Oslo

Norway

Photo: Georgi Carstens

Outdoor Activities in Oslo

Nestled against the Oslofjord and with such close proximity to the forest, there are plenty of places to enjoy outdoor activities in Oslo. With efficient public transport to the city’s edge as well as some excellent inner city activities, it’s easy to get outside and stay active, regardless of the season.

Boy mountain biking on Pioneren

Tjuvholmen Beach
Photo: Lauren Guido

Things to do outdoors in Oslo in summer

When the sun is shining in Oslo, the locals flock outside to bask in the warmth and find fun things to do around the city. In addition to hiking there are many free and paid activities to be found.

Biking

The forest roads and trails around Oslo are not just for hiking, but are great for mountain biking as well. Mountain bikes can be rented from Oslo Summerpark. Sognsvann is a great starting point to access a big network of trails, or head to Pioneren in Østmarka for possibly Oslo’s best mountain biking track.

If you prefer to stay closer to the city, sign up for Oslo city bikes which costs just 49 NOK per day or 399 NOK for the whole season. Viking Biking offer bike rentals and tours and AlternativOslo also offers tours.

Boy mountain biking on Pioneren

Mountain biking on Pioneren
Photo: Erlend Eggen

Swimming

There are always some brave souls who jump in the water as soon as the sun brings some serious warmth but it’s much more comfortable late in the summer when the water has had a chance to warm up. Still, the beaches and lakes around the city are beautiful places to relax, enjoy a picnic, and maybe dip your toes in the water.

Guide: 9 Beaches in Oslo →

Sports

There are beach volleyball courts scattered around the city including at Sognsvann lake, Huk, Frysja and Langøyene.

Ekerbergparken is home to both a mini golf course and a frisbee golf course.

Paddling

Sørenga is fitted with its own dock for kayakers. Right nearby sits the DNT Friluftshuset with kayak rental (in Norwegian). You’ll need to be a DNT member, have a “våttkort”, and be over 16. If you don’t have a våttkort, which is a sort of kayak license, you can take a kayaking course to get one, or go on a guided trip . DNT also rent kayaks on Langøyene.

Rent inflatable stand-up paddle boards and try paddle boarding at Bygdøy, or take an introductory course with 4 Elements (in Norwegian).

Stand-up paddle boarding at Bygdøy

Stand-up paddle boarding at Bygdøy
Photo: Lasse Røed

Climbing

The main attraction at Oslo Summerpark is the extensive climbing park with rope courses and zip lines. There are varied routes for both adults and children. The park is open from May 18th to October 14th, but the opening hours vary. Entry prices are determined by height.

Animals

There are a number of small farms located around Oslo which are perfect for those with small children.

The Kampen Organic Farm for Children (in Norwegian) is a small inner-city farm with animals and activities.

Ekeberg Dyrepark in Ekebergparken has many different animals including goats, sheep, birds, cows, and horses. Entry is 60 NOK and the whole family is free to wander around and pet the animals. There is a picnic area, café, and pedal tractors and other activities for the kids.

Sæteren Gård is an activity farm for children run by DNT. The farm offers several different fun activities for children of all ages. There is a small maze, an obstacle course, animals such as hens and rabbits, fire pits, and a nature trail with trolls and other creatures from Norwegian fairy tales.

Day trips

If you have a spare day where you want to get out of the city and see something a little different, there are plenty of options. For adventures along the Oslofjord, follow the coast to Ytre Hvaler National Park on the eastern side, or Færder National Park on the western side. Both destinations are easy to reach and offer islands to explore, beaches and pretty hiking trails.

For a taste of the mountains, head to Beitostølen for pack-rafting or a husky cart safari.

Akerøya island in Ytre Hvaler National Park

Akerøya island in Ytre Hvaler National Park
Photo: Oslofjordens Friluftsråd

Things to do outdoors in Oslo in winter

Even when the days are short and bitterly cold there are plenty of Norwegians who bundle up and head outdoors. Having a fun time outdoors in Oslo during winter does require a bit of planning ahead, as well as loads of warm layers, but there are still a lot of fun things to do.

Ice-skating

Ice-skating is a nice way to spend an hour or two and a good option for staying warm while outside. There are a couple of popular outdoor ice-skating rinks around Oslo.

Spikersuppa, located between the national theatre and parliament, is a small rink in the heart of the city. The rink is free to use and skates can be rented. The rink and rental kiosk are open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day.

Frognerstadion is a large rink in Majorstuen. It’s open from November to early March. There is a small entrance fee of 40 NOK for adults and 15 NOK for children and skates can be rented for 100 NOK. The rink is open from 11 a.m. everyday but rental is only available from 3 p.m.

Ice-skating at Spikersuppa

Ice-skating at Spikersuppa

Sledding

Korketrekkeren “the corkscrew” is a two kilometer long toboggan track from Frognerseteren down to Midstuen. From there, it’s just a short metro ride back up to Frognerseteren for the next run.

Korketrekkern itself is free to ride. Toboggans can be rented for 50–150 NOK for the whole day from Akeforeningen who have a cabin near the Frognerseteren Restaurant and Café. They are open every day of the week once the season starts, which is normally around the beginning of January. Mornings are usually the least busy and provide the safest sledding conditions.

Skiing & snowboarding

You will not find another city in the world with an alpine ski hill located so close to downtown. Oslo Vinterpark at Tryvann is just a 40-minute metro ride from the city center. The park is suited for both beginner and experienced skiers. Visit the Oslo Vinterpark website for more information about opening times, snow levels, ski school, ski rentals, and lift passes.

Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is the national sport of Norway. On a clear Sunday in winter the forest around Oslo is filled with locals out for some fresh air and exercise. During the season the trails are groomed frequently. There are also lit trails known as “lysløyper” for nighttime skiing. Cross-country skis can be rented from Oslo Vinterpark. Check out Frognerseteren–Ullevålseter and Sognsvann–Ullevålseter for suggested routes.

Cross-country skiing by Ullevålseter

Cross-country skiing by Ullevålseter
Photo: Emily Talley Høye

Day trips

Just a few hours from Oslo are some impressive mountain areas. These areas have snow cover for longer periods than the city. For those with a short amount of time in Norway, or desperate to see some snow and Oslo can’t deliver, a day-trip can be the perfect way to get a taste of the snowy Norwegian wilderness.

Dog sledding in Beitostølen is very popular and is just a three and a half hour bus ride away.