24 Hours in Oslo

24 Hours in Oslo

For a fairly compact city, the Norwegian capital certainly packs a punch and its pocket-sized proportions mean that 24 hours in Oslo is enough time to see all of the main sights. With its innovative contemporary culture, intriguing Viking heritage and stunning waterside location, Oslo rivals Copenhagen and Stockholm when it comes to trendy Scandinavian cities. There's no bad time to visit Norway , as both summer and winter offer an abundance of activities, although how you spend your days will differ depending on the season. So, if you're pressed for time on your Norwegian tour, read on for our guide of how to spend 24 hours in Oslo…

  1. Early Morning
  2. Late Morning
  3. Lunch
  4. Afternoon
  5. Early Evening
  6. Dinner

Early Morning

Kick off your Norwegian adventure with an introduction to the city's culinary scene. Oslo does brunch particularly well and there are plenty of places for replenishing energy levels. Try Grilleriet, located in the heart of the city, for a Scandinavian breakfast buffet featuring rye bread, smoked salmon, ham and cheese. Elias Mat & Sånt is another quintessentially Norwegian option, serving imaginative twists on classic dishes. Oslo is excellent for exploring on foot, however if the weather isn't in your favour, you can purchase a 24-hour transport ticket from the Central Station and the city's extensive public transport system will take you everywhere you wish to go. The famous Tiger Statue is located near the station, and this is the perfect place to begin your city tour.


Late Morning

Stroll down one of Oslo's main streets, Karl Johans gate, a leafy boulevard lined with shops and boutiques, which leads from Central Station to the Royal Palace. Guided tours of the Palace are available, and the surrounding parkland is also worth exploring. Norway's Parliament building is located nearby, along with the National Theater and the striking buildings of Oslo University. Art-lovers should add the National Museum to their must-see list, home to Munch's famous painting, The Scream , along with a comprehensive collection of Norwegian art through the ages.



With a morning of sightseeing under your belt, head for Mathallen Food Hall, an indoor market brimming with cafes, eateries and specialty shops - perfect for refueling before a jam-packed afternoon. Sample local smoked fish at Vulkanfisk and creamy Norwegian cheese at Ost & Sånt, or indulge in some foreign fare with tapas and pintxos at Barramon and authentic tacos at Breddos Tacos.



It's now time for a Norwegian museum tour, the best way of learning about the city's fascinating history and cultural heritage. There's the Viking Ship Museum, which houses three remarkably well-preserved Viking ships, and the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, an open-air museum showing the country's culture, architecture and handicrafts. If the weather is good, Vigeland Park is another option. Here you'll find the world's largest sculpture park (home to an array of wonderful and wacky statues) and two more museums: the Vigeland Museum and Oslo City Museum. Next, head for the Akershus Fortress, a 13th-century medieval castle and fortress complex, which once served as a royal residence.


Early Evening

Not far from the Akershus Fortress lies Oslo's innovatively-designed Opera House, which is well worth a visit during your 24 hours in Oslo. The design of the impressive glass building was selected from 350 entries of a competition back at the beginning of the century, and today you can head inside the architectural masterpiece for stunning views of Oslo Fjord. The nearby neighborhood of Aker Brygge is ideal for winding down after your action-packed afternoon. Beloved by Oslovians, the rehabilitated dockyard is full of lively bars and vibrant boutiques; if you're in need of a pre-dinner snack, grab an ice cream and wander along the waterfront.



To round off your whirlwind 24 hours in Oslo, enjoy dinner and drinks at one of the city's renowned restaurants. The area around Aker Brygge is a hub of good food places and Vaaghals is a great option for authentic Norwegian food and excellent wine. The laid-back restaurant champions the concept of skifte , an old tradition based on passing food around the table, with sharing platters made using locally-sourced seasonal ingredients. If you're looking to go all-out at the end of your trip, treat yourself to dinner at the city's three Michelin-starred restaurant, Maaemo. Meaning 'Mother Earth' in Finnish, the culinary creations pay homage to classic dishes with a contemporary twist.


Written by Luisa Watts