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Oslo in February

I know it is cold and dark but...
can we do a walking tour of the city? Which do you recommend? Is there snowshoeing near the city? Hiking? Also, northern lights in the city area? We are trying not to rent a car. Any recommendations for a nice hotel/bed and breakfast in the city? Having a hard time finding one with high ratings. Thanks for the advice!

Posted by
6670 posts

You might see the northern lights, but don't count on it. I live at roughly the same latitude as Oslo and see them maybe 3-4 times per year. You need to get a lot further north if that is the reason for the trip. Hiking is not something I'd do in February, too much snow on the trails. You might encounter someone with snowshoes near the city, but they are pretty rare. Scandinavians tend to prefer skis.

Posted by
286 posts

The Nordmarka area north of Oslo is popular for cross country skiing and other outdoor activities. Downtown Oslo is not dark in the winter. It is well lighted with a combination of street light and illuminated outdoor advertising. There is ice skating and other activities near Carl Johannes Gate and the National Theatre.

When I was visiting Oslo in the 1990s, I always enjoyed it at night.

Posted by
5837 posts

Our Oslo visits have been more in March than February. Oslo's winter climate is relatively mild with Central Oslo being essentially at sea level and moderated by the maritime influence.

No need to rent a car for Oslo and if anything, a car would be a "tire around the neck". Oslo is very walkable and supported by a great transit system with various transit passes and the Oslo Card includes transit. If you fly into OSL, take the train from the airport to Oslo S and the transit information center is in the Oslo S train station complex.

You can use the same tickets on all public transport in Oslo: bus,
tram, metro, train and ferry (not the Bygdøy ferry).

Where to buy tickets The Oslo Visitor Centre at Oslo Central
Station, Ruter's Customer Service Centre (in Oslo S), in most Narvesen and
7-Eleven shops, from ticket machines at metro stations etc. Single
tickets are available on the buses and ferries, but are more expensive
than tickets bought in advance.

While Oslo is at sea level, the surrounding Oslomarka is easily accessible by transit and with its higher elevation will be snow covered when Oslo has bare pavements. Ride the T1 Metro to Holmenkollen for a winter experience.

I usually stay on one of the budget Thon hotels near the Oslo S train station, usually the Astoria. The Thon hotels are priced with a nice breakfast. Thon hotels run from "budget" (for Norway) to luxury.

See Rick's what to see check off list:

Posted by
2147 posts

Hi creespv, we were in Oslo for a few days in February 2019. We took the train from Bergen and stayed at the Thon Opera (right next door to the train station). As mentioned, nice hotel line with free breakfast (some of them have dinner included too). We did a 1 hour tour of the Opera House (be sure to go up on the roof), walked around the fortress, military museum, city hall, down to the port, and visited the Viking Ship Museum and the Nobel Peace Museum. The art museum was closed for remodeling. The weather was chilly but there wasn't much snow at all. Hope you enjoy your trip!