Planning to spend 2 days in Oslo? Look no further than this comprehensive itinerary, showing you all the wonderful things to do in Norway’s capital city.
From the early days as a Viking post to its well-recorded resistance during the Nazi occupation in World War Two, the city has evolved and changed – particularly in recent years as modern buildings have slowly popped up across the growing capital.
Visit Olso to discover the beauty of the surrounding Fjord, the bustling creative culture and to learn about ancient traditions and the Norweigan way of life.
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How much will 2 days in Oslo cost?
You may be asking how much does it cost to travel to Oslo ahead of your trip so I thought I’d lend a hand.
The average daily cost for a budget-conscious traveller in Olso is around £80 per day. You may think this sounds quite costly, but remember, Oslo is known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world.
This is how much things will cost in Oslo.
A bed in a dorm room in Oslo will cost roughly £20 per night.
Pint of beer at a pub will cost between £7 and £10
A ‘cheap’ dinner out is considered anything under £14 – check out Visit Oslo’s guide to cheap eats in Oslo
The cost of a one-way train ticket from the airport is £14
A souvenir keyring will cost roughly £5
If you are on a tighter budget, here are some great money-saving tips:
- Oslo sightseeing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Do invest in an Oslo Pass. This is a great way to see plenty of attractions and get all your transport costs covered.
- My favourite budget place to eat was Rice Bowl Thai Cafe. The fresh and flavourful dishes might cost around $18, but the servings are big enough for two.
- Take a free walking tour to learn about the city.
- Stop by one of the 7/11’s dotted around the city for cheap snacks and coffee.
- Check out one of the many free attractions in Oslo for some of Oslo’s best sightseeing
Where to stay in Oslo
I was trying to stick to a tight budget during my trip to Oslo so I stayed at the Anker Apartment hostel.
Anker Apartment wasn’t the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in, but it was also far from the worst.
This isn’t one of those bustling social hostels with lots of fun activities and ways to meet lots of great new people. It is more about having a cheap place to lay your head for the night.
Saying that the services it did offer were really good. There was a large kitchen, and the downstairs floor is a common area with different tables, sofas, charging areas and a t.v. This area also connects through to the small convenience store next door. Perfect for buying nibbles.
What I didn’t like though were how many people have to sleep in each room. If you stay here make sure to pack an eye mask, earplugs and a portable charging brick or you may find it difficult.
Below you will find recommendations for other accommodation options in Oslo:
Budget Accommodation in Olso
Midrange accommodation in Oslo
Luxury accommodation in Oslo
Where to eat in Oslo for 2 days:
Here are some of my favourite places to eat that I recommend checking out during your 2 days in Oslo.
Mathallen Food Hall
Visit the Mathallen Food hall and pursue different types of cuisine from all over the world. Not only will your tastebuds be tantalised by such a diverse mixture of food, but you’ll also see how here, the spotlight is on small scale Norwegian producers who focus on quality and locally sourced products.
I was lucky to find some bargains when I visited Mathallen later in the evening. At the Japanese stall, a lot of the food including the bento boxes were half price. Considering how expensive it is to eat out in Oslo, I had to buy 2 for safe measure. And they were super tasty.
Mathallen is open Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and on Sundays from 11 am to 6 pm.
Address: Vulkan 5, 0178 Oslo, Norway
During my search for budget-friendly eats in Oslo, I came across Rice Bowl Cafe. This cosy Thai restaurant has a menu packed full of flavourful dishes. To date, it’s still the best Thai food I have ever eaten.
Again, another discovery found on my hunt for budget-friendly food options in Oslo. If you’re in the mood for a hearty burger, Illegal Burger is a go-to.
There are around 10 different burgers to choose from, with a satisfying variety of different toppings.
The meal below cost me 102 NOK for the burger, 42 NOK for the potatoes, which is roughly £12.40, plus extra for the drink.
Kaffebrenneriet avd Vestbanen
Sometimes you just need to stop for a coffee break. Braving the cold wintery winds of Olso meant I was certainly in need of a giant coffee to unfreeze my face on the regular.
My favourite coffee place in the city is Kaffebrenneriet avd Vestbanen, located almost next to the Nobel Peace Centre.
The barista who served me was so friendly and chatty. Not knowing what I was in the mood for, he took the time to concoct a special coffee just for me, using oat milk and cinnamon. Delicious.
And they give you a lot of coffee, as you can see in my picture it was like drinking out of a bowl – I am a fan.
Address: Brynjulf Bulls plass 2, 0250 Oslo, Norway
Oslo Travel Tips for your 2 days in Oslo
There are plenty of things to do in Oslo and these helpful Oslo travel tips will make your adventure just that little bit better.
During a free walking tour through Oslo on a particularly rainy December morning, my tour guide told me what Norwegian mothers always tell their children “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” In Norway, you need to take this sentiment to heart and be prepared. Layers and waterproofs are always worth having. Yes, even in summer.
