Wuba Kassahun

Wuba Kassahun

Wuba er en erfaren tannlege som brenner for faget sitt. Som grunnlegger og leder for Tannhelse Uten Grenser, gir han mye til de som har lite. Han er også medlem i fagnemda i Oslo Tannlegeforening, samt holder kurs til tannleger. Wuba er daglig leder for tre tannlegesentre.

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Exploring Norway Oslo: A Must-See Guide to the City’s Top Attractions

Reading time: 8 min

Looking for the highlights of Norway Oslo? Our guide zeroes in on the capital’s historic sites, cultural institutions, and outdoor adventures. From the grandeur of Viking relics to the natural allure of the fjords, get the insights needed to craft an unforgettable Oslo itinerary.

Key Takeaways

  • Oslo’s history spans from its Viking origins and significant events like being renamed Christiania after a fire in 1624, to modern economic developments as reflected in its contributions to Norway’s GDP and tax revenues.

  • The city boasts diverse architectural wonders, from the neo-classical Royal Palace to the modern Oslo Opera House, along with green initiatives like the sustainable design of the Astrup Fearnley Museum.

  • Oslo’s cultural landscape is rich with art and events, featuring institutions like the Munch Museum and National Museum, as well as a host of festivals celebrating music, dance, cuisine, and more.

Discovering Oslo’s Rich History

Illustration of Viking ship sailing on the fjord in Norway

The city of Oslo, Norway’s capital, serves as a living testament to the country’s rich history, with its roots tracing back to 1024 during the Viking Age.

The echoes of the past resonate through every inch of the city, from the historical buildings in the city center to the fascinating museums scattered around the Bygdøy peninsula.

The city’s historical significance is further underscored by the reign of Olaf III of Norway, who made Hallvard Vebjørnsson the city’s patron saint.

Moreover, the city’s evolution and architectural heritage can be seen in the medieval construction projects initiated by Haakon V of Norway, such as Akershus Fortress and the Oslo Kongsgrd.

Viking Origins

Oslo’s origins are deeply rooted in the Viking Age, a period of great significance in the city’s early history.

The renowned Viking king Harald Hardrada is credited with founding the city according to Norse sagas, establishing Oslo as an important trading hub between 1040 and 1049.

The city’s Viking history is meticulously preserved through centuries-old remnants and the intriguing museums located on the Bygdøy peninsula, such as the Viking Ship Museum, offering a glimpse into the past.

These historical landmarks serve as a constant reminder of Oslo’s Viking origins, adding another layer of intrigue to the city’s rich history.

Christiania Era

"Artistic depiction of Oslo's rebirth post-1624 fire, contrasting new cityscapes with historic ruins."

After a devastating fire in 1624, Oslo was rebuilt and renamed Christiania. This significant event marked a new chapter in the city’s history, with the city rising from the ashes to reestablish itself.

Interestingly, the old site located east of the Aker river retained the name Oslo, preserving a piece of the city’s original identity. This duality of names reflects the city’s resilience and adaptability in the face of adversity, further adding to its historical significance.

Modern Developments

In recent times, Oslo, the country’s capital, has evolved into a thriving metropolis, playing a significant role in bolstering Norway’s economy.

As of 2016, Oslo’s GDP stood at €64 billion (€96,000 per capita), accounting for 20% of the national GDP. Moreover, the metropolitan area of Oslo, excluding Moss and Drammen, generated over one quarter of national tax revenues in 2003.

Adding to its modern identity, the city’s original name was restored in 1925, embodying the city’s heritage as part of its contemporary persona. This blend of the old and the new is what makes Oslo a city of contrasts, where the past and the present coexist harmoniously.

Oslo’s Architectural Marvels

Illustration of Oslo Opera House against the city skyline

Oslo’s skyline is a visual treat, with architectural marvels that redefine the cityscape. The Barcode Project, consisting of new multi-purpose high-rise buildings, has reshaped the city’s skyline, while the Royal Palace, constructed in 1848, serves as a historic centerpiece in Oslo’s architectural tour.

The city’s architectural diversity is further exemplified by the award-winning Oslo Opera House of 2008 and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump Tower, the world’s oldest ski jump tower. These iconic structures not only enhance the city’s aesthetic appeal but also reflect its architectural prowess.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace in Oslo, designed by the architect Hans Linstow, is a testament to Neo-Classical architecture, featuring a stuccoed brick facade.

Both the interior and exterior of the Royal Palace bear the imprint of design trends prevalent during the 25 years of its construction, making it a living museum of architectural history.

Since 1849, the Royal Palace has served as the residence for Swedish and Norwegian regents, underlining its importance in the country’s history. Today, it stands as a timeless icon in Oslo’s architectural landscape, offering a glimpse into the city’s royal past.

Oslo Opera House

The Oslo Opera House is a modern architectural marvel, its design resembling a glacier sliding into the Oslofjord.

