A few years ago I booked £30 flights for a weekend in Oslo. Bargain! I thought. Little did I know just how expensive Oslo would be when I got there…

D’ya know what though? We still had a great time because there’s so much to do in the city for free – Oslo is beautiful, and cool too.

Vigeland Amusement Park in Oslo

The Princess cruise I recently did, through Scandinavia and Russia, ended in Oslo. Unfortunately I had to get home so didn’t have much time to explore again, but if you fancy spending the weekend in Oslo – or your cruise ends or starts there and you have a few days to play with – then here’s an idea of what you could do in 48 hours in Oslo.

Your Weekend in Oslo: What to Do!

With mountains, sea, parks and forests, Oslo is a little different to your usual European capital. The Nordic landscape made it a shoo-in for Europe’s Green Capital for 2019. It’s definitely one for lovers of the outdoors, but has also got you covered when it comes to shopping, cuisine and culture too.

What to do in Oslo: day one

Start your Oslo trip by embracing your inner museum geek at The Viking Ship Museum. For just £10, you can have a look around and then go across town to the Historical Museum where that same ticket will grant you free access. If two museums aren’t enough, add the nearby Nobel Peace Centre and National Gallery to the list – also both less than a tenner.

weekend in Oslo

Finish the day picking up some souvenirs in Karl Johans Gate just a ten minute walk away or, for a bargain, try Birkelunden flea market in the hipster Grunerlokka district. Grunerlokka is great – filled with bars, boutique restaurants and little shops to keep you repeating ‘How much?!’ in that high-pitched voice.

READ MORE: Grünerløkka in Oslo: Where the Hipsters Hang Out

Weekend in Oslo: day two

Make day two all about Oslo’s outdoor spaces. Vigeland Sculpture Park is free to enter and has over 200 sculptures for you to check out. ‘Man attacked by babies’ is a particular favourite.

weekend in Oslo

Afterwards, stroll along the Akerselva River picking it up back in Grunerlokka. Running right through the city, you’ll see waterfalls, wildlife and reworked factories before eventually reaching the Oslo Opera House. A quick pic on the roof of this cool building is compulsory and completely free to do. On a sunny day it’s blinding, and in the winter, you can skate down it, maybe, be careful. I definitely didn’t recommend doing that.

Weekend in Oslo

READ MORE: Photos from the Vigeland Sculpture Park

48 hours in Oslo: day three

If you’ve got time for some fun on day three in Oslo, head 30 minutes outside of the city to the Oslo Summer Park for some adventure. As one of Scandinavia’s biggest climbing parks, it’s got 900 metres of ziplines and costs around £30. Definitely a good way to blow away any culture cobwebs forming – get out there!

More Oslo attractions with a twist

Libraries may not sound like the most interesting places to visit, but just north of Oslo in Nordmarka Forest, you’ll find the makings of what’ll be called The Future Library. These trees have been specially planted to make 1,000 copies of 100 books in 100 years’ time. Wander round and see what one day might make a bestseller — talk about being prepared!

Oslo Royal Palace

Back in the city, the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum is part art hall part tomb. Dark, eerie and extremely echoey, this underground cavern has floor to ceiling paintings and only costs £5.

weekend in Oslo

From tombs to tiny bottles, Oslo is randomly home to the largest collection of miniature bottles in the world and all 53,000 of them are housed in the Mini Bottle Gallery. Each is stuffed with something slightly different and you can see them all for an £8 entrance fee. I can 100% recommend this, especially the toilets.

Where to eat in Oslo

Yep, Oslo is expensive, but a traveller’s gotta eat right? For breakfast, just head to the Palace Park area where trendy spots like Fuglen, Cafe Sor and Apent Bakeri all serve up freshly brewed beans and pastries.

Weekend in Oslo

Come lunchtime, to keep costs low you could grab a sandwich and then take it to Oslo Mekaniske Verksted. This cool hangout, complete with bare-brick, books and low-lighting, lets customers bring in their own food, all you have to do is buy a drink. Another great option is to grab a grill. Oslo locals love a barbecue and it’s perfectly acceptable to buy a disposable one and head to Frogner or Vigeland Park for a picnic.

Tick off traditional Norwegian food at night, by heading somewhere like Kaffistova. Kjottkaker (Norway’s take on meatballs), reindeer and salmon are all traditional dishes you’ll find here. Sult, The Kasbah and Mogador are other affordable but extremely tasty choices.

And if you just want to eat on the fly, in a cool area with lots of choice? Head to Akker Brygge.

Getting around Oslo

Walking is the best option if you just have a weekend in Oslo. With all the main attractions in close proximity, it’s easy to simply explore on foot, and you’ll get the added bonus of seeing some the city’s famous street art too.

However, if you do feel like whizzing around a little faster, then there’s Ruter. The public transport provider offers a 24-hour ticket for around £10 and you can use it on trams, trains and buses. You can even take to the waterways and go island hopping in the Oslo fjord on that same city pass. Simply head to the Aker Brygge area and take your pick of islands like Gressholmen, Hovedoya and Lindoya to experience a few hours of quaint Norwegian life. Bargain!

Accommodation in Oslo

The first time I went to Oslo I stayed at the Anker Hotel and would definitely recommend it. It was a slick, kinda business-like hotel, well located in the city centre. You can check out my (basic 2012-style) review here

Weekend in Oslo

Weekend in Oslo

If you want somewhere a bit more original check out Oslo Guldsmeden (above) on booking.com, or the Ellingsens Pensjonat (below). I can’t personally recommend them but looks like the customers love them and the pictures are pretty. A lot of the accommodation in Oslo is quite, errrm, industrial rather than ‘cute’ so I think these are real finds. 

Weekend in Oslo

Weekend in Oslo

48 hours in Oslo

Whether you’ve booked flights for a weekend in Oslo, or you’ve got some time before, during or after a cruise, I really think Oslo is a super cool city and I hope you have fun exploring!

I was in Oslo thanks to my Scandinavia and Russia tour with Princess Cruises. They actively encourage you to get off the ship and explore the port cities for yourself. They will help you if you’d like a guided tour, and if you want to look around on your own. The idea behind their land days is that you can shape your cruise however you like. Check them out!

More on Oslo for a weekend

Just How Expensive is Oslo?

Grünerløkka in Oslo: Where the Hipsters Hang Out

The Tandem Credit Card: NO International Fees & Cashback Too!
May: What Did You Do To Me? June Soon...
tagged in Oslo