For some people, winter in Norway may sound hard, cold and dark. But for others, it offers the perfect possibilities for some splendid outdoor winter adventures! With loads of snow, icy temperatures and slowly increasing daylight, now is the perfect time to get the dust of your skis, sledge or moon boots. When staying in Oslo, outdoor adventures are just a metro ride away from you. Here are our tips for an unforgettable winter in Oslo!
As we wrote in our last blog article on How to survive the Norwegian winter, the trick is to get out and move… When in Oslo, this is not a hard thing to accomplish. The city bursts with possibilities for outdoor adventures, and everything is easily accesible from the centre.
Skiing and snowboarding
Norway has always been a nation quite crazy about skiing. The big ski destinations in the mountains, like Geilo, Voss and Trysil, are gaining more popularity amoung foreign tourists. It may sound surprising, but also Norway’s capital has everything to become a popular ski destination. In the hills surrounding the city, there are a couple of ski slopes with perfect infrastructure like ski lifts, ski and snowboard rental and cosy huts to have a drink afterwards. Take the metro to Oslo Vinterpark, at the Voksenkollen stop on the Frognerseteren line, some 20 minutes from the city centre. Or take the bus to Oslo Skisenter, on top of the Grefsenkollen hill north of the city centre. The view of the city from the slopes you get for free.
Norwegians and cross country skiing go hand in hand. In the weekends or in the evenings after work: You will find Norwegians on their skis at every time of day. Take the metro to Sognsvann, and explore the endless cross country trails through the forested hills of Nordmarka. As the sun goes down quite early in Norway, most of the trails are lit by lanterns during the evening. Skis can be rented at one of the ski centres mentioned above, and you are allowed to take them on the metro to any part of town you want.
You are never too old to slide a sledge down a hill, and the Norwegians know it. Even in the city centre, when the snow comes, every little hill is turned into a sledging slope. But for a true adventure, there are some bigger ones waiting! Korketrekkeren is probably the most popular one. This sledning slope starts at the Frognerseteren metro stop, and ends at the Midtstuen metro stop. It is over 2 km long, and it takes about 10 minutes of continued sledging to come from the top to the end of the slope. When at the end, you can just take the metro up again! It is free to use Korketrekkeren, and you can rent sledges for some 80-100 kroner at the start. Fun for young and old!
Ice skating in a scenic atmosphere, that’s possible on Spikersuppa in the little park between the National Theatre and the Parliament in downtown Oslo. A bigger skating rink is to be found at the Vigelandsparken. Both rinks offer skate rental. If it freezes hard enough, you might get the chance to skate on one of the lakes surrounding Oslo. Check the website of NVE if the ice is thick enough: It should always be at least 10 cm thick!
Take it easy
You would rather take it a bit more easy on your winter trip to Oslo? That’s no problem at all. With the snow covering the city, there’s a magical atmosphere in the streets and parks. Just take a stroll, and explore the icy beauty. You have at least one advantage: Loads of cafés to keep you warm!
Our hostel Oslo Haraldsheim wishes warm welcome to everyone who’s coming to experience the winter season in Oslo!
photo top: Skiforeningen
written by Robin Van de Walle