If you are on a budget, visiting the most expensive city can be terrifying. But there is no need to skip the town if you stick to our Oslo Guide and use an Oslo Pass.
And if you choose to go in the off-season, as we did in October, you are likely to save even more money and miss the crowds over summer and winter. Just be warned that it may mean some places will have limited opening hours.
Oslo Panorama from Holmenkollen Ski Jump
The Oslo Pass is the first thing you will want to lay your hands on. It is guaranteed to save you money with free entry to over 30 museums, free public transport around Oslo, and a few extra savings like discounts on meals.
You can choose between the 24, 48, or 72-hour cards. We had the 72-hour card (495 NOK or US$87), and it was perfect for the autumn season because we didn’t have to rush around trying to fit everything into 48 hours. Plus, it is too cold to get started early in the morning or carry on late into the night.
If we didn’t have the Oslo Pass, then we would have spent 860 NOK (US$151) on transportation and entry fees. That’s a saving of 365 NOK (US$64). And to be honest, we probably could have squeezed a few more attractions in if we wanted to.
3 Day Oslo Guide – Recommended Sights
While we were busy in Oslo and saw a lot, we were not run off our feet and exhausted each day. It was the middle of October, and the temperature hovered around 6 degrees Celsius. So we didn’t like spending too much time outdoors even though we loved the cold.
We also used our Oslo guidebook, which comes free with the Oslo Pass, to plan our days to maximize the time spent in each area.
Holmenkollen is situated about 20 minutes from Oslo city on the Metro 1 line and is well worth the trip. We spent a few hours checking out the HUGE ski jump overlooking the city of Oslo.
As well as the world’s oldest Ski museum, which tells the history of skiing through the ages from several thousand years ago. A must for any snow adventure lovers like ourselves.
We have never been more confused by a park than we were at Vigeland Park.
We have no idea what the statues represent or why they even exist, but a man being attacked by four flying babies is a little weird in anyone’s book?
What about creepy babies riding on the back of a naked lady with her hair braided between her teeth?
While downright freaky, the Vigeland Park is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist (Gustav Vigeland) and is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions. We highly recommend that you go and check it out for yourself and have a laugh.
Noble Peace Center
The Noble Peace Center was probably the highlight for both of us. Especially as they currently have an incredible exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi showing. While he is the world’s most famous peace activist, he has never won the Noble Peace Prize.
It was also enlightening learning more about the Noble Peace prize, as we were both surprised at how little we knew about some of the world’s most incredible Peace activists who have won over the last century.
You can easily spend a day over at Bygdøy, so catch the ferry across (or Bus 30) in the morning, and spend the whole day exploring the Peninsula. While there are six museums on the Bygdøy Peninsula, we only had time to check out three of them.
The Viking Ship Museum is home to three well-preserved Viking Ships that give an insight into the conquerors who ruled the seas several thousand years ago. I still can’t believe they used to sail these ships across the North Sea to pillage the UK.
The Polar Ship Fram exhibition provides a detailed insight into the lives of the Norwegian Polar explorers from the beginning of the 20th Century.
You can follow in the footsteps of heroes such as Roald Amundsen, the first man to make it to the South Pole, onboard the Polar Ship Fram, and see their lives when they took these crazy adventures.
Memorial at the Holocaust Centre to the Norwegians killed during the Holocaust.
While incredibly moving, the Holocaust Centre is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the Holocaust and how it affected Norway.
We were the only ones wandering around the graphic displays and barely spoke to one another the entire visit. And when we did say, it was scarcely a whisper. Very sobering, but a must-visit for everyone.
The Akershus Castle sits prominently above the Oslo harbor protecting the city from invading forces. While the cannons may now be clogged up and pigeon the most excellent invaders, the views and scenery are worth the stroll around the grounds.
Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that the Castle was closed during the week in winter, so we missed out on seeing inside. But it is free to wander through the gardens and snap the autumn colors.
Oslo Guide to Getting around
While the city is easily walkable with most of the main attractions within a 20-minute walk, there are a few that you will need to catch public transport for. And if you have brought the Oslo Pass, then you are sorted.
Just jump on any trams, buses, or metro line to get around Oslo. It is also highly recommended if you are visiting in late Autumn or during Winter when it gets pretty cold!
Oslo Opera House from the Bat service Hop-on Hop-off Ferry
If you have the 72-hour Oslo pass, you also can use the Båtservice Hop-on, Hop-off ferry to explore the Oslo Fjord for free. The ferry runs year-round and stops at the city center, the Opera House, and across the harbor to Bygdøy Peninsular for a few famous museums.
Extra Travel Information
Get your Oslo Pass from any of the visitor centers or you can buy it online.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia with their awesome buffet breakfast.
We don’t recommend flying into Oslo with Ryanair because you actually land 120 kms from Oslo City center and it costs US$130 return on the bus! We found out after we booked.
Visit Oslo during the shoulder-season, such as October, to avoid the crowds and higher prices.
Disclaimer: We were provided with an Oslo Pass from the Visit Oslo Tourism Board, but our recommendations are always our own, and we would have brought one anyway!