Oslo has a special charm to it that is absolutely worth the stop. This capital city of Norway is located on the southeastern side of the country. And Oslo has a population of 630,000 making it the largest city in Norway with a lot to experience! My travel plans were heavily adventure focused to see the beautiful landscapes Norway is known for. But I am SO glad I made time to spend 2 days in Oslo. It gave me a better sense of the culture, history, and food. And Oslo was also just a great time (I mean…floating saunas!!). Two days felt like enough time to get a sense of what Oslo is all about and was absolutely worth the stop. Whether you’re going for one day or a week, this guide will give you plenty of things to do!
- Getting To Oslo
- Where to Stay: 2 Days in Oslo
- Best Things to Do: 2 Days in Olso
- 1. Check out Akershus Fortress (Festning)
- 2. Grab Dinner at Oslo Street Food Hall
- 3. Get Drinks at Himkok
- 4. Go to a Norwegian Floating Sauna
- 5. Norsk Folkemuseum – 2 Days in Oslo
- 6. The Fram Museum
- 7. Visit the Opera House Rooftop
- 8. Experience Norway Nightlife at Jaeger
- 9. Cruise the Fjord
- 10. Walk or Scooter Karl Johans Gate: Oslo’s Main Street
- Best Time to Visit: 2 Days in Oslo
- Oslo Packing List:
- 2 Days in Oslo Conclusion:
All photos in collaboration with Disa Wold.
Let’s get a few logistical things out of the way to set you up for a great trip!
Getting To Oslo
There are a lot of ways you could end up in Oslo. I had plans to fly to the Lofoten Islands at the Northern part of the country from the Oslo airport, so a stop in the city was a no brainer!
I was unaware that the Oslo Gardermoen Airport was a 40 minute drive outside of the city. Taxis and Ubers are reliable options there, but it’s not cheap. We had a LOT of luggage for our month long trip in Norway, so we opted for a taxi that we easily booked on a digital kiosk at the taxi area. We paid about $60 each for a private taxi in July 2023.
If I had less luggage and could do it all over again, I would take the Vy train for under $15. I’ve read that it can be confusing to book the right train (since there are several), but this would take you right to the City Center Station.
I don’t recommend renting a car for 2 days in Oslo, because they are SO expensive. Once you’re in Oslo, electric scooters, walking and uber/lyft will be your friend.
Where to Stay: 2 Days in Oslo
This is an important one, since you will want to be within walking distance to most of the things to do.
I recommend booking a place somewhere near the Main Street of Karl Johans Gate. This will give you LOADS of restaurant, shopping and museum options nearby.
I stayed at Hotel Verdandi and definitely enjoyed the free breakfast and easy self check-in. This Hotel definitely falls into the budget range of hotels in Oslo. The rooms were very small, but were perfect for what we needed for a couple nights.
More Hotel Options:
Citybox Oslo: budget option.
Comfort Hotel Karl Johan : mid-range price. Includes breakfast
Smarthotel: mid-range price. Very close to attractions.
Hotel Continental: luxury. Breakfast included. Picturesque building. Very close to attractions.
Best Things to Do: 2 Days in Olso
Okay FINALLY! Let’s get into it. These recommendations would make for a pretty packed schedule, so pick and choose what works best for you based on your travel pace.
1. Check out Akershus Fortress (Festning)
This should be about a 10-15 minute walk from your hotel. It is a castle and fortress that was completed in the 1300’s! It has 2 museums to check out and is free admission. Enjoy the views of the harbor and fjord while you take in the history of this place!
2. Grab Dinner at Oslo Street Food Hall
The Oslo Street Food Hall is located right in the City Center and has 15+ food stalls of all different cuisines. On Fridays and Saturdays, a DJ plays here in the evening and the streets are full of people dancing.
