What to Do and See in Oslo: Itinerary with Map
Are you trying to find out what to do and see in Oslo in 3 days?
Would you also like to receive some advice on how to save money in the capital considered one of the most expensive in Europe?
Then let me tell you that you have landed on the right site. Do you remember all the sentences you have read and heard about how expensive it is to travel to Norway?
If you had any doubts, know that yes, they are very true, unfortunately.. especially as regards the Norwegian capital, Oslo, often defined as the most expensive in Europe.
If you agree, I would say not to waste any more precious time: let’s find out together how to take advantage of the Oslo Pass and the attractions to visit for free in the city.
It will be because I travel’s advice: if you have at least 2 days in Oslo available, you can consider buying the Oslo Pass and use it on the first day, dedicating yourself to the attractions included.
The following days, however, I suggest you buy the public transport ticket , valid for 24 hours, at around €10/20 (depending on how many areas you wish to visit) and dedicate yourself to the free attractions: trust me, there are really many things to see in Oslo for free!
Read on to find out more about public transport tickets.
Day 1: What to see in Oslo
After purchasing the Oslo Pass, dedicate the first day of your visit to Oslo to visit the attractions included for free and the discounted ones. Evaluate the validity of the Pass to be purchased based on how long you will be in Oslo.
You will be spoiled for choice of things to do in Oslo included in the card, but here is a list of the main ones:
- Munch Museum (where you can see Munch’s famous scream live)
- Viking Ship Museum
- Center of contemporary art
- Natural History Museum
- Akershus castle of medieval origin
- Nobel Peace Center
- Holmenkollen: the oldest ski jump in the world.
Choose from all the attractions included in the Oslo Pass, and choose how to develop the first day in Oslo according to your preferences.
Day 2: Oslo what to do and see
Oslo is an avant-garde, modern and ecological city. Here you will find many museums, including the Munch Museum, the Viking Ship Museum and the world’s oldest ski jump.
If you’re in the mood for that old-world charm, you’ll need to head to Damstredet & Telthusbakken, the only remaining timber-framed houses.
Read on to find out what to do and see in Oslo in 3 days. On your second day in the city (when you no longer have a valid Oslo Pass), dedicate yourself to visiting the city’s free attractions.
The only expense I suggest you incur is public transport.
1: Parco Vigeland
This large park is a large open-air museum of bronze, granite and iron statues by the sculptor Gustav Vigeland.
Admission is free and the most famous sculpture is the bronze one of the angry child.
2: Oslo what to do and see: the Royal Palace
Passing in front of the Royal Palace in Oslo is a thing to do; even better if at 1.30pm.
In fact, every day at this time you can witness the changing of the Guard.
3: Anker Brygge
The port of Aker Brygge, is an avant-garde area of the city of Oslo. A real meeting place for locals and tourists.
Strolling next to the Oslo fjord, in a modern district, with shops, restaurants and contemporary buildings, is a must do in Oslo: but it will only be free if you don’t buy anything.
An ice cream around here, you won’t find it for less than 40 NOK (more than 4 €), for example!
4: The streets Damstredet and Telthusbakken
This small neighborhood, made up of two streets with unpronounceable names, is very characteristic: in fact it is the only one left with wooden houses.
In an evolved and avant-garde Oslo, there is still a small corner of paradise for lovers of Norwegian cottages, built around 1800.
5: Oslo Cathedral
Oslo Cathedral is located next to the very central Karl Johans Gate, the main street in central Oslo. While this building won’t go unnoticed, you’ll need a closer look to understand that it’s Oslo’s main place of worship.
The interior is quite stark, but free entry allows you to admire the decorations on the vaulted ceiling.
6: Botanical garden
The botanical garden is located right in the center of Oslo and is open all year round. Access is free. Spending time here is a great way to recharge your batteries in nature.
If you can’t get enough of the outdoors, I also recommend strolling along the banks of the Akerselva River, which runs through the city of Oslo. You will manage to forget you are in a city!
