Explore Oslo with a Local

An artsy neighborhood in Norway's capital
Tour the vibrant and lively capital of Oslo with an enthusiastic and informed local leading the way. Although the city is fairly small—it takes only 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other—there's still a lot to see and do! Oslo is known for its rich history and museums, some of which celebrate the macabre works of the Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch. Oslo also has a fascinating maritime culture in the form of stunning Viking-era ships. 

Your guide, a native of Oslo, will help you see the best of what the city has to offer, based on your interests. 

If you'd like to stick to the city's general history, consider strolling the Akerselva River Walk and stopping at some museums. First, take the tram to the Akerselva River, a vital waterway that offers abundant local history. Next, stop into the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river) and then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) as your new local friend shares stories about the heart of Oslo's history. The river is 5 miles (8 km) long and passes waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife—with lots of photography opportunities!

If you'd rather spend more time in nature, you can see both Oslofjord and the dense forests surrounding the city. Your new local friend will lead you to a beautiful island just outside Oslo's harbor, which takes about 30 minutes by tram from the city center. No cars are allowed here, and the island offers a wide array of outdoor activities. You can choose an activity depending on the season or simply walk around one of the lakes while your guide shares the local history.

And if you're a ski buff, try to squeeze in a visit to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump in the popular Holmenkollen area that you can reach by light rail from the city center in about 35 minutes. Open year-round, the Ski Museum & Tower offers over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. After the museum, enjoy the observation deck, which offers panoramic views of Oslo. Then, as you walk down to the ski jump, your guide will share stories about the area's folklore, including local trolls, legends, and castles.

For dinner, wander around the city's historic core, which buzzes with restaurants and outdoor cafés. If you're looking for Oslo's trendiest local scene, head east to Grünerløkka, which many inhabitants refer to affectionately as "Løkka." This once-run-down sector of Oslo is now the site of refurbished apartments, fashionable cafés, and hip restaurants.

Read more about what to do in Oslo.

Itineraries with Explore Oslo with a Local

Western Norway's Rivers, Islands & Fjords - 10 Days

Discover magnificent areas of Western Norway in an exciting 10-day summertime itinerary. Your adventure starts in the capital city of Oslo, followed by a train ride along the emerald-green River Rauma, to the breathtaking city of Ålesund, known for its Art Nouveau architecture. Continue the journey to coastal islands and narrow fjords towards Bergen, before ending your trip back in Oslo for one last night of Scandinavian fun.

Oslo, Bergen & Southern Norway - 11 Days

This relaxing journey loops around Southern Norway to key summer spots for the ultimate mix of nature, history, and culture. Take a local tour of Bergen, visit the charming towns and islands along Southern Norway's coast, get to know Oslo, and take a scenic ride on the famous Flåm Railway. End your trip with a memorable ferry ride through Norway's longest and deepest fjord.

Norwegian Highlights: Oslo, Balestrand & Bergen - 7 Days

Experience jaw-dropping scenery and cool Scandinavian culture on this 7-day Norwegian itinerary. Start in Oslo, where you'll have two days to revel in the rich history, trendy cafés, and summer festivals of Europe's fastest-growing capital. Next, you’ll head west on the famous Flåm Railway to explore Balestrand and its majestic mountains. From here, take advantage of the warmer weather with a kayaking tour of dramatic fjords. Finish the adventure in Bergen, with a wander around its colorful wooden houses and a trip up Fløyen Mountain for panoramic views of the city.