3. Get Drinks at Himkok
I believe this place is the best place for cocktails in the whole city, and it has won several awards! It’s located at 27 Storgata street across from Oslo’s Folk Theater. It is an old brick building, and to be honest we passed it several times trying to find it! There is a very small sign, but google maps will take you right there! It gives speakeasy vibes and has multiple levels in the building that offer different food and cocktail experiences. We went to the 4th floor to get signature cocktails and I could have easily stayed there for hours checking out the different bars and drinks.
4. Go to a Norwegian Floating Sauna
This was SUCH a neat experience and we thoroughly enjoyed out 2 hours at Oslo Badstuforening. Book a private or communal sauna experience. And dip in the cool fjord water when you get too hot! There are showers available on site, so you could rinse off and rush off to happy hour nearby at Panorama Restaurant or SALT!
5. Norsk Folkemuseum – 2 Days in Oslo
Getting to the Norsk Folkemuseum will require a taxi or Uber, but it is absolutely worth it. This museum has a collection of medieval buildings and all the various cultural exhibitions you could think of. I really enjoyed the timescapes looking at art, clothing, tools and more from the 1600’s-1900’s.
6. The Fram Museum
If you’re not sick of museums yet, the Fram Museum is a 19th century polar ship museum. It also offers Northern Light Shows and more. This is nearby the previous museum and could be easily knocked out in the same day.
Tip: Consider the Oslo City Pass that includes public transit, museum fees, restaurant discounts and more. If you’re planning a lot of your activities around museums, it could save you a decent amount of money!
7. Visit the Opera House Rooftop
You’ll notice the unique architecture right away. And then next you’ll notice… people are walking on the rooftop?? It was actually designed intentionally for people to walk on the roof, to act as another space to take in nature. If you visit their website, it’s kind of funny as it greets you with “Please walk on our roof!”. It is near the floating saunas and many of the harbor restaurants. This would be an easy add on for that area.
8. Experience Norway Nightlife at Jaeger
Our visit coincided with the Oslo Pride Festival (which was absolutely incredible!). Since we were there on a weekend, we wanted to see what the nightlife had to offer here. Jaeger consists of a small outdoor area and bar with a DJ upstairs. And a large basement bar and DJ space downstairs. The downstairs definitely had more dancing and was an absolute blast. There is a line to get in that begins pretty early in the night, but it moved very quickly for us. Some nightclubs require a dresscode, so check their website for recent updates. We had no issue getting in wearing sneakers and jeans.
9. Cruise the Fjord
Another popular activity in Oslo is taking a day cruise to the islands or around the fjord. There are many companies to book through. I typically book through Get Your Guide and Viator as I am familiar with these companies and have had positive experiences all over the world.
10. Walk or Scooter Karl Johans Gate: Oslo’s Main Street
Consider a walking tour or commit to wandering the beautiful and bustling streets by electric scooter!
I have to admit riding the scooter was SO fun. We had to download the ryde app to get started, but it was very easy and affordable to get around this way. I don’t recommend wearing a skirt like I did though HAHA. Thank goodness I’ll never see any of those people again.
Best Time to Visit: 2 Days in Oslo
The best time to visit is June through September. The weather is lovely, there’s a lot happening in the city, and tourism activities are In full swing. While you won’t experience the midnight sun in Oslo, it will still stay light out very late into the night!
Weather: expect a high of 70°F during the day and cooling off to the 50’s at night.
Oslo Packing List:
- A small backpack
- Comfortable walking shoes (You’d fit in with these! This shoe brand was VERY popular here)
- Light Rain Jacket
- Reusable Water Bottle (Norway has some of the BEST water)
- Portable Power Bank for your phone
- 2 Days in Oslo Conclusion:
Clearly there is a lot to do in Oslo that definitely makes it worth checking out. There is so much history, food, sights and more. This list just scratches the surface, but I feel like I really got a good feel for the city after 2 full days. And since I gravitate towards outdoor adventure travel, I was very ready to head towards the mountains in Odda!
Any Questions? What activity would you be most excited to check out?
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