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For many people who visit Norway, Oslo is their introduction to this beautiful country. The era of budget transatlantic flights has put it on the stopover map for North Americans traveling to and from Europe (or vice versa), so it’s become easy to add a quick trip to your itinerary. Though I live in Norway now, even my first time in Norway five years ago was a quick weekend trip to Oslo. This city guide is written with such quick trips in mind—you have three days in the city, say, and you also happen to be a knitter (or a crocheter, a weaver, a spinner, a general textile practitioner . . . you get the idea!). Oslo may not be situated in the dramatic scenery of Norway’s western fjord country, but this city still has an incredible amount to offer.

Because Oslo is in Norway, your activities are likely to be seasonal and weather dependent. I’ve done my best to include both indoor things suitable for cold, rainy, or snowy days as well as outdoor activities that will help you soak up Oslo’s incredible storybook sunny days.


Norway has a proportionally high number of knitters, and consequently a proportionally high number of yarn stores—you’ll even find them in the shopping malls. It would be impossible to feature all of Oslo’s yarn stores here, but here are a few of my favorites:

Pickles is a unique little shop located in the Grünerløkka area. You won’t find the big Norwegian brands here, because Pickles’ own line of yarns graces the shelves. There’s lots of wool of course, in everything from fingering weight to super-duper chunky, but you’ll also find alpaca, mohair, angora, silk, and cotton. Grünerløkka Garn is just across the neighborhood from Pickles, with a wider selection. Here you’ll find yarns from Dale, one of Norway’s most recognizable yarny names (you may know them as “Dale of Norway,” pronounced something like “DAHL-uh,” not like the English word). They also carry Norway’s Du Store Alpakka, Denmark’s organic BC Garn, and one of my personal favorites, the plant-dyed yarns of Lofoten Wool, whose wool is sourced in Lofoten in northern Norway. Both Pickles and Grünerløkka Garn are situated in the Grünerløkka neighborhood, very easy to get to by public transit (tram lines 11, 12, and 13).

For a more typical Norwegian yarn store experience, I recommend Tjorven Garn, just across the street from the Majorstuen T-bane station (T-bane is Oslo’s metro/underground system). They carry several of the major Norwegian yarn producers, such as Rauma, Sandnes, and Du Store Alpakka, as well as other brands like Lang and Kauni (known for their “Effektgarn,” which features beautiful slow color changes). You’ll also find patterns from these yarn companies here.

Husfliden  is the retail branch of Norges Husflidslag (the Norwegian Folk Art and Craft Association), and Oslo’s store is their largest. Located on the lower level of the historic Glasmagasinet department store in the city center, you’ll find shelves upon shelves of yarn as well as pattern books and booklets (both modern and vintage) and buttons. You’ll also find a wide selection of handmade products from Norway and other Scandinavian countries, and you’ll have a chance to examine some bunads—the Norwegian regional folk costumes worn for special occasions—up close, as Husfliden is where Norwegians go when it’s time to get fitted and place an order.


Oslo has no shortage of incredible museums, but there are a few that stand out to me for textile-oriented folks. The Norsk Folkemuseum is one of my favorite places on the planet.

Featuring both an indoor part as well as an open-air museum, it’d be easy to spend more than a day here. The indoor part of the museum features both permanent and temporary exhibitions on things like folk costumes, folk art, and knitting history (to name just a few), while the outdoor open-air section of the museum is like Norway in miniature.

Over the past 100 years, actual historical buildings have been moved from their original locations all over Norway to the museum’s location at Bygdøy, which is incidentally also one of my favorite areas of Oslo.

The Arbeidermuseet, or Labour Museum, gives you a glimpse into the life of factory workers in Oslo during the Industrial Revolution—I think we knitters can be very interested in the history of everyday lives.

And the Kunstindustrimuseum, or the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, is unfortunately closed at its current location in order to prepare for relocation to the new National Museum, currently under construction. (These are tapestries from their collection.) It’s scheduled to reopen in 2020, so keep it in mind for future visits.


I know coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of t . . . well, you know what I mean. But I would be remiss to write about Oslo and not mention Nordic coffee culture, which is a pretty fantastic experience (especially if you like light roasts). Tim Wendelboe has become an incredibly well-known name in coffee culture abroad, for the quality of his company’s beans as well as how his baristas brew them (he’s a former World Barista Championships winner himself). His company’s direct relationship with the farmers who grow their beans is the cherry on top. A trip to his Grünerløkka café is like a High Coffee Experience.

For a more casual spot that still serves excellent coffee, head to Fuglen, and admire the gorgeous mid-century design of the interior while you’re there.

Fuglen is open late and also serves delicious cocktails.


Many tourists have heard of Frogner Park, which contains Vigelands Park, before coming to Oslo, and I’m happy to say that this is one of those cases where you’ve heard about it because it really is worth visiting.

Located on the western side of town, Frogner Park is expansive, with tree-lined paths, large swaths of grass on which it’s perfect to picnic, and a little river winding through it. The piece of the park that is Vigelands Park is the area featuring Vigeland’s famous statues. And if it’s a particularly hot day and you fancy going for a swim, taking line 5 of the T-bane to its end will take you to Sognsvann, where you can go for a dip or simply walk the trails around the lake.

Or perhaps a ferry ride to one of the islands in the Oslofjord is more your speed?

Foot ferries carry passengers from city pier 4 to the small islands located in the inner fjord, where you might take a walk, go for a swim, or have lunch at a little café.

