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Green getaway to Oslo

A capital without crowds, with one foot in the fjord and one in the forest. Discover Oslo, awarded the prestigious title European Green Capital in 2019.
People enjoying the sun at Sørenga seawater pool in Oslo, Norway
Sørenga seawater pool in Oslo.
Photo: VISITOSLO / Katrine Lunke

Oslo, with its buzzing city centre and lush surroundings, was named the European Green Capital 2019 for its dedication to conserving natural areas and reducing pollution.

The town honours this title by continuing to outline new, green goals. Among other things, Oslo aims to reduce food waste in schools and reduce emissions by 95 per cent by 2030. The future is looking green and the Norwegian capital will continue to be a beacon of inspiration in the years to come.

And as the town continues to focus on sustainable urban living, the activities offered to citizens and visitors reflect this attitude. You can, for example, start your day with a morning swim in the city centre and enjoy a warm sauna afterwards – some crazy Norwegians do this before work, even in winter! Then, join a guided tour on foot or by bike and check out some of the city’s top attractions or free things to do. Round off your day with botanical cocktails at a (literally) green bar in the evening.

Oslo municipality aims to reduce emissions by 95 per cent by 2030.

The Akerselva river that runs through the green capital Oslo in Norway
The Akerselva river in Oslo.
Photo: Oslo European Green Capital 2019

In the last few years, Oslo has become a city that puts the people who live here first. Many central areas are now traffic-free, which means that streets and squares bustle with people who enjoy a meal or an “utepils”, or who just want to get where they’re going on foot or by bike. The waterfront, which used to be dedicated to railway lines, motorways, and shipping containers, now has paths for pedestrians and cyclists between several city beaches and cool neighbourhoods.

The Norwegians often say that “nature is the best medicine” and as Oslo is placed strategically between the blue Oslofjord and the vast green forest of Oslomarka, you can go hiking, cycling, fishing, and skiing just a short metro ride from the city centre. The scenery along the Akerselva river, which runs right through the city, is also a perfect backdrop for a stroll.

During spring and summer, the colourful flowers in Oslo botanical garden are loved by locals, tourists and tiny buzzing pollinators. You see, bees and bumblebees appreciate green cities as well, and here they even have their own highway through town.

Catch a ferry or rent a kayak and go island hopping, or kick back and relax in one of the city’s green parks. If you’re here for the culture and have been to all the important museums, you can jump on one of the thousands of city bikes that are placed around the city and look for outdoor art installations and street art. When you get hungry, you’ll be happy to discover that lots of excellent cafes and restaurants – some with Michelin stars – offer green menus with locally grown food, organic vegetables, and meat-free meals.

If you’re not ready to go home after a weekend getaway to Oslo, there are several other certified sustainable destinations to check out.

3 of Oslo’s green goals

In the Climate and energy strategy, Oslo has listed 16 initiatives the local government will focus on in the years to come, to make the city more sustainable. Here are three of them:

1. Reduce car traffic by one-third by 2030.

2. Make the port greener and reduce emission with at least 50 per cent by 2030.

3. Work with the transport industry and authorities to make trains and ships the primary means of transporting freight, as opposed to heavy duty vehicles.

Oslo city bike

With Oslo city bike, it’s easy to explore Oslo on two wheels.

Use your phone to unlock bikes at more than 100 stations in and around the city centre. If a rack is full or empty, the next one is often close by.

You can use the same bike for up to 45 minutes, and you may then pick up another bike at the same or any other bike station.

The electric vehicle capital

As 30 per cent of all vehicles that are sold in Oslo is now electric, Oslo has earned the “title” Electric vehicle capital of the world. This is part of the city’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Find your green fun

