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Here’s What the Stars of ‘Game of Thrones’ Are Really Worth
Game of Thrones has one of the biggest and most accomplished casts on television. The dozens of cast members range from first-time actors to Tony and Emmy winners. So, when you’re on the biggest TV show in the world (which itself is a behemoth of pop culture history), what does that mean for your bottom line? From the lowborn but loyal Hodor to the ruthless Tywin Lannister, here’s what the stars of Game of Thrones are really worth.
British actress Nathalie Emmanuel enjoyed several successful years on the long-running Channel 4 soap opera Hollyoaks before being cast on Game of Thrones in 2013 as Missandei, a slave interpreter who becomes Daenerys Targaryen’s trusted advisor. Now, thanks to the show and roles in several big Hollywood franchises, she’s worth a reported $1 million.
Emmanuel, who joined the show in its third season, was listed as a recurring character for over a dozen episodes and eventually promoted to the main cast starting in 2015. In between seasons she landed a small role in the Hollywood adaptation of the Maze Runner series, which ended in 2018, and appeared as a hacker in The Fate of the Furious .
When he made his stage debut in Hamlet back in 1994, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau couldn’t have predicted he’d one day be among the highest-paid actors on TV. Since signing on to play the complicated Jamie Lannister on the hit HBO series, Coster-Waldau, who also works as a producer and screenwriter, has watched his fortune grow to an estimated $16 million.
Along with several of his main cast members, Coster-Waldau makes a cool half-million dollars per episode, which sort of makes up for all those night shoots and an ungainly prosthetic hand. And though his film career predates his work on Game of Thrones (he made his Hollywood debut in 2001’s Black Hawk Down ), Coster-Waldau has continued working on the big-screen in films like Gods of Egypt and Shot Caller .
In 2010, Maisie Williams beat out 300 other actresses to win the role of pint-sized assassin Arya Stark on Game of Thrones – even though she had zero experience in front of the camera. Now, she’s an Emmy-nominated actress, a favorite of the show’s passionate fanbase and worth an estimated $6 million.
Williams, whose real name is Margaret, earns $175,000 per episode; for the final, eight-episode season she’ll pocket a cool $1.4 million. In her downtime from filming Game of Thrones , she’s appeared in several British TV series and movies, and in 2015, she upped her pop culture cred with a recurring role on Peter Capaldi’s iteration of the long-running BBC series Dr. Who .
Coming into the final season of Game of Thrones , a common refrain was “Don’t let anything happen to Tormund,” which goes to show how beloved Kristofer Hivju’s portrayal of the charismatic Wildling Tormund Giantsbane has become since joining the show in 2013. Between his work on the HBO show and a memorable role in The Fate of the Furious , it’s estimated the Norwegian actor is worth close to $6 million.
Hivju grew up in Oslo, Norway and graduated from acting school in 2004. One of his first major roles came in 2011 when he was cast as a research scientist in the sci-fi horror prequel The Thing . Since being promoted to the main cast of Game of Thrones in 2014, Hivju has appeared on the hit Norwegian drama Lilyhammer and starred alongside Charlize Theron in The Fate of the Furious .
When she landed the role of the coldly calculating Cersei Lannister, Lena Headey was best known for her roles in Zak Snyder’s historical epic 300 and the short-lived TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles . But it’s safe to say it’s the conniving queen of Kings Landing that made the British actress a star worth a reported $9 million.
After being encouraged to audition for the show by her longtime friend Peter Dinklage, Headey landed a deal worth an estimated $300,000 an episode, and in 2014, she renegotiated her contracts for the final two seasons to make $500,000 an episode. She’s kept busy in her downtime from Game of Thrones with roles in films like The Purge and a voiceover part in the Netflix series Trollhunters .
Few characters on Game of Thrones inspired as much devotion as Hodor, the gentle giant who protects Bran Stark after fleeing Winterfell. And though he’s a man of few words (literally – the only word he knows is Hodor), Irish actor Kristian Nairn boasts he developed more than 70 ways to say the simple yet powerful phrase.
Nairn, who left the show in 2016, has continued acting in shows like The Rookie, but is now focused on his DJ career, which is worth a reported $500,000. The former Belfast resident DJ travels the world playing progressive house; in 2014 he paid homage to the show with a Rave of Thrones tour that sold out clubs across the country.
Natalie Dormer has a thing for tragic queens. The British actress first gained notice in 2007 as Anne Boleyn on The Tudors ; then came Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thrones , who tried (and failed) to navigate the machinations of Cersei Lannister. The upside of all that death? A thriving career worth an estimated $6 million.
During her four-year stint on the series, Dormer branched out with a role in The Hunger Games two-part Mockingjay finale and maintained a recurring role on the CBS drama Elementary . After leaving the show in 2016, Dormer returned to the stage in London in a production of Venus in Furs and was cast in the limited series Picnic at Hanging Rock .
When Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, Sean Bean was by far the biggest star on the show, which is why his death at the end of the first season was so shocking. But this isn’t his first rodeo . Besides, when you’ve got a reported $20 million in the bank, what’s there to be upset about?
Bean, who grew up in Yorkshire, spent his early career on British TV before making the jump to Hollywood with a role as an Irish terrorist out for revenge in 1992’s Patriot Games . He cemented his action-star status with roles in GoldenEye and Ronin before landing a breakout role as Boromir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He’s since added the doomed Ned Stark to his list of memorable deaths.
Some actors get lucky right out of the gate. Even before she joined Game of Thrones as Ygritte, Rose Leslie had won a BAFTA and appeared in the first series of Downton Abbey . Add in her newest role on the CBS All-Access series The Good Fight , and Leslie is now worth an estimated $4 million.
The Scottish actress appeared on Game of Thrones from 2012 to 2014 as Ygritte, a headstrong Wildling warrior who eventually falls in love with Jon Snow (and the actor who played him – Leslie and Harington married in 2018). After leaving the show, she landed roles in The Last Witch Hunter and the Idris Elba detective series Luther . She has also been on The Good Fight since 2017.
The most shocking thing about Conleth Hill? He’s not actually bald. The Northern Irish actor who plays Daenerys’ sage advisor, Varys, was required to shave his head during filming. It’s a small price to pay for playing Varys, the cunning court spymaster known as Master of Whisperers, a role that helped make Hill worth a reported $2 million.
Hill was already a well-known stage actor in Ireland who occasionally crossed over to television when he was recommended for the role of Varys by none other than George R. R. Martin himself. And working on Game of Thrones is a family affair; Hill’s younger brother is an Emmy-winning sound engineer on the series.
Though she wasn’t as well-known as co-stars Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, was among the most veteran actors in the original cast of Game of Thrones . The Northern Irish actress had over two decades worth of theater, TV and film credits behind her, all of which add up to a career worth a reported $3 million.
Fairley portrayed Catelyn, the fiercely protective matriarch of the Stark family, for the first three seasons of the show. Her last episode, The Rains of Castamere , is regarded as a high point (or low point, depending on your tolerance for violence) of the notoriously brutal series. Since then Fairley has appeared in recurring roles on TV shows such as Suits and 24: Live Another Day and starred in a London revival of Julius Caesar .
Like many of her co-stars, Sophie Turner had no idea what she was getting herself into when she joined the cast of Game of Thrones . The then-14-year-old Turner had appeared in local plays, but had never acted professionally before taking on the role of Sansa, the eldest of the Stark daughters. Now, thanks to the hit HBO show and other gigs, she’s worth an estimated $6 million.
Turner takes home just $175,000 per episode, but that doesn’t mean she’s being left high and dry. The newly minted Mrs. Jonas (yes, she married Joe) landed the role of Jean Grey in the newest iteration of the X-Men franchise and has worked with brands like Wella Hair and Karen Millen.
It’s almost hard to believe that Jason Momoa was only on Game of Thrones for ten episodes, considering how his charismatic, intimidating Dothraki leader Khal Drogo still looms large almost six seasons later. But for the Hawaiian-born actor and model, it was just a stepping stone to becoming a certified superhero superstar worth a reported $14 million.
Momoa had spent several seasons on the sci-fi show Stargate Atlantis before joining Game of Thrones , but the HBO show’s popularity catapulted him into a whole new level of fame. After leaving the show in 2013, Momoa wrote, directed and starred in the film Road to Paloma and landed a spot in the DC Universe as Aquaman; his standalone film in 2018 made over $1 billion worldwide.
Even in the sprawling world of George R. R. Martin’s books, Brienne of Tarth stands out; she’s described as being unusually tall and plain-looking, a woman built for fighting in a world that views such a thing as abhorrent. Gwendoline Christie knew she was the perfect actress for the part and has parlayed her success into a career reportedly worth $3 million.
Christie, who is six feet three inches tall and cites Tilda Swinton as one of her inspirations, made her debut as the loyal Brienne in the show’s second season and quickly became a fan favorite. Outside of the HBO show, the British actress has landed roles in other major franchises such as The Hunger Games and Star Wars , where she plays the villainous Captain Phasma.
Imagine auditioning for the biggest job of your career just three months after graduating from drama school. That’s what happened to John Bradley who had just received his B.A. from the Manchester School of Theatre when he went out for the role of Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones . Now eight seasons later, Bradley is recognized all over the world and worth a reported $4 million.
Bradley’s only role prior to joining Game of Thrones was the epic drama The Borgias , where he portrayed Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici for half a dozen episodes. His portrayal of Samwell, a shy bookworm who becomes one of Jon Snow’s closest friends, is a fan favorite. He’s also branched out into voice acting with a role in a World of Warcraft expansion and landed a recurring role on Shameless .
In 2006, British pop star Lily Allen wrote a song chiding her younger brother Alfie for being a carefree lay about. That sibling tough love must have worked because a few years later Alfie went from small parts in films like Atonement and The Other Boleyn Girl to the major role of Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones . And now he’s worth a reported $6 million.
It’s no surprise that Allen became an actor: his mother Alison was a film producer, while his father was a veteran TV and film actor. He originally auditioned for the role of Jon Snow but accepted the role of Theon, a ward of the Iron Islands taken in by Ned Stark, and appeared in all eight seasons of the show. In between seasons, he appeared in the first John Wick film and in the 2018 reboot of The Predator .
Aidan Gillen is no stranger to being on a beloved HBO show. From 2004 to 2008 he portrayed Baltimore mayor Thomas Carcetti on The Wire . But it’s his six seasons as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, a character so conniving and manipulative he gives Cersei a run for her money, that most fans associate with the Irish actor, who is worth a reported $8 million.
Gillen, who grew up in Dublin, was nominated for a BAFTA in 2000 for his role as Stuart Jones on the BBC series Queer as Folk . His long stage career includes a Tony nomination in 2004 for the Harold Pinter play The Caretaker and he’s narrated several audiobooks of Irish poetry and prose.
Jon Snow does know one thing – how to get paid. Harington graduated from the prestigious Central School of Speech and Drama in 2008 and spent several years performing on stage in London before landing the role of the conflicted, but loyal, Jon Snow in 2010. Now, thanks to Game Of Thrones and several fashion endorsements, Harington is estimated to be worth $12 million.
Like his other main cast colleagues, Harington has seen his per-episode rate skyrocket to $500,000. (Not bad for someone who had never been on television before!) His growing popularity on the show helped him land other high-profile gigs, too. He’s the voice of a charmingly shady Viking in the How To Train Your Dragon franchise and he’s been featured in ad campaigns for major brands like Jimmy Choo, Nissan and Dolce & Gabbana.
There are Tony nominees and Emmy winners galore in the talented cast of Game of Thrones , but only one has a Silver Bear Best Actor Award. (That’s the highest honor for acting at the Berlin International Film Festival!) Iain Glen, who plays Daenerys’ loyal confidant Ser Jorah Mormont, is worth an estimated $6 million.
