So, you’re going to Oslo with kids and wondering if the Norwegian capital is a good destination for families.
Compact, cultured and cosmopolitan, Oslo offers child-friendly attractions that range from lush parks to interactive museums to diverse entertainment, making it perfect if you are seeking a mix of nature and urban adventure.
Indeed, an Oslo city break can easily be the best family vacation you will have in Northern Europe.
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Is Oslo Family Friendly?
Oslo is exceptionally family-friendly and is one of the best places to visit in Norway with kids.
The city guarantees an unforgettable holiday, from the spacious Oslo playgrounds to the majestic fjords and scenic trails. Plus, it is easy to navigate and full of free (or discounted) activities for kids.
Whether you spend two weeks or two days in Oslo, you will never run out of fun things to do.
When is the Best Time to Visit Oslo
The best time to visit Oslo with kids is between May and August, when the temperatures are the warmest and the daylight hours the longest.
However, prices are higher, and the city can be crowded, especially during the peak season of July to August. Alternatively, you can schedule your trip in September or October when rates are cheaper.
If you want to see the amazing Christmas markets in Norway, winter, particularly December to early January, is a great time to visit Oslo. Just be sure to bring weather-appropriate clothing. As a bonus, you might glimpse the elusive Northern Lights.
You May Also Like: Family Europe Winter Packing List Guide: 101 Essential Items
Oslo in June
In June, long summer days begin, making Oslo the perfect place for hiking, biking, sailing, and sightseeing. Parks, playgrounds, resorts, and other outdoor attractions are open but usually not yet overrun by visitors.
One of the most fascinating phenomena to experience in Oslo for kids in June is the midnight sun, wherein the city can enjoy 24 hours of daylight.
Weather in Oslo in June
Summer in Norway is from June to August. You can expect pleasant weather in June with an average of eight hours of sunshine, though there may be scattered rains. June can be a little cold for people used to warmer weather, but daytime temperatures can rise to as high as 20°C (68°F).
Average Temperatures in June
Temperatures in June range from an average high of 20.4°C (68°F) to an average low of 10.6°C (51.1°F). The sea temperature is around 14.8°C (58.6°).
Oslo Festivals in June
Midsummer Eve – June 23
Oslo in September
Hotel and airfare prices typically drop after the peak season. Visiting in September means you save money on hotels and sidestep the long queues at popular tourist spots.
Despite September being a low season, many family-friendly attractions and tours remain open, so you’ll still have plenty of things to do with kids in Oslo.
Weather in Oslo in September
The weather in September is moderately chilly and relatively tolerable compared to the freezing temperatures of winter from December to February. Expect around five hours of sunshine and some rainfall.
Average Temperatures in September
As autumn begins, the temperatures in Oslo play between an average high of 15.1°C (59.2°F) and an average low of 7.5°C (45.5°F). The water temperature falls from a 17.9°C (64.2°F) in August to 15.4°C (59.7°F) in September.
Oslo Festivals in September
Oslo Culture Night – September 15, 2023
How to Get to Oslo
As Norway’s capital, Oslo is an important transportation hub. Many tourists make the city their starting point for exploring the rest of the country. You have the option to travel by air, land or water.
Airports and Arriving by Plane to Oslo
Located in Gardermoen, about 50 km from the city centre, Oslo Airport is the largest airport in Norway, with 26 domestic and 158 international destinations.
While many of its routes are in Europe, it also serves long-haul flights to and from intercontinental destinations, such as New York and Dubai and seasonal charter flights to Cuba, Mexico, Thailand, and Gambia.
A high-speed railway connects the Oslo airport to Oslo city centre.
You can also fly to Oslo via Torp Sandefjord Airport, about 110 km from the capital. Torp is a low-cost airport, serving over 30 local and shorter international flights, many of which are with budget airlines. And speaking of budget-friendly, you can find cheap flights and get cashback with WayAway.
Travelling to Oslo by Train
Norway has an extensive train network that connects it to the rest of Europe, making travel to Oslo from Stockholm, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and London (takes around three days) possible.
Driving to Oslo
Getting to Oslo by car is an exciting option for families planning a road trip around Europe or those living nearby the Norwegian capital. Depending on where you’re from, you may need to take a ferry or two to reach the city.
Top 12 Things to Do in Oslo with Kids
Norway is famous for its breathtaking fjords, but there’s so much for to it than striking scenery. Its bustling capital has something to offer everyone of every age.
From nature to culture to adventure, you’ll find lots of fun and fascinating things to do in Oslo with kids.
1. Learn About Polar Exploration at the Fram Museum
Home to the strongest wooden ship ever built, the Fram Museum tells the story of Norway’s polar exploration more than a hundred years ago.
