Being the capital and largest city in Norway ensures that there are a lot of things to do and see for any tourists visiting Oslo, even if only for one day. In fact you might struggle to fit everything into one day, so it all depends on what you are looking for from your visit.
With a rich history that dates back close to a thousand years(Oslo was first founded in around 1000-1040AD!), there is a great deal of attractions worth checking out, including numerous historical buildings and structures, a variety of museums that feature many different exhibitions and artefacts, along with a plenty of other fantastic sights worth checking out.
You can also get a taste for the local cuisine in one of the many restaurants and street vendors that litter the city or even stop by one of the pubs or bars to have a few drinks and a chat with some friendly Norwegians.
Needless to say, there is a lot of different ways to spend a day in Oslo and here’s our pick of the bunch:
The Royal Palace
It is the most important building in Norway, it is the symbol of Norwegian history. Building works started in 1824, it was officially occupied by King Oscar I. in 1849. The Royal Palace is the residence of the King and Queen, and it is owned by the state. The offices and apparatus of the monarchy are housed here. Official dinners and audiences are held regularly, the most important guests – like head of states and prime ministers of foreign countries – stay here during their visit in Norway.
The Palace Gardens are open all year round, the Palace is only open to the public during the summer months, where you can take part in guided tours.
The National Theatre is one of the biggest and most famous venues for dramatic arts in Norway. The first performance was held in 1899. It is open to the public, you can take part in various guided tours to learn about its history and plays.
If you have an extra day and love arts, it is worth to visit the National Gallery in Oslo. The museum has artworks from Renoir, Cézanne, Monet, Picasso, and Dahl just to name a few.
Parliament of Norway
It is also called the Storting building, it can be found in central Oslo. It was designed by Emil Victor Langlet. The first meeting was held in 1866. Limited guided tours are available, check before visiting.
Nobel Peace Centre
The centre was opened by King Harald V. of Norway in 2005. It has welcomed almost half a million visitors since. The centre presents the Nobel Peace Prize and its values, introduces the winners and their work. You can learn about Alfred Nobel and his life. The centre uses interactive technology, multimedia; features exhibitions and guided tours.
Norwegian Folk Museum
There are multiple collections and exhibitions that are on display at the Norwegian Folk Museum, Europe’s largest open-air museum, and they all offer a thoughtful insight into the life of Norwegians that lived long ago. Here you can find exhibitions based around the indigenous Lapps, which features tents, fishing and hunting equipment, as well as clothing worn by these people.
Various other artefacts are found here too, with antique furniture and silverware just a few examples of the relics on display here. Numerous activities are held during the summer, so if visiting at this time, be sure to check it out!
The Viking Ship Museum
It would be a shame to visit Oslo without taking a glimpse into the ancient world of the Vikings! There is no better location for this than the Viking Ship Museum, which showcases some of the best preserved Viking ships in the world, along with various other artefacts relating to the Vikings.
You can also use your ticket for this museum to gain free entry into the Historical Museum!
Oslo Opera House
While you may struggle to catch a show during your visit (although you never know your luck!) the building itself is a sight to behold. Featuring an exquisite design of Italian marble and white granite that is constructed in a way to emphasise the unique shape of the structure, the Oslo Opera House almost looks like it is falling into the harbour that it is built alongside.
Why not take a guided-tour of the building if you cannot catch a performance.
Visit a Coffee-Shop
Oslo has a reputation for being home to some of the best coffee shops in all of Europe, so stopping by one for a hot beverage is certainly a good way to spend an hour or two.
Most cafes in general will have some fantastic coffee available, but particularly renowned locations for gourmet coffee include Tim Wendelboe and Fuglen – the latter of which even sells vintage furniture and sells cocktails in the evening!
Why not take in the sounds of one of Oslo’s greatest jazz club? A renowned location not just in Oslo, but all of Norway and beyond, it is a great place to sit and relax with a drink whilst taking in some fine jazz tunes.
Trying Out the Cuisine
Looking to taste the local cuisine of Norwegians? Then why not try fårikål (a stew that contains cabbage and lamb), kjøttkaker (a type of Norwegian meatball), as well as various fish stews and other seafood offerings, which is no surprise considering Norway is the largest exporter of salmon in the world – so be sure to try out some local salmon if you can!
These can be found in the various restaurants and vendors throughout Oslo, with Dovrehallen and Schrøder being particularly well-priced venues.