What a lot of tourists are not aware of is that Sunday in Norway is a resting day, meaning a lot of shops and restaurants will be closed. Arriving in Norway for a long weekend without knowing this prior to planning your vacation could result in your Sunday being a pretty darn boring one. However, there ARE fun things to do in Oslo on Sundays, you just need to know about them. Here is a list of your top things to do in the Norwegian capital on the last day of the weekend.
Go Ziplining in Holmenkollen
A short ride with the subway from the centre is Holmenkollen, Norways famous ski jump that historically stretches back more than a hundred years. The actual ski jump is famous in itself and a cool thing to see once you make your trip to the capital, but even more amazing (unless you are scared of heights) is experiencing the jump that the skiers do by ziplining all the way down from the top of the jump to the bottom. Although the experience is a bit pricey (approximately 80 USD per adult and 70 USD per child), this will be an experience for a lifetime! Opening hours are 11 am - 4 pm, but make sure to double check before hand as they might change upon season.
Go for a hike in Nordmarka
Nordmarka is loved by Norwegians living in Oslo. It is a huge forested hiking area located a short trip with the subway from the centre, and is an absolute natural sanctuary when you feel like escaping the rushed city life. There are several starting points for hiking, like Sognsvann, Frognerseteren, Maridalen and Sørkedalen - all of them easily accessed by public transport or car. At Frognerseteren there is also a famous restaurant dating all the way back to the 1800s, where you can get mouthwatering hot chocolate and homemade apple cake. You can also visit Nordmarka during winter if you bring your own skis, there are super well maintained tracks all over when the snow is at its best. Remember to bring Google Maps in case you get lost on your way!
Go to the cinema
What better way to spend your Sunday evening that watching a movie on a big screen while binging in all your favorite snacks? All cinemas are open in Oslo on Sundays, yet the biggest ones are Colosseum Kino, Saga Kino, Odeon, Klingenberg and Gimle. If you want huge screens Colosseum is your place, and if you want to enjoy a lovely glass of wine while watching your movie Gimle or Odeon allows drinks from their bar in the screen room. Most movies showed in Norwegian cinemas are not dubbed, however they are usually texted in Norwegian. But if your English is solid, you are good to go!
Go shopping on a Sunday market
Another fun thing to do in Oslo on a Sunday is shopping. And even though regular shopping stores are closed, there are other ways to spend your money on… well, stuff. We’re talking markets. For many, going to a market is equivalent to going treasure hunting. And although the Norwegian markets are quite small compared to markets other places in the world, you can definitely find yourself some neat stuff when visiting the Sunday markets in Oslo. Birkelundenmarked, located in Birkelunden in the famous trendy neighborhood of Grünerløkka, is open on Sundays all year around, except from holidays and other important national celebrations. Here you can find everything from clothing and jewelry to interior and books. Another market is the Sunday market at BLÅ (meaning blue in English). In addition to holding Sunday markets, BLÅ is famous for its cultural nightlife scene, and is well known amongst people living in Oslo. At their market you can find things like vintage clothing, various interior, ceramics and art. They usually sell waffles as well if you’re feeling like having a snack while you shop!
If you are a food lover like myself, spending a Sunday exploring places to eat seems like a pretty good idea - right? Well, what better place to go than Mathallen, the biggest food court in Oslo. You will have tons of options all gathered in one place, it doesn’t get any more convenient than that. Most of the restaurants also have a small shop where you can buy all sorts of delicious cured meats, cheeses and other, often locally made, goods. You can easily walk to Mathallen by foot from the city, which will take you around fifteen minutes. Their opening hours are 11 am to 6 pm, but might vary due to holidays. You can check out their restaurants and shops here.
Vigelandsparken (also known as Frognerparken) is the most famous park in all of Norway, with its huge range of yards and with over 200 sculptures within the park area. It was built in the early 1900s, and was initially meant to be a grand cemetery. However, plans changed and today it is a place most people in Oslo hold very close to their hearts, as it is not only a beautiful cultural sighting but also a place where friends gather up during summer to enjoy the sun, usually with beers and barbecues. Open all day every day.
Botanisk Hage (Oslo Botanical Garden)
While finding ourselves on the park and garden theme, Botanisk Hage is another place worth mentioning in things to do in Oslo on a Sunday. Although the park area definitely is more beautiful during summer months, there are two botanical houses that are lush all year around, called Palmehuset and Victoriahuset. If you fancy a snack and a cup of coffee after your visit, there is a really cute café called Handwerk Botaniske located in the park just a couple of minutes walking from the botanical houses. And if you are really into nature, you will also find Naturhistorisk Museum (Nature Historic Museum) in the park area where they have over 6,2 million objects and collections. Everything is neatly put into Google Maps, so you can easily navigate your way around the park.
Visit one of the surrounding islands
One thing that a lot of tourists don’t know about is the large amount of smaller islands that are located in very immediate range of the city center. They are also easy accessible, and there are several ferries leaving from Aker Brygge every day. Although you can go all year around, going in the summer is advisable - as then you can bathe in the ocean, have a picnic, lay on the beaches and enjoy the nature scene without freezing your butt off. The biggest and most popular islands are called Hovedøya, Gressholmen, Langøyene and Ulvøya (you can also drive a car to Ulvøya).
Right by the beautiful Oslo Opera House lies another architectural gem, the Deichmanske Library. The library is brand new, and opened for the public in June 2020. Its beautifully designed seating and reading areas are spread over five floors, and the interior and general design is just a sight in itself. Make sure to check out all the floors! There is also a lovely café on the first floor where you can get coffee, snacks or lunch if you fancy. Opening hours are 10 am to 6 pm.
Go to Tusenfryd
Last but not least on fun things to do in Oslo on Sundays: Going to Tusenfryd! The biggest amusement park in Norway is a cherished childhood memory for many Norwegian people. Over 30 amazingly fun rollercoasters, carousels and other activities are located here - with the most famous ones being the Speed Monster, Thunder Coaster and Japp Spaceshot! There are also several shops and restaurants in the park, if you feel like shopping or having a snack. Opening hours are 11 am to 5 pm - but keep in mind that Tusenfryd is season based and is only open from early May until late October!
Did you enjoy this guide? Make sure to also read 10 Free Things To Do in Oslo and How to travel Oslo on a budget!
Norwegian Travel Blogger, Photographer and Nature Enthusiast