Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo’s Best Attractions

Discover Oslo's top attractions from the Munch Museum to Vigeland Park. Perfect for every traveler. Plan your visit now!

Oslo, Norway
Credit: Adobe Stock

As the capital city of Norway, Oslo is full of activities for any type of traveler. Various museums dot the landscape, as well as several outstanding sightseeing opportunities just outside of the city. Oslo is the perfect balance between city life and the mountains that populate this northern country’s landscape.

Best Time to Visit

May to August when the temperatures rise to 60s/70s, but it does still get cold at night.

Places to Go and See

Munch Museum

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Photo by Franz Wender on Unsplash

If you’re an art enthusiast, this is a must-see in Oslo. Located right near the Opera House, explore 13 floors of art in ranging styles and presentations by the renowned Edvard Munch, including his famous painting The Scream.

  • Hours: S-Tu (10-18), W-Sa (10-21)
  • Best Time: All year, indoors
  • Price: 160 NOK Adult, 100 NOK under 25

Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Photo by: Alexandria Wyckoff

If you want to see Oslo from above, take an hour train ride out of the city to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and ride the elevator to the top. Or, learn about the history of the ski jump, which hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics. Finally, instead of just walking down, take a zipline straight over the jump to the very bottom.

  • Hours: May 6 – September 30, 10-17
  • Best Time: June-August as the temperatures will be the warmest as you are standing quite high in elevation
  • Price: 160 NOK

Akershus Fortress

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Photo by: Alexandria Wyckoff

If you enjoy exploring castles and fortresses, then Akershus is just for you. Built at the end of the 13th century, it is now a national arena and hotspot for tourists. Even though visitors may come in, this area is still a military fortress under Akershus’ command.

  • Hours: May 1-September 30, Main gate 6-21, Visitor center 10-17
  • Best Time: For outside during the summer months, inside can go whenever during open hours
  • Price: Free entrance to outside of fortress, but museum inside costs money (100 NOK)

Opera House

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Photo Credit: Alexandria Wyckoff

Seemingly rising out of the water in the fjord, the Oslo Opera House is a perfect balance between the Oslo Fjord and the city. Home to numerous ballets, concerts, and operas, there is a choice for everyone. Or, if you’re not into the arts, take a walk up the marble roof to appreciate the view of Oslo from the top.

  • Hours: Depends on the show you are going to watch – check the schedule
  • Best Time: All year round, but probably during nicer weather if you decide to walk on the roof
  • Price: ~350 NOK if watching performance; Free if want to explore the roof

Check out: Journey Through Bergen, Norway – From Fjords to Fish Markets

Historical Museum

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Author: Wolfmann

Home of one of two best preserved Viking helmets in the world, the Historical Museum also contains the largest archaeological and ethnographic collection from Stone Age to modern times. If Norwegian history is not the only thing you want to see, they also have exhibits on Samurai and Egyptians, a perfect place to expand your worldview into history.

  • Hours: Tues-Sun 10-17
  • Best Time: Open all year long and indoors; go whenever
  • Price: 100 NOK

Vigeland Park

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Oslo, this sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland’s life work, displaying over 200 sculptures made from granite, bronze, and wrought iron. Each sculpture holds human figures in all stages of life, showing the complexity of our lives, but also how we are all the same when stripped down to our bodies.

  • Hours: Always open
  • Best Time: During the warmer months, or at least when all the plants turn green and the flowers bloom to get the full effect
  • Price: Free
  • Museum – Hours: Tues-Sun 10-17, Price: 100 NOK

Hidden Gems

Viking Planet

See the Vikings in a completely different way in these interactive exhibits, highlighting not only how Vikings dressed but major battles they fought in to protect their lands. Using screens, projections, and VR technology, Viking Planet has successfully brought the 21st century to the Vikings way of life.