Green things to do in Oslo
Activities and attractions in Oslo with a modest carbon footprint.
Explore Oslo on a city bike – a convenient and environmentally friendly way to get around in the city! The bikes can be found at 250… Read more
City bikes: Oslo Bysykkel
Take a ferry and go island hopping between the islands in the inner Oslo Fjord! With a regular public transportation ticket or an Oslo Pass you… Read more
Island hopping in the Oslo Fjord
Activity and information centre run by the Oslo chapter of DNT – The Norwegian Trekking Association. Friluftshuset has a bouldering wall and… Read more
Friluftshuset: outdoor activity centre
One of Scandinavia's largest climbing parks – just 30 minutes from the city centre. Skimore Oslo - Summer Park is divided into 12 trails… Read more
Skimore Oslo - Summer Park
Full speed down Oslo's most popular toboggan run. Read more
Toboggan run: Korketrekkeren
Big forest region in northern Oslo with ample outdoor recreation opportunities all year round. The routes in Nordmarka are usually well-marked, but a… Read more
Nordmarka wilderness area
The perfect camping and hiking adventure close to Oslo and easy to do in just two days. Explore the forest, soak in the views and find a… Read more
Camping trip from Rotnes to Mellomkollen
The eastern side of Maridalsvannet, Oslo’s largest lake, is a beautiful area with great views overlooking the thick forest and the… Read more
Hike along Maridalsvannet
Located on the northern side of Maridalen, Øyungen is a great hike for adventurers of all ages. Although you are on a… Read more
Hike to Øyungen Lake
A peak on the northern edge of the city between Holmenkollen and Sognsvann, Vettakollen provides some of the best views of Oslo.… Read more
Hike to Vettakollen
Ready for a good run in beautiful surroundings? Whether your starting point is Grønland, Alexander Kiellands plass, Nydalen or anywhere in… Read more
Akerselva Running Loops
This hike takes you through the lush forest of Nordmarka, past Øyungen lake, and up to the viewpoint on top of Mellomkollen, which offers… Read more
Experience Maridalen's Alps
Situated just north of downtown, Grefsenkollen provides great views of Oslo, the fjord, Holmenkollen and the surrounding forests. From the top… Read more
Hike to Grefsenkollen
Bogstadvannet is a lake on the border between Oslo and Bærum with beach areas on both sides. The lake has perch, whitefish and trout and is a… Read more
Bogstadvannet lake
Family-friendly beach just outside Oslo on the east side of the fjord, with beautiful funkis-style diving tower, facilities and restaurant. Read more
Ingierstrand beach
Recreation area by Maridalsvannet lake at the northern end of the Akerselva river, next to a waterfall and the Norwegian Museum of Science and… Read more
Frysja / Brekkedammen
The inner part of the Oslo Fjord has many good fishing spots, and you don't need a licence to fish here. For a map of the fishing places along the… Read more
Fishing in the Oslo Fjord
Forest bicycle ride around Nøklevann and Ulsrudvann lakes. Starting point: Rustadsaga Take the tram to Bogerud Station (line 3), about 20 minutes from… Read more
Bicycle route: Around lakes Nøklevann and Ulsrudvann
A bicycle tour around Bygdøy is one of most delightful, romantic two-wheel rides in Oslo: Lush woods, park-like countryside, view of the sea, beaches,… Read more
Bicycle route: Around Bygdøy
Several nice vantage points are found within cycling distance from the centre of Oslo. The Valhall curve has one of the best views in the city. It is… Read more
Bicycle route: The Vantage Point Ekeberg
The River Ride is a "Jungle tour" of the west side by bicycle, in the valley Mærradalen, Oslo. Starting point: Radiumhospitalet, Ullern Easy arrival… Read more
Bicycle route: The River Ride "Jungle Tour"
Bicycle trip from the city centre to the bathing spot Nordstrand Bad. This is the shortest and easiest cycling route from the city centre to a nice… Read more
Bicycle route: To Nordstrand for a swim
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… Read more
The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
The largest ski resort in the Oslo area, with 18 slopes and 11 lifts, just 30 minutes from the city centre. Skimore Oslo includes a terrain park… Read more
Skimore Oslo
Oslo's museum for popular music Read more
Blå is an independent club for live, contemporary jazz, hip-hop, r&b and related sounds; a professional venue dedicated to up-and-coming acts… Read more
Follow the Akerselva river from Maridalsvannet lake to Vaterland Park in the centre of Oslo. The riverwalk is eight kilometres long, and takes you… Read more
Walk along the river Akerselva
Large garden at Tøyen with ample botanical variety and diversity. Most of the area is designed as an Arboretum, with approximately 1800… Read more
Botanical Garden
The biggest park in the Grünerløkka area is a popular recreational area for the locals, especially the younger generations. The park has table tennis… Read more
Sofienberg Park
St. Hanshaugen is one of Oslo's largest parks, located just north of the city centre. This popular recreational area is great for walks, and from the… Read more
St. Hanshaugen
Sculpture park in the Frogner Park with more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943) in bronze, granite and cast iron, including… Read more
Vigeland Sculpture Park
Green places to stay in Oslo