The Scottish actor, who appears in all eight seasons of Game of Thrones , brought more than 20 years of stage and screen experience to his role as Ser Jorah, a disgraced former lord who helps Daenerys fight her way through Westeros. He’s also been nominated for several prestigious theatrical awards, appeared in several episodes of Downton Abbey and landed a recurring role in the Resident Evil franchise.
When Clarke signed up to play the fiery Daenerys Targaryen in 2010, the British actress was far from being a household name. She’d just graduated from the drama school at Central Saint Martins in London and her résumé consisted mainly of theater performances and random TV and movie roles. Now, she’s worth an estimated $13 million and one of the biggest stars in the world.
Over the course of the show, Clarke has upped her per-episode pay several times, and before the start of the seventh season, she signed a deal with HBO worth a cool $500,000 per episode. (No word on whether that includes CGI-dragon hazard pay). In addition to the millions she’s made from the show, Clarke has signed lucrative endorsement deals with major fashion brands Dior and Dolce & Gabbana and branched out with lead roles in Terminator Genisys and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Veteran Irish actor Liam Cunningham joined Game of Thrones in its second season as Davos Seaworth, a smuggler with a heart of gold. Over the course of eight seasons, he’s become a fan favorite character. (It’s a far cry from his early years working as an electrician). After two decades, the award-winning actor is estimated to be worth around $4 million.
It took a few years for Cunningham to pursue his dream of acting, but by the mid-1990s he’d began working steadily in films like A Little Princess and appeared on several British TV series. He followed up his award-winning performance in the 2008 film Hunger with high-profile films, such as War Horse and Clash of the Titans , and won a BAFTA in 2011 for his debut short film Pitch Black Heist .
As Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Scottish actor Rory McCann is one of Game of Thrones ‘ most cynical – and compelling – characters. After surviving a horrific climbing accident in the 1980s, McCann became famous in Scotland with a starring role in a breakfast ad campaign. Now he’s appeared in almost every season of Game of Thrones and is reported to be worth nearly $6 million.
McCann, who initially studied to be a painter, trained in a desert boot camp for Oliver Stone’s epic Alexander and showed off his comedic side in the buddy-cop satire Hot Fuzz and the BAFTA-winning sitcom The Book Group (which partly took inspiration from his well-publicized accident). Since joining the HBO show he’s also appeared in the drama Slow West and in the third film in the Xander Cage series.
Maybe you knew him as the cynical bit player in the 1995 cult indie hit Living in Oblivion , or from his breakout role as the railroad-obsessed Fin in The Station Agent . But the character that defines Peter Dinklage now is his Emmy-winning performance as Tyrion Lannister, which helped boost his estimated worth up to $15 million.
Dinklage had never read the books from which the show is based on, but jumped at the chance to play Tyrion, whose dry wit and scheming intelligence appealed to him. In fact, he was the first actor to sign onto the show, and for the last two seasons he pulled in $500,000 an episode. When he’s not scheming with a wine cup in his hand, Dinklage can be seen in big-screen blockbusters like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers: Infinity War.
Carice Van Houten
Carice van Houten starred in the most successful Dutch film ever, Paul Verhoeven’s World War II drama Black Book , but it took appearing on Game of Thrones to make her a household name. Her role as Melisandre, an enigmatic priestess who serves the mysterious Lord of Light, helped make the award-winning Dutch actress worth a reported $5 million.
Van Houten, who joined the show in 2012 and remained a main cast member until leaving the show in its final season, might also be familiar to American audiences from her role opposite Tom Cruise in Valkyrie . But while van Houten has been candid about her desire to work in Europe, she’s starred in U.S. productions Race and Incarnate , as well as done voiceover work for The Simpsons .
Isaac Hempstead Wright
Isaac Hempstead-Wright was just 11 years old and had only acted in a single commercial when he was cast on Game of Thrones as Bran Stark, whose injury at the hands of Jaime Lannister has repercussions that ripple down through the years. He’s one of the few main cast members to still be on the show, and it’s estimated Wright is worth around $4 million.
An integral part of the first four seasons of the show, Wright returned in Season 6 and is a major player in the shortened final season, where he reportedly makes $175,000 per episode. On his downtime from the show, he’s appeared in several films and lent his voice to an episode of the animated series Family Guy .
40 years after her heyday in the British spy series The Avengers and the classic 1969 Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service , actress Diana Rigg gained a new generation of fans with her role as the imperious and wily Lady Olenna Tyrell. It was a fitting third act for the critically-acclaimed actress, whose worth is estimated at $10 million.
Rigg received four Emmy nominations for her role as Olenna, whose sharp wit and barb-tongued bon mots earned her the nickname “The Queen of Thorns” and made her a highlight of the show’s Kings Landing storylines. After leaving the show in Season 7, she starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of My Fair Lady as Mrs. Higgins, which garnered her nominations from both the Tony and Drama Desk Awards.
Landing two-time Tony winner Jonathan Pryce as The High Sparrow was a major casting coup for Game of Thrones , and his portrayal of the cunning religious priest in Seasons 5 and 6 showcased the veteran actor’s versatile talents. It also didn’t hurt that it helped bump the British actor’s net worth up to an estimated $6 million.
Pryce’s career spans four decades across film, TV and theater. He landed his breakout role in 1985 as paranoid bureaucrat Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s paranoid classic Brazil , and has worked with other high-profile directors like Terrence Malick ( The New World ) and Martin Scorsese ( The Age of Innocence ). His Emmy-nominated TV work includes the ’80s-set Barbarians at the Gate and the historical epic Wolf Hall .
Leaving a hit TV show can sometimes be bittersweet, but Richard Madden, who portrayed Robb Stark in the first three seasons of Game of Thrones , doesn’t have too much to complain about. In 2019, he won a Golden Globe for his role as a war veteran in the BBC crime thriller Bodyguard and he’s now worth a reported $6 million.
For Madden, the role of Robb Stark was the most high-profile one of his career to date. Up until then he’d landed small roles in British TV series and the odd film or two. Since leaving in 2013 he’s appeared in several West End productions and starred alongside Dustin Hoffman in the historical series Medici: Masters of Florence .
Most actors would be crushed at the thought of leaving a show like Game of Thrones midway through its hugely successful run, but for Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, his three-season stint on the series as Daenerys’ loyal commander Daario Naharis was just another role in an impressively varied career worth an estimated $3 million.
Huisman got his start acting in the 1990s on a long-running Dutch soap opera and made the transition to American-language TV and film with roles on shows like Treme and Orphan Black and the films World War Z and The Age of Adaline . In 2018, he starred as writer Steven Crain in the hit Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House , based on Shirley Jackson’s 1959 novel of the same name.
As the tyrannical Tywin Lannister, Charles Dance struck fear into the hearts of his children Jaime, Cersei and Tyrion, as well as audiences around the world. It’s a fitting role for the veteran British actor who made his TV debut back in 1974 and is now worth an estimated $5 million.
Dance, who was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 2006, joined Game of Thrones in 2011 and remained a key figure in several storylines through Season 5. He’s since appeared in the high-profile 2016 Ghostbusters reboot and in the 2018 TV adaptation of John Le Carré’s spy novel The Little Drummer Girl .
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Oslo vs Stockholm: Which City to Visit?
The Scandinavian capitals of Stockholm and Oslo are both popular destinations among tourists worldwide. For those needing to choose between one or the other, the question of Oslo vs Stockholm can be a tricky one. Both cities have their own distinct identities and lots to offer, so how do you choose between the two?
In general, Oslo is a great option for nature enthusiasts looking for a compact city with easy access to some of Scandinavia’s most dramatic landscapes and nature reserves. On the other hand, Stockholm is great for history buffs looking for a cosmopolitan city break.
If you’re trying to pick Oslo or Stockholm to visit, then read on! In this guide, we’ll be breaking down the major differences between the cities to help you figure out which one you should be heading to on your next Scandi city break.
Table of Contents
While on the smaller side, Norway’s capital city, Oslo , has plenty to see and do. It’s home to some unique museums, gorgeous nature reserves, is incredibly safe, and is very compact and walkable to boot.
Oslo is home to two international airports (Gardermoen and Torp) which both have connections across Europe and beyond as well as within Norway . The larger of the two is the Gardermoen airport.
You can also reach Oslo from nearby cities within Norway (such as by the famed Bergen to Oslo train) and even by bus from cities like Gothenburg in Sweden.
Perhaps one of the best parts about visiting Oslo is how simple it is to get around the city. The Olso city centre can easily be traversed on foot, and the rest of the metropolitan area is quickly accessed via the comprehensive public transport network.
Public transit in Oslo consists of trams, buses, ferries, and a metro, with services operating late into the night. If you plan to use a lot of transport in the city, you should consider purchasing an Oslo Pass.
In fact, if you’re planning on sticking predominantly to central Oslo during your trip there, then hiring a car can be more of a hindrance than anything else.
Parking is expensive and isn’t always that easy to come by; besides, the city is so easily navigated via public transport that you’re unlikely to save much time by driving anywhere yourself.
Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, and, naturally, this is something that visitors to Oslo certainly notice!
All the basics, including groceries, eating out, accommodation, drinks, and so on, are considerably costlier in Oslo than they are in Stockholm.
Norway on the whole is more expensive than Sweden, so you can expect to pay more for the same goods even in rural parts of Norway than you likely would in Stockholm city.
The only real exception to this rule is that public transport prices in Oslo and Stockholm are more or less identical.
This is maybe worth keeping in mind if you plan on using public transport extensively on your holiday and are still weighing up whether to visit Stockholm or Oslo, but, by and large, given how much pricier Oslo is in every other respect, it’s unlikely to make much of a difference.
Both Oslo and Stockholm are home to a number of museums and attractions with free entry. Otherwise, most activities – be they museums, concerts, and so on – are a fair bit pricier in Oslo than they are in Stockholm.
Things to Do in Oslo
Oslo, as a relatively cosmopolitan, relaxed city, has plenty to offer visitors. While smaller than Stockholm, it boasts a wide range of museums, many of which are fairly unique.
For instance, the Munch museum is dedicated to, well, Munch, the Norsk Folkemuseum is a massive open-air exhibit of traditional ways of living and architecture across the centuries, Vigeland Park is a lovely outdoor sculpture park and there are a number of other museums in the Bygdøy district provide visitors a great opportunity to learn about Norway’s most successful seafarers and navigators.
It’s worth noting that the famed Viking Ship Museum is currently closed for renovations, so this isn’t something you should be looking forward to visiting if you’re planning a trip to Oslo in the near future.
No visit to Oslo is complete without taking in the Akershus Fortress – also referred to as the Aksrshus Festning in Norwegian. This is one of the top things to see in the city.
Oslo is also home to the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, which is held at Oslo City Hall annually. If you want to learn more Oslo, you can consider booking a walking tour or going on a bike tour.
Fans of metal music are sure to love Oslo, too, thanks to its thriving underground music scene and the impressive number of venues, festivals, and record shops dedicated to heavy music. It’s also known for its craft beer bars and is an ideal destination for enthusiasts of more exotic kinds of alcohol, provided that the prices aren’t too offputting.
Nature enthusiasts will love Oslo for its proximity to peaceful, relatively unspoilt nature; indeed, the city’s nature reserves, known as the Oslomarka, are largely accessible from the city centre via public transit.
A number of providers also operate cruises along the Oslofjord (Oslo Fjord) from the city, which are a great way to immerse yourself in the beauty and majesty of the Norwegian natural landscape.
Perhaps one of the most exciting times to visit Oslo is during Norwegian Independence Day, which falls on the 17th of May. Norwegians are, on the whole, deeply patriotic, and the 17th of May is one of the biggest days of the year in Norway.
