Ever since our visit to Iceland, I’ve had a fascination with Vikings and Scandinavian culture. And just like with Iceland, it suddenly seems like everyone I know is planning a trip to Norway! But it was when Norwegian Airlines opened up new low-cost routes from my local airport of Providence to Norway that getting there got one step closer to reality. I still have a lot of research to do before we plan a trip, so when Visit Norway reached out, I was happy to learn more about what there was to do in and around Oslo. As you may expect from Norway, it does take long to get out of the city and into the forests, fjords, and beautiful outdoors on day trips from Oslo.
Getting to Oslo
Norwegian Airlines offers low-cost fares from ten U.S. cities (including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and my local airport of Providence) to Oslo. With fares under $200 one-way for September-February, including some great weekend deals, now seems like a good time to book a trip to Norway.
What to do in Oslo
I have friends who are in Norway now and I’ve been jealous of their Facebook posts of Edvard Munch’s The Scream and the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. As the largest city in Norway, there is so much to do from world-class restaurants, museums and music festivals. Some that look especially interesting for families include:
- Norwegian Folk Museum — this is one of the world’s oldest and largest open-air museums, with traditional houses from all over Norway and even a stave church. Here you will find traditional handicrafts, folk costumes, and even horse and carriage rides and animals in the summer.
- Viking Ship Museum — maybe it is the Thor movies, but a visit to the Viking Ship Museum is Oslo would be a must for me. You can start off your visit with a screening of The Vikings Alive adventure film, and follow up with viewing the world’s best-preserved Viking ships.
- Munch Museum — since we have seen pictures of The Scream for years and years, I would have to see the works of Edvard Munch in person. Edvard Munch is considered a pioneer in expressionism and is one of the more famous Nordic painters.
- Vigeland Sculpture Park — this is one of Norway’s most visited attractions featuring more than 200 sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. Plus the park and gardens look lovely!
- Oslo Opera House — The Oslo Opera House looks a bit like an iceberg half-submerged in the water. Even if you can’t catch a performance, just walking on the roof and enjoying the views of the harbor is a good reason to visit. There are even guided tours for families.
6 Day Trips from Oslo
There are so many day trips from Oslo — making Norway and the Oslo region the perfect mix of culture and outdoor adventure that we always strive to achieve.
- Lake Mjøsa — only an hour away from the Oslo International Airport by train, you can take a paddle steam ship on Norway’s largest lake. You can get off at some of the towns along the lake, like Hamar, Gjøvik and Lillehammer and go for a hike and explore the attractions.
- Lillehammer — two hours from Oslo, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics is great for winter sports enthusiasts but you can also hike, bike, and go horseback riding. Nearby you can also find the Hunderfossen Family Park, based on fairytales and trolls and offering more 50 activities and attractions. If you want to stay overnight, you can even stay on an organic farm.
- Vestfold — this area on the coast has played central role in Norwegian history as a hub for shipbuilding, marine activities, and Vikings. In addition to archeology finds along the Viking Trail, you should also visit “World’s End” with fantastic fjord views over Faerder National Park.
- Høyt and Lavt-Sørum Activity Park — located just outside of the city in Akershus, this is Scandinavia’s second largest climbing park with 200 obstacles over 11 courses — keeping all your adventurers happy.
- Drøbak Christmas Town — you may not have to go all the way to the North Pole to find “Christmas Town” with its picturesque wooden houses, shops, cafes and the Father Christmas Post Office and Tregaardens Christmas House.
- Hadeland Glassverk — Only an hour from Oslo you will find the Hadeland Glassverk (“Hadeland Glassworks”), where you can watch glassblowing using the same techniques as they have since the 1700s. Afterwards, explore the cute village and shops.
Note: This post is sponsored by VisitNorway.com. All opinions are my own.