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Must Do Activities

The Best Activities to Do in Oslo This Summer

Sauna, Oslofjord
Credit: Unsplash/Atle Mo

Oslo is one of Norway’s most beautiful cities and is, indeed, the nation’s capital. The green city, known for its many museums and gardens, sits on the Oslofjord and boasts an impressive history that stretches over a thousand years.

With the weather warming up, you may be thinking of taking a trip to the iconic capital. So, in this guide, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Oslo this summer.

We’ll take a look at the city’s many gardens and green spaces, floating saunas and outdoor cinemas.

Let’s dive in.

Try a Floating Sauna

If you’re looking to take in the local Norwegian culture, you could try a floating sauna. Swimming in intensely cold water and bathing in simmering heat is a popular pastime of the Norwegians. Many people believe it has health benefits, such as slowing down the ageing process.

If you fancy a dip in the Oslofjord, you can do so right next to one of Oslo’s many floating saunas. There are quite a few around the Aker Brygge area of the bay, a shipbuilding area right up until 1982. It’s since become a vibrant entertainment space, packed with restaurants and bars.

These little saunas literally sit against the banks of the water. They come with ladders that take you into the water and then up again to hop right into the sauna.

The spas usually open first thing in the morning and remain so late into the evening if you fancy an evening swim.

If a sauna isn’t up your street, you may be looking for indoor entertainment. At present, gambling is restricted in Norway. There are no physical casinos for people to play games in and only two companies are allowed to offer betting services. Instead, players have to play online at the likes of the ComeOn live casino, which offers many popular games, such as poker, roulette, and slot machines. 

Watch an Outdoor Movie

During the fine summer evenings, you can enjoy a free screening of a popular movie at an outdoor cinema at St Hanshaugen, a park within the city that is regarded as one of the most beautiful.

During the summer months, the sun doesn’t really fall in Oslo, so these outdoor screenings have more of a festival atmosphere. There are usually lots of different food and drink stalls to choose from.

So, if you’re on a budget and looking for something to do, check out a free cinema screening.

Try a Zip Line

If you’re looking for a more exhilarating experience on your trip to Oslo, why not give the impressive Kollensvevet zipline a go?

The zipline is based at the Holmenkollen ski slope, which is one of the most famous ski-jumping spots in the world. It sits at around 100 m tall, giving you an imperious view of the city. From there, you launch yourself off and travel along the zipline and over the ski slope at electric speed.

It’s possible to do the zipline experience year-round. However, during some periods it’s only available at the weekend. 

Experience Rooftop Opera

When the weather is clement, you may find a rare opportunity to enjoy some open-air ballet and opera.

During the final two weeks of July, the Norwegian Opera group host a series of performances alongside musical accompaniments at the peak of the Opera House in Oslo.

With prices rock bottom, you can enjoy spectacular views of the city and fjord, as well as some truly moving music.

Explore the Akerselva

Akerselva river, Oslo
Akerselva river, Oslo
Credit: Algkalv / CC BY-SA 3.0

The main river running through Oslo is called the Akerselva. Its name refers to the word “froth,” which people believe is inspired by its many bubbling waterfalls.

It’s possible to trek all the way from the Maridalsvannet Lake to the fjord and city. Along the way, you can experience many different landscapes, from lush forests to the former industrial factories and mills of Oslo’s many trades.

Many of these have been converted into offices and apartment buildings now, but such a trek will still provide an interesting contrast and an insight into what life was once like in the city.

Go Flower Hunting

One of Oslo’s most popular summer activities, especially on a budget, is to explore its beautiful Botanical Gardens.

The gardens are located right in the heart of Oslo and are close to many popular tourist attractions. They offer a welcome respite from the busyness of the city. And in the summer, you can basque in the sun and enjoy the blooms of flowers and shrubs.

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