Well, if you are visiting Oslo in near or far future, I’ve got you covered. Just bookmark this link because I am going to give you an excellent 48 hours in Oslo, Norway itinerary to follow with which you can explore the capital city of Norway with ease.
I strongly recommend you to stay near the central station because everything is easily available from that part of the city. Wherever in Europe, I prefer staying near the central station as all the happening places are quite at reach.
I stayed at the City Box (Check out this whole another article on it), which is just a block away to the west of the central station at the Prinsens Gate street.
So let’s begin exploring Oslo.
Opera House of Oslo:
My “48 hours in Oslo, Norway” guide begins with the Opera House. It is only few steps far from the Central Station so if you are staying near the station, it will be an easy and walking distance from your hotel.
So, we started off our day with the famous Opera House of Oslo. I already had the picture in my mind but in real it was far more magnanimous and stunning. The building has a wonderful modern architecture. It has slopes at the sides on which you can walk up to the roof. There is one gorgeous modern structure made up of steel and glass panels floating on the fjord which looks out of the world. It is called “She Lies” and matches perfectly with the facade of the Opera House. If the time permits and are any shows running you can check it from inside and enjoy the show.
Later we walked towards the station and spent some time with “The Tiger”. It is hard to find the statue alone since kids are sitting on it most of the time so you can wait for your turn and take a picture.
I took mine the other day when I had to catch an early morning train to Andelsnes. That’s when the tiger was alone.
Karl Johans Gate Street:
From there we started walking towards the Karl Johans Gate Street. It is the most happening and my favourite street in Oslo. If you happen to be there during weekends, you must walk down the street in the evenings. I love the street because of its ups and downs. You can see the Royal Palace blowing its trumpet from the far end of the street. Karl Johans Gate boasts of many colourful houses, cafes, cathedrals, restaurants, shops, huge flower decorations, fountains and gardens. I love this street. It is the highlight of Oslo for me.
What not to miss while walking down the street:
Parliament of Norway
University of Oslo, Faculty of Law
See pictures below in the same order.
Your 48 hours in Oslo, Norway will not be worth it if you don’t visit the Royal Palace. Walk down the Karl Johans Gate street until you reach the magnificent and phenomenal Royal Palace. Apart from the royal architecture and the changing guards, what is unique about this palace is its exquisite and ecstatic garden at the back. It has a lovely pond in the middle and offers mesmerizing views. You can also visit the palace from inside. It has certain timings which you need to check at the entrance. We spent quite a quality time sitting at the bench near the pond, watching the ducks and feeding the sparrows.
House Of Oslo:
Coming out of the garden, take a right where you can see the main road. This is the point where our route takes a circle, so follow the map and walk towards the House of Oslo. It is Norway’s largest shopping centre exclusively for Scandinavian design articles, furniture and household textiles including several other shops, supermarket and cafes. I become speechless when it comes to describing the Scandinavian artwork. Such flawless designs that I wish I had enough money to buy them all. Although, being able to contemplate them is already a blissful experience.
Later, refer the map and en route for the City Hall. It is a public venue and a beautiful administrative building featuring some gorgeous artwork all around its walls by Munch.
Oslo Harbour Front:
At the backside of the town hall, you can briefly introduce yourself to the Oslo fjords. Here you will find the Oslo Harbour front which is a very popular spot to hang out. You can even book a cruise, if you wish or just enjoy the picturesque view and feed the seagulls.
It is hard to stop basking in the scene and feeling the Norwegian sea breeze, but when you do, hike left towards the main road and you will find a path which is a slope upwards leading to the Akershus Fortress. This historical building, overlooking the fjords, was built to protect Oslo and that explains the presence of cannons and the fortified stone walls extending all around the edges of the fortress. This castle was once a royal residence and also a prison. One thing here to watch out for are the art installations.
Norwegian Armed Forces Museum:
While exiting the fortress, don’t exit from where you entered but after almost completing the circle of fortress, take a right, out of the fortress gate which is an over bridge pathway for pedestrians crossing the Kongens Gate Street. Cross the huge ground from left to right and follow the path that will take you to the museums called Fanehallen and Forsvarsmuseet, which is the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum.
