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Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway, and the third largest city of Scandinavia. Situated in the East of the country in a fjord extending over an inlet of the Skagerrak strait, it is surrounded by green hills and mountains and includes 40 islands and 343 lakes. Oslo is one of the world's northernmost capitals and so gets only 6 hours of sunlight in the winter. In high summer, sunlight hours soar to 18, making its climate markedly different between seasons, with cold yet relatively dry winters.

A relatively compact city squeezed into a thin strip of land along the shoreline, Oslo prides itself as one of the world's most sustainable cities. While it holds an array of historic monuments, Oslo is perhaps most famous for its modern architecture, including striking and daring projects launched at the turn of the millennium. Oslo's economy is powered by the maritime industry, high-tech and clean energy sectors.... Read more

Oslo, Norway


Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway, and the third largest city of Scandinavia. Situated in the East of the country in a fjord extending over an inlet of the Skagerrak strait, it is surrounded by green hills and mountains and includes 40 islands and 343 lakes. Oslo is one of the world's northernmost capitals and so gets only 6 hours of sunlight in the winter. In high summer, sunlight hours soar to 18, making its climate markedly different between seasons, with cold yet relatively dry winters.

A relatively compact city squeezed into a thin strip of land along the shoreline, Oslo prides itself as one of the world's most sustainable cities. While it holds an array of historic monuments, Oslo is perhaps most famous for its modern architecture, including striking and daring projects launched at the turn of the millennium. Oslo's economy is powered by the maritime industry, high-tech and clean energy sectors. In 2010, Oslo was ranked as the world's most expensive city to live in by the Swiss wealth management company UBS AG.

Oslo is the demographic, economic and political center of Norway. As the capital of Norway, Oslo hosts several national institutions. The city has a good selection of cultural institutions and a good selection of restaurants, some world class but most ordinary, as well as nightlife in general. While it is an expensive city for overseas visitors, many of the best things are free of charge, notably Oslo's proximity to wild nature and variety of outdoor activities.


Following the latest reform of January 1, 2004, the city is divided into fifteen boroughs (bydeler). Most tourist attractions are concentrated in the city center (Sentrum). Some other districts of note are Frogner, a hilly residential district with the namesake park famous for the Vigeland sculptures, and the Grünerløkka, hub for nightlife and the creative scene, while Munch museum is at Tøyen in the inner eastern suburb.

Traditionally, Oslo has been divided into the eastern and western parts, with the West being the more affluent, with elegant buildings and a posh character, and the East consisting of working-class neighborhoods, growing into a home for both the artistic bohemian and poor immigrant communities.

For the short term visitor, navigation is typically related to key buildings and streets in the Central downtown area.

Karl Johans gate

(known merely as Karl Johan) is Oslo's main street and runs from the railway station passed and towards the

Royal Palace

. Key buildings are concentrated around this street, notably the University, the Nationaltheateret, the Cathedral and Stortinget (Parliament). In the adjacent streets the City Hall, Nobel peace centre (previous West station), Ministries (government buildings), the Supreme court, and major museums. The nightlife district at

Aker brygge

is a short stroll from Karl Johan. The new Opera house is next door to the railway station. In addition to the Central railway station, next door to the Nationaltheateret and Palace there is the second main station underground served by airport trains, local trains, and all metro lines.

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Oslo, Norway: Port Information

The cruise ports in Oslo are located on four different Sentrum piers, from west to east: Filipstad (330m (LOA), 8,5m draft), west of Aker Bryyge; Søndre Akershuskai (345m (LOA), 10,3m draft), the main pier by Akershus Fortress; Vippetangkaia (249 m (LOA), 7,3 m draft), south of Akershus Fortress; Revierkaia (294 m (LOA), 8,3 m draft), south of the Opera House.

Get around Oslo, Norway

There is a comprehensive public transport system in Oslo, consisting of buses, trams, trains, metro (T-bane) and boats. The public transport is planned and coordinated by Ruter.

Ruter Service Center (formerly known as Trafikanten) is the information center for public transport in Oslo. It is situated at Jernbanetorget, just outside Oslo Central Station, by the foot of the clock tower, as well as at Aker Brygge and at Oslo Airport (Gardermoen). They hand out free maps, give information and sell all kinds of tickets. The Ruter website has timetables, maps, route planner and search engines for all city transport in Oslo, as well as all transport in the nearby counties of Akershus, Østfold, Oppland, Hedmark, Buskerud, Vestfold and Telemark. The Oslo Tourist Information Centre is in the same office at Jernbanetorget, at the rear counters.

There are two main hubs for public transport inside the city center: Oslo Central Station (Oslo S) / Jernbanetorget and Nationaltheateret (underground). All metro lines pass these stations, all trains pass Oslo S and most trains (including the Airport Express Train (Flytoget)) pass Nationaltheateret. Nationaltheateret is most convenient for key buildings such as the Royal Palace, the National Gallery, the Parliament, Oslo Concert Hall and Oslo City Hall.

Tickets and the zone system

The Oslo and Akershus public transport utilizes a zone system in which the price for a trip is calculated based on how many zones you pass through. For clarity, all ticket prices listed here are for one zone only.

All transport runs on the same fare scheme, and the same tickets are valid for all modes of transport.

All these tickets, except 365-day ticket, are half-priced for children (4–15 years) and elders (67 and up). 7-day and 30-day tickets are also half-price for youth up to and including 19. Children under the age of 4 ride for free. Children under 16 who travel with an adult travel for free at weekends. As a side note, bringing a bike requires buying an additional child ticket. Student discounts for 30-day tickets are also available, but only if you are studying in Oslo or Akerhus area. Read more about discounts here: discounts here. For a short visit, one additional option is to buy an Oslo Pass which includes free admission to many tourist attractions and other benefits.

All tickets can be bought at Ruter Service Centre (Trafikanten) near Oslo S, at Aker Brygge as well as at Oslo Airport (Gardermoen), at most 7-Eleven, Deli De Luca, Mix and Narvesen kiosks and stores in Oslo and Akershus in addition to other kiosks and grocery shops near stops and on ticket machines on all metro stations and a few of the tram stops. All these tickets are also valid on the night lines, running every Friday and Saturday night after the regular service has shut down.

Make sure that you have a ticket with you when traveling and that it is validated before entering the metro platform or boarding the rear door of the bus or tram. 24-hour tickets, 7-day tickets, 30-day tickets, 365-day tickets, Travelcards, single tickets purchased in a kiosk as well as electronic single tickets are not valid until they are activated (validated) or stamped. On a bus or tram, the tickets are activated (validated) or stamped when you board; stamping either by the driver or in a stamping machine (for Kupongkort), activating by holding the card next to a card reader. On the metro and the large railway stations, you activate or stamp the ticket before entering the train.

Almost all of the tickets are now available as electronic tickets, on an electronic travel card or on an Impuls card (for single tickets and 24-hour tickets), but a very few of the tickets are still available in paper format. The paper tickets will probably disappear during 2012.

Please note, these tickets are not valid on the Airport Express Train (Flytoget), the Airport Coach (Flybussen and Flybussekspressen) and Timekspressen.

By metro

Oslo has a fairly large metro system consisting of 6 lines. It is known as the Tunnelbane or mainly just T-bane in Norwegian. The metro covers the city center and a large part of the residential areas. The metro does not cover popular areas close to the city centre such as Bislett, St. Hanshaugen, Grünerløkka and Sagene. These areas are easily reached by bus or tram.

To find a T-bane station, just look for the blue and white logo with a "T" within a circle. There are six lines, but the network is easy enough to figure out: all lines merge to one single tunnel through the city center, from Majorstuen through Jernbanetorget (Oslo S/Oslo Central Station) to Tøyen, and then spread out into the suburbs. A loop line runs in a circle from northern Oslo city center to the center and back. The loop line is called "Ringen" (the ring) in Norwegian.

With rolling stock from the 1960s, the Oslo metro used to be one of the most run-down in Europe, but it has now been fully replaced with new metro trains engineered by Siemens and designed by Porsche.

When entering a T-bane station, make sure to pick the correct platform: all stations except three on the loop line (Sinsen, Storo and Nydalen) have separate entrances and separate platforms for trains going west and trains going east. If you have a paper ticket, make sure that it is valid (stamped) before entering the train. If you have an electronic ticket, you should theoretically validate the ticket before entering the train; however, this is not yet enforced rigidly (but the ticket must still be valid (activated)).

By bus or tram

Trams and buses complement the metro network and use the same tickets. They cover most of the city and run from approx. 5 AM to midnight, on some lines up to 01:00. Two bus lines, 31 and 37, run all night, every day.

All tram lines run every 10 minutes during the day, and every 20 minutes at night and early morning (30 min at weekend mornings). The main lines cover parts of the city with no metro, and are an efficient way of getting around. The main, central tram terminal is at Jernbanetorget, where all lines converge.

Bus lines cover the rest of the city, as well as several ring lines. Nearly all central bus lines converge at Jernbanetorget. The most useful bus lines for visitors are buses 30, 31, 32, 34, 37 and 54, passing by Jernbanetorget and covering parts of the city with no tram or metro lines. Buses 20 and 21 provide central ring-line service, while buses 23 and 24 cover the highway ring road further out.

Nights after Fridays and Saturdays, night buses cover parts of the city with varying frequency. Most of these start or pass by the bus stops close to the Parliament building (Stortinget) and Jernbanetorget (Oslo Central Station/Oslo S). All regular tickets are valid.

By train

Local trains (the NSB lines L1, L2, L3, L12, L13, L14, L21, L22) cover certain areas of the city (zone 1) and run out to the neighboring municipalities and towns. The local train network spans across the city limits to neighboring cities and towns. The local trains use the same tickets as the metro, trams, and buses within Oslo and Akershus counties, but a different pricing scheme is used on journeys beyond that.

Some of the cars on local trains have orange doors, with the notice "Ubetjent" and "Carriage without Conductor". These cars are usually not visited by the conductor, and you can use these cars only if you have a ticket which is stamped or pre-validated and does not need to be stamped by the conductor. If you are unsure about the rules, play it safe and take one of the carriages with black doors and notices marked "Betjent" and "Carriage with Conductor".

In the center, the main station is Oslo Sentralstasjon (Oslo S), which connects to the metro station Jernbanetorget through a direct link (escalators down by track 1/exit to Oslo City shopping center/bus terminal) and most bus/tram lines above ground. The second downtown station, served by most local trains and several regional ones, is the underground station Nationaltheateret, and is located immediately below the metro station of the same name. Most westbound buses also stop just outside the station.

Punctuality, especially in the winter, can be an issue as the train system is quite run down. However, things have improved since a big program of refurbishment was started in 2010. Please note that regular tickets are valid on the NSB trains, but not on the Airport Express Train (Flytoget).

By boat

Boats run from Vippetangen near Akershus fortress to the islands in the Oslofjord, as well as from Aker Brygge to Bygdøy, with many major museums. The regular tickets are valid for local boats.

The departures, especially in evenings and winter, are infrequent, so make sure you don't miss the last one!

From Aker Brygge, there are also departures for Nesodden and Slemmestad. These run out of Oslo and are not covered by the Oslo tickets. However, they provide a cheap cruise on the Oslofjord.

