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Best things to do in Oslo

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Where in the world: Europe  /  Norway  /  Eastern Norway  /  Oslo
Things to do in Oslo include trips to Viking Ship Museum, which houses three Viking vessels and other artifacts. A guided tour of Stortinget--the seat of Norway's government--is possible for those interested in learning about the country's political history and struggle for independence. For those wishing to leave the city behind and spend some time jogging, biking, hiking, or swimming, Paradisbukta offers plenty of waterside space with lots of shade for picnics.

Oslo is best known for its Art Museums, History Museums, and Parks.

Top 15 things to do in Oslo

1. Akershus Castle and Fortress (Akershus Slott og Festning)

Originally constructed to defend the medieval town, Akershus Castle and Fortress (Akershus Slott og Festning) has since undergone several renovations and today stands as one of the city's symbols. Built in 1290, the castle boasts sturdy stone walls and fortifications that withstood 500 years of sieges and attacks. Visit this landmark and explore its grounds, which once served as the nexus of the national government and the seat of power for Norway's royal rulers. Outside, wander the cobbled pathways and courtyards surrounded by brick buildings and an imposing clock tower. Inside discover the different chambers and sections that now house military museums, historical displays, and a mausoleum with the tombs of Norwegian royalty. Keep in mind that, depending on the time of year, you may need to join a guided tour in order to access the castle.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $15 › Learn more about Akershus Castle and Fortress (Akershus Slott og Festning)

2. Kon-Tiki Museum

Dedicated to one of Norway's most well-known pioneering spirits, Kon-Tiki Museum displays the vessels, artifacts, and personal effects of Thor Heyerdahl. Heyerdahl famously set sail in 1947 on a raft from South America and traveled to Polynesia in order to reinforce his theory about pre-Columbian island colonization. Visit the museum to see the Kon-Tiki craft used on this excursion, as well as other reed boats Heyerdahl employed on later expeditions. Wander the different exhibits focused on Heyerdahl's life, his vessels, and the life and culture of the islands he visited. Don't miss the collection of more than 8,000 books--a tribute to Heyerdahl's prolific career as a scientist, researcher, and writer.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Kon-Tiki Museum

3. Norsk Folkemuseum

Learn about daily life in Norway through the artifacts and 150 houses relocated from different regions at Norsk Folkemuseum. Founded in 1894, this is the country's oldest and largest folk museum. Walk among the houses that have been set up as a village, and view displays depicting culture and lifestyle from 1500 to the present day. Be sure to see the Viking-style Gol Stave Church that dates back to 1200, one of the five medieval buildings in the museum. Inside, check out the permanent exhibitions on folk art, folk costumes, Sami culture, toys, and contemporary history. Grab a map on your way in, and if you are short on time, let the items labeled "must sees" guide you. To buy some traditional Norwegian crafts, stop in the gift shop on your way out. Be sure to wear proper footwear, as some walking is involved.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Norsk Folkemuseum

4. Kon-Tiki Museum Entrance Ticket

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Thor Heyerdahl (1914-2002) gained worldwide fame when he crossed the Pacific Ocean on the balsawood raft Kon-Tiki in 1947. He followed this up with spectacular expeditions on the reed boats Ra and Tigris. At the Kon-Tiki Museum guests can see original vessels and up-to-date exhibits on Heyerdahl’s expeditions, including Kon-Tiki, Ra, Tigris, Easter Island, Fatu-Hiva, Tùcume, Galapagos, a 30-metre cave tour, an underwater exhibit with a 10-metre model of a whale shark, Thor Heyerdahl’s library, Thor Heyerdahl in person, and Tiki pop culture.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
Tours from $12 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Vigeland Park

Walk around Vigeland Park admiring the life work of Gustav Vigeland, Norwegian designer of this park that attracts more than a million annual visitors. Start at the fountain and work your way around more than 200 sculptures chiseled in granite and cast in bronze and iron. Among the statues representing all the stages of the human life cycle, look for the famous sculpture of an angry boy and the granite monolith with 121 figures symbolizing different emotions.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $51 › Learn more about Vigeland Park

6. Fram Museum

Learn more about the polar explorations undertaken by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, and Roald Amundsen at Fram Museum. Climb aboard the Fram, the original ship used by Nansen on his voyage, and walk in the cabins of the crew members and the main deck to get a feel for what life as an explorer was like during this period. Also, view the ship used in Amundsen's journey through the Northwest Passage, the Gjoa. You'll have the chance to see the scientific equipment and actual artifacts that were used for the explorers' research. Look up at the museum's ceiling during one of their light shows for projections of the ethereal Northern Lights.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Fram Museum

