I prefer summer but Oslo can be magic in the winter
OSLO, NORWAY: Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower. A historic landmark in the Norwegian consciousness, Holmenkollen embodies more than a century of skiing competitions. Inside the ski jump is the Holmenkollen Ski Museum, the oldest of its kind in the world. The museum presents over 4,000 years of skiing history, as well as Norwegian polar exploration artefacts. The observation deck on top of the jump tower offers panoramic views of Oslo. Jump inside to see what Oslo can bring in the winter.
Oslo Winter Park
Go skiing in the city, just 30 minutes from downtown Oslo. Oslo Winter Park (formerly Tryvann) is the Oslo-area’s largest ski resort, consisting of 18 slopes and 11 lifts. There is a terrain park in Hyttli area, cruising slopes in Tryvann, slopes for children and beginners, and challenging slopes and a 6-seat express lift in Wyller.
ParkSki & SnowboardSchool offers private lessons and classes for skiers of all ages and levels throughout the winter. Choose between snowboarding, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and telemark. English, German and French-speaking instructors available.
Oslo Guidebureau offers guided walking tours in Oslo in the winter season, with a different route and theme for each day of the week. The tours are conducted in Norwegian and English. Tickets can be bought directly from the guide – cash only.
Korketrekkeren. Probably Oslo’s most popular place for tobogganing, with sled rental. Go at full speed from Voksenkollen to Midtstuen, and then use the subway to get back up to the top. Transport: Metro line no. 1 to Voksenkollen.
The Spikersuppa ice skating rink in Oslo city centre is open and free for everybody. Stand with hot dogs, chocolate, toddy, sodas, coffee and popcorn. No pucks or sticks allowed.
The Viking Ship Museum presents great Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. The museum displays the world’s two best-preserved wooden Viking ships built in the 9th century.
The Norwegian Folk Museum is one of Europe’s largest open-air museums, with 155 traditional houses from all parts of Norway and a StaveChurch from the year 1200. The museum’s indoor exhibits show traditional handicraft items, folk costumes, Sami culture, weapons, toys, pharmaceutical history and other historic artefacts. In summer you can experience lefse baking, horse and carriage rides, feeding the animals, guided tours, handicraft demonstrations and much more.
Akershus Fortress is a great place to discover Oslo’s history. The building of AkershusCastle and Fortress was commenced in 1299. Guided tours.
The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art moved into a brand new building at Tjuvholmen in 2012. The new museum building is designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. It consists of two buildings: one for the museum’s own collection and one for rotating exhibitions.
The National Gallery houses Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. The museum’s central attractions include Edvard Munch’s The Scream and Madonna and paintings by Cézanne and Manet. Ordinarily, the museum’s exhibitions present older art, with principal emphasis on art from Norway.
You can find a wide variety and a large number of cafés. To meet at a café is a normal part of the everyday life for many of the city’s inhabitants – either just for a coffee, for a beer or for a small meal. People even spend hours at their café, considering it their second home.
More Museums. Oslo has a museum for every taste – you find approximately 50 different museums around the city. Whether you are interested in Vikings, Peace Prize laureates, magic tricks or fire trucks, Oslo will have a museum for you.
National Opera & Ballet is Norway’s largest performing arts institution, with over 600 employees working in about 50 professions and trades. After the opening in 2008, the Opera House in the old harbour area of Bjorvika soon became a landmark in Oslo. Designed by the Norwegian architects Snøhetta, it is the first opera house in the world to let visitors walk on the roof.
Restaurants and nightlife
Norwegians are just as likely to eat pizza, sushi and tapas as traditional Norwegian food, but Norwegian food traditions and produce still hold a strong position in many of Oslo’s restaurants. Warning: Visiting bars and restaurants are pricy.
The international team at 34 Restaurant offers a selection of delicate dishes made from the best organic and local ingredients available. Delicious food, a great wine selection and the fantastic view from Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel’s top floor makes dining at 34 Restaurant a unique experience. On the same floor you can enjoy the view and a drink in 34 SkyBar.
Bocca Bar & Restaurant
Restaurant with authentic Italian pizza and other Italian specialities on the menu. The Italian chef guarantees good food and value for money. Bocca is located in First Hotel Millennium.
Engebret Café. Situated in Oslo’s oldest restaurant area. The low corner building was built in the 1700s, and in 1857, Café Engebret opened its doors for the first time. The menu a large selection of seafood, but the restaurant also offers many game dishes, especially in autumn. In Oslo, lutefisk in great demand around Christmas, and this tradition is followed up at Engebret.
Blaa is an independent club for live, contemporary jazz, hip-hop, r&b and related sounds; a professional venue dedicated to up-and-coming acts from all over the country, as well as established international artists. Concerts are often held early in the evening, before the venue turns into a vibrant club with DJs.
Nivou. Oslo’s largest nightclub, with two floors, VIP lounges, and a Cuba-inspired back yard that is open year-round. Nivou has a large champagne menu and a good selection of drinks. In the basement the music is somewhat heavier than on the ground floor.
Very popular outdoor backyard with a unique atmosphere. On weekends it turns into a nightclub with dancing and a good party atmosphere. Outdoor concerts during summer. Indoor concerts at the bar all year.
London Pub & Club. London Pub has been Oslo’s most famous gay bar since the ’70s. London Pub (ground floor). Quiz on Mondays from 8 pm. Karaoke on Tuesdays from 9 pm.
The Oslo Pass gives you free entry to more than 30 museums and attractions, free travel on all public transport, free parking in municipal car parks, free entry to outdoor swimming pools, free walking tours, discounts on sightseeing, ski simulator, ski rental, and special offers in restaurants, shops, entertainment and leisure venues. An OsloPass for children is available at a reduced rate.
More inspiration: Watching the Magic Northern Lights