Here you will find 14 things to do in Oslo in summer. If you enjoy summer in the city, you will definitely take pleasure in the majority of things listed below.
And if not (for some odd reason), the reason for visiting Oslo during summer still stands – cause Osloers are so much more pleasant to be around during this time of year. No kidding.
Anyways, let’s dive in!
Finally! The summer of 2021, Sukkerbiten was back. And it was just what we needed in Oslo. A chill summer scene, perfectly located to the sun. Here you can catch the sunset and embrace the last sun rays of the day. While drinking wine and jamming to cool afro-beats.
Sukkerbiten is absolutely one of the most refreshing places for good vibes on a tropical night in Oslo.
It's a summer party!
Not in the mood for sand and salt water? Head to Frysja for an energizing, fresh water swim. Me and my little sister love spending time here in the Norwegian summer.
This is the place for both young people, families, and the elderly. Nevertheless it’s enough space so they don’t need to mingle if they don’t want to. That’s key. I would also recommend coming here for a night dip on the most tropical nights.
Summer mornings at Frysja
Bike up Akerselva or take bus 25 or 54 to Kjelsås stasjon or Stillatorvet. The best place to lounge and get the most sun is the little hill opposite to the main road.
A gem on a small island just outside Bygdøy. The place opened for the first time in 1929, which might indicate that this is worth checking out. Lille Herbern is both an à la carte restaurant and banquet room with large outdoor seating. They serve delicious seafood and excellent summer dishes until 10pm all summer.
Enjoy a mouthwatering summer night you won’t forget!
Take the Bygdøy ferry or bus 30 to “Bygdøynes”. Go down the first road to the left after the museums, and wait until the boat ferry takes you across the canal.
This summer I got hooked on paddle boards, or SUP boards as they’re also called. It’s a way to both be active when at the beach, but at the same time you get that kind of calm, tranquil effect. I found that you learn to balance pretty quickly. It’s mainly about you not thinking too much and not take too rapid movements. If you don’t find the balance, you will have just as much fun on your knees or sitting down. Explore and enjoy the beauty of sliding on water!
Mad Goats: Nylandsveien 28 0150 (Sukkerbiten) or Stranden 32 0250 Oslo/ or Kongen Marina: Frognerstranda 4 0250 Oslo
I also found it very easy and convenient to rent inflatable SUP boards from locals.
You need to know where you can find the best ice cream when you visit Oslo in the summer. It’s not too many times through the year that Norwegians (rightly so) crave ice cream, but when the temperature peaks 20 degrees celsius on a sunny June day – it’s really time to indulge. And the best place to do that; Gutta på Haugen.
They are the first in Norway with organic soft ice cream, and they offer special seasonal toppings. Here you will get both ice cream cones and soft ice cream with many delicious toppings and flavors. It’s a must!
Just outside Oslo city center you will find Hovedøya. This is a lush and green island with many bathing spots and cultural monuments. Parts of the island are a nature reserve and flowers, trees, animals are protected.
Last rays in Hovedøya
The bathing options are best on the island’s west side, where there are two large beaches. Without revealing my favorite spot, I recommend exploring a bit to find the hidden treasures surrounding the island. That is, if you don’t mind swimming from rocky shores.
Take the boat from “Rådhusbrygga”, just beside “Fisketorget” and the main passage to Aker Brygge. Hovedøya is the closest of all the islands – it takes less than 10 minutes with the boat.
Find a cliff and call it a day
Take a stroll by the Oslo Opera House in Bjørvika – the iceberg rising from the Oslofjord. This is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway.
The building is constructed by the architectural firm Snøhetta, and the angled exterior surfaces of the building are covered with marble from Carrara, Italy and white granite. It is the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed around year 1300.
Behind the Oslo Opera House you’ll find the new MUNCH museum, and the latest hit this summer – Bjørvika city beach.
