Seven Things To Experience In Oslo, Norway

Norway has a fascinating history that’s full of excitement that is easy to get swept up in. From vikings to explorers, adventure is definitely in the Norwegian DNA.  Oslo, in particular, is easy to navigate and is alive with gorgeous green spaces to languish in along with culture to broaden your horizons and fine dining.

I recently returned from an incredible yet all-too-brief holiday to Oslo. It was one of those getaways that exceeded all of my expectations. I knew I would have a nice time but Oslo went out if its way to make it a unique, unforgettable experience.


The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny – perfect for spending time on the water and touring the city. The lilacs were in bloom and nearly the whole of the city was scented with their intoxicating fragrance.  I have never experienced anything like it, anywhere, ever.

There is so much to see and do in Oslo but here are my top seven do not miss experiences:


Oslo has over 50 museums so whether you’re looking for something traditional like the fine arts or even something a bit more unusual, there is something for everyone.

Viking Ship Museum

It’s fascinating that there are not one but three viking ships that have managed to survive since the oldest was built in the year 820.  In addition to the ships there are other amazing artifacts that the vikings took with them on their ships.  They did not travel light!

Kon-Tiki Museum

The Kon-Tiki museum houses the handmade rafts that Thor Heyerdahl used to cross the Pacific Ocean on the Kon-Tiki expedition back in 1947.

There are also a few other rafts that Heyerdahl used for other expeditions as well as artifacts that he and his team collected along their travels.  Its very clear that exploration and adventure seems to come naturally to the Norwegians!

National Museum of Art

If you don’t visit any other museum in Oslo you need go to the National Museum of Art if only to see Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch’s The Scream.

But do wander around and see the other works in the museum.  They have a lovely collection of not only art but also architecture and objects of design.  I was incredibly surprised to see that they even had a piece by an artist near to my heart, Andrew Wyeth.  This particular artist is from near my home in Pennsylvania.

Cruise The Fjords

The fjords around Oslo are not exactly the deep and cavernous ones that you’ll find in other parts of Norway, but taking a fjord cruise is still a fun way to pass a couple of hours.  While you’re sailing, enjoy a glass or two of wine and relax as you pass along the fjords and feel the breeze in your hair as you watch the world go by.

Oslo Opera House Tour


The Oslo Opera House tour is a behind the scenes tour that takes you backstage where all of the magic happens.  From costumes to set design you’ll get to see what goes into creating a production.




Our tour ended with us being able to watch the crew set up for that evening’s performance of Swan Lake.


The Opera House also has roof top views that are worth checking out.  When looking down you can see the sculpture titled “She Lies” that was created by Italian artist Monica Bonvicini.


Nobel Peace Center and Oslo City Hall


Did you know that every year on December 10th the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo?  It’s unusual because rest of the Nobel prizes are distributed in Stokholm, Sweeden, and no one really knows why Alfred Nobel left it in his will that it be done this way. Take a look around the center and then afterwards cross the street and head over to Oslo City Hall where you can view where the ceremony takes place.  One of the locals I met told me that residents call it Oslo’s Living Room because it’s always open to the public.



Walk Around Oslo

There is no better way to get to know a city than by strolling through its streets.  Who knows what hidden gems you’ll find.  Oslo is no exception.  It’s a very walkable city with lots of interesting architecture and green space to rest in or just people watch for a while.

My holiday in Oslo is one that will linger on my mind for weeks to come.  And Norway is definitely somewhere that I would definitely like to return to in the future.  Have you been to Oslo?  What was your favorite experience while there? For those that have traveled through other parts of Norway, what are your recommendations?  I’d love to know!

If you would like to see more posts like this let me know in the comments.


14 thoughts on “Seven Things To Experience In Oslo, Norway

  1. I find it fascinating that there is even one Viking ship left from that long ago, let alone three! I would be super interested in seeing them when we visit Norway one day.

    1. You’ll love it. And the people there are so friendly. It’s really just a great city

  2. I absolutely understand why Alfred Nobel would have requested that the Nobel Peace Prize be awarded in this city. He must have understood that the beauty and peacefulness of this city is the correct location to award a prize for peace and I would agree with him. I may never get to Oslo but I certainly do enjoy seeing it through your camera lens. Please share more posts like this for those of us that don’t have the opportunity to visit other countries.

  3. You seem to have had a lovely time in Norway. The photos look amazing. I wish to go there sometime.

  4. Heather! What a lovely trip! I felt as though I was touring right along with you. The smell of lilacs in the air- Ukraine (a place I spent quite some time) smells the same as it’s also covered with lilacs. LA smells as such, plus of white and pink jasmine. Gorgeous flora smells. As for the history – I have wanted to visited Norway for this very reason. I am currently reading the book “The Age of the Vikings” and I am absolutely enthralled. Erik the Red actually stepped foot on what would become the USA half a millennium before Columbus did and in the area we now know as Newfoundland. So much yet to learn, but this little write up about such a magical and old place has helped me along my way. Thank you!

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