Learn some basic Norweigan:
Learning a few words is basic manners. Norwegians speak pretty impeccable English, but knowing a few words will leave quite the impression. Remember that thank you is ‘takk’, ‘Ja’ is yes, ‘Beklager’ is sorry, and you can always try ‘Snakker du engelsk?’ which means do you speak English?
Stretch your legs and walk through some of Oslo’s neighbourhoods:
If you have time, there is a lovely 8km long route that follows the river Akerselva through Oslo. following this route will take you past a beautiful eco-park, restored industrial buildings, art galleries and my favourite food hall in the city, the Mathallen Food Hall.
Trip ready resources for your 2 days in Oslo
Here are some helpful resources to help you plan your trip to Oslo.
Things you can book in advance
I recommend purchasing an Oslo Card to make the most of your trip and make Oslo sightseeing cost-friendly. You can buy one here.
Want to see the Oslo Fjord, book on to a fjord sightseeing tour here.
If you love nature, you can island hop and explore some of the islands in the Oslo fjord.
Check out Olso free walking tour here.
If you fancy a walking tour with a difference, you can take a private bohemian walking tour of Oslo.
Download the official Visit Oslo app here.
Day one in Oslo
Take a walking tour of Oslo
With so much to see in Oslo, and only 2 days to do so, knowing where to start can be pretty overwhelming. There’s no better way to gather your bearings than by taking a walking tour.
I took a tour of Oslo with Free Tour Oslo, whose local guides know-how of the cities culture and history provides the perfect insight into Oslo.
We covered a lot of ground on our tour, including the Oslo City Hall, Royal Palace, and Oslo Opera House.
At the end of the tour, all you have to do was pay what you can afford.
The tour lasts roughly an hour and a half and is the perfect introduction to the city.
So now you know your way around, what next?
Visit Akershus Fortress
Yes, there’s an actual fortress in Oslo, and its a pretty fun place to explore. Also known as Akershus Castle, this medieval base was built as a royal residence.
Inside you’ll see so much grandeur, from banquet halls to regal reception rooms.
I visited in December when the castle was in full festive swing.
Dancers in medieval dress frolicked around Christmas trees, and free mulled wine an oranges were an extra surprise treat.
Adult Admission is 100 NOK or free with an Oslo Pass.
I will be mentioning the Oslo Pass often in this post. It is what I used during my trip to Oslo and enabled me to see so much, for such an affordable cost.
Prices start at 445 NOK for 24 hours.
Norway’s Resistance Museum
Located near the fortress, the next stop on my Oslo Itinerary is the Resistance Museum. Prepare to have your eyes opened.
Haunting displays tell the story of the Norwegian resistance during the Nazi occupation between 1940 and 1945.
Pictures, objects, models documents and original newspapers and recordings whisk you back in time to a very different Norway than the one we know today.
I was intrigued to discover the partnership between Norway and my home country of the UK during this time.
The war meant that the Norwegian king and government had to create a government-in-exile in the UK capital, London.
And here’s a touching extra to the story. Every year since London has received a beautiful Christmas tree from the people of Norway. A token of appreciation which stands proudly in Trafalgar Square.
Adult admissions to the museum are 60 NOK or free with an Oslo Pass.
Be inspired at Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Modern art, love it or hate it it’s always a lot of fun to look at. I’ve been to a lot of modern art museums in my time, and Astrup Fearnley is up there with the best of them.
Why you may ask? I may be a little biased because the museum happens to have works from two of my favourites, and I chanced to stumble upon it unknowingly – result!
During my college years, I studied a subject called Communication and Culture. We did a whole unit on Postmodernism, in which we looked at the work of Jeff Koons, famous for his kitsch approach. Just look at the famous sculpture he created of Michael Jackson and Bubbles. Sometimes you just need to appreciate the gloriously tacky.
Seeing British artist Damien Hirt’s Mother and Child Divided was certainly the highlight though. I watched a documentary about the artist, presented by Noel Feilding way back in 2012. Since that moment curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see the formaldehyde preserved cows. Yeah, I know I sound kind of morbid right now. It is now a permanent addition to the museum so if you too want to see some sawn in half cows, you know where to find them.
Tickets to Astrup Fearnley cost 130 NOK for an adult and is free with an Oslo Pass.
End the day with live music
The music scene in Norway is booming, and local musicians perform live throughout the city each night, usually for free.
As a music journalist, I try to experience the live music scene everywhere I go. I definitely recommend when in Oslo, you do too.
Stop by, get a pint (be wary of the price) and blend in with the locals at my favourite venues, Cafe Mono or BLA – who have an excellent Sunday night Jazz spectacular.
What better way to end day one of your 2 days in Oslo?
Day two in Oslo
Norwegian National Gallery
Time to start day two with one of the most famous pieces of art to come out of Norway, The Scream by Edvard Munch.
The painting is located at the Norweigan National Gallery, alongside a massive collection of other beloved paintings.
