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Oslomarka: nature by metro

The great outdoors beckons from all sides when you're in Oslo: from the waterside, the Oslo Fjord is filled with shady islands perfect for island hopping while, from the inland side, the city borders on the Oslomarka. This wooded area 1,700 square kilometres in size – with many kilometres of marked trails through cool valleys, across green hills and past red houses on blue lakes – is only 15 minutes from the city centre.

The Norwegians love spending time in nature, so it’s an added advantage that Oslo has a giant forest within the city limits. Simply take the metro to Oslomarka, stroll for 15 minutes and – voilà! – you’ll find yourself all alone in the middle of a wonderful forest. You can go for a short stroll but a longer hike is also an option – you’ll find dozens of cabins to spend the night, some self-serviced, others with staff serving breakfast and dinner. In a nutshell: 3 options to enjoy nature close to the city, from afternoon picnics to overnight hikes.

Nature and the city: Oslomarka
Nature and the city: Oslomarka

Oslo

Metro end station: Sognsvann

Picnicking on Lake Sognsvann

Lake Sognsvann is the most popular place in the Oslomarka in summertime. Close to the city and easy to reach by metro (take line 3 to the end), here you’ll find a glassy blue lake surrounded by green spruce trees. Many visitors are satisfied with a short walk, picnic or dip in the lake, but those wanting to enjoy Sognsvann for a little longer can eat dinner or spend the night at the Olympiatoppen Sportshotell.

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Sognsvann, Oslomarka, Oslo

Frognerseteren: dining in ‘dragon style’

In 30 minutes, metro line 1 takes you directly to Frognerseteren. From the Tryvannstårnet broadcasting tower, dozens of marked trails wind through the woods, with panoramic views of the city and fjord along the way. Dinner can be enjoyed at the Frognerseteren restaurant, built in 1891. This wooden building is a beautiful example of ‘dragon style’ architecture, the Viking version of art nouveau. Want to spend the night? Go back 5 metro stops and, next to the famous ski jump, you’ll find the equally as historic Holmenkollen Park Hotell.

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Restaurant Frognerseteren in ‘dragon style’ architecture

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Frognerseteren, Oslomarka, Oslo

Lake Bjørnsjøen

A weekend at the Kikutstua lodge

A day trip is plenty nice, but the Norwegians prefer to make a weekend out of it. A popular destination is Kikutstua, a lodge with 2 and 4-person rooms with shared bathrooms, Wi-Fi, a lobby with a crackling fireplace and a cosy restaurant. Located on Lake Bjørnsjøen, it’s the perfect base for day hikes. The lodge is located at approximately 12 kilometres by foot from the nearest bus stop, but baggage can be picked up on request.

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Kikutstua, Oslomarka, Oslo

Photo credits

  • Restaurant Frognerseteren in ‘dragon style’ architecture: Nuno Cardosa, Flickr
  • Lake Bjørnsjøen: Mats, Flickr