The museum’s centrepiece is the Fram, the vessel used by Norwegian sailors to explore the Artic and Antarctic regions between 1893 and 1912. You can climb aboard the ship and discover how its crew survived the coldest places on Earth.
Guests can experience sub-zero temperatures and the Northern Lights with the polar simulator. There is also a gallery with images of polar animals, such as bears, walruses and penguins.
Fram Museum is in Bygdøy, an area known for its string of museums, including the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Viking Ship Museum.
Location: Bygdøynesveien, Oslo
2. Marvel at the Sculptures at Frogner Park
Frogner Park sprawls 45 hectares of gorgeous landscapes and artworks. It’s home to the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park, the world’s most expansive sculpture park by the same artist. Here you’ll find over 200 statues by Gustave Vigeland, including The Wheel of Life, The Angry Boy, and The Monolith.
The park is free to enter and open daily, 24 hours a day, all year round.
Location: Kirkeveien, Oslo
3. Visit the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology
The perfect destination for curious minds, the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology is a must-see when you’re in Oslo with kids. With over 100 immersive installations and 25 exhibitions on natural science, technology, medicine, and industry, the museum provides fun and exciting learning experiences for the whole family.
In the museum complex, you will find Robot Centre, the Planetarium, and the National Medical Museum, which showcases medical history from 1850 to the present. There is also a café and a souvenir shop.
Location: Kjelsåsveien, Oslo
4. Explore the Kon Tiki Museum
In 1947, Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdhal crossed the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands on a raft called Kon-Tiki on a 101-day expedition.
This historic balsawood raft is now on display at the Kon Tiki Museum, along with two other reed boats, Ra II and Tigris. Beneath the raft is an underwater exhibit, which includes a 10-metre replica of the whale shark the voyagers encountered on their travel.
The museum also houses Thor Heyerdahl’s library, which contains 8,000 books, and a collection of Easter Island artefacts, including a model of a 30-metre family cave.
Location: Bygdøynesveien, Oslo
5. Become a Pop Star at Popsenteret
Want to be a pop star for a day? At Popsenteret, you can dress up like one, design an album cover, learn musical instruments from legendary musicians, and even record your song! But not only that! You can also learn about Norwegian pop culture and music dating back to 1904.
Location: Trondheimsveien 2
6. Walk Around Downtown Oslo
A stroll around downtown Oslo will take you from the buzzing city centre, with its contrast of heritage buildings and modern high rises, to the panoramic harbour, where you’ll find the iconic Oslo Opera House and the Munch Museum.
Walk along Karl Johans gate (gate means street), the city’s main thoroughfare. This pedestrian zone stretches from the downtown train station to the Palace Park, which surrounds the Royal Palace. On the sidewalk are boutiques, cafés, restaurants, and some green spaces where you can sit and relax.
7. Admire the Views from the Holmenkollen Ski Jump
Perched on top of the 1,600-foot Holmenkollen Mountain, the Holmenkollen Ski Jump is famous not only for its extreme sports but also for its specular panoramas of the city and the fjords. The view is best from the observation deck on the jump tower.
Thrill-seekers will love the ski stimulator that lets riders experience what it’s like to leap from the Holmenkollen Ski Jump or descend the steep slopes of Kvitfjell. Please note that the stimulator is for children over six years old. There’s also a 361-metre zipline that goes down to the bottom of the hill.
8. Get Cosy with Farm Animals at EKT Husdyrpark
Just 10 minutes from the city centre, you’ll find EKT Husdyrpark, a petting farm home to common domestic animals such as goats, sheep, chickens, cows, rabbits, pigs, geese, and different kinds of swimming birds.
Most of the animals roam free, and kids can come near them. Guests can cuddle with rabbits, ride a pony or a horse-drawn carriage, meet newly-hatched chicks, or watch a horse show. It has a playground, a picnic area, and a snack bar open on weekends.
Location: Ekebergveien 99
9. Enjoy the Rides at the Tusenfryd Amusement Park
The ultimate thrill park, Tusenfryd, is Norway’s largest theme park. It boasts over 34 attractions for all ages, including seven rollercoasters and three water rides. Among the park’s most popular amusements are SpeedMonster, Thundercoaster, SpaceShot, and SuperSplash.
There are also several kiddie rides for younger children and a small water park with a swimming pool, a tube ride and slides.
10. Take a Quirky Photo at the Paradox Museum
Are you wondering what to do in Oslo with kids on a rainy day? Check out the Paradox Museum, home to 70 paradox-based displays, mind-bending optical illusions, and interactive exhibits.
You can learn the science behind the dazzling exhibitions in this speciality museum. To top it all, you can snap fun and incredible photos with mind-blowing backgrounds and special effects.
