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An honest guide to a weekend in Oslo – everything you need to know about money, attractions and more

Norway has always been a dream destination for us. It is a place that conjures up thoughts of fjords and forests, and little red cabins. So when we found a cheap flight to Oslo with Ryanair we just had to spend a weekend in Oslo. Even better was when we started looking at accommodation, and stumbled upon a cheap, well priced hotel. And so we thought we were going to have a budget 2 days in Oslo. Unfortunately that was a bit of a stretch but we did have fun.

There is a reason Google comes up with a predictive “is Oslo expensive” suggestion. Oslo is really expensive. But it is also really beautiful with so many amazing attractions and so much natural beauty. We really wanted to provide a frank and honest guide for people thinking of spending a weekend in Oslo. Here is our 2 day Oslo itinerary and everything you need to know about planning a trip to the city.

And if you are wondering if Oslo is worth visiting we have a post all about that.

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An honest guide to a long weekend in oslo

Before planning a weekend in Oslo – Here is some background

Oslo is the capital of Norway and was founded in the year 1040. It is situated on Norway’s southern coast and at the head of the Oslofjord. Oslo is a very vibrant city with a lot of green spaces and so many museums to explore. It is surrounded by mountains and the sea which means when you visit you know you are going to find something amazing to do.

Oslo Itinerary factsheet

Currency– Norwegian Krone

Language – Norwegian (although a lot of people speak English)

Country  – Norway

Famous for: Nautical history, great museums, winter sports

Visit if you like: The perfect mix of nature and city living

Something that we really loved about our weekend in Oslo was the fact that despite it being a big and thriving city, nature really isn’t far away. In fact it’s only about a half hour ride on public transport until you reach some pretty epic trails.

It’s also the place where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year. And speaking of peace (sort of) every year the city of Oslo gifts London with a Christmas Tree which you will find in Trafalgar Square. It’s to say thank you for Britain’s support during World War 2.

When to book a weekend in Oslo

If you are wondering when to book your weekend in Oslo, you are in luck. Oslo is one of those places that is beautiful year round. Especially when strolling around some of the nature trails in the mountains. If you are looking to ski then obviously winter is your best bet. Temperatures are mild enough in the winter with a low of -5 on average. We actually visited in late August. The temperatures were warm which made it perfect weather to go exploring. It was also great because we decided to do the Oslo fjord cruise and the weather was perfect for this.

Weather for your weekend in Oslo

May to August is peak travel time in Oslo and this is when the weather is quite mild. In the summer the weather is usually around the 10-25 degree Celsius mark. Winter is a lot colder so expect snow. Temperatures usually range between 0 and -5 degrees Celsius.

What to pack for your 2 days in Oslo

Apart from the essentials here are some things that you should pack for your weekend in Oslo.


  • A good winter jacket
  • Boots
  • Scarf, gloves, and a winter hat
  • Warm socks
  • Thermals


  • Sunglasses
  • Light jacket
  • Good walking shoes
  • Umbrella

Where to stay for your weekend in Oslo

When booking your weekend in Oslo there are a number of options in terms of accommodation. Our flight arrived really late on a Friday night so we wanted to be close to public transport. We had a look at Hotels.com and picked the Comfort Hotel Express Youngstorget. It was a short work from the Oslo Busterminal and it was centrally located as well. Plus the price was really good. The room was modern and clean and we saved money because housekeeping only cleaned the rooms every other day. For our weekend in Oslo that was fine with us. Oslo has a range of hotels to suit every budget, and despite the fact that it is an expensive city accommodation is surprisingly a lot cheaper than you might expect.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering where the best areas to stay for your weekend in Oslo are, here is a bit of a rundown.


For first time visitors or those that only have a short time in Oslo, then we recommend staying in Sentrum. It does cover a large district in Oslo, so there is a lot of choice of where to stay. Here you are also close to a lot of the main attractions, and you will have a lot of food and drink options too.


If your weekend in Oslo is all about the nightlife then you might want to consider staying in Majorstuen. It is on the west side of Oslo, and there are a lot of places to go shopping, as well as eating and drinking. This is one of the more expensive and affluent areas in Oslo, and is a little more removed form the hustle and bustle, so think twice if you want to be central.


If you want cheaper accommodation, and to immerse yourself a little bit more into Norwegian culture and hang with the locals Grunerlokka is a great area to do that. There are plenty of quirky shops and cafes, plus access to hiking trails and much more.

Is 2 days in Oslo enough?

We spent a weekend in Oslo and we saw a lot, but like every short trip there was still a lot we missed out on. The city is pretty easy to navigate and a lot of the sights are easily accessible. We ended up doing one of those hop on hop off bus tours (more about that later) and that was probably one of the most effective ways to see all the sights in the city. Depending on what you want to see you really can experience a lot with 2 days in Oslo.

For those of you lucky enough to have a bit more time make sure you have a look at some of the other incredible places in Norway. For some inspiration have a look at this ultimate guide to Bergen by Tracy’s Travels in Time.

Realistically though we would say 2 days in Oslo is enough, maybe 3 if you want to delve a bit deeper. It is quite a small city, and a lot of the main attractions are close together, so you should get a lot done in this time.

