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24 hours in Oslo

So I just found out that we have an unexpected 24 hour layover in Oslo. I do plan to get a guidebook but until then, would appreciate any tips or advice on what we should see and where to stay. It will be in mid October. Will we be able to see Northern Lights then?

Posted by
5828 posts

RS's "At A Glance" check-off list for Oslo is a good start:

The 24 hour Oslo Card is a good buy combining transit and entry fees:

The Bygdøy peninsula museums would be high on my list - open air Norwegian Folk Museum, Viking Ship to the Flam polar exploration museum. Take the Bus 30 from the central Oslo area to the Folk Museum and work your way to the Flam Museum. Return to the City Hall pier by boat: Then walk around/through City Hall next to the boat pier.

Vigland park and Norwegian Resistance Museum are on my list. If you can squeeze in the T-1 metro ride to Holmenkollen and the Ski Museum/Jump Tower you would get a panoramic view of the city. At some point walk by or on top of the Oslo Opera House and the Akershus Fortress is a nice walk with a view of the fjord but a problem with only 24 hours.

Night life in the Oslo in the Karl Johansgate pedestrian street area.

Train service is good between OSL Gardenmoen and the Oslo S central station. Airport Express train is more expensive than the train but runs more frequently and is quicker.

Posted by
5585 posts

Don't count on the northern lights, Oslo is too far south for them to be visible more than a couple of times per year.

Posted by
60 posts

You'd need to be north of the Arctic Circle to have a best shot at seeing the Northern Lights. I lived in Oslo for 3 1/2 years and never saw them. Depending on where you'll be and how much is on your list, I would add the Nobel Peace Prize museum in Aker Brygge to Edgar's for consideration. There are also some good restaurants there.

Posted by
1080 posts

Thanks, Edgar for all the tips. I just received my Norway guidebook today. Also, good to know that I can take Northern Lights off my Oslo to do list!

Posted by
243 posts

Lots of great things to do in Oslo. Vigland sculptures, two art museums, the folk art outdoor museum, the resistance museum, Viking ship museum, polar exploration museum., city hall murals....

You probably need to read about them in your brand new guidebook and narrow it down.

I enjoyed my entire in Oslo but I had 3 days. Please note that the sculpture park is in a different geographical location than many other sites.

Posted by
5828 posts

Although the Bygdøy peninsula museums are clustered in walking distance, many of the other attractions (e.g. Vigeland Park, Holmenkollen) are scattered and would be best reached by transit. Oslo's transit system is very good, and including in the Oslo Card benefits. But to see as much as you can in 24 hours it requires some planning. Figure out where everything you are interested in seeing/experiencing than figure out a transit plan.

Oslo transmit includes everything but airplanes - Bus, tram, metro (T-bane) and ferries. Here is a tool for Oslo transit routes:
If you need personal help on arrival, the Ruter transit information help center is located in the front of the Oslo S central train station.

The Oslo Tourist Info center is also located in the Oslo S complex but is a different section of the complex (next to Østbanehallen) than the transit info. BTW Google maps is a useful English language tool for route finding and opening hours.

Posted by
3741 posts

I spent 3 days in Oslo, back in the Summer of 2016, by far my favorite museums were the Viking Ship Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, and Fram-Museum, all conveniently within walking distance on the Bygdøy Peninsula.

For a taste of modern Oslo, head to the Mathallen Market, for a gourmet food-hall of local and global street food. They have a number of shops with food and crafts of local small-scale producers. The Mathallen Market is located in the northern Grünerløkka neighborhood, aka the cool hipster area of Oslo :)

Hi Claudette,

Hope I'm not too late, allthoug I am afraid I am!

Most of the time, I think Oslo is an underrated city. You get ocean, forest, hipster/urban culture, art, great food and coffee and interesting older history all within very short distances. However, with just 24 hours you need to prioritize, obviously.

I just discovered this new thing that I think would be perfect for such a short stay! Something called Oslo Cuty Game, it's kind of an app based sightseeing game / fun fact machine using your gps location to guide you through some of the most interesting sights. Seems like its a start up, so for now it's free. I tried it last weekend, and it was a lot of fun. Educating and interesting, and took you through many of the most interesting sights, such as the famous Opera House. And you are done ine less than two hours! Try it here:

In additon, I would add Frognerparken and the Viking ship museum for sure, and maybe Vettakollen for some outdoors and great views, if you are into that kind of stuff. Also, Grunerløkka is an interesting part of town with good vintage shopping and restaurants. Check out Mathallen (Oslo Food Court)!

Wish you a great time!

Posted by
1080 posts

Thanks, Miriam! Unfortunately, I returned from my trip on the 20th. We arrived in Oslo after 4 pm so we just went to the Opera House and then walked up Karl Johanns Gate and had dinner. The next morning, it was raining and we wanted to get to the airport by 1 pm so we just took the tram tour RS suggested. We did see Vigeland Park and some of the statues from the tram but just didn’t have time to stop.