Location: Rosenkrantz’ gate 11
11. Meet the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museu
The Natural History Museum is in the Botanical Garden and features geological, zoological, and climate exhibitions. It houses the world’s oldest, most perfectly-preserved primate fossil, estimated to date back to 47 million years ago.
One of the unique exhibits in the museum is the Klimahuset (Climate House), where you’ll learn about climate and climate
change. At the Botanical Garden, you’ll discover over 5,000 plant species. The geological exhibitions display fossils, meteorites, an entire crystal cave and a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton.
If you need to grab a bite, the museum has a café that serves freshly-made meals and beverages. There’s also a picnic area in the Garden House.
Location: Botanical Gardens, Tøyen
12. Cruise the Scenic Oslo Fjord
The 100-km-long Oslo Fjord stretches from the southeast coast of Norway to the Oslo city centre. The forested shoreline dotted with picturesque towns, seaports, and colourful summer houses is stunningly beautiful.
In summer, Oslo Fjord comes to life with various activities as visitors enjoy the balmy weather. But whatever the season, the fjord is a must-see.
If you’re spending at least two days in Oslo in winter and worried there’s not enough activity for you to do, add cruising the fjord to your itinerary. It is an excellent way to see as much nature as possible when many outdoor attractions are closed.
Location: Oslo Fjord
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Where to Stay in Oslo with Kids
Accommodation can make or break your family vacation, so it’s vital that you choose the right lodgings. And while Oslo is small compared to most capital cities in Europe, it has plenty of cosy and child-friendly places to stay. Here are our top picks.
Hotel Continental Oslo: Luxury
Located in the heart of Oslo, a short walk from the vibrant Karl Johans gate, Hotel Continental has spacious suites and interconnected rooms with a private bathroom, a minibar, and a seating area.
There is a complimentary breakfast, free WiFi in all areas, and access to a 24-hour fitness gym. Not to miss are the Edward Munch lithographs on the lobby lounge and the century-old restaurant Theatercaféen.
“Exceptional. Breakfast was good plus the option to order several other things like pancakes etc. staff lovely from housekeeping to restaurant and door staff. I ate at the theatre restaurant twice and the pizza one too. Both very good. Highly recommend and a handy location.” – R, Australia (Read more reviews)
Radisson RED Oslo: Mid-Range
A chic hotel in the city centre, Radisson RED boasts modern suites, cosy interconnected rooms, and family rooms with reclining bunk beds for more space when you’re not sleeping. It has an onsite restaurant that serves French, Japanese and Chinese cuisines, a playground to keep the little ones busy, and a rooftop bar with incredible city views.
“Great facilities, friendly staff, spacious and modern rooms, spotlessly clean! That was a great stay and value for money considering prices in Oslo.” I, Switzerland (Read more reviews)
HI Oslo Haraldsheim: Budget
HI Oslo Haraldsheim is about 4 km from the city centre, in the quiet and idyllic Grefsen neighbourhood. While the property is mainly a hostel with communal rooms and shared kitchen, toilet and shower facilities, it also offers family rooms with private bathrooms and extra beds for three to four people. Onsite are a barbeque area, a garden with outdoor furniture, and a children’s playground.
“Really good stay here. Would definitely come back! Really good place to stay. Short 15-minute metro ride into the city if that’s what you’re after, not far on the metro from walking trails either. facilities were very good, I ended up getting a 4-bed room instead of a twin room and the staff were so apologetic about it! good spread of a breakfast as well.” – T, UK (Read more reviews)
Getting Around Oslo
Getting around Oslo with kids is easy and convenient, thanks to the city’s efficient and well-connected transportation system. The best way to travel with the city is on buses or trams as they are readily and extensively available throughout Oslo. It also has ferries, taxis, bicycles, and the T-bane metro system.
Trams and Buses: The bus and tram lines service Oslo’s downtown area, but they also have routes to the suburbs. They typically operate until midnight and are the best option for going to Bygdøy and Vigeland Park.
T-bane Metro: The metro system is spread out throughout the city and the suburbs. It’s best suited for commuters travelling long distances to attractions outside the city centre. If you choose the metro, check the route map to avoid getting into the wrong platform.
Ferry: Between March and October, ferries are an excellent option for travelling to the Oslofjord island and Bygdøy, where you’ll find many famous museums. There are also ferry sightseeing tours that takes guests to the waterfront by the Oslo City Hall and Oslo Opera House.
On Foot and By Bike: Oslo is a compact city and a fantastic place to explore on foot or bike in the warmer months, as many attractions are within walking distance from each other. Bike rentals (helmets, locks, and maps provided for an additional charge) are available online.
NOTE: Check out the Oslo Pass for free transport.
