OsloTravel Guide

Norway’s gorgeous capital city has culture at its core. Museums, art galleries, cathedrals and Viking history abound throughout the various neighbourhoods in Oslo. Easily explored on foot, there’s also the protected waterway of Olsofjord, which connects Oslo to the North Sea, so you can drink in the sights while enjoying a dinner cruise. If you’re not a culture vulture but an adventure-seeker or you like to be active on holiday, Oslo’s got you covered – from kayaking on the Oslofjord to enjoying snow sports like ski jumping. Those of you in search of peace and serenity will find that the natural beauty of Oslo alone is enough to melt your stress away. There’s also ample entertainment and amenities for families, couples and workationers, as well as for the multi-generational and solo jetsetters. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Oslo.

Oslo quick facts

Language

National language

Norwegian

Beverages

Bottle of Coke/Pepsi (330ml)

AUD $5.19

Local time

Monday

7:58pm

Currency

Norwegian krone

AUD $1.00 = NOK kr7.13

Eating out

Restaurant meal (casual dining)

AUD $30.46

Electricity

Plug type: C

2 pins • 230V

Explore Oslo

Where to stay in Oslo?

Looking for a place to stay in a hip and trendy borough like Grunerlokka? Or maybe you’re in search of a multicultural adventure in a borough where there’s a surprise around every corner, such as in Gamle Oslo (“Old Oslo”)? Whatever vacation you have in mind, there’s bound to be accommodation that’s perfect for you.

If you’re putting your budget on the backburner and you’re looking to splurge on accommodation in one of Oslo’s upmarket suburbs, the lavish and leafy Frogner is where it’s at. It’s the part of the city where you’ll find luxurious hotels with all the trimmings, along with classy antique stores and 5-star restaurants offering international cuisine. The Thief will steal your heart, with 5-star hospitality and just a minute’s walk from the beach. Hotel Verdandi Oslo is another popular choice, known for its delicious breakfast buffet and fuss-free modern rooms.


Soak up the stunning views of the Oslofjord waterway when you settle in at one of high-rise hotels in the city centre (the Sentrum). Scandic Byporten Oslo puts you in the centre of all the action. It’s conveniently located just a three-minute stroll from the Oslo Spektrum, a multipurpose indoor arena which hosts events and conferences, and is used as a music venue, among others. The 4-star, eco-certified Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel combines comfort and modern aesthetic appeal. It also boasts a fitness centre with a sauna and an indoor swimming pool on the top level.


Bordering the cultural melting pot that is Gamle Oslo, trendsetters (and followers) will likely feel a pull towards Grunerlokka, the city’s former workers’ district in downtown Oslo. This is one of the areas to stay where there’s no shortage of welcoming streetside cafés, vintage shops and bustling flea markets. Enjoy luxury without spending a fortune when you opt to stay at the Comfort Hotel Xpress Youngstorget. Anker Hotel is another fantastic accommodation provider within walking distance to many of Oslo’s attractions, including the Oslo Opera House. 


Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • People skiing through ski field surrounded by snowy trees
    • Sunset skyline of Oslo city with ocean
    • Distant image of a boat yard in Oslo with mountains in background
  • People skiing through ski field surrounded by snowy trees
    People skiing through ski field surrounded by snowy trees
    People skiing through ski field surrounded by snowy trees
  • Sunset skyline of Oslo city with ocean
    Sunset skyline of Oslo city with ocean
    Sunset skyline of Oslo city with ocean
  • Distant image of a boat yard in Oslo with mountains in background
    Distant image of a boat yard in Oslo with mountains in background
    Distant image of a boat yard in Oslo with mountains in background

Things to do in Oslo

There’s a wonderful balance of both indoor and outdoor things to do in Oslo, which is why it’s a destination to visit all year-round. Crammed with natural beauty and known for its streamlined transport options (more on that later), it’s easy to hop from one must-see to another.

