Are you planning a trip to Oslo?

There are a lot of attractions and activities in Norway’s capital so it can be difficult to choose where to go.

Fortunately, we’ve done some research and picked out the best things to do in Oslo.

Here are our recommendations.

Table of Contents

1. Oslo Opera House

The Oslo Opera House hosts the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet.

It is one of the most popular landmarks in Oslo.

Overlooking the Oslofjord, this original modern building is situated in the center of the capital city.

It offers a spectacular view from the rooftop.

Besides the views, you can also enjoy dinner or drinks at the Opera House.

The most visually striking feature of the Opera though, is the white marble roof.

It gives the impression of the landmark rising from the Oslofjord.

Because of the incredible location, at times, concerts take place on the roof or foyer.

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2. Frogner Park

Frogner Park is a public park in Oslo, Norway.

However, the park is mainly popular because of the Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement located in the center.

Vigeland’s sculptures are spread along an 850 meter long axis and divided in five major areas.

Because of the land size, 192 iconic statues were placed here depicting the artist’s view on life and relationships.

The areas include the Main Gate, the Bridge with the Children’s Playground, the Fountain, the Monolith and the Wheel of Life.

While known mostly for its beautiful sculptures, Frogner Park also hosts the largest collection of roses.

3. Vigeland Museum

The Vigeland Museum houses a large part of the sculptures as well as the other artistic expressions of Gustav Vigeland.

A great number of his sculptures are also exposed in Frogner Park.

This 1 acre neo-classical building takes you through a fascinating process of creation and the ideas behind his unique work.

For example, there are 420 landscapes carved in wood, personal objects designed from iron and over 100 portraits of historical figures.

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4. Munch Museum

The Munch Museum is an art museum with famous paintings, graphic art and sculptures created by Edvard Munch.

It was first opened on Munch’s 100th birthday.

Located near the south side of the beautiful Botanic Garden, the museum displays the largest collection of the famous artist’s work.

Besides the renowned pieces of the artist, you’ll also see some less conventional artwork created by Munch, such as woodcut plates, books, lithographic stones, etchings or newspaper collages.

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5. Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum is part of the Museum of Cultural History.

It is an organization of the University of Oslo that owns the biggest collections of prehistoric and medieval items of Norway.

This particular museum displays Viking ships in almost perfect condition.

For example, you’ll see the Oseberg Ship, the Tune Ship and the Gokstad Ship.

There are also other archaeological remnants from the Vestfold and Østfold counties in Norway.

A visit here will give you a great insight into the history of these Scandinavian people.

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6. Royal Palace

Located in the heart of Oslo, on a hill named Bellevue, the Royal Palace is the home of the King and Queen of Norway.

This stylish neo-classical building from the 19th century overlooks the city’s thoroughfare, Karl Johans gate.

Guided tours during summer will showcase its 173 rooms.

Beyond this season, the park and surroundings is still open to the public.

There is a lake inside the park and statues that will give you a peek into the Norwegian history.

Most visitors come to see the Changing of the Guard or just for the spectacular view.

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7. Nobel Peace Prize Center

The Nobel Peace Center hosts a gallery of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their accomplishments.

The Center is also part of the network of Nobel institutions and serves as a setting for cultural and political events.

Most events aim to bring social issues of today to the attention of the public.

Many Nobel Peace Center displays are interactive.

There are also many events that take place including theater plays, conferences and children activities.

Official site

8. Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress is a national symbol for Norway.

It was formerly a prison, but it was transformed into a fortress to protect Oslo.

As a result, the city has never been taken under siege.

Overlooking the Oslofjord in the heart of Oslo, the fortress has served as a seat for kings.

The military owns Akershus fortress, but it is still open to the public.

Sometimes is hosts receptions and weddings.

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9. National Gallery 

The National Gallery displays the widest collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures in Norway.

The 19th century building houses original works of famous artists from all over the world, from the romantic period to modernism.

One of the four versions of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is also displayed here in a special exhibit.

Apart from the permanent exhibits, the National Gallery has temporary displays of modern art.

Before you visit, check the museum’s website to see if there are any special lectures or concerts.

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10. City Hall

The Oslo City Hall is one of the landmarks of the Norwegian capital.

It is also the headquarters of the city council and city administration.

Inside, most of the murals depict scenes in the Nordic mythology and history.

However, since the City Hall was built during World War II, there are some murals representing images of this event as well.

Now, City Hall is famous for hosting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year on December 10.

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11. Parliament

The majestic Parliament building in Oslo houses the Norwegian Parliament.

It was designed in a French and Italian fashion.

On arrival, you can expect to get insights in Norway’s political history.

You can also see a small art gallery inside.

In front of the Oslo Parliament is a green space where you can enjoy the summer afternoons.

If you are there at night, take photos of the illuminated building.

Similarly, the Royal Palace on the opposite side is lit up at night.

The hop on hop off bus tour stops at the Parliament. 

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12. Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum houses the largest collection of plant, animal and geological specimens in Norway split into three areas.

This includes the Zoological Museum, the Geological Museum and the Greenhouses.

It is located in the center of the Botanical Garden in Oslo.

About 7500 plant species of plants surrounds the Natural History Museum making it a great picnic spot as well.

