Introduction to Oslo
Oslo is unarguably the greatest city of Norway. The most populated city of the nation; this is one place you cannot miss! Oslo is just coming up to its 1,000 year anniversary in 2040. This city is the nexus of government and commerce in Norway. It rests on the southern border of Norway on the North Sea and is an important location for many aquatic industries as well.
Both the capital and the largest city of Norway, Oslo is also the fourth largest Scandinavian city after Kopenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. A city of superlatives, Oslo is also among the most expensive cities in the world. Surrounded by green hills, mountains and fjords, there are 343 lakes and 40 islands, including the Malmoya Island, in and around Oslo, which are themselves charming enough to turn your visit into a Scandinavian dream. Established in 1049 by King Harald the Third, Oslo does not only offer tourist attractions like 100 years old Christian burial sites, Akhersus Castle at the Oslo docks, the statues in Vegeland Park, museums where you can see authentic Viking ships, and many theaters and opera buildings, but also an urban experience in a city that has more green than concrete, and that respects nature, culture and arts. Oslo will satisfy your historic, cultural, natural, and artistic interests. It is obviously very cold in the winter due to being in northern Europe, so the best months to visit the city are June, July and August.
Historic Facts for Oslo
- The name of the city, Oslo, is believed to have origins in the language of Old Norse, meaning ‘Meadow at the Foot of a Hill’
- The patron saint of Oslo is St. Hallvard. Legend has it Hallvard sacrificed his life defending a pregnant slave from wrongful accusations of being a thief.
- Oslo has endured an uncharacteristic amount of major fires, and there are believed to have been at least a dozen spanning the millennium since its foundation.
- Oslo encompasses 40 islands within its city limits! The largest (Malmoya) is just over 0.5 sq km.
- The river Akerselva runs through the city and has a few small waterfalls. These were used as a power source for some of the first industrial factories and infrastructure in the country.
- Over-two thirds of the land area of Oslo are protected forests, hills, and lakes. There is a plethora of natural beauty to be admired in this city.
Parks and Recreation
So much of the land area of Oslo is dedicated to forests and natural landscape, resulting in numerous parks and landmarks. Frogner Park is a popular location that can be reached with a few minutes of walking from the downtown area. St. Hanshaugen park is also a well-known park located on top of a large hill. There are many other forests, parks, and even a handful of public pools that you don’t want to miss!
Oslo airports served
More information about Oslo
Food and Drink
More Places to Visit
Since Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, hunting for an affordable flight ticket is almost a must. Cheap flight tickets can be found by making early reservations. You can land directly at the Gardermoen Airport, located 50 kilometers outside the city center, by buying your Oslo plane ticket from Pegasus. The most preferred way of getting to the city center from the airport is a 20- minute train ride.
An alternative to the train is taking a bus. The SAS airport shuttles that depart from the Gardermoen Airport will take you downtown. Due to the considerable distance, taxi rides are very expensive and not preferable.
Transportation within the city is done by the Ruter system, which consists of the local buses, trams, subway lines and ferries. To use these vehicles you need to buy tickets from Ruter ticket booths. Ferry tickets cost 20 NOKs more expensive than the other vehicles. You can also rent bicycles to get around in the city.
In the expensive city of Oslo, shopping venues range from the shops of world-famous brands to outlet stores and flea markets. The largest shopping centers in the city are usually within walking distance. Souvenirs, pelisses and footwear and items made with marine products are some of the things you can find in Oslo’s local shops.
- Karl Johans Avenue - Karl Johans Avenue, which houses the most important hiking path in the city, is also the busiest shopping area. The avenue is lined and surrounded by world-famous brands' outlet stores, where you can shop for more reasonable prices. The avenue is very brightly lit and crowded in the evenings, when even a short walk can be a fun activity. Address: Karl Johans, Oslo
- Oslo City Shopping Center - Located in the Stenersgatar neighbourhood, this is the most popular shopping center in Norway. The five-story complex contains more than 90 restaurants and shops. It is a typical shopping center where you can find clothing, electronics, cosmetics, shoes, jewelry and a food court all in one place. Address: Stenersgata, Oslo
- GlasMagasinet - GlasMagasinet is the oldest and the most famous shopping stop in Norway. There are cosmetics, glass and crystal objects on the ground floor, 24 fashion shops on the first floor, a café on the second floor, and the largest kitchen in the country in the basement. Address: Stortorvet, Oslo
- Sten & Strom - Here you can find shops that offer designer items, clothing, food and wine from Norwegian, Scandinavian and international brands. Address: Slottsgate, Oslo
- Aker Brygge - Aker Brygge is in the dock area where you can find 10 shops, 40 restaurants, bars and other food establishments. With its old and new shipyard buildings, walking around in this neighbourhood is very enjoyable. Address: Sentrum, Oslo
- Ingens Gate - Also known as the hipster street of Oslo, you can find inexpensive souvenirs in the flea markets here. Address: Ingens Gate, Oslo
Food and Drinks in Oslo
Oslo is a coastal city and offers very delicious sea food. In addition to fish, Oslo’s local cuisine also contains game meats such as venison. Homemade village breads are comforting. Oslo is a city with rules in place to keep it prospering and maintain the high quality of living. For example, many restaurants close at 8 p.m. on Sundays, so you need to hurry up for dinner.