At the back of the museum, you will see few cannons and as you stroll near them, what do you see?
Voila! You finished where you started from. A walk-able path from there will take you to the main road and from there you can easily find your way towards your stay or find a restaurant according to your wishes and have a scrumptious dinner.
Route Map for Day 1:
None of the route was planned when I went to Oslo. I only had a list in my mind that what all I wanted to check out. I wanted to walk around the city and so we kept meandering and discovering all the places on my list. The route from Akershus Fortress to the Opera House was self founded. As we walked towards the cannons at the back of the Fanehallen and my mom was all burnt-out from walking all day so she wanted to grab a cab back to the hotel and the next minute we had our eyes on the opera house and we were all jumping with joy. Not only we had immense fun exploring the town by walking, but we also spotted a lot within a day along-with saving money, not to forget that.
Now when I see on the map it actually makes a full circle but I didn’t realise it at that point of time and that’s why I created this 48 hours in Oslo, Norway article to be of help to anyone who is looking to explore Oslo in a much less time.
Oslo Central Station – Ruter:
The two large and famous attractions were still remaining to tick off and the fact they are a bit far from the central station, we bought full day public transport passes. They are available at the Ruter’s Customer Service Centre right in front of the Oslo Central Station. These same passes can be used for all public transport in Oslo, that is, bus, train, tram, metro and ferry.
Vigelands Sculpture Park:
We took the tram and our first stop was the Vigelands Sculpture Park.
Because this is a “48 hours in Oslo, Norway” itinerary, I am including this park on a second day, but if you are there only for a day or less, even then you have to make sure you visit the Vigelands Sculpture Park. It is a must-do while in Oslo.
Gustav Vigeland is the single artist behind more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron at the park which makes it the world’s largest sculpture park. All the sculptures are excellent depictions of human emotions, behaviour and relationships. “Monolith” – the centre piece of the park is a sculpture which is 14.12 metre high and basically a totem where human figures are stacked on top of each other.
Along with all other sculptures, the park, overall, is completely overwhelming and impressive because of the lakes, fountain springs and patches of different types of flowers and different colours of roses all along. It can be easily mistaken for a palatial garden.
Viking Ship Museum:
Moving forward, our next stop was the Viking Ship Museum. It is a part of the Museum of Cultural History and is a home to important discoveries ranging from ships to boats, sledges, carts and utensils.
Therefore, I’d be crazy not to include this museum in my 48 hours in Oslo, Norway guide.
A huge viking ship adorns the entrance of the museum. An adventure film called “The Vikings Alive” is played constantly throughout the day inside the museum which is all about the history of the Vikings and the stories of how dexterous they were in creating the ships.
Other Points of Interest:
It was almost afternoon until we finished these two so we decided to make use of the day pass and took the tram all around the city. We spent couple hours getting on and off the tram and explored the Munch Museum, National Gallery, University of Oslo premises, St. Olav’s Cathedral and wallowed in the beauty of this Norwegian capital.
Route Map for Day 2:
We ended our day with the relishing early dinner at the city’s oldest authentic Indian restaurant, Mother India. Since the sun hardly sets in summer, it is hard to catch up with the time and so we walked some more at the Karl Johans Gate Street and I shopped for my Oslo travel magnet, a souvenir I collect wherever I travel.
A huge shoutout to the Cafe Cathedral which is just two blocks from the station, at the Karl Johans Gate, and the best place to have your breakfast. We, religiously, every morning had our breakfast there and some of our dinners too. We also celebrated my sister’s birthday at the Cafe Cathedral with a special Norwegian cake which is called as Kvæfjordkake. It is a sponge cake topped with almonds and some cream, and was super delicious. Along with the food, what I really loved about this cafe is its seating in a natural setting. The cafe looks gorgeous in both day and night.
I relived my those 48 hours in Oslo, Norway for thousand times while writing this article. Travellers usually travel to Norway to hike and explore the fjords but a day or two in Oslo is a must, from my point of view. Therefore, I’ve created this quick and detailed 2-day itinerary to help you plan your days in Oslo. Hope this article was helpful. If yes, don’t forget to react, share and comment below. I will be more than happy to know if you decide to follow my trail.
Merry Travels!! 👍🏼🤗