Oslo Walking Tour in 4 Hours – 5 Iconic Stops in 2024

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Oslo, the vibrant capital of Norway, is a city where a chilled urban sophistication meets untouched natural beauty. Positioned strategically between the Oslofjord and forested hills, Oslo serves as a gateway to Norwegian culture, history, and landscapes. It’s one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities, but still manages to bring old and new together effortlessly. Despite its size, Oslo retains a refreshing closeness to nature, with parks, islands, and forests easily accessible from the city centre.

In this article, I outline a walking itinerary for visitors who have limited time in Oslo, and want to see as much as they can in 3-4 hours. If you prefer an organised tour, read my recommended tours after the itinerary.

Self-Organised Walking Tour of Oslo

Stop 1 – Royal Palace

A surprisingly tranquil place at the heart of Oslo, the Royal Palace is the working residence of the Norwegian Royal Family, and has charming gardens. Tours are available in the summer months, but the Palace Gardens are open even outside of those dates and are worth a visit.

Royal Palace, Oslo

Slottsplassen 1, 0010 Oslo, Norway

Coordinates: 59.91719, 10.72830

Peaceful location with charming royal architecture

Tour slots are limited and start at 11am (late for me!)

Tours available 22 June to 18 August 2024

Historic Building
Amazing Viewpoints
200 NOK – adults
110 NOK – kids

… walk 700m or 10 minutes to Oslo City Hall …

Stop 2 – Oslo City Hall

Oslo City Hall, known for its striking brick facade (which tends to split opinion!), is the main civic building in Oslo. Located in the city centre, this iconic building is where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held annually. Inside, visitors can admire intricate murals and sculptures depicting Norway’s history and culture. A visit to Oslo City Hall offers a quick yet profound insight into the nation’s values and traditions. Note that tours are available for groups, but you can book a local tour using the links further down this page.

Oslo City Hall

Rådhusplassen 1, 0037 Oslo, Norway

Coordinates: 59.91420, 10.73431

Functionalist building from 1950

The architecture splits opinion

Tours are for groups (see Tours section later)

Historic Building
Photos: Exterior & Carillon
Tours for groups of 30
or 12 (Carillon Bell Tower)

… walk 500m or 7 minutes to the Norwegian Parliament …

Stop 3 – Norwegian Parliament

The Norwegian Parliament building, known as Stortinget, is emblematic of Norway’s democratic heritage in the heart of Oslo. Established in the 19th century, its rather grand architecture is designed to reflect the grandness of public affairs in Norway. The building is very accessible to see on a walking tour, although currently closed to guided tours.

Norwegian Parliament

Storting building, Karl Johans gt. 22, 0026 Oslo, Norway

Coordinates: 59.91306, 10.74029

Attractive historic building

No guided tours are available.

Only accessible by invitation

Historic Building
Use Eidsvolls plass for pictures
No toilets
No tours

… walk 500m or 6 minutes to the Kvadraturen District …

Stop 4 – Kvadraturen District

Kvadraturen refers to the historical area in Oslo, Norway, originally laid out after the great fire in 1624. This area is the best place to see Oslo’s old town architecture and the term “Kvadraturen” refers to its quadrangular street layout. It’s home to a variety of galleries, museums, fashionable boutiques, and places to eat. As it’s a district, it’s hard to say “just go here”, but walk along Kongens gate or Kirkegata towards Akershus Fortress to see the 17th Century buildings.

Kvadraturen District

0152 Oslo, Norway

Coordinates: 59.91036, 10.74574

District where old Oslo meets new Oslo

No functional “centre” – it’s a district

Open all year round (public streets)

Historic Buildings
Photos: Buildings and Streetscapes
Lots of local eateries

… walk 900m or 12 minutes to Akershus Fortress …

Stop 5 – Akershus Fortress

Sitting proudly atop Oslo’s harbour, Akershus Fortress is a historic stronghold with centuries-old stone walls and scenic views. Once the heart of Norway’s military prowess, the area is now a public space where visitors can explore history firsthand. Whether you’re interested in military history or simply looking for panoramic views of Oslo, Akershus Fortress is the place to glimpse the past, or just a nice view across the fjord.

Akershus Festning (Fortress)

0150 Oslo, Norway

Coordinates: 59.90770, 10.73787

A must-see fortress and grounds

Tours only run in the summer

Open year round (exterior), tours in summer

Historic Building
Amazing Views across Oslofjord
from 100 NOK per adult

… return to your hotel or accommodation …

The 6 Best Organised Tours of Oslo, Norway

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about self-organising a walking tour of Oslo. The one problem with taking yourself on a tour is that you don’t have a qualified tour-guide to share a little more history, or point out hidden gems. The following are some of the best organised tours in Oslo that each focuses on something slightly different:

Book popular activities in Oslo, Norway

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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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