1: Oslo fjord cruise
If you are going to spend 3 days in Oslo, one thing I suggest you book is a mini cruise in its fjord. This will allow you to fully experience the city and the best activities to try.
Here are the top 3 from which I suggest you choose:
- Sightseeing cruise through the 2-hour fjords (from €37)
- Oslofjord Seafood Dinner Cruise (from €51)
- Silent Cruise on the Oslo Fjord (from €56).
2: Bærum Works
Bærums Verk is a magical village just outside the center of Oslo. A perfect place to visit in the summer, but even more impressive in the winter.
If you too are looking for a village where you can see the typical Norwegian wooden houses, food shops and craft shops to visit in Oslo in 3 days, this village is just right for you.
But, where is it? Baerum Verk, as I already told you, is a village really close to Oslo. It is only 20 km away from the centreand can be easily reached with the city’s efficient means of transport. Just take the 150 bus to reach the town in just 30 minutes.
I advise you to dedicate some time to this magical and enchanted place, especially if you are going to spend a short weekend in Oslo, to savor the atmosphere of the Norwegian villages, the red houses and the small craft shops.
To sit down to drink a “KAFFE”, one of those long and tasteless Norwegian ones, accompanied by a nice slice of cake with the biggest and tastiest blueberries you’ve ever eaten.
I recommend that you visit this village near Oslo, even if you are going on a road trip to Southern Norway. Although, along the way, you will surely come across many houses, to dream of them even at night, the village of Baerums Verk is worth a visit.
It deserves it just for the atmosphere you breathe . The same as the movies. Those set in residential neighborhoods, with parks so well cared for that they seem fake.
The ones where children run into the street. Those where there are rows of houses all the same, next to each other. Those in which a river flows, which gives that sense of peace and serenity.
How to use the Oslo Pass to save money
Some of your acquaintances may have tried to answer your doubts about how to save money to visit the capital of Norway, saying: “Oh well, what do you want it to be?
Buy the Oslo Pass and you’re good to go!”. After all: the Oslo Pass certainly includes many advantages for visiting the city, but it’s not cheap at all (but with some foresight you can use it to your advantage). Let’s try to shed some clarity on this.
The Oslo Pass is a subscription valid for a specific period of your choice between 24, 48 or 72 hours, which will give you the possibility to visit the city while saving a little.
In the hours included in your subscription you will be entitled to free admission to 30 museums, to transportpublic tickets, free entry to the swimming pool (swimming pool?
Does anyone really go to Oslo to go swimming?), bills and special offers on restaurants and shops.
How much does the Oslo Pass cost
The Oslo Pass in the city’s tourist offices and on the official website costs:
24h = €45 per adult
48h = €66 per adult
72h = €82 per adult.
*Prices may vary slightly based on the NOK: EUR exchange rate.
Getting around with public transport in Oslo
The ticket for public transport can be purchased from the #RuterBillet App (the asterisk is not placed by chance, but you will find it both as an icon of the App and on the vehicles in which these tickets are valid).
The only thing you will have to pay attention to is the number of zones to select when buying the ticket.
In the image that I leave you, you will be able to better understand how many zones you will need, but don’t worry: you will also find it at each bus stop and within the App.
Central Oslo is all in zone 1, while the Gardenmoen airport area is in zone 4N, for example. Here are some cost examples :
- A 24-hour ticket in zone 1 (in central Oslo) costs 117 NOK (about €12);
- If you buy the 24-hour ticket for 2 zones, you will spend 192 NOK (about €19). In this case, the price difference with the 48-hour Oslo Pass will only be a few euros, so carefully evaluate which solution is the most convenient for you.
How to save money in Oslo: tips
The cost of living in Oslo is so high as to make you review your conception of the cost of things, such as: “Oh man, really the inflatable mattress, in goose feather particles, soft to the touch and comfortable like a memory mattress foam, costs ONLY 299 €?