- Cocoa - If you would like to go shopping and spend time at a café after your morning walk and nice breakfast, you should visit Cocoa, and let its charming decor warm you up. Don’t leave without tasting the hot chocolate and carrot cake. Address: Toftes gate 48 (Nissens gate), 0556 Oslo, Norway
- Godt Brød - A bakery and coffee shop where you can start your day in a cozy atmosphere and with delicious sandwiches, pastries and some tea. Its very name means good bread. Address: Thorvald Meyers gate 49, 0555 Oslo, Norway
- Kaffebrenneriet -You will come across this coffee shop all over Oslo. It offers every delicacy you look for at a coffee shop, from Chai lattes to cakes and sandwiches. Address: Grønlandsleiret 32, Oslo 0190, Norway
- Hai Cafe - Hai Cafe is for you if you are looking for a quiet place with relatively inexpensive, yet delicious, dishes. You must give their pho soup, village breads and shrimp a try. Address: Calmeyers gate 6, Oslo 0183, Norway
- Mitsu - If you are looking for sushi in Oslo this is the spot. The high prices are justified by the elegance of the space and the taste of the sushi. Address: Mollergata, Oslo, Norway
- Fiskerriet - Fish is to Oslo what kebab is to us. You can sample all kinds of exquisite seafood, ranging from fish soup to oysters, in Fiskerriet, which is also a seafood market. Address: Oungstorget 2 B 0181 Oslo
Accommodation in Oslo
Finding a hotel in Oslo, especially during Nobel ceremonies and convention seasons, can be a bit difficult. So you should make your reservations for Oslo as early as possible. Among more affordable options for accommodation are hostels and relatively inexpensive hotels.
- Citybox Oslo - Located 250 meters from the Oslo Central Station and 150 meters from Karl Johans Avenue, Citybox Oslo attracts visitors’ attention both with its central location and affordable, yet high quality service. Address: Prinsens gate 6, 0152 Oslo, Norway
- Fredensborg Apartment - Only a 10 minute tram ride away from the city center, Fredensborg Apartment is a viable option for accommodation that offers comfortable flats with private kitchens and all the services you might need, including internet and TV. Address: Kirkeveien 166, 0450 Oslo, Norway
- Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz - Thon Hotel Rosenkratz is located 1 km from Aker Brygge and 700 meters from the Oslo Central Station. The hotel offers free dinners to its guests. Despite its rates, which are more affordable than 5 star hotels, it is ideal for visitors who just cannot let go of comfort and luxury. Address: Rosenkranzgt. 1, 0159 Oslo, Norway
- Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel - Only a 4 minute walk away from the Royal Palace, the hotel has a cocktail bar on its 21st floor, where you can enjoy the magnificent view of the city and the fjords. Its CCTV-monitored playrooms provide safe vacationing for guests with children. However, we have to mention that Radisson Blu is one of the more expensive options. Address: Holbergsgate 30, 0166 Oslo, Norway
- Frogner House Apartments - These are modern apartments in the heart of Oslo, only 300 meters from the Royal palace, and a minute away from the Karl Johans Gate on foot. In addition to basic services like free wi-fi, kitchens and showers, these apartments also have a laundry service you can use. If you are looking for an affordable vacation, you might want to check them out. Address: Arbinsgate 3, 0257 Oslo, Norway
Places to See in Oslo
With its colorful rooftops among green trees and white fenced buildings between rivers, Oslo resembles a city from a fairy tale. Moreover, it is also a city that cares greatly about arts and culture, and there are plenty of places to visit in Oslo. The parks and open spaces in Oslo, where the greenery of the city will charm you, are as time-worthy as the theater buildings and museums.