Photo: Mats Anda/Getty Images
This is such a winner for a delicious beach lunch! Focacceria is open every single day from 10am to 6 pm. Arrive in the morning and you will get your focaccia straight from the oven. Even though you bring it with you to enjoy later, it will remain the crunchy top layer and the soft and fresh inside that characterizes the traditional Italian bread.
The classic recipe of focaccia is said to come from the Etruscans. On the other hand the name stems from the Latin “focus fuoco” which means fried in the flame. Add to your lunch list some fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, pesto and basil and you’re all set. Bon appetitt!
Focacceria at Grünerløkka
With GreenBoats anyone can rent an electric boat and get out on the Oslo Fjord. The concept is simple; they find old boats and replace the old petroleum engines with new electric motors, bringing them back to life. The boats have a top speed of 5 knots and are under 25 feet long, so they are very easy to handle for everyone. Which also means – no license is needed!
Bring your friends and family and enjoy the sea in a quiet and sustainable manner. Rent for up to 7 hours, starting at 800 kr per hour.
Sunset at Bygdøy Sjøbad
Just north of downtown Oslo you will find Grefsenkollen, a popular hiking destination with great views of the city, the fjord, Holmenkollen and Oslomarka (the forest). From the top, you have great options for further walks into Lillomarka – or you can just stay and watch the sunset. It’s one of the best places to enjoy an endless summer night.
Grefsenkollen Restaurant is located on the top and offers outdoor seating on the terrace all summer.
From the festival OverOslo at Grefsenkollen in 2019
For the sporty ones – to hike up to Grefsenkollen is pretty popular. Then I would recommend starting at Årvoll (bus 25 from Majorstuen and 31 from Jernbanetorget) to enjoy the hike through Lillomarka. The best way to get to Grefsenkollen without much uphill hiking is on the weekends. Then you can take bus 56b from Storo all the way up.
Stop by Zarathustra Meyhane for some traditional meze! Here you can enjoy local, seasonal ingredients combined with techniques and spices from the Middle East. Meze has its origins in ancient Persia, where people began to serve small pieces of food for social gatherings with wine. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, the meze food culture was spread all over the Middle East and parts of the Balkans, and has since continued to develop into today’s diverse meze traditions in many countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Greece.
Zarathustra, directly translates: “he who can handle camels” and as meze, originates from ancient Persia. Meyhane simply means wine house. And in large parts of the Middle East and the Balkans, it translate to an informal place, where food, drink, conversation and friendship are equally important parts.
It’s a Meyhane
A green zone in the middle of the big city. Perfect for relaxing walks or when you need a time off with a book. The collections in Botanisk hage includes over 5,500 plant species from around the world. The plants are grown in greenhouses and in various branches around the garden.
The beautiful Magnolia
On top of the garden you find a little café with refreshing beverages and light meals. Surrounding yourself with plants and flowers are always a good idea.
It’s also worth noting that Klimahuset just opened in Botanisk hage. Here you can experience exhibits and photographs of greenhouse gases and global warming. The background is to help educate children and young people about the dangers of global warming.
Water lilies in Botanisk hage
Vippa is a food court situated on the edge of the Oslo fjord. The facility was formerly used to store goods from all over the world, but now it acts as a hub for 11 food stands, offering sustainable and diverse food to Oslo’s bustling foodscape. They’ve created an ethical and multicultural environment for both the people operating the food stands, and the guests visiting them.
If you don’t know where to dine after a day of exploration and sun bathing – Visit Vippa. It’s always a great food & drink alternative + the bonus of the beautiful surroundings of the fjord.
Street art and food court
Deichman Bjørvika is Oslo’s main library. On June 18th 2020 it opened it’s new doors – located in the middle of the city center, between Oslo S and the Opera.
The new library contains of six floor where each floor has a different atmosphere, with different functions and possibilities. My favorite is at the top, on the fifth floor. There you will find study spaces, a reading room and rooms where you can just relax and reflect – with great views of the fjord.
The 6th floor at Deichman Bjørvika
The goal of the library is to help you to better understand the society we are part of, through all its different floors. Welcome to a world where you get history, the present and the future in the same building.