Five Hidden Gems of Oslo

By Leah Plotz

Oslo is very much a friluftsliv city, much of which can be explored no matter what the season. There are a few places in Oslo that you won’t find in guidebooks, and what better way to discover more of this beautiful city. From the koselig to the weird to the dangerous; grab a friend and explore! If the outdoor destinations are a bit too friluftsliv for you, end the day warming up with an excellent cup of coffee or a unwinding with a British pint of beer.


There’s much more to do in Oslo than go to the harbour to watch the sunset. Photo: Leah Plotz



It could be pouring rain but on a warm day, that only adds to the tranquility of this swimming hole. Bring your dog and go home at the end of the day exhausted but relaxed and satisfied. Take advantage of unusually warm weather. Trails nearby offer something for everyone, and the destination itself offers a hearty bike ride.

Ulsrudvannet should be on everyone’s summer swim list. Photo: Ryan Hellyer


Østmarka in wintertime is just as wonderful as the famous Nordmarka, especially if cross country skiing is your thing. Less populated than Nordmarka, you could let your dog off-leash and never meet anyone on the trail to Lutvannet. It doesn’t take long with the t-bane, either.

Bar Boca.

Bar Boca even takes locals by surprise. Despite a reputation for always being packed, their signature cocktails will win over any skeptic. Here, the bartenders are not simply bartenders. They’re “mixologists.” Rumour has it that they have the city’s best bloody mary’s…

Holmenkollen Jump.

Definitely in a guidebook, but perhaps not how you would imagine. Pushing the boundaries of trespassing, the Holmenkollen jump overlooks the area and impresses without even trying. It is always a stunning view of the city. If you prefer to not risk being chased off of the steep stairs by a security guard, for 120 NOK you can get a 360° view from the actual tower and can check out the ski museum at the same time.

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Holmenkollen jump at sunset. Photo: Harold Flohr


No, no, not Mocha in Frogner, but the other one, its shy little brother in Ullevålsveien. If you can find it, anyway. A friend lived one block down from it for three years before figuring out there was a coffee shop next to the bakery. No matter it be a cold brew, V60, or a single cappuccino, it’s good no matter the season or your mood.

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