This award-winning structure is a testament to Oslo’s innovative architectural design, and it has significantly contributed to the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

The Oslo Opera House features:

  • A lobby that is open to the public at all times and hosts public performances

  • Theater-quality acoustics

  • One of Norway’s largest collections of public art, featuring eight art projects and artworks by seventeen different artists

This fusion of architecture and artwork makes the Oslo Opera House an unmissable attraction for art and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Astrup Fearnley Museum

The Astrup Fearnley Museum:

  • Designed by the famous Renzo Piano

  • Stands out for its modern design and focus on sustainability

  • Showcases the works of various artists

  • A premier destination for art enthusiasts in Oslo

In addition to its architectural prowess, the Astrup Fearnley Museum offers the following features:

  • Commitment to sustainability, resonating with the global emphasis on green practices

  • Model for future architectural designs

  • Combination of modern architecture, art, and environmental consciousness

This makes the Astrup Fearnley Museum a must-visit for anyone exploring Oslo’s architectural marvels.

The Artistic Side of Oslo

Illustration of vibrant art exhibition in Oslo's National Museum

Oslo is a city of creativity, home to numerous museums and art galleries that showcase the works of various Norwegian and international artists.

Central to Oslo’s city centre art scene is the Munch Museum, dedicated to the extensive works and collections of Edvard Munch.

The city’s cultural life is further enriched by notable theaters such as the Norwegian Theatre and the National Theatre, along with cultural events like the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony and its affiliated concerts and exhibitions. These cultural landmarks and events contribute to the city’s vibrant arts scene, making it a hub for creativity and artistic expression.

Munch Museum

The Munch Museum is a treasure trove of artworks, dedicated to celebrating the life and art of Edvard Munch. The museum boasts an extensive collection of Munch’s works, providing visitors with a deep insight into the various themes and nuances in his artwork.

In addition to showcasing Munch’s oeuvre, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that highlight the links between Munch’s work and modern art, as well as aspects of his personal history.

These exhibitions provide a comprehensive view of Munch’s artistic journey, making the museum a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

National Museum

The National Museum in Oslo, also known as a prominent Norwegian museum, is a testament to the city’s rich artistic heritage, showcasing a diverse collection that spans from antiquity to the modern era.

The museum houses works by famous Norwegian artists alongside international works by prominent artists such as Rembrandt and El Greco.

Beyond its art collection, the National Museum also hosts a variety of art-related events, offers a dedicated library, and unique unboxing experiences, contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural life.

The museum’s diverse offerings make it a hub for art lovers and a key player in Oslo’s artistic scene.

Cultural Events and Festivals

"Oslo's cultural festivals with music, dance, and food, bustling with diverse, joyful crowds."

Oslo’s vibrant arts scene is further heightened by its range of cultural events and festivals, reflecting the city’s diverse artistic community. Some of the cultural festivals in Oslo include:

  • Music festivals

  • Dance festivals

  • Photography festivals

  • Food festivals (including vegetarian food)

These festivals cater to a wide range of interests and add to the cultural richness and cultural history of the city.

Among the prominent events are the annual Oslo Jazz Festival and Oslo World Music Festival, which showcase a variety of genres and cultures from around the globe.

These events not only provide entertainment but also serve as platforms for artists to connect with audiences and share their craft, making Oslo a cultural melting pot.

Outdoor Adventures Around Oslo

Oslo’s natural beauty extends beyond its city limits, offering a plethora of outdoor adventures for nature enthusiasts. Some of the top outdoor attractions in Oslo include:

  • Frogner Park: This park features sprawling lawns, beautiful sculptures, and a serene atmosphere.

  • Nordmarka: This region offers scenic landscapes, hiking trails, and opportunities for skiing and snowboarding in the winter.

  • Oslo Fjord: The fjord provides a vibrant maritime environment, perfect for sailing, kayaking, and fishing.

With these options, the city of Oslo truly is a playground for outdoor aficionados.

Whether you’re a fan of hiking and camping, or prefer a tranquil picnic in a park, Oslo has something for everyone.

Visitors can engage in a range of activities like swimming, beach volleyball, and even island hopping, exploring the city’s diverse landscapes and immersing themselves in Oslo’s natural beauty.

Frogner Park and Vigeland Sculpture Park

Frogner Park, a significant green space in Oslo, is a tranquil setting for relaxation and leisure.

The park offers a host of outdoor activities, from picnicking and leisure walks to exploring historical monuments that add a sense of history and culture to the serene green spaces.

At the heart of Frogner Park lies the Vigeland installation, an impressive array of granite and bronze sculptures, including the famous ‘Angry Boy’.

This cultural enrichment amid the beauty of the park makes Frogner Park a favored locale for relaxation and picnics, offering a peaceful escape within the city.

Nordmarka Region

"Artistic view of Nordmarka's rugged terrain, showcasing outdoor activities and rich nature."