Many Norwegians take to the streets wearing their regional traditional dress ( bunad ), which is truly a sight to behold (and far less common to see in the other Scandinavian countries, with the exception of the Faroe Islands).
So, if you’re especially interested in immersing yourself in different cultures during your travels, then visiting Oslo during the 17th of May is a fantastic way to do so. Note that it’s also a public holiday, so public transport typically runs a reduced service and not all shops will be open.
Where to Stay in Oslo
Hotell Bondeheimen – Located in the centre of Oslo, this 3-star hotel is perfect for those after a clean and comfortable place to stay in the Norwegian capital. They have a number of rooms to choose from along with plenty of other great amenities. Click here to check availability
Clarion Hotel Oslo – Luxury travellers will love this hip and modern hotel located in the centre of Oslo. Situated close to all Norway’s capital has to offer, they have a range of cool rooms to choose from along with a great location for exploring the city. Click here to check availability
Frogner House Apartments – These apartments are great for those who’d like to have their own flat while visiting Oslo. They have a number of fully-furnished flats to choose from along with an excellent location for seeing the highlights of the city. Click here to check availability
K7 Hotel Oslo – This hostel is perfect for those looking to stick to a budget while visiting Oslo. Centrally located, they offer both dorms and private rooms along with good common areas and self-catering facilities. Click here to check availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Oslo hotels!
The elegant Swedish capital of Stockholm is easily one of Europe’s most alluring cities. A must-visit for history and culture enthusiasts, Stockholm is sure to impress, no matter what you’re into!
Stockholm is home to Arlanda Airport, a large, international airport without countless connections within Sweden and abroad. The Swedish capital is also easily reached from other cities within the country and via ferry from cities such as Tallinn , Riga , Helsinki and more. You can view schedules here.
Central Stockholm, while larger than Oslo’s downtown area, is still reasonably compact and walkable. Public transport in Stockholm is also excellent; you can navigate the city via its bus, ferry, metro, train, and tram networks. There are also overnight services on Friday and Saturday nights in case you’re planning on going out on the town.
Just like in Oslo, hiring a car in Stockholm can end up being more trouble than it’s worth. Parking isn’t always that easy to come by in central Stockholm and can also be fairly expensive.
Given that the city is on the smaller side and how reliable and comprehensive its public transit is, you’re unlikely to really need a car unless you want to be able to go on day trips to the surrounding countryside.
When people consider visiting Oslo or Stockholm, the cost associated with travelling to Sweden and Norway often comes up. To put it simply, neither of these places are what you’d call affordable destinations.
Now, with that being said, on pretty much all counts, the prices in Stockholm tend to be somewhat cheaper than Oslo.
The price of an average meal out in Stockholm, for example, will usually set you back several euros less than what you would expect to pay in Oslo, which means you can fill up on delicious local seafood and other specialities for less than you would in the Norwegian capital.
By the same token, groceries are also more affordable, which is good to keep in mind if you’re planning on catering for part or all of your stay.
If you like going out or sampling the nightlife of the places you travel to, then you’ll be pleased to know that alcohol is also somewhat cheaper in Stockholm than it is in Oslo.
Consider, for instance, the fact that it’s fairly common for residents of the Norwegian cities on the Swedish border to drive to Sweden to buy groceries and alcohol. Sweden may still be one of the most expensive countries on earth, but it’s all relative!
Note that, just like in Norway, a major reason for the high cost of alcohol is the hefty government taxes levied on it. If you’d like to drink during your trip to Stockholm but are travelling on a budget, then purchasing your alcohol at the airport will be your best bet, as you can get it duty-free.
Things to Do in Stockholm
One of Stockholm’s most-visited and iconic attractions is the Vasa Museum . It makes for an incredibly unique experience; the entirety of the Vasa, an enormous 17th-century warship, has been salvaged, restored, and put on display in the museum. You can learn about the history of the ship, as well as the process of retrieving it from the water and restoring it after it sank on its maiden voyage.
Additionally, Stockholm is home to a number of other world-class museums; there’s the ABBA Museum , which needs no introduction, the open-air museum of Skansen, the photography gallery of Fotografiska , the Swedish History Museum, and a number of other, smaller galleries, too.
You’ll also want to check out Stockholm’s royal palaces; not only is Sweden’s Royal Palace in Stockholm, but the gorgeous Drottningholm, which is about an hour away from central Stockholm via the metro, is well worth a visit. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, too.
While Oslo is home to Norway’s royal palace, it doesn’t quite match the splendour and charm of Sweden’s castles.
Gamla Stan is also a must-see; Stockholm’s old town, which is located on its own island, boasts some incredibly distinct architecture and absolutely oozes fairytale charm. You can take this walking tour or this bike tour to learn more about this part of the city.
The brightly-coloured buildings of Gamla Stan help it feel cheerful and cosy, even on the dreariest of winter days. This is the perfect place to try some traditional Swedish baked goods, too; the cinnamon buns are to die for!
Cruises of the Stockholm Archipelago are a lovely way to get to see some of the Swedish landscape. The Stockholm Archipelago consists of some 30,000 islands, and a cruise is the perfect opportunity to take in some quintessentially Scandinavian vistas. A number of companies offering cruises operate right out of downtown Stockholm, which is very convenient, too.
If you want a truly unique insight into Swedish culture during your trip, then you may want to plan to visit Stockholm during Midsummer’s Eve.
Swedish Midsommar is one of the absolute festive highlights of the year; an ancient pagan festival, many of the traditions practised during Midsommar, including dancing and burning bonfires, have remained unchanged for centuries.
To really take your Midsommar experience to the next level, you can also make the most of the opportunity to try some very Swedish delicacies. Potatoes are typically eaten around this time of year, as are fresh strawberries, Aquavit, and pickled herring (which is certainly not to everyone’s taste!).
Note that Midsummer’s Day is a public holiday in Sweden, so if you are visiting during this period, expect for public transit to be disrupted to an extent, and for other services to be operating at a limited capacity.
Where to Stay in Stockholm
Scandic No 53 – A good mid-range option in the centre of Stockholm, this hotel is a great place to rest your head in the Swedish capital. They have a number of great rooms on offer along with plenty of amenities and an on-site bar. Click here to see their availability
Downtown Camper by Scandic – This 4-star hotel is perfect for those looking for a bit of luxury while visiting Stockholm. They have a number of lovely and elegant rooms to choose from along with a perfect location for exploring the capital. Click here to see their availability
Gamla Stan Apartments – These apartments are an excellent choice for those who’d rather have a self-catering option in Stockholm. They have a number of fully-furnished flats to choose from along with an excellent location in the city. Click here to see their availability
Castanea Old Town Hostel – This hostel is an excellent choice for those looking to cut back on accommodation costs when visiting Stockholm. They have both dorms and private rooms available along with excellent self-catering facilities and common areas. Click here to see their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Stockholm hotels!
Oslo or Stockholm: Which is Better to Visit
Nature enthusiasts will probably want to head to Oslo rather than Stockholm. While Tyresta National Park, the largest nature reserve in the south of Sweden is just 20 kilometres south of Stockholm, Oslo’s nature reserves (Oslomarka) can be accessed directly from the city via public transport.
And, travellers who would be keen on seeing the most dramatic natural landscapes that the Scandinavian Peninsula has to offer should probably head to Oslo, too; from there, travelling to Norway’s incredible fjords, mountains, and glaciers is relatively straightforward. Typical Swedish landscapes, while beautiful in their own right, are, on the whole, much flatter and less varied.
If you’re a fan of history or older styles of architecture, you’ll probably want to pick Stockholm over Oslo. The historic district of Gamla Stan truly has to be seen to be believed, and Oslo’s old town, Gamelbyen, while certainly charming and worth seeing in its own right, lacks the same sense of grandeur, with most of its buildings being comparatively much newer, too.
It’s also worth remembering that Stockholm is the larger and more cosmopolitan of the two cities. There’s a greater diversity of restaurants, bars, museums, and attractions than there is in Oslo. As such, travellers looking for a traditional city break-type holiday will likely find that there’s simply more for them to sink their teeth into in Stockholm.
Finally, while we wouldn’t call Stockholm the most budget-friendly destination, it’s certainly the better choice if you’re hoping to keep costs as low as possible during your trip. It’s more affordable than Oslo in just about every area, so that should be a pretty major part of the Stockholm vs Oslo debate settled.
We hope that you find this guide helpful when planning your trip to Oslo or Stockholm. While the two cities have their own unique strengths, you really can’t go wrong with visiting either; they’re both fantastic destinations with plenty to offer.
Are you choosing between Oslo and Stockholm? Have any questions about either city? Let us know in the comments!
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About Emily Marty
Emily is a writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, she is currently based in the UK. She enjoys exploring Northern & Western Europe and Southeast Asia and has a bit of a thing for islands in particular.
It’s cool to visit both cities but if I had to choose only one, I would choose Stockholm.
I could spend a few days in Stockholm easily. As for Oslo I was “done” in less than 5 hours and that felt like too long. Fortunately, I was only there on a day trip from Gothenburg, Sweden.
Stockholm is a beautiful city with lovely architecture whereas Oslo felt drab to me. The only place I thought was nice in Oslo was the Royal Palace and surrounding royal gardens. A major turn off in Oslo was how incredibly expensive it was: 50% more than Sweden on average for anything.
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Oslo Vs. Stockholm: 9 Key Differences To Know Before You Visit
If I had to choose between the two Scandinavian cities of Oslo in Norway and Stockholm in Sweden to visit — or even better, to live in — I would be hard-pushed.
To be fair, I used to have a Swedish stepmother for a few years and spent many summers and winters near Stockholm, going to the city also, whereas I have “only” visited Oslo. So, I would probably choose to live in Oslo for a while.
On paper, the cities differ little: They are practically next to each other on the map — if 320 miles apart — but both are great cities with stunning scenery and plenty of nature and inner city delights. The two capitals are modern yet historic, have deep-rooted cultures and traditions, and both lie in northern Europe. They are affected by the midnight sun, making for great fun in summer — but some gloom in winter.
Read on for some good-to-know differences between the cities, but just as many, or more, similarities.
Oslo lies in a fjord.
Oslo lies at the end of the Oslo Fjord, which leads into the Atlantic Ocean, to the south of Norway. Located on the same latitude as Alaska, Oslo is the 3 rd northernmost European capital.
Stockholm Lies In An Archipelago
Stockholm is an equally watery location , spread across 14 islands on the north-western edge of the Baltic Sea, coming in as the 5th northernmost European capital, with Tallinn just pushing between them.
2. Size And Getting Around
Oslo is easier to maneuver.
Oslo and Stockholm are relatively small for capital cities, with Oslo having a population of just above one million. While Oslo’s city center is easily explored on foot, there are various outlying attractions, such as the Viking Museum and the Vigeland Park (see below), which are better reached by public transport, or Hop-on, Hop-off Bus .
Oslo’s International Airport is a marvel of modern technology, with pretty much everything set up so that you can check yourself through, and getting there is convenient and easy with the airport train . Don’t be tempted to take a taxi, it takes ages and costs a small fortune.
Stockholm Is Spread Across 14 Islands
Stockholm is a little larger than Oslo, with 1.5 million inhabitants. I have always found it quite confusing to maneuver, with its many islands connected by some 50+ bridges, making it quite easy to lose your bearings. But Stockholm has an attraction all on its own that helps with this: the Stockholm metro, or Tunnelbana . The metro stations are stunning pieces of art, so taking the easy-to-use metro also doubles as an art gallery visit.
Getting to and from Stockholm’s International Airport is a similar affair, with taxis much more expensive than the airport shuttle train . With the numerous islands making access to the train maybe slightly more complicated than in Oslo, there are also shuttle buses that stop in various places across the city.
3. Language And People
More similarities than differences.
