Oslo Cruise Port Guide & Top 10 Things to Do on a Cruise

Oslo Harbour

Welcome to Oslo cruise port!

Oslo, the capital of Norway and its biggest city is the oldest capital in Scandinavia and has been considered as one of the most expensive cities in Europe. This compact city is well known for its many museums, art galleries, wide green spaces, and ultra-modern, eclectic architecture.

When visiting Oslo port of call, I will encourage you to be on the outer decks of the ship prior one-hour prior to arrival, so you can enjoy the beautiful landscape while cruising through the Oslo Fjord.

In this article, read about:

  • Oslo cruise port info: cruise terminal, local transport & important notes
  • Top 10 places to see in Oslo on a cruise
  • Best Oslo tours

Oslo Cruise Terminal

Oslo has two cruise ship piers both located at the city center, within a 15-minute walking distance from Karl Johan Gate, the main street.

See Oslo cruise port map on Google maps

Cruise ships dock at Akershus pier, where you’ll find a Tourist information center, free Wi-Fi, shops, Tax refund services, restaurants, and cafes. At the Tourist information center, you can take free city maps, change your money, and get information about the local transport, Hop on Hop off the bus, Oslo fjord boat cruises, and other tourist attractions. The taxi rank is right outside the pier, however, keep in mind that taxis in Oslo can be very expensive.

Check out today’s cruise deals from Cruise Critic!

Oslo harbour, the view from the cruise ship.
Oslo harbour. Photo courtesy of Karen Tregonning.

Tax-free shopping in Norway is available for residents outside Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Sweden. Make sure you ask for a Tax-Free form if you intend to spend over NOK 315 (around 37 $) in one shop.

The cruise port is very scenic and already from the port, you can admire the imposing, 13th century Akershus Fortress, housing two military museums, and event spaces. You can also spot City Hall, Nobel Peace Center, and the Opera House from the port.

Hotels in Oslo near the cruise port

Private transfer from Oslo Gardermoen Airport to the cruise terminal

Local Transport

Public transportation in Oslo is very reliable and is operated by Ruter (the company). Ruter’s tickets are valid for buses, trams, subways, ferries (not the Bygdøy ferry), and local trains.

Check the timetables on the Ruter’s website or at the Tourist information center once you arrive.

Bus/Tram

Tram line 12 is located 500 m from the Oslo cruise terminal, and you can use it to get to Vigeland Park.

Bus 30 is also located within a 5-minute walk from the pier (at the Rådhuset bus stop, right by the City Hall), and you can use it to get to the Bygdøy peninsula, where the city’s main attractions are located: Viking Ship Museum, Kon-tiki Museum, the Fram Museum.

You can use the same tickets for all types of public transport (bus, train, tram, metro, ferry – except for the Bygdøy ferry), and they need to be pre-purchased at the Tourist information center on the pier, or at any kiosk, Ruter’s sales point or ticket machine. Tickets bought on the tram/bus are more expensive than the ones purchased at the kiosk.

The local currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone (NOK). 1 NOK equals 0.118 US dollars / 0.097 EUR.

Single pre-bought ticket at the kiosk (1-hour duration) costs 38 NOK/ adult (around 4.50 $), and 19 NOK/child or senior (2.20 $).

Single ticket bought on the bus/tram (1-hour duration) costs 58 NOK/adult (6.80 $), and 29 NOK/ child or senior (3.40 $).

24-hour ticket (non-personal ticket) costs 114 NOK/adult (13.40 $) and 57 NOK child/senior (6.70 $).

Children = ages 6-18

Senior = age 67 +

You can pay for the tickets by credit card. 

Most shops, cafes, and restaurants do not accept other currencies, however, credit and debit cards are widely accepted. Make sure to check with your onboard Guest Services desk for foreign currency exchange.

Taxi

You can get taxis at designated stations and they are mostly metered. However, taxi rates in Oslo are one of the highest in Norway. Most common credit cards can be used to pay for taxis, just make sure to inform the driver at the start of the trip if this will be your method of payment. Taxi can charge you 25-30 $ just for a short 10-minute ride. Therefore, the best option is to use public transport, book a shore excursion, or explore the city on your own.

Hop on Hop off bus

Oslo Hop on hop off bus is available within a 5-10 minute walking distance from the Oslo cruise terminal. Wherever your ship docks (there are a few other piers close-by without any facilities), it is easy to reach Hop on hop off bus stop.

The bus stop is Akershus Fortress and Castle / Cruise Ship Terminal.

You can buy a 24-hour ticket at the Tourist information center in the terminal building, and it costs 350 NOK/ adult (around 41.00 $), 175 NOK/child (20.50 $).