Situated in the Oslo region, the Nordmarka area offers a scenic natural landscape for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the activities you can enjoy in Nordmarka include:

  • Hiking

  • Skiing

  • Bird watching

  • Orienteering

Nordmarka provides a venue for a multitude of year-round outdoor activities, including exploring the skiing history of the region.

The region’s diverse terrain and rich flora and fauna make it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Whether you’re an adventure junkie seeking adrenaline-fueled activities or a leisure traveler looking for a tranquil escape, Nordmarka has something to offer everyone.

Island Hopping in the Oslo Fjord

One of the unique outdoor activities that Oslo offers is island hopping in the Oslo Fjord.

This activity allows visitors to explore diverse landscapes, from sandy beaches to hiking areas, and engage in activities like swimming, angling, and picnicking.

Accessible by cruise or ferry, island hopping offers a scenic exploration of the surrounding maritime landscape.

The islands, each with its unique charm, provide a refreshing break from the bustling city life, making this activity a must-try for anyone visiting Oslo.

Savoring Oslo’s Culinary Delights

Illustration of exquisite dining experience in Oslo with waterfront view

Oslo is a gastronomic paradise, offering a plethora of culinary delights from:

  • Michelin-starred restaurants

  • Unique dining experiences

  • Savage’s locally sourced plant-based menu

  • Punk Royale’s eclectic fusion dishes

  • The modern Thai cuisine of Plah & Ahaan

The city’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its culture.

Artistic depiction showcasing the diverse culinary landscape of Oslo,

Whether you’re in the mood for:

  • traditional Norwegian fare combined with Japanese techniques at Tak Oslo

  • luxurious French cuisine at Mon Oncle

  • a taste of Italy at Rugantino

  • comfort food at The Little Pickle

  • English flavors at Kafeteria August

Oslo has you covered. Regardless of your palate or budget, dining in Oslo is an experience to remember.

Navigating Oslo’s Public Transport System

Traveling around Oslo is a breeze, thanks to the city’s comprehensive public transport system.

From buses and trams to the T-bane metro, local trains, and ferries, the city offers a multitude of options to get around.

Tickets for all modes of public transport can be managed via the Ruter mobile app, making it convenient for visitors to navigate the city.

For tourists, the Oslo Pass provides free travel within zones 1 and 2, including ferry access to Bygdøy, offering an economical option for exploring the city and its attractions.

Finding the Perfect Accommodation in Oslo

When it comes to accommodation, Oslo caters to a wide range of preferences and budgets. Some options include:

  • Comfort Hotel Xpress at Central Station

  • Citybox Oslo

  • Hostels

  • Campsites

  • Guest houses

The capital city, being one of the top European cities, offers a plethora of choices.

Regardless of your budget, it’s recommended to book in advance and consider using budget airlines for travel to get the best deals on accommodation.

With a bit of planning, you can find the perfect accommodation that suits your needs and allows you to explore all that Oslo has to offer.

Trusted Multilingual Dental Care

"Collage of Oppsal Tannlegesenter interiors with smiling faces and modern dental facilities."

If you need a dentist while you are visiting Norway, Oppsal Tannlegesenter is renowned as a trusted dental clinic in Oslo, offering a wide range of dental services to meet the needs of a diverse clientele.

With a team of highly skilled dentists who speak multiple languages, the center ensures that every patient receives personalized and understandable care.

Whether you need routine check-ups, emergency services, or specialized dental treatments, Oppsal Tannlegesenter is equipped to provide top-notch oral health care in a welcoming and professional environment.


From its Viking roots and architectural marvels to its vibrant arts scene, outdoor adventures, and culinary delights, Oslo is a city that captivates at every turn.

Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, an art lover, an outdoor adventurer, or a foodie, Oslo has something for everyone.

So, why wait? Embark on your own adventure and discover the magic of Oslo’s rich tapestry.

Frequently Asked Questions about Norway Oslo

"Informative open book illustration with FAQs about Oslo, highlighting landmarks and culture."

What is the best time to visit Oslo?

The best time to visit Oslo depends on what you want to experience; every season offers something unique. While summer is ideal for enjoying the city’s outdoor activities, each part of the year has its own appeal depending on your interests.

How accessible is public transport in Oslo?

Oslo’s public transport system is highly accessible, with buses, trams, the T-bane metro, local trains, and ferries available, and tickets can be easily managed through the Ruter mobile app.

What are some must-visit attractions in Oslo?

You must visit the Royal Palace, Oslo Opera House, Munch Museum, National Museum, Frogner Park, the Nordmarka region, and the Oslo Fjord when in Oslo.

What culinary delights can one expect in Oslo?

In Oslo, one can expect a variety of culinary delights, including Michelin-starred restaurants and unique dining experiences, catering to different tastes and budgets.

Where can one find accommodation in Oslo?

You can find accommodation in Oslo in budget-friendly hotels, hostels, campsites, and guest houses, catering to various preferences and budgets.

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