Oslo Guide – Review of the Oslo Pass

| October 23, 2012 | 35 Comments

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

Oslo Panorama from Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Oslo Guide

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

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.

Oslo Holmenkollen Ski Jump

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.

Vigeland Park

We have never been more confused by a park than we were at Vigeland Park.

Oslo Guide 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?

Vigeland Park Oslo Guide

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.

Bygdøy Museums

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.

Viking Ship Museum Oslo Guide

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.

Oslo Guide Holocaust Center

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.

Akershus Castle

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 Akershus Castle

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 Guide Opera House

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! 

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (35)

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  1. Sophie says:

    Glad you’ve enjoyed it here. Love your photos of Holmenkollen Ski Jump, especially :)

  2. Cool opera house! Thanks for the tip about making this pricey destination a bit more budget friendly.
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..In the Water with Whale Sharks – Cancun, MexicoMy Profile

  3. bronwen burmester says:

    Didnt expect there to be so much to see either in Oslo, would have liked the sculpyure park – very intriging.
    Thanks for the blog.

  4. That park looks very confusing! :) I’ve been to Oslo once, but missed most of the sights that time (except Holmenkollen), oh well, something for next time. Looks nice!
    Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad recently posted..Weekend Raid to BelgiumMy Profile

  5. Laurence says:

    Gorgeous photos. Seriously awesome to see your skills growing :) Love the statue in Vigeland park composition especially (I’m a sucker for clouds..)
    Laurence recently posted..#TravelPinspiration: SunsetsMy Profile

  6. Laurie says:

    Great place but expensive. Actually so much history in Oslo.
    Laurie recently posted..Thai New Year 2013My Profile

  7. Turtle says:

    Awesome tips. But I can’t get over how weird that park is. I don’t think you’d even be allowed to have statues like that in a lot of parks in the United States!

    • I don’t know that you would be allowed sculptures like that anywhere else in the world. I wonder if the artist just didn’t let anyone see the park until he was finished. Then the officials were screwed.

  8. These city passes are really a great thing to have. Save so much time and money…beautiful shots of Oslo!
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Shula’s 347 Grill – TallahasseeMy Profile

  9. Beautiful photos of the city. Thanks for the Oslo Pass travel tips.

  10. That is a one weird park for sure. Man with four babies looks like he’s pushing them away and trying to escape. Love the photos, especially the Oslo Opera House and Akershus Castle. Thanks for the tips to get around in Oslo!
    Shamis @ Gawaya Travel Blog recently posted..Cheap Holidays In CreteMy Profile

  11. Thanks,Cole. This is useful to know how to travel Oslo cheaper, since I’ve always been turned off to it because i hear it is SO expensive. I definitely want to visit Norway, but mostly for adventure activities. Perhaps I’ll make a stop in Oslo sometime as well.
    The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) recently posted..The time we got a medical exam in China and there was a hole in my pee cupMy Profile

  12. Really beautiful photos guys! Apparently now Finland and Switzerland are more expensive to live in than Australia, so maybe I need to write some tips on how to save money here!

  13. I looooved Oslo. SO many museums – the perfect reason for getting the Oslo pass!

  14. Abby says:

    Oslo looks so cool! I spent a few weeks in Sweden after college and have always wanted to go back to Scandanavia.
    Abby recently posted..How-to: guided motorcycle tours through Grand CanyonMy Profile

  15. Ali says:

    Definitely sounds like a great deal. Those statues are a bit odd! There’s a statue of a giant eating children in Bern, Switzerland, maybe this guy being attacked by the babies should hook up with the giant for some help? :)
    Ali recently posted..What is Stopping You From Traveling?My Profile

  16. Alexandra says:

    Flying Babies are vicious! You never know when they might attack ;)
    Alexandra recently posted..Travel Information About India – Blog ResearchMy Profile

  17. Linda Bibb says:

    The flying babies statue is truly creepy. It looks like that man is kicking the one.

    Thanks for the tip about RyanAir. I’ll have to remember that. It seems obvious that they are not at all concerned about their passengers’ comfort.
    Linda Bibb recently posted..How to See Amsterdam in One DayMy Profile

  18. Mary Ann says:

    your blog made me really laugh hard because of the park that is kind of weird and can even get over until now, LOL, Thank you for the tips and looking forward to going there even though i feel a little jittery especially that tourist kept mentioning how expensive it is there. Im planning to fly with norwegian air from Bangkok and maybe you have idea with the cheapest ride from airport to city center

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