By bike

Except during the winter (approx. Dec-Mar) Oslo has a public bike service. Just get a keycard at the tourist office or at the aforementioned web site before going to Oslo and you can get a bike at numerous places in the city. The bike can be used for up to three hours before you return it to any city bike stall. Once you have returned it, you are immediately eligible for a new one, so you can practically keep the bike all day long provided you check in and check out every three hours. There is also a bike tour company in the downtown (Viking Biking) which offers rentals on new DBS comfort hybrid bikes with different sizes for men, women, and children. In addition to rentals, it is possible to take guided bike tours.

By taxi

Taxis are expensive. Taxis in Oslo as in most of Norway are frequently new, large and comfortable cars like Volvo or Mercedes. Most taxis wait for customers in a line in front of hotels or train stations, or you can order one by phoning one of the handful of taxi companies (for an extra charge). You can also flag one from the street, or go to a taxi stand.

Several companies compete to have the most incomprehensible price structure. These fees vary by a taxi company and time of day. Usually, there are three different rates: The lowest one is the day rate, usually between 06:00 and 18:00. The next is the evening and night rate, usually 18:00-06:00 Monday to Friday and 06:00-18:00 on Saturdays. The last rate is usually for Saturday night after 18:00 until Monday morning at 06:00, but different companies do have different time frames. Beware that some companies will operate with a special holiday rate (helligdagstakst) on public holidays, including the night before, which will result in staggering rates.

Taxi drivers in Oslo aren't a particularly jolly breed, but they usually do not speed too much, and taxi-crime towards customers is almost non-existent (towards tax authorities, however, is a different matter). Sometimes a taxi driver will attempt to charge you extra for luggage, and some companies do have a surcharge for this. The price structure should be shown on a sticker inside the car but is always in so small print, and with an overwhelming amount of details, you can't possibly decipher it. Another thing that often disturbs visitors is that the taxi drivers' name and license are not printed inside the car itself. If you encounter any problems, ask for a receipt which will help you identify the car later, or make a note of the taxi license number on the car roof.

All taxis accept Visa and MasterCard, and the card should be swiped in the meter at the start of the journey for card validation. The driver will usually keep the card on top of the meter so that you can keep an eye on it. If you are uncomfortable with this, it is possible to ask to get the card back, but the card needs to be swiped again when you arrive at your destination. Most meters are just swipe and sign, but some companies have EMV chip terminals where you'll need to authorize the charge with your PIN. There have been no known scams connected to credit card fraud in taxis.

Taxi drivers do not generally expect a tip - most people pay the exact amount by card anyway.

By car

For general information on driving in Norway, see Norway.

The major roads entering Oslo are also used for travel inside the city. In the eastern suburbs, road E6 is the main north-south corridor. East-west transport can be done on road E18 as well as Ring 3 running from E18 at the western city border to E6 in the eastern suburbs. The smaller (and slower) Ring 2 connects Skøyen in the west via Majorstua, Ullevål general hospital and Carl Berners plass to E18 east of the center. The ring roads (as well as other main roads) are great for navigation.

Beware to always give way to trams and pedestrians, unless overridden by signs or traffic lights. Never challenge the tram, they have a long braking distance and will, in any case, give a loud, clear warning if you are obstructing. In some roundabouts, the tram is driving straight through the island while cars must circle, be extremely careful in this type of roundabouts. Trams are not obliged to yield to pedestrians, while cars must. Park your car in safe distance from the rails as not to obscure the tram (ask locals if unsure).

What to see in Oslo, Norway

Buildings and structures

Architecture in Oslo may at first seem dull. Unlike Stockholm, downtown Oslo has only scattered monumental buildings where in particular the Parliament-Palace axis (upper part of Karl Johan Street) has a certain grandeur. This central area and the public buildings there were designed after Oslo became the capital of Norway in 1814. The charm of Oslo can also be found in the affluent inner-city suburbs of for instance Frogner and Fagerborg as well as above St.Hanshaugen park. The districts surrounding the very center is characterized by the city's rapid expansion after 1850. These areas were developed when horses were still the most important transport, and blocks of flats from this period usually has a gate (known as port) from the street into the back yard where horses were kept. Oslo also has many exciting building projects, and the city's whole waterfront is undergoing a thorough change.

Northern Europe has a distinct wooden house tradition. Wooden houses are not allowed downtown, but these charming houses can be found in large numbers in villa suburbs such as Bygdøy and Holmenkollen, or former workers' areas such as Rodeløkka, Kampen, Vålerenga, Damstredet, Hellerud or Telthusbakken. The 1624 fire destroyed much of old Oslo (some churches and Akershus castle remain) and central Oslo is dominated by the city that was designed after the fire.
  • Kampen. The Kampen neighborhood is an area with many traditional wooden houses. free.
  • Damstredet/Fredensborg. The steep Damstredet with traditional wooden houses. Towering on the hill above are the iconic Westye Egeberg blocks. free.
  • Royal Palace (Slottet) (T-Nationaltheateret, tram 13-19 to Slottsparken. Located at the end of Karl Johans gate, the city's main avenue.). The Palace is the residence and offices of the king, Norway's head of state. Council of State meetings are held there every Friday. Building of the Palace began in 1824 and completed in 1849. The Palace sits on a small mount at the end of Oslo main street, Karl Johans gate, named after the king at the time. Originally built outside the city. Neoclassical style. Tours inside the palace are arranged in the summertime, starting on June 21. The tickets for the tour must be bought in advance from a post office. If there are vacant spots in a tour, they sell the remaining tickets at the Palace itself to people waiting in line who don't already have tickets. Don't count on getting tickets on the spot unless you are quite ahead in the line since a lot of people buy them at the post offices. There are about 2 tours in English on weekdays.
  • Opera House (all trams and buses to Jernbanetorget or Oslo S then take the footbridge from the seaside exit of Oslo central station, next to the Airport Express train terminal). Norway's first entry into the top league of modern architecture. Awarded the 2008 prize for the best cultural building at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona, and the prestigious Mies van der Rohe award for best European contemporary architecture in 2009, its appearance is stunning. Shaped as a glacier or a ship, the amazing building seems to float by the inlet Bjørvika, giving a stunning impression. Climb the building on the marble slopes (summer only) for a unique Oslo view. The main highway, which used to pass just between the Opera and Oslo Central Station, is now moved to a sub-sea tunnel under Bjørvika. The huge road crossing Bispelokket, which has marred the seafront of Oslo for 50 years, is currently being dismantled.
  • Oslo Cathedral (Domkirke), Karl Johans gate/Stortorvet (tram 11-17-18 or bus 37 to Stortorvet, between T-Jernbanetorget and Stortinget). Oslo's cathedral is none too impressive but recently refurbished. Erected 1697, expanded 19th century using a different colored brick (still visible). After the terrorist attacks on Oslo in July 2011, the square Stortorget, in front of Oslo Cathedral, became the center for afterthought and compassion. The square was fully covered by roses, greetings and mourning messages for weeks. Affiliated with the Church of Norway, the national Lutheran church.
  • Kirkeristen (Basarene (the Bazaar)). The small, old bazaar surrounding the church is now used by artisans and craftsmen and holds a couple of small cafes and restaurants. The current building was constructed around 1850 in neo-romantic style on the site of an older butchers' bazaar.
  • City Hall (Rådhuset) (T-Nationaltheateret, tram 12 to Rådhusplassen, bus 70-74 to Vika, located by the waterfront, with Fritdjof Nansens plass on the inland side). A monumental functionalist building in red brick. Opinions are divided if this is a pretty building, but it is certainly imposing. The austere facade has a surprising number of fine details. Open to the public, with a spectacular main hall featuring huge murals with typical Nordic social democratic themes. Other rooms are also decorated with a variety of art. There are also some displays of historical artifacts in the side rooms upstairs. This is where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented to the winner every year. Although there is no public lift, disadvantaged visitors only have to ask and they can use the staff lift. On one of the towers, there is a glockenspiel playing melodies at every hour, the huge instrument is about 20,000kg and stands 66m above ground. The building was opened in 1950 after 32 years of planning and construction.
  • Akershus Castle and Fortress (Akershus Festning) (Tram 12 to Rådhusplassen, bus 60 to Bankplassen). A medieval castle and fortress built in 1299, located close to the city center. There are several excellent viewpoints to the Oslofjord and surrounding areas. The stone walls create an exciting atmosphere, and you are free to roam around in tight passages and staircases. There are two museums here, both related to Norwegian military history.
  • Stortinget (Parliament) (located on the main street, Karl Johans gate, in the city center (T-Bane, any line, Stortinget station, exit Egertorget). It has free guided tours in English and Norwegian lasting about 45 minutes, which assemble outside the back door of the Parliament (on Akersgata). There is a limit of 30 people per tour, so it is advisable to be there at least 10 minutes prior to the start of a tour.
  • Barcode (Bjørvika, Dronning Eufemias gate, Located between the Central Station and the Opera). Barcode defines a new waterfront in the Bjørvika area. The plan for the new structures was adopted in 2003, and as of 2015 nine buildings are finished, and two are under construction. Three more are planned. While the buildings contribute to a spectacular waterfront, viewed from the seaside, they also block much of the sea-view from the other side, and therefore their contribution to the concept of "Fjordbyen", the initiative of the Oslo City Council to make the entire waterfront from Frognerstranda (west), to Bekkelaget (south-east) available for public recreation, is disputed. The buildings are mostly inhabited by actors in the financial and consulting business (PWC, KLP, Deloitte, etc.), while the MAD building holds private apartments.
  • Deichmanske bibliotek (Oslo Public Library), Arne Garborgs plass 4 (short walk from Karl Johan street). The main building of Oslo public library is centrally located next to Trinity church and Ministry offices. The library was established in 1785. The current main building is in monumental neoclassical style, views are partly obstructed by the ministry "Y-building". The building was affected by the 2011 bomb and was closed for 2 months for repairs. Free.
  • Trefoldighetskirken (Trinity church), Akersgata 60. The largest church in Oslo. A monumental building in neo-Gothic style, constructed in red brick. The nave is octagonal with a Greek cross superimposed. The church is centrally located next to the Ministry offices and Oslo public library.
  • Old Aker Church (Gamle Aker kirke), Akersbakken. This modest, sturdy, Romanesque church is the oldest existing building in Oslo. Built around 1100. It is one of the few Norwegian churches built in traditional basilica shape (three parallel naves). The building sits on a small hill in the northern corner of Vår Frelsers graveyard.
  • University of Oslo (between the Royal Palace and Stortinget on the Karl Johans gate). The original campus and buildings of the University, completed around 1850. The buildings currently house only the Faculty of Law; the rest of the university is situated at Blindern. Occasional concerts are arranged in the magnificent Universitetets Aula, housing 11 of Edvard Munch's pictures covering more than 200 square meters of wall. The room is only occasionally open for the public but is one of the most magnificent rooms in all of Norway. Along with a number of other key buildings around Karl Johan, these old university buildings were erected in what was then the young capital of Norway. These downtown buildings are surrounded by a pleasant park - the University garden.
  • Blindern Campus - University of Oslo (tram 17 or 18). Blindern Campus is home to functionalist landmarks from 1920-1930s. The new (1999) library building at Blindern is an imposing building in black polished stone and glass, it stands out as a landmark among the pre-war buildings.
  • Holmenkollen (T-bane 1 towards Frognerseteren.). The ski jump located on the west side of Oslo, which was rebuilt for the World Ski Championships in 2011. It first opened in 1892 and has been re-built many times since then. It had more than 1 million visitors every year and was one of the biggest tourist attractions in Norway. There is also the oldest ski museum in the world, opened in 1923. Walking and mountain bike riding are popular activities here during the summer.
  • Norwegian Museum of Contemporary Art (Nationalmuseet), Bankplassen. This imposing building with elements of art nouveau was the main offices of the Central Bank of Norway from 1906. Now used by the national museum for contemporary art.
  • Hjula weaving mill (Hjula Væveri), Sagveien 23. This industrial complex is perhaps an unusual attraction, but the striking buildings at the waterfall in Akerselva (Aker river) are one interesting legacy of Oslo's manufacturing past. It was the first water-powered weaving mill in Norway and during the late 1800s the largest textile company in Norway. The factory operated for more than 100 years.
  • Kunstnernes hus, Wergelandsveien (Royal palace park). This 1931 building includes a gallery and cafe. A prominent example of functionalism in Norway at the transition from neoclassicism.


