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Visit Oslo in winter

Ready for a cool adventure?

Winter means more space in the city, fewer crowds and more time for fun and heart-warming experiences.

Oslo is one of the hottest cities to visit – even in the coldest months. Browse world-class art in sleek new museums, indulge your tastebuds with locally-sourced delicacies, sip hot chocolate at cosy cafés, and go for a (seriously) refreshing dip in the fjord – followed by a steaming hot sauna.

PS... We also recommend visiting Oslo during summer, of course!

A cultural hot spot

Whether you are seeking cold or warm experiences on your city break, a relaxing vacation or adrenaline-filled activities – Oslo's got you covered all year around. 

Explore state-of-the-art museums, exhibitions and cultural events. Oslo is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, with museums like MUNCH, The National museum, Astrup Fearnley, and several amazing outdoor sculpture parks. There are plenty of other museums around the city, that are worth a visit, too. How about a stroll through the new, interactive exhibition at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum?

The city also offers a lot of charming neighbourhoods, perfect for a stroll, whether you head to the trendy Grünerløkka area or join the hipsters by MUNCH Brygge and Tjuvholmen. 

Hot fjord experiences

Don't forget to bring your bathing suit! Steaming hot fjord saunas and small "sauna villages" dot the shoreline along the 8-kilometre long harbour promenade. Do you dare to take a refreshing dip in the water? We can promise you'll get a real kick! 

When you need a break, sink down into a comfy chair with a good book at the stunning new Deichman Bjørvika library, or enjoy people watching at a cosy café. There are multiple brunch and lunch options throughout the city, whether you are seeking vegan delicacies or are looking for a mouthwatering burger.

If you want to see the city from a different angle, simply hop aboard a fjord sightseeing boat! Lots of operators offer sightseeing on the fjord in winter, too, an experience that can be even more magical than during summer. Most of the boats depart from Rådhusplassen, next to the harbour-side Aker Brygge shopping and restaurant area.

World-class shopping

If you are a real fashionista, you will love checking out Oslo's many varied shopping options. During the last decade, the city has developed into a fashion paradise with cute vintage and second-hand shops, popular chains, luxury retailers, and high-end fashion brands. 

Discover a Norwegian fashion editor's best Oslo shopping tips! 

Frosty outdoor winter art

Located in the heart of Oslo, Vigelandsparken, or Frognerparken as the area is also called, becomes even more majestic during winter. Put on a warm jacket, and see how the more than 200 sculpture masterpieces transform into icy fantasy figures, ready to make your Instagram glitter even more.

If you need to warm yourself during the visit, the cosy café at the old Frogner farm offers lots of tasty goodies and hot drinks. Or head directly to the city's most famous hot chocolate, at Hotel Bristol! 

The Ekebergparken Sculpture Park is another amazing outdoor park to check out, just a 10-minute beautiful tram ride to the hill east of the city centre. You can enjoy panoramic views over a lunch at the posh Ekeberg Restaurant or the lovely café Karlsborg Spiseforretning.

Gastronomic highlights and cool hotels

Spoil yourself with a stay at one of the city's award winning hotels. Embrace luxury at The Thief, where sleek design goes hand in hand with tradition. Enjoy stunning views of the fjord and delicious culinary experiences. For a historic atmosphere, The Grand Hotel is the place to go for timeless elegance and gourmet dining in the heart of the city.

For another hip and exclusive time capsule experience, check in to the recently refurbished, iconic art deco hotel Sommerro.

When it comes to food, Oslo is home to everything from budget friendly meals to Michelin-starred restaurants. The choice is yours!

Fun winter activities

The winters in Oslo can vary a lot with lots of snow or snow at all in the city centre. But the hills around the city are often blanketed in white!

Regardless, you can always go ice skating in Spikersuppa and Frognerparken (skates are available for rent at both) or at the ice rink next to the prize winning Oslo Opera House, in front of the Deichman library (bring your own skates).

If you want to feel like a kid again, take the tram for 20 minutes and rent toboggan sleighs at the rental place just below the metro stop at Frognerseteren. The 2-kilometer-long ride down the hill ends at the Midtstuen metro stop, from which you can ride the tram back up and fly down the hill again.

When you need a break, enjoy a tasty cinnamon bun in front of the large fireplace at the historic restaurant, Frognerseteren, located right by the top of the Korketrekkeren slope.

Go skiing

Oslo is also quite unique in that sense that you should pack both high heels and ski boots!  

Have you ever heard the saying that Norwegians are born with skis on their feet? The skis being referred to here are cross country skis. The best thing is that you can go cross country skiing in the middle of the city, in Vigeland park. 

If you want more of a challenge in other surroundings, bring your skis on the metro or bus for a 20 minute-ride and enjoy the beautiful nature right outside Oslo. There are multiple prepared trails, as well as the Skimore Oslo ski resort, offering alpine slopes for both big and small. 

Rent or borrow skis if you don't have your own. It's easy and common to travel with skis on public transport as well. And if the weather is not that great, simply head to the SNØ indoor ski center, just outside Oslo.

Fun without skis!

You don't need to strap two planks to your feet to have fun outdoors. Do what the Norwegians do, and go for a hike in the woods on foot or with snow shoes. Complete the experience by visiting a traditional trekking cabin in the woods, many of which serve freshly baked goods, dinner, and beverages for hungry hikers.

Oslo has plenty of parks that are perfect for a stroll. The beautiful peninsula, Bygdøy, is a very popular swimming spot in summer, as well as a stunning hiking area in winter with its many trails along the shore and in the woods. While you are out here, you can also visit the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, or the ultimate winter museum  – The Polar Exploration Museum. It's all just a short boat ride from the city centre. 

Christmas in Oslo

Visit Oslo in late November and December for some real Christmas spirit!

This way to holiday cheer

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