If you are on a budget, then visiting the most expensive City in the World can be terrifying. But there is no need to skip the city if you stick to our Oslo Guide and use an Oslo Pass.
And if you choose to go in the off-season, like we did in October, then you are likely to save even more money and miss the crowds over summer and winter. Just be warned that it may mean some places will have limited opening hours.
Oslo Panorama from Holmenkollen Ski Jump
The first thing you will want to lay your hands on is the the Oslo Pass. It is guaranteed to save you money with free entry to over 30 museums, free public transport around Oslo and a few extra savings like discounts on meals.
You can choose between the 24, 48 or 72 hour cards. We had the 72 hour card (495 NOK or US$87) and it was perfect for the autumn season, because we didn’t have to rush around trying to fit everything into 48 hours. Plus it is just too cold to get started too early in the morning or carry on late into the night.
If we didn’t have the Oslo Pass then we would have spent 860 NOK (US$151) on transportation and entry fees. That’s a saving of 365 NOK (US$64). And to be honest, we probably could have squeezed a few more attractions in if we really wanted to.
3 Day Oslo Guide – Recommended Sights
While we were busy in Oslo and saw a lot, we were not run off our feet and exhausted each day. Plus it was the middle of October and the temperature hovered around 6 degrees Celsius. So we didn’t like spending too much time outdoors even though we do love the cold.
We also used our Oslo guide book, that comes free with the Oslo Pass, to plan our days to maximise the time spent in each area.
Holmenkollen is situated about 20 minutes out of Oslo city on the Metro 1 line and well worth the trip. We spent a few hours checking out the HUGE ski jump overlooking the city of Oslo.
As well as the world’s oldest Ski museum, which tells this history of skiing through the ages from several thousand years ago. A must for any snow adventure lovers like ourselves.
We have never been more confused by a park than we were at Vigeland Park.
We have no idea what the statues represent or why they even exist, but surely a man being attacked by four flying babies is a little bit weird in anyone’s book?
What about creepy babies riding on the back of a naked lady with her hair braided between her teeth?
While completely freaky, the Vigeland Park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland), and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. We highly recommend that you go and check it out for yourself and have a laugh.
Noble Peace Center
The Noble Peace Center was probably the highlight for both of us. Especially as they currently have an incredible exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi showing. While he is the world’s most famous Peace activist, he has never won the Noble Peace prize.
It was also enlightening learning a little bit more about the Noble Peace prize as we were both surprised at how little we actually knew about some of the worlds greatest Peace activists who have won over the last century.
You can easily spend a day over at Bygdøy, so catch the ferry across (or Bus 30) in the morning, and spend the whole day exploring the Peninsula. While there are six museums on the Bygdøy Peninsula, we only had time to check out three of them.
The Viking Ship Museum is home to three well preserved Viking Ships that give an insight into the conquerors who ruled the seas several thousand years ago. Still can’t believe they used to sail these ships across the North Sea to pillage the UK.
The Polar Ship Fram exhibition provides a detailed insight into the lives of the Norwegian Polar explorers from the beginning of the 20th Century.
You can follow in the footsteps of heroes such as Roald Amundsen, the first man to make it to the South Pole, onboard the Polar Ship Fram and see what their lives were like when they took these crazy adventures.
Memorial at the Holocaust Centre to the Norwegians killed during the Holocaust.
While extremely moving, the Holocaust Centre is a must for anyone that wants to learn a little more about the Holocaust and how it affected Norway.
We were the only ones wandering around the graphic displays and barely spoke to one another the entire visit. And when we did speak it was barely a whisper. Very sobering, but a must visit for everyone.
The Akershus Castle sits prominently above the Oslo harbour protecting the city from invading forces. While the cannons may now be clogged up and pigeons the greatest invaders, the views and scenery are worth the stroll around the grounds.
Unfortunately we didn’t realise that the Castle was closed during the week in winter so missed out seeing inside. But it is free to wander through the gardens and snap the autumn colours.
Oslo Guide to Getting around
While the city is easily walk-able with most of the main attractions within a 20 minute walk of one another, there are a few that you will need to catch public transport for. And if you have brought the Oslo Pass, then you are sorted.
Just jump on any of the trams, buses or metro line to get around Oslo. Also highly recommended if you are visiting in late Autumn or during Winter when it gets pretty cold!
Oslo Opera House from the Batservice Hop-on Hop-off Ferry
If you have the 72 hour Oslo pass then you also have the chance to use the Båtservice Hop-on, Hop-off ferry to explore the Oslo Fjord for free. The ferry runs year round and stops at the city center, the Opera House and across the harbour to Bygdøy Peninsular for a few popular museums.
Extra Travel Information
Get your Oslo Pass from any of the visitor centers or you can buy it online.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia with their awesome buffet breakfast.
We don’t recommend flying into Oslo with Ryanair because you actually land 120 kms from Oslo City center and it costs US$130 return on the bus! We found out after we booked.
Visit Oslo during the shoulder-season, such as October, to avoid the crowds and higher prices.
Disclaimer: We were provided with an Oslo Pass from the Visit Oslo Tourism Board but all our recommendations are always our own and we would definitely have brought one anyway!