Oslo has an amazing number of museums. Many of them are located next to each other and don't take long to visit.

If you are planning on seeing several of the expensive attractions in a short period of time, then the most cost-effective way to do this is to buy an Oslo Pass. It includes unlimited entry to most of the museums and the Holmenkollen ski jump (but not the Royal Palace), free travel on Oslo's quite expensive public transport, and even limited discounts on some restaurants and other attractions. Students get a 20% discount on the Oslo pass. You could also buy a travel card allowing unlimited travel on public transport (no student discount on this).

  • Henrik Ibsen Museum (Tram 13-19 or bus 30-31 to Slottsparken. Located in the crossing between Arbins gate and Henrik Ibsens gate.). This museum has just reopened and is a treat. Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • Munch Museum (T-bane, bus 20-60-67 to Tøyen). Features paintings by the Norwegian painter Edward Munch. Be aware that some of Edvard Munchs more famous pictures may actually be shown in the National Gallery, so don't complain that "The Scream" is not on display! Included in the Oslo Pass. Munch also produced huge paintings (more than 200 square meters in total) for the grandiose walls of the University of Oslo Aula. Munch's paintings for the Aula are key works within a monumental painting and includes iconic paintings The Sun, History and Alma Mater. The Aula is not generally open to the public.
  • National Gallery, Universitetsgata 13, e-mail: info@nasjonalmuseet.no. featuring Norwegian art from the national-romantic period, as well as some art by international artists. Included in the Oslo Pass. 
  • Nobel Peace Centre (Tram 12 to Aker Brygge, bus 70-74 to Vika or walk from T-Nationaltheateret). Includes some confronting exhibitions as well as an exhibit for every winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Included in the Oslo Pass. 
  • Gustav Vigeland Museum, Nobels gate 32 (T-bane 1 to Majorstuen, 20min walk.Tram 12, direction Majorstuen, to Frogner Plass. Bus no. 20 to Frogner Plass). Closed on Mondays. Situated to the south of the Frognerparken and Halvdan Svartes gate. The museum manages the sculptural works of Gustav Vigeland and offers a permanent exhibition of Gustav Vigelands sculptural works, as well as rolling exhibitions of various spatial art-forms (sculpture, installations and video-art). The museum was designed by Lorentz Ree and built in the 1920s. The striking building in red brick is one of the finest examples of Norwegian neoclassic architecture. The complex also included a studio for the artist. The urn of the artist is kept in the tower. Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • Emanuel Vigeland Museum (T-bane line 1 to Slemdal). Only open a few hours every Sunday afternoon. Among Oslos best-hidden secrets. Gustav Vigeland's not so well-known younger brother erected the building as a museum for his art in 1926, but later decided it should serve as a mausoleum, with his urn placed above the door. The main attraction in this museum with no windows is the 800 square meters fresco "Vita", (Italian for "life"), showing the human life from conception till death, but other examples of his art are also on display. Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • Astrup Fearnley Museet, Strandpromenaden 2 (Tram 12 to Aker Brygge, bus 70-74 to Vika or walk from T-Nationaltheateret). Astrup Fearnley Museet is a private collection of contemporary art, founded in 1993. The museum was relocated to Tjuvholmen, Aker Brygge in 2012. The building - designed by Renzo Piano - is spectacular in itself, and the museum offers a small green oasis with a beach, very welcome in the concrete surroundings of Aker Brygge. The museum offers temporary exhibitions and is an established and central institution in Norwegian contemporary art. The museum is closed on Mondays.
  • The Mini Bottle Gallery, Kirkegata 10 (Within 5-10 minutes walking distance from any other downtown attraction). Open Saturday and Sundays. A Unique collection of mini bottles. While the bottles are small, the museum exhibits 12,500 of them from a collection of 53,000, over an area of 1,500m2.
  • Popsenteret, Trondheimsveien 2, bygg T (Tram 11,12,13 to Schous plass or 10 minutes walk from town centre.). Closed on Mondays. Popsenteret (Center of Popular Music) is a museum and location for various events and rolling exhibitions, interactions, etc. within the cultural realm of pop music.

Somewhat outside the city center is a peninsula called Bygdøy. You can get there by bus (number 30) or, in summer months (Apr—Sep), by ferry departing from pier 3 at Aker Brygge outside the city hall.

  • Oscarshall, Oscarshallveien 805 (Bygdøy, landmark in the bay Frognerkilen) Bus No.30 > Kongsgården), ☎ +47 95 28 61 55. 11:00 - 16:00 Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Oscarshall is a royal summer Palace from the mid-19th century, now open to the public. A small palace filled with 19th-century Norwegian art and surrounded by a magnificent park. Guided tours.

Longer out at the peninsula of Bygdøy, you will find two groups of museums within walking distance of each other: In the first group, around 800 metres inland:

  • The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Bus No.30 > Folkemuseet). 10:00-18:00. A large open-air museum featuring typical buildings from various periods in Norwegian history. This includes a city building that shows living conditions from the 1850s to the 1980s. Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • Viking Ship Museum (Bus No.30 > Vikingskipene). In addition to two 1100-year-old Viking-ships (apparently the best preserved in the world), it also contains various other Viking artifacts and a Viking burial chamber, complete with ancient skeletons. Included in the Oslo Pass.

In the second group, on the harbor:

  • Norwegian Maritime Museum (Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum) (Bus No.30 > Bygdøynes). Houses a huge collection of ships and boats and records the impact of Norway's seafarers on their own country and the world. Included in the Oslo Pass. 
  • Kon-Tiki Museum (Bus No.30 > Bygdøynes). Displays Tor Heyerdahl's balsa raft Kon-Tiki, and Ra II, as well as some other artifacts from Easter Island. Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • Fram-Museum (Bus No.30 > Bygdøynes). Features the vessel Fram, the worlds first ice breaker and the last polar expedition ship made of wood, and presents a history of polar exploration (with a strong Norwegian focus!). Included in the Oslo Pass.
  • The Holocaust Center (Bus No.30 > Bygdøhus). is also located at Bygdøy, in the former residence of the Norwegian World War 2 collaborator and nationalist leader, Vidkun Quisling. The Center houses exhibitions and provides research on the Holocaust and the plight of religious minorities. Included in the Oslo Pass.

At Akershus Castle (see above):

  • The Armed Forces Museum (Forsvarsmuseet, The Defence Museum), The Akershus Fortress (as above). 11:00-16:00. Describes Norwegian military history and provides an insight into the development from the Middle Ages to the first years after World War II. Free entry.
  • Hjemmefrontmuseet (The resistance museum), The Akershus Fortress (as above). 10:00-16:00. Describes the resistance against the Nazi German occupation of Norway during World War II. 

Some other museums are:

  • Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology & The Norwegian Telecommunications Museum, Kjelsåsveien 143 (Tram 11 or 12 to Kjelsås, bus 22, 25 or 54 or infrequent local train to Kjelsås stasjon). A fun and very interactive place for both children and adults. Contrary to information in the common tourist brochures this building. 
  • Oslo Museum (Oslo Bymuseum), Frognerveien 67 (Neighbor to Frogner Park, T-bane, tram 11-19, bus 22-25-45-46 to Majorstua, tram 12 or bus 20 to Vigelandsparken). Tu-Su 11:00-16:00, Monday closed. Museum with exhibitions showing the city's cultural and commercial development. Free entry.
  • The Museum of Decorativ Arts and Design (Kunstindustrimuseet), St. Olavsgate 1 (Walking distance from Karl Johans gate, Tram: Line 11, 17, 18 > Tinghuset Bus: Route 37 > Nordahl Bruns gate). 10:00-16:00. As one of the first of its kind in Europe, the museum’s collection contains some 35,000 artifacts illustrating the history. Historical collections ranging from ancient Greek vases to modern European design.
  • Tramway Museum (metro, tram or bus to Majorstuen). Displays the history of Oslo's trams, buses and metro. Among other things, a wooden tram from the Holmenkollen line and a trolleybus are exhibited.
  • DogA - The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, Hausmanns gate 16 (Bus or tram to Hausmanns gate), ☎ +47 23292870, e-mail: info@doga.no. A thriving design and architecture centre providing areas for large and small exhibitions, conferences and meetings, activities for children, as well as a bookshop and café.