Oslo Hop on hop off bus accepts credit cards and is wheelchair accessible.

The complete Hop on hop off bus tour takes 70 minutes, and it includes stops at major city attractions: the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, the Fram Polar Ship Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, the National Opera House, the Historical Museum, the Norwegian Parliament, the Nobel Peace Center, Karl Johans Gate, and others.

Download the Oslo hop on hop off map here.

Book Oslo hop on hop off ticket

Ferry to the Bygdøy Peninsula

The ferry to the Bygdøy Peninsula operates between March and October. It departs every 30 minutes from City Hall Pier 3, located a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal. You can buy the tickets at the ferry terminal.

Single ticket one-way: 52 NOK/adult (6.11 $), 25 NOK/ children under 18 (2.93 $).

Return ticket one-way: 78 NOK/ adult (9.16 $), 38 NOK/ children under 18 (4.46 $).

Onboard single, one-way ticket: 62 NOK (7.28 $).

Ruter’s regular public transportation tickets do not apply on the ferry to the Bygdøy Peninsula.

Free with the Oslo Pass.

Oslo Pass

Get the Oslo Pass and access more than 30 museums and attractions, free public transport (zone 1 and 2), discounts and special offers at shops and restaurants, and much more.

24-hour pass: 445 NOK/ adult (52.30 $), 235 NOK/child (27.60 $), 355 NOK/senior (41.70 $).

There are several sales points in the city. Get more information at the Tourist information center at the cruise terminal.

Book Oslo Pass



Booking.com

Top 10 Places to See in Oslo on a Cruise

Exploring Oslo on your own is very easy but if it’s your first time here, I will definitely recommend taking an organized Shore Excursion to learn about the rich history of the country and the city highlights.

Recommended: Pros and Cons of Booking Cruise Ship Shore Excursions

Some of the main highlights are located right in the city center but if you are not into walking, Hop on Hop off buses are available right outside the port area.

Karl Johans street - Oslo
Karl Johans street. Photo courtesy of Roxane Popescu.

Within walking distance from the pier, you will be able to get to the impressive Akershus Fortress, Oslo Town Hall, Karl Johans main street, The Opera House, and the Nobel Peace Center.

1. Vigeland Sculpture Park

The largest sculpture park in the world made by a single artist contains over 200 bronze and granite human figures. Do not miss to visit “The Monolith” with 121 carved human figures all in one stone and my favorite, “The Fountain” where you will be able to admire over 20 sculptures that represent the different stages in life. The Park is open 24 hours and the entrance is free.

Suggested article: 25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items 

Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo
Vigeland Sculpture Park. Photo courtesy of David Garcia.
The Monolith - Vigeland sculpture park.
The Monolith. Photo courtesy of David Garcia.

2. The Viking Ship Museum

This Museum is located on the Bygdoy peninsula. Here you will be able to admire three of the best-preserved 9th century wooden Viking ships up close, as well as some jewelry, tools, and artifacts found. This impressive museum will take you back to Viking Era. I suggest you secure your tickets online ahead of time, although they are also available at the museum entrance.

Visit the Viking Ship Museum website 

See the list of Viking Ship Museum tours

Book Oslo Pass

Viking Ship Museum in Oslo
Viking Ship Museum. Photo courtesy of Karen Tregonning.

3. Norsk Folkemuseum

This amazing open-air Museum is also located on the Bygdoy Peninsula. Here you will be able to learn about Norway’s rich culture and history from the Middle Ages to the present. This museum contains 160 buildings and exhibitions that show you the different regions of the country throughout the years, including the stunning Gol Stave Church built in 1200. The Museum is a must-stop when traveling with children. I suggest you secure your tickets online ahead of time, however, you can also buy them at the museum entrance.  The entrance fee for children under 6 years old is free.

Visit the museum website 

See the list of Norsk Folkemuseum tours

Gol Stave Church - Norsk Folkemuseum - Oslo
Gol Stave Church. Source: no.wikipedia.org

4. Nobel Peace Center

Located right in the city center, a 10-minute walking distance from the cruise dock, Nobel Peace Center allows you to learn all history behind the renowned Peace Prize, Alfred Nobel, and nomination process. You can get your tickets right at the entrance. Your ticket includes an audio guide in 9 different languages, and on Saturdays, your ticket includes a 20 min guided tour. There are a museum shop and a café house. The entrance fee for children under 12 years old is free.

Visit the Nobel Peace Center website

Book Oslo Pass – Admission to the Nobel Peace Center included

Nobel Peace Center - Oslo
Nobel Peace Center. Photo courtesy of Roxana Popescu.

