How many days in Oslo

Written by Days In A City contributor Ken

Globetrotters – 24 hours in Oslo

DAY 1 – Sentrum

Morning Akershus Fortress
Afternoon Royal Palace
Evening Frognerpark
Oslo - Royal Palace

Royal Palace

The first thing you will notice about Oslo is the high proportion of expensive cars and beautiful people. That is one aspect of what sets it apart from its Nordic cousins; Swedish stereotypes notwithstanding. Another aspect is the city’s diverse architecture.

You can begin on the waterfront at the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet House, which is gradually becoming the new icon of Oslo. Just a short walk away is the Akershus Fortress, with excellent views of the city and the Oslo Fjord. You can spend an hour or the entire day there. You won’t miss the seemingly out-of-place City Hall nearby. Then head towards Karl Johan’s Gate, the city’s main strip which The National Theater, Oslo University, Stortinget (Norwegian Parliament) and Oslo Cathedral are all strategically located along. The Royal Palace is the monstrosity on the hill at the end of Karl Johan’s Gate. If it suits your fancy, you can catch the changing of the guard just after lunch.

Everyone has heard of “The Scream“. A visit to the National Gallery (aka. National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design) to see this classic painting by Edvard Munch, who resided in Oslo,  is typically high on travellers not-to-miss lists. After you’ve seen enough, head over to visit the tri-cluster of churches north of the centre: Trinity Church, St. Margaret’s and St. Olav’s.

Oslo - Vigeland in Frogner Park

Vigeland in Frogner Park

While wandering around, you will see architecture and art of all sorts, not in the least at Frognerpark which includes the Vigeland sculptures (aka. Vigeland Sculpture Park), a collection of over 200 works by artist Gustav Vigeland. Despite much controversy at the time of opening  in the 1940′s, Vigeland’s sculptures soon became an icon for Oslo.  The park is a little out of the city center and an be reached either by bus #20 or tram #12. Don’t miss the centerpiece titled ‘The Monolith‘. Walk amongst the statues and enjoy the sunset.

After dark you could return to Karl Johan’s Gate where there is a large selection of restaurants and shops.

Vacationers – 48 hours in Oslo

Follow the Globetrotters itinerary for Day 1.


Morning Oslo Archipelago
Afternoon Holmenkollen
Evening Aker Brygge
Oslo - The bustling Aker Brygge with City Hall

Aker Brygge with City Hall

From Vippetangen, you can catch the ferry to the Oslo archipelago. Island hopping and/or fishing can take up a whole day. Otherwise, you can stay on the boat for a 45-minute round-trip through the fjord.

You could also spend anywhere from an hour to several days in Holmenkollen. In the summer, you can go zip lining on the world’s highest ski jump, mountain biking or hiking. In the winter, there is loads of snow to be had at Winter Park. All of this would be accompanied with spectacular views of Oslo and its surrounds.

A great place to catch the sunset and spend the evening would be at Aker Brygge, a funky and bustling area full of cafes, bars, restaurants and a shopping center – don’t expect any of it to be light on the wallet though. Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk and don’t miss the sunset!

Culture Buffs

Follow the Vacationers itinerary for Days 1-2, however art buffs may want to save the National Gallery for Day 3 to make the most of their combined ticket which also encompasses: the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Architecture and the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design.


Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House

Art-lovers and culture buffs would be in for a treat in Oslo. There are copious numbers of art museums, galleries, libraries, music halls and theatres scattered around the city. As well as the National Gallery and it’s connected museums mentioned above, there’s also the Nobel Peace Centre, the Museum of Cultural History and for more Edvard Munch, the Munch Museum.

For history buffs, a greater understanding of Norway’s culture and history can be found in Bygdøy, home to the Viking Ship Museum, Kon-tiki Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and many others.

A tour of the Opera House should also be on your cards, and check their website for performances when you’ll be in town.

Days mapped out

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Ever wondered how long you need to spend in a particular city or place? You can spend hours crawling the web trying to find a well informed answer.

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