Royal Palace (Det kongelige slott)#5 in Best Things To Do in Oslo
Nestled within Palace Park at the western end of Karl Johans gate, the Royal Palace draws history buffs, architecture enthusiasts, political junkies and those who enjoy learning about European royals. This grandiose structure, which was first used by King Oscar I in 1849, continues to serve as the home and office of Norway's monarchs. Most members of the royal court also work here, and foreign heads of state regularly stay on-site during official visits.
Several previous visitors praised this expansive property, citing its beautiful gardens and exquisite exterior as highlights. Those who arrived in the summer and toured the palace also raved about the lovely rooms and informative guides. But remember, no photography is permitted inside and tours – which are only offered from late June to mid-August – fill up fast. To ensure availability, past travelers suggest buying tickets in advance on Ticketmaster's website. Tour passes are sold starting on March 1. If you're unable to snag a spot on a tour, consider visiting at 1:30 p.m. when the changing of the guard ceremony takes places.
The Royal Palace grounds are free to explore 24 hours a day. During the summer guided tour season, English tours start every day at noon, 2, 2:20 and 4 p.m., but additional tours in Norwegian are available from 10 or 11 a.m. or noon to 5 p.m. Each ticket costs 135 kroner (approximately $16.50) for adults and 105 kroner (less than $13) for seniors, students and kids ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger get in for free. Lockers and a gift shop are available inside. The easiest way to get to the property is to walk from Karl Johans gate, travel by bus or take the No. 11, 13, 17, 18 or 19 tram to a nearby station. Visit the Royal House of Norway's Royal Palace page to find our more information about the palace's history, reception rooms and grounds.
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#1 Oslo Fjord
Occupying 766 square miles, Oslo Fjord attracts Oslo residents and tourists in droves, especially during the warmer months. Water vistas are available from many parts of the city, including popular attractions like the Oslo Opera House and Akershus Fortress. You can also opt to hit the water in a canoe or kayak, but to get the full experience, consider signing up for an Oslo Fjord cruise. Sightseeing and fishing excursions are available on everything from inflatable boats (known as RIBs) to sailboats and yachts to ferries throughout the year.
Traveler-approved cruise operators include RIB Oslo and Norway Yacht Charter, but the cheapest and most popular way to explore the fjord is via a tour with Båtservice Sightseeing. Affiliated with Norway Yacht Charter, this ferry company offers several fjord tour options, such as a two-hour daytime sightseeing excursion and three-hour crab-, jazz- and blues-themed cruises. Previous visitors suggest booking the evening boat tour, which includes three hours of sailing and a highly regarded all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet. But remember to bring extra money for drinks and a jacket if you plan on sitting outside.