The Norwegian capital city is an interesting place. On a short layover in Oslo, you certainly won’t have time to see everything it has to offer. But if you can’t stand the thought of wasting time in an airport lounge when there’s so much to explore, you could make good use of your Oslo stopover by taking a trip into the city and seeing some of what makes it so unique.
Oslo Airport is an intimidating 27 miles or 45 km from the center of the city it serves. However, the airport is connected to Oslo by the Flytoget shuttle train. This train reaches central Oslo in 20 minutes, and trains run every 10 minutes, meaning you can get into central Oslo even during a relatively short connection. Don’t forget to drop off your unneeded bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Oslo. Traveling light will make it much easier to get around the city and see some of its attractions during your Oslo Airport layover.
6 hour layover
After you’ve gotten through customs and dropped off your bags at an Oslo suitcase storage, your time in the city will be limited. However, the Flytoget train makes it easy to get a glimpse of Oslo even on a short layover. The train stops at Oslo Central Station, meaning you’ll be right in the heart of town almost immediately.
Outside the station, you’ll be greeted by the Tiger statue that is one of the city’s main landmarks. Get a couple of photos, then move on to the Northern Lights Xperium. On such a short Oslo layover, you won’t be able to see the Aurora Borealis for yourself, but this unique attraction offers the next best thing. It uses state-of-the-art visual technology to re-create the experience of seeing the northern lights, and it will be difficult not to be bewitched by the spectacle. The show only lasts 15 minutes, meaning you’ll still have time to grab a snack or drink in the center of Oslo without having to worry about making your connection.
- Take the Flytoget to Oslo Central Station.
- Don’t forget to get some photos with the Tiger sculpture right outside the station.
- Head to the Northern Lights Xperium for a guaranteed encounter with one of Norway’s most impressive natural phenomena.
8 hour layover
With an eight-hour-long layover in Oslo, you’ll be able to branch out a little bit. After dropping your bags at an Oslo luggage storage, you’ll be ready to take in more of the city. From the Northern Lights Xperium, a 20-minute walk through the city will bring you to Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park. This waterfront park is small, but the sculptures make it an interesting place to relax and get some fresh air, and the waterfront location makes it an excellent place for photographs. You’ll also find a beach in the area if you’re lucky enough to get a warm day, and there’s also a spa and even a museum of modern art in Tjuvholmen if you have more time to spend.
- Walk to Tjuvholmen from Northern Lights Xperium.
- Enjoy the sculpture park and the beach if the weather permits.
- With more time to spend in Tjuvholmen, you could visit the modern art museum or enjoy a spa treatment.
10 hour layover
With an additional two hours to spend on your Oslo layover, you could take a nice walk along the harbor to the forbidding fortress of Akershus. Built in the 13th century, this impressive castle houses both the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum and Norway’s Resistance Museum, making it the best destination in the city for fans of military history. The castle also offers impressive views over Oslo’s harbor and is a great place to wander for a couple of hours and get some exercise.
- Walk along the harbor to Akershus Fortress.
- Visit Norway’s Resistance Museum or the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum to get a better understanding of Norwegian history.
- Enjoy the views of Oslo Harbor from the battlements.
12 hour layover
On a 12 hour long layover in Oslo, you can afford to spend a bit more time getting to know the Norwegian capital. After Akershus Fortress, it’s only a short walk to Oslo Opera House. This stunning building is a marvel of modern architecture and engineering, and even if you can’t see a show during your time in Oslo, a tour of the building will help you understand the artistry that went into its construction. You’ll even get to visit the roof of the building to enjoy the incredible view over the city.
- Walk from Akershus Fortress to Oslo Opera House.
- Take an hour-long tour to explore the building thoroughly, including walking on the roof.
24 hour layover
On an overnight layover in Oslo, you’ll be able to really get to grips with the city. Choose a hotel that is close to the center of town to make it easier to get back to the airport when the time comes. Plus, that way, you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s nightlife. Norwegians have a reputation for being reserved, but once the drinks start flowing in the city’s many bars and restaurants, that quickly changes. You could also try Norwegian delicacies such as whale steak, smoked salmon, and lutefisk in some of Oslo’s trendy eateries.
With more time on your hands, you’ll be able to head a little out of the center of the city to visit one of Oslo’s most popular attractions. The Viking Ship Museum is a must-visit for fans of history, as it holds three authentic Viking ships dating back to the ninth century. There is also a video presentation, and this small but perfectly formed museum is a great place to visit when you have time to kill in Oslo. In the same area, you’ll find the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which lets you explore a reconstructed traditional Norwegian village as though you’ve stepped back in time.
- Try Norwegian cuisine in some of Oslo’s top restaurants.
- Visit the Viking Ship Museum to see some of the city’s historical treasures.
- Explore the past in the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.