Being in the city doesn’t mean you can’t explore the outdoors and get closer to nature. Surrounded by green forests, lakes and fjords, there are so many beautiful trails that makes Norwegian capital a dream destination with plenty of hiking routes available both to locals and tourists while enjoying all the museums, restaurants and Oslo hidden gems.
Living in a city like Oslo, nature is never far away - often just a short bus, train or tram ride away. You can be in the centre of Oslo and very quickly get to forest on a short break.
Apps to help you on the way
RuterReise is a handy app for planning public transport in Oslo which help you plan your journey to and from your hike of choice.
For hiking routes OsloWay use UT.no app (unfortunately in Norwegian only). It gives you detailed descriptions of routes so you never get lost or take the wrong path.
There are a lot of possibilities for hiking in Oslo and whatever hiking trial you’re looking for, you’ll probably find it in and around Oslo. Here, we share with you the best Oslo hiking trails accessible by public transport.
#1 Hiking along the river Akerselva
Akerselva, Oslo’s beautiful river, is a slice of wilderness right in the heart of the city.
Take a train number L3 or bus number 54 to Kjelsås station and start a 7.9 kilometer point-to-point trail from Technical museum, and work your way down to the center. Nearly 50 bridges span the Akerselva river with waterfalls along the way.
The river trail travels with the flowing water from Maridalen lake, just north of the city, down to the city center, through many eclectic and charming neighbourhoods.This trail is popular by both locals and tourists and is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running and is accessible year-round.
#2 Sognsvann Lake
Sognsvann Lake is a recreation area with great places for picnics, swimming, fishing and walking.
Take the metro line 5 to Sognsvann. From the station, the path that circles the lake is just 100 metres away. If you are looking for an easy, gentle walk with views out across a lake and steep up forested hillsides, then this route is for you.
The trial is a 3.3 km loop and is mostly flat with little or no elevation. Sognsvann can be enjoyed all year round: in the summer, it’s a nice place to take a swim or have a lakeside picnic and in the winter, it turns into a winter wonderland – when the lake freezes and trees are dusted in snow.
Frognerseteren is a neighbourhood of Oslo, located within Nordmarka (“north forest”. It is a popular starting point for many recreational hiking and skiing in Oslo.
Take the metro line 1 to Lillevann. Lillevann means "little pond" in Norwegian and refers to a small lake to the east of the station. From there you start hiking down to Frognersetern Restaurant. This is the perfect place to try some traditional Norwegian dishes while enjoying the magnificent views over Oslo and Oslofjord.
Afterwards, continue down to Holmekollen Ski Jump. There is a ski museum underneath the ski jump that is the oldest of its kind in the world and presents more than 4,000 years of skiing history. The observation deck on top of the jump tower offers fantastic panoramic views of Oslo. This 5km hike is great for beginners and suitable for all abilities.
The Kolsåstoppen hike is one of the most popular in the region. Enjoy the panoramic views of Oslo, Bærum and the Oslofjord from the top of Kolsås mountain!
Take the bus number 150 (“Gullhaug”) from Oslo to Stein Gård and walk towards the Stein Gård farm entrance for the start of the hike. There are different routes to the top, but for more spectacular views of Oslo and the Oslo fjord, follow the Søndre route. The view from the top is epic and a great place to take a break and enjoy the views.
An intermediate level hike of around 8km takes about 2 hours and the trail consists of a quiet, tall forest, and a small lake on the way to the top, where you can take a swim. If you wish not to return to Stein Gård, you can go to “Kolsås” station where metro line 3 starts and ends.
#5 Around Bygdøy
Bygdøy is a small peninsula just west of the city centre. It is one of the best places to get out and enjoy the nature so close to the city as well as home to the most famous museums in Oslo.
Around Bygdøy is approximately 7km moderate loop trail located near the centre of Oslo that features beautiful wild flowers and offers a number of activity options. From the mysterious forests to scenic parts of the coast with great views along Bygdøy’s Oceanfront.
Like Sognsvann, it is more of a walk than a hike and all the trails are well-marked and maintained. Take the bus number 30 from Oslo Central Station and get off at Karenslyst allé. The trail starts just over the highway at Dronning Blancas vei - you can not miss it.
And if you are looking for a hiking tour, check out our Oslo: Lake and Forest Hike! :)