What to do on a rainy day in Oslo, according to industry insiders

By Asa Hedvig Aaberge

From content creator Rikke Krefting Ulstein to stylist Alice Wang – six stylish locals to share their favourite spots for hunkering down on a dreary day in the city

Dreary and chilly days are not exactly a rarity up north. Luckily a dim and damp day in the city can feel both bright and cosy, warm and fulfilling as long as you fill it with good stuff.


From morning walks and exhibitions to a warm cup of coffee, delicious pastries or a visit to a snug cocktail bar – whatever fits your rainy day spirits, these Oslo gems feel mood-boosting on even the murkiest of days.

Zuzana Spustova – Jewellery Designer

Norwegians say there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. It took me a while to adopt this lifestyle, but it is the only way to survive in this country. And I can genuinely say I do love it here now and feel pretty Norweganised.

To me, the most important thing is to be outdoors every day, especially in winter when the days are short. Fresh air and daylight improve my mood and sleep. I feel lucky to live in an area called Frogner that is close to my two favourite outdoor places in the city, Vigeland Park and Bygdøy Peninsula. I walk there every day. I love how it changes depending on the season.

At Bygdøy, I try to sit and watch the sea or meditate. We have recently developed new meditation sounds with Berlin-based composer and sound designer Anna Von Raison. I love it so much, it transports me to such unknown places. You can find it on Spotify under Spustova. What I love about Oslo is how the city connects to nature – the proximity.


Vigeland Park is atmospheric whatever the weather. Photo: Espen Grønli / Vigelandmuseet.

Jewellery designer Zuzana Spustova.

I love to visit the Henie Onstad Museum, a short drive to the west. I love how it ages. It is remarkable, because it has outdoor sculptures next to the sea. Nikki Saint Phalle has an amazing show there until February – I have already been twice. Of commercial galleries, my absolute favourites are Peder Lund and the soon to be re-opened Golsa Gallery.

If your budget allows, I really recommend trying Michelin-starred restaurant Maaemo by Esben Holmboe Bang. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, true art!

Alice Wang – Stylist

When I moved to Grunerløkka two years ago, Dapper quickly became my go-to neighbourhood cafe, as it is for many in the area. I would bump into a friend there half the time and end up having coffee together, so to me it is a special place.

Dapper is actually a concept store for menswear, but you can get the city’s best coffee and yoghurt with granola here. The bakery goods and sandwiches there are also phenomenal.

Stylist Alice Wang. Photo: Alice Wang.

Menswear store-cum-cafe Dapper is a popular neighbourhood spot. Photo: Alice Wang.

It is especially cosy at Dapper in dull weather because of the high ceilings and huge glass windows, so even when it is bad weather outside, the space gets enough light in and it does not feel too gloomy to sit inside. I think this is very important for the people of Oslo since we get such a limited amount of daylight during the year.

At Dapper it is even quite pleasant to sit by the big windows and look out while it is raining. The cafe is in an area filled with other independent boutiques, cool restaurants and wine bars, so I recommend taking some time to explore.

Anwar Bougroug – Fashion Designer

Torggata Botaniske is one of my favourite bars in Oslo, and it's perfect for a rainy day in the capital. This trendy little bar has become a popular spot known for its interiors that, as the name suggests, are filled with beautiful plants. I love the vibe and their cocktails.

Avoid the rain in plant-filled cocktail den Torggata Botaniske. Photo: Torggata Botaniske.

Fashion designer Anwar Bougroug. Photo: Mario de la Rossa.

It can get quite packed during the night, so make sure to go early. The space is quite intimate and most certainly a more niche cocktail bar. This place is a must-visit if you are as obsessed with cocktails as I am.

Rikke Krefting Ulstein – Content Creator

A perfect grey day for me is to start early, with a morning walk around Bygdøy and a coffee with my mum or one of my best friends. I miss them very much when I live in London, so I dedicate my days in Oslo to quality time with them.

I love to start the day with a coffee from Kaffebrenneriet, right by the front door to our apartment in Oslo. It has a cosy morning atmosphere, which I love, and the best coffees. Mocca also offers unique coffees and croissants. I love Samson's cinnamon buns and the cafe has a cosy vibe. It reminds me of my grandma. We always used to go there.

Content creator Rikke Krefting Ulstein. Photo: Rikke Krefting.

Rikke Krefting Ulstein's breakfast staple. Photo: Rikke Krefting.

Many new cultural destinations have opened in Oslo over the past year, which I always look forward to visiting. After breakfast I love to dress properly, with good shoes and go to a new gallery or museum, for example the Munch Museum or the National Museum.

For a lazy breakfast or brunch, Kafeteria August is my new favourite. They have the best breakfast dishes and a cool vibe. Our neighbouring restaurant Enoteca is another favourite. They have the best pizza and the atmosphere is so cosy with a homey feel.

Ignat Wiig – Photographer

Renting a sauna from Oslo Badstuforening, together with a group of friends, is very fun on a cold rainy day. Take a bath in the freezing sea and then melt into the warmth.

Eff Eff is a cool place for oysters. They also serve crisps with creme fraiche and roe, in addition to other great snacks. They have a large selection of bubbles, and lots of interesting wine. It is a perfect place for social get togethers. It's not a place where you just eat your food quickly and leave, you want to spend time there.

Eff Eff is a perfect place for rainy day get togethers. Photo: Ignat Wiig.

Photographer Ignat Wiig. Photo: Ignat Wiig.

Another way to spending a rainy day in the city is cooking a good dinner inside in the warmth. I would really recommend taking a trip to Gutta på Haugen, buying high-quality ingredients, and going home to the kitchen. They have everything you need, from cheeses, assorted vegetables and lots of interesting sides.

Jacqueline Landvik – Photographer

I would take the trip just outside the city, to Kistefos to experience Ida Ekblad's monumental masterpiece of a bronze sculpture. It's such a mindful place to visit and the sculpture park is open daily, year round.

The sculpture park at the Kistefos museum. Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Photo: Hans Haug