Ok, I don’t have a pool, but at this price I really have to get it. Then I will also think about the swimming pool!”.
Here, it was about like this my return after the trip to Norway and 3 days in Oslo! S
o, if you don’t want to find your house invaded by goose down particle mattresses, without even having a swimming pool, here are some tips on how to save money in Oslo :
1: Choose TORP Oslo Airport, if it suits you
The first expense that you will have to bear for your trip to Oslo will be the cost of the flight.
My advice is to do some research online, doing two tests: in the first search enter your dates and choose Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL) ; in the second search instead, try to use Oslo Torp Airport (TRF).
I really found a big difference: landing and leaving from Oslo Torp, I found a direct flight for €36 (round trip).
Seriously! While, using Oslo Gardermoen airport, on the same dates, €273 by choosing the fastest flight. In short, it is not the same thing and above all this is a great way to understandhow to start saving on your trip to Oslo.
You should also know that Oslo Torp airport is about 1:30 h from the center of Oslo.
So, to get from the airport to the center, and from the center to the airport back, you’ll need to factor in around €25 for the return bus from central Oslo.
The ticket can be purchased from the Torp Ekspressen website for about 254 NOK.
2: Stay in an apartment
For your stay, the winning move to save money in Oslo is to choose an apartment with a kitchen.
I advise you to opt for this solution to spend less both on the cost of the accommodation itself and, above all, on the food, being able to cook at home.
I stayed at Anker Apartment: a nice little place. In reality, more than an apartment, it looks like a hotel, seen from the outside, but it’s not like that.
In this sort of hotel, the rooms are equipped with a small but practical kitchen. The location is good, even if not very close to the center: bicycles and means of transport are not lacking nearby.
However, remember to bring a sleeping bag with you, otherwise you will have to pay both to rent sheets and towels.
Furthermore, you will also have to rent the kitchen utensils, whenever you need them, by paying a deposit of 100 NOK (about 10 euros), which will be returned to you if you return the clean utensils within 3 hours.
Connected to the hotel hall there is also a mini market: very convenient!
If you haven’t found availability at the Anker Apartment or you have time to find out more, take a look at the section of accommodation in Oslo.
3: Eat at the Mathallen Food Market
When you don’t have the slightest desire to cook, I suggest you take a tour of the Mathallen covered market.
Mathallen is a “place for food”: in fact, “mat” in Norwegian means food. In essence it is a covered market, with stalls where you can buy meat, fish or cheese; but also stands of various cuisines, from Italian to Indian; from Chinese to Norwegian, and so on.
The prices are Norwegian, but slightly lower than the average of the restaurants in the area. Here you can have lunch or dinner for about ten euros with plenty of choice: a pasta with tomato sauce or a fish burger? I opted for a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce (after 2 weeks I was starving for carbohydrates ) for €9 and an espresso for 90 cents. I could not believe my ears! Visit the official website of the Mathallen food market to consult the opening hours.
Accommodation in Oslo
The central district truly has everything you need to enjoy the capital of Norway and many attractions within easy walking distance.
This is undoubtedly the best area where you should look for accommodation if you have limited time to discover the European green capital.
In the area there are also the best restaurants where you can taste local specialties and pleasant places to spend the evening. From here, everything can be easily reached on foot, the more distant areas are well connected by the transport system, and the railway station is right in the centre.
I have selected for you 3 structures with a fantastic value for money, which will allow you to stay in the beating heart of Oslo.
Places to stay in central Oslo:
- Anker Apartment Sentrum (from €73) : This is a fantastic property where I had a wonderful time in Oslo. By staying here you can really choose any type of accommodation that best suits your needs and budget: opt for a hostel, choose a nice private room or a more spacious apartment if you’re traveling with family or in a group. This is also an excellent solution for saving because some accommodations are equipped with a small but practical kitchenette.
