The vibrant city of Oslo is somewhat of a surprising European treasure. Its kaleidoscopic make up appeals to many which is perhaps why interest in this hidden gem is growing. For the thinkers, there is a wide array of museums to spend time in. For the outdoor lovers, there are many hiking and cycling trails to offer as well as parks and other outdoor activities. For the city slickers, the busy center of town has many unique stores as well as trendy bars, restaurants and cafes. There is a lot to see. My biggest suggestion would be to allow more than 24 hours to get through it all, I’d say at least 3 days, but if you only have 24 hours in Oslo then check out these suggestions to help you plan your trip.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Oslo
Breakfast at the hotel
I stayed at the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz which boasted a delicious hotel breakfast to get you started for the day. They had everything from fresh breads, pastries, a range of meat and eggs, cold cuts, smoked salmon and you can even try the dried fish that is a traditional food of the Nordic regions. Wash it down with a coffee or one of their fresh made juices and you are good to go. The hotel is located centrally, walking distance to many of the main attractions and public transport stations.
Viking Ship Museum
Take a quick bus ride and immerse yourself in the time of the Vikings with a visit to the Vikingskipshuset or Viking Ship Museum. These large, impressive vessels that once transported warriors across the seas are now safeguarded and preserved in this fascinating museum where you can marvel at them and learn more about their construction and history. In my opinion this is definitely an unmissable experience in Oslo. At the museum you can also learn about the Viking life, feast at the cafe and pick up a unique souvenir from the gift shop. The entrance fee varies depending on when you visit so check their website for more information on prices.
The Norsk Folkemuseum is just a short walk away from the Viking Ship museum, about 5-10 minute walk and the entrance fee is 130NOK per adult (approx 15 USD). At this museum you can learn about the Norwegian culture with exhibits about art, weapons, dress and Sami culture and even go through a unique open air museum where you walk through a replica of a town and countryside, showcasing the different historical architecture and elements of daily life.
Grab a hot dog
One thing you just have to try while you are visiting Oslo is a hot dog! It sounds like an odd recommendation but they’re so dang delicious. You can grab them on the go from just about any gas station or convenience store and most I saw had a range of types – regular, bacon wrapped, chorizo and others. Everywhere I went there was always a good selection of sauces available too even some new sauces that I had never seen before which were fun to try.
Armed Forces Museum
The Armed Forces Museum has no entrance fee and is a very interesting museum to visit. It was quite large with arrows to guide you along your way so that you don’t miss any of the exhibits. The only downside to this museum was that some of the exhibit information was only written in Norwegian so you miss the full experience if you don’t speak the language. There are still enough exhibits with an English translation to make it worthwhile though and overall it is full of very interesting exhibits about war, weapons, uniforms, machinery and stories of people involved.
If those museums don’t tickle your fancy then there are plenty more to choose from such as the Nobel Peace Center, Vigeland Museum, or The Fram Polar Ship Museum. Visit Oslo is a great resource for looking into the attractions of the area to help find the things you are most interested in. They have even created an official city app for Oslo which you can use, without using your phones data, to find events, maps and other useful information about the city and the activities on offer.
Afternoon coffee and cake
After all that it’s time for the afternoon pick me up. Stop in at the Espresso House for a coffee and cake. There is lots to choose from, similar to a Starbucks in that sense where you can choose from seasonal flavors. They also had a generous selection of fresh treats to satisfy the sweet tooth (I tried a Hazelnut Cheesecake and it was delish!)
Walk along the water
Finish the evening with a stroll along the trendy waterfront area. It’s a lovely place to walk around and reflect on your day sightseeing and there is even a Museum of Modern Art island. If your stomach is grumbling you could choose to dine here at one of the many restaurants, or, if you are like me and spend a little too much money on souvenirs throughout the day, you can take advantage of the complimentary dinner offered at the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz. The night I visited they served a basic home cooked meat and vegetables type of dish buffet style with side salad, fresh bread and cold meat and cheese. It was nothing extravagant but it had everything you need and helps to save a little extra money.
I hope this helps you plan your trip to Oslo. If you have any more suggestions or questions, just let me know in the comments below. Otherwise I will see you on social media.