For those who would like to wake up in a soft bed in historic yet comfortable surroundings, with the pulsating Karl Johan gate right outside the window, the Karl Johan Hotel is the perfect choice – a distinctive hotel with a high level of standard and informal atmosphere that combines the charm of a city hotel with the uniqueness of three historic buildings, where you can enjoy inspiring interior design, fantastic views and historic gems.
… by foot, by bike or from the sunny deck of a boat!
Welcome to what The Wall Street Journal calls the “newest capital of Nordic cool” urhoods and explore everything from innovative architecture and world-class museums to hip bars and heavenly eateries.
Start the day at Karl Johans gate
Karl Johans gate is central Oslo’s main street, and here you can take a leisurely stroll and soak up the city’s atmosphere. There is also a cozy little square where you can sit down and look at the surroundings. If you follow the street east you will find cafes and restaurants, bars and nightclubs, but also shops and shopping centers. Here you can find food from all over the world, including India, Vietnam and China, and most of the restaurants have a nice view of the street.
Capture one of Oslo’s most charming sights
Akershus Fortress dates to the early 14th century, during the rule of Haakon V of Norway. At various points in history, it was used as a military outpost and a prison. Nevertheless, it’s a charming sight to behold, set on a headland overlooking Oslo Harbour on the southern waterside. In the summer, you can go on guided tours inside the fortress and explore its church, courtyards, armouries and royal halls.
No filter needed for the royal residence
Oslo’s Royal Palace is a magnificent yellow, white and pale green building, and has been Oslo’s finest residence since its completion in 1849. It has been home to both Swedish and Norwegian regents ever since, and ever since the dissolution of the union, this is where the royal family stand and wave to children’s trains from the city’s schools on Constitution Day. Get here at the right time and you can join one of the many tours led by knowledgeable guides. You’ll see more glitz and gold here than anywhere else in Norway!
An arty park within lush surroundings
The area at the centre of the vast Frogner Park in Oslo features the Vigelandsanlegget, or Vigeland installation. It has an array of granite and bronze sculptures designed by the late Gustav Vigeland. You can walk the 100-metre bridge, which connects the main gate and the park’s fountain, while admiring the 58 sculptures and the towering monolith. Try spotting one of the most famous sculptures, the Sinnataggen or ‘Angry Boy’. Even the children’s playground has bronze statues depicting kids in playful poses.
Discover one of Oslo’s coolest neighbourhoods
A brief drive north of Oslo’s city hub leads you to Grünerløkka. It’s considered Oslo’s trendiest neighbourhood, with streets adorned with graffiti art and lined with some of the city’s most stylish bars and clubs, as well as hip fashion boutiques selling one-off designs and vintage fashion pieces. On many weekends, mini squares in Grünerløkka come to life with weekend markets where you can hunt for unique gifts while sampling local snacks. You can follow walking trails that lead you past parks where cool concerts are sometimes held.
End the day watching opera
With its bold, contemporary design inspired by the sloping ski hills of Norway, the Oslo Opera House is a striking landmark overlooking the harbour. The opera house is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, though other orchestras and ballets often visit this remarkable setting. Even if you don’t watch a show, the snow-white slanting roof that seemingly flows down into the waterfront is irresistible, and you can walk along it and enjoy afternoon waterfront views. This roof even serves as a venue for concerts