Where to go on winter vacation | Plan a snow adventure in the Oslo region

How to plan a wonderful winter adventure in the Oslo region

A step-by-step guide on how to enjoy the Norwegian winter to the fullest

Do you know what makes the Oslo region a perfect choice for a winter vacation? Yes, we have snow, lots of it even, and a varied nature where both snow newbies and experienced skiers will feel right at home. With two former winter Olympics host cities, there’s also a lot of great winter sports to watch here.

What really set us apart from most winter destinations, though, are all the great things you can do right next to the slopes. Varied options for indoor recreation, cultural happenings and world-class dining are available right at the tips of your skis. Mix it all together like we suggest below, and you'll have yourself an unforgettable winter adventure.

 

Dog sledding near Lillehammer
Dog sledding near Lillehammer
Photo: Visit Lillehammer/Bård Gundersen

Step 1: Find your favourite winter activities

In a region made up of both flatlands, deep forests, mountains and lakes, there are countless ways to enjoy the snow.

The Oslo region is an excellent place for all kinds of skiing.
 Even if you stand right in the middle of Oslo, you're a mere 20-minute subway ride away from miles of prepared cross-country trails and even downhill skiing.

If you prefer not to a strap a pair of planks to your feet, may we suggest tobogganing? The subway will pull you right back up if you want to go again. 

 

Sledding in Korketrekkeren
Sledding in Korketrekkeren
Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen


For more great skiing options, look to the Olympic city of Lillehammer. In addition to 2000 kilometres of prepared ski trails, you can put your alpine skills to the test at the two Olympic skiing resorts Hafjell and Kvitfjell.

As a more exotic kind of Olympic winter fun, why not take the whole family bob rafting? With a speed close to 100 kilometres per hour, an adrenaline kick comes guaranteed (don't worry, the bobsled will be controlled by an authorized pilot).

Bob rafting in Lillehammer
Bob rafting in Lillehammer
Photo: Visit Lillehammer/Bård Gundersen



Speaking of sleds: There are few better ways of enjoying the Norwegian winter landscapes than by going 
dog sledding. The region offers several options for dog sled rides and what will surely be a winter's day for the books.

Of course, enjoying the snow in the Oslo region can also mean low-key activities like making snow angels in fresh powder snow or having a snowball fight with the kids.

Step 2: Pick an exciting place to spend those winter nights

You'll find a good selection of comfortable hotels all across the Oslo region. But why not spend at least a few nights in places that lets you experience winter up-close in new and exciting ways?

At Lillehammer, you'll find a real snow hotel with beautiful ice-decorated rooms that hold a temperature well below freezing (sleeping bags are provided, of course). In Vestfold you can check into treetop hutswith prime views of frost covered trees.

Learn more

Step 3: Block off some time for a spa retreat

A day at the spa is a wonderful treat any time of the year, but let’s be honest: A soothing soak and a sauna session rarely feels as good as after an active day out in the cold.

In the Oslo region, some of Norway’s best spas are ready to add some heat to your winter experience.

Several of them are located next to the Oslo fjord, so you can keep enjoying those wonderful winter panoramas from the jacuzzi.

Our favourite Oslo region spas


If you'd like to combine body cleansing with a bit of Viking adventure, outdoor winter swimming is of course also an option. Thanks to the availability of several fjord-side public saunas, ice bathing in the Oslo fjord has made a solid comeback in recent years.

Step 4: Add a dash of urban fun

We dare you to find any other place where the afterski is as good as here!

You can, in principle, take a break from the slopes and go see Edvard Munch's Scream in your skiing outfit – though the museum guards may object (Holmenkollen Ski Museum, the oldest of its kind in the world, may be a bit more appropriate if you choose to leave your skiing boots on).

Winter sunset at the Oslo Opera House
Winter sunset at the Oslo Opera House
Photo: VisitOSLO/Tord Baklund


Our point is: Short distances between cities and nature make it very easy to include nice urban experiences in your Oslo region winter adventure itinerary.

With Oslo at its centre, the region boasts one of the most vibrant culture scenes in all of Europe.

The area is also known for its rich selection of art museums of international standing, a perfect fit for a cold winter's day.

Museum highlights

Finally, when you get hungry, you get to explore a booming food scene.

Most of our chefs cook with a modern twist, but they relate to time-honoured Norwegian traditions of feeding hungry snow adventurers. Get ready to enjoy winter comfort food at its absolute best! 

Norwegian waffles, Maaemo-style
Norwegian waffles, Maaemo-style
Photo: VisitOSLO/Anders Husa

 

5. Extra credit: Go ice fishing!

Ice fishing is a great way to spend time in the great outdoors. The Gjøvik Hadeland Ringerike region, for instance, boasts lakes of all different sizes - enough so that you can have a large area all by yourself if you so wish.

ce fishing in the Gjøvik Hadeland Ringerike region
Ice fishing in the Gjøvik Hadeland Ringerike region
Photo: Gjøvik Hadeland Ringerike region


Perch is the main ice-fishing catch, but you can also have a go at hooking char, trout, whitefish, pike or burbot.

Rumour has it that in the last few winters, lucky ice fishers have caught metre-long pikes and trouts that weigh over five kilos. Grab a rod, get out there and make your own winter fishing tales!

Getting here


Getting to the Oslo region is easy.


Oslo Airport, with over 200 international flights a day, is the main gateway to the region. It is situated just north of Oslo, and is easily accessible from Oslo city centre by Flytoget Airport Express Train. 

Travelling the region by train


Train is a comfortable way to travel, and the Norwegian State Railways connects Oslo with several of the places mentioned in this article.

The State Railways offers a journey planner in English, which makes it easy to look at your options and book your tickets in advance.