7. Oslofjord

Replete with numerous small islands and winding waterways, Oslofjord and its surrounding environs play home to a large portion of Norway's population. Though more a bay than a stereotypical fjord, the site's geographical impact on the surrounding area throughout history has been significant. Tour the sounds and harbors of the fjord to discover the different cultures and traditions that have developed on different islands, many unique to that particular zone. Use a tour boat, kayak, or canoe to explore the coastal landscape and its accompanying historical sights, including ruined monasteries, old waterfront homes, and vintage lighthouses. After touring, kick back with a drink or a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants along the sea nearby.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $0 › Learn more about Oslofjord

8. Oslo Highlights Bike Tour

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See the highlights of Oslo in one afternoon on a leisurely paced, 3-hour bike tour. Suitable for all fitness levels, your tour takes in top Oslo sights, like Frognerparken (Vigeland Park), Aker Brygge shipyard, the Royal Palace and Akerhus Castle. Following an expert guide, you’ll discover all the insider information about this gorgeous Scandinavian city while exploring its best sites.This small-group Oslo bike tour is limited to 15 people, ensuring you'll receive personal attention from your expert guide.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
Tours from $48 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

9. Holmenkollen Ski Museum

Discover why skiing is so important to Norway's culture and visit a modern ski jump at Holmenkollen Ski Museum. Easily reached by metro, the ski jump was opened in 2010, and stands 64 m (209 ft) high. Hop on one of the enclosed elevators that bring you up to the all-glass starting box, where you can take in a 360-degree view of Oslo. Adrenaline junkies can ride down on Fly Holmenkollen, the zipline that runs 361 m (1,184 ft) and follows the same route as the ski jumpers. Also try the Kollen Ski Simulator, which uses advanced technology to show you what it feels like to ski down one of the toughest slopes. Stop by the museum on your way out to witness over 4,000 years of ski history and learn about how skis were once a necessity in this region. The price of the museum is included in your ticket up to the jump.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Holmenkollen Ski Museum

10. Rådhuset

The site of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony each year, Rådhuset also serves as the nexus for the municipal government and one of the city's most recognizable buildings. Built over a period of nearly 20 years beginning in 1931, the building survived German occupation during World War II. The central facility features modern brick architecture, including two towers rising to a height of 66 m (217 ft). Be sure to listen for the carillon that rings out from one tower on the hour. Explore the interior to see the extensive frescoes and oil paintings that cover the walls, depicting famous events, legends, and themes from Norwegian history. The banquet hall also features paintings of royalty and more oil frescoes.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $15 › Learn more about Rådhuset

11. Vigeland Museum

At Vigeland Museum, walk through the largest park of oversized expressionist sculptures of people made by a single artist. Constructed of granite, bronze, and wrought iron, 200 nude statues portray men, women, children, and families. The park and the museum are the legacy of an early 20th-century Norwegian artist, Gustav Vigeland, who made a deal with the municipality to donate all of his work to the city in return for a workshop. The sculpture garden features five sections stretching from the main gate to the monolithic plateau. Look for the famed "angry baby" sculpture on the bridge near the children's playground. Vigeland's other works, including drawings, sketches, woodcuttings, and photographs can be seen in the neoclassical building of the museum along with his letters, writings, and a personal library.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
Tours from $5 › Learn more about Vigeland Museum

12. The Fram Museum Admission Ticket

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Being the most famous wooden polar vessel in the world, Fram is a symbol of Norway's significant participation in the heroic age of exploration. The centerpiece of the museum is the world´s strongest wooden ship, the polar ship Fram. The public can go on board and take a look around in her cabins, lounges, cargo hold and engine room.Note: This ticket is for the Fram Museum only. Combination tickets with Kon-Tiki or the Norwegian Maritime Museum has to be purchased on site in either of the three museums.
Suggested duration: 1 to 3 hours
Tours from $14 › More about this tour at viator.com ›

13. Munchmuseet

Delve into the life and times of one of Norway's most famous artists at Munchmuseet, which houses the world's largest collection of Edvard Munch's works--a total of 28,000 pieces. Get a glimpse of the artist's personal life and inner spirit by visiting the belongings, tools, and sketches that formed the basis for some of his works. Join a guided tour of the museum (offered in English), to learn more about specific pieces of art, Munch's psyche, and the context of the Expressionist movement as a whole. Be sure to check the museum's website for information regarding special exhibits and temporary displays.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $24 › Learn more about Munchmuseet

14. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Room Escape Games

15. 2-Hour Oslo Fjord Sightseeing Cruise

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Drink in views of Oslo's beautiful setting on the Oslo Fjord (or Oslofjord) on this two-hour sightseeing cruise. It's an enjoyable, relaxing way to get an overview of the city and appreciate its surrounding beauty.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Tours from $44 › More about this tour at viator.com ›