- Akershus Fortress - Located in the city center near the docks, Akhersus Fortress is a medieval castle, the construction of which began in 1290 during the reign of King Haakon. After the Second World War, the castle was used as a prison. The attractions inside the castle include the Akhersus Fortress Church, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the Norwegian Royal Tombs. Address: Akershus festning 0015 Oslo
- Vigeland Park - The magnificent Vigeland Park with its abundance of grass, trees and statues may be the first place you visit when you come to Oslo. With its scenery and 212 bronze and granite statues made by Gustav Vigeland, the park will indulge your love of both nature and art. In addition to going on walks, you can also picnic in the park. Address: Nobels gate 32, 0268 Oslo, Norway
- Vigeland Museum - Located inside Vigeland Park, this museum was used by Gustav Vigeland as a studio and home, and its neoclassical architecture makes it one of the most beautiful structures in Norway. Exhibited in the museum are Vigeland’s early works, plaster models, his portrait and a monument to him.
- Bygdoy Park - Surrounded by the sea and also known as the “Museum Peninsula of Oslo,” this is the most expensive area in Norway. It is impossible not to be fascinated by nature walking around in its green areas. Address: Bygdoy, Oslo, Oslo 0286, Norway
- Vikingskipshuset - The Viking Ship Museum - This is the museum where world’s best-preserved Viking ships from the 9th century are on display. In addition to the ships, you can also see tents, graves, woodwork, sleds and a horse-drawn carriage from the Viking era. Address: Huk Aveny 35, 0287 Oslo, Norway
- Norss Maritimt Museum - Norwegian Maritime Museum - Naval paintings, ship plans, boat models and artifacts of fishing and naval archeology are on exhibit in this museum built in 1914. The architectural awards the building received alone make it worthwhile to visit. Address: Bygdøynesveien 37, 0286 Oslo, Norway
- Nobel Institute - Founded on February 1, 1904, the Nobel Institute has a research department, a conference room, offices, a reading room and a library. To see where the people who award the Nobel Prizes work is truly exciting.
- The Nobel Peace Center - The construction of the Nobel Peace Center was finished in 2005 with a ceremony which was attended by the members of the Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families. It is a culture and arts center where temporary exhibitions and conferences are hosted, and information on the life and work of Alfred Nobel is presented. Address: Brynjulf Bulls Plass, Oslo
- Royal Palace - Built in the 19th century, the palace is considered to be one of Norway's most important historic buildings. In front of the 173-room palace stands a statue of the Norwegian-Swedish king, Karl Johan. In summer, you can take guided tours of certain areas inside the palace and go on walks in the greenery that surrounds it. The most interesting part is the change of guards performed daily at 13:30 by soldiers in their traditional uniforms. Address: Slottsplassen 1, 0010 Oslo, Norway
- Munch Museum - You should definitely visit this museum and see the legendary painting, Scream, and other works by famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. Address: Jarlsborgveien 14, Oslo 0578, Norway
- Holmenkollen - Known also as the “Holmenkollen Ski Jump,” this ramp is located 20-30 minutes away from the city center. Holmenkollen’s steel and concrete structure is decoratively lit at night, and it is considered to be the most modern ski ramp in the world. Address: Grefsenkollveien 14, Oslo 787, Norway
Nightlife in Oslo
The fact that Norway’s summer sun sets very late means that bars and nightclubs in Oslo are open until very late, too. In Oslo, where the night life is very vibrant, you can get your fill of all sorts of music and live performances.
- Izakaya - The Japanese anime movie posters on its walls create a charming atmosphere at Izakaya. You can order bite size Japanese dishes, and have a great time with their ginger-based cocktails until late at night. Address: St. Olavs plass 7, Oslo, Norway
- Blaa - Blaa is a nice bar with an always crowded garden, a dimly lit and dive-like atmosphere, where you can listen to live performances by bands playing various genres of music such as blues, jazz and rock late into the night. Address: Brenneriveien 9, Oslo 0182, Norway
- Fuglen - Fuglen is a retro furniture shop by day and a fun cocktail bar by night. It was chosen as the city’s best bar in 2010, so you should definitely stop by. Address: Universitetsgata 2 (Pilestredet), 0164 Oslo, Norway
- Nivou - Nivou, where Røyksopp spins and Norwegian DJ and producer Lindstrøm performs live, is the perfect spot for the dancer in you. Address: Møllergata 12, 0179 Oslo, Norway
- Tilt - Good music, great drinks and lots of fun! Time will pass differently in Tilt, which is both a bar and a game parlor. With its dimly lit ambience, it is one of the most crowded venues in the city. Address: Badstugata 2, 0179 Oslo, Norway
- Country Code: +47
- Ambulance: 113
- Fire Department: 110
- Police: 112
- Gardermoan Airport: +47 64 81 20 00