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10 things Oslo is famous for

Combining fjord and forest landscapes with high-end architecture and landmarks that bear witness to Norway’s history – Oslo has it all.

Nicknamed as The Tiger City (or Tigerstaden), Norway’s capital offers its visitors a taste of Scandinavian traditions and modern life. Discover 10 things Oslo is famous for and start planning your trip.

The Royal Palace

Serving as the residence of the Kings and Queens of Norway since 1849, the Royal Palace is one of Oslo’s most historic buildings. Designed by the Danish architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow, the 3-storey building boasts neoclassical architecture featuring a stuccoed brick facade. 

It took 25 years to complete it. The lavishly decorated rooms feature various interior design styles, bearing witness to the trends that dominated over the decades it was built. Both the main building and The Palace Park are open to the public. Take a guided bike tour in Oslo and see the royal residence from the bike seat.

The Royal Palace in Oslo
Photo: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo

Grunerløkka – Oslo’s trendiest neighborhood

Once a neighbourhood of immigrants and working-class residents, Grunerløkka has recently reinvented itself becoming Oslo’s trendiest district. Hip bike shops, stylish cafes and vintage clothing stores have popped up over the past few years. 

The rectangular shaped area lies in the East End bordered by the Akerselva River to the west. Offering plenty of opportunities for shopping in the morning, delicious brunch in the afternoon and fashionable cocktails at night, Grunerløkka lures both locals and tourists.

colorful apartment buildings on Grunerløkka
Photo: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo

Panorama views from Holmenkollen Ski Jump

A significant part of the city for over 100 years, Holmenkollen not only offers panoramic views but it also has its own story to narrate. Located on the hill on the northwestern side of Oslo, the popular area is located around 20 minutes from the city center by car.

Here you will also find Holmenkollen Ski Museum, the world’s oldest museum of its kind presenting 4,000 years of skiing history. From the Jump Tower on the top of the museum, the city of Oslo unfolds in front of your eyes. A ski fan or not, a visit to Holmenkollen is definitely a must.

Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo
Photo: Thomas Johannessen | Visit Oslo

The Oslofjord

The charming inlet in the south-east of Norway offers an abundance of activities all year round such as kayaking and swimming. One of the most popular things to do on the fjord is enjoy a sightseeing cruise across the fjord. Visitors can kick back, relax and see the Norwegian capital from the waterside. 

The prominent Oslo Opera House, the famous Bygdøy peninsula and the Aker Brygge are some of the places you’ll see along the way. The Oslofjord brims with life all year round but especially in the summertime, it is jam-packed with locals and tourists.

floating sauna in front of the Oslo Opera House
Photo: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo

Barcode + the Opera House

Oslo is famous for modern design and architecture, and the Oslo Opera House definitely stands out from the crowd. Specially designed so that visitors can walk on its rooftop, the iconic building boasts an impressive facade. 

Those eager to see more of Oslo’s modern side should definitely head to the Barcode quarter in Bjørvika, where 12 skyscrapers of different shapes and sizes compose a unique skyline.

Barcode in Oslo
Photo: Thomas Johannessen | Visit Oslo

Akershus Fortress

Once you’ve seen Oslo’s most modern buildings, it is time to visit the oldest one. Akershus Festning is a medieval fortress that was built in 1300, and was one of the only buildings to survive the great fire of 1624 that wiped out most of the city. 

A complex of a castle and museums, Akershus Festning is open to visitors in the summer offering guided tours. Walking around the outdoor premises is possible all year round.

Akershus castle in Oslo
Photo: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo

Aker Brygge

Another high-end neighborhood that has been in the spotlight for several years is Aker Brygge. Art galleries and museums, elegant shops and restaurants dot the area’s quaint alleys. Here traditional and modern life go hand in hand. 

Its vibrant promenade is ideal for a relaxing morning walk with views of the Oslofjord. Concerts and cultural pop-up events frequently take place in Aker Brygge adding a dash of glamour to the already prestigious area.

Rådhuskaien and the Aker Brygge
Photo: Tord Baklund | Visit Oslo

Freia Chocolate

A fun and tasty activity for families with kids as well as chocolate lovers of all ages is a visit to the Freia Chocolate factory. Learn the history of the distinguished Norwegian chocolate starting from the 9th century when Toltecs grew cocoa trees. 

The best way to complete your tour is by paying a visit to the Freia chocolate boutique on Karl Johans St., Oslo’s most popular shopping street. Part of the city’s shopping scene since 1899, the chic store offers the best chocolate treats in Norway to this day.

Freia factory in Oslo
Photo: Tord Baklund | Visit Oslo

Karl Johan Gate

Stretching from the Central Station square to the Royal Palace, Karl Johan Gate is lined up with numerous shops and attractions. Historic buildings such as the National Theatre of Oslo and the Parliament building (Stortinget) blend with high-class boutiques creating an upscale atmosphere. 

Modern restaurants and cafes with outdoor tables invite visitors for dining al fresco and people-watching in Oslo’s bustling street.

Karl Johan Gate is lined up with numerous shops and attractions
Photo: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo


Nordmarka is the dense forest region that surrounds Oslo. In only a 30-minutes ride from the city centre, you’ll find yourself among hiking and biking routes, skiing trails and unspoiled lakes. 

The vast areas of Nordmarka are ideal for outdoor activities both in the winter and in the summer attracting the likes of locals and travelers.

Skiing in Nordmarka in Oslo
Photo: Tord Baklund | Visit Oslo

Electric experiences on the Oslofjord

view of Oslo city at sunset from the boat Brim Explorer

Oslofjord Electric Dinner Cruise

3-course dinner on board Brim Explorer on the Oslofjord
From NOK 1290
Boat from Brim Explorer in the Oslofjord

Oslo Brunch & Bubbles Cruise

Brunch and bubbles cruise with Brim Explorer on the Oslofjord
From NOK 790