  • Nordmarka (Oslo forest) (Marka), North of Oslo + eastern, northern and western suburbs (Metro, tram, car, bicycle, walking). 24 hours. Oslo is surrounded by wide and partly dense forests, generally known as Marka, of which Nordmarka is the largest and most accessible section (in addition to Nordmarka there similar areas east, south and west of the city). There are lots of roads and trails crisscrossing these wide forests, but no cars, only skiers, hikers and bicycles. So it is essentially the largest park in town. There are countless lakes, many rivers, and small waterfalls too. Small summits that rise above the city offers excellent panoramas. Entry points everywhere, usually 10-15 min from the center. Access by bus, metro, tram, car or bicycle. There is a fine network of high-quality footpaths (roads) suitable even for wheelchairs and baby strollers, as well as many "nature trails" for hikers and skiers only. Roads closest to the city have street lights. In winter used for cross-country skiing, also a small ski resort (alpine skiing). The Moose (elg), mainland Norway's largest animal, roam the forest and occasionally strolls into town. Note: The Oslo forest is drinking water supply for 1 million people. Restrictions on camping, barbecue, and swimming. Sognsvann lake is one of the most popular places, nice meadows and easy path around the lake, paths continue through the forest - metro line 3 to Sognsvann station. Free.
  • Frogner and Vigeland park (T-bane, tram 11-19, bus 22-25-45-46 to Majorstua, tram 12 or bus 20 to Vigelandsparken.). 24 h. Frogner park including Vigeland Sculpture Park is a large green area about 10 minutes by subway from the city center. In addition to being a nice green recreational area, it is also decorated with hundreds of sculptures by the Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland. There is a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere here, although the sculptures are a little depressing. If your children want to climb the statues, nobody will even bother to look twice at you. There is also a cafeteria, and two museums, the City Museum of Oslo and the Vigeland Museum. If you fancy an outdoor swim, Frognerbadet is situated next to the Frognerpark with 3 pools, several diving towers and a water slide. Free.
  • Ekebergparken. At the steep, green hill east of city centre (tram 18 or 19 to Sjømannsskolen, bus 34 or 74 to Brannfjellveien) is even a sculpture park, with works by Norwegian and international artists such as Salvador Dalí, Lynn Chadwick, Richard Hudson and Per Ung among others. This point is assumed to be the background for 'Scream', Edvard Munch's famous picture. Alongside the idyllic forest paths you can see sculptures, but also find remnants of cultural history from different eras of Norwegian history or enjoy the incredible views over the capital.
  • Botanical Garden (tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole or t-bane to Tøyen, walking distance 200 metres). The University botanical gardens is located just south of Tøyen park next door to Munch Museum. A wonderful and relaxing area. Free entrance, opening hours 1 Apr-30 Sep: Sa-Su 10 AM-8 PM, M-F 7 AM-8 PM, 1 Oct-31 Mar: Sa-Su 10 AM-5 PM, M-F 7 AM-5 PM.
  • St.Hanshaugen park (bus 37 to St.Hanshaugen). 24 hours. A delightful public park on the highest hill in central Oslo. Great view of the city and surroundings. 1000 meters easy walk from Karl Johan street along Akersgata-Ullevålsveien past Vår Frelsers Gravlund (cemetery). The park has also given name to this popular neighborhood as well as to the larger administrative district (borough) that includes major parts of central Oslo. Free.
  • Slottsparken (Palace Park). 24 hours. Surrounds the Royal Palace at the top of Karl Johan street. Oslo's most central park is a pleasant grass covered area with majestic old trees. Wide walkways crisscross the park. Free.
  • Middelalderparken (Medieval Park). Ruins of the medieval old town of Oslo, such as church ruins and ruins of the former Royal Estate. Location of the annual rock music festival Øyafestivalen.
  • Birkelunden and Olaf Ryes plass (Both at Grünerløkka)) Two cool parks in eastern Oslo, a so-called Greenwich village look-alike area. On Sundays, there is a second-hand market in Birkelunden.
  • Sofienbergparken (The largest of the parks in Grünerløkka) A lot of activities all day long and especially on the weekends; ballplay, pick-nick, public barbecue, specially nice area for children.
  • Stensparken is close to Bislett Stadium (trams 17 and 18). This charming park has an old church and a café on the top and is your best bet if St. Hanshaugen is too crowdy (only a few minutes walk away.)
  • Aker river (Akerselva). 24 h. Akerselva is Oslo's main river as it flows from Maridalen lake to the fjord near the Central station. Previously Oslo's industrial heartland, now the river and its shores are converted into a green corridor almost the entire length from Grünerløkka to Maridalen. Bicycle and pedestrian paths along. Several small waterfalls. Industrial facilities remain as memories of Oslo's manufacturing origins. Free.
  • University garden (Universitetshagen), Karl Johans gate. Pleasant park surrounding university buildings on Karl Johan street, completed around 1850.

Other sights

  • Vår Frelsers Cemetery (Vår frelsers gravlund), Ullevålsveien and Akersveien (Bus 33-37-46 to Nordahl Bruns gate, north of city center on Ullevålsveien). Graves of Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, and a large number of reputed Norwegians. Several statues, including one by Gustav Vigeland. Gamle Aker Church (the oldest building in Oslo) stands in the northern corner of the graveyard. Free.
  • Wooden housing areas of Oslo like Kampen (bus 60), Vålerenga (bus 37), Rodeløkka (tram 17, bus 31 to Sofienberg) and Telthusbakken (bus 34/54). They are a "must" for lovers of old wooden townhouses. These areas were likely to be erased from Oslo in the seventies by eager town planners who wanted highways for cars rather than living areas for the citizens, but luckily they were stopped by idealists who really loved their city. Their effort made these parts of Oslo into something special, even though other Norwegian cities have bigger wooden areas. Still, these areas are a plus for Oslo and their inhabitants as well as for the tourists. They are not commonly visited by tourists, and may not be mentioned by your guide book, but some of the areas have cafes/restaurants worth a visit. In Kampen, you can find a very cozy Elvis café by the church, and in Vålerenga Restaurant Smia is also located by the church.
    •   Rodeløkka wooden houses, Langegata. 24 h. Traditional Norwegian wood architecture not found downtown anymore. Free.

What to do in Oslo, Norway

  • Oslo-fjord (boat 91-92-93-94 from Vippetangen, bus 60 runs to the quay). There is also a bathing bus (number 87) running from mid-June to mid-August from Jernbanetorvet to the brilliant beaches Katten, Hvervenbukta, Bestemorstranda and Ingierstrand, Map - English translation not available). Additionally, for Hvervenbukta you may take the train to Hauketo, then bus 76. Outdoor swimming pools can be found at Frognerparken and Tøyenbadet. Ingierstrand is a 1930's bathing resort with very special functionalist architecture (along with Ekebergrestauranten and Hvalstrand Bad). The buildings are protected by The Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren) and after a 50 mill. NOK refurbishing the restaurant reopened in summer 2013. Buy a day return travel pass.
  • Swimming (outdoor, freshwater), Oslo forest. 24/7. For freshwater swimming, Akerselva is considered clean north of Nydalen. The best spot may be at Frysja (bus 22-25-54 to Stillatorget). Don't forget that many of the lakes in "Oslomarka" are for swimming and recreation (Sognsvann lake for instance). Note that some major lakes (Maridalsvannet in particular) are drinking water for the city, restrictions on swimming and camping. Buy a map and bring your swimming gear! Free.
  • Visit the local city district Grünerløkka, (tram 11, 12 and 13 to Nybrua, Schous plass, Olaf Ryes plass or Birkelunden, tram 17 or bus 30-31 to Heimdalsgata or Birkelunden, or bus 21 to Sannergata). A part of the city filled with cafés, bars, small fashion and designer shops, nice parks. The river Akerselva runs on the west side, with a selection of (well hidden) bars, clubs and cafés nearby.
  • Take walks or a bicycle ride in Oslo's many forests. Nice gateways to the beautiful nature are T-bane to Frognerseteren (line 1), Sognsvann (line 3), Romsås (line 5), Bogerud (line 3), Skullerud (line 3) or Ellingsrudåsen (line 2), or the train to Movatn or Snippen (local trains towards Hakadal, Roa, Jaren and Gjøvik). Also bus 56 from Torshov (tram 11, 12, 13 and bus 20) via Storo T-bane to Solemskogen or bus 51 from Nydalen (bus 37, T-bane 4, 5 and 6) to Maridalen offer fantastic possibilities for walks and rural life, everything less than half an hour from the city center. Bring something to drink and a chocolate bar (and do a bit of planning, buses 51 and 56 and the train does seldom run more than once per hour). Trails suitable for bicycles and strollers as well as hiking only can be found. Be prepared for some muddy sections of the trail as they take you through some pretty thickly wooded areas. The forest is dense enough that any damp areas of the trail don't dry out. This isn't helped by the multitude of small rivulets flowing down the mountain. Maps available at ut.no
  • Discover the city and its major tourist sites by bike: from April through October, guided tours in English are available daily with Viking Biking.
  • The area around Holmenkollen (T-bane 1) is well suited for cross-country skiing, slalom and snowboarding, but also a nice area for hiking during summertime. While you are there, you can also visit the ski-museum which is located close to the ski-jump. For additional fun, buy a cheap sledge or "akebrett", or rent a proper one from Frognerseteren, and sleigh down from Frognerseteren to Midtstuen station. This was actually the venue of the sleighing competitions in the 1952 Winter Olympics, and the hill is referred to as "Korketrekkeren" (the corkscrew). If you buy a day-card for the subway, you can race all day long, but make sure you are well dressed, as you are going to get wet. Oslo Vinterpark (http://www.oslovinterpark.no) offers multiple lifts and slopes stretching from the Tryvann Tower, at the top and all the way down to Sørkedalen, where the 1300m Wyllerløypa ends. Within reasonable distance for a day trip, alpine alternatives are Kongsberg (http://www.kongsberg-skisenter.no) and Norefjell (http://www.norefjell.no).
  • Visit the Tusenfryd amusement park south of Oslo. http://www.tusenfryd.no Tusenfryd is the largest amusement park in Norway, just a 20 minutes bus ride outside central Oslo. Bus no. 541.


  • Ekebergmarkedet http://www.martnar.no/ekebergmarkedet.html Flea market and one of Northern Europe's largest swapmeet/markets for vintage car and bike parts. Takes place early May and mid. September at the north-west part of Ekeberg Park. Arranged by Norsk Veteranvogn Klubb (http://veteranvogn.no)
  • Vestkanttorget (west end). Antiques and second-hand market. Every Saturday on the corner of Professor Dahls gate and Neubergsgate at Frogner.
  • Sunday Market at Birkelunden (east end). Antiques and second-hand market every Sunday noon until 7 PM at Birkelunden park at Grünerløkka.

What to eat and drink in Oslo, Norway


There are a lot of both expensive and cheap places to eat in Oslo. The cheapest restaurants are Asian restaurants which, in many cases, serve good food at low prices.

Check the menus on the door. Even though you should always use your eyes (and nose) in any food establishment, Norwegian Food and Health regulations are very strict and enforced effectively, so eating out in Oslo is safe.

Street snacks are also available throughout the city, but they're usually more expensive than in comparable cities elsewhere.

Aker Brygge (tram 12, bus 21, 32, 33 or 54; stops Aker Brygge, Vika Atrium or Bryggetorget) is a waterfront located south of the city hall. During summer the area is very noisy and vibrant. There are outdoor restaurants and bars almost everywhere. Be sure to get some tasty seafood (or whatever else you like to eat) while you are there, or just enjoy your cold beer in the summer sea-breeze. Be advised that this is also the most expensive area in Oslo to dine or drink, so unless the weather is good, you can just as well stay indoors somewhere else.

Sven's, located near Vika Atrium, offers a fast food version of a traditional dietary staple - lutefisk. Sides include herring, pickled vegetables, and salted meats. Because of the amount of lye used to treat the food, be prepared to sign a waiver designating power of attorney upon entry. Closed Mondays.

You are also close to most of the restaurants, bars, or nightclubs located within the city center. A key reference point will be Stortingsgaten, running parallel to Karl Johans gate, both running eastwards from the Royal Palace (this is also the main shopping area). While both of these streets have a few restaurants and nightclubs, most will be found in one of the side-streets running out from them, or parallel to them. It doesn't matter much where you start, you will find restaurants, bars, and nightclubs almost anywhere from the subway station Nationaltheatret at the west, to far beyond Oslo central railroad station on the east. There are several other areas, such as Grünerløkka (tram 11-12-13 to Nybrua, Schous plass, Olaf Ryes plass or Birkelunden), Majorstuen (T-bane, tram 11-12-19 or bus 20-22-25-45-46 to Majorstua), and Grønland (T-bane to Grønland, bus 37 to Tøyengata or bus 60 to Norbygata) that are worth checking out. Be advised that nearly all bars and nightclubs close at the same time, so if you want to get a taxi back to your hotel, try to leave a few minutes before the rush starts.