Both Swedish and Norwegian are languages derived from the Old Norse language and are very similar to each other — so much so, that if you learn some key phrases and words in one language, chances are they will be understood in the other language as well.
While Norway and Sweden only separated in 1905, and the origin of the people is inherently Viking, the Swedes show more influence from the Germanic sides, while the Norwegians are probably the most Viking-related people of all Scandinavians. That said, like in all major cities, there is a great cosmopolitan mix of people from all around the world, adding to the pot and the overall atmosphere.
4. The Weather
As you can imagine from lying on the same latitude as Alaska, the South of France this is not. That said, with both Oslo and Stockholm lying to the south of their respective countries, you can expect a much more continental climate than in the north of Norway and Sweden.
Oslo Is More Of A Summer City
Summer is a very special affair in both countries, not only because it has a lovely average temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and more — making it comfortable but not sweltering — but mostly because it is still light at midnight. People tend to be out at all hours in summer, enjoying the watery surroundings, with Oslo having gorgeous little bathing huts along the fjord.
Stockholm Is Good In All Seasons
In summer, Stockholm’s archipelago of some 3,000 small islands becomes the main attraction for visitors and locals. There are festivals and celebrations, enjoying the light, which in winter, is somewhat lacking. That said, I have always loved Stockholm in winter: With the Baltic full of ice floats, and the islands covered in snow, it offers a special kind of magic. But on the whole, if you have the choice, visiting in summer and the months on either side of it is probably the best time for both cities.
5. Attractions To See
Oslo is more modern.
Despite its ancient history, central Oslo’s main draws are essentially its modern architecture, such as the Opera House — which positively encourages you to climb onto its slanted roof, the modern Munch Museum — and the so-called BarCode quarter. The centrally located palace and old town are small, and not quite comparable to other European cities. Instead, the young and hopping Akerhus waterfront location offers quays from where to catch ferries along the fjord , and across to the historic, must-see Viking Museum, plus plenty of restaurants and great shopping. And you can even jump into the fjord from the end of the pier.
Stockholm Is More Colorful
Stockholm’s Gamla Stan is an absolute must-see, with its lovely old, colorful houses and crooked streets. There is the Vasa Museum, with its great ship — even if not as impressive as Oslo’s Viking ship — and various Royal Palaces. Don’t miss a boat trip around the countless islands that make up Stockholm proper and those of the archipelago just off the coast.
6. Eating Out
Oslo is pricier.
One thing to note straight away is that eating and drinking out is pricey in both Sweden and Norway, but more so in Norway. The Matstreif Food Festival takes place In Oslo in late summer, celebrating all artisan Norwegian produce and taking over the Townhall Square and numerous side streets with huts selling typical and local dishes.
Stockholm Is Slightly More Affordable
There are plenty of typical dishes in either country, but basically, it’s fresh seafood you should be looking for, with maybe a bit of moose or reindeer thrown in the mix. If you are in Stockholm in late summer, don’t miss the annual crayfish party when the entire country goes crazy over freshly harvested shellfish.
7. Unique Things To Do
Oslo is looking into the future.
One of the most unusual and quite wonderful things to see just outside of Oslo is the forest of the Library of the Future. These trees are growing to be made into books in roughly 100 years’ time. Well-known authors have written manuscripts but they will not be published until the library opens in 2114. The manuscripts will be printed on paper from the trees now growing there.
Stockholm Is High-Tech
Also rather futuristic is Stockholm’s unique light installation. Color by Numbers is a tower that is decorated with various colored lights, so nothing new there. But with this one, anyone who has downloaded the app can change the lights to suit their liking. Quite fun on a night out.
8. Day Trips
Oslo’s olympic attraction.
Both Oslo and Stockholm are surrounded by beautiful countryside studded with forests, lakes, and small towns. From Oslo, a main day trip destination is Lillehammer, the site of the 1994 Winter Olympics by the lovely Lake Mjosa, Norway’s largest lake. There is also Gamle Fredrikstad, an old town protected by five forts. Both places are easily reached by train from Oslo.
Stockholm’s Ancient University Town
Stockholm’s main draw is its archipelago, which you can explore by commuter ferry, tourist boat, or longer cruises. Then there is lovely Uppsala, a 30-minute train ride north of Stockholm. Uppsala is an old university town and its Gamla Uppsala, or old town, dates to the 3 rd century. Another must-see is Drottningholm Castle, especially beautiful when covered in snow, but the gardens are lovely in summer too. It’s just a few stops on the Tunnelbana from the center, so barely a day trip.
Final Thought: Do Two In One
Oslo or Stockholm? Have you come to a decision? There are so many similarities and yet so many differences. Personally, I would suggest visiting Stockholm in winter, seeing places such as Drottningholm Castle in the snow and the frozen Baltic Sea, and then enjoying the outdoor life in Oslo in summer by eating out on the terraces and taking a boat up and down the fjord, with swimming optional (it does not matter how hot it gets, the water is so cold!) But coming from afar, two trips are usually not an option. So, why not combine the two?
There are two great options: You can take the high-speed train between the two cities, it takes around 7.5 hours, and the views along the way are wonderful. Or, you could take a ferry from Sandefjord , on the inlet of the Oslo Fjord on the North Sea coast to Stromstad in Sweden, alas on the opposite coast to Stockholm, and then hire a car and embark on a bit of a road trip through the lakes and forests of central Sweden past Orebro to Stockholm. This is lovely road trip country and very scenic. Win-win.
- Peek Inside Sweden’s Incredible Icehotel
- 24 Amazing Things To Do In Stunning Stockholm, Sweden
- 14 Incredible Experiences In Beautiful Oslo, Norway
A travel writer and guidebook author for the last 20 years, Ulrike's work has been seen in National Geographic , BBC , The Independent , Australian Women's Weekly , The Telegraph , The Australian , Fodor's , France Today , CNN Travel , Lonely Planet , Travel + Leisure , CNTraveler , numerous inflight magazines, and many others.
She has written three books for Moon Travel Guides: 'Living Abroad in Australia' (3rd edition), 'Sydney & the Great Barrier Reef', and the shorter version 'Spotlight Sydney' and are all available in print and as e-books.
Having lived in seven countries (Germany, UK, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Australia, and France) to date and traveled to more than 100, she specializes in writing about travel, art and architecture, expat living, and life and style.
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Oslo Vs. Stockholm: Which Nordic Capital Is Best To Visit?
Having a hard time deciding whether to travel to Oslo or Stockholm? Then you’re definitely in the right place because this detailed comparison will help you decide which Nordic city is better for you!
Both Stockholm and Oslo are some of the greenest cities in Europe, so you can feel good about visiting either one. Residents of both cities are known to be some of the healthiest and most active in Europe, and those aren’t the only similarities between these cities. Keep reading to learn more about Oslo and Stockholm, and see which Nordic capital is ultimately the better fit for you!
Answer: It Depends
Whether you should visit Oslo or Stockholm depends on what you want to do on your trip. Stockholm is the better option for travelers who want to stay in a metropolis full of content. There are more things to do and see in the Swedish capital, particularly for travelers who prefer exploring the urban to the actual jungle.
Oslo, on the other hand, is more suitable for travelers who enjoy exploring outside the city’s borders. The Norwegian capital is surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful nature and it offers more things to do to travelers who want to get out of the city and explore its surroundings.
If you want to explore hiking trails and climb mountains in addition to exploring metropolitan attractions, Oslo is the better city for you.
If that still doesn’t narrow it down enough for you, look for answers in the rest of this detailed comparison of Oslo and Stockholm!
Oslo Vs. Stockholm: The Basics
Oslo and Stockholm are quite similar in a way. Both cities feature a similar climate, an excellent network of public transportation, a variety of entertainment venues, and a plethora of interesting sights in and around them. That’s exactly why many people have trouble deciding between the two, especially those who have never visited the Nordics before.
Regardless of which capital you end up visiting, you should expect clean surroundings, a chilly climate, and breathtaking views. Also, English is widely spoken in both these capitals and you shouldn’t have any issues getting around even if you can’t breathe a word of Norwegian/Swedish.
Also, getting around the city is pretty easy whether you’re in Oslo or Stockholm. Both boast a great network of public transportation, so you can quickly travel between different parts of the city. There are countless train and bus lines, as well as ferry routes that will quickly take you to different areas of the cities.
On top of that, both capitals are easily walkable and most of their attractions can be explored on foot.
Oslo Vs. Stockholm: Things To Do
When it comes to top sights and cultural attractions, Stockholm is considered the better option for travelers who want to stay within the metropolitan area. The city just has more landmarks and museums to offer, so it’s definitely the more suitable option for travelers who want a city full of content.
Oslo is bigger than Stockholm by area size, but it’s important to note that a good chunk of Oslo is greenery and waterways. Stockholm has a larger population and more people usually means more ways to stay entertained.
One thing to note is that both these cities offer plenty of opportunities for day trips and exploration outside their urban area. Stockholm is famous for its many islands, and boat tours of the Stockholm archipelago are an excellent way of getting to know the city.
Oslo, on the other hand, is known for stunning nature just outside the city borders. It’s no secret that Norwegians are very healthy – well, they manage to stay so healthy because they enjoy exploring the wilderness outside their cities whether on a bike or on foot.
Oslo Vs. Stockholm: Cost
If cost plays a big part in your decision, Stockholm is the better city for you. It’s significantly cheaper than Oslo, although it’s worth noting that both these cities are pretty expensive when compared to the capitals of Western Europe.
Accommodation, transportation, and food are all more expensive in Oslo. You’ll also pay more for museum tickets, but the upside is that there’s just so much wilderness outside the city that you can discover for free.
The fjords, the panoramic city views, and the stunning untouched nature of Norway can all be discovered on a pretty tight budget. But you’ll need a small fortune to enjoy a fine dining experience in the Norwegian capital, so there’s that.
Stockholm is more affordable than Oslo but it’s by no means a cheap city. It’s still one of the most expensive cities in Europe, so you will still need a rather generous budget if you want to live large in Stockholm. Then again, it’s a bit easier to stick to a tighter budget in the capital city of Sweden , plus there’s also a wide variety of things you can do for free here.
Top Sights In Oslo
Want to know what the best things to do in Oslo are? The following are just some of the most famous attractions in the Norwegian capital.
Edward Munch remains one of the most famous artists Norway has ever produced. Scream is his signature masterpiece, but unfortunately, it’s not on display at this museum – you’ll need to visit the National Museum in Oslo instead.
At the Munch Museum, you get to see a plethora of other works from this famous artist. The museum’s collection includes more than 28,000 works of art from Edward Munch, as well as the artist’s effects, tools, and a private library.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that even the museum building is a modern work of art. It’s situated across from the Oslo Opera House, and it boasts modern architecture with a classic Scandinavian twist.
Frogner Park And Vigeland Park
Vigeland Park and Museum are situated a bit outside the Oslo city center, but they’re easily accessible by public transport. Vigeland Park is a sculpture park featuring Gustav Vigeland’s famous sculptures and temporary art exhibits. It’s situated within Frogner Park, which boasts a variety of other interesting attractions for tourists.
In addition to Oslo’s famous sculptures, Frogner Park is also home to the Oslo City Museum. The museum exhibit focuses on the development of Oslo , and it’s great for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of the Norwegian capital city.
The Vigeland Museum is located just outside Frogner Park in an industrial setting. It boasts a large collection of Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures, drawings, and woodcuts, and it’s an absolute must for all art lovers in Oslo.
Akershus is a waterside fortress that dates back to the 13th century. It was initially built as a royal residence in the city, but the castle has had many functions over the centuries. It was used as a military base, a prison, and today it functions as the temporary office of the Norwegian Prime Minister.