Eco-certified hotels that uphold strict standards in regards to sustainable treatment of waste, water and drainage, energy use, and environment-friendly suppliers.
Find green hotels in Norway
Soaring 37 stories into the skyline above Oslo, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo rises to every occasion, providing grand service and optimum location.… Read more
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo
A distinctive, bold and timelessly elegant hotel at Tjuvholmen, and the first hotel in Oslo with direct access to the Oslo Fjord. The Thief has 114… Read more
Large full-service hotel with top attractions, shopping and public transport in the immediate vicinity. Radisson Blu Scandinavia has 499 well-equipped… Read more
Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel
Five star hotel in the city centre of Oslo, close to the National Theatre, Aker Brygge and the Royal Palace. Spend your days in Oslo from one of… Read more
Hotel Continental
Historic hotel in Holmenkollen, just a few minutes from the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump.The oldest part of the hotel is an architectural… Read more
Scandic Holmenkollen Park
Large hotel with all types of services and well-equipped rooms with great views of Bjørvika and the Opera House. Thon Hotel Opera is located… Read more
Thon Hotel Opera
Hotel at the top of Holmenkollen with 85 guest rooms, a restaurant and banquet and meeting facilities. Hiking trails, ski tracks and a ski resort are… Read more
Hotel near the railway station in Lillestrøm, just 10-12 minutes by train from Oslo Airport and Oslo Central Station, and next door to Norway Trade… Read more
Thon Hotel Arena
Modern conference hotel with direct connection to Norway's national arena for football (soccer), Ullevaal Stadium. The stadium is located ten… Read more
Thon Hotel Ullevaal Stadion
Full-service hotel across the street from the Aker Brygge wharf, known for great shopping and dining. Karl Johans gate, City Hall and the National… Read more
Thon Hotel Vika Atrium
Thon Hotel Linne is a modern conference hotel with 394 comfortable rooms. The hotel is situated in North-East Oslo close to the business areas… Read more
Thon Hotel Linne
Comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city, close to Oslo Central Station, shopping, restaurants, museums and theatres. Read more
Thon Hotel Terminus
Pleasant and practical accommodation in a quiet part of the city centre with public transport, restaurants, shopping and attractions nearby. Wireless… Read more
Thon Hotel Munch
The venerable Hotel Bristol is located only one block from the main street Karl Johan. The hotel has 251 rooms and suites, a complete gym, meeting… Read more
Hotel Bristol
Hotel by the Akerselva river in Nydalen, just 11 minutes from the city centre by metro. Radisson Blu Hotel Nydalen has 185 guest rooms decorated in… Read more
Radisson Blu Hotel Nydalen
Modern business hotel located in the middle of the city centre of Oslo. It is also suitable for leisure travellers. The upper floors offer a fantastic… Read more
Thon Hotel Panorama
Hotel in the heart of Oslo, with short walking distance to City Hall, Karl Johans gate, Aker Brygge, shopping and restaurants. Scandic Victoria has… Read more
Scandic Victoria
Hotel west of the city centre, centrally located on the Bogstadveien shopping street between Majorstuen and The Royal Palace Park. Gyldenløve… Read more
Thon Hotel Gyldenløve
Hotel in the busiest part of city centre, surrounded by nightlife, restaurants, shops and attractions. Just around the corner are Oslo Central… Read more
Thon Hotel Astoria
In the heart of the city you find Thon Hotel Cecil, with restaurants, nightlife, shopping and attractions on its doorstep. The rooms have wireless… Read more
Thon Hotel Cecil
Apartment hotel in a central yet quiet location near the Royal Palace, major shopping streets, restaurants and museums. The hotel has apartments and… Read more
Thon Hotel Slottsparken
Thon Hotel Spectrum lies in the centre of Oslo, just a short walk from Oslo Central Station, with high-speed connections to the airport, and… Read more
Thon Hotel Spectrum
Green restaurants in Oslo
More and more restaurants in Oslo offer green menus with locally grown organic ingredients and meat-free options.
Modern Nordic restaurant at Vulkan with a gourmet kitchen that creates new dishes every day based on the best Norwegian and organic ingredients… Read more
Restaurant Kontrast
A restaurant at the top international level, and the only restaurant in Norway with three stars in the Michelin food guide. All the food at Maaemo is… Read more
Berserk, situated at Frogner district in Oslo, is a restaurant that offers a wild journey through different tastes and flavours, all based… Read more
At Tullinløkka you find Elias, a friendly and informal place that offers homemade Norwegian food at reasonable prices. The menu includes… Read more
Café Elias
Deli, coffee shop and restaurant at Sagene with emphasis on high-quality, local food products. The deli has a great selection of cheeses and hams,… Read more
Mat & Mer
Vibrant food court with flavours from all over the world Read more
Vippa Oslo
Rest makes gourmet dishes out of produce others would throw away. The restaurant uses the hidden potential of ingredients that are deemed not… Read more
Restaurant Rest
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