Weekend breaks in Oslo

Norwegians treasure their weekends and rarely work on Saturday and Sunday unless they work in retail or in emergency health services. Many Norwegians have holiday homes in the mountains, on the coast, or both. Plenty also have boats.

Weekends are a great time to enjoy those luxuries with family or friends, or even alone. One may be invited to a colleague’s hytte (cabin). This is an honour and a privilege that should not be missed.

There are so many choices of what to do and where to go on weekend breaks. It is recommended that one leaves before 3pm on a Friday in order to avoid traffic as there are only a few major roads leaving the city. Trains and buses are another possibility and go most places.


Spend the weekend hiking through this wild, forested park and stop to camp along the way, in tents or at any of the numerous cabins located throughout the park. Trails are marked.


The border is only an hour and a half's drive from Oslo and a large percentage of Norwegians drive over the border to Svinesund on a Harry Tur, which is another term for a cheap shopping trip. With Swedish prices 20 percent below Norwegian prices, it makes sense, even after paying for gas to make the trip. Past the border is the western city of Gothenburg with many attractions, such as Liseberg Amusement Park. Sweden’s western coastline and archipelago is also known for its natural beauty and great sailing.


Copenhagen and Frederikkshavn are just a ferry ride away. Ferries leave the Oslo harbours daily and weekend or 24-hour trips are popular. Some ferry companies have special offers during low season and on holidays they offer themed crossings. Lodgings range from simple to luxury. The only complaint is that a lot of Scandinavian passengers use the ferry to stock up on and imbibe as much tax-free alcohol as possible. One can also reach Denmark by bus or train from the Oslo Jernbanetorget.


Kiel is a popular destination on the Color Line ferry. It departs from the dock at Vika, west of Oslo centre.


A quaint fishing town with typical Norwegian homes, nice boutiques and a Santa Museum. On the coast one can reach Drøbak by bus or ferry, but only in the warmer months.

Tønsberg and Verdens Ende

An hour west of Oslo on the coast lies Tønsberg, a city popular for its great weather, laid-back lifestyle and Nøtterøy golf course. Verdens Ende, literally “The end of the world”, lies at the southern tip of the island of Tjøme, 16 miles (26km) south of Tønsberg. This outcropping is well known for its beautiful scenery, small islands, fishing, swimming and dramatic views.

Risør in Sørlandet

Risør is a picturesque, whitewashed city within the limits of Sørlandet, the southern region of Norway, which stretches down to the southern tip of the country. This traditional fishing village is now a regional capital of arts and crafts. It is inhabited by fishermen and artists and has several galleries, theatres and small inns. It features a wooden boat festival which is staged in the first week of August every year.

Bergen and Flåm

A very popular 48-hour trip is the one titled “Norway in a Nutshell”, which begins in Oslo and crosses to Bergen by train, with a side trip on an old locomotive to Flåm, a dramatic area characterised by waterfalls and picturesque landscapes.

Continental Europe

With Ryanair and Norwegian Airlines flying to most European cities at affordable rates, it is feasible to escape for a weekend to any European capital.

Anna Maria Our Expat Expert

Based in Oslo, Norway, Anna Maria is an intercultural trainer and consultant. She focuses on supporting inpats, expats and repats through their transition periods. She has spent 25 years as an expat. She has lived and worked in 17 countries on five continents. Growing up she spent 4-5 years each in the Netherlands, the US, Peru, and Thailand. She travels extensively to keep up friendships, writes for expat online and print publications and is learning to ski to survive the dark winter.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna offers award-winning international health insurance plans to more than 55 million members worldwide. Their plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of you and your family while you are away from your home country, living and working abroad. Get peace of mind knowing you and your family will be protected and have access to quality health care wherever you are, where you need it.

* For a limited time, there is a discount of up to 20% on new multi-member policies and up to 10% on single member policies. This offer is valid until 19 June 2020. See website for details.

Get a quote from Aetna International


Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

Get a quote from Cigna Global