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Credit: Didrick Stenersen | Visit Oslo

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7 reasons to visit Oslo

With an amazing culinary scene, trendy hipster neighborhoods and eye catching architectural design, Norway’s capital has lots to offer its visitors.

Over the past few years, Oslo has reinvented itself and quickly climbed the list of Europe’s top destinations to visit. Below are 7 reasons to visit Oslo - at least once - maybe twice - or more.

Nature in the city

Nestled between forested hills with the Oslofjord stretching south from the city, Oslo is surrounded by nature. Its privileged location is not only ideal for out of the city excursions. It also offers many opportunities for outdoor activities in the heart of the city. 

Featuring numerous beaches, Oslo is the perfect place for swimming, kayaking or fishing. In the summertime, the crowds gather in Sørenga, a newly transformed neighborhood by the waterfront. Hiking trails, promenades ideal for cycling and green parks where you can soak up the sun and savor an outdoor picnic, are scattered throughout the city.

Experience Islands hopping

Island hopping might be the last thing you’d expect to see on this list, but we assure you it’s a must do when in Oslo. The Oslofjord is dotted with islands that easily can be reached from the city center by a short ferry ride (approx. 15 minute rides).

Hovedøya is the closest one and well-known for its lush forests and ruins from the Medieval Ages. The postcard-perfect Lindøya island with colorful summer cabins and Langøyene with its hiking trails, are also close to Oslo and popular with locals and visitors alike.

Oslo has the ideal size for a short getaway

Oslo’s compact and cute size makes it the ideal destination for a short getaway. You can choose to wheel around the city on a bike, on foot, or by public transportation and you’ll still be able to discover most of the city’s attractions in a day or two.

Moreover, combining nature, with culture and modern design, the Norwegian capital will have you covered no matter what you’re looking for. Explore world-class museums in the morning and at night, taste the Nordic cuisine in one of Oslo’s refined restaurants.

Its cultural scene

Art lovers will find plenty of reasons to visit Oslo. From Viking Age museums to the marvelous collection at the National Gallery and The Ibsen Museum, the city’s cultural scene is bound to keep you entertained. Those fascinated by maritime viking art, should make sure to pay a visit to the Bygdøy peninsula that houses the world’s best-preserved Viking ship in the Viking Museum. 

Over the last ten years, urban artists of international standing and local art enthusiasts have turned the streets of Oslo into one of the city’s most interesting and vibrant art scenes, with the neighbourhood of Tøyen being particularly rich in beautiful urban art work.

Vibrant Music scene

With the Oslo Opera House attracting all the attention, the city’s vibrant music scene is often overshadowed. However, over 5,000 concerts take place in Oslo every year.

Live music venues are located all over the city hosting bands and artists from both the international and local music scene. Øya, Inferno Metal Festival, Oslo World and Granittorock are some of the city’s most popular annual music festivals.

The culinary scene

Featuring Michelin-star restaurants and a bustling street-food scene, Oslo’s culinary delicacies are bound to tickle your tastebuds. In the indoor Mathallen Food Hall over 30 stores offer mouthwatering dishes and snacks from the local and international cuisines. 

Maschmanns Food Market sells high-quality products from Norway and abroad. For a more upscale dining experience Kontrast, Omakase Oslo and Maaemo will do the trick among others.

Shopping scene

Oslo’s diverse shopping scene covers all tastes and budgets. Vintage shops, luxurious boutiques and numerous shopping malls are located in the city center side by side. 

Of course, design shops showcasing Norway’s and Scandinavia’s minimalist, modern furniture and interior decor elements are highly prevalent in the capital’s shopping scene.

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