5 things to do in Oslo, Norway

Holmenkollen-Oslo - things to do in Oslo, Norway on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Top 5 things to do in Oslo, Norway – If there is one thing Oslo is most famous for, it’s probably how expensive it is. It has this reputation for a reason and just like a trip to Japan or Switzerland, it’s probably not the best place to go if you are on a tight budget. This is a pity, as the Norwegian capital is one of the most underrated cities in Europe, with a wide array of attractions for tourists. Here are my five picks:

Visit the opera house

Opera House Oslo - things to do in Oslo, Norway on GlobalGrasshopper.com

If you’re an architecture or photography buff, a trip to the Opera House is essential. The stunning white building, opened in 2008, is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, but you don’t even need to splash out on a ticket to make it worth visiting. Climb up the sloped roof for gorgeous views over the bay and then sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

After you’ve relaxed up on the rooftop, wander back down, take a stroll through the beautifully designed atrium and have a drink in the seafront cafe. Now will be a good time to have a look through the hundreds of photos you’ve inevitably taken of this marvel of modern architecture.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park Oslo - things to do in Oslo on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Located within Frogner Park, in the west of the city, is located one of the most daring and visionary artistic statements in the world. The sculpture park is the vision of one man, Gustav Vigeland and contains 212 of his sculptures within 80 acres. Amazingly, the park was a 41 year project and now offers you the opportunity to stroll among his marvellous creations.

The park is conveniently open 24 a hours a day and I recommend visiting at dusk. The combination of the light, the environment and the stunning works of art makes this an absolute must see.

Museums

Viking Ship Museum Oslo - things to do in Oslo, Norway on GlobalGrasshopper.com

Oslo is one of those cities with an almost unlimited supply of museums and attractions, so if you’re looking for things to do in Oslo it’s a great idea to get yourself an Oslo Pass and hit as many as you can within the time limit. I particularly recommend heading over to the peninsula of Bygdøy, where you can find the Kon-Tiki museum, the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Ship Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Fram Museum all within fairly close proximity.

I also greatly enjoyed the Nobel Peace Museum. Unlike the other Nobel Prizes which are awarded by Sweden, Norway presents the Peace Prize and this museum celebrates its recipients since the inception of the award in 1901.

See the Scream

The Scream - things to do in Oslo, Norway on GlobalGrasshopper.com

One of the most recognisable images in the world, Edvard Munch’s The Scream is one of the world’s great works of art. There are four Screams in the world, and three of them are in Oslo. The fourth has just been sold at auction to a New York financier, so if you want to see this masterpiece face to face, you’re going to have to head to Oslo.

You can find two versions in the Munch Museum, but I headed to the National Gallery in downtown Oslo. Surprisingly for a Saturday afternoon, the gallery was pretty deserted. Admittedly it was April, but I didn’t expect an opportunity to spend some alone time with Munch’s masterly vision.

Holmenkollen

Holmenkollen Oslo - things to do in Oslo Norway on GlobalGrasshopper.com

In the suburb of Holmenkollen, you can find one of the world’s finest international ski jumps, but being a skiing fan is not necessary to visit this particular attraction (although there is a very well presented museum there for ski buffs).  In fact, for the best views in town, you need to take the lift to the top of the jump and take in the city from the viewing platform. You also get the chance to have an idea of what it must be like for the skiers as they sit at the top of the slope, ready to hurl themselves down before they take off and glide through the air. Personally, I preferred to take the lift…

Written by regular contributor James Taylor. All photos were taken by James Taylor. Also see his other posts on Five things that makes Iceland unique and My North Korea Travel Experience

Originally from the UK, James is an English teacher who has lived in Brazil, South Korea and Brussels. Currently based in Costa Rica, he is developing a taste for more unusual holiday destinations. His favourite cities are Tokyo, Seoul, Buenos Aries and Hoi An. Follow James on Google+ and Twitter

7 Comments

  • Jaymo

    10 September, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Good places, all, but a couple of other suggestions? Take the tram line 1 to the last stop Frognersetteren (couple stops past Holmenkollen stop) and walk down the little path to Frognersetteren restaurant, a traditional place that looks all Viking and has killer views of Oslo. On the other side of the city, Ekeberg Restaurant has the best (I think) sunset views of Oslo looking down toward the harbor. Once past winter, the ferries carry you to several islands just outside Oslo Harbor for the price of a bus ticket…really cool to walk around an island in the fjord, and some have beer too! Maybe the best and funkiest pub is the Dubliner, in the old part of town near the harbor…reminds you immediately of Temple Bar, and friendly folk serving. For those into Munch, the Munch Museum is superb, though the Munch room at the National Gallery has a small but superb collection of his works too, and it’s arguably easier for the tourist to get to sans taxi. Nice article, thanks!

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