Torggata is a good area for budget dining (from Hausmanns gate south to Youngstorget). You will find cheap Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese restaurants and even cheaper kebab-joints and pizzerias, as well as other offerings. It's close to the center, but you can get bus 34 or 54 to Jacob's church (Jacob kirke), or tram 11-12-13-17/bus 30-31-34-54 to Brugata or Hausmanns gate. The closest T-bane station is Grønland (then walk north along Brugata) or Jernbanetorget (then walk north-east).

Some great offerings in this area include:

  • Hai Cafe, Calmeyers gate. Good fried or fresh spring rolls, tasty duck breast hoi sin sauce with pac choi. In general tasty and cheap.
  • Bari, Torggata. Inventive name for a pizza joint, the best in the area.
  • Dalat Kafe, Osterhaus gate (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke/Calmeyers gate). Vietnamese. Simple interior but very popular among people who appreciate authentic Vietnamese food. Dishes and beverages at affordable prices.
  • Krishna's Cuisine, Sørkedalsveien 10B, Majorstuen (T-bane, tram 11-12-19 or bus 22-25-45-46. New locations next to Colosseum Cinema at Majorstuen.). Everything vegetarian. Daily Indian-style meal option with a choice of side dishes.
  • Lekkerbisken, Hammersborggata 8. Offers a decent variety of sushi, cooked food, salads and baguette sandwiches. Large sushi portions aside.
  • Marino, Torggata. Generally accepted as the best kebab in the area, but steadily contested by Mediterran and Lille Amir.
  • Mitsu, Møllergata east (Bus 34-54 to Møllerveien). Japanese/Asian. Probably the best budget sushi in town, as well as baguettes and a few hot dishes. Not the cosiest place to eat, but a great place for a cheap lunch or dinner.
  • Rice Bowl Thai Cafe, Youngs gate 4 (between Torggata and Storgata). Seems to be packed with locals at all times. Thai food is OK but a bit bland.
  • Saigon Lille Kafe, Bernt Ankers gate. The first of the Vietnamese bargain offerings are still going strong. Although the food in Vietnam is known to be tastier, you'll need a plane ticket to Hanoi to get it this cheap! (at least it feels like that when you're used to Norwegian food prices).
  • Tay Do Cafe, Torggata Bad. Vietnamese. Try the 'Dagens' (daily special) or some of their other Vietnamese offerings.


Grønland is full of cheap eating joints, shops selling fabrics and jewelry, Indian and Pakistani sweet shops, cheap beer and more. Some of the best treats are:

  • Ali Baba Restaurant, Grønland Bazar (Inside the new shopping mall). A Turkish cafeteria with no-frills, decent food. Meals are pricier and less exquisite than they used to be.
  • Punjab Tandoori, Grønlandsleiret (just by Grønland T-bane eastern exit). The friendliest Sikh in the world dishes out cheap, tasty Indian food from the microwave or stove. No real tandoor.
  • Sushi Deluxe, Schweigaards gate 50 (Gamlebyen. Take tram lines 18 or 19 eastwards from Jernbanetorget, get off at the Munkegata stop, or take the metro to Grønland (about 5-10 minutes walk eastwards along Grønlandsleiret)). Great tasting sushi meals.
  • Tandoori Curry Corner, Grønlandsleiret. The neighbouring restaurant of the Punjab Tandoori is even cheaper, but the helpings are smaller and packs less of a punch.
  • Vann & Brød, Tøyenbekken (by Grønland Bazar). In an old prison, this Spanish joint has cheap-ish tapas dishes and wine by the glass.
  • Vognmann Nilsen, Rubina Ranas gate 3 (On the main square of New Grønland).

Norwegian Food

Most cafes and restaurants serving traditional food are upmarket, but there are a couple of good spots to get stuffed on meat cakes and brown gravy, lutefisk and other delicacies:

  • Dovrehallen (Storgata near Jernbanetorvet (T-Jernbanetorget or any tram to Jernbanetorget or Brugata).). Old-style beer hall serving delicious meat-and potato-dishes. Tuesdays are Eisbein day, be there!
  • Schrøder, Waldemar Thranes gate (bus 21-33-37-46 to St. Hanshaugen). Dark drinking den with delicious, traditional, cheap and fattening Norwegian food.
  • Carl Berner-kjelleren, Trondheimsv 113 (20m from the Carl Berner intersection. Bus 20, 21, 31 or 33, tram 17 or T-bane 5 and 6 to Carl Berners plass). Beer hall with cheap and varied food, including classic Norwegian everyday dishes.


You can always get your fix of sausage and kiosk-food at reasonable prices, but there are a few restaurants and cafés worth mentioning. The convenience stores and kiosk chains 7-Eleven and Deli de Luca will provide a choice of pastries, cakes, candy, refreshments and alternate 'snacks', many of which are over-priced and can be bought from a Rimi, Kiwi or Joker supermarket at a fraction of the price. When opting for the convenience stores, ask the staff how fresh the counter food is - where most produce is delivered in the morning and evening purchases may see the food lying there for up to twelve hours prior.

  • Aka Cafe, on Bogstadveien. Offers excellent European and Mid-East coffees and teas, with a small but tasty menu of Arabic snacks. Relatively inexpensive beer and liquor in an expensive and trendy location make this cafe a local favorite.
  • Baker Hansen, various locations. Closed Sundays. A classical Norwegian bakery, offering sweet buns, pastries, and cakes, bread, and ready-made sandwiches and savory pastries as well as seasonal items and drinks. Most have a few seats, but you can easily take it away for a picnic or breakfast. Their skolebrød is particularly commendable.
  • Bislett Kebab, Hegdehaugsveien 2 (tram 11, 17 and 18 to Høyskolesenteret). Voted Oslo's best for kebabs many times, not the cheapest place, but good value for money. However, if you want authentic kebabs try Torggata or the beginning of Trondheimsveien.
  • Curry and Ketchup, Kirkeveien 51 (near Majorstuen station). Cheap and popular Indian restaurant, often full during the weekends. Cash only.
  • Hurry Curry, near Bogstadveien. Redundant but passable curries served in small portions dominate the menu, and they also have one of the best-priced bars in the area.
  • IKEA Furuset, Strømsveien 303 (Free shuttle bus to here near the corner of Fred Olsens gate and Prinsens gate.). Shop for furniture and eat cheaply!
  • L'Oasis Mazze, Trondheimsveien 14 (Tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole, then walk towards the city centre). Bedouin-style restaurant run by Palestinians. Falafels, tagine, etc. Good for lunch or dinner. Friendly staff and low prices.
  • Nam Sushi, Sannergata 28. The restaurant offers good sushi for a nice price. Featuring about 10 seats, the place could be considered more a takeaway than an actual restaurant.
  • Noahs Ark (close to Birkelunden (tram 11-12-13)). has some excellent Turkish dishes. Burgers, pizza and breakfast are also available. A cozy place with occasional unexpected classical music played early in the day.
  • Prince Lunch Bar, Prinsens gate (close to the department store Steen & Strøm). The best baguettes downtown. Delivers lashings of filling on their almighty subs. Also chicken breast, fish and beef burgers.
  • Rådhuset Canteen, In the cellar of the city hall. 12:00-13:00. The canteen is open to the public and offers good, sumptuous meals at even lower prices than the student canteens. Not many tourists know about the place, so it can be a very quiet place to have a meal. They sell salads, sandwiches, boiled potatoes, cereal bars, and other snacks.
  • Sakana Sushi, Prinsens gate 2. Closed on Sundays. Good sushi at low prices.
  • Slottsparken Kafe (close to the Royal Palace (bus 30-31-32, tram 13-19)). The best baguettes in town, also decent sushi. Charming seating area on the second floor, with a big sofa and lots of small tables.
  • Sawasdee, Sporveisgata (Tram 11-19 to Rosenborg). In this generally overpriced area, this Thai restaurant looks dangerous from the outside, but do decent renditions of Thai classics.
  • Tasty Thai, Pilestredet (Tram 17-18 to Bislett). Just around the corner from the football pub Store Stå). Oslo's best budget Thai offering.
  • University of Oslo Student Canteen, Blindern (T-bane 4-5-6 to Blindern or tram 17-18 to Universitetet Blindern). Student canteen food at student prices. There are also several other student canteens, although they are closed during the summer. One branch in the city center is at St. Olavs plass.
  • Valkyrien Take Away, Bogstadveien 71B (close to Majorstuen T-bane). Their burgers are famous. Limited seating, but there is a very small park close to it where you can enjoy your food.


