What to do in Oslo in One Day

Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. Oslo is a beautiful and easygoing city with lots of things to do and see. Despite being the country’s capital, it is a relatively small city and can be enjoyed in 1-2 days.

There are 2 ways to go to Oslo City from the Gardemoen airport:

1. Airport Express Train (Fly to Get)
Leaves every 20 minutes and will get to you to Oslo S in precisely 19 minutes. This is the easiest option but also the most expensive. Children below 16 are free when traveling with adults and they don’t need tickets.
Fare is 210 NOK/person and you can buy in the ticket machine at the airport or online here or download Flytoget apps in your mobile phone

2. Local Train
Will get you to Oslo S in 23 minutes every 30-40 minutes and you just need to take the elevator down to get to train station. You can check the schedule in Vy Apps thru your mobile phone. With Vy (https://www.vy.no/en/) you can check schedule for all kind of transport within Norway and you can also purchase train ticket from one city to another. But for train from Oslo airport to Oslo S you can only purchase the ticket from Ruter apps or here or the ticket machine at the train station. Children travel free on the weekend and on discounted price on weekdays.
Single ticket cost 114 NOK adult and 57 NOK child and 24hour ticket cost 267 NOK adult and 134 NOK child

Us on the train

We took the local train to Oslo S where Alyssa started to feel sleepy on the train. Not good at all LOL. Thankfully she was awake again when we arrived and we walked to Opera House and the surrounding area before eating dinner.

Alyssa was sleepy after dinner so we caught the train back to airport. She slept thru the journey and I had to half carry her walking back to Hotel.

Top things to do in Oslo

Visit the Opera House and stroll in the surrounding area

Oslo’s Opera House is located right at the harbour, with an angled, white exterior that appears to rise from the water. It invites its visitors to climb its roof and enjoy panoramic views of Oslo and the fjord, all year round.

Large-scale windows at street level provide the public with glimpses of rehearsals and workshop activities. The building’s interior is mainly oak, and the main hall is shaped like a horseshoe, reminiscent of classical theatres of the past. The opera is designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, and has received several prestigious awards.

The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet offers a rich and varied programme from three stages: The Main House (1369 seats), Second House (400 seats) and the Studio (200 seats). The Opera roof and foyer are also used for concerts.

Vigeland Sculpture Park (here)
The park is always open and free but the museum has visiting hours and you have to pay.
About the Park:
The sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland’s life work, comprising over 200 sculptures in granite, bronze and wrought iron. It was installed mainly in the period 1940-1949, but is nevertheless a result of over 40 years of work. The starting point for the park is Vigeland’s Fountain, which was originally meant to be placed at Eidsvolls plass in front of the Parliament. These plans were never realized, and the Fountain later became part of Vigeland’s more extensive park plans.

Oslo Fortress and Harbour
This is actually only within walking distance from Oslo Opera House but Alyssa was too sleepy so we didn’t get to here

Go Sledging in Korketrekkeren (only during winter)
Sledging is NOT just for kids. Not in Norway, at least. One of the best Oslo winter activities available for everyone is sledging. Korketrekkeren has 2km sled run and lies close to Holmenkollen (where the ski jump is located). The elevation drop of the track is 255 meters. To go back to the top of the route, you can simply take the metro. It’s a great outdoor adventure for all. You can ride in Korketrekkeren for free, but to rent the sledges you need to pay between 100-150 NOK per day. If you have one, you can bring your own sled, too. Check here to see whether it is open or not.

Watch the World Ski Jumping competition
Oslo in winter often hosts the Ski Jumping World Cup and FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, which take place in the Holmenkollen ski jump. We went there last year to cheer for Polish jumpers and it was so much fun. They normally start in Oslo in February or March. The Holmenkollen ski jump is also worth a visit even if there is no competition held on. There are amazing views from there to the city and it’s cool to see the size of it in real life. To get to Holmenkollen, take a metro line 1 to Frognereseteren and get off at Holmenkollen station

Ice Skating
Ice Skating is very popular with several ice rinks open throughout the season. The main one is Spikersuppa in Oslo city centre, next to the National Theatre. There is also a big ice rink with music and rentals at Frogner Stadium, next to Vigeland Park. When the waters and lakes freeze over, and you are adventurous enough, you can try ice skating there. Just make sure that it’s safe – the ice should be at least 10 cm thick.  In Oslo, the popular lakes for ice skating are Maridalsvannet, Bogstadvannet, Østensjøvannet, Sognsvann, and Nøklevann.

Warm-up in the sauna and cool down in the Oslo fjord
If Iceland has Blue Lagoon and other thermal pools, Norway has sauna. The sauna tradition originating from Finland but is quickly spreading in Norway. You can try this tradition in SALT Project. SALT is a nomadic art project located right by the waters of the Oslofjord. It can be easily spotted by the distinctive pyramidal constructions called “hejser”. The project includes art and culture events, concerts, discussions, access to food facilities and several saunas. Sauna session can be booked starting from 195 NOK. Read more here

Where to Stay in Oslo if you only have 1-2 nights

  1. At the Oslo airport
    Only 2 Hotels: Radison Blu and Park Inn and they are both within walking distance from the airport. Radisson Blu, which we chose to stay is slightly cheaper and they have quadruple room which is basically a suite converted into 2 beds. We loved our room; it was spacious, we have a separate bedroom. The kids beds are in the TV room so it felt like a 2 bedroom. The bathroom also has a bathtub which is a big plus
  2. At the Gardemoen area
    There are few hotels in these area (Thon Hotels, Scandic, Comfort Hotel etc) and you need to take the airport shuttle which you have to pay separately on top of the hotel. The hotels are far cheaper than the one at the airport. If you only have 1 night and you’re not planning to go to Oslo city, best to stay here. But if you also want go to Oslo city, the location would be a hassle because you have to take the shuttle back to the airport first and then take the train to the city
  3. At the Oslo S
    Scandic Byporten, Thon Opera Hotel and Clarion the Hub are the closest Hotel to the central station. If you are looking at family room for family with 2 children, check first the room size in Scandic hotels because their room tend to be small.