There are two military museums inside the Akershus Castle and they’re definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in military history. One museum boasts an exhibit on the Norweigan resistance in World War II, while the other one is the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to pay an entrance fee only if you want to visit the museums. Touring the fortress grounds is entirely free, making this a great attraction for all travelers on a tighter budget!
Oslo Opera House
The waterfront Oslo Opera House is an iconic city landmark worth visiting. The landmark building is best known for its modern architecture with geometric shapes and a slanted roof that goes all the way down to the ground. This means that you can (and you should!) easily walk on top of the roof of the building to see a fabulous sunset over the fjord.
It’s worth it to go inside the entertainment venue and see the interior architecture as well. There’s a cafe at the opera house where you can grab some coffee if you like – you’ll fit in along with all the other tourists!
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is situated in Bygdøy, a small peninsula just outside the Oslo City Center. Best known for beautiful beaches, leafy hiking trails, and great museums, the peninsula is just one of many reasons why many travelers prefer the scenery of Oslo to that of Stockholm.
The open-air museum is incredible and a must if you’re visiting Oslo. It boasts a large collection of medieval buildings with indoor exhibits on the culture and lifestyle of the people of Oslo throughout the years. You can see how the traditions and culture changed throughout the years along with urban development, but the Gol Stave Church is definitely the most iconic building at the museum.
It’s worth noting that you could easily spend 4-5 hours here if you wanted to see and read absolutely everything. We’d recommend taking an entire day to explore the peninsula with all its mesmerizing viewpoints and museums. In addition to the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, the Viking Ship Museum and the Fram Museum are also situated in Bygdøy.
Viking Ship Museum
Norway has a long and fascinating history of Vikings that is an essential part of the country’s national identity. Learning about Vikings is key if you really want to get to know Norway and the Norwegians, so do not miss out on this absolute gem in Bygdøy.
The museum displays three Viking ships from the 9th century and they’re a fascinating sight. Visitors can also see various artifacts recovered from burial chambers, as well as short films that tell the history of the museum exhibit.
Rådhuset is the Oslo City Hall and it’s one of the most popular landmarks in this coastal city. It is best known for hosting the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony, but you don’t have to be a Nobel winner to go inside the building.
Guided tours of the Oslo City Hall are available, but honestly, they’re not a must. Sure, if you’ve got plenty of time in the city definitely check out the interior of the building, but if you’re in Oslo for just a few days, there are better ways to spend your time.
The towers and the iconic red brick exterior are the most famous things about Rådhuset anyway, and you can appreciate both without seeing the inside of the building.
Top Sights In Stockholm
Stockholm isn’t short on tourist attractions either, and you can see all its best-known landmarks and museums right here!
Vasa is a Swedish warship that sank in the early 17th century. It was salvaged and it’s currently on display at the Vasa Museum, which happens to be one of the most popular things to see in Stockholm.
The Vasa ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and it wasn’t recovered until 1961. The museum exhibits tell the story of how the ship was found and salvaged, plus all visitors are allowed to get very close to the ship to examine all the little details.
This is definitely one of the top tourist attractions in Stockholm, but it’s worth noting that the museum shouldn’t be extremely crowded. It’s possible to purchase tickets at the entrance and the lines are usually not very long.
ABBA The Museum
The ABBA Museum is one of Stockholm’s most famous museums and the best museum for anyone who is even remotely into pop culture. The band reshaped pop music as we know it today and this interactive exhibit pays homage to their influence.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t a museum in the exact sense of that word because it does not conduct research, it doesn’t have any collections, and it is for profit. It’s more of an interactive exhibit of various items from the lives of the band members, such as the self-playing piano that’s hooked up to Benny’s actual piano. If Benny happens to be playing the piano while you’re at the museum, you’ll see it (and hear it) in person!
Visitors can also see various ABBA costumes, a replica of their recording studio, and some of their instruments. It’s also possible to virtually try on all the different ABBA outfits, so there are plenty of fun and interesting things to see and do at this museum.
Stockholm Archipelago Boat Tour
The city of Stockholm is built on 14 islands, but there are more than 30,000 islands, rocks, and skerries in the Stockholm archipelago. Thanks to excellent interconnectivity with bridges, Stockholm is a walkable city and you can explore most of its attractions on foot.
However, a boat tour of the archipelago is definitely one of the best ways to experience this beautiful city. You’ll get to see parts of Stockholm that you simply can’t reach on foot, plus you’ll experience a beautiful panorama of this great city from the water.
Boat tours usually take around three hours, and they’re available year-round. They are extremely popular in the summer months, so if you happen to visit Stockholm during peak season, make sure to book tickets in advance.
Skansen is a vast open-air museum dedicated to Swedish history. The exhibits at this museum include historic buildings, people in costumes, and even a zoo with Nordic animals. It’s the oldest open-air museum in all of Sweden and it’s definitely a must-see attraction if you’re visiting the Swedish capital.
The museum spans an area of 75 acres, so you can imagine it will take a while to explore all of its best exhibits. Some of the highlights of the Skansen museum include a full replica of the average Swedish town in the 19th century, farmsteads with rare farm animals, and a zoo with native Scandinavian animals.
It’s worth noting that houses were brought from all over the country to this museum, so you’re truly getting to experience life in Sweden through the ages and not just in Stockholm.
Stockholm Royal Palace
The Stockholm Royal Palace is the official residence of the Royal family in Sweden. The Baroque palace is partially open for tours so it is possible to go inside and get a glimpse of how the royals lived. It’s situated in the Stockholm old town and it’s easily accessible from the city center.
The palace is also home to three museums, so plan to spend a few hours here, if you really want to see the entire place. Guided tours of the palace rooms are available for visitors, and they’re a great option if you want to learn more about the history of the building, but also about the functions of different rooms and anecdotal events.
Don’t miss out on the Logården either – the palace park is small, but it’s beautifully landscaped and worth checking out.
Gamla Stan is a compact island in Stockholm that houses the city’s old town. With 17th-century buildings, a plethora of museums, spectacular views, and a variety of landmark buildings, this is easily the part of the city that tourists will be drawn to the most.
Landmark churches, countless museums, and the best Stockholm hotels are all situated in this part of the city. This is where you’ll find the Royal Palace, the Riddarholmen Church, Storkyrkan, the Parliament House, the Nobel Prize Museum, the Stockholm Medieval Museum, and many other attractions.
Gamla Stan is the best place for visitors who want to stay somewhere central in Stockholm, but it’s worth noting that this is also where the priciest accommodation in the city is. Nonetheless, if you want to be within walking distance of all the most iconic historical attractions in the city, this is the place to be.
Kungsträdgården is a vast public park in Stockholm and a very popular hangout place among the locals. In the summer, the park usually hosts open-air concerts and exhibits, but during the winter it’s dominated by a large ice-skating rink that attracts residents of all ages.
Stockholm’s large public park is a popular meeting place in the city, so definitely go there if you want to do some people watching. The park is also home to quite a few cafes, restaurants, and art galleries, so there are plenty of other things to do here, in case you’ve got no interest in observing the locals go about their days.
Although Kungsträdgården is popular year-round, it’s best experienced in the spring when its many cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.
About the Author Roger Timbrook
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!
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Oslo vs Stockholm: The Ultimate Travel Comparison
Can’t decide between traveling to Oslo or Stockholm for your next trip? We’ve got you covered!
The capitals of Norway and Sweden, have been appealing destinations for decades. These two Scandinavian countries may seem similar, but there are lots of differences that make each unique and special for a European vacation.
Stockholm offers the most comprehensive experiences in metropolitan culture, food, sights and activity, while Oslo can be a good choice for travelers looking for outdoorsy activities and venturing further out from the city. Both cities have impeccable weather, clean environments, tons of attractions, and accommodations to fit any budget.
That’s the way-too-short answer, so we’ve put together a full, in-depth comparison to to help you determine which city best fits into your travel plans.
Oslo was first founded in 1040 during the Viking Age and originally called Anslo. This trade port and capital city changed names and hands over centuries, but the most recent update was made in 1948 when Oslo merged with the city of Aker to create the giant municipality we know today.
Stockholm is the most populous city in all of Scandinavia. It was established in 1252, but people have resided in this archipelago since the Stone Age. The city is comprised of a chain of fourteen islands along the Baltic Sea.
Oslo residents are some of Norway’s healthiest people. And that’s a pretty big accomplishment considering that most of Norway’s residents live very healthy lifestyles. Walking, biking and hiking are all very common activities in Norway with an emphasis on outdoor activities to get your blood pumping. Oslo is compact and easily maneuverable, and is also one of the greenest cities in Europe, featuring forests and coastal shores.
If you’re looking to blend in with the natives, expect to walk most places, along with taking part in cardio activities like skiing, snowshoeing, swimming and hiking in the surrounding natural habitat of the city. Dark colored clothing, no matter the season, is always fashionable here.
Since Oslo is a coastal city, a lot of the food you’ll eat on your trip will involve fresh seafood and local sustainable produce, breads and cheeses. Coffee is also a big staple here, with lots of coffee shops and cafes available for your daily (or twice daily) caffeine fix. Popular meals in Oslo include beef hot dogs, lamb and cabbage stew, and large meatballs.
Stockholm is deemed Europe’s Capital of Culture and is home to many international demographics from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Stockholm is also one of the greenest cities in the world, taking home the “European Green Capital Award” before any other European city. Residents take all matters of earth preservation and pollution prevention seriously.
This is extremely apparent in the heart of the city, known as the Royal National City Park . This area is comprised of town houses, four palaces, many museums and entertainment venues, and home to Stockholm University. Stockholm is also a dedicated bike city, where nearly 70,000 residents hit the streets in designated bike lanes commuting back and forth to work.
Swedish cuisine has changed over the years, and Stockholm sees new international restaurants open up regularly. But nothing beats comforting Swedish meatballs in cream sauce with potato puree and lingonberry jam on a cold day. Another great traditional meal is pyttipanna, minced meat, onion and potato topped with a fried egg.
Things to Do
Oslo has so many things you can do to occupy your time that we can’t list them all. But some of the most notable and best ways to experience Oslo is to go on a tour of the city or take a fjord cruise. These yacht charters and guided boat tours often last for 1.5 – 3 hours and include food and beverage as part of the trip.
Another great option all year round is Oslo’s SNO – an indoor winter sports facility. The arena is equipped with downhill ski slopes, a ski park with jumps and stunts, cross-country track and ice climbing wall. For those not interested in skiing, there are restaurants, shops and a gym available, too.
The Oslo Pass is a cool perk offered to guests visiting the city. The small fee for the pass is worth the great benefits you’ll get for having it while traveling in Oslo. You’ll get deals on tours, restaurants and sightseeing, plus you can get free admission to most museums, attractions, and transportation.
Stockholm has 57 bridges connecting all of it’s waterways. Because the city is so focused on the water, we highly recommend touring it on an archipelago cruise. These tours will open your eyes to the world of Stockholm while traveling seaside and can last anywhere from one to two hours.
Children will especially have fun in Stockholm, with it’s many different adventuring and entertainment establishments meant specifically for kids. Lots of these attractions, city parks like Humlegarden and museums like the National History Museum , have many educational opportunities under the disguise of fun playgrounds and interactive stations.
The coastal city takes pride in it’s clean and pure water and most free activities will involve dipping your toes in the cool waterways. Hellasgarden is great for swimming and fishing, but you can also jump in the water right in the middle of town. Kayaking tours and exploration is also encouraged along Stockholm archipelago.
Oslo is home to the royal family of Norway who reside in the Royal Palace at one end of Karl Johans gate . The Palace is open to visitors in the summer where you can see parts of the castle and the “Where Queens Meet” exhibit. Oscarshall Summer Palace outside Oslo city center is also available to tour in the summer. The Palace Park which surrounds the castle is always open to guests.
