We are concluding our trip to Scandinavia in Oslo on New Year's Day and I realize our options for sightseeing will be limited due to the fact that it is a holiday. Does anyone have recommendations for things to see that might be open, or any architecture/areas of town not to miss? We plan to come back to Scandinavia in the summer in the next couple of years, so this won't be our only visit to Oslo. We just need some ideas of things to fill the day.
Your average temperature in January for Oslo is lows of 22.5 degrees F. and highs of 31.3 degrees F. Oslo in January only has an average 45.7 hours of sun--in the whole month. They get snow/ice 9.8 days during the month of January.
You might look for a budget European airline to fly you somewhere farther south where the weather's more favorable.
We only spent one day in Oslo before getting on a train for the Norway in a Nutshell tour--ending in Bergen, Norway. We didn't find Oslo to be a very interesting city to see.
If the weather is on your side the Vigeland sculpture park or Ekebergparken sculpture parks are both great options and will be open on New Year's Day.
The Munch museum is also open on 1 January if the weather is bad.
Thanks, AussieNomad! That’s exactly what I’m looking for.
Before anyone else comments about the weather or short daylight, we are well aware of the conditions and have no issues there. We cannot alter our travel plans, as we are flying out of Oslo early on Jan 2.
Does anyone know of any restaurants open on New Year’s Day?
I enjoyed Oslo a lot. There's some interesting architecture around Radhusgata and west of Parkveien. I believe Rick recommends the area along Hegdehausveien north of the Royal Palace; I ran out of time before getting up there.
Other points potentially of architectural interest if you like modern stuff are the Opera House (near MUNCH) and the Aker Brygge area.
The Gronland and Grunerlokka neightborhood areas are a combination of bohemian/gentrified/ethnically-diverse. I'd recommend some care in choosing restaurants in that area; I stopped at a Turkish place with a decent Google rating, and the food was extremely disappointing. I wasn't aware that Turkish food could be bland. I guess Gronland and Grunerlokka are areas where a lot of people look for cheap eats.
Thanks acraven, I'll look into those areas.
Not sure if it will be open on New Years Day but Ostebutikken in Grunerlokka is a great little French bistro. We enjoyed it so much we ate there twice during our recent stay in Oslo. Tiny tables but great food and wine. We really enjoyed the duck shepherds pie.
Frognerparken (with the Vigeland sculptures) and Ekebergparken are both parks, they don't have opening hours.
As for other things, there are some great museums in Oslo. I like the maritime museum on Bygdøy, but I'm not sure if they are open on New Year's Day. The city hall is also nice, and can be enjoyed from the outside. At least if you like 1960s architecture.
A heads-up about Ekebergparken: The public toilets take coins, not cards. At least that was the case in July. I don't remember what the fee was--probably 5 or 10 kroner. All the other toilets I saw in Norway accepted tappable cards (not sure a card that needed to be inserted would work). I mention this because Norway is the most cash-averse society I've run into in Europe. Don't take much money out of an ATM, even if you do plan to return soon.
While we have not visitd Oslo on New Year's day, we have enjoyed Oslo as a starting and ending point for later winter holidays including Easter Week. I mention Easter because we found that Norwegians enjoy their holiday time and Oslo comes pretty close to shutting down for family holiday time. If it is a must see check the venue's holiday schedule and be prepared for limited dining opportunities. That said, Oslo is an enjoyable city to walk around.
As sugested above Vigeland sculptures are a good visit weather cooperating. After Vigland park consider continuing via the T-1 Metro uphill to the Hollmenkolen stop and the Ski Jump where Norwegian families enjoy ski touring. The Ski Jump Tower is susspose to be open 365 days/year although the Ski Museum is currently closed for renovation: https://www.skiforeningen.no/en/holmenkollen/skimuseet/apningstider-og-priser/
Views from the top of the tower are grand as is the scenery on the above ground section of the T-1 trip to Holmenkollen.
We loved our time in Oslo and will return.
A highlight for us was Frogner Park, another was the Opera House where we walked on it’s sloped roof! Seafood was outstanding as you would expect. We enjoyed our meal at Lofoten Fiskerestaurant on the Brygge where we ordered a huge bucket of peel and eat shrimp! They are closed Sundays which includes January 1, sorry.