There are appealing things to do in Oslo for every type of traveler, whether they're interested in adventure, cultural, historical, or relaxing activities. The capital city of Norway is the arrival point for many travelers visiting the country, and skipping all of the Oslo attractions to head right for the fjords and mountains would be a mistake, as there is plenty to warrant an entire trip dedicated to this city alone. A unique city break, Oslo offers a variety of music and museums within close proximity to nature for hiking and cycling.
There are many Oslo attractions in the museum category. From the Edvard Munch museum displaying thousands of paintings by Norway’s most famous artist to the Ibsen Museum, an introduction to the playwright set in his former home, there are many opportunities to learn about Norwegian culture throughout the city. The Viking Museum is another popular choice, especially for families.
Karl Johan's Gate
The main street in the center of Oslo is Karl Johan's Gate. Named after King Karl Johan, this main boulevard connects the Royal Palace at one end to the train station at the other. The street is more than 3,200 feet long and is home to the Oslo Cathedral and the National Theatre. Of all the things to do in Oslo in the winter, Karl Johan's Gate is home to one of the most popular. The palace park has a pond that transforms into a skating rink in the winter, a favorite stop for both locals and visitors alike.
If you only have time to visit the top Oslo attractions, you’ll definitely want to go see the new Opera House. Home to the national ballet and opera companies, the building is one of the most recognizable in the city. The Royal Palace opens its doors in the summertime for guided tours, and it is also a very popular attraction for visitors. The Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park is home to more than 200 sculptures, and it's free and open to the public. On a sunny day, this park is even more impressive.
Of all the things to do in Oslo, visiting Kirkeristen is one of the most intriguing. This bazaar was built in the mid 1800s and survives today as a place to buy antiques and handicrafts. There are also a few cafés and restaurants nearby. Other shopping areas include the city center around Karl Johan's Gate, where the pedestrian area is home to many international brands. In the city center there are also shops that specialize in Norwegian design and décor. Independent shops offering creations by young Norwegian designers can be found in the Grünerløkka district.
One of the most popular Oslo attractions is the local cuisine. Salmon and reindeer are considered to be Norwegian specialties, and the city is known for its excellent seafood restaurants. If you’re looking for a Michelin-rated meal, your choices in Norway will be located in or near the capital city. The old city center, Aker Brygge, or the Holmenkollen area offers a variety of options for traditional Norwegian specialties. If you have your mind set on seafood, there are many restaurants around the harbor. If you are traveling on a budget, you’ll want to head for Youngstorget, Grønland, or Grünerløkka where you’ll find quality, informal restaurants.