Top Things To Do In Oslo In 3 Days (Travel Itinerary)

There are so many things to do in Oslo that you will be spoilt for choice. Oslo, in Norway, is a European capital you can easily visit in 3 days. Here you can enjoy nature, culture, design, and entertainment. There are many parks and green spaces, and also interesting attractions. The location is great: Oslo is between the Oslo fjord and hills of green woods. In 2007, Oslo was named the second most eco-friendly city in the world by “Reader’s Digest” magazine.

Among the top things you can do in Oslo in 3 days, I like most the chance to enjoy the great outdoors so dear to the Norwegians. I confess that Oslo is not my favourite Nordic Capital (I prefer Stockholm) because of its modernity, but it has its charm. Oslo is also very expensive (it depends on what you are looking for) like other northern cities (Copenhagen is one of them), so choose only the best things to do if you have only 3 days to visit it!

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Oslo’s main attractions are all within walking distance, otherwise get buses, trams or trains especially if you want to treat yourself to a getaway. They are very efficient and you will reach your destination in a short time. You can also rely on a “Norway in a Nutshell Tour”. I didn’t need an Oslo pass to visit the city, then it depends on what attractions you want to visit. Check out the list of Oslo’s attractions.

TIP: You cannot use Euro in Norway but Norwegian kroner. My advice is to make the change before the departure.

I’ve stayed in some hotels in Oslo. Citybox Oslo and Thon Hotel Opera are some of my favourite hotels. Citybox Oslo has small rooms, but it is very central and the quality/price ratio is good, considering that Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in Europe. It is less than a minute’s walk from Karl Johans Gate and Central Station. Thon Hotel Opera has a wonderful view towards the Opera House.



Head to Vigeland Park, my favourite attraction in Oslo with the Fram Museum. It is an amazing open-air museum (I’m very attracted by open-air museums like the one in Stockholm: Skansen Museum), where art and nature come together in a single thing. Here you can admire works by the artist Gustav Vigeland, which are symbols of every human being’s lifetime.

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NOTE: you can get to Vigeland Park by a tram in front of the City Hall or from Aker Brygge (direction Majorstuen).

Oslo Opera House is your next stop. What I like about Oslo Opera House is the harbour views from its roof, where you can walk whenever you want, from day to night, to admire both the Oslofjord and the city. The Opera House is Oslo’s cultural place where concerts, ballets and exhibitions are held. It opened in 2008 and it is home of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. It is only a five-minute walk from Central Station and it is open with free admission seven days a week. Opera House’s exterior is made of white marble. The interior is made of wood. Travelers also sunbathe in the summertime, so if you are visiting Oslo now don’t miss this place!

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From the Opera House, it is only a few minutes walk to Karl Johaus Gate Road where you can find the main city’s tourist attractions. This is a lovely street where you can admire many monuments but also you can find most of the high streets shops like Zara and  H&M and some of Oslo’s biggest shopping centres such as Paleet and Byporten. For luxury gifts, Akersgata is a very exclusive shopping street. If you prefer malls don’t miss Christiania Glasmagasin and Steen & Strøm.)

NOTE: When you go shopping look for stores displaying Global Blue Tax Free Shopping signage in the window. Here you can receive a form for the VAT refund when you leave the country. If the signal is not in the window ask the shop staff for a Tax Free Form, because some of the affiliated stores may not have posted the Tax Free logo.

Here are the top things you can do in Oslo centre:

  • Look at the Grand Hotel, the building is breathtaking;
  • Admire Stortinget Parliament. It was built in 1814 and what attracts travellers the most is the typical ocher-yellow colour of the building. You can visit it only by buying a ticket. The entrance is allowed only with a guide. I didn’t see its interior.
  • Visit Oslo Cathedral. It resides at Stortorvet and it is known for its beautiful stained glass window that is located inside it, a stunning work by Emanuel Vigeland (Gustav Vigeland’s brother). Many concerts take place within it. In summer, however, there are typical markets in the back. Admission is free.
  • Have a look at the Royal Palace. It is still the residence of the Norwegian real. It was built in the first half of 800 and is in the Slottsparken Park. Admission is allowed between the end of June and the middle of August. There are guided tours every day at 12, 14, 14,20 and 16.
  • Be enchanted by Nobels Fredssenter Hall. The Oslo City Hall, a red brick building, is famous for being the location of delivery of the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December of each year and now it is the seat of the city council. Admission is free and it is open every day of the week.

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NOTE: Just 5 minutes from the Opera House there is Fiskeriet Youngstorget at Oungstorget 2b. This is a lovely seafood restaurant, where there is a fish market and a bar restaurant. Here you can taste fish and chips and also Norwegian tastings.  The restaurant is only open until 19:30.

I have some advice about my favourite things to do in Oslo.

