12 Must-Do Experiences in Oslo

Explore the woods and fjords, quirky shops, and strange things you won’t find in any other country.

Ullevål Hageby is a residential area in Oslo with a historic air. Nouveau Baroque houses are nestled around a pond known as Damplassen, where you’ll find small shops and a lovely bakery, usually full of yummy mummies. The idea of a ‘hageby’ – a garden city – was a way to get working-class people out of unhealthy living arrangements in the city centre and out into the open air. Modeled on an English idea, the buildings look very St. Mary Mead, though there hasn’t been a murder there – yet.
Universitetsgata 18, 0164 Oslo, Norway
Oslo might not seem like a big and bustling city, but even so, it can be nice to “get away” from all the modern noise that surrounds us on a daily basis. Norlis Antikvariat (Norli’s Used Book Store) was founded by Olaf Norli in 1890 and though it has changed locations slightly since then, it has retained its air of quiet and calm. Great literature, hidden treasures, rare, out of print books, they’re all there for the taking! Just make sure to leave plenty of time for your visit - you never know what you might discover.
27 Dronningens gate
Esaias Solberg was established in 1849, and has remained a popular shop ever since. Dealing mostly with vintage and antique, customers can buy everything from diamonds necklaces and silver objects to Rolex watches. Esaias Solberg also promises to be cheaper (up to 50%) than any other high street jewelers, because they make many pieces themselves, as well as re-designing the used pieces they buy. Located in the city centre, make sure you stop by Esaias Solberg if you want to look at glittery things!
Pretty islet Lille Herbern is located in the Oslo fjord, south of the Bygdøy peninsula on the west side of Oslo. The islet used to be a waiting place for ships arriving to and departing from Oslo. Lille Herbern has been open since 1929 and is one of the older eateries in Oslo. The menu has a nautical feel, serving fresh seafood along with gorgeous views of the fjord. To get there, hop on a bus to Bygdøynes and catch the ferry from there.
Hovedøya is an island located in the Oslo fjord. The name derives from Norse word hǫfuð, meaning height. It probably got this name from a large hill on the Eastern part of the island where there used to be a military watch tower in Medieval times. Hovedøya has a rich and varied history; from being a strategic military base in Viking times, to a monastery in the Middle Ages, to a quarantine station in the 1800’s. Used as an internment camp for women who had consorted with Nazis after WWII, this camp was later used for temporary housing as there was a great shortage of houses after the war. Nowadays the island is used mostly for recreational activities; beaches and art galleries, and some times puppet shows. You can take a ferry from Vippetangen to get there.
Nobels gate 32, 0268 Oslo, Norway
The Vigeland Park reminds me of Central Park in New York City. The grounds are huge and very well kept. This is the place that you might have heard of - there are over 200 statues of people in action created by artist Gustav Vigeland. In the center of the park there is a large totem sculpture combining many different sculptures into one. It is free to visit and must not be missed when visiting Oslo!
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