Updated: Dec 19, 2018
21 THINGS TO DO IN OSLO ON A WINTER DAY
The Norwegian winter is cold and beautiful. Winter months in Oslo are December, January and February, but in reality the winter can start in November and last until the middle of April. With winter I mean snow on the ground and cold. If you are traveling to Oslo in this time period bring your winter gear because the temperature can vary from – 15C at night to +5C at daytime. If you are looking for things to do in Oslo during the winter, here's a list of 18 things to do and experience.
This is Oslo's most popular toboggan run. It starts at Frognerseteren and ends at Midtstuen metro station. You can rent sleds and helmets at Frognerseteren and deliver the gear to a truck at the bottom. If you want to go again, just bring your sled to the metro station, take the 16-minute metro ride back up to Frognerseteren and enjoy another run. It is 2,000 metres long, and the elevation drop is 255 metres. If you’re able to do the whole run non-stop it will take 8–10 minutes. Rent a Sled:
Under 18: 50-80 NOK per day
Over 18: 100-150 NOK per day
2. ICE SKATING
Frogner stadium offers a variety of activities during the winter from November 1st to March 9. It’s a perfect place for ice skating, with the entrance fee as low as 15 nok for children and 40 nok for adults. Pucks and sticks are only allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays
If you want to go ice skating for free, you can head down to Spikersuppa. However, this ice skating rink is smaller than Frogner stadium and it is not allowed to play hockey.
3. OSLO WINTERPARK
The largest ski resort in the Oslo area, with 18 slopes and 11 lifts. Located only 30 minutes from the city centre.
Adult 1 day: 430 NOK
Children 7-15 1 day: 340 NOK
Children 0-6 1 day: 150 NOK
4. OSLO SKI CENTER (Grefsenkollen)
Ski resort north of the city centre with five slopes, four lifts, ski/snowboard lessons, cross-country trails, a sledding hill, ski/snowboard rentals and two cafés.
Adult 1 day: 345
Children 1 day: 295
Children under age 7 free with an adult who has valid ski pass
The Norwegian "water of life" contains spices, herbs, and around 40% alcohol. It is a common Christmas drink always present during festivities. So if you’re in Oslo during the winter time, I suggest that you order yourself a shot of Aquavit.
6. EAT NORWEGIAN CHRISTMAS FOOD
Norwegians are traditional when it comes to Christmas food. Nine out of ten eat roasted pork ribs (or belly) and dried mutton ribs on Christmas Eve, and most people continue to enjoy Norwegian Christmas food throughout the holidays. Tasty, traditional desserts are an important part of all Christmas dinners. On Christmas Eve rice cream is the first choice. As many as four out of ten choose rice cream, while two out of ten eat cloudberry cream. Other popular desserts are caramel pudding and ice cream cake. Most of this will be available in restaurants during the holidays as restaurants often switch to a Christmas menu.
7. AKER BRYGGE
Popular area along the inner harbour of Oslo. Filled with restaurants, shopping opportunities, apartments and office buildings. The area was newly renovated. Head down to Aker brygge for something to eat and enjoy the view of the beautiful fjord. This is a good place to try some traditional Norwegian Christmas food.
8. KARL JOHAN
Karl Johans Gate is Oslo’s main avenue and the most photographed street in Norway. Not because it’s pretty, but because of the celebration of May 17th takes place here. Karl Johans Gate starts at the Royal Palace and ends at the Central train station and is filled with shopping and restaurants.
9. CHRISTMAS IN WONDERLAND
is a christmas marked located in Spikersuppa along the ice skating rink in Karl Johans gate close to the National theatre. Here you will find everything Christmas. The stalls are filled with waffles, burgers, nordic nuts, gifts and much much more!
Drifting is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. If you have not tried this before, I recommend that you find a big parking lot without cars and light-poles and have fun with your rental car.
11. AKERSHUS CASTLE AND FORTRESS
The castle looks imposing and the views over the harbour and Oslofjord are amazing. The fortress has been at the centre of the nation's growth and development for 700 years, and it is now very popular as a culture arena. At the fortress, you can experience a unique historical environment and enjoy stimulating cultural experiences. However, it's only open on Saturdays and Sundays during winter!
Head to the top of the amazing ski jumping hill at Holmenkollen and learn about 9 month old skiing Norwegians. Holmenkollen is regarded as being among the three most famous sports arenas in the world. The ski jump has been re-developed on 18 previous occasions, the last time in preparation for the World Championships in 1982
If Norwegian nature is what you crave then hiking in Nordmarka, the vast forest north of the city, is the quintessential Oslo outdoor experience. This large wildness of rocky hills and hidden lakes is crisscrossed by dozens of trails and dotted by small cabin cafes, making it perfect for both short day hikes and multi-day backpacking adventures. As this is the winter edition, hiking might be difficult, unless you use snowshoes. However, during the winter months there are more than 450 km of prepared, red-marked ski trails here, and some of them are illuminated in the evening.
Oslo's Opera House is located right at the harbour. Stop by the photogenic Opera House for a drink and climb its roof for amazing panoramic views of Oslo and the fjord. If you’re looking for a good place to take a selfie I recommend doing it in front of the large-scale windows, the blue windows will make the picture look amazing!
Recreation area with great places for cross-country skiing. The two-mile (3.2-kilometre) skiing path around the lake is lit and perfect for a relaxing skiing trip.
Situated on a forested hill above the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Frognerseteren is located is a rustic wooden villa offering spectacular views across Oslo and the surrounding fjord. If you’re hungry, the traditional Norwegian food inside is delicious and affordable, but for those on an extra-tight budget, the excellent views and nearby hiking opportunities are absolutely free. To get there, take the subway to Frognerseteren and walk south for around five minutes.
17. HOTEL CONTINENTAL
Looking for a place to stay or just to grab a cup of coffee? The prestigious Hotel Continental is ideally situated in the heart of Oslo across the street from the National Theatre and close to the Christmas market. Hotel Continental has 155 rooms and suites, each of which is uniquely decorated with a combination of modern design items and hand-picked pieces of art. There is free wireless internet throughout the hotel. Hotel Continental is the only Norwegian member of "Leading Hotels of the World". The hotel is home to the restaurants Eik Annen Etage and Theatercafeen, and BAR BOMAN, a lobby bar with DJ on Thursdays and delicious food and drinks.
A piece of Norwegian cultural history, located in the elegant Hotel Continental across from the National Theatre. Theatercafeen has been one of Oslo's most popular dining and meeting places for over a century and has a buzzing and vibrant atmosphere. Inside the café you can see a unique collection of portrait paintings, all portraying people who are, or have been, regular guests. Reservations recommended for both lunch and dinner. Private dining room with space for for 36 guests.
19. THE ROYAL PALACE
The royal residence at the top of Karl Johans gate, home to HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja. It is surrounded by parks where kids come to ski and sled. Bring your boyfriend or girlfriend for a romantic walk.
20. MAGIC ICE BAR
At Magic Ice is (almost) everything made of ice, even the glasses in the bar! The bar is filled with ice sculptures and colourful LED lighting. If you haven’t been to an ice bar before I recommend that you stop by for a drink.
Mathallen Oslo is a foodie's paradise: an indoor food market with more than 30 specialty shops, cafés and eateries that offer high-quality products and dishes from Norway and abroad. Here you will find items that you can not find elsewhere in the city, and you will meet staff who are proud of their products and who will gladly talk food and give you good recommendations. Perfect place to try traditional Norwegian Christmas food and desserts!