Are You planning a trip to Norway’s capital, Oslo? In this article, we will give you the 21 best free attractions in Oslo for you to see. Nestled in the heart of Scandinavia, Oslo is a city where natural beauty, history, and culture blend seamlessly. While it’s true that travelling can often take a toll on your wallet, Oslo offers a delightful surprise for budget-conscious travellers.
This vibrant city has a wealth of free attractions that allow you to soak in its beauty, heritage, and creativity without spending a single krone. From impressive sculpture parks and historic landmarks to world-class art galleries and charming neighbourhoods, Oslo has an array of experiences that won’t break the bank. We will introduce you to the best free attractions that will make your visit to Oslo an unforgettable and budget-friendly journey through this enchanting Norwegian capital.
Let’s delve deeper into each of the 21 best free attractions in Oslo:
Table of Contents
Things you can do in Oslo:
1. Vigeland Sculpture Park. One Of The Best Free Attractions in Oslo
We will start this journey on the 21 best free attractions in Oslo by visiting Vigeland Sculpture Park. Gustav Vigeland’s masterpieces include 212 bronze, granite, and wrought iron sculptures. Wander through this expansive park to admire the intriguing and often provocative statues that depict the human condition.
2. The Royal Castle
One of the other best free attractions in Oslo is The Royal Castle and the park that surrounds it. It is a splendid example of neoclassical architecture but also the official residence of the Norwegian monarch. Stroll through the lush Palace Park and watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony if you time it right.
3. Akershus Fortress
This medieval castle has guarded Oslo since the 13th century. Explore its historic grounds, wander through its bastions, and take in the spectacular views of the fjord and the city.
4. The Oslo Opera House
This modern architectural gem allows visitors to walk on its sloping rooftop, which resembles an iceberg. The views from here are magnificent, and it’s a unique experience. Putting this sight on your “best free attractions” list would be best.
5. Deichman Library Bjørvika
The flagship Deichman Library stands in a picturesque spot in Bjørvika beside Oslo’s renowned Opera House.
Incorporating an extensive collection of books, the library boasts an array of amenities, including a cinema, open workshops, inviting cafes, and spacious areas designed for unwinding, reading, and exploration. Furthermore, the library hosts an exciting array of events such as lectures, courses, engaging discussions, literary readings, and various engaging activities specially curated for children.
Nordmarka is a substantial woodland expanse on the northern outskirts of Oslo, offering abundant outdoor leisure possibilities throughout the year. The favoured activities include cross-country skiing in the winter and hiking or bicycling in the summer. Furthermore, the region offers numerous recreational zones for moments of repose.
Typically, the paths and trails in Nordmarka are clearly signposted, ensuring a hassle-free outdoor experience. Nevertheless, it is best to carry a map to navigate the terrain effectively for more extensive journeys.
7. The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Other free stuff in Oslo consists of Tjuvholmen and the Astrup Fearnley Museum. While the main exhibition area charges an admission fee, you can enjoy the outdoor art installations and sculptures along the Tjuvholmen waterfront for free.
8. Oslo City Hall
This monumental building, home to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, features magnificent murals and frescoes. Explore its grand halls and see how democracy unfolds within its walls.
9. Nobel Peace Center
Even if you choose not to enter the museum, the square outside often hosts thought-provoking exhibitions and events related to the Nobel Peace Prize laureates.
10. Bygdøy Peninsula
This picturesque peninsula offers a range of free attractions. This includes the famous and idyllic Huk beach. This recreation area is where you can bathe in the Oslofjord, exercise or play sand volleyball for free. There is also a nudist beach located in the area.
11. Holmenkollen Ski Jump
While you can visit the ski jump for free, the views from the top of the tower are worth the small admission fee. The museum nearby provides insights into the history of winter sports in Norway.
12. Sognsvann Lake
If you want the free stuff in Oslo experience, nature and fresh air in one package, this serene lake offers a peaceful escape from the city. In the summer, it’s a popular spot for swimming; in the winter, it becomes a hub for ice skating and cross-country skiing.
13. Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens is next on our list of the 21 best free attractions in Oslo. They are a hidden gem in Oslo. You can explore a variety of themed gardens, including the alpine and medicinal plant gardens, all while surrounded by lush greenery.
14. The Parliament Building
Although you can’t tour the interior for free, you can still appreciate the elegant architecture of the Stortinget from the outside.
15. Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke)
Admire the exquisite neo-Gothic architecture and take a moment to reflect on this beautiful cathedral.
This park offers a fascinating glimpse into medieval Oslo. You can explore ruins and reconstructions of historical buildings, making it a great educational stop.
A trendy neighbourhood filled with colourful street art, quirky shops, and a vibrant atmosphere, Grünerløkka is an excellent place to stroll and taste Oslo’s alternative culture. A stroll here should absolutely be on your “free stuff in Oslo” list.
18. Mathallen Oslo
This bustling food market is a culinary paradise. While you might be tempted to try some delicious offerings, you can also soak in the vibrant atmosphere. Be ready for free tastings.
19. Akerselva River Walk
One of the best free attractions in Oslo is to take a hike along the Akerselva River, which provides a journey through Oslo’s industrial history. The path has charming old factories, mills, and serene green spaces. The Akerselva hiking trail commences at Maridalsvannet and meanders down to Vaterland in the heart of central Oslo. By tracing the entire eight-kilometre route, you’ll traverse a captivating journey through diverse landscapes, encountering industrial relics, the energy of cascading waterfalls, idyllic spots for swimming and relaxation, fishing opportunities, serene forested regions, and a rich tapestry of indigenous flora and fauna.
20. Ekeberg Park
This sculpture park combines contemporary art with stunning natural surroundings. Explore the vast collection of sculptures and take in breathtaking city views from Ekeberg Hill. Are you a fan of sculptures? This exhibition is one of the best free attractions in Oslo.
The Oslo Christmas Market, also known as “Julemarked,” is a spellbinding annual event that transforms the heart of Norway’s capital into a festive wonderland. This enchanting market typically sets up in the historic Spikersuppa Square, right in front of the National Theatre, and runs from late November through December.
These are the 21 best free attractions in Oslo, from art and history to nature and culture. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply someone who enjoys the outdoors, Oslo has something for everyone to enjoy without spending a dime, and it should be things here that you can put on your “free stuff in Oslo” list. So, as you embark on your journey to this remarkable city, remember that experiencing Oslo’s beauty and culture can sometimes require deep pockets. Pack your curiosity and a sense of adventure, and let Oslo’s free attractions introduce you to the many facets of this captivating Norwegian gem.