Oslo (Photo:Anna Jedynak/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Oslo

Compared with other Scandinavian capitals, Oslo is a cozy, somewhat provincial city. Fewer tourists come here than, say, Copenhagen, but that doesn't mean tourists won't find plenty that delights. Located on the Aker River at the head of the Oslo Fjord, Norway's capital has modern architecture, hundreds of lakes, lots of parks, world-class museums and public statues nearly everywhere (including a lot of notoriously naked ones).

About Oslo


Pro

Visitors will find a plethora of parks, museums and scenic lakes

Con

The weather can vary significantly on any given day; layers are essential

Bottom Line

Oslo is a nice change from some of the more remote ports on Norway itineraries


Find a Cruise to Oslo



Oslo covers 175 square miles within its city limits and ranks as one of the world's largest capitals. However, with a population of 600,000, it is the least densely populated capital city in Europe. Norway was once part of Denmark and later part of Sweden, and many of Oslo's buildings -- including the Royal Palace and House of Parliament -- stem from Swedish rule. The country became independent in 1905. Later, Norway was occupied by German forces for five years during World War II (the Nazi history is something Norwegians are now willing to talk about, which may be of particular interest to World War II buffs). Traveling there, you'll notice the high standard of living (and that things aren't exactly cheap). It's so expensive, in fact, that many Norwegians go to Sweden to shop. Still, Norway is one of the richest countries in the world, thanks in no small part to its North Sea offshore oil.

Oslo residents are big on nature and proud of their pristine forests and fjord. For cruise passengers, the ship's approach and departure through the Oslo Fjord provide fine views of the natural scenery and small fishing villages. Cameras ready!

Where You're Docked

The city features two cruise ship docks, and both are centrally located on either side of the Akershus Fortress. They are within easy walking distance of downtown attractions and Oslo's exciting harborfront. The most you'll have to walk is 20 minutes (if you are at the closest dock, you are about five minutes from City Hall).

Good to Know

The weather in Oslo can vary a lot in a single day. It's best to dress in layers and carry an umbrella. (The rainiest month is August.)

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK). The cheapest way to get money is to use your debit card at one of the plenty of ATMs. For updated currency-conversion figures, visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com. Credit cards are widely accepted.

Language

Norwegian, though most folks speak English.

Shopping

Norwegian wool sweaters, troll dolls, painted wooden figurines, crystal, glassware, leather and fur jackets are among Oslo's most popular souvenirs. Many souvenir shops -- including those at the cruise ship terminal -- accept U.S. dollars and euros and give change in the Norwegian krone.