Is Oslo expensive?

So, our goal was to have this cheap and cheerful long weekend in Oslo.  This didn’t go to plan because Oslo is really expensive. A round of basic alcoholic drinks for the two of us would cost us around £20 depending on where we were. Cocktails were double this. Food was also really expensive. We visited one place that looked like a carvery, the food was cooked in bulk and displayed behind glass and you sort of just pointed at what you wanted. We spent the equivalent of about £45 on this meal. In the UK you would probably pay about £15 for this. And don’t even get me started on McDonalds. It is usually a quick and cheap meal right! We paid about £20 for two burger meals. And before you ask why on earth we would go to McDonalds when we are in Oslo, honestly we just wanted a cheap and cheerful quick meal.

I think it is safe to say that you need to be prepared to spend quite a bit of money during your weekend in Oslo. Here is a very rough guide to how much some things cost in Oslo:

Small bottle of beer – 80.00 KR equivalent to £7.00 or $9.24 USD

Cup of coffee – 40.00 KR equivalent to £5.00 or $6.10 USD

Main meal at a restaurant: 300 KR equivalent to £23.00 or $36.00 USD

Oslo is probably one of the most expensive European cities we have visited apart from Copenhagen. Just make sure you are prepared for the high costs and you should be ok.

How much money do you need for 2 days in Oslo?

It felt like we went through a lot of money during our 2 days in Oslo. With our accommodation already paid for we spent on average around £120 – £180 a day each. This included food, transport costs, and of course tours. Plus, we went out and had a few drinks on both nights that we were there, which got expensive quickly. You can certainly do it a lot cheaper if you don’t go out for drinks, and don’t want to pay for tours. We flew home early on the 3rd day and by that stage we had withdrawn more money than expected and shared a croissant purchased at a convenience store for breakfast because we were adamant that we had spent enough.

How to get around during your weekend in Oslo

Oslo is actually pretty simple to navigate using public transport. A lot of the main attractions are quite close to each other so you can usually walk and enjoy the views. That being said if you are looking to go a little further afield then public transport is a must.

Any city and regional buses, trams, undergrounds, local trains and ferries are all included in one ticket system. The best way to purchase a ticket is to download the Ruter app on your phone. The city, and its surrounding areas are broken up into several zones, but all of Oslo falls under Zone one. Keep in mind if you are travelling to Oslo Airport Gardermoen you need to purchase a ticket that covers 4 zones.

Another easy way to get around during your weekend in Oslo is to kill 2 birds with one stone and do a hop on hop off bus tour. Not only do you get transported to the key tourist attractions in the city, but you also get to learn all about them via the official commentary. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.

What to see in Oslo in 2 days

So now we have the practicalities out of the way. Here is our guide to what to see in Oslo in 2 days.


If you want to see some amazing forest areas and those little red cabins then this is the place for you. Nordmarka refers to the forested region located in the northern part of Oslo. It takes about 20-30 minutes to get here on the train from the centre of Oslo. In the winter this is where people go to ski and in the summer to go hiking along the many trails. As we were visiting in summer it was a great place to hike and just take in the fresh air.

The best thing about it was the view from the train as we made our way up the mountain towards Frognerseteren. There is a lovely cafe here, where you can relax and take in some incredible views. You can also use this as a starting point and follow one of the trails as you walk down the mountain.

The good news is this is a relatively inexpensive thing to do in Oslo. You really just need to pay to get the train here and walk around at your own pace. In all honesty I think it was one of our favourite things to do during our weekend in Oslo because it was so nice experiencing nature.

You can also do a guided tour, like this one.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park is a sculpture park dedicated to the works of Gustav Vigeland. It is actually the world’s largest sculpture park by a single artist. Here you will find some very interesting Realist sculptures. And if you love the park and the art then make some time to visit the nearby Vigeland Museum.

Fjord Cruise

One of my favourite things we did during our weekend in Oslo was hopping on a boat and taking a tour around the Oslofjord. You sail past some beautiful islands as well as some of the sights in the city such as the Opera House. If you only have 2 days in Oslo this trip is a must. It lasted about two hours and we got to sail one of of those schooner type boats with the giant sails. There are refreshments on board as well if you like your boat trips with expensive pints of larger. We definitely recommend doing this. Nothing beats gazing at incredible views of Oslo with the wind in your hair.

Go Island Hopping

As mentioned above, one of the best things to do during your weekend in Oslo is to enjoy time on the fjord. We highly recommend that you take the opportunity to go island hopping. There are tours you can book that will guide you to some of the best preserved islands to explore. You get the opportunity to go swimming or have a picnic and just enjoy the incredible scenery.

Oslo Cathedral

This stunning cathedral which is the main church for the Church of Norway diocese of Oslo. Whilst it is quite basic on the outside, as far as churches go, the real beauty lies inside. It is certainly worth a visit during your weekend in Oslo.

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress is a medieval castle designed to protect Oslo back in the day. It is quite charming walking around the castle grounds. And you get a really nice view looking down at the Oslofjord. Guided tours of the fortress are available throughout the summer and these start at the Fortress Visitors Centre. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your 2 days in Oslo you can walk around here and there are benches to sit down and admire the views.

