Name: Madeleine Raute
Home country: Germany
Bachelor: International Business at University of Applied Sciences Dresden
Current study program: MSc Leadership & Organizational Psychology
If like me you came to Norway because you’re a passionate outdoor enthusiast but you’re finding yourself constrained by a student’s wallet, then read on! Because the beauty of Norway doesn’t only lie in its stunning landscape, but also in the many accessible options to get out into nature without breaking the bank.
Summer in Oslo is one of the best seasons and there is a plethora of activities you can explore. Going outdoors is not only great for body and soul, but also to meet new people, especially shy Norwegians who suddenly turn into chatty extroverts when you meet them on the trail.
Hiking - Join group activities
If you don’t want to start your outdoor adventure alone, then I recommend you follow SiO on Facebook to stay updated on free group activities, such as hikes and day trips. Most of them are for free and they’re a great way to get acquainted with the many free hiking trails around Oslo. And the best of all: all hiking trails are easily reachable by public transport!
The most popular area for hiking trails is the Nordmarka forest, just north of BI which you can easily reach with the T-bane, going to Sognsvann or Frognerseteren. Other great places to start a hike are Holmenkollen, where you can see the famous ski jump, or Grefsenkollen, a short hike that you can even reach by foot from BI’s campus.
Hiking - Explore on your own
If you’re ready to start exploring Oslo’s forests on your own then make sure to download the app UT or Alltrails to avoid getting lost and check the weather beforehand. However, even without an app, you will probably be fine because the dense network of trails is highly organized with signs indicating the way.
Another great summer activity is to go swimming in the Oslo fjords and explore the many small islands on foot. You can simply take the ferry at Aker Brygge (which by the way is included in the Ruter monthly ticket) and spend a day island hopping. Many Norwegians have little summer cabins on those islands, so you will see many of them relaxing on the beach and enjoying the cool seawater.
And make sure to bring some sunscreen!
There is no reason to be sad once summer comes to an end. Winter in Oslo is a magical experience with lots of snow and cold temperatures.
Norwegians love staying active even during the cold season and it is quite easy to get started with winter sports. The national sport of Norway is, of course, cross-country skiing and there are many easy ski trails to explore around Oslo. They are easily reachable by public transport and popular starting points are Frognersetern, Linderudkollen and Sognsvann.
Ski equipment is quite expensive, but luckily, you can rent the equipment for free at one of the many BUA offices in Oslo. Make sure to stop at one of the many DNT cabins along the way to have a traditional Norwegian waffle with brunost and jam and don’t forget to pack your Kvikk Lunj.
If you never tried cross-country skiing before, don’t be scared! You can simply take an introductory class with SiO where you can also meet like-minded people. Before going out on your first cross-country ski adventure, make sure to download the app UT to find trails and track the snow conditions.
Alternatively, consider renting ice skates and gliding over the frozen lake at Sognsvann or Nøkkelvann.