Akerselva river - Articles - visitoslo.com

The Akerselva river

Photo: VisitOSLO/Leif-Harald Ruud

Go for a hike along Akerselva, a scenic attraction rich in history.

Photo: VisitOSLO/Linn Johansen

The river Akerselva starts at Maridalsvannet – Oslo’s largest lake and a recommended starting point for the 8-kilometer hike along the course of the river. 

Recreation in historical surroundings

Akerselva was the cradle of Norway’s industrialisation in the second half of the 19th century. Back then the river gave power to saw mills, textile factories and mechanical workshops.

Today Akerselva plays a valuable role as a “green lung”; a popular recreational area with green parks and luxuriant nature. Many of the old factory buildings along the river have been refurbished and now house cafés, galleries, offices and schools.

The nature trails along the river are great for hiking, biking or running. There are also nice spots to go for a swim, especially in the upper course of the river.

And when you need a break …

Walking from Lake Maridalsvannet to downtown Oslo takes about two hours, but we do recommend you take your time. Explore the areas along the river, and stop for a coffee or a bite to eat.

Here are some suggested stops along the way: 

Watch the seasons change along the river: Rushing waterfalls in the spring, quiet swimming ponds during summer, leaves turning red and yellow in the autumn, and frozen waterfalls on cold winter days ...


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