Things to Know Before You Go to Oslo: Fjords and Viking History

Journey through stunning fjords and Viking lore with our ‘Things to Know Before You Go to Oslo’ guide. Experience Norway’s capital through its scenic landscapes and historic tales.

The many wonderful things to know before you go to Oslo extend far beyond its reputation for cold weather and high prices. This city is a treasure trove of Viking history, stunning fjords, and vibrant modern culture. 

With its rich historical tapestry and beautiful natural landscapes, Oslo  can only offer an alluring mix of adventure and heritage that beckons travelers from all over to discover its true depths.

Golden hour at Oslo Opera House with clear reflections in the water and people milling about the area.
Golden hour at Oslo Opera House with clear reflections in the water and people milling about the area.

Choosing Your Oslo Odyssey: Vikings and Views

When planning a visit, part of the things to know before you go to Oslo is to consider visiting during the late spring to early autumn months, from May to September. During this period, the weather is most favorable, and the city is lively with events like the Oslo Jazz Festival in August and the Viking Festival in June. 

With that, the long, light days of summer also provide you an ample opportunity to explore the fjords and the city’s green spaces.

Nordic Nibbles: Oslo’s Culinary Quest

We figured that our ‘Things to Know Before You Go to Oslo’ guide should definitely include a taste of its culinary scene. After all, the city offers a range of dining options. From traditional Norwegian dishes at places like Kaffistova, known for its lutefisk and meatballs, to more international fare, it’s certainly a paradise for the palate as well. 

Seafood is a given staple, so don’t miss enjoying fresh salmon or cod at Fiskeriet— a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. And for those with strict dietary needs, many restaurants likewise offer vegan and gluten-free options, proving how the city caters to all preferences.

Viking Voyages: Oslo’s Historical Horizons

A key aspect to consider when it comes to the things to know before you go to Oslo is exploring its rich history. The Viking Ship Museum is home to well-preserved Viking ships and artifacts. But for a broader historical context, the Historical Museum won’t fail in showcasing Norway’s past, way back from the Ice Age to modern times. 

Also, don’t miss the Akershus Fortress for a dose of medieval Norwegian history and stunning views over Oslo Fjord.

Detailed view of a traditional Viking ship with intricate carvings in the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo.
Detailed view of a traditional Viking ship with intricate carvings in the Viking Ship Museum, Oslo.

Nights in Norway: Oslo’s Coolest Quarters

Also in our ‘Things to Know Before You Go to Oslo’ guide, we reckon that finding the right place to stay is always crucial when you’re on holiday. 

Fortunately, plenty of accommodations in the city center offers proximity to major attractions and a vibrant nightlife. These stays are absolutely perfect for those who want to be in the middle of the action! 

For a quieter, more unique experience, consider staying in the Grünerløkka district, known for its bohemian vibe and great selection of independent shops and cafés. The Amerikalinjen is a boutique hotel centrally located and steeped in historic charm, offering a blend of Norwegian and global culture.

Oslo Etiquette: How to Haggle Like a Viking

More essential things to know before you go to Oslo  would involve understanding local customs and etiquette. It’s important to note that Norwegians value honesty and directness, so when shopping at local markets like the Blå Sunday Market, feel free to negotiate prices but always with respect. 

Learning a few phrases in Norwegian can likewise go a long way in connecting with locals. It’s customary to greet with a firm handshake and maintain eye contact, and tipping around 10% at restaurants after dining is always appreciated if you receive good service.

Snowy fjord scene near Oslo with a lone red cabin by the water and mountains in the background.
Snowy fjord scene near Oslo with a lone red cabin by the water and mountains in the background.

Things to Know Before You Go to Oslo: Discovering the Depths of History

Reviewing these essential things to know before you go to Oslo probably lets you picture in your mind a city that offers more than just a gateway to Norway’s fjords. Oslo will evidently take you on a deep dive into the rich tapestry of Nordic history meshed with the allure of modern design and sustainability. 

Whether you’re exploring ancient Viking ships or dining by the harbor, Oslo invites you to immerse yourself in its unique culture. 

Share your experiences and discoveries on ThisCityKnows, and join a community that cherishes the spirit of exploration and respect for diverse cultures!

Rx Ruby
Author: Rx Ruby

Rx's engaging writing encourages travelers to explore beyond the usual tourist paths, offering them a glimpse into the lesser-known yet fascinating parts of each city. By joining forces with ThisCityKnows, she extends an invitation to travelers to become part of a community of urban explorers and storytellers. Her passion for discovering and sharing city tales makes her an indispensable guide for anyone eager to experience the pulse of the world's greatest cities through a lens of knowledge and wonder.

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