• UPDATE January 2020 – The National Gallery is currently closed and all of its works are in the process of being moved to a new National Museum, due to open in Spring 2021.
This new museum will be the biggest of its kind in Scandinavia, allowing visitors to marvel at old and new art, architecture, design and crafts.
As The National Gallery is temporarily closed, to see some of Munch’s other works up close the best place to go is to the dedicated Munch-Museet.
The museum is home to more than half of the artist’s collection of paintings.
Adult tickets to the museum are priced at 120 NOK, or free with an Oslo Pass.
Visit Oslo’s Museum Island:
Oslo has some of my favourite museums in the world. If you want to tick a few of these off your list, but are limited on time, head over to Bygdøy where you’ll find some of the best museums in the city.
To get here from the city centre, just catch the number 30 bus which stops directly outside several of the museums, which includes the Frammuseet, Vikingskipshusset, Norsk Folkemuseum, and the Kon Tiki museum to name a few.
Here are the museums that I recommend visiting at Bygdøy during your 2 days in Oslo:
Behold the tale of man’s triumph over the elements at the Frammuseet.
Allow yourself to be whisked back in time to the early 20th century, where a head to head race to the Southpole is underway between intrepid British and Norweigan explorers.
The highlight has to be stepping on board the ship that helped Norway emerge as triumphant, in the battle to be first to reach the South Pole. The Fram is a mammoth feat of engineering, which will likely spark in you the ‘Norwegian’s sense of adventure’.
Adult admission to the museum is 120 NOK, or free with an Oslo Pass.
You’ll start to sense a theme among many of these museums, they involve a lot of boats. Considering Norway’s history as a seafaring nation this should come as no surprise.
My next recommendation is the Viking Ship Museum, tracing Norway’s love of sea exploration all the way back to approximately years 800 to 1050.
The Viking Ship Museum displays several beautiful ships, found under burial mounds and excavated.
These ships are a must-see when in Oslo, especially for anyone fascinated by the times of the Vikings, who were a force not to be reckoned with.
Adult tickets to the museum are priced at 120 NOK, or free with an Oslo Pass.
Norsk Folkemuseum – Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
This vast outdoor museum is one of the worlds largest open-air museums.
As you ramble across its grounds, you’ll see 155 traditional houses from across Norway. One of the most famed structures on display is a Stave Church, from the year 1200.
The museum’s indoor exhibitions were fascinating. I enjoyed learning about the Sami culture, an indigenous group of people who inhabit the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
Adult admission to the museum is 160 NOK, or free with an Oslo Pass.
Kon Tiki Museum
Funnily enough, this was probably my favourite museum in Oslo. Perhaps its because it immortalises a truly whacky story of an adventurer determined to accomplish what many people thought was impossible.
Thor Heyerdahl, who in my opinion should be a household name, is a Norwegian explorer whose 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean could easily be the stuff of legend.
That’s because he made the journey on a balsawood raft, named Kon-Tiki.
This mammoth feat was captured on film, and in 1951 won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
Not content with this achievement, Thor went on to complete similarly crazy feats in reed boats – and inspirationally, championed the protection of the environment and world peace.
He was also responsible for important archaeological excavations on Easter Island, the Galapagos Islands, and in Túcume – with some of these objects displayed at the museum.
What will take your breath away though are both the original Kon-Tiki raft, and the papyrus boat Ra II.
My takeaway from visiting – I want to be Thor when I grow up.
Adult tickets to the museum cost 120 NOK or free with an Oslo Pass.
Nobel Peace Centre
Each year on December 10, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is presented. Alongside the ceremony, there is a torchlight parade in honour of the laureates through Oslo. The parade takes place in the evening and ends in front of the Grand Hotel where the laureates usually greet the parade from the balcony. If you are in Olso during this time, make sure to join in. If you’re not, it’s always worth paying a visit to the Nobel Peace Centre to see their current exhibits.
The peace centre is the perfect place to learn about past winners and the positive effects that they have had. Also, the changing exhibitions are eyeopening, highlighting human rights injustices around the world.
Adult entrance is 150 NOK, but free with an Oslo Card.
I have to say my time in the Oslo was magical for a very specific reason. What Oslo does is spark your sense of adventure, intrigue about the world and willingness to explore. Its promotion of human rights and environmental protection should be held up as an example to many of us.
Check out my Favourite travel resources, perfect for 2 days in Oslo
For amazing cheap flight deals, I love Jack’s Flight Club.
To get great train passes across Europe, Interrail is the place to go.
Check out this site for awesome last minute travel deals.
To book onto a fabulous group tour, check out Contiki.
You may want a guide book for your travels if so I love Lonely Planet.
Never leave for a trip without travel insurance! You’ll never know when you may need it.
Thank you for reading my post all about how to spend 2 days in Oslo, and I hope you feel inspired and ready to explore Oslo.
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Want more Scandinavian travel guides? Then check out my awesome itinerary to Stockholm, Sweden.
Or discover how to spend 3 perfect days in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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See you on the road,