  • Arakataka, Mariboes gate (Tram 11,12,13,17 or bus 30,31,32,34,54 to Brugata). The most upmarket offering in Oslo's Bermuda Triangle of cheap eating, Arakataka manages to pull off decent French and Mediterranean cuisine at decent prices.
  • Bangkok Thai, Grønlandsleiret (bus 37 to Politihuset). Some call it the best Thai restaurant in Oslo. Sloppy service and the use of frozen vegetable mix detract severely from what could have been fantastic.
  • Beach Club, Bryggetorget 14. Classical diner, opened 1989. Best burgers in town? Relaxed atmosphere, pleasant staff. Busy during summer. Hip, timeless and family-friendly, all at the same time.
  • Delhi Tandoori Restaurant, Maridalsveien 4 (bus 34-54 to Møllerveien). Looks scruffy from the outside, but don't let that fool you. A fantastic Indian restaurant with all the trimmings.
  • Bombay Darbar, Egertorget. 200 tables and bland Indian-ish food.
  • Elvebredden, Hausmanns gate (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke). Inside the Design and Architecture center, Elvebredden has some fantastic lunch offerings as well as stunning, but fairly upmarket, main dishes in the evening.
  • Falcon Crest, Ullern allé (T-bane 6 to Åsjordet). Stylish offering with brilliant food and reasonable prices for western Oslo. And yes, it is named after the 80's soap opera.
  • Gate of India (next to Majorstuakrysset T-Bahn). Good Indian restaurant.
  • Intermezzo, Underhaugsveien 2 (near Bislett (tram 17-18 or bus 21 to Bislett)). East-Asian and sushi.
  • Kampen Bistro, Bøgata (T-bane 1,2,3,4 to Ensjø or bus 60 to Kampen Park). Lovely neighborhood joint with brilliant food and occasional free concerts.
  • Lanternen (First ferry stop on Bygdøy). Salads, sandwiches. The herring is good.
  • Le Benjamin, Søndre gate 6 (Tram to Schous plass). French bistro at the south part of Grünerløkka with a relaxed atmosphere and good food.
  • Mucho Mas, Thorvald Meyers gate (tram 11,12,13 to Olaf Ryes plass). Cal-mex joint offering huge meals, but reports say quality has faded. A new branch near the crossing of Hegdehaugsveien/Sporveisgata in Homansbyen (tram 11-19 to Rosenborg) does little to redeem this.
  • The Nighthawk Diner, Seilduksgata 15. American Diner, slightly more genuine than Empire Diner, Manhattan, at least the illusion is rock solid; Like any other Jan Vardøen venue, The Nighthawk delivers atmosphere and quality. Excellent burgers, steaks, sandwiches, pancakes, etc. I never talk to strangers ...
  • Oriental, Prof. Aschehougs plass (tram 11-17-18 to Tinghuset/Prof. Aschehougs plass or T-bane Stortinget). Brilliant all-Asian restaurant with inventive dishes.
  • Olympen / Lompa (T-bane to Grønland, or bus 37 to Tøyengata (the stop is on the doorstep)). One of the best known and largest places in east Oslo. Restaurant, beer Hall, nightclub and roof terrace. Recently refurbished, with classic Norwegian food.
  • Oslo Ladegård, Gamlebyen (bus 32 to Ladegården, tram 18-19 or bus 34-70-74 to St. Hallvards plass). Fighting it out with Villa Paradiso and Pizza da Mimmo to provide the city's best Italian pizza.
  • Odonata (take the 31 bus to Snarøya). Enjoy this unique design experience. This used to be the old Oslo airport in the 50s and is now a café with a great lunch menu and various cakes and treats.
  • Pizza da Mimmo, Behrens gate 2 (tram 12 to Niels Juhls gt or bus 21 to Lapsetorvet). Vying with Oslo Ladegård and Villa Paradiso to have the best pizza in Oslo.
  • Plaka Athena, Trøndergata (tram 11-12-13 or bus 20 to Torshov). A Greek haven in suburbia.
  • Restaurant Eik, Kr. Augusts gate (tram 11-17-18 to Tullinløkka). The least upmarket of the central gourmet offerings, Eik consistently get rave reviews and doles out a fine five-course gourmet menu. Fantastic. Bib gourmand award in the Michelin guide.
  • Restaurant Eik Annen Etage, above the Hotel Continental in Stortingsgata (T-bane, tram 13-19 or bus 30-31-54 to Nationaltheateret). When Eik took over the sadly missed gourmet Annen Etage, the food actually got better and cheaper.
  • Siam Oriental, Waldemar Thranes gate (bus 21,33,37,46 to St. Hanshaugen). Friendly Thai ladies doles out fabulous shrimp dishes.
  • Smia, just by Vålerenga kirke (bus 20,37 to Galgeberg). Atmospheric restaurant in an old wooden house area with tons of charm.
  • Sult, Thorvald Meyers gate (tram 11,12,13 or bus 30 to Birkelunden, bus 21 to Sannergata). Good neighborhood-gourmet style food, with an ever-changing menu, and vegetarian options.
  • Tabibito, Stortingsgate (buss, tram or subway to national theater). They have 30 years of Asian cooking experience.
  • Tintin, Lysaker Statsjon. Sushi and Korean dishes.
  • Villa Paradiso, Olaf Ryes plass (tram 11-12-13). Excellent Italian pizza at Grünerløkka. Children friendly.
  • Xich-Lo, Øvre Slottsgate 27 (T-Stortinget). A central, more classy Vietnamese eatery with great food.
  • Håndverkerstuene (Haandverkeren), Rosenkrantzgate 7. (entrance Kristian IVs gate), e-mail: bord@hvks.no. Restaurant that also has a good selection of Norwegian craft beers.


If price is no object, there is some very fine dining to be found. If there is anything Oslo has a lot of, it is expensive restaurants.

  • Bølgen & Moi, Løvenskioldsgate 26. Modern restaurant in the Frogner district.
  • Dinner, Stortingsgata 22. One of the finest Chinese restaurants in Europe. All the expensive dishes are worth it. Try their Peking Duck, which must be pre-ordered the day before, but is a true feast.
  • Ekebergrestauranten, Ekeberg (tram 18,19 to Sjømannsskolen). An architectural monument, this place offers gourmet dining and Oslo's best views. Hugely popular but the service can disappoint.
  • Feinschmecker, Balchens gate 5 (tram 12 to Elisenberg or bus 30, 31 to Frogner kirke). A feast for everyone involved, except perhaps your wallet. Exquisite dining at corporate prices.
  • Hos Thea, Gabelsgate 11 (tram 13 to Skillebekk). A small place with outstanding food, small seasonal menu.
  • Jensens Biffhus, Holmens gate 4 (tram 12 to Aker Brygge or bus 32,54 to Vika Atrium), ☎ +47 22 83 41 74. M-Sa from 16:00, Su from 15:00. Probably the best steak house in town. Very expensive but a cozy, small place that fills up quite easily so better make a reservation. Not to be confused with Jensens Bøfhus in Stortingsgaten.
  • Maaemo, Schweigaards gate 15B. This New Nordic Cuisine restaurant serving organic, local food jumped straight to two stars in Michelin's Guide Rouge at the earliest opportunity after opening, the first Nordic restaurant to do so. World class restaurant.
  • Nodee, Middelthuns gate 25 (T-Majorstuen, tram 12 to Frogner stadion). All-Asian gourmet offering just close to Frognerparken. The best East-Asian restaurant in Northern Europe (competing it out with Dinner), with prices to match.
  • Palace Grill, Solligt 2 (just by Solli plass (tram 12,13 or bus 21,30,31,32 to Solli/Lapsetorvet)). Highly recommended gourmet restaurant where the menu changes daily according to the chef's mood and available ingredients. Only 23 seats and no reservations, but a good bar to while away the hours waiting for food.
  • Statholdergaarden, Rådhusgate 11 (on the corner of Kirkegaten), ☎ +47 22 41 88 00, fax: 22 41 22 24NOCC, e-mail: post@statholdergaarden.no. M-Sa 18:00-23:59. Arguably one of Oslo's finest settings. Set in a beautiful 1800-century mansion, the combination of very friendly staff and extraordinary dishes makes it well worth its one star in the Michelin Guide. Not one to miss. Expensive.
  • Theatercaféen, inside Hotel Continental next to Nationaltheatret. Pretending to be a classic upmarket Wiener Café with a continental menu. High prices and excruciatingly "culture-posh", food quality is disputed. However, being "the" classic Café in Oslo, the experience may just be worth it if your wallet is running thick.


Buying alcohol in stores

Beer at 4.75% or below can be purchased in supermarkets. Supermarkets stop selling beer after 20:00 each day, 18:00 on Saturdays, and 15:00 on holiday weekends. It is not possible to buy beer in a shop on a Sunday. It is illegal to drink in public areas. You will usually only get a warning if spotted by a police officer, but if you behave impolitely or s/he is having a bad day you can get a fine of NOK1,500. However, in public parks during summer, laws are not enforced as strictly. Good places to go for a park beer is Sofienbergparken and Kuba at Grünerløkka, Frognerparken in Majorstua, or the park at St. Hanshaugen, on a hill with great view located between Grünerløkka and Majorstuen.

Hard liquor, wine and beers above 4.75% ABV can only be bought at the state-owned shops called Vinmonopolet or at the international airport terminals. Vinmonopolet outlets are open M-F until 18:00, Sa 15:00, Su closed. Some of the central Vinmonopolet outlets in Oslo are:

  • Oslo Central Station, beneath the staircase leading down to Trafikanten
  • In the basement of Oslo City shopping center
  • In the Steen og Strøm shopping center, close to Karl Johans gate
  • Rosenkrantzgate 11, close to Grand Hotel, Karl Johans gate
  • At Aker Brygge, Bryggegata 9. This shop has been relocated from Vika and has the same large selection of beers. (Tram 12 or you can take one of several buses that stop in Dokkveien or Vika Atrium).
  • Thereses gate, Bislett (near Bislett stadium, trams 17 and 18)
  • Tøyengata 2, Grønland Basar. (All eastern subways, exit at Grønland Torg or bus 37 to Tøyengata)

Pubs and bars

All bars, pubs and restaurants in Oslo are smoke-free, which means you have to go outside to smoke. But since you can't drink on the street, you have to leave your drink inside, unless the bar/pub has a designated drink-area which is still open (they always close earlier than the venues themselves).

Oslo is generally expensive. Closing hours are as late as to 03:30 in the city center. National legislation says you can't serve any alcohol after 03:00.

Areas with notable pub density are Grünerløkka (tram 11-12-13 to Nybrua, Schous plass, Olaf Ryes plass or Birkelunden), Aker Brygge (tram 12 to Aker Brygge or bus 21-32-33-54 to Vika Atrium or Bryggetorget), Solli/Frogner (tram 12-13 or bus 30-31 to Solli), Grønland (T-bane to Grønland, bus 37 to Tøyengata or bus 60 to Norbygata) and the city centre especially Youngstorget or Grensen.