Akershus Fortress is the historic home of Norway’s royalty, now serving as the office of the Prime Minister. This historic fortress dates back to the late 1200s and currently allows tourists to visit it’s storied halls during the summer. The museum teaches guests about Norway’s military and religious history with Akershus as the base.
Holmenkollen is the destination for avid skiers and those seeking to learn more about Norway’s 4000 year history of snow sports. The ski jump on property is one of the most famous in the world and is home to the Winter Cup Biathlon. Holmenkollen’s tower also allows visitors to get a unique view of Oslo’s city skyline.
Stockholm ‘s royal family presides in the Royal Palace in Drottningholm , which is Europe’s largest castle with a total of 600 rooms. The tours are extravagant, allowing visitors to see five museums in total, including the Treasury, the Armory and the Royal Stable.
Stockholm’s City Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings in Sweden, featuring three distinct golden crowns atop three spires. The location is significant, known as the site for the annual Nobel Prize ball and banquet. It’s open for tours while also operating as an office for local politicians and government officials.
The Stockholm Pass is similar to Oslo’s city pass, allowing you free admission to most museum and attractions throughout the city. Included is the new The Viking World exhibit inside the Swedish History Museum, which showcases the largest historical collection of Viking relics and artifacts.
Museums and Cultural Exhibits
Oslo has almost the most museums of any European city, so it’s difficult to focus on just one. But perhaps the best to visit in a short trip are the Munch Museum and Museum of Oslo . Munch Museum is a celebration of art with a focus on Edvard Munch, creator of the famous Scream painting. The Museum of Oslo contains a 1,000 year history of Oslo in 10 different settings.
Vigeland Sculpture Park is the world’s largest sculpture collection. Each of the sculptures are naked human forms with varying expressions to promote deep thought and inner reflection. Vigeland Museum is an extension of the sculpture park, showcasing Gustav Vigeland’s own sculptures, artworks and working process.
The Viking Ship Museum is one of Oslo’s most famous museums which houses ancient Viking artifacts and original in-tact ships. These displays are comprised of relics from the Oslo fjord and surrounding Norwegian coastline. A great perk for purchasing a ticket to the Viking Ship Museum is that you can also get free admission to the Historical Museum in the same day.
Stockholm has nearly 100 museums, ranking it at the top for most museums in one city. Skansen , the first open-air museum, is considered a must-see. It’s located in the Royal Djurgarden and is the celebration spot of Sweden’s biggest festivals. There’s also a zoo inside the property, making this a great family attraction.
Vasa Museum is by far the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia, featuring the Vasa ship as it’s prized attraction. The Vasa is the world’s only preserved 17th-century ship and is in impeccable condition for it’s age. In addition to the ship in all it’s restored glory, the museum has many other artifacts from that time period and a restaurant for guests.
ABBA Museum is beloved by many fans and contains every possible item of memorabilia from the 1970’s pop band. Everything from costumes and instruments to concert tickets and magazine stories is on display here. You can even record your own performance, virtually try on stage costumes and mix your own music in a fun environment.
Events and Festivals
Oslo is home to the Nobel Peace Prize which awards one deserving individual annually on December 10. The Nobel Peace Center is the location for this annual award, while the Grand Hotel Oslo is the party venue and selected accommodation for all in attendance.
Consitution Day is Norway’s annual independence day celebration and the capital city of Oslo hosts some of the biggest events. It takes place on May 17 each year and is celebrated with an enormous parade and concert.
Christmas or “Jul” is a huge festive season in Norway with an annual Christmas market held in Oslo’s city square. Restaurants will celebrate with special meals and drinks. Easter is also widely celebrated for more than a week in Norway. Children will exchange eggs and candy and adults will plan long vacations during this time.
Stockholm celebrates Midsummer’s Eve (National Day) in late June in every park and garden across Sweden. Families gather from lunchtime till midnight to sing, dance and raise maypoles in the air to recognize the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year. Flower crowns are worn by many and the festivities usually last through the weekend.
Midwinter is also celebrated on Lucia Day December 13 , when children will dress in white robes and sing songs of St. Lucia, the bearer of light and warmth during cold Winter days. Walpurgisnacht is the celebration of the Spring season, dating back to the Viking Age. Giant bonfires are built to ward off evil spirits and welcome the season of life and growth.
ASICS Stockholm Marathon is said to be one of the biggest and most famous marathons in the world. Runners from all over the globe gather to race every June in Stockholm and have been doing so since 1979. The track takes runners around the city twice on a fairly flat surface.
Oslo has varying architectural styles, ranging from German influence and Neoclassism to Functionalist or Modernist design. One of the most beautiful and notable hotels in the center of town is Grand Hotel Oslo .
This 145 year old building is the annual venue of the Nobel Peace Prize banquet, located on Karl Johans Gate between the Parliament building and the Royal Palace. This gorgeously grandiose hotel is intricately decorated with richly detailed fabrics and averages $250 up to $450++ per night.
Other hotels in the area range in price and grandeur. The Thief is located right on the water and has very modernized amenities and design . Each room has it’s own private balcony and the lobby has a bar and nightclub, charging guests about $375 per night. Cheaper yet charming hotels, like Hotel Christiania and Frogner House Apartments go for around $175 per night.
Stockholm has many unique accommodations available to guests at all price points. Some cheaper options may be located farther outside the city, but transportation is so efficient here, you won’t mind the distance. Everything from modern luxuries to rickety house boats are options for visitors – and we suggest trying something unusual for your stay in “the Venice of the north”.
Grand Hotel Stockholm is a popular site for celebrities and high profile officials, situated across from the Royal Palace. If you prefer an historical building in the center of town, try the Miss Clara by Nobis. Both have their own restaurants and bars open to guests and cost about $200 – $400 per night.
More unique accommodations like the Af Chapman & Skeppsholmen Hostel are right on the water (right in the water, we should say). This fully functional and well-stocked boat sits in the channel off of Old Town and runs $50 – $75 per night. While more luxurious vacations can be had on castle property, such as the Akeshofs Slott . This gorgeous location is extremely close to the city center and Bromma airport.
Weather & Seasons
Both Oslo and Sweden are coastal cities and have similar weather and environment. They fall under the same climate category called “humid continental climate”, which means that summers are warm and winters are cold. Though winters can be less cold than other continental cities due to the humid ocean air influencing the coastline.
You can expect to experience the seasons in all their splendor in both locations. Spring will be rainy and warm, Summer will be hot, Fall will be colorful and cool and Winter will be mostly snowy and cold. The biggest similarity is the sunshine – both will have nearly 18 hours of sunlight in the Summer and will have only around 4 hours of sunlight in the Winter.
One unique tidbit about both of these cities is that nearly every inhabitant in Oslo and Stockholm knows English. English speakers will almost never have trouble asking for directions or ordering their food at a restaurant in these cities, as most residents know English just as well as their native language.
Oslo is considered the “Beta World City”, as it’s residents have some of the best quality of life in the world. But a healthy lifestyle and happiness comes with a price – Oslo is also the fourth most expensive city in the world. The housing market is fairly standard compared to other European countries, but goods and services are far more expensive.
Oslo City Government is run on a parliamentary system where representatives are elected by popular vote every four years. The Prime Minister serves as the head, while the Mayor of Oslo is seen as a more ceremonial position. The most widely represented parties in Oslo are the Conservative (liberal-conservative) and Labour (social democratic) parties.
Oslo has 15 different boroughs that residents call home; each with their own amenities and style. The 2021 census determined that Oslo currently has nearly 700,000 residents. This capital city is the maritime center for Norway and also has a thriving business culture and economy.
Stockholm is home to over 1 million residents and the layout of the city is approximately 60% waterways and green areas. The city is divided into different districts, with each district council responsible for it’s own schools and government services. The Norrmalm district in Stockholm City Center is Sweden’s largest business and shopping district.
Stockholm’s Municipal Council is made up of 101 elected officials that work together with a Mayor and 12 Vice Mayors, which are each responsible for a different department within the city. The Council also elects 13 chairs to the City Executive Board, which makes final decisions on matters presented by the Council.
With the decline in heavy industrial work, Stockholm is one of the world’s cleanest cities. Residents typically work in the service industry and more recently in the high technology industry. Stockholm is also Sweden’s financial center and is home to the world’s largest fiber-optic network.
There are so many similarities between these two Scandinavian cities that it’s easy to find yourself in a battle of choices. Both offer impeccable weather throughout the seasons, have very clean and health-conscious environments, have dozens of museums and loads of accommodations to fit any budget. If you need to make a final decision, we’d categorize them this way:
CHOOSE OSLO : If you’re into skiing, winter sports or hiking. The surrounding forests and many winter parks and skiing locations make this a great place for not only sightseeing, but also exercise and activity. We’d also suggest choosing Oslo for the magnificent landscape of fjords and waterways, or for celebrating the Christian holidays of Christmas or Easter.
CHOOSE STOCKHOLM : If you enjoy swimming, fishing and boating. The archipelago and winding waterways through the city make for a beautiful oceanic setting, where you can just dip your toes or dive in head first. We’d also suggest choosing Stockholm for the delicious plethora of food choices and to visit the brilliantly appointed Royal Palace.
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- Travel Planning Guide
A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Stockholm vs. Oslo for Families, Couples, Attractions, and Nightlife
- Pros & Cons
- Public Transit
- More time in Stockholm or Oslo?
- Which is Cheaper, Stockholm or Oslo? (Travel Cost Comparison)
Which is Bigger, Stockholm or Oslo?
- When to Visit Stockholm or Oslo?
Should you visit Stockholm or Oslo?
Which is cheaper to visit which is more expensive for vacation.
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Stockholm and Oslo can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Stockholm is a beautiful, clean, and coastal city. It's a large city with plenty of activites for visitors as well. You'll find world class beauty here as well. It's also known for museums, nightlife, and live music.
Oslo is a clean, progressive, and park-filled city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the food, museums, and nightlife.
Stockholm and Oslo: Pros and Cons
- Popular museums and historical sights
- Active nightlife
- Good music scene
- Scenic old town
- Fun shopping
- Good for couples and romance
- Good for backpackers and budget travelers
- Big city activities
- Impressive beauty
- Less popular for shopping
- Less popular with couples
Is there more to do in Stockholm or Oslo?
Tourists will generally find more to do in Stockholm than Oslo. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Stockholm is famous for its many bridges and water culture, its open air museum, and its colorful old town. It is also well known for Gamla Stan (the old town). Oslo is famous for its Viking history, its locally caught seafood, its maritime museums, and its access to winter sports.
How is Stockholm different from Oslo?
Which is better for a holiday.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Oslo and Stockholm. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Stockholm or Oslo?
Plenty of people visit the high quality sights and museums in both Stockholm and Oslo.
You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Stockholm. Famous sights and museums include the Vasa Museum, the Skansen Open-Air Museum, and the Royal Palace.
Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Oslo. Famous sights around town include the Akershus Fortress, the Folk Museum of Norway, and the Munch Museum.
Is the Food Better in Stockholm or Oslo? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?
Both Stockholm and Oslo offer a number of nice restaurants to choose from.
Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Stockholm. Most famous for its Swedish meatballs, there is so much more to the food scene in this city. Although they're expensive, the restaurants often have a relaxed atmosphere with dishes that take advantage of local, fresh ingredients. Seafood is obviously popular as well.
Oslo is becoming an appealing option for foodies. The city has a reputation of serving a lot of cured meats and potato dishes, but there is actually a good amount of variation available. Local favorites include smoked salmon, meatballs, and meat stews.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Nightlife?
Stockholm is notable for nightlife. Also, Oslo is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.
Stockholm has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The city is a particularly fun place to visit during the summer months when clubs open outdoor areas and parties happen day and night.
