Top 4 things to do in Oslo, Norway

Norway has a reputation for being terribly expensive, however there are many things to do that involve very little to no money at all. I have listed my top 4 things to do in Oslo, Norway below:

Vigeland sculpture park

Cost: £0

The Vigeland sculpture park is one of Oslo’s most famous tourist attractions. With over 200 different sculptures, you’ll be sure to spend a decent amount of time there taking everything in. All the sculptures are outdoors so be sure to wrap up warm if it’s cold out. However if you happen to visit on a warm day, there are plenty of green spaces for you to enjoy a picnic

The changing of the Guards

Cost: £0

Every day at 1:30pm (regardless of the weather), the changing of the Guards takes place just outside of the Royal Palace. It does tend to get rather packed so be sure to arrive a little earlier to secure your place at the front, especially if you want to capture some good shots. Overall, the change lasts for around 45 minutes, so be prepared for a lot of standing around.

Oslo Opera House

Cost: £0

The opera house is an example of breathtakingly beautiful architecture, honestly the pictures just don’t do it justice at all! Located in the city, a few steps away from Oslo central station, it is a perfect way to spend the afternoon before or after getting a bite to eat. Surprisingly, the roof is also open to the public, but be cautious as it is quite slippery when wet.

The Norsk Folkemuseum & the viking ship museum

Cost – £0 with a Oslo city pass (a 24 hour pass costs 445 NOK and gives you access to 30 museums at no extra cost, in addition to free public transport, discounts on food, tours & many more.

The Norsk Folkemuseum & the viking ship museum are located on an island called Bygdøy, which can be accessed by a boat (10-15 min journey). I believe you can get a bus also, however that does take significantly longer.

Out of the 2, the ‘Norsk Folkemuseum’ is a personal favourite. The main purpose of this museum is to show visitors just how Norwegians used to live back in the day. They achieved this by replicating life sized models of the houses, shops, schools, churches and pretty much everything that was around in that time period. The best thing is that you can actually go into these buildings and experience life as it used to be.

The Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower

Cost: £0 with a Oslo city pass

Just a short train ride away from Oslo central, you’ll find the world’s oldest Ski jump. After wandering around the museum detailing the vast history of the sport, you are free to take a lift straight to the top of the Ski tower. Please note that this is not for the faint hearted or those that are afraid of heights. If you do however decide to go to the top, you will be met with stunning panoramic views of the city.

Thank you for reading my top 4 things to do in Oslo! Traveling and experiencing different cultures doesn’t always have to cost the earth. Sometimes the best experiences cost the least.

Have you taken a trip to Oslo? let me know in the comments if you have or if there are any experiences that you would like to share 🙂

Solo in Oslo: My thoughts and hotel recommendation

Last month I went on my first proper solo trip to Oslo, Norway. I can’t say that it was at the top of my list of places to visit; however, when I found flights for £5 each way over bank holiday, there was no way that I could let that opportunity fly by (no pun intended).

First thoughts

The first thing I noticed once arriving in Oslo (might I add in here that I was desperately hungry) was a burger for 360kr – £32 (accurate at the time of writing with an exchange rate of £1 : 11.03kr)

I mean, yeah I had heard that Oslo was extremely expensive but boy, I was not prepared for that at all. Although, my initial shock soon dissolved once I had left the airport, & came across more affordable prices. Surprisingly, I only spent a total £160 over the 5 days (yes, you guessed it – blog post/cost breakdown soon).

In addition to this, the cleanliness of the city also stood out & not just in terms of a visual standpoint; honestly, there is a noticeable difference in air quality from the moment you step off the plane. So it comes as no surprise to know that the EU have named Oslo as a European green capital, which is basically an award that acknowledges cities for their efforts in achieving high environmental standards.

Hotel: Comfort Xpress Youngstorget

Following the theme of environmentally friendly. The hotel I stayed in; ‘comfort xpress youngstorget‘ was (to my surprise) an eco friendly one, some of their initiatives include:

  • Not providing any plastic utensils: e.g Toothbrush holders, cups etc (they provide glass instead)
  • Cleaning your room every 4 days (unless requested otherwise)
  • Drinkable tap water (I don’t drink tap water, but I’ve understood that this is super important to the majority of travellers! If anyone knows of any sustainable water packaging companies please let me know so I can help save the planet too)
  • Recycling bins
  • Bikes to hire
  • No packaged toiletries (Shower gel is in bulk which reduces packaging)

Price: £290 for 5 nights

Majority of these initiatives are also cost effective, which means that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to stay there! It’s good to note that the above price of £290 per night would be the same if you were traveling in a pair 🙂

The hotel itself had somewhat of a hostel vibe, or what I would imagine a hostel to be like anyway 😂. Upon entering, you are greeted by a couple of IPad’s that allow you to check yourself in, which in turn are overlooked by the main desk that doubles up as a ‘food checkout’ – situated next to the deli corner.

Deli Area

The rooms themselves were pretty small and basic, however I was upgraded (at no extra price) to a much bigger room once the staff became aware of how many nights I was staying for. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures as I kid you not, every time I stepped into that room I fell asleep.

Closing thoughts

This hotel is perfect for solo travellers as there are a number of places to meet new people & socialise. The upstairs lounge is effectively a co-working space, that has quite a number of people visiting each day. Downstairs, the ‘Grandma’s lounge’ has more of a chilled atmosphere; it comes equipped with a laundry area, a communal fridge and table tennis. I didn’t use any of these features, but I did grab a book and read for a couple of hours just to have a change of environment.

My all time favourite feature of the hotel would definitely have to be the rooftop area, which I annoyingly discovered on my last day. The views are absolutely mind blowing; paired with hammocks and various outdoor seating areas, it’s bound to be super busy in the summer.