Oslo in the winter is one of the best places to visit in Norway in the winter. The city might be sometimes considered dull – but Oslo in winter actually can be quite lovely! While the city holds a great reputation for the summer season, there are many great things to do during Oslo’s winter as well.

This post will help you find out about the best things to do in Oslo in the winter, as well as many travel tips – including tips for what to pack for an Oslo winter trip.

The winter months run from December to the end of February, this is also when you can expect the largest amount of snow to fall. The Christmas decorations light up the city and give it a magical feeling. Oslo offers lots of fun snow activities in the city itself. If you want to take a break from the cold weather and warm up, check out one of the museums. 

Did you know that Oslo is the only other city, outside of Sweden, that hosts the Nobel Prize award? The Nobel Peace Prize award is held in the city in December and you can attend – if you are lucky enough to get a ticket. 

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So, let´s start with – probably – the most important question. What is the weather like in Oslo in the winter months before we talk about other topics.


DECEMBER: In December, Oslo experiences significantly low temperatures with an average of -2°C (28°F). Sunlight is scarce, with only one hour of sunshine when it does come out. The average rainfall during this month is 63mm, and the relative humidity is around 86%. Snowfall is common, and the nights are freezing.

JANUARY: On an average day in January, the temperature in Oslo typically ranges from a high of 25°F (-4°C) to a low of 16°F (-9°C)

FEBRUARY: The average minimum temperature in the city is around -7°C (19°F), while the average maximum temperature is -2°C (30°F). The city typically receives three hours of sunshine per day, and the average rainfall is 35mm. These conditions are characterized by heavy snowfall.


If you’re planning a trip to Oslo during the winter season, it’s important to pack appropriately to ensure you stay warm and comfortable. Here are some tips on what to pack and wear for an Oslo winter trip:

✔️ A warm, waterproof jacket should be one of the first items you think to pack. Avoid choosing a bulky jacket that takes up a lot of space. This can make you feel uncomfortable when you have layers underneath. Instead, opt for a lightweight trench raincoat that will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. 

✔️ A knitted beanie is a perfect solution for keeping the warmth in while you venture out. A hat will keep you toasty warm wherever you are.

✔️ A pair of gloves can do wonders for your mobility and comfort. When selecting your options, it’s worth investing in a pair that can dry quickly and are touch-screen compatible.

✔️ A warm scarf and/or turtleneck sweater are key items for keeping your neck covered. A turtleneck sweater is perfect as a garment to wear underneath your jacket, while the scarf can be removed easily. 

✔️ Leggings are an essential item to pack as you can dress them up or down. You can even wear them underneath your denim as an extra layer of warmth. 

✔️ When it comes to packing socks for your Austria winter trip – the thicker, the better. The chances are that you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors in the snow, and you’ll want your feet to be warm and cozy. 

✔️ My favorite winter clothes are thermalsA quality set of thermals is your key to enjoying the winter weather in Austria. You have to wear them on a cold day to believe what a wonderful invention it is!

✔️ Make sure you have a trusty pair of warm shoes. You’ll want your shoes to be as versatile as possible. Shoes that allow you to enjoy a variety of activities while keeping your feet warm and dry. 

By packing and wearing these essential items, you can enjoy your Oslo winter trip in comfort and style.


Oslo is the right place for you if you are looking to have a wonderful winter wonderland experience. So, enough praising, let´s dive into the top winter activities in Oslo.

Oslo Opera House

The opera house is the home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and is the national opera theatre in Norway. The beautiful piece of architecture is located in the Bjørvika neighborhood of Oslo, which is at the head of the Oslofjord.

During the month of December, they host several holiday-themed performances. One of them is the famous Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet. You can find more information about the performances available and the prices on their website.

Shows tend to sell out well in advance, so try to purchase your tickets as soon as you can. Before you leave, don’t forget to take a stroll on the roof of the opera house to get a great view of the city and the harbor. 

Visit the Royal Palace 

The Royal Palace, a pale yellow brick structure surrounded by one of the city’s largest parks, is situated at the top of Karl Johan Gate. It was built in the mid-19th century and is currently used as the official residence of the Norwegian monarch, King Harald V, and his wife, Queen Sonja. 