With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Oslo. The city's high alcohol prices mean that many locals enjoy their drinks at home during pre-parties before heading out on the town. The atmosphere is usually laid-back and chill, with a diversity of entertainment venues that you can choose between.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Music?
Stockholm is an amazing city to visit for live music. However, Oslo is not a live music destination.
Stockholm is a world class music destination. The city has an amazing music scene that includes international groups and DJs, local venues, and popular festivals.
Oslo is not a live music destination.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for its Old Town?
Stockholm is an amazing city to visit for its historic old town. However, Oslo does not have a historic old town.
Stockholm offers visitors a world-class historical old town to explore. Right in the middle of the city is Gamla Stan. It's spread out over a hill and filled with character, cobblestone streets, cafes, and historical sights.
Oslo does not have a historic old town.
Is the Shopping Better in Stockholm or Oslo?
Stockholm is notable for shopping. However, Oslo is a mediocre city for its shopping opportunities.
Stockholm is an extremely popular place for shoppers. Right by Gamla Stan, you'll find the city's main shopping street of Drottninggatan. The city has great jewelry and artisan crafts.
If you're looking to go shopping, Oslo has some nice offerings. The shopping that is available includes shopping malls and local boutique shops.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Families?
Both Stockholm and Oslo are first-rate to visit with kids.
Stockholm is an extremely popular city to visit for families. As cities go, this is among the most child-friendly in Europe. There are many unique activities like Junibacken, which is a Pippi Longstocking themed kid's museum. There's also Tom Tits Experiment, which is a hands on science and technology museum, the swimming pools at Eriksdalsbadet, and the amusement park Gröna Lund.
With a huge array of activities for kids, Oslo is very family-friendly. The city goes out of its way to integrate kid-friendly activities into everyday life. From playgrounds and parks to interactive museums and nearby amusement parks, this city is among the most kid-friendly around.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Couples?
Stockholm is an amazing city to visit for romance. Also, Oslo is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its romantic activities.
Stockholm has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. The city is filled with romance, from wandering around Gamla Stan to taking a dinner cruise or exploring a rose garden. During the winter months, the Christmas markets and festive atmosphere bring the city to life.
Oslo makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. You can explore castles, go on forest hikes, or enjoy a couple's massage.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?
Stockholm and Oslo are nice places to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.
Stockholm is a good city to visit for backpackers. While the city has a lot to offer, many backpackers avoid the area because it is so expensive. There are some hostels, but in general food and entertainment are all going to cost a lot.
Plenty of backpackers visit Oslo. Notoriously expensive, this city does have some hostels, but it can be a bit challenging for those on a budget. Because many backpackers avoid the area due to the costs, it can be challenging to meet other backpackers.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Students?
Oslo is well known for students. Also, Stockholm is still popular, but not quite as popular for its student-friendly activities.
Students come from all over to stay in Oslo. The University of Oslo has an excellent reputation and welcomes many foreign students every year. The school does a lot to make sure international students feel at home here.
It's common for students to visit Stockholm. The cost of the city scares off many international students, but those that come here will find a clean, safe, and fun city with excellent academics.
Is Stockholm or Oslo Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?
You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Stockholm and Oslo.
Stockholm has a world-class public transit network to take passengers everywhere in the city. The system is efficient with bus lines, metro, commuter rails, trams and ferries.
The thorough and effecient public transit system of Oslo can take you anywhere. The system includes buses, trams, undergrounds, local trains, and ferries.
Is Stockholm or Oslo a more walkable city?
Stockholm is an amazing city to visit for its walkability. Also, Oslo is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.
It is easy to get around Stockholm on foot. The city has actively worked to create a walkable environment that is safe and pleasant. There are restrictions on vehicles as well as pedestrian-only areas.
Oslo is a very walkable city. The city has a number of traffic-free areas so it's fun to explore on foot.
Should I spend more time in Oslo or Stockholm?
How long in stockholm or oslo.
In either Stockholm or Oslo, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Stockholm than Oslo because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Stockholm, and 1-5 days is enough time in Oslo.
Families should spend more time in Stockholm than Oslo. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Stockholm, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Stockholm than Oslo. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Stockholm that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Stockholm than Oslo if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Stockholm.
- How many days in Stockholm or Oslo? Ideal Length of Stay Stockholm 2-7 Oslo 1-5
One day in Stockholm or Oslo?
Stockholm is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.
You'll find food and museums around the city of Oslo. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Oslo has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
A weekend in Stockholm or Oslo?
Stockholm is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the live music. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.
You'll find museums and nightlife around the park-filled big city of Oslo. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Five days in Stockholm or Oslo?
Stockholm is a coastal big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.
You'll find nightlife and food around the green city of Oslo. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.
A week in Stockholm or Oslo?
Stockholm is a beautiful city where you can fill many days. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Many people spend one week here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.
Oslo is a popular choice for travelers. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.
Which place is cheaper, Oslo or Stockholm?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
- Stockholm Prices Sweden Prices Oslo Prices Norway Prices
- Average Daily Cost Per person, per day Stockholm $ 174 Oslo $ 138
The average daily cost (per person) in Stockholm is $174, while the average daily cost in Oslo is $138. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Stockholm and Oslo in more detail.
- Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person Stockholm $ 98 Oslo $ 82
- Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room Stockholm $ 196 Oslo $ 164
Compare Hotels in Stockholm and Oslo
Looking for a hotel in Stockholm or Oslo? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.
Hotels in Stockholm
Hotels in Oslo
Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.
- Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc. Stockholm $ 21 Oslo $ 24
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Stockholm
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Stockholm:
- Arlanda Airport Bus Transfer Departure: $18
- Skavsta Airport Bus Transfer: $27
- Private Transfer from Stockholm Port to Bromma Airport BMA: $38
- Stockholm Port to Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA) - Departure Private Transfer: $38
- Stockholm City to Stockholm Bromma Airport (BMA) - Departure Private Transfer: $38
- Private Transfer from Bromma Airport (BMA) to Stockholm Port: $38
- Stockholm Hotels to Nynashamn Cruise Port Private Transfer: $39
- Stockholm Port to Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN) - Departure Private Transfer: $40
- Private Transfer from Stockholm Port to Arlanda Airport (ARN): $40
- Stockholm Port to Stockholm hotel or address - Private Car Transfer: $42
- Private Transfer from Stockholm Cruise Port to Stockholm hotels: $42
- Stockholm hotel or address to Stockholm Port - Private Car Transfer: $42
Typical Local Transportation prices in Oslo
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Oslo are as follows:
- Tram Ticket $ 6.67
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Oslo
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Oslo:
- Airport & City Transfers in Trondheim: $133
- Arrival Private Transfer Oslo OSL Airport to Oslo City by Luxury Car: $152
- Arrival Private Transfer Oslo OSL Airport to Oslo by Business Car: $115
- Arrival Private Transfer from Oslo Airport OSL to Oslo City by Luxury Van: $152
- Departure Private Transfer from Oslo City to Oslo Airport OSL by Luxury Car: $152
- Departure Private Transfer from Oslo City to Oslo Airport OSL by Luxury Van: $152
- Departure Private Transfer from Oslo to Oslo Airport OSL by Business Car: $115
- Olso: Private Transfer from the City Center to Oslo Airport: $108
- Oslo Airport (OSL) to Oslo Cruise Port - Arrival Private Transfer: $91
- Oslo Airport (OSL) to Oslo Cruise Port - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $182
- Oslo Airport (OSL): Private Transfer to Oslo Cruise Port: $496
- Oslo Airport Transfers : Oslo Airport OSL to Oslo City in Business Car: $151
Is it cheaper to fly into Stockholm or Oslo?
Prices for flights to both Oslo and Stockholm change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
- Food Meals for one day Stockholm $ 37 Oslo $ 30
Typical Food prices in Stockholm
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Stockholm:
- Breakfast $ 9.36
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Stockholm
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Stockholm.
- Stockholm Food Tour: $98
- Stockholm Dinner Experience: $147
- Stockholm Private Food Tour with a Local: Tastiest Treats 100% Personalized: $181
- Private Food Tour on The 10 Tastings of Stockholm : $198
- Private Yacht Cruise with Lunch or Dinner in Stockholm Archipelago: $1,330
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Oslo
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Oslo.
- Oslofjord Cruise with Seafood Dinner: $59
- Oslofjord Dinner Cruise on a sailing ship : $61
- Oslo Alternative Culture and Street Food Tour: $75
- Oslo Fjord 3 Course Dinner Sightseeing Cruise: $111
- Christmas Street Food Tour with Akevitt and Christmas beer : $114
- Make Italian pizza in the great outdoors: $134
- 3-course Dinner Cruise in the Oslofjord: $215
- A Well Balanced History and Food Tour with Focus on the Scandinavian Kitchen: $305
- Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc. Stockholm $ 26 Oslo $ 19
Tours and Activities in Stockholm
Here are a few actual costs in Stockholm for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
- 2-Hour Walking Tour in Stockholm: $3.32
- Central A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $5.99
- Stockholm Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
- Stockholm Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $6.65
- Follow Doctor Glas' footsteps through Stockholm with this audio walking tour: $7.34
- The Stockholm Witch Trials a Self Guided Audio Walking Tour Game: $7.73
- Stockholm Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $12
- Stockholm Self Guided Audio Tour: $15
- City Hall, Old Town & Vasa Museum - all-in-1 guided experience: $17
- Fotografiska Stockholm Admission Ticket: $18
- Entrance ticket to The Viking Museum: $18
- Stockholm Christmas Tour and Food Experience: $20
Tours and Activities in Oslo
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Oslo are as follows:
- First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.27
- Oslo Self-Guided Audio Tour: $6.00
- Oslo Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $6.65
- Digging up the Past in Røros: A Self-Guided Walking Tour: $6.99
- Classic A Self-Guided Audio Tour from Central Station to Akershus Castle: $7.99
- Akerselva River Meander: A Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
- Downtown Self-Guided Audio Tour: $7.99
- Oslo Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Tour: $8.19
- Kon-Tiki Museum Entrance Ticket: $11
- The Fram Museum Admission Ticket: $13
- Oslo Self-Guided Walking Tour with Audio Guide: $14
- Oslo Self Guided Audio Tour: $15
- Alcohol Drinks for one day Stockholm $ 27 Oslo $ 11
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Stockholm and Oslo, we can see that Stockholm is more expensive. And not only is Oslo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Oslo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Oslo and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Stockholm would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Stockholm than you might in Oslo.
Stockholm is bigger, and its population is about 2.2 times larger than the population of Oslo. When comparing the population of Stockholm vs. Oslo, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.
When is the best time to visit Stockholm or Oslo?
Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.
Should I visit Stockholm or Oslo in the Summer?
The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Stockholm and Oslo. Most visitors come to Stockholm for the city activities, the music scene, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Oslo because of the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.
In July, Stockholm is generally around the same temperature as Oslo. Daily temperatures in Stockholm average around 18°C (64°F), and Oslo fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).
People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Oslo this time of the year. In Stockholm, it's very sunny this time of the year. Stockholm usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Oslo during summer. Stockholm gets 260 hours of sunny skies, while Oslo receives 246 hours of full sun in the summer.
In July, Stockholm usually receives less rain than Oslo. Stockholm gets 71 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Oslo receives 84 mm (3.3 in) of rain each month for the summer.
- Summer Average Temperatures July Stockholm 18°C (64°F) Oslo 18°C (64°F)
Should I visit Stockholm or Oslo in the Autumn?
The autumn brings many poeple to Stockholm as well as Oslo. The autumn months attract visitors to Stockholm because of the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene are the main draw to Oslo this time of year.
Stockholm is around the same temperature as Oslo in the autumn. The daily temperature in Stockholm averages around 8°C (46°F) in October, and Oslo fluctuates around 7°C (45°F).
In the autumn, Stockholm often gets more sunshine than Oslo. Stockholm gets 99 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Oslo receives 86 hours of full sun.
