Are you still on the fence about booking a trip to Oslo this winter? As a local, I guarantee you that Oslo is a winter top tier destination, mainly because the city offers a huge variety of indoors as well as outdoors activities in a unique Scandinavian style. (click here to read my ultimate guide on the best things to do do in Oslo in winter)
Norway is well known for being amongst the most expensive country in the world but when it comes to Oslo, I strongly believe that the best winter activities are actually free! Find below my top 9 free winter activities to enjoy during your stay!
1. Catch the best sunset at Akershus fortress & Museum
One of my favorite things about Oslo in winter is the incredible colors in the sky when the sun goes down. Sunsets are incredible shows with hues of bright orange, light purple, red, pink and yellow sometimes.
I highly recommend watching the sunset from Oslo Akershus Fortress & castle close to Aker Brygge. The medieval castle is built on a gigantic rock above the fjord which offers a spectacular view of both the city and the waterfront.
Click here to see Norway’s best castles and fortresses
2. Channel your inner child at Korketrekkeren Toboggan Run
During the winter season, people from all ages head to Korketrekkeren toboggan run to enjoy an 8 minutes non-stop ride of 2 kilometers long with an elevation drop of 255 meters. You can rent a sledge for 100 to 150 NOK (10€ to 15€) per day and riding the toboggan is free! Check the details for rental spots here.
To get there: take the Metro to Frognerseteren which is where the ride starts. It will end at Midtstuen station and if you feel like you did not have enough, you can take a 16-minute metro ride back up to Frognerseteren to have more fun!
Nota bene: the toboggan run is only accessible when there is enough snow so make sure to check Oslo tourism page to get the last updates.
3. Climb the Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera house is one of Oslo’s most iconic buildings with an ultra modern design and architecture.
It is located on the waterfront side of the city center. The best thing about the building is that you can actually walk on its roof for free and enjoy wonderful city views.
4. Go Ice Skating for free at Skippersuppa ice-rink
If you visit the city between November and March, skating for free at the Skippersuppa ice-rink is a super cool option! You can even enjoy all the delicious food served at the Christmas market right next to it during Christmas season!
5. Vigeland Sculpture Park
Vigeland is located inside Frogner Park in Oslo and it is definitely worth visiting, especially when the city is covered by snow. The park has over 200 sculptures that look even more unique during the winter season.
6. Head to Sognsvann lake for an easy walk
Hiking in Norway is a must but I would rather recommend an easy and not too long walk if it is snowing or extra cold during your winter stay, so you still have some time and energy for other activities during the day.
The Sognsvann lake area is the perfect place for that! You can walk around the lake without going too deep into the forest for 1 hour or 2 and enjoy Norwegian waffles & coffee along the way!
How to get there: take the metro (T-bane) line 5 to Sognsvann and get off at the last stop (20min).
7. Have fun exploring Oslo Christmas markets
If you travel to Oslo in December, you will have the opportunity to enjoy several christmas markets like Vulkan Julemarked, Youngstorget Lavvos Julemarked, the Norskfolkmuseum Chirstmas market and many others right outside the city.
The biggest and most popular one is Oslo Christmas Market Jul i Vinterland in Spikersuppa, where you can have a fun time on a ferris wheel and get food & drinks to keep you warm in a fun and joyful atmosphere.
8. Go to Aker Brygge for a stroll along the harbor
Aker Brygge is my favorite part of the city and the neighborhood I probably spend the most time in! Centrally located, it’s the perfect place to have a walk by the fjord and enjoy beautiful Christmas decorations all around if you go there in December. Coffee shops, restaurants, food trucks and nice shopping spots along the harbor will make you discover another side of the city.
Click here to read about the 7 best street food spots in Oslo!
9. Take a ferry to an Oslo fjord Island
I know that hopping on a ferry to visit an island when it’s freezing is not really appealing but let me tell you: I did it and it was amazing!
Oslo is surrounded by more than 10 small islands but most of them are closed during the winter season. I went to the island of Lindøya which you can still access outside of summer, for free, you just have to pay the ferry ticket which is the same price as a bus ticket. It was during a light snowy day and the landscape was magical. We were all alone, the atmosphere was super relaxing and and I came across the cutest hytter during my walk. It really felt like a fairytale.
Click here for a glimpse at my Lindøya photo journal.
How to get to the Oslofjord islands: From Aker Brygge which is centrally located, you can see which ferry is available and take one that is going to the accessible islands during your stay.