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The Vigeland Park The Vigeland Park
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The Vigeland Park.
Photo: CH - Visitnorway.com/Vigeland-museet/BONO
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A stay in Oslo doesn't have to cost a fortune. In fact there is a lot you can do for free in the Norwegian capital.

Markets

Markets are a good bet if you want to mingle with locals. The second-hand and antique market on Vestkanttorvet takes place on this square in Majorstuen every Saturday between March and December, while in the eastern part of town the Birkelund fleamarket in Grünerløkka attracts its fair share of visitors every Sunday.

Christmas markets are also popular and well worth a visit if you happen to be in Oslo in December - the main two are the one on Rådhusplassen (the big square in front of City Hall), and the one at the Folk Museum on Bygdøy. And if you are interested in food make sure you check out the Matstreif Festival (also on Rådhusplassen) in late September.

Swim, ski, skate

If all this sounds a bit too highbrow, what about going for a swim or a spin on the ice, depending on the season? There are many beaches within easy access of central Oslo. Head to Bygdøy for a dip at Huk, the last stop on the 30A line bus, or Paradisbukta (the aptly named Paradise Bay). Or make for one of the many islands in the Oslofjord.

Alternatively you can chill out by one of several lakes in Oslomarka Forest (of which Sognsvann is probably the most popular).

Visiting in winter? Then you can look forward to ice-skating and skiing. Oslomarka, the huge forest high up on the hills above the city, offers a vast network of cross-country tracks that are free for all to use, while back in the centre, you will find the Narvisen ice rink, right by Karl Johans gate, open from December to February, and another rink at Frogner Stadium, open from late January to mid-March – both have free entry.

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