Stockholm usually gets less rain in October than Oslo. Stockholm gets 50 mm (2 in) of rain, while Oslo receives 84 mm (3.3 in) of rain this time of the year.
- Autumn Average Temperatures October Stockholm 8°C (46°F) Oslo 7°C (45°F)
Should I visit Stockholm or Oslo in the Winter?
Both Oslo and Stockholm are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Stockholm this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Oslo for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.
Be prepared for some very cold days in Oslo. It's quite cold in Stockholm in the winter. In the winter, Stockholm is a little warmer than Oslo. Typically, the winter temperatures in Stockholm in January average around -3°C (27°F), and Oslo averages at about -4°C (25°F).
Stockholm usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Oslo during winter. Stockholm gets 40 hours of sunny skies, while Oslo receives 40 hours of full sun in the winter.
In January, Stockholm usually receives less rain than Oslo. Stockholm gets 36 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Oslo receives 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the winter.
- Winter Average Temperatures January Stockholm -3°C (27°F) Oslo -4°C (25°F)
Should I visit Stockholm or Oslo in the Spring?
Both Oslo and Stockholm during the spring are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Stockholm for the activities around the city and the natural beauty. Furthermore, many visitors come to Oslo in the spring for the activities around the city.
In April, Stockholm is generally around the same temperature as Oslo. Daily temperatures in Stockholm average around 5°C (41°F), and Oslo fluctuates around 6°C (42°F).
In the spring, Stockholm often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Oslo. Stockholm gets 185 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Oslo receives 178 hours of full sun.
Stockholm usually gets less rain in April than Oslo. Stockholm gets 31 mm (1.2 in) of rain, while Oslo receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.
- Spring Average Temperatures April Stockholm 5°C (41°F) Oslo 6°C (42°F)
Typical Weather for Oslo and Stockholm
Related articles for stockholm, related articles for oslo.
More City Comparisons
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- Activities, Day Trips, Things To Do, and Excursions
Oslo or Stockholm: Which City to Visit
Oslo and Stockholm are two of the most iconic capital cities in Scandinavia. Oslo is known for having many buildings with modern architecture and for being one of the most sustainable cities in the world. Stockholm is known for its beautiful old town and for its incredible waterfronts. If you are trying to decide between Oslo or Stockholm, here is the ultimate guide to which city you should visit.
Table of Contents
Oslo or Stockholm Overview
Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway. It is known for its modern architecture mixed with the medieval architecture of the older parts of the city. Although Norway is known for being a large exporter of oil and natural gas, Oslo has evolved into one of the greenest cities in the world. It was voted the European Green Capital of 2019. The city is also known for being one of the most expensive cities in the world. The population of the city is 693,000.
The city is located at the northern end of the Oslofjord . There are also 40 islands and 343 lakes within Oslo’s city limits. Because of the large number of waterways found here, Oslo has an unusually large area of land compared to the number of people living here. There are also tree-covered hills surrounding much of the city. To the north and northeast of the city, there are many hiking areas to explore as well.
Stockholm is the capital city of Sweden and has one of the most beautiful city centers in all of Europe. The city has a population of 974,000 and a metro population of nearly 2.4 million people. Stockholm was originally founded by the Vikings as a trade route. Nearly 5 million people visit Stockholm each year to see the city’s iconic waterfront and the iconic old town.
Stockholm is located on the eastern coast of Sweden. Spanning 14 different islands, 30% of the city is waterways with another 30% of the city being green spaces and parks. Since the city is so far north, in the summer months it gets 18 hours of daylight and in the winter it only gets 6 hours of daylight. Having so many waterways, Stockholm has many waterfront public areas to enjoy.
Things to See
Frogner Park is a park open to the public for free. It is known for its sculptures and beautiful gardens.
Viking Ship Museum is home to three authentic Viking ships. It also has many other Viking artifacts making it a perfect place to go if you’re intrigued by Viking culture.
Oslo Opera House is a massive opera house located in Central Oslo. The building is known for its striking modern architecture and its large glass windows. There is also a large display of art throughout the building.
The Royal Palace has become a popular tourist attraction since 2002 when it became open to the public to view. The Palace Park is also one of the largest public parks in the city.
Radhuset is the Courthouse that sits right above the main metro station. The metro station sitting below the surface has some incredible architecture, much of it is exposed bedrock.
Aker Brygge is one of the popular areas for shopping, restaurants, and many forms of entertainment. The area sits on the waterfront and has an industrial feel from the restored commercial buildings.
Akershus Fortress is a large fortress within the city that was formally used to protect the royal residence. It has also been used as a prison, military base, and is now the office of the Prime Minister of Norway.
Gamla Stan is the Old Town of Stockholm. This area is one of the most picturesque areas in the city. Most people who visit Stockholm will make this their first stop during their time in the city.
Vasa Museum is one of the most famous museums in Scandinavia. It houses the Vasa battleship which is a massive wooden ship that sunk in 1628.
The Royal Palace sits on the water’s edge in the center of the city. It is the official residence of the King of Sweden. It is one of the largest palaces in Europe with more than 600 rooms.
City Hall sits kitty-corner to the Old Town along the water’s edge. It is where the Nobel Prize banquet is held every year.
Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish Royal Family. It is just outside of Stockholm but worth a visit if you have the time.
Oslo has long been known for eating the classic Viking diet of cured meat and various forms of potatoes. Norwegian smoked salmon is known to be some of the best in the world. Fiskerit Youngstorget is an excellent place within the city to get the best salmon. Sausages and meatballs are also very popular foods in Oslo. Aquavit is the most well-known liquor to the Norwegian people.
Kjøttboller, or Swedish meatballs, are known around the world which means that you should definitely try some when you come to Stockholm. Seafood also places a large role in the cuisines found here. Crayfish are a favorite in Stockholm, especially during the summer months. Herring is another traditional seafood that is still popular today. Gamla Stan and the area around Hantverkargaten are two of the best area in Stockholm to find an abundance of excellent restaurants.
Between buses, trams, subways, and ferries, Oslo has many options to get around the city . Certain routes within the city are free to the public which is extremely convenient if you are visiting the city. Oslo is also very bike-friendly and, like many cities in Northern Europe, there are bikes to use for the public. You can grab a public bike and ride it for free for the first 45 minutes or you can rent it for the day for less than $6.
The Gamla Stan or the Old Town is extremely walkable. You can see many sights within walking distance. Outside of the Old Town, Stockholm becomes more spread out because is spans 14 islands. The city offers bus lines, metro, commuter rails, trams, and ferries as well as public bikes for use. The cheapest way to get around is to invest in one, two, or three day passes to use public transportation. For just over 15 USD you can get a 24-hour pass or for 30 USD you can get a 3-day pass.
Though Oslo is more laid back than other European cities in terms of nightlife, there are still plenty of options for any taste. The city center is where most of the nightlife takes place. In Norway, alcohol is quite expensive at drinking establishments. Because of this, Norwegians do “vorspiel” which are pre-parties so they don’t have to spend so much money when they go out. Nox/Sollihagen is one of the “premier” nightclubs in Oslo but is notorious for long lines and poor service. The Villa and The Club are better options for clubbing.
Stockholm has a thriving nightlife . The Old Town area is known for its pubs and also has nightclubs. Just to the north of the Old Town, on the mainland, is another part of town that is filled with a raging night scene. Some of the best nightclubs in Scandinavia are found here. Some of the best places for nightlife in Stockholm are Slakthuset, Under Bron, and Kraken.
- Lillehammer is a small city directly north of Oslo. It is best known for holding the Winter Olympics in 1994. It also has a beautiful setting and is known for its wooden buildings.
- TusenFryd is Norway’s largest amusement park. It is located just 20km south of Oslo which makes it perfect for a day trip.
- Oslo Fjord Cruise : You can take a 2-hour cruise through the fjord around Oslo. There are guided tours where you can see beautiful waterfront homes and spectacular sights.
The closest major Scandinavian city from Oslo would be Copenhagen , which would definitely be worth a visit if you have the time.
- Sigtuna is Sweden’s oldest city, founded in 980 AD by the Vikings.
- Gripssholm Castle is located only 60km from Stockholm in the town of Mariedred. It was used as a residence of the Royal Family until 1809.
- Uppsala is a city to the north of Stockholm. It is known for the University of Uppsala which was founded in 1477. It is also known for its beautiful Cathedral of Uppsala.
If you’re really feeling adventurous, there is a 17-hour ferry connecting Stockholm and Helsinki .
Oslo and Stockholm are two very influential Nordic cities, known around the world for being extremely beautiful. Both cities are rather expensive compared to many other major cities in Europe. Depending on how much time you have to explore might be the deciding factor for you. There is quite a bit more to see in Stockholm so you will want to spend at least 3 days there. Oslo is a smaller city and you can see most of the sights in 2 days, but if you are there for the nature, you will want to spend much more time.
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Where is your trip to? 36 hours isn't a very long time, so my answer would probably differ depending on your main destination.
It seems from what I'm told that the scenery is better in Oslo but that there is more to do in Stockholm . I'm tending towards Stockholm which also seems to have better priced hotels.
There is nothing wrong with Oslo but it does not compare to Stockholm in beauty nor activities.
Just what I was told by someone who travels a lot. I think he was particularly taken by the fjords.
A beautiful, unique city, with lots to see and do.
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Oslo or Stockholm??! which one to choose?
Travel Forums Europe Oslo or Stockholm??! which one to choose?
Good day travelers,
I'm planning a 3 days trip to either Oslo or Stockholm in June. I'm 25 years old and will be leaving from Paris.
I need your advice on choosing between the 2 cities? which one is cheaper? which one has the beautiful nature scenes? Interesting activities to do?...
Definately Stockholm. It's the most beautiful city in Scandinavia in my opinion. Regarding its natural setting, Oslo can compete, but even then Stockholm will win. And Sweden in general is cheaper than Norway. On top of that, quite a few budget airlines serve Stockholm and in the city itself there are some real gems, like Gamla Stan and the Vasa Museum. Just on the outskirts, there some UNESCO sites, like Drottningholm and Skogskyrkogården, a beautiful cemetery. I believe there are boats toward an ancient Viking settlement as well, but haven't been there, as I was there in winter. Fantastic walking and beautiful views and good transport, hotels, pubs and restaurants in several islands just north and south of Gamla Stan.
That's not to say I did not like Oslo, which really was a nice city to visit as well.
I've never been to Oslo so can't compare and I am sure that is also a great city but I would just like to say that I absolutely loved Stockholm when I went there! I went on a canoeing holiday around the uninhabited islands near Stockholm which was amazing - from the beautiful nature scenes point of view you are definitely on to a winner! Hire a canoe and get out to see these islands! I think this is one of the best holidays I have had! And the Vasa Museum was also great too! And I'd recommend a visit to Skansen too - a museum and zoo.
I'll shout up for Oslo. :-)
To be fair there is not much to choose between them - both are great cities and quite similar in character. For me, Oslo edges it.
Some highlights. Akershus fortress and the waterfront with city hall and the Nobel centre. Royal Palace tours (tickets from the post office!), Bygdoy peninsula with its five museums - see Thor Heyerdahl's Kon Tiki ship, clamber through the Fram arctic explorer ship, see the viking ships. The national gallery to see Munch's The Scream. Take the metro up to Holmenkollen olympic ski jump stadium. In winter go horse-drawn sleigh riding at Maridalen.
Also I find Oslo easier on foot than Stockholm - but then Stockholm's more impressive from the water.
I think Norway is awesome, but Oslo is not the best of Norge, in my opinion. Stockholm was very nice, indeed, but the city that impressed me more was Copenhagen. I also thought that Helsinki was a most beautiful and interesting city - the ferry from Stockholm is the way to get there!
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