10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway

Norway quickly won my heart. It’s hard to find words to express why I love it so much. Connecting with Norway overall was like an instant connection with a person, completely capturing the affinity of my soul. I’d never have guessed I would fall in love with it before my first trip to Scandinavia back in 2014. I’ve been several times now and it’s hard not to simply adore. It’s capital city, Oslo, is beyond awesome with no shortage of things to do and see. Here’s 10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway.

1. Opera House

This architectural marvel is one of my favorite spots in Oslo. I remember seeing it in a magazine months before my first trip to Oslo and I couldn’t wait to see it in person. It’s angular roofs appear to rise out of the harbour and create a ton of interest. A team of architects thoughtfully designed each piece of this internationally recognized building after its creation was green-lit in the year 2000. It’s part of a continually growing urban development plan for the Oslofjord area. You’ll playfully notice different views of the city as you explore the Opera House spaces and rooftops. Try visiting during sunrise for a chance to photograph unique colors reflecting on the building.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from on top of Oslo's Opera House roof. 10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from on top of Oslo's Opera House roof.

2. Karl Johans Gate

This is the most famous street in Oslo. Its terminus is the Royal Palace but there’s plenty to do along the way. Start at Oslo’s Central Station and walk northwest to hit a lot of shopping and little parks along the way. You’ll also be able to view some notable statues and buildings on Karl Johans Gate, including the National Theater and Cathedral.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view on Karl Johan's Gate famous, well known street.

3. Royal Palace

This stately palace was built in the mid 19th century and is home to the current monarch of Norway. They began to give tours of the building in 2002 but if you don’t have time to see its interior stop to get a photo at its main facade, pictured below. It is conveniently located in the city center at the end of Karl Johans Gate. It’s incredibly close to the harbour waterfront where Oslo Radhus (City Hall) and Askershaus Fortress are.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the Royal Palace.

4. Oslo Radhus / City Hall

An unassuming brick building near the water houses an incredibly colorful, exciting interior. The vibrant murals inside depict everyday Norwegian life, culture and history. A particular point of interest is its green and blue ceiling so be sure to look up when you’re inside. Another fun fact? It’s where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented each December.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the brick exterior of Oslo Radhus, City Hall. 10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the colorful interior of Oslo Radhus, City Hall.

5. Akershus Fortress

This fortress and castle was completed in the 14th century. It was converted into a more modern castle in the 16th century after withstanding many sieges throughout the years. A museum inside provides a bit of information about the history of Norway (particularly regarding WWII) and you’ll find excellent views of the harbour below from its canon trench area.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of Askershus Fortress.10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from on top of Askershus Fortress.

6. Norsk Folkemuseum

I’ve been to the outdoor Norwegian Folkmuseum in blue skies (seen in the image below) and also during heavy snow. While the rain may not be ideal for a visit there’s never a wrong time to go. (As they say in Norway, “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.”) This museum has over 160 buildings showcasing life in Norway from the 13th century to modern day. The museum was established around 1880 and takes about half a day to fully experience. One of the most photographed buildings there is surely the medieval stave church, which dates back to the 1200s.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a stave church at Norsk Folkemuseum.

8. Holmenkollen Ski Jump

This is truly a Norwegian icon. The first competition at this recognizable ski jump took place in 1982. Competitions continued to take place until 2008. I’ve seen people cross country skiing in the surrounding area during the winter but I’ve never seen anyone jump off the ski jump! You can, however, partake in a variety of activities here depending on the season, including zip lining and abseiling (which America’s Bachelorette, Rachel, just did on a date on the popular tv show on ABC). It’s also home to the world’s oldest ski museum, which opened in 1923. It’s easy to get here via metro and ten minute walk from the closest station, called Frognerseteren.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. View of Holmenkollen ski jump during summer.

9. Frognerseteren Restaurant

If you’ve envisioned yourself eating in a wooden chalet atop a hill with an incredible view in Oslo this is the spot. (It sits atop Holmenkollen hill to be precise and is not far from Holmenkollen Ski Jump.) Its cozy interior will immediately make you feel welcome upon entry and the traditional Norwegian dishes it serves will give you a taste of local favorites. It used to be a home where hikers and travelers could enjoy free refreshments; the building’s oldest parts date back to 1891. I’ve visited this restaurant during winter and summer and either season provides a wonderful experience.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from Oslo's cozy chalet like Frognerseteren Restaurant.10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from Oslo's cozy chalet like Frognerseteren Restaurant.

9. Frogner Park and Vigeland Sculpture Park

This incredibly well know park is home to expressive statues by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Viegland. It’s a lot of fun to pose in a similar stance as the statue you may be standing beside whether flowers are in bloom at your feet or you’re in snow boots coping with a Norwegian winter. There are more than 200 (yup, 200!) bronze, granite and wrought iron sculptures here, all completed between 1939 and 1949. Stay to walk around the greater park Vigeland Sculpture Park is in, called Frogner Park, if it’s a nice day.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of Vigeland Park in Frogner Park.10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of a female figure pulling her hair created in bronze, one of 200 statues in Vigeland Park.

10. Ekebergparken

This sculpture park and city overlook is free to visit and easily accessible by city tram. It’s a simply beautiful place to take a long walk and view intriguing art. Thirty five artist sculptures are situated at Ekebergparken with plans for more to be added in the future. It’s also home to over 40 species of nesting birds and offers one of the most spectacular views of Oslofjord. It has a place to eat as well: The Ekeberg Restaurant is a beautiful location to enjoy a meal if you’re feeling fancy. Or, bring a packed lunch or early dinner and enjoy the view from seats at The Munch Spot here. This spot in the park is actually named after Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch (even though a quick view of the name by an English speaker may lead one to believe it’s named after snacking). This Olso viewpoint is said to have been the inspiration for his most famous painting, Scream.

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway by Sometimes Home travel blog. Photo of the view from the top of Ekebergparken free sculpture park.

For more experiences in Europe check out:

Would you rather visit Oslo in the summer or winter?

10 Not-to-Miss Sites in Oslo Norway on Sometimes Home travel blog with professional photos.

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