* Art lovers could visit the National Museum or the Munch Museum. National Museum‘s admission is free for all on Thursdays. I visited it only to admire The Scream by Munch. Munch museum is away from the centre. It is a small museum. So, my advice is to visit the National Gallery.

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* If you want to experience something different go to Fram Museum. It is located at Bygdøy (the museum island is only a 10-minute ferry ride from City Hall quayside, NOK 40 one way, NOK 60 return or you can get to it by bus from the centre). It is close to the Viking Ship Museum, only 15 15-minute walk. Fram is all about the Norwegian explorations in search of the passage to the North West. Fram ship was built to resist the grip of ice and it is touching to see it so closely.

Viking Ship is another museum you cannot miss where you can admire Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune and also finds from Viking tombs.

NOTE: There are several sightseeing trips, by boat or bus, from Rådhuskaia.

When I travelled to Oslo I visited Vigeland Park, the city centre, and the Fram Museum in the morning. Then I had lunch at The Salmon where I tasted excellent salmon. I visited the National Gallery on Thursday for free admission and to see The Scream by Munch.

In the afternoon, you can visit the Viking Ships Museum and from there. Head towards the harbour, Aker Brygge. There are numerous shopping centres, local bars, restaurants, theatres, and some spas. In the summertime, Aker Brygge is always bustling with life. The Aker Brygge area was an old shipyard turned into a fab place where you can go shopping (ceramics, clothing, music, art), enjoy nightlife, dine and meet amazing people. Stroll along the main streets of Thorvald Meyers Gate and Markveien and visit shops like Probat, Shoe Lounge, Granit, Velouria Vintage or Robot.

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Another amazing place to enjoy nightlife is Aker Brygge’s neighbourhood, Grünerløkka, filled with vintage shops, quirky cafes and trendy bars.

NOTE: House of Oslo Norway’s is the largest department store specializing in interior design and it is close to Aker Brygge! This area is very interesting. City Hall square, during Christmas time, is filled with concerts, Christmas trees and decorations, and also traditional Norwegian food. There is an amazing atmosphere thanks to Akershus fortress, AkerBrygge harbor and the Oslo fjord.

* If you prefer enjoying nature don’t miss Oslo Forest which is only 15 minutes away from the city’s waterfront. Here you can go hiking. There are signposted hiking trails that will help you find your way. Most of them are accessible for Mountain biking. If in winter you could go to Holmenkollen Ski jump.


I think you cannot leave Norway without experiencing something unique such as the tour of Norway in a Nutshell. This is one of the most exciting things to do in Oslo. This is the easiest way to experience Norway. It takes you from Oslo to Bergen or vice-versa. In Norway distances to visit fjords and experience nature are long. This is something you couldn’t do in 3 days. These tours allow you to travel by train, bus or cruise to enjoy nature to the fullest: the mountains, forests and especially the fjords of Norway. The “tour” is not guided. It is a mix of transportation.

The train leaves early in the morning from the central station. Book your hotel near the central station, if you want to experience this tour. You can also combine your tour with the famous Sognefjord in a round trip. Or you can choose to leave by train and book from here.

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A day trip to Bergen is, maybe, the best thing you can do in Oslo. Bergen is one of my favourite places in the world. I love it! You can visit in one day. I think that it is so relaxing to stay here for more than one day. Picturesque narrow streets, traditional restaurants and lovely shops: this is Bergen. It is known for colourful waterfront Bryggen, a UNESCO world heritage site.

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My favourite hotels in Bergen are Clarion Hotel Admiral, and Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret. Then, the best thing you can do here is enjoy the funicular Fløibanen in Bergen. It takes you to Mt Fløyen where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Bergen in 5 minutes. You can easily get to the funicular station by walking from the centre.

NOTE: if you want to taste good wine go to Altona Wine Bar which is Augustin’s hotel bar and it is 400 year old.

In my opinion, these are the best things you can do in Oslo in 3 days. Then remember that if you are not curious about exploring fjords there is another solution: an Oslo cruise (Cruise vessels dock below the Akershus Fortress.) or visiting Drobak, a very nice and ancient village where Santa Claus lives.

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There is always something interesting to do in Oslo. What did you enjoy most about Oslo?


2 replies
  1. Zyntya says:

    You don’t mention distance between Oslo as Bergen, as well as time out takes to get there (by train) or bu other means than train

    • Maria Orlando says:

      Hi Zyntya,

      you can calculate the distance putting your destination in Google Maps. It is about 462,4 km, approximately 7 hours. The fact I put the trip from Oslo to Bergen in the DAY 2 means that you can start your journey here and being in Bergen in the DAY 3, as I wrote.

      This is my personal itinerary and how I chose to travel. Train is the mean I used cause I wanted to enjoy the landscape. Otherwise you can fly from Oslo to Bergen. The journey takes about 50 minutes.



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