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The best eco friendly things to do in Oslo

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This Scandinavian country’s reputation as being one of the top eco friendly countries in the world means there’s plenty of things to do in Oslo (Norway’s capital city) for a sustainable adventure. 

PS: if you’re also visiting Bergen, read our detailed guide for how to get from Oslo to Bergen (or vice versa).

Don’t forget to check our list of best eco hotels in Oslo.

Best eco friendly things to do in Oslo, Norway

Havnepromenaden

floating sauna oslo
Floating Sauna, Oslo Fjord

Havnepromenaden is the harbour promenade by the ​​Bjørvika waterfront, and is a great place to see the crazy phenomena of people voluntarily jumping into the freezing fjord and then going inside little wooden sheds (floating saunas) to warm up. The saunas usually have eco-friendly electric heating.

Oslo Opera House

opera house oslo
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From the harbour promenade you have a direct view and access to the Oslo opera house. It’s the national opera theatre in Norway, where you can watch ballet and opera performances as well as concerts. You will find many people walking around the structure for views of the harbour. From the Opera House you can also walk to the public library, Deichman Bjørvika.

Explore the Grønland neighbourhood

The Grønland neighbourhood is an immigrant neighbourhood with cheap diverse shops. It’s interesting to walk through and see a different side of Oslo.

Shop and eat in the Grünerløkka area

Grünerløkka is a bohemian area with cosy, cute cafes and secondhand shops. It’s a great spot to hang out and enjoy some downtime. The Grünerløkka area is frequented by locals, so it’s not a tourist trap. 

PS: Buying secondhand is great for the environment. 

Damstredet street 

Damstredet street is a cobblestone street in Oslo, and is a heritage site. The historic  street attracts many visitors because of its colourful wooden houses built in the 19th century. 

Local tip: it’s an uphill street, and during winter and icy weather it can get quite slippery. It’s always best to wear walking shoes with a strong grip. 

Royal palace park and neighbourhood 

The Royal Palace is only open to visitors in the summer, where you may take a guided tour and see some parts of the palace. You won’t be able to visit the whole palace, as it is still the residence of the King and Queen. The rest of the year you can still walk around the garden for free, but we found that to be somewhat underwhelming. Changing of the guards happens at 1.30pm daily. 

Akershus fortress for views

Aker Brygge Oslo
View of Aker Brygge from Akershus fortress

The Renaissance castle, once mediaeval, offers guided tours in the summer, but it’s open all year and entrance is free. It offers great views of Aker Brygge and Oslo Fjord. 

Aker Brygge for food and nightlife

Located along the Oslo Fjord, Aker Brygge is a pier that has a bunch of restaurants and bars, some casual and some more upscale. Keep in mind that the high cost of living in Norway would make even the casual restaurants feel “upscale”. 

Here are our tips to avoid overpaying for things in Norway.

Explore the Akerselva River 

Walk around the Akerselva River which traverses multiple boroughs, including Grünerløkka and Grønland mentioned above. Along the way you can spot salmon, waterfalls, and flora. 

Frogner Park

angry boy statue oslo
“Angry boy” statue

Frogner Park is the biggest park in Oslo, and open for free to the public all year round. It attracts a lot of visitors, mostly tourists, and is lined up with statues, including the famous “angry boy” statue, which is a lot smaller than expected.  

Salt village food trucks for cheap eats, sauna, concerts

Salt village is an area frequented by locals and tourists, by the inner Oslo Fjord close to the Opera House. It hosts multiple cultural events such as concerts and shows, has saunas that you can book for a group or experience alone by joining others’ groups, and food courts.

Try traditional Norwegian breakfast waffles at Haralds Vaffel

norwegian waffles brown cheese, things to do in oslo
Norwegian waffles with brown cheese

This one is definitely a tourist spot because the waffles meal that Norwegians eat for breakfast are usually consumed at home, and not usually at a cafe. The dish consists of waffles with brown sweet cheese (an acquired taste), jam, and cream. Some people like it, some don’t. I personally did not. The shop sells other treats though, such as donuts, and those were delicious. 

Final thoughts on best eco friendly things to do in Oslo.

Given that Norway is one of the most eco-friendly countries in the world, it makes sense that you will find plenty of sustainable activities in Oslo. Our tried and tested list above will allow you to explore Norway’s capital city with a low carbon footprint. 

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