17 easy day trips from Oslo

You don’t need to travel far from Oslo to be immersed in unspoilt nature. And Norway’s good public transport system means that it’s easy to get out of the city on a day trip.

Vist Sognsvann lake on a day-trip from Oslo
Sognsvann / Sean Hayford O’Leary (CC)

So whether you fancy wild-swimming in a waterfall, island-hopping in the Oslofjord or exploring a historic fortress, we’ve picked some of our favourite easy day-trips from Oslo.

5 super-easy day trips

  • Spend the day exploring the historic Akershus Fortress, which is free to enter with the Oslo Pass.
  • Swim, hike, cycle or kayak at Sognsvann Lake, just 20 minutes from the city centre.
  • Visit the fascinating open-air Norwegian Folk Museum with its ancient stave church for Norwegian folk dancing and music.
  • Keep the kids entertained on the rides at Norway’s largest theme park, the Tusenfryd Amusement Park.
  • Visit Kongsberg to take a tour of an old silver mine in summer – or hit the slopes in winter.

1. Sensational swimming spots

For a swim in some of the cleanest waters in Oslo, head to the waterside neighbourhood of Tjuvholmen, where you can also have a warming sauna before your dip.

Have a dip from a floating sauna just outside Oslo.

This floating sauna is self-service – you just type in a code – and sit back and enjoy the views from the large picture window.

  • 4km from Oslo Central Station
  • 15 minutes by direct bus #12

2. Go island hopping in the Oslofjord

Hovedøya is the nearest island to Oslo city centre and one of the prettiest, with sandy beaches and wooded hills.

Go island-hopping in the Oslofjord on a day-trip from Oslo
Pudelek (CC)

For such a tiny place – you can walk across it in around ten minutes – it’s got a rich history and you can still see today the ruins of a Cistercian monastery and the remains of a Napoleonic fortress.

This island-hopping tour includes tickets for the local ferries to Hovedøya and Lindøya, plus guided walks on each. For more on exploring the Oslofjord, see our guide.

  • The ferry leaves from Rådhusbrygge, 10 minutes on bus #12 from Oslo Central station
  • 10 minutes by direct public ferry to Hovedøya; 20 minutes by direct public ferry to Lindøya

Is the Oslo Pass worth buying?

Read this guide to see how much you could save during your trip!

3. Hike up Vettakollen mountain

You don’t have to go far from Oslo to get out into the countryside and do some hiking.

Hike up Vattakollen Mountain on a day-trip from Oslo

This hike up to the top of the Vettakollen mountain takes you along winding forest paths, past small lakes and up to the summit for stupendous views over the city and the islands and shoreline of the Oslofjord.

And what’s more, a scenic metro journey takes you straight to Frognerseteren station, at the beginning of the hike.

For more on local walk, see our guide to the best hikes near Oslo.

  • 13km from central Oslo
  • 40 minutes by metro from Jernbanetorget to Frognerseteren station

4. Take a day-trip to Drøbak

The pretty town of Drøbak sits on the eastern shore of the Oslofjord with winding 18th-century streets, and a cluster of painted clapboard houses round the harbour.

Take a day-trip to Drøbak from Oslo

It’s biggest attraction is the Julehuset, a cornucopia of all things Christmassy that stays open from March through to December.

It’s just a short 10-minute ferry ride from Drøbak to Oscarsborg island (the ferry from Oslo stops off here in summer), home to the historic Oscarsborg Fortress. You can explore the fortress grounds and learn all about its military history in the fortress museums.

  • 35km from central Oslo
  • One hour by direct bus from the Oslo Buss Terminal, or 90 minutes by ferry.

5. Explore the Bygdøy Peninsula

Home to seven museums, the Bygdøy Peninsula would probably fill a couple of day trips if you want to see everything.

Visits the Norwegian Folk Museum on a day-trip from Oslo
mksfca (CC)

The best known of the museums is the Viking Ship Museum, which is currently closed for refurbishment and will re-open in 2027 as the Museum of the Viking Age.

In the meantime, the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Fram Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum are all worth a good hour or two.

And once you’ve had your fill of museums, there are beaches, hiking trails and bike paths round the leafy peninsula.

Entrance to all the peninsula’s museums is included on the Oslo Pass – click here to see if buying the pass can save you money. And this guided bus tour and fjord cruise includes entrance to the Fram Museum and the Folk Museum.

  • 6km from central Olso
  • 25 minutes by direct bus from Jernbanetorget, or 15–20 minutes by ferry from City Hall Pier 3 (free with the Oslo Pass)

6. Tønsberg

Sitting at the mouth of the Oslofjord, Tønsberg is Norway’s oldest settlement and gateway to the Færder National Park, a marine archipelago.

Visit Tønsberg on a day-trip from Oslo
Liline sur Flickr (CC)

Although little remains from its medieval heyday, Tønsberg has a lively waterfront promenade lined with renovated warehouses and one of Norway’s top contemporary art galleries, the Haugar Art Museum.

  • 100km from central Oslo
  • 80 minutes by car or by direct train from Oslo Central Station.

7. See Oslo from the water

You can see the sights of Oslo and the Oslofjord on this eco-friendly electric boat trip that sails silently past Oslo’s main waterfront sights, including the Akershus Fortress, the Oslo Opera House and the Bygdøy Peninsula.

See Olso from the water on a day-trip
  • The boat leaves from Rådhusbrygge, 10 minutes by direct bus #12 from Oslo Central station.

8. Experience the Holmenkollbacken ski jump

You can’t actually ski down this iconic, modernist ski jump, but you can take a lift up to the top of the jump tower for great views over Oslo.

