Oslo by night from the Ekeberg hills Norway

23 Best Things To Do In Oslo In Summer (2024)

There are a plethora of fun things to do in Oslo in summer, outside the most popular and well-known sights in the center of the city.

Although we are too far south in Oslo to have the Midnight Sun, we do have really long sunsets that last for hours, and it never gets really dark in Oslo in the summer.

As I have lived in Oslo for more than 20 years, I want to share with you my best advice for what you should do and where you should go when you visit our small but versatile capital!

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1. Explore The Vigeland Sculpture Park

Things to do in Oslo in summer: visit the stunning wide, green Vigeland park, also called Frognerparken Park, and enjoy the park sculptures, the flowers and gardens, and the summer ambiance

Vigeland Sculpture Park, also known as Frogner Park, is one of Oslo’s most iconic attractions.

Created by Gustav Vigeland, the park is home to over 200 sculptures depicting the human experience in various forms.

Visitors can wander through the park’s pathways, marveling at the intricate sculptures and enjoying the peaceful surroundings. It’s a beautiful, vast green area for fun summer activities, just a picnic, or a stroll on a warm summer day admiring the sculptures.

📍 Quick facts about Norway:

  • Population 5 million
  • Capital city: Oslo
  • Language: Norwegian (most people speak English)
  • Currency: Norwegian Krone (currency calculator)
  • Coastline: 62000 miles
  • Has territory in the Arctic region
  • Midnight Sun in summer and Northern Lights in winter

2. Visit the Viking Ship Museum

Immerse yourself in Norway’s rich Viking history at the Viking Ship Museum. Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, this museum houses remarkably well-preserved Viking ships, along with artifacts and exhibits that offer insight into Viking culture and seafaring traditions.

Admire the craftsmanship of these ancient vessels and learn about the Vikings’ exploits through interactive displays and guided tours.

3. Take A Stroll Along The Oslo Fjord

The ferry between Oslo and Denmark in the blank Oslo Fjord at sunset

No visit to Oslo is complete without experiencing the beauty of the Oslo Fjord. Stretching over 100 kilometers, the fjord offers stunning vistas of sparkling blue waters, lush green islands, and picturesque coastal villages.

Stroll along the waterfront promenades, rent a kayak to explore the fjord up close, or hop on a boat tour for a scenic cruise. Whether you’re admiring the sunset or soaking up the summer sunshine, the Oslo Fjord never fails to enchant you.

4. Picnic In The Frogner Park (or Vigeland Park)

Frogner Park, located in the heart of Oslo, is the largest public park in the city and a super popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Known for its extensive lawns, beautiful flower beds, and iconic artist Gustav Vigeland sculptures, the park is the perfect spot for a picnic on a sunny summer day.

Come here to admire the art, relax on the grass, enjoy a picnic with friends and family, and soak up the tranquil atmosphere amidst the lush greenery and artistic masterpieces.

📍 TravelToNorway Tip: Get the top-rated Oslo Pass for free entry to more than 30 sights, Ruter city transport, city walking tour, as well as discounted prices for selected sightseeing and activities.

5. Enjoy the View from the Oslo Opera House

Swimming in the Oslo Fjord in the winter, with ice on the surface, beside a floating sauna across from the white Opera building that looks like a glacier sliding into the water

Rising dramatically from the shores of the Oslo Fjord, the Oslo Opera House is a modern architectural marvel. Designed to resemble an iceberg emerging from the water, the opera house offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the fjord.

You can walk up the building’s sloping roof for panoramic vistas from the top, or catch a performance inside its world-class auditorium.

Whether you’re an opera aficionado or simply appreciate stunning architecture, the Oslo Opera House is a must-visit destination.

Also read: 113+ Incredible Things To Do In Norway By Destination

6. Discover History at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Step back in time and explore Norway’s rich cultural heritage at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.

Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, this open-air museum features over 150 historic buildings from different regions of Norway, offering a fascinating glimpse into the country’s past.

Wander through quaint streets, visit traditional homes, and learn about Norwegian customs and traditions through engaging exhibits and demonstrations. It’s a journey through time that’s both educational and immersive.

7. Shop and Dine at Aker Brygge

Aker brygge on a sunny spring day

Aker Brygge is a vibrant waterfront district in Oslo renowned for its bustling atmosphere, trendy shops, and waterfront restaurants.

Situated along the Oslo Fjord, this former shipyard has long been a lively hub of activity where locals and visitors come to shop, dine, and socialize. Explore the area’s chic boutiques, indulge in delicious Norwegian cuisine at waterfront eateries, or simply relax with a drink while watching the boats go by.

Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, fresh seafood, or lively entertainment, Aker Brygge is the place.

📍 TravelToNorway Tip: Get an e-SIM for Norway with unlimited data!

8. Experience Art at the Munch Museum

The new Munch Museum is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. It is dedicated to the life and work of renowned Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.

Located in the heart of Oslo, the museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Munch’s works, including iconic paintings such as “The Scream” and “The Madonna.”

