We started our Scandinavian adventure in Norway! Researching flights from both the USA and Nice, France, we determined that the cheapest city to fly into was Oslo. My parents snagged an incredible $900.42 round trip airfare from Dulles to Oslo for both of them by booking early. Once that was settled, it was time to start determining what to see in Oslo, Norway. Traveling with a tween, a teen and my parents, we had to do a lot of research to ensure we were visiting places the entire family enjoyed. We’ve included all our recommendations for things to see in Oslo in just 24 hours as well as accommodation and food ideas.
What to See in Oslo, Norway with Teens and Tweens
We downloaded the Oslo Pass App and got our passes prior to arriving in the city. In addition to free access into many attractions, we were able to get free transportation as well, including the ferry (see below). We were only in Oslo for a short time, so we had to make the most out of our 24 hour Oslo Pass.
Our first must-see was the Viking Ship Museum. We wanted to take the scenic route, so we rode the ferry from City Hall Pier 3 to the Bygdøy museums. It was a pleasant ride and nice opportunity to see the city from the water. If you prefer not to take the ferry, bus 30 and the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus will get you to the museums as well.
We saw the Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune Viking Ships during our visit. I found the Oseberg Viking Ship the most interesting as it was the burial ship for two women and was in surprisingly good condition. Along with the ship, textiles, a cart, three sleighs as well as cookery items were found in the burial mound. The Gokstad ship was used for the burial of a rich and powerful man around 900 A.D. He was found with animals, three small boats, shields, kitchen utensils, a gaming board and more. The museum, while small, was interesting to see and learn more about the Viking Age.
After our visit to the Viking Ship Museum we walked to the Norsk Folkemuseum or Norwegian Museum of Cultural History which is mostly a large open air museum. This was everyones favorite museum and houses artifacts and structures from across the country. It was fascinating to see how people have lived in Norway starting from the 1500’s to present day. Families could easily spend several hours here allowing the kids to run, pet the farm animals and explore the buildings.
The main attraction and my personal favorite from the museum was the Gol Stave Church from around the 1200s. Located on the top of the hill, the Gol Stave Church with it’s dark grey color and detail make it worth the climb. As we were short on time, we mostly explored the little “towns” and skipped the indoor exhibitions.
We didn’t have time but the Fram Museum or The Polar Ship Fram museum is also located in the area and could be worth a quick visit.
Lunch was along the waterfront. Did you know they have food trucks in Oslo? Hello happy teenagers!
The Akershus Fortress is located next to the harbor and is free to visit. The medieval castle was completed in the 1300s. The strategic location allowed it to withstand a number of sieges throughout the ages. Over the years it has been a military base, a prison and held government offices.
Another free activity is to walk on the Opera House. When the weather cooperates, you can get nice views and it’s a quick activity for families to enjoy the outdoors. Just watch the crazy bicycles zipping around!
We had initially removed the Vigeland Sculpture Park from our itinerary, but we had a bit of extra time on our last morning, so we jumped on the tram to visit the park. Frogner Park features over 200 bronze and granite sculptures designed by Gustav Vigeland. Some of the sculptures were cute while others were downright disturbing. It would be a lovely park for a picnic during the summer and there is a large play area for younger children, but I wouldn’t make the trip just to see the sculptures, although they were somewhat unique!
We didn’t have time, but Derrick wanted to wander the Barcode Neighborhood as the buildings are said to be interesting. Another idea to keep kids busy would be the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower.
Where to Eat in Oslo:
We love finding local markets and as Oslo is one of the most expensive cities we visited, we found the food halls to be a good value. We also cooked in for dinner choosing to shop at Coop and First Price to save a bit more money. These stores were recommended to us by a Norwegian reader, so I knew they would be the best value. We also brought empty water bottles to fill up during our trip. Water in Norway is safe to drink, so you don’t need to spend $5 for a bottle of water!
Mathallen Food Hall located in an old warehouse is beautifully designed and well organized. There are a bunch of different restaurants as well as stalls with cheeses, meats and vegetables for sale.
Vippa is a hip new food hall with 10 food stands from across the globe located right by the Oslo Fjord. We enjoyed lunch here before boarding the overnight ferry to Copenhagen. This is another great place for families as everyone can pick the type of cuisine they want. I had fantastic Vietnamese food (the Ho Chi Minh) and Derrick had tasty tacos from another stand.
Don’t forget the Food Trucks located at the Oslo Harbor!
Must Try in Oslo
Derrick’s list of must try in Oslo. He enjoys sampling local beers so there are lots of breweries and beer stores on the list.
Cured Elk & Reindeer meat
Brown Cheese 🧀
Cloud Berry jam
Mathallen food hall (oltorget beer)
Crowbar & Brewery
Is the Oslo Pass Worth It?
The Oslo Pass is a great value for the money. Plus, the longer duration, the better the value. Having public transportation included is fantastic as we rode the tram on multiple locations.
Passes can be loaded onto the app, but shouldn’t be “activated” until ready to use. Time starts as soon as you activate. You’ll need to be on wifi or cellular data to activate then you can use the QR code without service for the duration of your visit.
24 hours: 395 NOK (≈ 42 EUR)
48 hours: 595 NOK (≈ 63 EUR)
72 hours: 745 NOK (≈ 78 EUR)
24 hours: 210 NOK (≈ 22 EUR)
48 hours: 295 NOK (≈ 31 EUR)
72 hours: 370 NOK (≈ 39 EUR)
Senior* from 67 years of age
24 hours: 315 NOK (≈ 33 EUR)
48 hours: 475 NOK (≈ 50 EUR)
72 hours: 595 NOK (≈ 63 EUR)
Norsk Folkemuseum – Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
= 260 NOK family
= 130 per adult
= 100 NOK per senior
= FREE Oslo Pass
The Viking Ship Museum
= 100 NOK per Adult
= FREE Children under 18
= 80 per Senior
= FREE Oslo Pass
Fram Museum – The Polar Ship Fram
= 240 NOK family
= 120 NOK per adult
= 90 NOK per Senior
= FREE Oslo Pass
Ferry to the Bygdøy museums
= 40-60 NOK per adult
= 20-30 NOK per child
= 69 NOK return per adult
= FREE Oslo Pass
Single Ride pre-purchase at kiosk
= 35 NOK per Adult
= 18 NOK per child/senior
24 hour transport pass
=105 NOK per adult
= 53 NOK per child/senior
We left Oslo on the DFDS Ferry for an overnight cruise to Copenhagen. The best feature of taking a cruise (other than your transport and overnight accommodation) is that you’ll pass through the fjord’s. Unfortunately, the day was overcast so we didn’t get to see much more than clouds after the first hour.
Oslo is a beautiful city to visit and a great addition to a Scandinavian adventure. There are many other things to see in Oslo with teens, but two nights was the perfect amount of time for our trip. We learned about Viking burial ships, saw a beautiful Gol Stave Church, rode the ferry, dined at the food halls and walked the waterfront. It was a great 24 hours exploring Norway’s capital city!
Do you have other suggestions on what to see in Oslo, Norway with kids?
Need more tips?
Disclosure: We received Oslo Passes to facilitate our review. As always opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.