  • Hours: 10-19
  • Best Time: Any time of the year, as it is indoors and not subject to elements
  • Price: 249 NOK (just for museum, extra for VR experience)

Paradox Museum

Explore the Heart of Norway: A Guide to Oslo's Best Attractions
Photo by Alexandria Wyckoff

Much like their slogan “Expect the Unexpected” this museum is full of mind-bending interactive exhibits that harness your inner child. Though everything is real, many of the exhibits seem to not make any sense at all, but that’s the point of this museum – to show you how quickly reality can be shifted into something “unreal.”

  • Hours: Closed Monday, Tues-Thurs 11-19, Fri-Sun 11-20
  • Best Time: Anytime, since it is indoors
  • Price: 249 NOK

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Mathallen Food Court

Boasting 33 total bars or eateries, this adaptation from a European food court is the best place to try lots of different cuisine from all over the world. Whether you want seafood, game meat, or just a couple of drinks, head over to Mathallen to get the very best.

  • Hours: Closed Monday, Tues-Sat 10-20, Sun 11-18
  • Best Time: Anytime as all the restaurants are under one roof, but you can eat outside in the plaza during warm weather
  • Price: Dependent on the eatery you are visiting (33 total shops)

Top Restaurants

The Scotsman

Any night you decide to go to The Scotsman, you can enjoy quizzes, karaoke night, live music, or watch your favorite sports teams on the numerous televisions set up around the multiple floors of the bar. The cozy atmosphere and prime location make this bar a great place to hang out for hours.

  • Hours: ~11-1 everyday
  • Featured Food: Volcano Burger / Skagen Shrimp & Salmon Sandwich
  • Featured Drink: Little Saturday / Somersby Pear


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Vulkanfisk (@vulkanfisk) • Instagram photos and videos

If you’re looking for fresh, delicious seafood Vulkanfisk has everything you need. You can eat at the restaurant itself, located in a food court setting, or even order fresh seafood to cook yourself. Due to its popularity though, you will want to schedule a reservation ahead of time.

  • Hours: 11:30-20
  • Featured Food: Lobster / Whale Burger

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Helt Vilt

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Helt Vilt (@heltviltoslo) • Instagram photos and videos

If you enjoy “wild” meat, Helt Vilt is the perfect place for you. Serving not only venison but wild boar, moose and even kangaroo, there is a large selection of delicious meals to enjoy.

  • Hours: 11-21
  • Featured Food: Blue Bambi Burger / Kangaroo Steak

Also Read: Hotels vs Hostels – What’s Best for the Solo Tourist?

Top Hotels

Thon Munch Hotel

  • ~100 USD/night
  • Featured Amenities: Complimentary breakfast, Dry Cleaning, Baggage Hold, Laundry Service, Free WiFi, Wake Up Service
  • Hotel Information: Check In 15:00, Check Out 12:00, Paid Parking Nearby

Citybox Oslo

  • ~100 USD/night
  • Featured Amenities: Free WiFi, Coffee Shop, Baggage Storage, Vending Machine, Conference Facilities, 24-hour Front Desk
  • Hotel Information: Check in 15:00, Check out 12:00, Offsite Additional Charge Parking

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo

  • ~200 USD/night
  • Featured Amenities: Free WiFi, Fitness Center, Luggage Storage, Dry Cleaning, Running Trails, In-room Safe
  • Hotel Information: Check in 3pm, Check out 12pm, Valet Parking Services

Grand Hotel Oslo

  • ~300 USD/night
  • Featured Amenities: Free WiFi, Gym, Laundry Service, Restaurant, Room Service, Sky Bar
  • Hotel Information: Check in 15:00, Check out 11:00, Additional Cost Parking

Though the weather may deter some travelers, it is well worth going to Oslo. From the mountain ranges scraping the sky to the museums detailing the lives of the Vikings, there is a rich past and present in this Norwegian city.

Alexandria is a News Editor, writer, and reader of all things literature. She graduated from the State University of... More about Alexandria Wyckoff

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