Day Trips from Oslo with Kids
The region surrounding Oslo makes for a lovely day trip and a welcome break from the bustle of the city. Bask in beautiful nature, explore idyllic towns, sample authentic Norwegian delicacies, and shop for unique handmade souvenirs in these family-friendly destinations outside the capital.
The oldest city in Norway, Tønsberg is the perfect destination for those who want to learn about the country’s Viking history.
As you stroll down the city’s scenic harbour, you’ll find a replica of the Viking ship found in an ancient burial mound in the area. Other attractions include the ruins of a 13th-century castle on the Slottfjjell hilltop and the Haugar Art Museum, which exhibits contemporary art from the region’s local artists.
How to Get to Tønsberg from Oslo: Tønsberg is an hour and 15-minute trip from Oslo by train. The train departs from the Olso Station hourly and operates daily. Get Your Train Tickets Here >>>
The small and charming town of Drøbak lies along the southern coast of the Oslofjord. Home to a Santa post office, Drøbak is the only place in Norway, and probably the whole world, that’s dressed up as a Christmas village all year round. The town is also a quick boat ride from the historic Oscarsborg fortress, which, in 1940, sank the German heavy cruiser, Blücher, delaying invasion.
How to Get to Drøbak from Oslo: The best way to get to Drøbak is by bus, which takes about 50 minutes for a regular bus and 40 minutes for an express bus. The bus departs from the Oslo Bus Terminal near Oslo Central Station and arrives at the Drøbak harbour. Get Your Bus Tickets Here >>>
During warmer months, you can take a 1-1/2 ferry ride from Aker Brygge in central Oslo to the town.
The ski resort town of Lillehammer is best known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, but it has so much more to offer its visitors.
Here you’ll find the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jump, the Olympic Bobsleigh, the Luge Track, and the Norwegian Olympic Museum. But the town’s main attraction is the Maihaugen, an open-air museum that displays Norwegian houses from the 13th century to the present.
How to get to Lillehammer from Oslo: Take the train from the Olso Station to Lillehammer. The journey takes about two hours. Get Your Train Tickets Here >>>
Packing List for Oslo: What to Wear
Packing for Oslo requires planning as the weather and climate in the city can get a little unpredictable, even in summer. Depending on what time of the year you visit, always pack the appropriate outfit.
What Pack for Summer: Bring shorts, t-shirts, sunglasses, jeans, and light walking shoes. For water activities, bring bathing suits and quick-drying towels. Also, have a rain jacket and waterproof hiking shoes if you plan to trek. It can get chilly at night, so be sure you have a sweater, jacket, or extra layer of clothes.
What Pack for Winter: Oslo is extremely cold in winter. Be sure to pack flannels, thermals, wool socks, hats, scarves, gloves, snow pants and heavy coats. Sturdy snow boots are also a must, especially if you want to explore the outdoors.
Miscellaneous Items to Pack for Oslo: You might need these extra items when you travel: a reusable water bottle, a travel thermos for warm drinks, a daypack with rain cover, and hiking poles. Consider bringing small toys or colouring books to keep the little ones occupied, especially during your flight.
Electronics to Pack for Oslo: Bring a camera, ear plugs, tablet (to keep the kids busy during long travels), European power adaptor, extra batteries, and power bank.
What to Pack for Oslo Toiletries: If you have personal medications or prescriptions, be sure to pack them. Include a travel-size first aid kit with pain relievers, first aid ointments, and bandages. In addition to soap, shampoo, toothbrush, comb and other personal hygiene items, bring moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm and insect repellent.
Essential Travel Documents for Oslo: Passports and copies of documents are essential. You might also want to have a Norwegian phrasebook and a guidebook. Also, consider getting travel insurance.
Before packing, here’s how to teach your kids how to pack for a family vacation.
What Not to Bring
Based on the Norwegian Customs regulations, you are prohibited from bringing the following to the country:
- Illegal drugs
- Medicines except in minor quantities for personal use
- Alcohol over 60% by alcohol volume
- Weapons and ammunition
- Exotic birds, mammals, and other animals
- Plants for cultivation
A holiday in Oslo with kids is an exciting and enriching experience. With its family-friendly attractions that range from immersive museums to beautiful parks, Oslo is a playground for children of all ages. And if you’re considering family travel to Norway, don’t skip the capital.
Don’t forget to plan ahead when visiting Oslo:
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Sylvie Simpson is the founder of European Cities with Kids. For the past 6 years, she has been travelling all over Europe whenever she has the chance, both solo, for work and with her daughter. Sylvie is on a mission to help people make the most of city breaks in Europe with kids and helps over 50,000 readers per month plan and make the most of their trips in Europe with kids.