Oslo is at its finest in summer, because that's when the green parks and nature areas around the city really come to life. One of the best things about the city is the peaceful Oslo fjord. This small area in the innermost part of the fjord is densely populated, so the prettiest spots fill up quickly during the summer season, but fortunately there are many alternatives scattered around the area. If you're up early, you may be able to enjoy some quiet time to yourself on a rock on Bygdøy, but otherwise you just need to embrace it and enjoy the summer, regardless of bathing temperature and population density.

    1

    Huk

    Sandy Beaches at Bygdøy

    Huk is a large outdoor area at the far end of Bygdøy with sandy beaches, green surroundings and all the facilities you need for a day out. This place is certainly the city's most popular bathing spot, but not the place for those looking for a peaceful spot on a summer's day. With a great view of the Oslo Fjord and excellent conditions for swimming for both young and old, this is still an exceptionally lovely place. Huk is less than half an hour by public transport or bike from Oslo S, and also has a large car park. The standard of the toilet facilities hasn't been great but is improving. An excellent street basketball court is a plus for many, and the option of some clothing-free sunbathing and swimming on Huk's naturist beach is also popular.

    Location: Strømsborgveien 57, 0287 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by bjaglin (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    Paradisbukta

    A Little Bit of Paradise by Bygdøy

    Paradisbukta is a bathing place on the west side of Bygdøy that offers slightly calmer and more remote beaches than, for example, Huk. You can only get here on foot or by bike, but it is only around one kilometre along lovely forest paths from Huk or Bygdøy. The beach itself has fine sand and lovely swimming conditions. Standard facilities are in place, with benches, bins and basic toilets. Bathers will appreciate the bathing ladder and raft, but daredevils would probably prefer to go elsewhere. The paths are well-signposted, particularly from the car park in Huk. The best way to get here is by bike, which takes around 20 minutes from the centre.

    Location: Paradisbukta, Bygdøy, 0287 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Grzegorz Wysocki (CC BY 3.0) modified

    3

    Sørenga Sjøbad

    Enjoy a Sea Dip in the Heart of the City

    • Budget

    Sørenga Sjøbad has emerged as part of the development of the port of Oslo, and has brought increased wellbeing for residents and guests in the city centre. Located a few minutes walk from the Opera and the city centre streets, Sørenga is easy to get to if you want to stop by to cool off in the water and relax in the sun. A small part of the fjord is screened off by a sea groin, creating a small inner pool. The pool is surrounded by plenty of jetty and a kind of grandstand construction, which is a great place to sit and catch the sun's rays all year round. A small sandy beach has also been added here to provide safe bathing for little ones. Modern as it is, the facility is universally designed to the delight of people with reduced mobility.

    Location: Sørengkaia, 0194 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Katrine Lunke (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Tjuvholmen City Beach

    Swimming for Pop art Fans and Others

    • Budget

    Tjuvholmen city beach is part of the green area at the Astrup Fearnley Museum on Tjuvholmen in the middle of Oslo harbour. Tjuvholmen sculpture park opens into a small beach on the sunny side of the museum, which is suitable for families with small children. This is a shingle beach, which may not be as fun to play with as sand, but it's not uncomfortable to walk on and you avoid getting sand everywhere. The area by the very southern tip of Tjuvholmen is suitable for bigger and more able swimmers, with jetties that have steps leading into the water, as well as diving boards and lifebuoys.

    Location: Tjuvholmen, 0252 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Helge Høifødt (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Ingierstrand

    The Gem by Bunnefjorden

    Ingierstrand is a large outdoor area in the Oppegård municipality south of Oslo, with lovely grassy slopes, boulders, beaches and an elegant 10-metre high diving tower in a functionalist style. If you're lucky, you'll get to see some amazing dives from some of the more daredevil divers as they launch themselves off the top board. There is a lower board for younger divers. Other bathers can relax and enjoy the wonderful sand and clean, clear water. There is both a sandy beach and a shingle beach, and jetties where children can go crab fishing. It is very easy to get around here thanks to the walkways and steps. The wheelchair ramps increase accessibility and the lifeguards increase safety. The facilities could be better here, but you have all you need and the place is constantly being refurbished. One downside is that a car is essential to get here.

