Conveniently, Hovedøya, the nearest island to the city centre, is also the most interesting and probably the prettiest, its rocky, rolling hills decorated with woods and pastures. There are several specific attractions too, beginning with the Kunstverket, a little art gallery housed in an old building just up from the jetty, where there are displays of contemporary art. There are also the substantial ruins of a Cistercian monastery, built by English monks in the twelfth century, and incidental military remains, reminders of the time when the island was garrisoned and armed to protect Oslo’s harbour. Maps of the island are displayed here and there – there’s one at the jetty – and these help with orientation, but on an islet of this size – it’s just ten minutes’ walk from one end to the other – getting lost is pretty much impossible. There are plenty of footpaths to wander, you can swim at the shingle beaches on the south shore, and there’s a seasonal café opposite the monastery ruins. Camping, however, is not permitted as Hovedøya is a protected area, which is also why there are no summer homes.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Norway features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Existence at the extremities: a journey through Svalbard, Norway

Existence at the extremities: a journey through Svalbard, Norway

Svalbard is as human as the northern Arctic gets: as far north as you can venture without joining a scientific expedition, and the furthest north mankind has ma…

27 Nov 2017 • Luke Waterson local_activity Special feature
Into the Arctic: the journey of a modern-day adventurer

Into the Arctic: the journey of a modern-day adventurer

Guinness record-breaking adventurer and author Dave Cornthwaite is two months and 1000 miles into his latest self-propelled expedition. He is tackling the fam…

27 Sep 2017 • Rachel Mills local_activity Special feature
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs