Even though you can easily fill your days visiting Oslo's popular attractions, sometimes it's fun to do things that aren't covered in the guidebooks.

    Get to know some of the city's back streets, undiscovered gems and exciting museums - which are completely free for tourists. Note that some of these attractions have limited opening times, so it's worth checking local notices or even contacting the attraction directly to avoid disappointment.

    1

    Emanuel Vigelands museum↵

    Unique experience among Oslo' points of interest

    • Unusual

    In a residential area in the better part of Oslo's western district, Emanuel Vigeland's experience of life and death is presented in a museum. The museum has become a gloomy and dark, but at the same time intensely life-affirming, attraction.

    The biggest attraction is the mausoleum, which with its incredible reverberation and dark interior has become an unorthodox but very popular concert venue. General opening hours are very limited, but private tours can be arranged by appointment. Bear in mind that this costs more than the usual fee during opening hours on Sundays.

    Location: Grimelundsveien 8, 0775 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday: closed. Sunday: 12.00-16.00.

    Map

    photo by Erik den yngre (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    2

    Monastery ruins at Hovedøya

    Explore the green and verdant landscape

    Hovedøya is a lovely place to visit when it's summer in the city, and many people find their way here just to sunbathe, swim and barbecue. Or how about a cold beer at the sailing club? But there's plenty more to discover on Hovedøya, especially for the more curious and open-minded.

    For almost 400 years, the island was owned by the Cistercian order, which had a large monastery here. You can still see the ruins of the monastery, and it is fun for both kids and adults to walk around them and imagine what life was like here in the Middle Ages.

    Location: Hovedøya, 0150 Oslo, Norway

    Open:  

    Map
    3

    Intercultural Museum

    An alternative museum that challenges and educates

    The Intercultural Museum lies on Grønland, in the centre of the city's multicultural heart. In the old prison, the museum highlights the experience of being an immigrant, refugee and asylum seeker.

    And the art displayed here is from artists you won't see in the more prestigious galleries and institutions we have in the country. You will no doubt leave the Intercultural Museum with a new and strengthened understanding of what it is to have multicultural background in Norway.

    Location: Tøyenbekken 5, 0188 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00-16.00. Mondays: closed.

    Phone: +47 22 05 28 30

    Map

    photo by Bjoertvedt (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Take a trip to Megazone

    Futuristic and magical fun for everyone

    Ever since Megazone opened its doors in the 1990's, it has attracted thrill-seeking visitors with its futuristic activities and laser guns.

    As well as the main attraction with indoor laser games, Megazone offers paintball both indoors and outdoors as well as escaperoom games, where you have to solve different puzzles in groups to get out of a locked room. This is the perfect activity for a group of friends, family, stag party or company team-building event, while also having fun in the centre of Oslo.

    Location: Møllergata 24, 0179 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 14.00-22.00. Saturdays: 11.00-23.00. Sundays: 11.00-21.00.

    Phone: +47 22 98 85 50

    Map
    5

    Visit the Ekeberg restaurant

    Enjoy the menu and the view of the city

    Once upon a time, the Ekeberg restaurant was seen as a weary pit stop for retired workers in the Old Town, but no more! Since its reopening in the early 2000s, the place has attracted anyone who loves good food, freshly brewed coffee and stunning views.

    This restaurant seems to have built a bridge between the need for an exit point for people walking in Ekebergskrenten who want to stop for a coffee and something to eat, and the experience of fine dining high above the city.

    Location: Kongsveien 15, 0193 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Daily: 12.00-22.00.

    Phone: +47 23 24 23 00

    Map

    photo by Helge Høifødt (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    6

    SALT

    Experience culture, art and wonderful food

    A unique and inviting experience centre has emerged on the pier towards the Danish boat and Vippetangen. It's called SALT. This is a place that brings art, music and great food together in a way not seen anywhere else in the city. Nothing quite describes it - and you simply have to experience it for yourself.

    There is something to do here from morning till night - with music and art delivered with impressive enthusiasm, as well as food and drink. And for something really refreshing, you can enjoy a sauna before cooling off in the harbour pool.

    Location: Langkaia 1, 0150 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Saturday: 11.00-24.00. Sunday: 11.00-22.00.

    Map
    7

    Vulkan climbing centre

    Reach new heights in authentic surroundings:

    Climbing is a fun hobby that is challenging and fun for both young and old, and Vulkan climbing centre has climbs for all skill levels. You can also hire all the equipment you need at the centre.

    This makes coming here easy - no need for prior knowledge or to bring heavy equipment with you. The opening hours are exceptionally long, so you can even come here first thing in the morning if you prefer to start early!

    Location: Vulkan 13, 0178 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday and Wednesday: 10.00-23.00. Tuesday and Thursday: 07.00-23.00. Friday: 10.00-22.00 Saturday and Sunday: 10.00-20.00.

    Phone: +47 22 11 28 90

    Map
    8

    Canoe hire by Sørenga

    See the city from a new and exciting angle

    Sørenga is a popular place for the locals to take a dip when the summer days are at their hottest, and it attracts everyone from young families to pensioners to hip city dwellers. The Norwegian Tourist Association has an office just outside, where you can rent a myriad of different water vessels.

    Explore the harbour pool - it's a great way to see the city! If you have the stamina, you can also take a trip over to some of the many cosy islands in the fjord.

    Location: Sørengkaia 122, 0194 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday, Wednesday-Friday: 10.00-16.00. Tuesday: 10.00-19.00 Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-15.00

    Phone: +47 22 82 28 02

    Map
    9

    Vippa

    Culinary treats from (nearly) the whole world

    Vippa is located in a former harbour warehouse, offering tasty experiences from a wide variety of cuisines. With a common dining area in the middle and outdoors, everyone can eat what they want.

    Great dining is the main attraction here, but concerts and other cultural side dishes are also served here. If you plan to come on a weekend when the weather is good, be prepared to wait as it gets very full.

    Location: Akershusstranda 25, 0150 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Moonday-Wednesday: closed. Thursday-Friday: 15.00-21.00. Saturday-Sunday: 12.00-21.00

    Phone: +47 917 28 043

    Map

    photo by Olivier Bruchez (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    10

    Deichman library in Bjørvika

    Lose yourself in the imaginary world of books

    Deichman library is located in Bjørvika, Oslo's proudest landmark facing the fjord. What used to be a place marked by industry and main roads is now full of sparkling skyscrapers, reflecting just how far the country has come, fuelled by money from oil.

    The main branch of Deichman Library was at Fredensborg until the building in Bjørvika was set up - adding another wonderful signal building to the city! There are many great places to sit down here with a good book, and with long opening hours you can read even the longest anthologies undisturbed!

    Location: Anne-Cath. Vestlys plass 1, 0150 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Monday-Friday: 08.00-22.00. Saturday-Sunday: 10.00-18.00

    Phone: +47 23 43 29 00

    Map

    photo by Ssu (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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