Velkommen til Oslo!
Surrounded by picturesque fjords, beautiful lakes, and lush forests, Oslo, Norway, is the capital of the country and a must-visit destination for travelers exploring the northern parts of Europe. Steeped in culture, this cosmopolitan city boasts everything from world-class museums, art galleries, and architectural wonders to an amazing culinary and nightlife scene.
Worldwide locals know the best places to visit in Oslo and how to avoid tourist traps which overcrowd sightseeing attractions in the city. Without further ado, we present you the insider’s guide to the lovely city of Oslo!
Navigating Oslo is relatively easy as you can reach all the cool attractions in the city on foot, by using the city’s excellent public transportation, or by renting a bike to cycle between the Oslo hotels and the major hubs.
Where to Begin: Oslo Highlights
To kick off your Oslo travel experience, pay a visit to the fabulous Oslo Opera House. Located right on the harbor, this is one of the most iconic buildings in Norway, offering spectacular views of the city and the islet of Oslofjord from its rooftop. While you are in the neighborhood, enjoy a sauna and bath at SALT. Whether you are an experienced sauna enthusiast or someone who is new to the world of saunas, this place caters to every type of visitor. To learn more about the Norwegian culture, a visit to the Norwegian Folk Museum is a great addition to your travel itinerary for Oslo. With around 150 traditional farms and houses, this is one of the world’s largest open-air museums.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time to visit the capital of Norway is in summer from late May to August when day temperatures range between 20-30 °C (68-86 °F). Keep in mind, you are in the northern part of Europe now, and it can get chilly in the evening. You’ll want to pack a light coat, even when visiting Oslo in summer.
Day Trips and Adventures
The main island of Oslo Fjord, Hovedøya, is easily reachable by ferry. Here, you can go for a walk through lush forests, explore monastery ruins, or just chill on the beach. For nature lovers looking for a worldwide local experience, we’d suggest a hike through the Nordmarka Forest, which you can admire as you’re descending into the Oslo airport. The forest boasts dozens of trails, as well as cabin cafes where you can unwind with a refreshing drink after a long day of hiking.
Worldwide Local Tip: Besides bringing a comfy pair of shoes for nature walks and a jacket for cool evenings, it’s advisable to pack your raincoat and an umbrella. Oslo doesn’t have a rainy season, but it can rain frequently even in summer.
For the International Hipster
A visit to the authentic and vibrant neighborhood of Grünerløkka is a great way to experience the urban, hipster life of Oslo. Situated by the Akerselva River, this district used to be a working-class area before it was transformed into something that the locals like calling Oslo’s Notting Hill. Grünerløkka boasts many trendy cafes, bars, and boutiques, and is a great place to have a relaxing time in Oslo. It’s also home to world champion barista Tim Wendelboe’s coffee shop. Locals will tell you that for a peaceful walk, among picturesque streets dotted with old wooden houses, its best to visit the pretty neighborhood of Kampen.
Worldwide Local Tip: Unlike the other capitals in Europe, Oslo doesn’t have “bad” neighborhoods or areas that you should avoid. Therefore, feel free to explore all parts of the city--go ahead and wander as you enjoy the brisk Oslo weather. That being said, all are advised to use caution when visiting a new place, as tourists seem to stick out like a sore thumb.
Oslo Cuisine: Where and What to Eat
Over the last decade, Oslo has become one of the best culinary destinations in the region. From the Neo Nordic cuisine to International dining establishments, offering everything from sushi to pizza, the food scene in Oslo will definitely satisfy your taste buds. Locals know where to find good food in the city and can point you in the right direction. For a unique local experience, pay a visit to Rådhusbrygge where you will find fisherman selling the fresh catch of the day. The ready-to-eat boiled shrimp is one of the most popular options.
You also have the fabulous Vippa, a new food court situated inside an industrial building. Expect to find various stalls offering food like crab sandwiches, tacos, and much more. If you don’t mind the large crowds of tourists, Mathallen Food Hall should be your next foodie destination. From Nordic food to street food, from all over the planet, this place has it all. Mathallen Food Hall houses cookery classes, demonstrations, and even hosts a couple of culinary festivals.
Travelers who wish to try delicious burgers should check out Munchies. Enoteca, in Frogner, is an ideal place for visitors who want to drink wine while eating tasty Italian food like antipasti and pizza. Delicacies from the Nordic cuisine can be found at places including Brutus, Bass Oslo, and of course the popular Maaemo Restaurant, which has 3 Michelin-stars.
Worldwide Local Tip: Beer is the most popular drink in Oslo, but going out in the city can be expensive. Grünerlokka is the best place to go out at night, but there are also plenty of bars close to the main square of Olaf Reyes Plass.
Enjoy Oslo as a Worldwide Local!
A visit to Oslo is an experience unlike any other and worldwide locals know some of the best spots worth visiting. Explore the streets of Oslo and find the best sights and attractions.