Oslo running routes:
Oslo Downtown route
Oslo Bygdøy island route
Oslo Tryvann wilderness route
For more running routes, see Route List.
Pictures courtesy of Google StreetView
If you like the outdoors, you'll love jogging in Oslo. Like all the other Scandinavian capital cities, the town has a close-to-nature, provincial character, with lots of natural scenery to run through. With its location at the end of Oslo Fjord, there are sweeping views of the water and its many islands, and mountains rise up right behind town. You can choose flat trails along the waterfront, or run straight up a mountain, if you please. You can run out onto peninsulas or even take ferries out to several islands and run there. And for you trail runners, you can even take the tram up to Frognerseteren at the TV tower and then just run north into absolute wilderness, full of wooded mountains and lakes.
The Central Oslo Route
This route is what I consider my basic Oslo route, looping through the old center of Oslo, taking in all the basic tourist sights: the royal palace and its park, the main, park-lined boulevard with its university, theaters and the parliament, then discovering the old admiralty buildings at the waterfront, the fort, the redeveloped harbor with its windjammers, ferries and restaurants, then returning by the famous city hall. All that in one normal jogging distance of about 8 km.
|Karl Johans Gate|
We'll first run up to the palace, which you can already see throning the hill, and then come back down the other side of the street. So off we go, heading west on Karl Johans Gate, with the park on our left side. It's just 2 blocks to the palace grounds, with the old university buildings on the right.
Keep going straight up the drive to the palace: it's open to the public, even in the evenings. You can jog a loop around the palace, through the park, and come back out in front again.
|The palace grounds|
Now it's time to head to the waterfront. So turn right on Kirkegata (Church Street), right at the front of the cathedral. You'll run through 4 blocks of unspectacular downtown buildings, but then you'll come to the leafy square in front of the Mint, on the right. After another block, there is another nice old square on the left side.
|Bankplassen at the Mint|
If you're not too late, you can just jog inside, there's no entrance fee. If the gate's closed, you'll just have to loop around it from the outside. There is a collection of castle buildings, cannons and lookout vistas from the fort walls inside, and real sentries who watch over this still-used military base.
|Entrance to Akershus|
Turn right and run beneath the castle walls, where the cruise ships and visiting naval ships dock up. I always enjoy jogging out onto the docks to get a close look at the the windjammers that are always found there.
At the north end of the fort, the waterfront curves away to the left. Just keep following the water. Here, in the old harbor, there are lots more windjammers at the docks. The route curves around the northern tip of the harbor, and here is the ferry landing for trips to the various fjord islands (that's another route description!).
|Looking back from Aker Brygge: Akershus across the way, city hall on left side|
You're looking at the back side now. So run straight ahead to look at the other side and the main entrance. Go up to the entrance and then wander down the arcade walkways to either side. They are lined with carved wooden scenes from Norwegian sagas from the Viking times.
We're just 2 blocks from where we started from now, so turn your back to the town hall and run straight the one block north to Karl Johans Gate and you'll see the starting point one block to your right.