The royal palace of Oslo on a sunny winter day

Unlike many other palaces, this one is unique in the sense that it is not surrounded by fences, so you can walk right up to the building. During the winter months, the snow gives the palace and park a real winter wonderful feel to it.  

Insider tip: Visit the palace at noon so you can watch the daily changing of the guards at 13:30. 

Visit the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Ski Jump Tower

Did you know that the Holmenkollen ski jump tower has been hosting ski jump competitions since 1892? It was used for the ski jumping portion for the 1952 Winter Olympic Games.

Holmenkollen ski jumping stadium and norwegian ski museum in Oslo

With a height of 121 meters, the tower is sure to leave an impression on you. You can even make your way to the top of the tower. The views from there are breathtaking. 

Located just outside the city center, go on a pleasant 3-hour Holmenkollen ski jump hiking tour. The walk combines spectacular views of the Oslo fjord with the ski jump tower itself. At the same location, you can visit the Holmenkollen ski museum, which opened in 1923. It is the oldest museum specializing in skiing in the world.

Aker Brygge Neighborhood 

Situated along the inner harbor by the waterfront, Aker Brygge is a hip and vibrant area. What was previously a shipyard has now become a popular meeting place.  

Oslo, Norwegen. Aker Brygge

During the winter months, you might not find a lot of people outside because they are all keeping warm inside. The area offers a wide selection of good restaurants, bars, and shops. 

For art lovers, be sure to check out the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. The museum opened to the public in 1993 and its collection mainly focused on American appropriation artists from the 1980s. However, the collection now focuses on the international contemporary art scene. 

Stroll Christmas Market 

You can’t visit Oslo in December and not go to a Christmas market. There are several markets located around the city but the main market is Jul I Vinterland. It is located next to Karl Johan Gate. There are various wooden stalls selling different items from food to drinks to beautiful handmade crafts. 

Traditional Christmas market with falling snow

For those looking for something a little more adventurous, take a ride on the large Ferris wheel at the market. Or, you can head over to the ice skating rink.  Go on this Christmas spirit tour if you want to learn more about Norwegian Christmas traditions and experience the ultimate Christmas market.

Go Snowboarding or Skiing in Oslo Winterpark

Oslo Winterpark is the ideal destination for all snowboarding and ski lovers looking to have some fun. The park offers 18 different slopes and operates 11 lifts. The longest slope is 1.5 km in length and is suitable for beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders. 

Park Sagene in Oslo in Norway

As it gets dark early, typically between 16:00-17:00, during winter in Oslo, you might assume that the winter park closes its slopes early. However, the opposite is true. You can ride the slopes until 22:00 at night. Be sure you don’t leave without having caught one of the famous Oslofjord sunsets from the slopes. 

A visit to the winter park is a must in Oslo’s winter months. The park is easily reachable by car or public transport. You can find all the practical information you need to plan your trip on their website

Winter Highlights 3-Hour Bike Tour

For those who’ve fantasized about experiencing Norwegian cycling on winter-specific spiked tires, this tour awaits you. Tailored for seasoned cyclists, the journey predominantly unfolds over level terrains, with the occasional brief yet sharp incline. Ensure your camera is ready for numerous photo stops. Your adventure includes:

  • Pedaling through the harbor districts of Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen.
  • Admiring the architectural marvel of the modern Opera House.
  • Seeking warmth within the City Hall, the prestigious venue for the Nobel Peace Prize event, or indulging in local flavors at Mathallen or Vippai indoor food bazaars.
  • Enjoying a car-free ride by the riverside, pausing in Oslo’s most eclectic neighborhood.
  • Immersing in the festive spirit on Karl Johans Gate, the heart of the city’s premier Christmas market.


Closing Thoughts on Things to Do in Oslo in The Winter

Whether you enjoy being outside in the chilly air or prefer indoor activities to keep you busy, Oslo has something for everyone during winter. The city has hip cafes, great restaurants, museums, and even a ski resort to keep you entertained. 

For all the Christmas lovers, be sure to add Oslo to your list of places to visit in December. The city center is truly transformed into a magical winter wonderful with all its festive Christmas lights and markets. 

Ready to book your ticket to Oslo but want to add other Norwegian destinations to your trip? Check out this 7-day itinerary in Norway highlighting the must-sees and dos for your trip. 

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