Free things to do in Oslo
If you don’t mind putting your walking shoes on and facing whatever weather Norway brings, you can find many free things to do in Oslo. With Oslo located right on the sea, it allows for many pleasant walks along the harbor.
The Oslo Opera House, is one of the most iconic modern buildings in Scandinavia and was built to resemble a glacier floating in the waters of the Oslofjord. The building was designed to enhance the enjoyment of Oslo and allows visitors and locals alike walk on the roof of the Opera House. From here you can see some amazing views of the surrounding Oslo as well as into the harbor. Close to the Opera House lays Akershus Fortress which once protected the city from any impending invaders in the 1300s, but now is a pleasant place to wander around learning about Norway's history- if you’re lucky you may see some people dressed in historical costumes! This building inspired a few of the buildings in Frozen – see if you can recognize the building and architecture in the film!
Located near the center of Oslo is artist Gustav Vigeland’s lifework of about 200 sculptures in properly named Vigelandsparken. Vigeland’s statues are meant to represent life and its many stages. The park’s most famous statues include The Angry Boy (Sinnataggen) and The Wheel of Life (Livshjulet). Continuing into the center of Oslo is Karl Johans Street (Karl Johans Gate). Along this street, you can find many different high-end shops, perfect for window shopping and little cafes to grab coffee and people watch. At the end of the street lies the Royal Norwegian Palace, which unlike Buckingham Palace, you can go right up to it and take pictures. Before arriving at the palace, you'll pass the Norwegian Parliament and National Theatre.
If you need a place to relax, head to Oslo’s Botanical Garden. Here you will be able to walk and enjoy around 1,800 different plants. What’s so cool and unique about this Botanical Garden is that there is a Scent Garden designed for people with disabilities. The garden is open only from mid-March until the end of September but is free to enter. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to enjoy a concert in the gardens as they run regularly through the summer.
The final free destination is Oslo’s City Hall. This may not seem like a tourist hotspot at first, but it is home to two famous pieces of artwork, Alf Rolfsen’s “Et bilde av vår nasjon” and Henrik Sørensen’s “Arbeid. Administrasjon. Fest”, both of which depict Norwegian life, culture, and history. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo’s City Hall so enjoy some time walking around soaking up the history. During the summer months, the city offers free guided tours of the City Hall.