Explore Oslo

Who better to show us around the Norwegian capital than local bloggers Aina Kristiansen and Hanna Norberg? Together, they run the Oslo-based photo blog Stakkarsoss.no, a visual diary that captures interesting and unusual happenings in the city. We recently caught up with Aina and Hanna to find out some local tips on where to eat, drink and play when exploring Oslo…

First Impressions

Explore Oslo Aina Kristiansen Hanna Norberg
Stakkarsoss bloggers Aina Kristiansen and Hanna Norberg. Image credit: Marius Slagsvold

“When a friend comes to explore Oslo, the first place I take them to is my own ‘hood,  Torshov, which also happens to be one of the nicest parts of the city! Then we take the tram to see the Opera, and then we head straight to Aker Brygge, buy some shrimps from the fishermen and take the ferry out to Hovedøya in the Oslo fjord.  It’s hard to believe these islands are  just outside of the city, they’re amazing –  don’t forget to bring your swimsuit!” – Hanna

Boat trip exploring Oslo
Follow Hanna’s advice and take a boat trip around the islands of the Oslo fjord

“Late spring is the best time of the year for exploring Oslo, because both the city and her people really come to life when the days get longer and brighter and the parks get greener. You get the best view of the city from Ekeberg. Actually, you can see the exact view Edvard Munch had when he was inspired to paint The Scream.

Make sure you also take the time to check out the Ekeberg sculpture park and the Ekeberg restaurant while you’re in the neighbourhood.” – Aina

Getting around Oslo

“The tram is the best way to explore Oslo, because you can people watch and do some sightseeing at the same time. Of course, walking is great as well, but there is just something charming about the tram. I even love how noisy they are.” – Aina

Where to Eat

Food explore Oslo
Nighthawk Diner, where the burgers are legendary…

Nighthawk Diner at Grünerløkka is my favourite place for breakfast in Oslo, because they have the best pancakes and the coffee is bottomless. Before you know it, it’s time for lunch – and that means indulging in a legendary Nighthawk burger.” – Hanna

Coffee exploring Oslo

“A good place to enjoy a coffee is Tim Wendelboe at Grünerløkka. The best there is, really – hands down! Other great options include Nord og natt at Tøyen and Stockfleth’s anywhere in town, really.” – Aina

St Lars at Bislet is a great spot for dinner because the food is extraordinary and so are the surroundings. This award-winning restaurant with a touch of France, serves first class fish and meat prepared on a open charcoal grill. The waiters know their wine, and will make sure that your night out will be superb.” – Hanna

Secret Oslo

“Before exploring Oslo you should read something about Thor Heyerdahl and his adventurous life. He is famous for the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, when he sailed 8000 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft. Visit the Kon-Tiki Museum at Bygdøy to learn more about the explorer. – Hanna


“The Emanuel Vigeland Museum is another place not many people know about in Oslo, but they should visit because ­­­­­­­­it is simply breathtaking. The mausoleum is quite dark, so make sure you have enough time to let your eyes adjust to the dim lighting and really take in all the images. Note that it is only open on Sundays, so make sure you plan ahead if you want to visit.” – Aina

Oslo for Free

Damstredet explore Oslo
Take a wander around the colourful Damstredet neighbourhood

“People think Oslo is a really grey and uninspiring city, but it’s actually the opposite. Anyone claiming that Oslo is a grey city, hasn’t seen the real Oslo, and by that we mean all other places than the main shopping street Karl Johans gate.” – Hanna


“The best thing to do for free when exploring Oslo is walk around and explore areas like Damstredet, Telthusbakken, Rodeløkka and the different allotment gardens. These quaint little neighbourhoods are not what you expect to see in the middle of a city, but they will give you a little breather during your city escape. If you only do one touristy thing, make sure you go to Vigeland park – it’s beautiful no matter what time of year or what the weather is like.” – Aina

Oslo Nightlife

Torggata Botaniske Exploring Oslo
Check out the Youngstorget area for a great mix of bars including Torggata Botaniske. Image via Facebook

The Youngstorget area has the best nightlife in the city, some of my favourite bars such as Torggata Botaniske and Himkok are here. InternasjonalenKulturhuset and Angst are three other really good spots to try after dark. – Hanna

Shopping in Oslo

“Majorstua is a good neighbourhood for shopping, here you’ll find all the big chain stores like H&M and Zara, but also more upscale stores such as By Malene BirgerTiger of Sweden and Acne.” – Hanna

Don’t Leave Oslo without…

“Don’t leave Oslo without trying the zipline at Holmenkollen, called Kollensvevet. You fly down from the top of the jump tower to the bottom of the hill – 361 metres with a drop of 107,5 metres. It’s a total adrenaline rush! Note that it’s only open in spring, summer and autumn.” – Hanna


Flights to Oslo

While you’re here…

Check out the Try Somewhere New podcast to discover more things to do in Oslo