Walking Tours in Oslo: Explore Norway’s Capital on Foot

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An Oslo walking tour can be a great choice to make the best use of your time in Norway's capital city. No matter your interests, here are some recommended walking tours in Oslo.

When I first moved to Oslo, I wanted to get to know my new home city as quickly as possible. I soon discovered that because Oslo's city centre is so compact, the best way was on foot.

Girl on a walking tour of Oslo, Norway.

The city marries the charm of its rich heritage with the sleek modernity of a thriving European capital. But unlike some of Norway's other big cities, much of Oslo's heritage is hidden away.

An introduction to walking tours in Oslo

Walking tours are the perfect way to not just see, but truly experience Oslo. They take you beyond the façade of the city’s attractions, weaving through local neighborhoods, and offering a vibrant taste of Norwegian culture.

From Akershus Fortress to the ever-changing waterfront, the eclectic Grünerløkka district to the industrial heritage of the Akerselva river, the essence of Oslo is best captured one step at a time.

Sure, you can make your own way around Oslo. But joining an organised tour ensures you make the most of your time, while gaining access to local insights you wouldn't otherwise get.

These days there are a myriad of walking tours available in Oslo. Whether you're an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, there's a tour for every traveller. Each walking tour will provide a unique perspective of the city, making your journey through Oslo an immersive cultural experience.

Historic brick buildings by the Akerselva river.
Historic brick buildings by the Akerselva river are best explored on a guided walking tour.

Walking tours also offer a sustainable travel option, letting you enjoy the city's wonders while minimising your carbon footprint.

Recommended walking tours in Oslo

There are so many different kinds of tour available in Oslo that it can be difficult to know where to begin.

So, I've pulled together this list of recommended Oslo walking tours to give you a feel for what's available. Whether you're looking for a street food, history, or nature focused tour, or something more general, you'll find it here.

Read more: Fun Facts About Oslo, Norway

Please bear in mind that some of these links are affiliate links. That means we'll earn a small commission if you book a tour. However, it doesn't cost you any extra to book this way and it helps keep the lights on here at Life in Norway HQ.

1. Highlights of downtown Oslo

If time is short, stick to a tour that covers the main sights in this Scandinavian capital. You'll see the ‘Main Street' Karl Johans gate along with the Norwegian parliament, the National Theatre, and the Grand Hotel.

The tour continues through some of Oslo's oldest streets on the way to the famous tiger statue. From there, you'll see Oslo's fast-developing waterfront including the new library and sloping Opera House.

Along the way you'll hear details about the history of Oslo to add context to what you're seeing. After the tour, a downloadable app is made available that includes audio-guided walking routes for further exploration.

The two-hour guided tour is available in both English and Spanish. During the summer, evening tours are also available on Sundays and Mondays.

Find out more and book this tour with Get Your Guide

2. Nature walks on the Oslofjord islands

Even though you can see them clearly from the waterfront, Oslo's islands are still lesser-known among international tourists. Yet it's so easy to visit them on the local passenger ferries.

But the islands hold so much fascinating history and nature that you'll get the most out of a trip by tagging along with a local. Explore cabin villages, sea cliffs, historic sites and forest walks on three different islands.

If the day is nice, bring a swimsuit and towel and you can take a refreshing dip in the fjord during the lunch break.

Find out more and book this tour with Viator

3. Street food in Oslo

Over the last few years, street food in Oslo has developed quickly. On a street food walking tour, you can learn about typical Norwegian cuisine while getting an insight into some of the capital's trendier neighbourhoods.

As you explore the neighbourhoods along the city's main river, you'll taste some Norwegian specialities. These include Norwegian waffles, the classic pølse (hot dog) and a tasting plate of Norwegian cheeses and cured meats.

Find out more and book this tour with Get Your Guide

4. Wildlife hike in the forest

It might be the capital city but that doesn't mean locals and visitors need miss out on the best of Norwegian nature experiences. Oslo is surrounded by forest.

This half-day hike starts with a metro ride from downtown Oslo to Frognerseteren, the end of the line where you'll find several trailheads. Your guide will lead along a trail into Skjennungen forest.

Here you'll discover the true meaning of friluftsliv, the Norwegian love of the outdoors. Possible wildlife spots could include foxes, deer and even moose as you enjoy sightings of wild strawberries, herbs, rare plants and wildflowers.

Although not a challenging hike, some hiking experience is required along with good quality walking boots. Enjoy refreshment at a traditional forest cabin before heading back on the metro.

Find out more and book this tour with Viator

5. The dark side of Oslo

Already seen the sights? Looking for something a little different? Then this dark stories, ghosts, folklore and history walking tour could be for you.

On this walking tour, you'll discover the lesser-known history of Oslo including tales from the Viking Age, belief in witchcraft, and places in Oslo said to be haunted. Tales of prisoners and executions at Akershus Fortress and famous heists and robberies are also on the agenda.

This 2-hour tour with an enthusiastic English-speaking guide is popular and fills up quickly. So, it's best to book in advance to secure your place on one of the leading alternative tours of the Norwegian capital city.

Find out more and book this tour with Get Your Guide

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

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