12 Instagrammable places in Oslo
What’s the first image that comes to your mind when you hear the name Norway? Probably, trolls and fjords, isn’t it? To start uncovering this rather unknown beauty, we will start with an article about the most instagrammable places in Oslo - the capital of this northern country. Even though many people travel to Norway for hiking or enjoying winter activities, you should definitely reserve a few days for the city! Therefore I will give you a few useful hints on what to do in Oslo - hold tight and be ready to get taken over by the subtle charm and magnificent landscapes of this capital!
Where is Oslo?
Oslo is located in the South-Eastern part of Norway, on the shore, and rather close to the border with Sweden. If you are unsure about where Norway is, let me paint you a quick picture. It is that long, northernmost country in Europe whose largest part of the border is actually on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. If travelling to Oslo weather is not fret for you, then you might as well consider travelling beyond the Arctic Circle to enjoy the most wonderful winter sights and the beautiful northern lights.
But getting back to the question, where is Oslo - I will diplomatically answer: at your fingertips! You can get there by air super conveniently from numerous locations overseas, booking a flight with their national airline, Norwegian. Or if travel to Norway is a part of a longer trip in Europe, then you can easily catch a boat from Germany, Denmark, or Sweden or travel over the ground by taking a bus or train from any of the neighbouring countries.
What is the best time to travel to Norway?
On this question, you will have to figure out what’s best for yourself, but surely I can tell what most people consider the best time to travel to Norway. It is the deep, deep winter for people who are looking to experience real snow and coldness, but mid-summer for hiking/climbing enthusiasts. If you travel to Norway for finding the most prominent instagrammable places in Oslo, then my judgment would rather be - go in the summertime. Because of short days and cloudy skies, you might get poor light conditions for making your pictures! Let’s start?
1. The most Instagrammable cityscape in Ekeberg Park
It is always best to have a clear view of the playing field before jumping into a game, right? This is why you should head to Ekeberg Park right off the bat. It is the best spot to get a picture with you and the city, but walking around the park, you will also find really many weird, funny, and super unique sculptures that WILL catch the attention of your followers. If you have a choice - head there in daylight and in good weather to have the most spectacular pictures of far, far away hills behind those neverending rooftops of Oslo city.
2. Ski-enthusiasts go to Holmenkollen Ski Jump!
It is an actual ski jump platform that is now conveniently converted into a viewing platform (another spot for the eye to wander as far as the horizon goes) and underneath that - one of the most spectacular collections devoted all to 4000 years-long histories of skiing and Norwegian polar exploration. Get an instagrammable photo on top of it or just with the structure in the background, because it looks spectacular just on its own too!
3. Instagrammable beach photos at Bygdoy
I know you will say that Oslo weather does not imply hot beach photos, but let me prove you wrong. Surprise your followers with spectacular cliff shores along the sandy beaches from this peninsula located west from the city centre. And to be honest, especially locals will argue that you don’t need hot weather to go to the beach, because Bygdoy is beautiful in rougher conditions too.
4. Island hopping and boat photos from the Oslo Fjord
One of the main symbols of this nation as well as one of the most beautiful things you should definitely consider when planning what to do in Oslo! Travel from one island to another, enjoy the beaches (remember - also in winter!), or just cruise and admire the beauty of the city and the surrounding fjord from afar.
5. A huge banana in Henie Onstad Art Center
A centre created just for modern art and outdoor sculptures; this location will provide you with one of the most amusing objects for a great shot. The huge, peeled banana sculpture on top of the mountain will be a colourful accent among other pictures in your feed.
6. Channel your Viking-gram in Oslo’s new Harbor Promenade
Snap some amazing pictures of old-school and modern boats in this harbour while having a stroll on this picturesque promenade! The best time to do this will be in the sunset or, if you are lucky - in the night during the full moon. In summer, you might as well sit with your buddies on the banks and enjoy a nice refreshing drink while taking in the beauty of this place.
7. A post for foodies from the Engebret Cafe
It is the oldest continuously operating cafe/restaurant in Oslo and has been welcoming guests since 1848. The great part about this is - it has not changed much over time, and you will be able to try the typical Norwegian delicacies. Take into account that it will be quite expensive to eat there, but if you are keen on trying the spot; nevertheless, just get a coffee and enjoy the beautiful outdoor terrace.
8. Travel to pre-Instagram era in Damstredet & Telthusbakken
These charming cobblestone streets will bring you back to the times of the late 1700s and the 1800s. The well preserved and inhabited wooden houses will give you an impression of how people lived back then as well as present a great backdrop for some authentic Oslo pics.
9. An Oslo must-have: the Tiger sculpture
A statue given to the city on its 1000th birthday in the year 2000 has become one of the most instagrammable places in Oslo since then. The powerful landmark will remind you of Wall Street while also symbolizing Oslo as the Tiger-city, a nickname most locals will easily recognize. The name is associated with a poem by Bjornstjerne Bjornson, where he describes a fight between the horse and the tiger and nowadays symbolically presents the place as an exciting hub.
10. Most futuristic views from Akrobaten Pedestrian Bridge
Made of steel and glass, this spectacular structure is already a popular place for photo and film shoots. This probably won’t be the place that will solely motivate you to travel to Oslo, but it is really worth visiting if you are there, especially if you are looking forward to taking some unique photos in the backdrop of the neighbourhood full of skyscrapers (called “The Barcode”). And you might even get some shots that could remind something of New York if you head there in the search for your bounty after the dark sets in. The colourful lights of the nightly city reflecting on the surface of the water...just beautiful!
11. A divine cultural experience in Oslo Opera House
If you are a lover of culture and arts, then there is no need in explaining the reasons why you should visit this place. A venue for exquisite events (both indoors and outdoors), this building is also a gem on its own. Built to oppose the principle “don’t touch”, the architects have created a masterpiece that invites everyone to walk on its rooftop and enjoy a variety of angles over Oslo city. The concept started as an extension to the concept that beautiful Norwegian nature is free for everyone to walk in, but now everyone is welcome to climb and enjoy the urban mountain, namely the Opera House.
12. Tropical paradise in the Botanical Gardens of Oslo
If you are craving some warmth and tropical vibes during your travel to Oslo, then Botanical Gardens will be the best place to visit! And don’t mind me saying - the colours and the beauty of plants make this also one of the most instagrammable places in Oslo if you are looking for something exotic. And this time, I mean not only visually exotic but conceptually as well. Play out this scenario - who would imagine seeing a tropical forest during a trip to Norway? Just take your followers by surprise and use this beautiful spot in your favour. Besides the visual beauty, they offer a new educational program in the Climate House teaching about the challenges we face and the potential solutions we might implement. Hopefully, you will feel inspired to make some changes afterwards!
These instagrammable places in Oslo are just a few bits of many great things you will encounter if you do decide to go there. Even if travel to Oslo was not on your must-see list thus far, I hope it has changed now for good! And don’t fear the coldness, because a saying by Norwegians living beyond the Arctic Circle says: "There is no bad weather, there is just inappropriate clothing!"
OK, it is not an actual Norwegian saying. But it is definitely a concept most Northern countries live by, and so should you!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.