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Cultural Calendar: April/May 2024

Head outside and greet the sun with this curated list of events for April and May.


With the sun, a deluge of vitamin D and pilsner has washed over Oslo. Yes, after five cold and morose months, it is finally spring. Throughout the long winter, week after week, I’ve been watching the same abandoned doggie bag covered and recovered by the fickle snows. Well, the snow is gone and I’m sure the owner, who probably just forgot it, shall politely come and pick it up before long. It is sunny, and I am convinced that our fine city will never see rain or snow again. With a heart encumbered by youthful optimism, I have curated this list of springy activities for you all to enjoy.

Go thrift shopping

With spring comes spring cleaning with its clearing of closets and wardrobes. Everyone knows that spring is a time of liberation, with the shedding of winter layers and the Norwegian spirit of communal work exemplified in the dugnad. Whether you’re on the lookout for furniture, clothes, gifts, or tableware, you’ll find second shopping a fun alternative. Just don’t buy what you don’t need – or you’ll soon find yourself with a little stall by the side of the road, and so the circle continues.

When: Most Saturdays and Sundays, April through May
Where: Around town
Learn more here.

Join festivals and fun


Head to Grønland on this April day to experience street games originating from various countries around the world. From street chess to playground classics such as hopscotch, there is something for everyone here.

When: 20 April 11:00
Where: Interkulturelt Museum, Tøyenbekken 5
Learn more here.

Sonisk Hage

Students in composing at The Norwegian Academy of Music (NMH) have strung together this two-day musical event to showcase their work. In just a few hours over two evenings, you’ll get the chance to soak in a lot of up-and-coming experimental music and to hear classical musicians venture past the divide into contemporary territory.

 When: 26-27 April 17:30
Where: Kulturhuset, Youngs gate 6
Learn more here.

Tom Waits run

The similarities between this event and a “run” are as thin as its connection to Tom Waits, who’s been sober since the 1990s. In all honesty, it’s a pub crawl, and may or may not involve running. The route – crawl, walk, or run, your choice – circles around a selection of the old town’s drinking joints of the less-than-hip kind. And there’s a definite charm in that.

When: 4 May 13:00
Where: Start from Klosterenga kafe og bar
Learn more here.

Celebrate Labour Day

Corking off my favorite month is Labour Day (Arbeidernes dag). You’ll find activities all around town in celebration of the labor movement and worker’s rights. Also known as May Day, the celebration has strong roots in choir singing, and you’ll hear voices echoing especially around Youngstorget.

Sing along with worker’s songs

On the Labour Day eve, you can hear the mixed-gender Socialist Choir sing worker’s songs at Kulturkirken Jakob. The ambience of the unusual church alone is worth a visit.

When: 30 April 18:30
Where: Jakob Culture Church

Join a march

The Labor Day proceedings are usually fairly straightforward: at Youngstorget, people gather to hear speeches from various organizations in support of social causes. Afterwards, marches depart towards the Royal Palace, before swinging back towards the center. Head to the Storgata bar Folk afterwards for concerts and a pint! Even if you don’t speak Norwegian, the folksy spirit of democracy at work is intoxicating. And so is the pilsner.

When: 1 May 11:45
Where: Youngstorget

Go outdoors!

Trip to Hovedøya island with Erasmus Student Network

You only need a public transport ticket to join this free trip to Hovedøya. The island was previously home to a military base and has thus remained relatively untouched. Even if you’ve been living in Oslo for a while and think you’ve seen the city, you may find the landward view over central Oslo with its divisive modern architecture as interesting as the journey itself.

When: 11 May 10:45
Where: Aker Brygge Info Point
Sign-up and learn more here.

Hike to Vettakollen

Nature in Oslo is never far away. One of the easier treks in the area, the hike to Vettakollen nevertheless offers some nice panoramic views over the fjord, city, and Holmenkollen ski jumping hill. Some choose to stay the night, rigging up hammocks in the surrounding nature.

When: Whenever!
Where: Take metro line 1 to Vettakollen
Learn more here

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