While it is a less visited European capital, Oslo is the perfect weekend destination in the spring, summer, and autumn months. The sun stays out close to 10 p.m. in the height of summer, and the restaurants, bars, museums, and architecture make for a great cultural destination. It’s small enough and manageable that you can do it in a weekend–plus, since it’s so expensive, you won’t spend as much if you’re only there for a weekend. Here’s how to do a weekend in Oslo.
Hotel: The Grand Hotel is in the perfect location on Karls Johans Gate. It’s less than a 10 minute walk from the Opera House, Aker Brygge area, Parliament, City Hall, and the Royal Palace. Its daily buffet breakfast is incredible, and the spa and pool area make for great relaxation. Currently it is undergoing renovations, but you won’t notice the construction and I’m excited to see the restoration of this beautiful and historic hotel.
Friday: Arrive and check-in at Grand Hotel. Walk around the Parliament area and head to the Opera House. Walk up on the roof and around the pier area for great photo-ops. Continue over to the Barcode area to observe the modern Norwegian architecture. Walk across the water walkway to the Sorenga neighborhood where there are restaurants and a bathing pier. If you have time, go to the Munch Museum to see Edward Munch’s famous The Scream. If you’re looking to go out, check the schedule for the Parkteatret for a show in the hipster neighborhood, Grunerlokka.
Saturday: Start your day with a boat tour around the Oslo fjords (most take from 2-3 hours) and return to the Aker Brygge area. Check out the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art while you’re here and then enjoy the rest of your day shopping in the area. Stay for dinner at DS Louise and drinks at Lekter’n. If you want to head out for the night go to BAR Social Eating or Thief Bar for casual drinks. Alternatively Fisk & Vilt is a fun club, located north of the city center in Youngstorget.
Sunday: Get an early start and head to Vigeland Park, followed by the Holmenkollen ski jump and museum. Eat lunch at nearby Frognerseteren for incredible food and views of the city before heading home.
Extra Day: If you have an extra day in the city, check out the rest of its museums as there are over 50 in Oslo and the surrounding areas. Also make sure to go to the brand new Ostbanehallen food hall in-between museum hopping for a snack.
Bar & Restaurant Recommendations:
- DS Louise: Norwegian cuisine along the Aker Brygge
- Brazzeria: French and Italian cuisine in Ostbanehallen food hall
- Agent Restaurant: Norwegian cuisine by the Opera House
- Ekebergrestauranten: Variety of cuisine with amazing views overlooking the city from the Ekeberg garden
- Frognerseteren: Norwegian cuisine with amazing views from Holmenkollen
- Festningen Restaurant: Brasserie located at the base of the Akershus fortress
- Eufemia Bar: Gin bar located at Thon Hotel Opera with outdoor area
- 34 Resturant & SkyBar: Modern hotel brasserie located by central Oslo train station
- Dattera til Hagen: Laid-back club in Gronland
- Fisk & Vilt: Popular dance club in Youngstorget
- BAR Social Eating: Trendy bar along Aker Brygee
- Lekter’n: Large outdoor dining pier and bar along Aker Brygee
Museums & Attractions:
- Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
- The Royal Palace
- Oslo Opera House
- The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design
- The Museum of Contemporary Art
- Vigeland Park
- Noble Peace Prize Center
- Fram Museum
- The Viking Ship Museum
- Ekeberg Park
- DOGA (Centre for Design and Architecture)
- The Munch Museum
- Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum
- Oscarsborg Fortress
More from SmarterTravel:
- Oslo, City of Art and Design
- Eating on the Cheap in Europe’s Expensive Cities
- The Best Places in Europe for Every Type of Traveler