Every now and then, an opportunity to spend a short time in a city presents itself. This is a chance travellers should generally take. Some cities, however, are better for a short stopover than others. Depending on the size, transit options, and friendliness, a pit stop could be overwhelming; this is not so in Oslo.
The capital city of Norway is easy to get around, full of friendly locals, and surrounded by beautiful Scandinavian scenery. Plus, with low cost airfare on Norwegian Airlines, layovers in Oslo are becoming more common for travellers going from the U.S. to Europe. If you have an opportunity to spend any time here, make sure to do so. If your plans only allow for a short time, here’s your guide for what you should do with a few free hours in Oslo.
Above: On the roof of the Oslo Opera House. Photo by Paxton Swafford.
Get Atop the Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is a large, modern building located on the city’s waterfront. In the centrally located Bjørvika neighborhood, the theatre is impressive both inside and out. Visitors are encouraged to follow the building’s upward incline to the roof. From there you’ll have a wonderful view of the town and the fjord.
Above: Evening in Oslo
Stroll Through Town
To get a feel for the city, take to the streets on foot. If you’ve just arrived at the train station, head out the front door and start strolling along Karl Johans gate. Along this pedestrian street you’ll find plenty of historical sites, shops, restaurants, and bars (such as Sir Winston’s Public House) to explore.
See Some Green Space
Oslo is full of lovely green spaces. Make sure to take advantage of this by paying a visit to one of the city’s many parks, such as the Vigeland Park.
Above: Dish at Bacchus
Have a Great Meal
Really, a great meal is an essential part of visiting any city, right? The Norwegian capital, of course, is no exception. For modern Nordic cuisine, dine at Bacchus Spiseri & Vinhus. The restaurant uses local produce and offers a wide selection of beer and wine, all within a lovely, rustic interior. Make sure to try a traditional seafood dish while you’re there.
Grab a Nightcap
To end your time in Oslo, pop into a bar for a nightcap. Justisen Restaurant, Bar & Bakgård is a cozy bar with great cocktails and a variety of beers. The outdoor courtyard area is particularly fun in the evenings.
Above: Sign outside Justinensen
Stay the Night
If your afternoon turns into an overnight stay, Air BnB has a lot of great options for rooms to rent. In pricey Oslo, it’s a great option for your budget, and it’s always fun to chat with a local, to boot.
When your itinerary allows for any time in Oslo, take it. Even if it’s short. The pleasant town, marvelous scenery, and friendly locals will have you feeling right at home, not matter your length of stay.