See Oslo from the top of the Holmenkollbacken ski jump
Rüdiger Stehn (CC)

And you can abseil or zipwire down, or find out what’s it’s like to ski down in a virtual simulator.

If you’d rather keep you feet on the ground, there’s an interesting museum at the bottom of the tower that details the history of skiing in Norway. This panoramic bus tour of Oslo takes in Holmenkollen as well as the major sights of Oslo.

  • 15km from central Oslo
  • 30 minutes by metro on Line 1 to Holmenkollen station, or 25 minutes by car

9. Go wild-swimming at Solbergfossen waterfall

This beautiful waterfall runs down a small wooded gorge and is a lovely place to escape the bustle of the city. There are good views over the valley from the falls and some great wild swimming spots just downstream.

Go wild-swimming at Solbergfossen waterfall on a day-trip from Oslo
zen whisk (CC)

It’s a steep 1km walk from the car park at Kanada, but there are plenty of longer walks in the woods around.

  • 50km from central Oslo
  • 30 minutes by car from central Olso

10. Pay your respects at Utøya

While trips to Utøya island in Lake Tyrifjorden are not encouraged, you can visit the memorial to the 77 people who were murdered by right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik on the island in July 2011.

Pay your respects at Utøya, site of Norway's worst peacetime atrocity.

The memorial is on the quay where the boat to Utøya leaves from, and features a bronze column for each of the victims of Norway’s worst ever terror attack.

  • 40km from central Oslo
  • 40 minutes by car from central Olso

11. Go hiking in Nordmarka

Look out for moose in the Ringkollen forest in Norway’s Nordmarka region. The woods, hills and lakes of the Nordmarka are great for hiking, cycling and kayaking, plus spotting wildlife and birds.

See moose in the Nordmarka on a day-trip from Oslo

And for a real adventure, this overnight camping trip involves sleeping in a tree tent and cooking dinner on a campfire in the wild.

  • 65km from central Oslo
  • 70 minutes by car from central Olso

12. Explore Akershus Fortress

On a rocky knoll overlooking the harbour, the Akershus castle complex isn’t far from the city centre but has a very separate feel.

Akershus Fortress is close to the centre of Oslo
Richard Mortel (CC)

The sprawling fortress grounds contain a medieval castle, a Museum of Resistance, a visitor centre and an Armed Forces Museum, as well as walkways, tunnels and fortified gateways. Entrance to the Akershus Fortress is included with the Oslo Pass.

  • 1.5km from central Oslo
  • 15 minutes by direct bus from Jernbanetorget station

13. Spend the day at Kistefos Museum

An art gallery-cum-industrial museum with an outdoor sculpture garden, waterpark and play areas for the kids, the Kistefos Museum is well worth a day-trip from the city.

The Kistefos Museum has an amazing art gallery that doubles as a bridge

On an old industrial site alongside the river Randselva, this former wood pulp mill has been beautifully converted into a living museum and gallery that hosts exhibitions by the likes of Louise Bourgeois and Marina Abramović.

The award-winning Twist building doubles as a bridge over the river and gallery space, with superb views over the site.

  • 65km from Oslo
  • One hour and twenty minutes by seasonal express bus from Oslo Bus Terminal, or one hour by car.

14. Visit Frederikstad’s fortress

With a picturesque old town to browse round and an impressive fortress to explore, Frederikstad makes a great destination for a day-trip from Oslo.

Visit the fortress at Frederikstad on a day-trip from Oslo
Visit Oslofjord (CC)

The cobbled streets and brick and wooden houses of the well-preserved old town, or Gamlebyen, are enclosed within a star-shaped moat and 17th-century fortifications.

The Old Town has been preserved on one side of the river, while the new town has grown up on the other, and we like the fact that a free ferry runs between the two.

  • 90km from central Oslo
  • One hour by direct train from Oslo Central Station

15. Go skiing in Lillehammer

Home to the 1994 winter Olympics, Lillehammer is a popular ski resort in winter and activity centre in summer where you can go kayaking, hiking and mountain-biking.

Lillehammer is a popular ski resort in winter and good for summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking.
Domenico Convertini (CC)

It’s also a Unesco City of Literature and home to the beautiful 13th-century Garmo stave church, now part of the Maihaugen open-air Folk Museum. Hourly trains from Oslo make it perfectly possible to spend the day on the slopes and be back in the capital at night.

  • 170km from central Oslo
  • Two hours by direct train from Oslo Central Station

16. Norway in a nutshell

Ok, so it’s a pretty busy day-trip, but if you’re on a tight schedule and want to see something of the fjords on a whistle-stop tour, it is possible to do this trip in under 24 hours.

You can do the classic Norway in a Nutshell tour from Oslo in a day

The Norway in a Nutshell train tour leaves Oslo first thing in the morning, with a train to Myrdal.

Here you’ll change onto the dramatic Flamsbana mountain railway to Flåm for a boat trip on the beautiful Aurlandsfjord.

Then you’ll get a bus from Gudvangen to Voss, and a train to Bergen where you can spend the evening before picking up the overnight train to arrive back in Oslo at 6.30 the following morning.

For more on the tour, see our guide to how to do Norway in a nutshell DIY-style.

  • Around 1000km round-trip
  • 23 hours by train, bus and boat

17. Have fun in the fjords

For a more relaxed day-trip to the fjords, this private tour in an air-conditioned car with your own guide includes a cruise on the Unesco-Heritage Nærøyfjord, plus a trip on the awesome Flåm mountain railway.

Travel on the Flamsbana on a private guided day-trip from Oslo

The scenery en-route is stunning and and you’ll arrive back in Oslo late in the evening.

  • Around 1000km round-trip
  • 17 hours by car

Article source