Photograph by Oscar Dominguez, Alamy Stock Photo
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The Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway
Photograph by Oscar Dominguez, Alamy Stock Photo

How to Pass for a Local in Oslo

Cosmopolitan, edgy, playful: Oslo serves up Scandinavian cool with heartwarming enthusiasm.

Here are five ways to go local in the Norwegian capital:

  1. Amble the paths in and around Akershus Fortress to capture the feeling of medieval Oslo.
  2. Investigate Nordic noir on a Harry Hole Oslo tour—Hole is the protagonist in a detective series by Jo Nesbø—which includes a stop at Hole’s favorite eatery, Schrøder.
  3. Visit the bold Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, in Tjuvholmen; its edgy design is stunning both inside and out.
  4. Experience the thrill of ski jumping at a ski-jump simulator in Holmenkollen.
  5. Take the metro to Marka and join Oslovians in favorite local pastimes, cross-country skiing in winter and hiking in warmer months.

Must-watch list:

Kon-Tiki (2012), a historical drama about the 1947 expedition of the raft, and Kon-Tiki, the film directed by explorer Thor Heyerdahl that documented the actual expedition—and won an Oscar in 1951.

Required reading:

The Redbreast, The Devil’s Star, The Snowman, and other novels by Oslo native Jo Nesbø—a writer in the Nordic noir genre—are set in the Norwegian capital.

This piece was adapted from a feature story written by Anne-Sophie Redish that first appeared in National Geographic Traveller, our U.K. partner edition.