5. The Royal Palace

The official residence of the Norwegian Monarchy is located in the heart of Oslo, at the end of Karl Johans street. You will be surprised how close you can get to this amazing palace! Do not miss the changing of guards happening every day at 1:30 PM. Visitors can visit some of the most beautiful rooms in the palace, just make sure to pre-book your tickets.

Visit the Royal House website

Book Oslo hop on hop off bus ticket

The Royal Palace guided tours

Oslo Royal Palace
Royal Palace. Source: viator.com

6. Akershus Fortress and Castle

Discover the history of Norway while visiting this amazing site located right in the heart of the city, next to the harbor area. This medieval castle was built originally to protect the city and throughout history, it served as a military base, a prison, and now is used as the main office of the prime minister of Norway.

This castle houses a church, a prison museum, and the Norwegian Armed Force Museum. Some of the Norwegian Royal Family members are buried in the castle’s mausoleum too. During the summer months, the castle is open daily, while in the fall and winter the castle is open only on weekends. Tickets are available directly at the entrance of the castle, and you can find all additional information at the Tourist information center on the pier.

Book Oslo Pass – Akershus Castle admission ticket included

Akershus Castle & Fortress tours

Akershus Castle is located right next to the Oslo harbor
Akershus Castle is located right next to Oslo harbor. Photo courtesy of Karen Tregonning.

7. The Fram Museum

Also known as the Polar Exploration Museum, the Fram Museum is located on the Bygdoy peninsula and houses the first wooden ship built for research. Discover the story and details behind the ship’s construction that was used for important expeditions over the north and south poles. This exhibit allows visitors to hop on board and look around the cabins, workshops, and engine room open to the public.

Visit Fram Museum website

Fram Museum tours

Oslo Pass – Admission to Fram Museum included

Fram Museum, Oslo
Fram Museum. Source: viator.com

8. Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum

This impressive architectural masterpiece is one of the most visited sports facilities in the world and has hosted the Ski Festival since 1892. Visit the Museum exhibition of different artifacts used for this sport including skis from the 8th,10th,12th centuries, and the oldest ski dating back to AD 600.

Suggested article: 25 Top Shore Excursion Packing List Items 

You can also climb the tower observation deck where you can get amazing views of the city. This Sky jump and Museum is located 20 minutes away from the city center and it’s mostly included in the majority of Shore Excursions.

Holmenkollen Ski Jump tours

Visit the Ski Museum website

Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. - Oslo
Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. Photo courtesy of Karen Tregonning.

9. Oslo Opera House

The largest cultural building in Norway since the 14th century and home to the National Opera and Ballet of Norway is located only a 5-minute walking distance from Oslo central station. During the sunny days, you can often see many locals enjoying and relaxing right by the waterfront or strolling on the building´s roof. The Opera House offers different programs for visitors such as behind-the-scenes tours.

Explore the Opera House tours

Oslo Opera House
Opera House. Source: viator.com

10. The Munch Museum

If you are an art lover, do not miss the opportunity to visit this museum, dedicated to one of Norway´s greatest painters Edvard Munch. Admire his wide variety of paintings and sculptures including his private library.

Book Oslo Pass – Admission to the Munch Museum included

Visit Munch Museum website

Other Must-Do Experiences: Oslo Boat Tours, Kayaking, Ice Bar

If you would like to experience Norway from a different perspective, you can get some guided boat tours or kayaking adventures through the Oslo Fjord right at the Harbor.

Oslo fjord boat trip
Oslo fjord boat trip is one of the major attractions in Oslo! Photo courtesy of Roxane Popescu.

If your budget is a little wider you can also enjoy a typical Norwegian lunch on a sightseeing boat.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Ice bar. Enjoy a signature drink on an ice glass and admire sculptures made of snow and ice. No worries, you will be fully geared before entering the bar. This below zero experience will be unforgettable! The capacity inside the ice bar is minimal so when there is a ship in port, the Ice bar is reserved for cruise ship groups and last-minute availability is not guaranteed; make sure to book with your onboard Shore Excursions Team or through a reliable Independent operator.

Important Tips

This beautiful city has a wide variety of attractions for you to enjoy, so make sure to plan your day to maximize your time ashore! Always keep in mind your all-aboard time.

If the scheduled time in port is short, your best option is to take a ship-sponsored Shore Excursion as they will guarantee your return to the ship.

If you decided to explore on your own, make sure to check out the Oslo Pass online – you will get a very good deal on packages that covers entrance fees to different attractions.


This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.


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