Oslo Norway

Top 5 things to do in Oslo Norway

Top Five Things to do in Oslo (Norway)

Oslo Norway offers the opportunity to reconnect with the beauty of unspoiled nature. Fresh, clean air and a vast expanse of untouched forest awaits you here. Stunning glacial fjords and hiking experiences alongside crystal clear water with the backdrop of the imposing mountains is only a short bus journey away from Norway’s capital.

In the centre of Oslo, you can explore great art such as sculptures by Gustav Vigeland in the Frogner Park, the largest park in the West End borough where you can combine art with attractive views of the surroundings. Immerse yourself in Viking history at the Viking Museum or make your way over to the contemporary Oslo Opera House for some outstanding performances.

Here are my top five things to do in Oslo!

2. Bygdøy Peninsula

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The pleasant region on the west side of Oslo is Bygdøy Peninsula, this breath-taking area will draw you back again and again to appreciate its changing landscape. Just a 20-minute train journey from Oslo’s Central Station makes it an easy commute. Alternatively add to the adventure by getting there by boat leaving from Pier 3 by the City Hall.

It is home to a whopping five national museums, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum (dedicated solely to the Kon-Tiki expedition and housing an impressive 8,000 books in their extensive library), the Norwegian Folk Museum, The Fram Museum (dedicated to the Fram expedition where you can actually step on board the original ship!) and of course the famous Viking Ship Museum. 

Not only can you immerse yourself into the culture of Norway here, but you can really appreciate its wild beauty by taking part in the number of coastal trails, hiking through the countryside or having fun on the beaches of Huk.

2. Viking Ship Museum

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You will find this culturally rich museum in the Bygdøy Peninsula area that I mentioned above. The Viking Ship Museum is actually an extension of the University of Oslo’s Cultural History Museum. This wing opened in 1926 and houses the ship graves of Tune, Borre, Gokstad and Oseberg. The latter was rescued from its mud time capsule in 1904/5 and it has been perfectly preserved as if no time has passed at all. A truly startling sight to behold.

You will be able to get up close to historical objects that were excavated from the ships such as beds, carpentry objects, fabrics and even a whole cart! 

Drama plays a key part on your visit, and you can get a sense of the noise and the sounds you might have heard as a Viking as films are played throughout the museum to bring the varied history of the Vikings to life while you move through the artefacts.

3. Frogner Park

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You will find Frogner Park in the region of Frogner in Oslo and the open space is a massive 45 hectares in size. Without a doubt it is the busiest tourist attraction in Norway with 1-2 million visitors a year but as it is so colossal you never feel crowded. A visit to this romantic park is also an opportunity to visit Frogner Manor built in 1750 on the south side of the park and Oslo Museum. 

Frogner Park is famous for its art and its sculpture, it is free to enter 24 hours a day at any time of year so this is an activity that you can enjoy multiple times, take your time to explore and not worry about the bank balance! There are an incredible 212 sculptures here created in bronze, iron and granite by Gustav Vigeland including The Monolith, The Wheel of Life and the famous The Angry Boy.

The Monolith is a stunning sculpture standing proudly at the highest point of the park and is 17 meters above the ground. It displays 121 human figures of all ages and gender huddled and clinging together, carved out of one stone block it really is a sight to behold and captivate.

The Angry Boy is made of bronze and shows an angry young man about to stamp his foot (think toddler tantrum immortalised in sculpture), this is the most sought after piece to be photographed with and has been so popular with tourists compelled to hold Angry Boys’ hand that it has had to be recoloured by an individual several times to protect Vigelands details from being lost.

If you want to boost your Instagram profile then Frogner Park is simply picture perfect.

4. Vigeland Museum

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Just outside Frogner Park stands the imposing neo-classical building dedicated to Vigeland so it seems a natural progression to head here after your visit through the park. What is fascinating about this building is that it was once Vigeland’s actual studio and residence so you can really allow yourself to imagine the processes and creativity that took place within the rooms that you visit.

This dominant building was part of a deal that Vigeland made with the council that he could live and work there for the donation of his works to Oslo. For almost 20 years this was his home, and his private rooms are preserved with items he himself designed so you can get a sense of the artist as a truly rounded character.

The museum is free to enter and there are frequent temporary exhibitions as well as permanent displays. A fantastic addition to the Frogner Park experience.

5. Fram Museum

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This marvellous museum shaped like a triangular prism can be found in the Bygdøy Peninsula and its focus is on the bold polar explorations of Nansen, Amundsen and Sverdrup between 1893 and 1912. 

The Fram was the unbelievable wooden ship that was the vessel for three of the most arduous and daring expeditions of the time that tested the men’s courage, abilities and resources to the brink. The clever design and engineering made the ship very different to its peers being exceptionally great in width and being unusually lacking in depth.

What is really powerful about this building is because of its sloped roof you can sit on the deck of the ship and with the projections of the choppy sea and the moving sails all around you, there is an overpowering feeling of what it could have been like. Crawl into igloos, climb down into the depths of the ship to explore and get interactive with the exhibit. Here you are encouraged to touch, move, feel and engage. See where the cook would have prepared the meals for the men, watch the

engineers in the boiler room. A fascinating experience where you can immerse yourself into the history of exploration from this region. 

Take your time to have a wander around the extensive gift shop for some keepsakes of your day.

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