Summer break in Oslo
Discover a city of contrasts
HomeAway travel expert
If exploring intriguing cultures, customs and cityscapes is fast becoming your forte, choose the city of Oslo, located at the foot of Norway's most eastern fjord, for your summer break. Scandinavia enjoys a strong tourism, welcoming millions of travellers annually, and Norway’s spectacular natural beauty, from its edenic fjords, dramatic mountain ranges and enchanting forests secure its standing as one of Europe’s exquisite destinations for nature enthusiasts and avid aventurers!
Choose a summer break in Oslo and combine excursions into the extraordinary landscape with city tours, superb meals, and dynamic evenings in this intriguing Scandinavian city. Retrace the country's Viking Age, visiting the Viking Ship Museum as well as discovering Norway’s modern history at the Resistance Museum. Plan a sensational evening of concert on the waterfront at Oslo’s Opera House, visit the stunning Royal Palace and explore Munchmuseet, The Munch Museum, home to a critically acclaimed collection of Edvard Munch’s artwork. Moreover, take advantage of Norway’s extra hours of sunlight, unique to northern European countries, and find a perfect picnic spot in Frogner Park, an area which fuses natural beauty with art. Snake around over 200 of Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures and enjoy the interactive environment as children and adults alike crawl, crouch and climb on the incredible pieces of artwork. Having explored the capital’s Norse, folk, and maritime history, as well as its contemporary art and cultural scene, retire to one of our stylish Oslo apartments or snug holiday cottages in the suburbs.
Top five destinations for summer breaks in Oslo
Summer breaks in Oslo: picnics and parks
As well as the Botanical Garden, located close to the Zoological Museum and Geological Museum, Oslo is home to a number of picturesque parks. Inside the gorgeous Frogner Park, lies Vigelandspark, an eminent collection of sculptures by artist Gustav Vigeland. Over 200 sculptures coil around Frogner’s serene lake, flower displays and fountain, marking this area an idyllic setting for a summer picnic, cycle or stroll in the spectacular sunshine. Other notable parks include Studenterlunden park, home to the capital’s National Theatre, the nineteenth century Slottsparken, the majestic palace park, as well as St. Hanshaugen Park on the outskirts of the city centre. Find a picnic spot on the Akerselva river or by the vibrant waterfront, or research music and theatre events held in the city's green spaces throughout the summer.
Summer breaks in Oslo: chic squares and quarters
Plan a ferry ride to Oslo’s Bygdøy Peninsula, a sublime area home to some of the capital’s finest eateries and a gorgeous stretch of water. From here, visit the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and Bygdø Royal Manor. The Royal Palace’s square continues to attract throngs of tourists. From the square, explore the palace or join a guided tour, The Ibsen Museum on Henrik Ibsens gate, or explore the bustling harbour. Watch the dozens of ships and sailing boats on the water, and visit the capital’s opera house, a striking postmodern building with an iconic angled roof that sinks into the water. Circle the National Gallery, stopping for coffee, before venturing to Akershus, the city’s fourteenth century fortress.
Summer breaks in Oslo: boutiques and markets
Oslo has an enviable number of boutiques and independent shops selling vintage and bespoke clothes and gifts. Moreover, thanks to its folk history, travellers are never far from tourist shops, home to symbolic folkloric trolls, which seem to border many of the city’s squares and quarters. Trawl popular shopping areas such as Karl Johans gate, or discover the city’s market areas. During the summer, markets are held in areas including Amaldus Nielsens plass, Grünerløkka and Rådhusplassen. For unique gifts, it’s also worth exploring the city’s museum and art galleries. The National Museum, the National Gallery and The Museum of Contemporary Art all have fantastic shops.
Summer breaks in Oslo: eating out
If you’re travelling on a shoestring, plan picnics and embrace the city’s beauty spots, fountains, and sun-dappled squares. Elegant bars, brassieres and restaurants line the harbour and you’ll be invited to sample some of the fine seafood dishes which dominate Norwegian cuisine. Stop for coffee and a light lunch in one of the cafes in the city’s university area, or find a chic restaurant on one of the bordering streets of the Royal Palace. Dine in the Engebret Cafe, considered the oldest restaurant in the city, or choose a more contemporary brassiere on the waterfront. Oslo’s diversity is reflected in the variety of restaurants serving global cuisines, as well as superb traditional menus, where you can choose from Norwegian cheeses, seafood platters and sample akevitt, Norway’s traditional spirit.
Summer breaks in Oslo: surrounding natural beauty
As well as the Bygdøy peninsula, Oslo is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, and Norway’s rugged, untouched landscapes mark it as one of Europe’s most celebrated areas for natural beauty. Whether you choose to explore the Oslofjord or draft a more ambitious tour of the expansive terrain, there are an array of activities available, from organised walking groups, to water sports centres, to high adrenaline wind sports! For bird watching and mountain walking, explore Mellomkollen or venture into Telemark, home to the majestic Gaustatoppen. Trawl the picturesque valleys along the river Glomma and circle the country’s largest lake, Mjøsa. Excursions to towns, such as Lillehammer, can be incorporated into your itinerary and serve as a base for your adventures into the enchanting landscape. If you are planning to incorporate longer excursions into your summer break, research trips to stunning areas such as the Voringfossen waterfall.