Arguably one of the best-known landmarks in all of the city is the Oslo Opera House. Designed to resemble an icy glacier and offering access to spellbinding panoramic views of the city, and the sunset if you time your visit right, it’s home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Along with admiring the building itself, be sure to book tickets ahead of time to treat yourself to a show!


Daredevils take note. The Holmenkollbakken ski jump has got your name on it! The jump is from the top of the Holmenkollbakken hill that overlooks the city. If you’re not keen on an adrenalin rush, it’s still worth a visit just to walk through the iconic ski museum, the oldest of its kind in the world.


Oslo’s busiest street, Karl Johans Gate, is dotted with its fair share of landmarks, cafés and shops, making it an ideal destination for a fun-filled day out. A few sights to anticipate are Akershus fortress, the National Theater, Oslo Cathedral and the Parliament Building. Go on an adventure along this street in whatever way takes your fancy: solo and on foot, on a bike, or while mingling with other tourists on a guided walking tour.


If you love nothing more than visiting a museum or an art gallery, you’re going to feel like a kid in a candy shop when exploring Oslo! There are over 50 museums scattered across the city’s winding streets, including the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, celebrated for its art talks and public guided tours. The Kon-Tiki Museum is another one deserving of a spot on your itinerary, dedicated to the life’s work of Norwegian adventurer, Thor Heyerdahl, and his legendary Kon-Tiki expedition of the 1940s.
 


Nature lovers can look forward to exploring and picnicking in Oslo’s botanical garden. Nestled in Tøyen, the gardens boast over 1,800 plants in the arboretum, and collections of more than 6,000 species. There’s also a smaller scent garden and loads of Insta-worthy woven sculptures by British artist, Tom Hare. Other stunning green spaces include family-friendly beaches and parks, like Frogner Park and Vigeland Park, where you can kick back, be as lazy as you like and enjoy life’s simplest pleasures.


Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Oslo

Oslo food and drink

Fill up on Oslo’s famous fresh seafood at a restaurant near the harbour or sample some street food at an indoor market. Rest assured that there are countless restaurants and eateries on the menu no matter where you wind up in Oslo.

If you only eat at one restaurant in Oslo, let it be Maaemo. Why? Because this restaurant serving up Norwegian classics is one of only four three-star Michelin restaurants located in the Nordic countries. So gastronomic perfection is guaranteed! Maaemo offers a seasonal tasting menu and has recently been acknowledged for its sustainability ethos, being awarded a Michelin Green Star as a cherry on top of its existing accolades. RE-NAA is another delight, boasting a menu inspired by nature and featuring ingredients collected fresh from the ocean, fjords, land, forests and mountains. Keep in mind that you’ll need to book well in advance (we’re talking months here) to secure your spot at a table at this exclusive restaurant.
 


The indoor food hall, Mathallen, is the go-to in Oslo for street food. The friendly vendors are ready to dish up some delicious comfort food in the form of heart-shaped Norwegian waffles topped with cloudberries and many other local favourites, such as pickled herring, Polse (the Norwegian version of hotdogs) and Pinnekjott for the meat lovers (sheep ribs that have been generously salted and air-dried).


Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Oslo through your eyes

Where to shop in Oslo?

Get your credit card ready – you’d better believe that there are countless ways to put it to good use in the city! There’s a great mix of both high-end and low-key shopping opportunities in Oslo. From fashionable boutiques to vibey flea markets, you can shop till you drop.

Looking for a place where all you need (and some stuff you don’t need but are keen to buy anyway) is under one roof? Then head to Oslo City Shopping Centre, one of Norway’s biggest shopping malls, spanning five levels. No matter what you’re looking to spend your money on, you’ll find it inside one the centre’s 90 stores. Once a shipyard and now a shopping centre, Aker Brygge is another option. It features loads of unique shops, cafés and restaurants situated around the fjord.


Got your eye on second-hand goods? You never know what treasures you might stumble upon when strolling through a flea market in Oslo. Most of these local flea markets welcome traders of all types, so there is always a variety of interesting booths to peruse. Birkelunden Marked is arguably the most popular flea market in town, known for its vintage clothing and jewellery.