  • Andy's Pub, Stortingsgata 8 (T-bane Stortinget, tram 13-19 to Wessels plass/Nathionaltheateret, bus 31-32-33-54-70 stop nearby). Shows most football matches on LCD TVs.
  • Bar Boca, Thorvald Meyers Gate 30 Gruenerlokka. The teeny-weeny Bar Boca is the place to go in Oslo if you fancy an innovative and memorable cocktail. Owner Jan Vardøen has become something of a local legend for his mixing skills and his intimate little bar has become a destination for those serious about their drink. This warm cozy bar, with its low-key 1950s décor, may be matchbox sized, with just five tables, but it's the drinks that rule here and they won't let you down.
  • Aku-Aku Tiki Bar, Thorvald Meyers Gate 32. Another of Jan Vardøens successful cocktail bars, Easter Island style. Let Voo-Doo-Mary-Lou knock you out surrounded by bamboo, blowfish and Thor Heyerdahl, after a long day at the Kontiki-museum. Cool and cozy atmosphere.
  • Beer Palace, Holmens Gate 3 (Aker Brygge). A popular pub with a fair selection of Norwegian and foreign beers. In addition to enjoying good beer, it's possible to play darts and get a slice of pizza. Every Monday an international beer course is held here by Ølakademiet.
  • Blå (in the artsy/alternative place close to Akerselva called Hausmania). Be sure to check their event calendar, every week they have concerts with a variety of international and Norwegian bands and/or DJs. Each Sunday there is a free jazz/blues/soul concert. Walk up the river from the center and you'll find it. Old factory style houses with lots of graffiti.
  • Bohemen (“the Bohemian”), Arbeidergata 2 (T-bane Stortinget, tram 11-17-18 or bus 33-70 to Prof. Aschehougs plass/Tinghuset), ☎ +47-22416266. The best place to watch football (soccer) and sports in general, and to have a cheapish beer. Official Vålerenga supporter pub.
  • Café Arté, St. Olavs gate 7 (Tram 11-17-18 to Tullinløkka or bus 37 to Nordahl Bruns gate). Lovely cafe serving beer, wine, drinks, and small dishes in an intimate cellar cafe with a continental touch. An artist hangout with a small and hidden backyard. The only cafe that offers you a feeling of being abroad while relaxing in the heart of Oslo.
  • Cafe Fiasco, Schweigaards gate 4 (next to the train station). Classy place that is not expensive at all. Also has live music and DJs.
  • Cafe Sara, corner of Torggata and Hausmanns gate. (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke). M-Sa 11:00-03:30, Su 13:00-03:30. Conveniently close to Anker Hostel, Cafe Sara pours beer and dishes up tasty Turkish and Mexican dishes for not too much money. Great outdoor seating. Very nice pub with a great atmosphere and well known for its cheap but great food and a large selection of craft beers.
  • Cafe Stolen, Helgesens gate by Sofienberg park (Tram 11-12-13 to Olaf Ryes plass). Indian cuisine and cheap beer in an informal setting. No name on the door, just a chair hanging from above the door (hence the name 'the chair').
  • Champagneria, Frognerveien. (Tram 12-13 or bus 21-30-31 to Solli/Lapsetorvet.). Spanish cava and tapas bar, fairly cheap and enjoyable.
  • Choice Pub, Grønlandsleiret (T-Grønland). A rowdy bar with very cheap beer. Popular with the locals.
  • Dubliner, Rådhusgata (Tram 12 to Christiania torv). A nice Irish pub a little off Karl Johans gate, does a good fish and chips (and a few rounds of Guinness with which to wash it down). In Norway: Good fish? Always! Good chips? Never! Except maybe here.
  • Dr. Jekylls Pub, Klingenbergg 4. 15:00-03:00. Whiskey bar with a wide selection. Over 500 whiskeys and several fantastic rums and over 60 beers on bottle.
  • Fyret Mat & Drikke, Youngstorget 6. Intimate and lively pub and restaurant which serves unpretentious, good food. They have an outstanding collection of akevitt (akvavit), the Scandinavian potato spirit that you should check out, though you won't necessarily love it unconditionally.
  • Hard Rock Cafe, Karl Johansgate 45 (T-bane, tram 13-19 or bus 30-31-54-70 to Nationaltheatret), ☎ +47-22863000. Dealing mainly with, as the name suggests, rock nostalgia from the 50s, this should be familiar. Pricey.
  • Hell's Kitchen, Møllergata 23, Youngstorget corner of Møllergata (Tram 11-12-13-17 or bus 30-31-34-54 to Kirkeristen/Nygata/Brugata). pizza and music, lots of beer and cocktails. Brilliant place that once was the heyday of hipness, a reputation it has to leave to its own basement (The Villa) and Revolver, just down the street. Still a good corner to drop into.
  • Highbury, Bogstadveien 50. Official Arsenal supporter pub in Norway.
  • Kampen Bistro, Bøgata 21 (Bus 60 to Kampens park or T-bane 1-2-3-4 to Ensjø). Great food and affordable beer in a local restaurant in Kampen, one of the most picturesque residential areas of Oslo.
  • Oslo Ocean Bar, Trondheimsveien 20. a neighborhood bar customers, mostly returning, at every time of the day (from 08:00). The staff is great! The service is impeccable despite the low prices and the very unpretentious surroundings (and clientele).
  • Palace Grill, Solligata 2 (just by Solli plass (tram 12,13 or bus 21,30,31,32 to Solli/Lapsetorvet)). In addition to the gourmet restaurant (see above) the palace also includes a separate bar with nice drinks and concerts every Monday, plus the 3-story outdoor seating area "Skaugum" with lots of concert during summer.
  • Robinet, Mariboes gate 7b. A little gem of a bar that serves some of the best drinks in town. It's not much more than a hole in the wall, so don't expect to get a seat. The bartenders (who are often a bit moody, so no music requests!) play everything from free jazz to krautrock to gangsta-rap on the sound system.
  • Südøst, Trondheimsveien 5 (Bus 30-31, tram 17 to Heimdalsgata). A short walk from the Anker hostel, this place has become quite fashionable. Lovely outdoor seating, great (but a tad expensive) food and a marvelous dining room. 
  • Teddy's Soft Bar, Brugata 3A (Tram 11-12-13-17 or bus 30-31-34-54 to Brugata, T-bane to Grønland). Established in 1958, this is the only bar in Oslo that's protected by cultural authorities, due to its true 50s setting with original interior. This is where the rockabilly cats and kittens hang out and low-key rock and film stars lurk in the corners. Teddy's brought milkshakes to Norway, but sadly they've stopped serving those. They do serve beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and various coffee drinks. And you can have lunch or late breakfast (omelets, eggs & bacon, sandwiches) or dinner (nice burgers, soups). Music provided by an original Wurlitzer jukebox with mostly '50s and '60s hits.
  • Tekehtopa, St. Olavs plass. (Tram 17-18 to Tullinløkka or bus 37 to Nordahl Bruns gate). Lovely cafe serving beer, wine, drinks and small dishes in a fabulous former pharmacy. (Tekehtopa spelled backwards, apotheket, actually means "the pharmacy" in Norwegian.) One of the prettiest cafes around! Adjoined by Bar Babylon, an industrial-style club with wonderful back yard seating.
  • Two Dogs, Brugata (Tram 11-12-13-17 or bus 30-31-34-54 to Brugata, T-bane to Grønland). English-style football pub with a big screen, jolly atmosphere and darts.
  • Verkstedet, Hausmannsgate 29 (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke. On the right hand side of Cafe Sara). Nice rock bar with a cozy and great backyard which it shares with Cafe Sara. The club also has a stage, where both local and foreign acts do appear. At the weekends the club transforms into a rock disco, where you can dance to great rock music. The bar dishes up with great cocktails and unlimited amounts of beer, both on tap and bottles.
  • Zen Spiseri og Cafebar, Vogts gate, Torshov (Tram 11-12-13 to Biermanns gate, then continue for 300 metres), ☎ +47 22 38 30 38. A mysteriously stylish interior for a dive bar, dishing out some of Oslo's cheaper beer. Laid-back, relaxing atmosphere, usually draws a somewhat older crowd. Small menu with passable food.
  • The Whisky Bar, Rådhusgata 28 (Trams 13 and 19 to Kongens gate (in Tollbugata)), ☎ +47 4725 8445, e-mail: post@thewhiskybar.no. Pub with a large selection of whiskey.

Clubs & live music

Rock music

  • Last Train, Karl Johans Gate 45, entrance Universitetsgaten. Sandwiched between a theatre and Hard Rock Cafe this gem is easily overlooked. One of the best (and longest lasting) rock/punk/metal/indie pubs in Norway.
  • Cafe Mono, Pløens gate 4 (Tram 11-12-13-17 or bus 30-31-34-54 to Kirkeristen/Nygata/Brugata.). Rock/indie music club with local rock stars, frequent concerts with up-and-coming Oslo acts, not too expensive beer and a great back garden for smoking.. One of the better places to pick up indie-chicks in Oslo.
  • Revolver, Møllergata 32 (On the eastern fringes of Møllergata). Rock pub with most of Oslo's hipsters lurking in the corners. Not too expensive, and quite an extensive choice of beers on tap.
  • Rockefeller/John Dee and Sentrum Scene, Mariboes gate / Arbeidersamfunnets plass (Short walk from Brugata tram and bus stop (line 11, 12, 13, 17, 30, 31, 54)). Some of Oslo's best stages for music. Rockefeller houses three stages while Sentrum Scene houses a forth and larger stage. Mostly concert stages but they also show the odd football match or cinema. Both Norwegian and international artists.
  • Sound of Mu, Markveien 58 (Bus 34-54 to Jakobs Kirke/Calmeyers gate or tram 11-12-13 to Nybrua). Small bar and gallery space run by artist collective. Art exhibitions, club nights with DJs and concerts, mostly underground/experimental/improvised music.
  • Gamla, Grensen 1, Oslo, entry Møllergata. Rock'n'Roll bar and stage in historical surroundings.


  • Crowbar, Torggata 32. 15:00-03:00. Crowbar has 20 beers on tap, 5 of them made by them.
  • Oslo Mikrobryggeri, Bogstadveien 6. 15:00-01:00. the first microbrewery in Scandinavia, some 35+ beer on tap.
  • Schouskjelleren, Trondheimsveien 2. 13 beers on tap; about half are house-made.
  • Grünerløkka Brygghus. Grünerløkka Brygghus has 10+ of their own beers on tap, with some others. They also serve food.


  • London Pub, C. J. Hamros plass 5 (Central Oslo, two blocks from Karl Johan on the corner of the Grand Hotel). The largest gay and lesbian Venue in Oslo.
  • So, Arbeidergata 2 (Just off Karl johan). Open W-Sa. Mostly aimed at girls. Nice cozy bar which gets packed Saturday night.
  • Elsker, Kristian IVs gate 9 (Next to the Thon Hotel Bristol, one block from Karl Johan.). W-Sa from 15:00.
  • Ett Glass, Karl Johans Gate 33B (Next to the main Street, Karl Johans Gate and the National Theatre.). Daily 09:00-03:00.

Shopping in Oslo, Norway

In 2010, Oslo was ranked as the most expensive city in the world. Still, there are possibilities for getting bargains in Oslo during the big sales. The prices on famous brands are not higher in Oslo than in London or Paris, often lower even if they are not on sale. The big sales are in January and August.

Shopping Districts

If you are out to shop there's plenty to choose from. The main pedestrian street Karl Johans gate has plenty of shops of dubious quality. The street Bygdøy allé (which is locally famous for its chestnut trees) (bus 20, 31) has regained its reputation of being a shopping street the past few years by establishments that focus on kitchens, kitchenware, interior designs, exclusive Norwegian furniture, light design, and others. The street Møllergata (downtown, public transport from stops Stortorget and Møllerveien at either end of the street) was earlier known as the furniture street. You will still find a few good but rather expensive shops for Norwegian furniture in this street. You can easily find this street close to the Christiania Glasmagasin and the street Torggata which contains a few home interior shops like KID, Hemtex and Åhlens (with a Muji-department in the basement).

Shopping Malls

  • Aker Brygge (Tram 12, bus 21, 33 or 54 to Aker Brygge/Bryggetorget/Vika Atrium). A seaside shopping and nightlife center with high prices, but lots of glam and fun.
  • Akersgata (just above Stortinget T-bane, at the rear of the Norwegian parliament.). a few exclusive shops like Louis Vuitton, goldsmith David-Andersen, Follestad, Corso Como, Ting. The most exclusive shopping-center in Oslo.
  • Bogstadveien (Majorstuen metro station (tram 11 runs the length of the street)). Good for non-chain stores, focus on clothes and accessories.
  • Byporten (T-bane to Jernbanetorget). M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 10:00-20:00, closed on Sundays. A shopping center appended to the Sentralstasjon, with a selection of Norwegian chain stores. Handy for last-minute shopping or filling up supplies on arrival, but mind the opening times, much shorter than the station's.
  • Eger, Karl Johans gate 23 B (T-bane to Stortinget). High-end fashion shopping right in the middle of Karl Johans gate.
  • Glasmagasinet (tram 10-11-17-18 or bus 37-46 to Stortorvet). dates back to the 18th century, where you can find souvenirs, crystal, china, fashion, kitchenware, interior design and much more. The department store is famous for its large area of cosmetics sales.
  • House of Oslo (Bus 32, 33 or 54 to Dokkveien). a recently opened shopping center focusing on interior designs with around 20 different shops with their own theme. This may be the most exquisite interior design center in northern Europe. Illum Bolighus is especially worth a visit (this is a subsidiary of a famous Danish department store).
  • Mathallen, Maridalsveien 17 (Western riverbank of Akerselva, tram 11, 12 and 13 to Schous plass, bus 34 and 54 to Møllerveien). Huge selection of exclusive international as well as traditional Norwegian food in this new indoor market, and serving of food and drinks.
  • Oslo City (T-bane to Jernbanetorget). a big shopping center just across the street from the Central station. The shopping center is focused on young people. In the basement is Meny, one of the few full-size supermarkets in central Oslo.
  • Paleet (T-bane to Nationaltheateret, Close to the National Theatre (Nationalteateret) and Royal Palace.). an upmarket, central shopping center.
  • Steen & Strøm (situated on a side street of KarlJohansgate.). One of Oslo's oldest department stores and is newly renovated and very stylish with a number of clothing shops with famous brands as well as a cosmetique and an interior design floor. On top, you will find an outdoor cafe with a view all over the city center and the surroundings.