Other Points of Interest

One of my favorite things in the city center is Oslo’s city hall building (“Rådhuset” in Norwegian), located right down on the harbor.

While from the exterior it can seem like a weird boxy building, it’s full of interesting details that aren’t apparent at first glance. A guided tour of the interior is also absolutely worth it and free during the summer months when the tour is offered regularly—there are some incredible rooms in this building that are unlike anything you’ll see elsewhere.

Plus, the main atrium is where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place each year.

Also in the city center is my favorite bookstore in Norway, Tronsmo.

Norway has many bookstore chains that can be found all over the country, but independent bookstores of this nature are rare. I could spend hours browsing the shelves in this place (and I do!) because the curated selection is so fantastic. The airy interior, featuring high ceilings and skylights, is an added bonus.


A Note About A Knitter’s Weekend

Each piece in our series A Knitter’s Weekend is written by a knitter with local knowledge and a personal point of view. If you have additional places or information you’d like to share, we’d love to hear it—please leave a comment. And if you have plans to visit Oslo, be sure to save this article in your MDK account

About The Author

Dianna lives in Trondheim, Norway, where she is working on a PhD in Educational Studies. In her spare time she’s a knitwear designer, photographer, and writer. Her work has appeared in Pom Pom QuarterlyKnitscene magazine, Interweave Knits, and Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People. Keep up with Dianna’s travels, knitting designs, and writing at her blog, Paper Tiger. And if you’re interested in baking, you can also find her at


  • Finally an explanation of my love of light roast coffee: my Scandi forebears. I would so love to see Oslo and especially that tapestry that will be under wraps until 2020!

  • I want to go to there! That tapestry with the polar bears is stunning.

  • Many places I’ve seen and long to see again, many more to look forward to seeing for the first time. Thanks for the heads-up on the Kunstindustrimuseet – such a must-see for textile enthusiasts, I would suggest saving an Oslo trip for 2020 – or of course, planning a return in 2020 after an earlier visit! I also recommend browsing Heimen Husfliden or Den Norske Husfliden for beautiful Norwegian handcrafts in textile and other media as well. Sigh . . . wish I could hop on a plane this minute.

    • Thanks for mentioning Heimen Husfliden – it went into my final draft but it looks like this post may have come from the draft right before it and it got left out!

      • I’m glad I spoke up!

        • Relieved to have you all catch this omission! Thank you! I put Husfliden back in—makes me want to go to Oslo even more.

    • I almost forgot to mention that the Kunstindustrimuseet is the home of the tapestry that inspired Kaffe Fassett’s “Foolish Virgins” sweater design. The original piece is called “Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins”, from Gudbrandsdalen circa 1750. Here’s a link to it in an interesting discussion of Norwegian tapestry. Fifth picture from the top.

  • I was in Norway in 2007 on a cruise with my dear mama, the best trip of a lifetime! We were on the Garrison Keillor Prairie Home Companion cruise (my mom was the writer in residence hired to teach writing classes each day of the cruise, since her father was an immigrant from Dale, Norway) and I was her guest! This post makes me want to go back so badly and take my children…maybe 2020, for a graduation trip for my daughter!!!! Thank you for posting!

  • My husband is from Norway, which requires that we visit family there at least every other year. I feel so lucky!
    It’s the best and most beautiful vacation destination on earth for knitters, painters, writers, hikers, cyclists. Coast, Fjords, cities and the countryside are all magnificent. There is nothing more lovely than Norway in summer.

    My extra wonderful Mother-in-law, who grew up just south of Bergen, learned to knit 86 years ago, at the age of four. I have watched slack-jawed as she knits sweaters with as many as four colors going at once, using fine Dale wool, talking and laughing and hopping up and down to check on dinner, returning to her chair to pick up her knitting….and never missing a color change. Amazing! I would love to be just like her when I’m 90!
    It’s really a county full remarkable people who work hard, play hard, and love beautiful practical craft.

    Thank you for this lovely reminder.

  • This is wonderful. I’m going to Scandanavia this summer and hope to get yarn in each country. I’ve got notes from this post and the one on Bergen.

  • I’ll probably not get the chance to travel there but I so enjoyed this little taste of Norway! Even the comments were interesting. Thank you!

  • This was a fun read. I was in Stavanger in the Summer of 2015 and was just amazed at the yarn everywhere! Even in grocery stores….buy your produce, pick up a couple skeins of wool….I loved it! And the country is just absolutely gorgeous!

  • Beautiful photos and stories.

  • When I was in Oslo in June this piece was my complete guide. Since then I have encountered a new yarn shop that emphasizes Norwegian breed sheep wool. Here is their Web page:
    Also, Kristy Glass did one of her YouTube interviews from the shop with the owner, Laila.

  • I know this post is several years old, but it is just what I needed! I am planning a trip next May and Oslo is our 2nd stop! I have been wanting a Norwegian knitting thimble and figured I should be patient a little longer and get it as a souvenir of my time in Oslo so I typed “oslo knitting store” into Google and yours was my first result and it had everything I was looking for and more! Thank you so much – I didn’t think it was possible to look forward to my trip more than I already did, but I am sitting here with a huge grin and eyes misty with happiness!

  • Suddenly, I need to visit Oslo!!

  • I so love the sharing of these beautiful historic location. I don’t have the financial ability to travel much so these posts are just a blessing to read and re-read. Thank you!

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