The land of Vikings, the birthplace of skiing and one of the top 10 cities to visit, according to Lonely Planet. And if that weren’t enough, the IGLA-Europe placed gay Oslo as the third best city in their 2018 ratings.
Oslo is a progressive wonderland and accepting of the LGBTQ commumity; in fact, Norway was one of the first countries to pass anti-discrimination laws protecting our community. With its inclusive vibe and gorgeous scenery, there’s no excuse not to visit gay Oslo.
Fun facts about Oslo
Before you start your trek around Norway’s capital city, here are some interesting facts about Oslo. First, Oslo is home to Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja and the Royal Palace. Besides the Royal Palace, the Oslo City Hall is another famous local attraction, which hosts the annual Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
Finally, there’s a famous saying in Oslo, “There’s no such thing as bad weather in Norway, only bad clothes.” In other words, you’ll want to pack some warm clothing — though, considering that it’s on the same latitude line as Alaska, you probably already figured that.
Famous outdoor attractions in Oslo
Surrounded by the nationally protected Martas Forest, Oslo has many stunning outdoor areas waiting for your next adventure. The Palace Park, one of the most-visited local attractions, is gorgeous with its meticulously kept lawns, gardens and ponds. There are several sculptures in this park, including a statue of author and feminist activist Camilla Collett.
Bjørvika is a neighborhood in the Sentrum borough of Oslo, and it’s quickly becoming the cultural center of Oslo. Stroll through this area and find museums like Munch Museum (with the famous painting The Scream) or grand architecture — Bjørvika is perfect for a day trip.
The Bygdøy is a forested peninsula famous for its place in maritime history. There are several museums throughout this neighborhood; from the Fram Museum, with a 19th-century polar ship on display, to the open-air National Folk Museums, you can equally spend a whole day trekking through the area.
Frogner Park is another public park, oddly enough found in the borough of Frogner. The park is historically a part of Frogner Manor, and you can still find the manor house in the southern part of the park. Frogner is also home to the Oslo City Museum.
Unique museums in Oslo
But you likely already planned on visiting the Munch Museum or the National Folk Museum. For a truly unique local experience, you’ll definitely want to check out some of the specially themed museums around Oslo.
The Viking Ship Museum is most famous for the display of the entire Oseberg Viking ship. You can also see the Gokstad ship and the Tune ship, plus learn about the Viking Age and see how the Vikings lived, with an entire display of beds, wood carvings and more.
Kon-Tiki Museum, in the Bygdøy peninsula, displays vessels and maps from the famous expedition. There’s also a library with over 8,000 books. Avid skiers won’t want to miss the world’s oldest ski museum, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. This place has over 4,000 years of skiing history, including examples from the Stone Age and the Viking Age. The exterior of the museum is equally intriguing, with its giant ski jump.
The Vigeland Museum is the place to learn about sculptor Gustav Vigeland and his impressive body of work. This museum contains his massive sculptures, along with his woodcuts, drawings and sketches as well as letters, other writings and a personal library.
Gay Oslo Nightlife
Oslo is inclusive, and everyone, regardless of sexuality, mingles together in an open social environment. This is great, but also means that there are (relatively) few options available for if you want a taste of exclusively gay Oslo.
London Pub is Oslo’s most famous and oldest gay bar since the 1970’s. Its friendly vibe makes it fun, whether you go to sing on Karaoke Tuesdays or to dance the night away upstairs.
The Elsker bar is another friendly spot to socialize with locals. The Elsker boasts a fun crowd perfect for a night of drinking and entertainment. And if you’re a music fan, head up to the third floor and check out the bi-weekly Klubb 9 party for a night of house, electro and underground music.
If you’d prefer a quiet time, Bob’s Pub is unpretentious and relaxed, with great drinks at reasonable prices. But if you’d rather get freaky, SLM Oslo is a safe place for guys who like leather, rubber and uniforms. Besides playing and cruising, you’ll get to meet guys and make new friends in hot gear.
Gay Oslo Events
Oslo Pride is Norway’s largest LGBTQ festival. Taking place at the end of June, this ten-day event attracts over 35,000 attendees with features queer music and art festivals, and a massive parade.
There are also small LGBTQ events happening throughout the year. If you are visiting gay Oslo around December, we particularly recommend checking out Oslo Fagottkor, the Oslo gay choir, as it hosts concerts and celebrates the holiday season.