We had access to a car for this itinerary, although I'm sure it would be possible without one; perhaps with a bit more planning though. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy in the park. If not, there are plenty of dining options around, including a café in Vigeland Park.
Recommended time of the year
The Royal Palace gardens are only open in the summer, but a visit to the Royal Palace is a must-do, whatever the season.
Norway is an expensive country, so be prepared. Save money on things like meals by packing a picnic lunch, in order to enjoy the other sights without worry. Also, if you are planning to visit a few of the museums in Bygdøy, I believe a museum pass is available to save money.
About This Day
This Oslo itinerary offers some fantastic things to do in Oslo with kids, filled with adventure and fun. It is a stunning city, perfectly located right on a fjord. Both modern, but also steeped in history. Therefore, visitors easily lose themselves in daring tales of voyages and exploration along the way. First, start the day by heading to any museum in the Bygdøy area (we chose the Fram Museum and it was packed with interesting exhibits). Then, enjoy a couple of hours at Vigeland Park. This park is home to the incredibly detailed sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. Your kids will love the playground here, while you can soak up some art and culture. Lastly, finish the day by exploring a bit of the city centre before dinner. Be sure not to miss seeing the spectacular Royal Palace at the top of an impressive rise. When hunger strikes, dinner at Olivia Aker Brygge with a view of the Oslo Fjord will top this day off right. It's a fantastic way to end the day and reflect on the great experience in Oslo.
First stop on this Oslo itinerary is the Fram Museum. It is devoted to information about the pioneering Norwegian explorers, including Amundsen, who was the first to take a team to discover the North Pole. If you are interested in Polar exploration and daring journeys, then this place is for you. It is home to the world's strongest polar vessel, the Fram ship. It was the vessel used for Amundsen's expedition and other Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. You can walk through the impressive ship. Our three year old enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of the ship, imagining her own explorations. We really enjoyed learning about the brave explorers, their successes and their failures. The museum also features some themed activities for little explorers, including a freezing ice cave to venture through (possibly a little scary for young ones), a strength test, a soft play area and more.
DIRECTIONS If you are coming by car, just follow the instructions on your GPS. There is a car park very near the museum, but be sure to bring some change as it costs a few krone.
TIP Oslo has helpfully arranged most of its museums in one central area, Bygdøy, a peninsula on the west side of the city. We chose the Fram museum, but there are several others to choose from if this doesn't interest you. For example, the Viking Ship Museum and the Kon-tiki Museum. If you are planning to visit a few, I believe a museum pass is available to save money.
Vigeland Park is a beautiful, huge park, full of stunning gardens. Wander around the park and soak up the natural beauty of this place. The kids can run through the rose garden and smell the different varieties of roses. The park is also home to some incredible sculptures by Gustav Vigeland, depicting nude bodies in all sorts of interesting positions (but don't worry, there is nothing inappropriate for little eyes). Our family had a great time trying to recreate some of the positions, and it was a great way to cheer up a grumpy toddler. Enjoy a picnic lunch here in the park, there is plenty of shade and a great big playground that is perfect for a range of ages.
DIRECTIONS If you are coming by car, follow Ring 2 to Majorstuen, Kirkeveien, or simply follow the GPS. There is parking available at the main entrance, or on the west side of the park. If coming by public transport, you can use Bus 20 or Tram 12 to Vigeland Park. Or, take westbound lines (T-bane) to Majorstuen Station.
TIP Vigeland Park is a big place, so keep an eye on your kids if they are prone to wandering off.
The Royal Palace in Oslo is one of the most important buildings in Norway, as it is the residence of the Norwegian royal family. It is indeed a very impressive structure, especially when you first see it from the bottom of the hill, sitting majestically at the top. The gardens surrounding it are very picturesque and a great place to stretch some tiny legs. Our little ones enjoyed seeing the guards standing still as statues with their smart-looking uniforms. We didn't go inside, but the palace is open to the public during the summer, and undoubtedly a very interesting place to visit.
DIRECTIONS The Royal Palace is located at one end of Oslo's main street, Karl Johan's Gate. If you are wandering around the Oslo city centre, it is hard to miss. If you are driving, find a parking space somewhere near Akers Brygge. However, parking is very expensive in the city. Consider parking outside the city and getting transport to save money. From Akers Brygge, it is about a 15-minute walk along the fjord and into the city centre.
Olivia is a lovely Italian restaurant at Aker Brygge, with a wonderful view of the fjords. It's also a great spot to do some people-watching. The pizza and pasta are delicious and reasonably priced. The staff were happy to give us high chairs for our little ones. It isn't traditional Norwegian food, but it turns out that Norwegian people eat pizza too! No kids menu, but the servings were generous, so we were happy to share. This was a great spot to watch the light fade over the fjord at the end of a big day of sightseeing.
DIRECTIONS Olivia is nestled in a strip of restaurants on Aker Brygge, it's not hard to find as you meander along that strip.
TIP If your kids get fidgety around the table, be sure to bring a couple of little activities for them, as this restaurant doesn't offer anything like that.