Oslo is Norway’s incredibly vibrant and interesting capital city that has a lot to offer visitors, including fascinating museums, art galleries, world-class restaurants and stunning natural scenery.
During winter, the city transforms into a winter wonderland and is home to the iconic Christmas market, which attracts thousands of visitors annually.
In this article, I’ll guide you through the best things to see and do at Oslo Christmas Market in 2023, so you can make the most of your winter holiday.
From late November, Oslo’s city streets and squares are transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with ice-skating rinks and a giant Christmas tree in front of the Royal Palace.
You’ll also have the chance to indulge in traditional Norwegian holiday foods and beverages, such as mulled wine, gingerbread cookies and lutefisk.
Oslo Christmas Market 2023
As you wander through the Christmas market in Oslo, you’ll be transported to a world of festive delights. You’ll find over 60 Christmas tents selling a variety of handmade gifts, including clothing, jewellery and Christmas ornaments.
Be sure to stop by the gingerbread house exhibition, where you can marvel at intricately decorated gingerbread houses created by local bakers.
And don’t miss the nightly Christmas concerts, the Silver Boys’ choir, Christmas theatre, which add to the festive spirit of the market.
Dates and Location
Oslo Christmas Market dates: Likely dates: 11th November 2023 to 1st January 2024.
Location: Karl Johans Gate, Spikersuppa, Oslo.
Opening times: 12 noon to 8pm.
Christmas Day: Open.
Admission: Free, no tickets required.
Ice skating: Yes, at Spikersuppa Ice Skating Rink.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten-free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not advised.
Reason to visit: The market is held in heated traditional lavvu tents. Likely chance of a white Christmas. Excellent ice skating.
Recommended tour: This electric fjord cruise is one of the most popular in Oslo.
Specialities: Frankfurter, curry sausage, bratwurst or traditional Christmas sausage julepølse, moose burger, gnocchis or Spanish churros, Norwegian pancakes sveler, bubble waffles.
Where to stay: Hotel Bristol is a highly-rated hotel, 3-minutes from the Christmas market.
Hotels near Oslo Christmas Market
When visiting Oslo’s Christmas market, it’s best to stay in a neighbourhood that is within easy reach of the festivities.
Staying in the city centre (Sentrum) is the best option, but any hotel near Spikersuppa or an Oslo T-bane metro station would be ideal.
I suggest staying at Hotel Bristol as it’s in a great location in the Sentrum, only one block from the Christmas market.
Location of Oslo Christmas Market
City and Christmas Tours
A city tour of Oslo is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture.
With its charming Old Town, stunning waterfront and modern architecture, Oslo is a city that has something for everyone.
I recommend taking a city tour of Oslo to see all the highlights of the city or consider a food tour where you can learn about the local culture through their cuisine.
- This electric fjord cruise is a lower-impact tour of Oslo’s beautiful natural environment.
- For something different, you might like this street food and culture tour.
On a city tour, you’ll visit the city’s most iconic landmarks and attractions, including the historic Akershus Fortress, the beautiful Oslo Opera House, and the towering Holmenkollen Ski Jump.
Oslo at Christmas
As you watch this video of Oslo Christmas Market, you’ll get an idea of the festive atmosphere and see the dazzling Christmas lights that create a magical experience.
Christmas Specialties in Oslo
- Ribbe: This traditional Christmas dish consists of a roast pork belly with crispy skin. It’s typically served with sauerkraut, potatoes and gravy.
- Pinnekjøtt: This is a Norwegian holiday favourite, made from dried and salted lamb ribs that are steamed or boiled until tender. It’s often served with mashed Swede, potatoes and beer.
- Lutefisk: This dish is made from dried and salted cod that is soaked in lye water to soften it. It’s typically served with boiled potatoes, white sauce and peas.
- Julekake: This is a traditional Christmas bread that’s made with raisins, candied orange peel and cardamom. It’s often served with butter and a slice of brown cheese.
- Riskrem: This is a traditional Norwegian dessert that’s made from rice pudding and whipped cream. It’s typically served with cherry sauce or raspberry syrup.
- Multekrem: This dessert is made from cloudberries mixed with whipped cream and sugar. It’s a refreshing, light dessert perfect for those who prefer something less heavy.
- Vegetarian Medisterkaker: This is a vegetarian version of traditional meatballs made with mashed potatoes, carrots, onions, breadcrumbs and eggs. They’re often served with gravy and lingonberry sauce.
- Vegetarian Rømmegrøt is a creamy and delicious porridge made with sour cream, flour and milk. It’s often served with butter, sugar and cinnamon.
- Lefse: This is a soft, thin flatbread that’s often filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar or rolled up with a savoury filling like smoked salmon and cream cheese.
- Krumkake: This is a crispy, cone-shaped cookie that’s filled with whipped cream or a sweet spread like Nutella.
- Fårikål wrap: Fårikål is a Norwegian twist on the classic lamb and cabbage stew, served in a wrap or pita bread with sour cream and lingonberry sauce.
- Smultring: These are small, doughnut-like pastries that are fried and dusted with powdered sugar.
- Gløgg: This is a traditional Norwegian mulled wine that’s served hot and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel.
Norsk Folkemuseum Christmas Market
Norsk Folkemuseum’s Christmas Market is an annual event held in Oslo. It features various traditional Norwegian holiday decorations, crafts, food and entertainment showcasing the country’s rich cultural heritage and festive spirit.
Visitors can experience a range of activities, including horse-drawn carriage rides, Christmas tree decorating and candle making, while enjoying the cosy and enchanting atmosphere of the museum’s historic grounds.
Norsk Folkemuseum Christmas Market dates: Likely dates 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th December 2023.
Opening times: 11am to 4pm.
Location: Museumsveien 10, Bygdøy, Oslo.
Location of Norsk Folkemuseum Christmas Market
Norway has many popular Christmas markets in cities like Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. Read my guide to the best Christmas markets in Norway for more information.
You can find a wealth of information about visiting Oslo on the tourism website, including everything from the top tourist attractions and events to dining, accommodation, and transportation options.
Sustainable Christmas Tips
If you want to be more sustainable this Christmas in Oslo, here are some specific ideas you can consider:
Renewable Energy: Consider staying in a hotel that uses renewable energy for its electricity.
Reducing Food Waste: Over-purchasing at the Christmas markets in Oslo can be tempting. Try to plan your meals carefully to avoid overbuying and wasting food. If you have leftover food, consider taking it with you to eat later.
Limiting Consumerism: Only buy what you really need at the Christmas markets. Support local businesses that offer sustainable products and services.
Sustainable Diets: Choose to eat plant-based or locally sourced meals when eating out this Christmas.
Sustainable Transport: Consider walking, biking or taking public transportation to get around Oslo.
By implementing some of these ideas, you can reduce your impact on the environment while still enjoying Christmas in Oslo.
Oslo Christmas Market starts on 11th November 2023 and ends on 1st January 2024.
The Christmas markets in Oslo are held at Spikersuppa in Oslo’s Sentrum (city centre).
The Christmas markets are open from 12 noon to 8pm.
If you would like to leave a review of Oslo Xmas Market, comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Oslo, Norway. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.