Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Oslo to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.


Central Oslo

Located among university buildings along Karl Johans gate, the National Gallery features Norway's largest, most comprehensive art collection. The majority of works hail from Norwegian artists such as Johann Christian Dahl, Harriet Backer, and Edvard Munch (including his famous "Scream"). Other works range from religious art of the 16th and 17th centuries to the dark icons of the Novgorod School. You can also find items by Delacroix, Cézanne, and Matisse, along with works by Braque and the mature Picasso. T-BANE: Nationaltheatret

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This cathedral, built in the 17th century, underwent restorations in the mid-1800s and again in the mid-1900s. The pulpit and altar date back to the church's origins, while the bronze doors were created by 20th-century Norwegian artisan Dagfin Wereskiold. The cathedral's organ is an amazing five stories high. The church is used for both religious and secular events and concerts. A bilingual service in Norwegian and English is held each Wednesday at noon from June to August. T-BANE: Stortinget or Jernbaneforget; TRAM: Stortorvet

Read more about Oslo Domkirke →

Three Viking burial vessels, Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune, which had been preserved in clay-like subsoil, were excavated on the shores of Oslo Fjord in the late 19th century. These ships are now displayed in a specially constructed hall. The ornamented "Oseberg" was once a pleasure vessel for in-shore sailing and is said to be the burial chamber of Viking Queen and her personal slave. The "Gokstadship" was reputedly a king's sailing vessel, and the third ship hasn't been restored. Objects found and displayed with the ships include tools and household goods. BUS: 30 to Bygdøy; FERRY: 91 from Rådhusbrygge 3 to Dronningen

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This company offers a variety of boat and coach tour packages, including a minicruise, fjord sightseeing, and the Grand Tour of Oslo which shows off the city's best aspects. Minicruises around the Oslo Fjord are highly recommended for the spectacular scenery they offer – a modern city set on a canvas of blue water and jade hills. Adding to the scene are the historic Akershus fortress and the many islands that pepper the inner fjord. When night falls, enjoy a fresh prawn buffet and cold beer while sailing the fjord aboard a wooden ship – a local will be quick to tell you there are few better ways to spend a summer evening! Tickets may be purchased from a small kiosk on Rådhusbrygge. TRAM: 10 or 12 to Aker Brygge

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Situated near the western terminus of Karl Johans gate, Norway's 160-room royal palace dates from 1824, when King Karl Johan commissioned architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow to construct a grand, neoclassical residence on a hilltop just outside of what was then the city center. The palace becomes Norway's focal point each year on 17 May, when thousands gather to celebrate National Day. The palace is open to visitors at different intervals every summer; however, tour tickets must be purchased in advance and can be quite hard to come by. T-BANE: Nationaltheatret

Read more about Det Norske Kongehus →

This castle park, which surrounds the Royal Palace, is open to the public. Visitors can witness the changing of the guard in the early afternoon. When the king is in residence, the Royal Guard band accompanies the change with music. An equestrian statue of King Karl Johan, who ruled Norway and Sweden during the first half of the 19th century, stands in front of the castle. T-BANE: Nationaltheateret

Read more about Slottsparken →

On a warm summer's day, few places in Oslo are as popular as Huk, a beach at the southern tip of the Bygdøy peninsula only 5 km from city center. It offers easy access to the waters of the fjord, and visitors enjoy swimming, bicycle trips, and leisurely strolls along the beach. Ice cream and soft drinks are served at a beachside kiosk, and a restaurant is located nearby. One section of the beach is clothing optional, by the way. BUS: 30 to Huk

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This simple, red-brick building – Oslo's city hall – houses colorful murals and frescoes depicting aspects of Norway's history, culture, and economy. The hall and grounds feature paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and woodcarvings by such Norwegian artists as Edvard Munch, Per Krogh, Dyre Vaa, and Dagfin Werenskiold. Other noteworthy features of the structure include easy-to-spot twin towers and a clock face that's one of Europe's largest. Each December, the world's attention turns to Norway's city hall when it hosts ceremonies for the Nobel Peace Prize. Guided tours are available in English but need to be pre-booked. T-BANE: Nationaltheatret or Stortinget

Read more about Rådhuset →

The Akershus complex was originally built in 1300 as a fortress and royal residence and was later rebuilt, after a fire in 1527, as a royal Renaissance palace. Currently, it's used for state occasions. The castle is an important – and beloved – symbol of medieval Oslo, and its mausoleum is the final resting place of Kings Haakon VII and Olav V and their wives, Queens Maud and Märtha, respectively. Overlooking Oslofjorden and just south of Karl Johans gate, Akershus is one of many historically and culturally significant sites in the immediate area. English-language tours are available daily; contact for further details. T-BANE: Stortinget; TRAM: 10 and 12 to Aker Brygge

Read more about Akershus Slott og Festning →

One of Oslo's most beautiful public parks, this wide-open space west of Frognerparken contains the life's work of Gustav Vigeland, perhaps Norway's most revered sculptor. More than 200 Vigeland masterpieces are on display, including the bronze "Sinnataggen" (Angry Boy) and "Monolitten," a 17-meter spire flanked by 121 commanding figures, all composed of a single piece of white granite. A visitor center is located near the wrought-iron main gate, and there you'll find a souvenir shop and Kafé Vigeland, which serves sandwiches, soups, coffees, and desserts. T-BANE: Majorstuen; TRAM: 12 to Vigelandsparken

Read more about Vigelandsparken →