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The six best places to swim outdoors in Oslo this summer 

Summer is here, and so is our list of the best places to cool off and take a dip in Oslo.

The six best places to swim outdoors in Oslo this summer 
Here are our top picks on where to swim in Oslo. Photo: Jorge Mallo on Unsplash

Water temperatures in Oslo have begun to reach between 18 and 20 degrees at some of the cities most popular bathing spots. 

Whether you want to head to a beach, or take a quick dip in the city centre after work, our list has a little bit of something for everyone. 


The quay front in Bispevika is an obvious candidate given its super central location. It is also one of the newest swimming spots in Bjørvika and doesn’t get as crowded as Sørenga. The new pier at Bispevika has excellent views and is surrounded by plenty of bars, restaurants, shops and culture, being just a short walk from the world-famous Oslo Opera House and brand new Munch Museum. 

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Transport to the pier is easy too. You can walk down or take public transportation to Bjørvika. If that doesn’t take your fancy, then you could rent a city bike or electric scooter instead. 

Getting in and out of the water is straightforward thanks to the various ladders dotted about the pier. However, if you need more accessibility, then nearby Sørenga may be better as it has ramps.


One of the best things about living in Oslo is its proximity to nature, and this is the perfect spot for somebody looking to stay close to the city while also feeling like they are out surrounded by nature. 

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The lake is a bit narrow but is over 200 meters long, so it’s perfect for open-air swimmers looking for a workout spot or for those who want to keep away from the crowds. 

The best way to get to Båntjern is to take the subway to Vettakollen and then it’s a 10-15 minute walk. Alternatively, you can drive, and parking is available. 

Akerselva Badeplass, Nydalen 

Another one that’s very central. Restaurants, shops and parking are all nearby, and there are quite a few spots where you could take a dip in Nydalen. There’s several small artificial pools you can jump into. 

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There are also a few waterfalls and strong currents, so it may not be suitable for families with small children. 

However, if you follow the river north to Nydalsdammen, the water will be much calmer and a touch warmer. 

You can take either the tram or number 30 bus to get to Nydalen. 

Katten badestrand 

Katten is a child-friendly swimming spot with small sandy beaches and diving boards. There is also a toilet, shower, picnic benches and a small drinks and snacks kiosk. Parking can be a bit tight here, so you may need to take the 87 or 83 buses to get there instead. 

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Steinbruvann badeplass 

Previously a source of Oslo’s drinking water, Steinbruvannet is located in an excellent area for hiking and biking outside of Oslo’s city centre.

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Steinbruvann is quite large, being 850 metres long and almost 200 metres wide. There are several benches and picnic areas, and also jetties to offer easy access in and out of the water. 

You can take the metro to Grorud or busses 31, 66, 68, 79 to get there too. There’s also plenty of parking if you want to load up the car for a full day trip to Steinbruvann. 


East of the city centre, Hauktjern is perhaps better known for being a climbing hotspot, but the lake makes an excellent place for a swim. 

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This will take longer to get to than others on the list, being a 40-minute drive from the city centre. And those who aren’t on the roads in Norway will need to walk for around 50 minutes from Ulsrud Metro Station, so this is a spot for taking a day trip rather than a quick dip. 

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Could Oslo-Copenhagen overnight train be set for return?

A direct overnight rail service between the Norwegian and Danish capitals has not operated since 2001, but authorities in Oslo are considering its return.

Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.

An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail.

Jernbanedirektoratet is expected to assess a timeline for introducing the service along with costs, market and potential conflicts with other commercial services covering the route.

“I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting, including taking a train to Malmö, Copenhagen and onwards to Europe,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The minister said he envisaged either a state-funded project or a competition awarding a contract for the route’s operation to the best bidder.

A future Oslo-Copenhagen night train rests on the forthcoming Jernbanedirektoratet report and its chances of becoming a reality are therefore unclear. But the Norwegian rail authority earlier this year published a separate report on ways in which passenger train service options from Norway to Denmark via Sweden can be improved.

“We see an increasing interest in travelling out of Norway by train,” Jernbanedirektoratet project manager  Hanne Juul said in a statement when the report was published in January.

“A customer study confirmed this impression and we therefore wish to make it simpler to take the train to destinations abroad,” Juul added.

Participants in the study said that lower prices, fewer connections and better information were among the factors that would encourage them to choose the train for a journey abroad.

Norway’s rail authority also concluded that better international cooperation would optimise cross-border rail journeys, for example by making journey and departure times fit together more efficiently.

The Femahrn connection between Denmark and Germany, currently under construction, was cited as a factor which could also boost the potential for an overland rail connection from Norway to mainland Europe.

Night trains connected Oslo to Europe via Copenhagen with several departures daily as recently as the late 1990s, but the last such night train between the two cities ran in 2001 amid dwindling demand.

That trend has begun to reverse in recent years due in part to an increasing desire among travellers to select a greener option for their journey than flying.

Earlier this summer, a new overnight train from Stockholm to Berlin began operating. That service can be boarded by Danish passengers at Høje Taastrup near Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new night train from Copenhagen to Germany