Explore the museum’s extensive galleries, learn about Munch’s artistic evolution and influences, and gain insight into the meaning behind his most famous masterpieces.

It’s a fascinating journey into the mind of one of Norway’s most celebrated artists. The new museum building opened only in 2021, and it is already renowned for its bold architecture and interior design.

9. Hike or Bike in Nordmarka Forest

Lunch at a cottage in the Nordmarka forest outside Oslo with green grass and forest, people with dogs and on bikes, on a sunny summer day

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a day and immerse yourself in nature at Nordmarka Forest.

Located just a short distance from Oslo’s city center, this vast foresty area called “Marka” by locals offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, including hiking, biking, and the occasional wildlife watching.

Explore a network of scenic trails through dense forests, passing tranquil lakes and rolling hills. Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply craving a breath of fresh air, Nordmarka Forest is a great destination for nature lovers of all ages.

10. Admire Contemporary Art at the Astrup Fearnley Museum

Located on the Tjuvholmen peninsula in central Oslo, the Astrup Fearnley Museum is a leading institution for contemporary art in Norway.

Designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s striking modern architecture provides the perfect backdrop for its diverse collection of contemporary artworks.

Come here to explore rotating exhibitions featuring works by both established and emerging artists from around the world, as well as the museum’s permanent collection, which includes pieces by artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Cindy Sherman.

With its innovative exhibitions and stunning waterfront location, the Astrup Fearnley Museum offers a captivating cultural experience if you love to spend hours surrounded by exquisite art.

11. Take A Boat Tour To Bygdøy Peninsula

The Bygdøy Peninsula across the dark fjord during sunset with a glowing sun in the distance reflecting in the fjord

Discover Oslo’s maritime heritage with a boat tour of the Bygdøy Peninsula. To get here, you take a short ferry trip from the start of Aker Brygge, and Bygdøy is home to several of Oslo’s most popular museums and cultural attractions.

Including the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, and the Fram Museum.

Hop on a guided boat tour from the city harbor, enjoying scenic views of the Oslo Fjord along the way before disembarking to explore Bygdøy’s fascinating museums and historic sites.

It’s a convenient and enjoyable way to experience the best of Oslo’s cultural offerings while taking in the beauty of the city’s waterfront.

12. Visit the Historic Akershus Fortress

Perched on a hill overlooking the Oslo Fjord, Akershus Fortress is a historic landmark that has played a central role in Norway’s history for over 700 years.

Built in the late 13th century to protect the city from foreign invaders, the fortress has been a residence for royalty, a military stronghold, and even a prison throughout its long history.

Explore the fortress’s medieval ramparts, visit the Norwegian Resistance Museum to learn about Norway’s role in World War II, and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the fjord from its commanding vantage point.

Whether you’re interested in history or architecture or simply enjoy breathtaking views, Akershus Fortress is a must-visit destination in Oslo.

13. Go Island Hopping in the Oslo Fjord

Swans by the Oslo Fjord on a sunny day

Explore the charming islands in the Oslo Fjord with an island-hopping adventure. With over 40 islands scattered throughout the fjord, there’s no shortage of picturesque destinations, each offering its own unique charms and attractions.

You can take either a ferry or boat tour to popular islands such as Hovedøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene, where they can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy a leisurely hike amidst stunning coastal landscapes.

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, island hopping in the Oslo Fjord is a perfect summer activity for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

14. Relax at Tøyen Park and Botanical Garden

Tøyen Park and Botanical Garden is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Oslo, offering a beautiful and peaceful retreat from the city vibe. Spanning over 45 acres, the park features lush green lawns, colorful flower beds, and scenic walking paths that wind through a diverse collection of plants from around the world.

Explore the park’s botanical gardens, which are home to over 7,500 plant species, including rare and exotic specimens, or simply relax and unwind amidst the natural beauty of this urban oasis.

With its serene atmosphere and stunning floral displays, Tøyen Park and Botanical Garden is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and escape the stresses of everyday life.

15. See A Play In The National Theater

The golden interior in Oslo National Theater, with impressive art details, right before the start of a play

Why not see a play in the National Theater of Norway while you visit?

The interior of the theater hall is incredibly beautiful, with hundreds of exquisite details and ornate decorations, and the theater itself is actually quite intimate. You will never be far away from the actors on stage.

Most plays are in Norwegian, but if they do their job well, you might still be able to follow the plot!

16. Explore the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower

For a taste of Norway’s winter sports culture, head to the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower. Located just outside of Oslo, this iconic landmark is home to the world’s oldest ski museum, which showcases the history of skiing through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia displays.

You will learn about the evolution of skiing equipment, marvel at historical photographs and trophies, and even try your hand at virtual ski jumping. After exploring the museum, take an elevator to the top of the Holmenkollen Tower for panoramic views of Oslo and the surrounding countryside.

If you have the guts, in the summer, you can also fly off the famous ski jump securely attached to a zip line!