Looking for a safe and simple way to bring your money when you travel? Our Travel Money Card has you covered!

When is the best time to travel to Oslo?

The best times to visit Oslo will depend on the type of getaway you hope to enjoy. Oslo’s average winter temperature is around -2°C (around 28.4°F) so if you don’t mind bundling up to witness this gorgeous city blanketed in snow or to tick a white Christmas off your bucket-list, then a wintertime visit is perfect. Aim to book your flights anytime between December and March. However, if freezing temperatures make you want to hibernate rather than embark on an adventure, your best bet is to make a beeline for Norway’s capital during the warmer months. Oslo quickly bounces back to life when spring hits in April and the locals get even busier once summer rolls around. By mid-June, you’ll likely spot them enjoying a refreshing dip in the Oslofjord or picnicking in the parks and lapping up the natural beauty for which Oslo is so well known. The average temperatures in summer (June to August) are between 20°C (68°F) and 26°C (79°F). Summer is also a time to visit the open-air Norsk Folkemuseum, filled with cultural artifacts and loads of options for family fun.

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How to get around Oslo

There’s no doubt that the most rewarding way of getting around in Oslo is on foot. But if you’re looking to avoid all strenuous activity throughout your holiday and relax to the max, you’ll be pleased to discover that the city is home to a fantastic public transportation system called Ruter, comprising a city Metro service, trams, buses and ferries. What’s more is that the Ruter website makes it easy to access timetables, information regarding delays and route changes, real-time journey suggestions and comprehensive route maps from wherever you are. There’s also a Ruter app for journey planning and buying tickets when on the go.

How does free travel around Oslo sound? The Oslo Pass is your ticket to this holiday luxury, allowing you to travel for free (unlimited) within zone 1 (Oslo) and zone 2, as well as make use of the ferries to Bygdøy for 24, 48 or 72 hours based on the option you choose. Another bonus? Aimed specifically at tourists, the Pass gets you free admission to over 30 museums and attractions in the city as well as access to hearty discounts at participating restaurants, venues and shops.


Need a lift somewhere a bit further afield? You shouldn’t have an issue hailing a taxi from your hotel, but it’s always better to order your ride via Oslo Taxi by calling the company or by visiting their website to avoid any potential delays.


If you’d like to move along on your own schedule but want a step up from “roughing it” on foot, then you might want to look into renting a bicycle. Oslo City Bikes is open between April and November to equip you with a two-wheeler to tour through the capital’s streets at your leisure.


Let us help you organise your own wheels for exploring. Hire a car today.

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Oslo Frequently asked questions

When packing for a trip to Oslo, don't forget the essentials like your visa, passport, chargers, camera, some Norwegian Krone and the correct power adaptor. Clothing wise, check out the seasonality guides and pack to suit the conditions - aka plenty of layers for winter and lighter options for summer. Other necessities include a walking shoes, hat, sunglasses and a fancy ‘fit for the opera. 


Oslo is an incredibly walkable city, so you shouldn’t have any issues navigating all the sites. With this in mind, travellers generally opt to stay in Oslo City Centre, Aker Brygge and Grunerløkka.


Life happens - we get it! Read more here


Oslo offers travellers the chance to experience all four seasons, with mild spring temperatures in April and May, long, hot days from June to August, rainy and overcast weather between September and November, and a cold winter from from December until March. When you choose to go depends on what you’re hoping to experience. Just keep in mind that winter months do have limited daylight, with the sun setting around 3:30 pm. 


When you’re not marvelling at the city’s sweeping views of the Fjord, spend your time in Oslo getting lost in the history at the Viking Ship Museum, catching some music at the Oslo Opera House, taking a day trip out into mountains and sampling some local Norwegian flavours.


Much like the Vikings, Flight Centre's travel experts are seasoned Nordic explorers, and have worked hard to curate the best Oslo holiday packages on the market. Sign up to get the hottest deals sent straight to your phone & emails here. You can also check out our deals online, or speak to one of our Travel Experts.


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