If you book the Oslo Pass, entry tickets will be included.

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13. Oslo Spektrum

Oslo Spektrum is the arena where most of the events in Oslo happen.

This includes large-scale concerts, conferences, family events, exhibitions and sports events.

The arena is located in the heart of Oslo, right at the Oslo Central Station.

Oslo Spektrum has 5,000 sq. meters and it is the only trade expo facility situated centrally in the capital-city.

Official site

14. Fram Museum 

The Fram Museum is located on the Bygdøy Peninsula.

It presents the Norwegian polar artefacts brought back by explorers who returned from their trips.

The main attraction is Fram which is the strongest wooden vessel ever made. 

It still holds the record for sailing both to the North and South Pole.

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15. Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is an open-air museum.

It showcases the history of how Norwegian people lived for the past 500 years.

Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, within a walking distance from other major attractions, the museum has 150 buildings from different times and regions.

The museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions suitable for all ages.

There are also live demonstrations of the lifestyle of Norwegians in different epochs.

Catch the hop on hop off bus to get to The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

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16. Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology

The Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology stands out as a symbol of progress in the Oslo cultural life.

It displays historical groundbreaking inventions and discoveries in Science, Medicine, Technology and Industry.

The Planetarium, the Science Center, the Robot Center and the National Museum of Medicine are also part of the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology.

There’s lots to see so have a break at the museum’s cafe.

They offer a wide variety of Italian and Greek food as well as desserts and drinks.

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17. Mini Bottle Gallery

The Mini Bottle Gallery is a one-of-a-kind private collection of miniature bottles.

The museum houses 50,000 mini bottles.

Most are displayed in more than 50 modern installations.

The 3 story building in the heart of Oslo has thematic rooms and a bar decorated with miniature bottles.

Fortunately, alcohol is served in normal-sized bottles!

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18. Oslo Reptile Park

The Oslo Reptile Park contains more than 100 species of reptiles in a two-level house.

Located close the to the city center, the museum has a wide range of exotic and colorful animals.

For example, you’ll see spiders, snakes, monkeys and crocodiles.

The Feeding Show on Tuesday is very popular.

The Oslo Reptile Park is also a unique place to throw a birthday party, a corporate event or even weddings.

If you have an Oslo Pass, you can enter for free.

Book Pass  Official site

19. Kon-Tiki Museum

The Kon-Tiki Museum hosts the world famous adventurer Thor Heyerdahl’s rafts as well as other artefacts part of his expeditions around the world.

Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, the building is split into 7 permanent exhibitions showing Heyerdahl’s sea travels.

There are also temporary displays during the year.

An onsite restaurant provides a nice break from exploring this popular museum.

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20. Norwegian Maritime Museum

Overlooking the Oslofjord on the Bygdøy Peninsula, the Norwegian Maritime Museum tells the maritime history of Norway.

There are many exhibitions on ship buildings, marine artefacts and fishing.

The exhibitions include a large number of ship models, plans, old boats, and paintings.

You’ll also have the chance to see a documentary on the Norwegian Coast which runs every 30 minutes.

For free entry, book an Oslo Pass.

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21. National Museum – Architecture

The National Museum – Architecture exhibits drawings, photos, architectural sketches and models.

The building that houses the museum is an attraction in itself, combining classic and modern designs through the work of famous Norwegian architects – Sverre Fehn and C.H. Grosch.

During the year, there are temporary displays focused on current trends in architecture around the world.

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22. Museum of Contemporary Art

The Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art houses approximately 5,000 local and international artworks, with the oldest ones dating back to 1945.

There are three permanent displays and along with temporary exhibitions throughout the year.

These could be works from video-art, drawings, paintings, sculptures and other objects.

Official site

23. Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art displays art works of American artists but also international contemporary artists.

The collections date back to 1960s and highlights individual artwork rather than artistic periods. 

In the beginning, it focused on American artists such as Paul Chan and Dan Colen.

Today, it has expanded to important works of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Brazilian and European contemporary artists

In addition to its art displays, the museum hosts art book launches, conferences and other events.

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24. Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral is the main church of The Church of Norway’s bisphoric.

Consecrated in 1697, the church is Oslo’s third cathedral where several royal weddings and other public events took place.

Oslo Cathedral was recently restored, but the original altar, stained glass windows, ceiling murals, the pulpit and the organ front were kept.

The style of the church is baroque combined with Gothic.

25. Oslo Winter Park

Oslo Winterpark is the largest ski resort located in Oslo.

The attraction features ski slopes, special areas for children, slopes, a terrain park and chair lifts.

It also has the first Olympic Superpipe and a halfpipe.

During the warm season, the area adjusts to summer sports.

Oslo Winterpark offers several ski schools for kids and adults as well as equipment for rent.

You can also benefit from a private instructors. 

Official site

26. Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum

For a different perspective on skiing, visit the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum.

This is a standout landmark in Oslo where you can learn about the history of skiing.

You won’t be allowed to ski down this huge ramp, but there is a zipline if you’re an adrenaline junky.

There’s also a ski simulator so you can test your skills.

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Still can’t decide where to go?

Perhaps the best option is to book an Oslo Pass which covers a huge list of things to do.

There are also discounts for restaurants, activities and shows.

Book Oslo Pass

For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!