If you are considering a trip to Norway, one stop you will want to make is Oslo. Located on the on the Bygdøy Peninsula of Norway, Oslo is a city full of beautiful architecture, scenic landscapes and rich history. If you are short on time, you might be wondering what are the best things to do in Oslo during a day trip. We have some great ideas for you!
First, if you are travelling alone or with your family, you should know that Norway is one of the safest countries in the world. You will have a better chance at falling off a cliff than being murdered in Oslo. This makes Oslo a top destination for both solo female travelers and those traveling with children.
Oslo is very easy to navigate on your own. While you can book a private tour to take you around to different destinations in Oslo, your day in Oslo might be better spent going at your own pace. Our Oslo one day itinerary will give you a great overview of the city and allow you to experience some of Oslo’s best attractions.
Do You Need to Buy the Oslo Pass
They offer a 24 hour pass which is perfect when all you have is one day in Oslo.
While there are a lot of FREE things to do in Oslo, if you are planning to go to museums or take public transportation, you might find it much cheaper to go ahead and get the Oslo pass in advance of your trip.
One Day in Oslo Itinerary
- Harbor Promenade
- City Hall
- Nobel Peace Center
- Akershus Castle & Fortress
- Viking Museum
- Norwegian Folk Museum
Best Things to Do In Oslo During a Day Trip
Oslo is very pedestrian friendly and your day in Oslo will involve quite a bit of walking. Be sure to wear some comfortable shoes. We suggest beginning your day at the Harbor Promenade. There you can walk along the water and enjoy the beautiful views and visit some of Oslo’s greatest treasures.
Oslo City Hall
One of the Oslo’s main government buildings. it is also a great example of their beautiful architecture. Don’t just admire this building from a far.
While it is a government building, it is open to the general public. Take a walk inside & you will find the interior walls lined with frescoes created by Henrik Sørensen, Edvard Munch and other famous Norwegian artists.
Nobel Peace Center
The Nobel Peace prize is an award given annually to someone who has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
The recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is selected is chosen by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Inside is the Nobel Peace Center is a permanent exhibit about Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Peace Prize, and the award recipients.
Akershus Castle and Fortress
From the harbor, you will see the Akershus Castle and Fortress, a medieval castle that was built to protect Oslo. If you are going to Oslo on a budget, you can walk the grounds of the Fortress for free. Akershus Castle, on the other hand, will require a ticket (unless you have the Oslo pass).
The Viking Ship Museum
This is one of my favorite Viking Ship museums in Scandanavia. When you think about Vikings, you probably know that they were experienced explorers, but did you know that they were gifted craftsmen? The Viking Museum will show you just how beautiful artistry was during the time that Vikings sailed.
In the Viking Museum, you will find real Viking vessels that were unearthed in Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune from as early as 820 AD. You will get to see them up close and notice the details and amazing craftsmanship that went into creating these vessels.
You will also find other small Viking boats, carts, clothing, and other items used during the time period along with the skeletal remains of the man buried with his ship!
If you enjoy Viking history, this museum is an absolute must to see. It isn’t very big so it won’t take you long to go through it. But what makes it special are the actual artifacts that it showcases and the condition that they are in.
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History requires you to be outdoors as you stroll past 155 traditional Norwegian houses and a stave church from the year 1200. Be prepared for weather and wear comfy shoes.
Find out more about the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
You will be able to explore traditional Norwegian homes from the past and may even find locals dressed in traditional Norwegian time period attire showcasing typical Norwegian customs, like music, craft demonstrations like tapestry and tool-making.
One of the main things to do in Oslo is visit a Stave church. You will be able to visit one while in the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.
This open air museum is a great way to get immersed in the rich history of Norway and I can’t recommend it enough!
Other Great Museums in Oslo
- The Kon-Tiki Museum
- Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery)
- Frammuseet (Fram Museum)
- Historisk Museum (History Museum)
Oslo has so many wonderful museums and you will find them to be an easy (and picturesque) ride across the Oslofjord on the Bygdøyfergene (Ferry).
Because you only have one day in Oslo, you won’t be able to visit all of the museums in this city. Choose the ones that interest you the most.
The two museums that I prioritized for our day in Oslo were the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum (Norsk folkemuseum). I felt like they both were interesting to explore and provided us a glimpse into Norwegian culture we might not otherwise had.
There are so many things to do in Oslo that you could easily spend a few days here! When time is of the essence and you only have 1 day in Oslo the key is to make sure you plan your trip carefully.
We hope that our Oslo one day itinerary helps you have as wonderful of a time as we did during our trip. Looking for other places in Norway to visit during a road trip? Check out this road trip guide to Norway.
Have you been to Oslo? What one thing would you recommend if you only have one day in Oslo?