- Smarthotel Oslo (from €74) : If you want to stay in a hotel in central Oslo with fantastic value for money, check out the Smarthotel Oslo. Located just a 5-minute walk from the Karl Johan shopping street, it offers simple but functional rooms and a pleasant common area;
- Forenom Aparthotel Oslo (from € 108) : is an apartment more suitable for your needs? Then I recommend the Forenom Aparthotel. This property offers apartments suitable for both couples and families and is located just 500 meters from the central station.
2: Aker Brygge: the best seaside neighborhood in Oslo
Aker Brygge is located in the center of Oslo, but it is an area entirely facing the sea.
Here the buildings are modern, the restaurants are refined and the structures are purely made up of hotels of a certain level.
In fact, you must know that until recently this portion was a shipyard. After the renovations it turned into a trendy neighborhood and today it’s really pleasant to spend time here even just for a walk.
Aker Brygge is today one of the best areas to stay in Oslo. Read on to find the best facilities (even at an affordable price).
Hotel to stay in Oslo at Aker Brygge:
- Baltazar Apartments (from €87) : this apartment is my first choice for sleeping in Oslo in the Aker Brygge district. Even though it doesn’t directly overlook the sea, you should consider staying here as it’s only 300 meters from the neighborhood that runs along the sea. In addition to the elegant apartments, double bedrooms are also available;
- Budget Room Aker Brygge (from €192) : the location of this property is perfect for fully experiencing the Aker Brygge area and enjoying the views over the city of Oslo at any time of day or night. Even if the room is simple, the very central location is worth the price of this structure;
- The Thief (from € 393) : if what you are looking for to stay in Oslo is a beautiful, modern and luxurious hotel complete with a wellness centre, take a look at the availability at The Thief and you won’t go wrong.
3: Majorstuen: the best neighborhood for families
Majorstuen is a quiet and very local neighbourhood, but don’t think that if you stay in this area you will run the risk of getting bored.
Not at all! Right here is the International Children’s Art Museum, the large Vigeland Park, as well as many shops and clubs.
There are not many hotels in this district and those present are often of a high standard.
The most practical solution for looking for a structure to stay here is to consider staying in an apartment, to make you and your family feel right at home.
Hotel to stay in Oslo with the family:
- City center townhouse (from € 194) : this typical Norwegian house is one of the accommodations that I most recommend for a family stay: in this way you can not only be in a convenient area for visiting the city, but at the same time quiet . Furthermore, staying overnight in a typical Norwegian red house could be an experience that will enrich the trip;
- Frogner House Apartments (from €133) : choose between the one, two or three bedroom apartment according to your needs, which can accommodate up to 6 adults;
- Saga Hotel Oslo (from €113) : it is one of the few hotels in the area and is located just 500 meters from the Royal Palace.
4: Cheap accommodation in Oslo
As much as I tried to find an area in which to be sure of finding cheap accommodation in Oslo .. I have not found it! Is it because our definition of economic is very different from the Norwegian one? Probably, but don’t despair. Below I point out the 3 most convenient structures in Oslo:
- Anker Apartment Grünerløkka (from €25) : even if not in the central area (however well connected), this structure offers beds in a dormitory for €25, double rooms starting from €71 and small or large apartments with kitchens that will allow you to also save on spending;
- HI Oslo Haraldsheim (from €34) : a bit far from the city centre, this hostel is also a good solution to save money in Oslo. Here you can book a night in a dormitory starting from €34;
- Citybox Oslo (from €68) : despite its very central location, this hotel often has really affordable prices for a stay in Oslo. Be sure to check availability for your dates as well.
It will be because I travel’s advice : prices may change according to the season. If these properties still don’t meet your budget, be sure to look through the offers on the dedicated page of Booking.com.
Of course these are just the things I think you should see in Oslo in 3 days.
Check out the official Visit Oslo website to find more!
And you, have you been here before?
Are you going to Norway? Read also:
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