Watch my video above to experience summer in Oslo, or continue reading below:
Where to start?
In Oslo you can find different types of architecture: from the traditional houses in Damstredet to the brand new buildings at Bjørvika and Sørenga. The first thing you’ll see when you arrive in Oslo, is Bjørvika. Let’s start over there.
It all starts at Bjørvika, a.k.a. Barcode. From the train station, it’s located on the left (south) side. Bjørvika is a modern building project for businesses and houses. It is quite clear which function each building has: the ones with logos (like Deloitte) are companies, the ones with gardens and terraces are apartments. People who live here, have direct access to the train station; only a street separates them from the platforms. On the other side of the building complex, there’s Dronning Eufemias Gate, a street with a high capacity, although there weren’t that many cars when I was there (afternoon).
Although you’ll mainly find companies and apartments here, it’s still fun to walk around in this area. Especially if you like that “urban feeling”. You can grab a bite at some trendy cafes and tea rooms (there’s also a Joe & The Juice here) or buy your hotdog at a Narvesen kiosk. And if you love modern architecture, you can easily spend half an hour here just wandering around, looking up and taking lots of pictures.
Sørenga is the newest addition to Oslo’s love for modern architecture. It’s located across Bjørvika, behind the Opera building. That whole area between Sørenga and the Opera, called Bispevika is one big construction site where they’re building even more modern buildings, like a brand new Munch museum.
On the way to Sørenga they made Havnepromenaden (=harbour promenade) with pop up cafes and even an info point, again in the same modern style:
Sørengkaia is mainly a residential area, but with some restaurants and a supermarket where tourists also are welcome, though I feel more locals are here than tourists. The main reason is because here you can also go “sea swimming” at Sørenga Sjøbadet. There are life guards here and the quality of the water is also tested and indicated for anyone who is interested in jumping in the cold water.
The Opera House, or officially Den Norske Operaen og Ballett, was the very first modern (and impressive) construction next to the train station (2 minute walk). Because of its construction, you can just walk up to the roof top where you have a view of the ‘skyline’ of Oslo. You can even see Holmenkollen from there.
On the way to the roof, you can look inside the building and wave at the people there. Alternatively, you can also just enter the building and wave at the people going to the roof. Inside, there’s a souvenir shop (opera related), an impressive public toilet and a high class restaurant.
Downtown Oslo, the historical architecture has been preserved. At Karl Johans Gate you’ll find Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament), built in 1866. Then there’s Nationalteatret and Nasjonalmuseet (I recommend you visit this museum!).
Rådhuset is Oslo’s town hall where also the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year. It’s made out of bricks, which was special back in the first half of the 20th century, especially in this region. Make sure you visit it, for free.
From Rådhuset, you can walk further to Aker Brygge. Aker Brygge is mix of restaurants, companies, shops and apartments. It’s a classy area where you’ll enjoy dining out after sunset. You’re re-entering the modern part of Oslo…
A newer part of Aker Brygge is called Tjuvholmen, where you can also find the Astrup Fearnly Museum.
Walking backwards from Tjuvholmen, over Karl Johan and continuing further up north, you’ll end up at a tiny street called Damstredet. It’s a short street, but where the traditional houses have been preserved. You could compare them to the houses in Bergen.
The Royal Palace
And of course we may not forget the Royal Palace 🙂
As an extra, I’d also like to mention the Holmenkollen area. People who love architecture or who just like to take pictures of ‘patterns’, might enjoy this area too.
Life is beautiful 🙂
Now it’s your turn!
Do you still have suggestions? Or did you discover another spot no one may miss? Add in the comments area!
Don’t forget to like and follow 🙂