Museums of Oslo

Oslo has a LOT of museums and they are certainly worth a visit if you are in the city. Obviously, you won’t be able to do them all during your 2 days in Oslo, but some highlights include the Viking Ship Museum, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum, and the Nobel Peace Prize museum. They are perfect for winter trips to Oslo or even those pesky rainy days. Some of our museum highlights include:

Viking Ship Museum

If you want to brush up on your Viking history, Oslo is definitely the place to do it. The Viking Ship Museum which forms part of the University of Oslo’s Cultural History Museum  has some really cool finds from four different Viking burial sites around the Oslofjord.

Holmenkollen ski museum

Sports lovers should definitely make some time to add the Holmenkollen Ski Museum to their Oslo itinerary. Several international ski jumping competitions are held here and it’s a huge part of the countries national identity. Also another reason the museum is worth a visit is because at the highest point of the ski jump is an observation deck offering panoramic views over Oslo and the Fjord.

Oslo Opera House

Located at the harbour the Opera House appears to rise out from the water. It has a very angled design which is interesting to see. You also don’t need to go to the opera to visit as you can walk up to its roof and checkout some great views of the city. It was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta (nope we don’t know how to say it either) and has received many awards for its creative design. The Opera House is a great place to go and get some photos of the city as you do get a great view of the buildings and architecture from here. Plus you get to see all the cruise ships as they arrive.

The view from the Opera House on our weekend in Oslo

Munch Museum

The Munch Museum is a museum dedicated to the work of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. Munch’s most well known piece is The Scream. There are a few versions of the painting and the 1910 version is on display at the museum in Oslo. This was more Dave’s thing but it was worth going to and we bought a poster of The Scream to remind us of our trip.

Enjoy the Architecture

One thing we noticed in Oslo was the incredible architecture. From the design of the aforementioned Oslo Opera House to the Town Hall, and even the Oslo Cathedral. There is a lot to explore in Downtown Oslo and a lot of buildings to admire.

2 day Oslo itinerary

Here is our suggested 2 day Oslo itinerary to help you make the most of your time in the city.

2 days in Oslo – Day 1

Start your weekend in Oslo with a visit to Nordmarka and explore some of the stunning scenery Oslo has to offer. There is a café near Frognerseteren station if you want to grab some lunch. We recommend a hop on hop off bus tour in the afternoon, but if you are on a budget head to the Opera House to check out Oslo’s architectural marvel. Then take a walk around the centre of Oslo, there are some incredible buildings and amazing churches you an explore. Enjoy a few drinks in the centre before calling it a night.

2 days in Oslo – Day 2

Head to Akershus Fortress and enjoy the views of the Oslo fjord. By late morning/ early afternoon do a boat tour of the fjord. Grab some lunch in the centre before making your way to the Munch Museum to enjoy some art. In the evening grab some dinner in the centre and a few drinks before retiring for the night.

Eating and drinking during your weekend in Oslo

There is a lot of choice when it comes to food and drink in Oslo. Fresh seafood is popular particularly around the harbour. You also have your very traditional Norwegian foods, like your meats and veg and stews. The great thing with Norway in general is that you will find food is very fresh, and a lot of restaurants in Oslo will pride themselves on using local ingredients.

Oslo is also hugely multicultural, which is great for foodies because you can try cuisines from all over the world.

One of the best places to go for affordable cuisine is Vippa. It is a kind of food court in an old industrial building, which serves a range of international cuisine. It’s popular with locals so you know that is has to be good.

Alternatively, for your weekend in Oslo you could do a food tour with a local and discover some of the best food places the city has to offer.

The nightlife in Oslo is also pretty intense. In one night we managed to sip sake at a Japanese cocktail bar, taste different wines, listen to a heavy metal band from England whilst drinking beers, and dancing to cheesy music elsewhere. It is safe to say there is a little something for everyone when it comes to nightlife in Oslo.

So should I spend a weekend in Oslo?

We definitely recommend planning a weekend in Oslo. You just need to be aware of how expensive things are and plan accordingly. It’s also a good amount of time to see the city without completely breaking the bank. Oslo and Norway in general are also really different to other parts of Europe we have visited, so it really was great to experience the culture and way of life here.

Admittedly there are more picturesque parts of Norway you can visit but Oslo is worth a look. 2 days in Oslo is a good time to see the main sights and even though it is expensive you can find the occasional free thing to do.

Trying to decide between a weekend in Oslo or a weekend in Copenhagen, here is a helpful guide.

2 days in Oslo a recap

We hope you find this guide to spending 2 days in Oslo useful. We wanted to be as honest as possible when helping you plan your own trip to the city. Despite the fact that Oslo is expensive we highly recommend you visit. It is a beautiful city just waiting to be explored. A weekend in Oslo is also a good amount of time to visit in order to avoid spending your life savings on a trip!

If you found this guide to spending a weekend in Oslo useful don’t forget to pin it for later.

Looking for more European Inspiration then check out these articles:

2 Days in Vienna

4 Days in Prague 

How to experience Iceland in 4 days 

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