Speciality stores

  • Baby Shop AS, Ullevålsveien 11 (bus 33, 37 or 46 to Nordahl Bruns gate), ☎ +47 22209966. 10-18. One of Oslo's oldest and most traditional baby stores. It is famous for its celebrity shoppers like the Princess of Norway Märtha Louise and the Crown Princess Mette-Marit.
  • DesignTorget, Byporten shopping center, House of Oslo shopping center and Grensen 8. Swedish chain that showcases high-quality quirky design. Worth checking out for quality gifts to bring back home.
  • Frelsesarmeen (Salvation Army), Kirkeveien 62 and other locations (T-bane to Majorstuen). Salvation Army second-hand store done Norwegian style! Super high-quality clothes, some furnishings, and a SA café/Sally Anne (SA's fair-trade concept store) right next door. Great place for inexpensive hats/gloves/socks when the Oslo winter sneaks up on you.
  • Living Large. A store for both tall and solid men, sizes range from 3X to 9X with decent formal and informal clothes.
  • Stormberg, Storgata 7 + Lofsrudveien 6 (Central Oslo + Senter Syd (Mortensrud)). Stores for Norway's largest brand of outdoor wear.
  • Tiger, Hammersborggata 18 (any tram or bus stopping at Brugata), ☎ +47 22 20 73 50. An old-school record store with vinyl, CDs and some band merchandise for those into alternative music like punk, noise and all kinds of genres with names ending with "core". Also a record label and a distributor.
  • Big Dipper, Møllergata 1 (tram or bus to Grensen or Stortorget), ☎ +47 22 20 14 41. The best selection of vinyl LPs in Oslo! Pop/Rock, Indie, Soul, Metal/Hardrock, Jazz, Punk, Garagerock, Hip-hop, Blues, Country, Electronica and Reggae. Also a fine seletion of CDs in most genres.
  • Neseblod Records, Schweigaards gt 56 (Bus 37, 401, 411 to Oslo gate or trams 18 or 19 to Munkegata.). Black Metal Shop and museum situated in Schweigaards gate in the same building that Helvete was located in the early nineties.
  • Art: Siren Waróe Gallery, Parkveien 64 (Next to the Castle, use busstop at Solli Plass), ☎ +47 951 07 656. Wed 14-20 or contact at phone. The Studio Gallery of the Norwegian up-and-coming fine art artist Siren Waróe. Watch her golden art being made live and order your own dream-painting or get a print of one of her paintings.

Safety in Oslo, Norway

  • Police: 112
  • Fire: 110
  • Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance): 113
Oslo is generally a safe city, but as in any metropolitan area, some caution is warranted. Violent crime is rare, but not unheard of. Avoid getting into quarrels in taxi queues after closing hours of bars. Avoid groups of drunk young men. The police advise that the area along the Akerselva river from Grønland to Cuba is best avoided after dark. It is known for instances of rape, muggings and drug dealing.
Women should remain vigilant at night and when clubs and pubs are closing. Avoid walking alone through parks and poorly lit areas of the city. Do not, under any circumstances, use “pirate taxis” or other unofficial transportation.

Theft and pickpocketing is a nuisance. Normal precautionary rules apply:
  • Watch out for pickpockets in crowds and public transport.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended.
  • Avoid leaving your mobile phone and wallet on café tables.
Common scams occur in Oslo, and there are reports on the "guessing game" being perpetrated on the street - don't get involved in street-betting as it is certain to be a scam.

Winter conditions
For more information on driving in winter conditions, see the Winter driving article.
Pay particular attention to winter conditions when driving. Do run with vehicles that are equipped with good winter tires. The roads and streets of Oslo can be very slippery, especially if there is a lack of snow clearing and gritting, so drive slowly and carefully.
In winter watch out for icy patches, and when wandering in the forest beware when crossing snowy clearings - they may well be frozen lakes with snow over them, which may look safe but could crack. Finally, beware of snow falling from the roofs in Oslo - there are usually red/yellow signs upwards, and some areas are occasionally cordoned off.

Politics is a none-too-sensitive subject in Norway and is often discussed in public. Like in other western countries, political views differ, and most people seem to tolerate this. There are both far-right and far-left opinions in the everyday crowd, but true extremism is rare. Pay normal attention when expressing your political opinions; violent and autocratic ideologies are generally not tolerated in Norway. In addition, being a highly diverse city, racism and sexism is generally not tolerated among most people in Oslo. In environmental policies, Norwegians have a fairly European-minded attitude when climate issues are discussed, but fewer people (including activists) will be vegetarian. Sensitive issues include the Second World War, religion, race and the July 22nd atrocities. Environmental issues such as whaling may also be sensitive.

The tap water of Oslo is among the cleanest in the world. Do drink tap water instead of bottled water, which does nothing but drain your pocket of much-needed kroner.
In front of the city hall, you will find a drinking water station. Close to the harbor.

Dangerous animals
There are few wild animals that can hurt. However, some people get wasp stings and tick bites. In case of complications, consult a doctor. The only poisonous snake is the common European adder. In case of an adder bite, seek medical attention immediately.

For more information on driving in Norway, see the Driving in Norway article.
Cars are required to yield to pedestrians at marked and signed crossings and will be heavily fined if they don't. However, this rule does not apply to trams (streetcars); the trams have the right of way. Oslo has a web of tram lines downtown and as the trams are fast and heavy, you will certainly lose if you attempt to challenge one. Trams need up to 1.3 meters space on each side of the track, keep a generous distance to trams curves.
Oslo is not one of the most suitable cities for driving. In central Oslo, it is recommended to travel collectively. Public transport in Oslo is well developed, it saves time and the environment. Driving requires a high level of attention all the time. There are few parking spaces along the streets, many pedestrian streets, dead roads, and one-way streets. Parking is in many places chargeable. Parking in the parking lot is rather expensive. Car queues in the rush hours are common.
The main roads are well signposted


Language spoken in Oslo, Norway

It is easy to get around in Oslo, and almost every Norwegian speaks English.
Norwegian (norsk) is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway. However, Norwegian has many similarities with the other Scandinavian languages, Swedish and Danish. In Norway, there are many Norwegian dialects, all present in the capital. 


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Oslo Opera House, Norway
Average: 9.9 (10 votes)

The Oslo Opera House (Norwegian: Operahuset) is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is operated by Statsbygg, the government agency which manages property for the Norwegian government....
Bygdoy, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.5 (10 votes)

Bygdøy, or Bygdø, is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, Norway. Administratively, Bygdøy belongs to the borough of Frogner. Bygdøy has five museums, which are the Kon-Tiki Museum, which houses exhibits from the expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum); the Viking Ship Museum; the...
Vigeland Museum, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.8 (10 votes)

The Vigeland Museum (Norwegian: Vigeland-museet, often called Vigelandsmuseet) is a museum in Oslo, Norway. Its history began in 1919 when noted sculptor Gustav Vigeland made an offer to Oslo Municipality to donate his works sometime in the future. Vigeland's total body of works consisted not only of sculptures, but also woodcuts, drawings,...
National Gallery, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The National Gallery (Norwegian: Nasjonalgalleriet) is a gallery in Oslo, Norway. Since 2003 it is administratively a part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design. In 2016 admission cost 100 Norwegian kroner. History It was established in 1842 following a parliamentary decision from 1836. Originally located in the Royal Palace, Oslo...
Oslofjord, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

The Oslofjord (Norwegian: Oslofjorden, English: Oslo Fjord) is an inlet in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north. It is part of the Skagerrak strait, connecting the North Sea and the Kattegat sea area, which leads to the...
Aker Brygge, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Aker Brygge is a neighbourhood in Oslo, Norway, a popular area for shopping, dining, and entertainment, as well as a high-end residential area.   Location Aker Brygge is located just west of downtown on the westside of Pipervika, an arm of the Oslo Fjord, on the former ship yard of Akers Mekaniske Verksted, which ceased operations in...
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Oslo
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Museum of Cultural History), at Bygdøy, Oslo, is a museum of cultural history with extensive collections of artifacts from all social groups and all regions of the country. It also incorporates a large open-air museum with more than 150 buildings, relocated from towns and rural districts. The Norwegian Museum of...
Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway
Average: 9.3 (10 votes)

Akershus Fortress (Norwegian: Akershus Festning) or Akershus Castle (Norwegian: Akershus slott) is a medieval castle that was built to protect Oslo, the capital of Norway. It has also been used as a prison. Construction It is not known exactly when the construction of the castle started but it is believed that it happened around the late 1290s,...

Latest travel blogs about Oslo, Norway

Oslo. Resistance Museum

Resistance Museum is located on the territory of Akershus Fortress in Oslo and it is dedicated to the period of the Nazi occupation of Norway in 1940-1945. The museum of the Armed Forces is an arsenal of guns, rifles, mines and other deadly ammunition of wars, in which Norway had participated from...

This is Maritime Museum. There are lesser-known ships in this museum, but there are steering wheels that one can rotate, and a bell to ring. Dried fish is hung on the beams of the museum. By the way, the admission is free.  Author: Nefer Source: neferjournal.livejournal.com...
This is "Kon-Tiki" Museum . Relatives of the great scientist and anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl established a museum where you can see the legendary balsa raft "Kon-Tiki" and the papyrus boat "Ra-2". Heyerdahl sailed on "Kon-Tiki" from Peru to Polynesia, and thus he proved that the people of the...
If during your visit to Denmark you have already seen everything, you are getting bored, and have little money, then you have an opportunity to go in the so-called "mini - cruise" in Norway. From Copenhagen or Fredrikskhavn to Oslo . The price for two nights and a day in Oslo is from 13...
Trams in Oslo are considered one of the oldest and favorite types of public transport. Once a year they even celebrate a certain holiday: during these days people in trams are treated to food, drink and different artists perform there. At the 1000 year anniversary of the city the...
Gustav Vigeland is one of the most prolific sculptors of Norway. In 1921 the Municipality of Oslo decided to build the library on the site of his house. Series of long negotiations between the artist and the authorities began. As a result, the city provided Vigeland with...
On the next day of our trip we decided to rest from three-day races and spent the whole day in Oslo . During the first half of the day we were walking along with a wonderful tour guide, living in Norway for seventeen years. She told a lot of interesting stories and showed the city...