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3 Days In Oslo: From Fjord Tours to Viking History, Now Is The Time To Discover Norway

Updated: Jan 31

The common stigma is that Oslo is cold, dark, expensive, and that all the food is pickled, but I challenge you to find out for yourselves. Most travelers want to go to the top European tourist zones like London, Paris and Rome but today, with Norse Airways' cheap tickets to their hub in Oslo, Norway's tourism is booming. Having been there recently myself, I can tell you - there is a lot to discover in Norway. From fjord tours to understanding Viking history, spend three days in Oslo to get the full experience. Here are some ideas on things to do in Oslo to get you started.


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Visit a Museum


Munch Museum

The famous Munch museum is where you can see 'the scream' up close. Optionally, the bar at the top (Kranen) sells natural wine and offers views of the harbor for a well rounded afternoon of art and class.

a black and white image of a building overlooking a waterfront with a statue

Norsk Folkemuseum Fram museum

The polar expedition ship sits right next to the Kontiki museum and Oslo maritime museum, so seafarers and ship lovers rejoice!


The Fram museum has an adorable themed cafe inside along with the ship itself, which can be boarded and explored as part of your entry ticket. This museum is not to be missed!


The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

This huge open air village brings visitors to the Nordic past of the Norwegian way of life. Walk the grounds, see the homes and the lifestyle that Norwegians lived.


viking architecture

Be aware there are lots of buses and people so plan to go early.



Visit The Local Villages, Neighborhoods and Waterways


Drobak


a vendor sets up her market wares for the sunday market

Coined "the sunday town", this quaint village along the water is host to a weekly market in the main square. With ample parking by the marina or in town by the market, visitors can stroll the boutique shops, have coffee at one of the many cafes, or enjoy an al fresco lunch in the sun. We got there a little early, so I recommend going closer to lunch time.


Vollen

Not exactly a "destination town", but certainly a cute stop for lunch, we journeyed from Drobak to Vollen in search of more cute shops and restaurants and found a lovely marina restaurant serving delicious mussels with waterfront views.


Grünerløkka

In Oslo, find Grünerløkka - a trendy hipster area host to shops, restaurants and drinking establishments spilling out onto the sidewalk. Check out the vintage market at Birkelunden central park on Sundays or take a private walking tour of this hip and historic neighborhood.


Oslo City Tours To Consider


Try a siteseeing bus - bonus: it stops at all the hot spots on this list!


Oslo By Water

You can't visit Oslo without visiting the fjord. This evening cruise aboard a wooden sailing boat is a super cool way to check out the water. They even offer up Norwegian prawns as part of the deal, so snack and sail on!





See The Inspiration for Anna and Elsa's Castle in Frozen


Akershus Fortress, an impressive active fort complex atop a hill overlooking the fjord. It is said to be the inspiring design for Anna and Elsa’s castle in Frozen, so of course we took the opportunity to dress up our two year old in a black and gold Anna dress for some photo ops.

Akershus Fortress in Oslo Norway
Akershus Fortress in Oslo Norway

People looked at us weirdly – I don’t think the connection to the movie is common there – but we had fun with it. We were able to get coffee from the gift shop and enjoyed some fresh air after 12 hours of traveling from the US the night before.


This castle is free to roam and the gift shop offers a nice museum with information on the history of the grounds.


Details: Akershus Castle and Fortress (Akershus Slott og Festning) is free and is a 17 min walk from Oslo central station. More info on Akershus Fortress here: https://www.visitoslo.com/en/product/?TLp=14900



Where To Eat


Oslo Food Halls

Oslo Central Station has a ton of great restaurants to choose from, or perhaps try one of Oslo's many food halls such as Mathallen food hall, or my favorite - Vippa Food Hall.


A short 10 minute walk from Akershus fortress, and just steps from the ferry terminal to Copenhagen, you can find a small sign leading to the waterfront food court called Vippa.