The ultimate best thing to do in Oslo? I have a severe fear of heights but believe it or not, climbing Holmenkollen Ski Jump, a historic Norwegian landmark, was the highlight of my long weekend in Oslo!
If you love heights and unique experiences, conquering Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo should be high on your Oslo bucket list. Even if you hate heights, Holmenkollen is not to be missed on your visit to Oslo.Ever since I was a child I have watched Holmenkollen ski jump competitions on tv and knew that Holmenkollen was a world-famous winter sports arena, but for some reason I was not at all attracted to visit the spot when I was planning a three-day city break in Oslo. This was until several people advised that Holmenkollen is a fascinating green area with the best views of the city, a must-see when in Oslo. Thanks to my friends, I was convinced that I wanted to visit Holmenkollen, no matter what, weather permitting.
Our second day in Oslo started with clear skies and beautiful autumn sunshine. Such a perfect weather to visit Holmenkollen. After breakfast we headed to Tøyen metro station and took metro line 1 westbound to Frognerseteren. The 25-minute metro ride from Oslo city centre up to Holmenkollen was very scenic with amazing views of the city and the sea.Besides being a global landmark in ski jumping along with its annual ski jumping World Cup event, Holmenkollen is also a normal residential area where people live their lives, just like any other area of Oslo. It is just that in Holmenkollen they have a huge area dedicated to winter sports in the middle of it.From Holmenkollen metro station it was a further 10-minute walk uphill to the foot of the jumping hill Homenkollbakken. Views up to the ski jump and the tower from here were magnificent but very scary at the same time as I suffer from a severe fear of heights. Just an idea of climbing up already made me feel nervous even though I still had my feet on solid ground.
I saw plenty of people up at the lower observation deck and told myself that if they can do it, I can do it, too. After a short photo session, I started climbing the stairs constantly repeating to myself to take one step at a time, to keep a steady pace and not to look down.More or less five minutes later I reached the observation deck with shaky legs and sweaty palms. I made it! I was still alive and so proud of myself. I was completely out of breath and felt a massive adrenaline rush in my body. What a feeling! I am always up for challenges and it felt super good to face my fears.
I was slowly pacing around and catching my breath just to find out that most people arrive here by car, coach or on foot. I was like what the heck?! There is a paved road that actually comes all the way up here.
The Ski Museum in Holmenkollen is located right underneath the famous ski jump, which is made of steel and concrete. The museum is the oldest skiing museum in the world and presents 4000 years of ski history together with modern skiing and snowboarding through various exhibitions. Entrance ticket to the Ski Museum is 14 € (140 NOK, free with Oslo pass) and includes both the museum and the world-famous jump tower.
Outside the museum there is also a ski simulator, in which you can experience what it feels like to jump down the Holmenkollen hill. After the visit to the museum we took a lift up to the jump tower. There is only one lift so the queue can get quite long. Our estimated waiting time was 40 minutes but after 20 minutes we were already heading up. The lift ride itself is not scary at all, it is a normal lift with windows on two walls.
The observation deck on top of the jump tower is large and sturdy like a helipad and offers panoramic 360-degree views of Oslo, the islands of Oslofjord and the surrounding area of Holmenkollen. Absolutely breathtaking!
Once you are up there you can also zipline down the ski jump (extra cost) if you are brave enough. I opted to take the lift back down, no surprise.Holmenkollen was a perfect half-day trip from Oslo city centre. A lovely combination of activities in the fresh outdoors, culture and challenging my fears. Definitely the highlight of my visit to Oslo! I will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Stay tuned, more posts on Oslo coming up shortly!