oslofjord is a beautiful and scenic body of water, and there are a number of companies that offer boat trips. This is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and enjoy the fresh air.
  • Go hiking or biking in the mountains. Oslo is surrounded by mountains, making it the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts. There are a number of hiking and biking trails to choose from, offering stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
  • Visit the Viking Ship Museum. The Viking Ship Museum is one of Oslo’s most popular tourist attractions. It houses three Viking ships that were built over a thousand years ago.
  • Take a walk through the Royal Palace Park. The Royal Palace Park is a beautiful and peaceful park located in the heart of Oslo. It’s a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Visit the Akershus Fortress. The Akershus Fortress is a medieval castle that offers stunning views of the city. It’s a great place to learn about Norway’s history and culture.
  • Go shopping in the city center. Oslo has a number of great shopping areas, where you can find everything from high-end designer stores to unique boutiques. Some of the most popular shopping areas include Karl Johans Gate, Aker Brygge, and the Oslo City Center.
  • Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Oslo’s many restaurants. Oslo has a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving everything from traditional Norwegian cuisine to international fare. Some of the most popular restaurants include Maaemo, Statholdergaarden, and Restaurant Einer.
These are just a few ideas for things to do on your luxury and wellness trip to Oslo. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and vibrant culture, Oslo is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

You now have in mind all the information to prepare for your visit to Oslo. I hope this article has helped you to note all the essentials to discover in Oslo. Do not hesitate to share in comments your favorite places in the Norwegian capital.

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