Whether you’re a skiing enthusiast or simply curious about Norway’s winter sports heritage, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower offers a fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich sporting traditions.

17. Experience the Local Culture at Grünerløkka District

Immerse yourself in Oslo’s vibrant cultural scene with a visit to the Grünerløkka district. Located on the east side of the city, Grünerløkka is known for its eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, cafes, and nightlife venues.

Explore the district’s charming streets, lined with colorful 19th-century buildings, and discover unique shops that offer everything from vintage clothing to locally handmade crafts. In the evening, Grünerløkka comes alive with lively bars, music venues, and trendy restaurants serving up delicious international cuisine.

Whether you’re browsing for souvenirs, sipping coffee at a cozy cafe, or dancing the night away, Grünerløkka offers a taste of Oslo’s vibrant cultural scene.

18. Visit the Fram Museum for Polar Exploration History

Delve into the fascinating world of polar exploration at the Fram Museum. Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, this interactive museum tells the story of Norwegian polar exploration, with a focus on the famous expeditions led by Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.

Explore the museum’s exhibitions, which include the original polar ship Fram, as well as artifacts, photographs, and multimedia displays documenting the epic voyages of exploration to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Whether you’re interested in history, science, or adventure, the Fram Museum offers a captivating journey into the frozen wilderness of the polar regions.

19. Indulge in Nordic Cuisine at Mathallen Oslo

Experience the flavors of Norway with a visit to Mathallen Oslo. Located in the Vulkan area of Oslo, this bustling food hall is a paradise for food lovers, showcasing the best of Norwegian and international cuisine.

Wander through the market’s stalls, sampling a diverse array of gourmet delicacies, including fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, and traditional Norwegian specialties.

Whether you’re craving a hearty bowl of fish soup, a freshly baked pastry, or a selection of locally sourced meats and cheeses, Mathallen Oslo offers something to satisfy every palate. With its vibrant atmosphere and mouthwatering offerings, it’s a culinary destination not to be missed.

20. Take a Guided Tour of the Norwegian Royal Palace

The Royal Castle of Norway in Oslo on a bright sunny summer day, a yellow majestic building guarded by military decorated guards at the entrance

Step into the world of Norwegian royalty with a guided tour of the Royal Palace. Located in the heart of Oslo, this majestic palace has been the official residence of the Norwegian monarch since the early 19th century.

The palace’s opulent interiors are truly remarkable, adorned with magnificent works of art, antique furniture, and lavish decorations. A visit here will teach you a lot about the history and traditions of the Norwegian royal family.

Guided tours offer insight into the palace’s architecture, its role in Norwegian society, and the daily lives of the royal residents, making it a fascinating cultural experience for visitors of all ages.

21. Discover Underwater Life at the Oslo Aquarium

Dive into the depths of the ocean with a visit to the Oslo Aquarium. Located on the Bygdøy Peninsula, this modern aquarium will show you an array of marine life from all corners of the world, including fish, sharks, seals, and even penguins.

Explore the aquarium’s immersive exhibits, which recreate underwater habitats such as coral reefs, mangrove forests, and arctic waters, providing insight into the delicate ecosystems that support marine life.

Whether you’re marveling at colorful tropical fish, watching playful seals at play, or learning about the importance of ocean conservation, the Oslo Aquarium offers a fascinating journey into the underwater world.

22. Attend a Concert at the Oslo Concert Hall

Experience world-class music and performance at the Oslo Concert Hall. Located in the city center, this renowned venue is home to the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and hosts a diverse program of concerts, recitals, and other cultural events throughout the year.

Visitors can enjoy performances ranging from classical symphonies to contemporary chamber music, as well as jazz, folk, and world music concerts featuring local and international artists.

With its elegant surroundings, superb acoustics, and eclectic programming, the Oslo Concert Hall offers a memorable cultural experience for music lovers of all tastes.

23. Relax and Unwind at Sørenga Seawater Pool

Take a refreshing swim in the fjord at Sørenga Seawater Pool. Located on the waterfront near Oslo’s city center, this unique outdoor swimming area offers panoramic views of the Oslo Fjord and the city skyline, making it the perfect spot to relax and unwind on a sunny day.

Swim in the frisky seawater, sunbathe on the poolside terrace, or enjoy a drink in one of the surrounding cafes or bars while taking in the stunning views.

With its relaxed atmosphere and stunning surroundings, Sørenga Seawater Pool is a hidden gem that’s sure to delight visitors looking for a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city.

Wrap-Up Things To Do In Oslo In Summer

Feeling inspired to visit Oslo yet?

I hope I have been able to show you a few of the things you can experience in our tiny capital, including things that are somewhat outside the “tourist track”.

As I am quite sure you want your visit to be as interesting and authentic as possible, and so you need to do your research and make sure you get the best of both the important sights, and the hidden gems!

Related blog posts:

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113+ Incredible Things To Do In Norway By Destination!

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