The capital city of Norway reminds us of only one thing – peace. Almost everyone in the world knows that Nobel Peace Prize is given from Oslo. I didn’t understand why till I visited the city. This wonderful city is so peaceful that you wouldn’t hear noises of traffic, people loudly talking or even cry-babies.
Oslo is big compared to many European cities, not only in terms of size but also in terms of sightseeing. It is recommended that you keep at least 3 full days for this beautiful Norwegian capital. But some of us, like me, have only 2 days. What then? This article will help you see the most important sights of Oslo in a single day (You can’t see everything in a day, mate).
Starting point: City Center
The reason why I am choosing the starting point as the city center is because it is easy for everyone to have a common starting point. If your hotel is near some attraction, you can definitely take a different route.
Before you start exploring the city, get Oslo Pass. Depending on the number of days you want to spend in the city, you can buy either 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours pass. I bought the 24 hours pass & it costs 320 NOK (Approximately Rs. 2500).
Oslo Pass has a lot of benefits. It gives you free entry to most of the museums & attractions. You can use all of Oslo’s public transport for free (Trains, Metros, Buses). If you are renting a car, you get free parking at car parks for 24 hours. Other things like free swimming pools, walking tours & discounts make this pass very affordable in this expensive city.
The pass comes with a guide which has information about 40 attractions, how to reach there, opening & closing hours, their websites etc. It also includes information about restaurants where you can get discounts with your pass.
So now that you have your Oslo Pass (or some information about the pass), let’s start with our day in Oslo.
1. The Kon-Tiki Museum
I am writing this by hoping that you visit Oslo before October 31st. From city center, take Ferry No. 91 from Rådhuskai 3 & reach Bygdøynes. Or simply take Bus no. 30 from the center & reach Bygdøynes. The last stop is The Kon-Tiki Museum.
The Kon-Tiki Museum is about Thor Heyerdahl who crossed the Pacific Ocean on a small balsa wood raft called Kon-Tiki. The museum contains all original rafts, boats & utencils of Thor. You can also watch the Oscar-winning documentary on Kon-Tiki every day at 12 noon.
2. Fram Museum
Okay this is my second favorite museum in Oslo. Fram Museum is located bang opposite of the Kon-Tiki Museum. It’s a must watch attraction because the museum contains the entire ship. Fram holds the records for sailing to the northern & the southern extremes!
Their miniatures are cute, stuffed animals look very real & the exhibition is amazingly informative. You can get nice pictures here!
3. Norwegian Maritime Museum
If you are interested in shipping, fishing or Marine archaeology, you can visit Norwegian Maritime Museum which is in front of the Fram Museum. The most important exhibit is Norway’s oldest boat.
It is a skippable attraction though.
4. The Viking Ship Museum
Welcome to my favorite museum of Oslo. Why favorite, you might ask? BECAUSE THEY HAVE 4 VIKING SHIPS INTACT! So you take the Bus no. 30 from The Kon-Tiki Museum & come 2 stops ahead. That’s where you will find The Viking Ship Museum.
The ships, which are kept here, were built in 9th century. Along with 4 viking ships (preserved in the best condition), there are various artifacts like sledges, viking cart, ornaments, tools preserved here.
Tip: In the ticket that they give, you can also visit Historical Museum of Oslo for free. I didn’t go to another museum.
5. Norwegian Folk Museum
By now, Bus no. 30 is your best friend. Hop on the bus from The Viking Ship Museum & get down on the next stop. If you feel like walking, its only 10 minutes away by foot.
This museum is one of the largest open-air museums in the world. The sight of a 900 years old Church is enough to make you go WOAH! This is a good attraction if you want to know more about old Norwegian culture.
Okay let’s have a small break. If you love museums, you will easily spend 4-5 hours in these 5 museums. If you don’t like museums, it will still take at least 2.5 hours to see these places. So its afternoon anyway by now. You should eat lunch at..
6. Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower
I think this is the best attraction of Oslo. You can reach here by taking Metro Line 1. Get down at the stop called Holmenkollen, walk a little & reach the tower.
Holmenkollen is the oldest Ski slope in the world. If you had enough of museums, just go to the observation deck which is on the top of the tower. The scene from the top shall make you realize the beauty of Oslo.
7. Vigeland Sculpture Park
This park is possibly the weirdest park in the world. But it is weird & pleasant. The park contains more than 200 sculptures by a single sculptor Gustav Vigeland. To reach the park from Holmenkollen, get on the Metro towards city center & get down at Majorstuen.
If you want to see all of 200 sculptures, you will need more than a day for sure. But go through major sculptures since you are exploring Oslo in a day.
8. The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
I think Sydney’s opera house has got a competitor. Oslo’s opera house looks amazingly beautiful. It’s in the vicinity of the city center. You can go to The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet to see its architecture from outside, or if you have time, you can get inside for a show as well. You can also get on the rooftop to enjoy panoramic view of the city (Highly recommended)
9. The Royal Palace
This is the palce to be. The Royal Palace is where the King & the Queen of Norway resides. The architecture of this place is mesmerising. The palace itself is almost 165 years old. If you want to take the guided tour of the palace, you will have to pay for it as it is not covered in the Oslo Pass.
The Royal Palace is few minutes away from the center.
10. Karl Johans Street
Get some rest, traveller. The Royal Palace is at the top of Karl Johans gate. Come back to the street & settle down in one of the jazz clubs or cafes. Karl Johans Street is the MAIN street of Oslo. Eat some pizzas, drink some [insert your favorite drinks], socialize with young Norwegians.
If you are still not tired, go to one of the discos & take in as much nightlife as possible!
Have fun & stay safe.