Planning a trip with your besties? A girls' trip does wonders for body and soul, and will give you memories for life. How about a long weekend in the Oslo region, which has something for everyone? Here are a bunch of tips for you, all within easy reach of the Norwegian capital.
When did you last enjoy a trip with your best friends? The girls who make you feel great, laugh, and maybe even cry a bit? Well, it’s time to start dreaming and planning some fun trips. After all, good friends and new experiences are some of the most rewarding things in life. Check out our top tips here!
Something delightful for everyone
Spending a night or two under the same roof, just like in the old days, gives you plenty of time to catch up properly.
But what if some of you like action and adventure, some just want to relax with a glass of bubbly by the pool, while others want cultural experiences? The capital of Norway has plenty of fun to keep everyone busy the whole weekend, and lets you combine urban entertainment with rural bliss, with short distances between the city centre and the countryside.
There are many exciting destinations just an hour or two away from Oslo's main train station, Oslo Central Station. Go for a day trip, stay overnight, or find a place where you can enjoy the entire weekend.
From fjords to mountains
The sea, fjords, and mountains are all easily accessible from Oslo by car, bus, or train. Go paddling on a quiet forest lake, explore the picturesque islands that line the Oslofjord, or dip your toes in the sea. You can even travel all the way to the end of the world (at least that’s what Verdens Ende means in Norwegian)! For the latest art and architecture, head for the Kistefos Museum in Hadeland.
Here are our top tips for the perfect weekend getaway.
1. Urban adventures
Oslo offers tons of urban fun. Visit some of Oslo’s brand-new attractions, including the 13-story MUNCH museum, the National Museum, the Deichman library and its cinema and restaurants, and the sculptures in the Ekeberg Park. You can also go for a stroll along the revamped harbour promenade, explore food halls, and book a session in one of Oslo’s many floating saunas. With a sauna on the water, everyone can go for a swim all year round – not just hardcore ice bathers!
Round off the day with a trendy cocktail, some live music or other performance, or a good chat in a cosy pub.
You’ll find even more suggestions for your city break at Visit Oslo.
2. Art weekend
Do you love art? The Henie Onstad Art Center in Sandvika offers top-class international art exhibitions. It makes a great stop on your way to Kistefos at Hadeland, where the spectacular architecture of The Twist has taken the sculpture park to a whole new level. Finish off with a shopping spree at Hadeland Glassverk where you can purchase local handicrafts and more. It is also worth checking out the many unique accommodation options in the area. Try glamping or stay at Thorbjørnsrud Hotel, which serves meals prepared from ingredients from its own farm, and award-winning cheeses.
3. Natural charm west of the Oslofjord
Rent a car and take a road trip along the winding roads west of the Oslofjord. See coastal gems like Vollen and Sætre and stop for lunch on the Hurum Peninsula, at one of the cosy places in Holmsbu or at the lovely Villa Malla in Filtvet, for example.
But beware: once you sit down on the white sandy beach here, you won't want to leave. There are lots of beaches in Vestfold. Explore Horten, home to Preus photography museum and a place that has exciting Viking heritage; beautiful Åsgårdstrand where Edvard Munch painted many of his most iconic works; and Tønsberg, the oldest town in Norway.
Continue to the island paradise of Tjøme and the smooth rocks at Verdens Ende (“the end of the world”, in Norwegian). It’s simply beautiful, any time of year. Sip afternoon tea and indulge yourself at the spa at Engø farm or at Farris Bad Hotel in Larvik. Allow enough time to stroll along the shore outside the arty town of Stavern, which has been named Norway's cosiest summer town.
4. Lovely experiences east of the Oslofjord
Numerous gems line the eastern coast of the Oslofjord. Start in Drøbak, a town known for its wooden buildings, aquarium and speciality shops, including a Christmas shop that is open year round. Take the boat across the strait to Oscarsborg for lunch. Don't forget your bathing suit! Close by you’ll find Ramme Farm, a unique cultural destination with art exhibitions, organic food, and a lovely park.
Further south lies Moss and the beautiful island of Jeløya, where you can explore exciting art at Gallery F15 and sample pretzels baked to perfection at Alby farm. Treat yourselves to afternoon tea and an overnight stay at the elegant Refsnes Hotel.
If you want to stroll through a super cosy town with vintage shops and floral backyards, a visit to the old town of Fredrikstad is a must. On warm, sunny days, you may be tempted to go for a swim by the rocks at Hvaler or stay the night in a lighthouse.
Further south by the Swedish border, the fortress town of Halden awaits. Hire a canoe or bike and enjoy the scenery along Norway’s oldest canal.
5. Soothing forests
Sometimes you just want to get away from it all. Venture deep into the woods, where you can all relax and be yourselves in peace and quiet. Get active with horse riding or paddling, or go berry picking. Stay in a treetop cabin or spend the night in a tent that's suspended in the air.
A short train ride northeast of Oslo, you’ll find the quaint town of Kongsvinger. Wander among historic houses and soulful eateries in Øvrebyen, Kongsvinger's old town. A beautiful fortress on a hill overlooks the town and Norway’s longest river, the Glomma. Visit the fortress museum, hotel and restaurant, or explore the enchanting wilderness in the Finnskogen forest before continuing on to Elverum.
6. Mountains, villages, and traditional farms
A traditional mountain lodge in Lillehammer and Gudbrandsdalen is the perfect setting for a girls’ getaway. And it's only an hour and a half from Oslo. Enjoy cycling, horseback riding, and hiking in spectacular surroundings. Lillehammer offers excellent shopping and cultural gems, including the elegant Art Museum and nostalgic Maihaugen open-air museum.
Another tip is to visit the Mjøsgårdene farms to soak up the unique atmosphere and broaden your culinary horizons by sampling local delicacies. Hamar is home to a magnificent cathedral. Go for a stroll along the promenade by Mjøsa, Norway’s biggest lake.
Experience it for yourself!
We invited four friends on a girls-only trip to the Oslo region.
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