    Location: Ingierstrandveien 27, 1420 Svartskog, Norway

    Open: Daily: 09.00–23.00

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    6

    Katten Bad

    A Small But Famous Bathing Spot

    Katten is the bathing place everyone has heard of thanks to Lillebjørn Nilsen's song "Bysommer", where he guarantees at least eighteen degrees in the water on a lovely summer's day. Other than that, Katten may not have a lot to offer beyond what is expected from a bathing place by the Oslo Fjord, but it does have a nice sandy beach, fairly new toilets and showers plus a kiosk and a couple of diving boards. The easiest way to get to this slightly cramped area between Mosseveien and the fjord is probably by bus, which stops a stone's throw from the beach. Parking facilities are poor, and cycling is only for the traffic savvy.

    Location: Mosseveien 247, 1169 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Kimsaka (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    7

    Bogstadvannet Bathing Area

    Large Area for Freshwater Swimming

    Bogstadvannet bathing area lies on the border between Oslo and Bærum municipalities and is a perfect freshwater bathing spot. Large, flat grassy areas are ideal for playing or relaxing on. The water is flanked by a long sandy beach, and is shallow enough for children to wade in. The location on the outskirts of Nordmarka means there are green surroundings with fresh air and good hiking opportunities in the immediate area, while access is relatively easy by either car, public transport or bike.

    Location: Sørkedalsveien, 0757 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Sean Hayford O'Leary (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Hvervenbukta

    Pretty Beach by Bunnefjorden

    Hvervenbukta is a beautiful outdoor area by the Bunnefjord southeast of Oslo city centre, with excellent facilities and bathing conditions. Hvervenbukta benefits from good parking facilities, public transport, facilities for the disabled and the toilets are also of a higher standard than usual. The area has two beaches, a pebble beach and one with fine sand and a soft seabed, something you rarely get at Norwegian bathing spots. There are plenty of boulders and grass to roll out your towel out on and enjoy the sun, and benches and tables for those who like to sit at a table to have their picnic.

    Location: Ljansbrukveien 4C, 1250 Oslo, Norway

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    photo by Kjetil Ree (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Fiskevollbukta

    Svaberg in the Evening Sun at Ljanselva's Outlet

    • Budget

    Fiskevollbukta swimming area is a small area east of the inner Oslo fjord, where the Ljanselva river flows into the fjord below the district of Holmlia. Due to limited access, the general size of the area and the lack of facilities, Fiskevollbukta doesn't attract large crowds, but is without a doubt a nice place to find a rock, enjoy the afternoon sun and swim in the fjord. The small tongues of sand that lead up from the water's edge are just right for small children who want to wade in the shallows, although the shells and stones can feel sharp on their feet. The bus stop on Mosseveien just above the beach makes it relatively easy to get here from other parts of the city, and good hiking opportunities in the forest south along the Bunnefjord make this a good allround spot for hiking, picnics and swimming.

    Location: Fiskevollbukta, 1250 Oslo, Norway

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    10

    Sydstranda (Ulvøya)

    Well-maintained Beach for Paying Guests

    Sydstranda on Ulvøya is a private recreation area that is open to the public for a fee to the local welfare association, which provides well-developed, maintained facilities and nice, clean surroundings. As well as sanitary facilities, there is a kiosk with snacks, a floating jetty with a bathing ladder, and a diving tower. The more delicate bathers will appreciate the slightly warmer water here, all thanks to the area's geopgraphy and climate. The kiosk, toilets and ticket sales close around 18:00 during the bathing season, but you can stay on-site until midnight once you've bought a ticket. Parking is scarce, so take the bus or cycle instead.

    Location: Måkeveien 26, 0139 Oslo, Norway

    Open: Daily: 09.00–24.00

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