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Oslo Travel Guide

About Oslo

Veiled in eclectic architecture and sharp Scandinavian design, Oslo is a cultural Shangri-La that blends a buzzing party scene with a wealth of top-class museums and galleries.

But don’t be fooled by the cosmopolitan atmosphere, the city’s suburbs are forested, semi-rural gems where hiking, swimming and even skiing are on offer.

One of the best ways to approach Oslo is by sea, with the journey taking you along scenic fjords where fishing boats jostle with cruise liners and luxury yachts.

Located at the end of the 110km-long (70 miles) Oslofjord, Norway’s municipal hub is one of the few cities where you can sail, ski and skate to your heart’s content just a short distance from the city centre.

For those who would rather just walk, there’s Oslo’s fascinating central district with its jumble of modern and ancient buildings. There are plenty of key stops too, including the steel-and-glass Munch Museum, the old-fashioned charm of the City Museum and the craggy medieval walls of the Akershus Fortress.

To the north, the heavily wooded Nordmarka district has myriad fishing, blueberry-picking and walking opportunities, while the southern borough of Frogner boasts The Vigeland Park - an unmissable blend of wide open space and the surreal creations of sculptor Gustav Vigeland.

Equally wonderful is the National Museum, which is home to Norway’s most famous painting, The Scream by Edvard Munch, and the futuristic Opera House in Bjørvika.

Evenings in Oslo are characterised by bustling crowds as the locals apply as much dedication to enjoyment as they do to business. The capital’s thriving restaurant scene has seen it rewarded with four Michelin stars, although you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat well. The Grünerløkka district teems with bustling little pavement cafés where visitors can get a slap-up supper for a reasonable price.

A thriving, truly vibrant city, the cosmopolitan heart of Norway really does have something for everyone.

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Featured Hotels


First Hotel Millennium

Despite the 1930s facade (and the name), the First Hotel Millennium opened in 1988 and is located a few minutes' walk from the city centre. Its 114 rooms are finished in minimal Scandinavian style with wooden floors. The on-site restaurant does a decent breakfast buffet too.

Thon Hotel Astoria

Centrally located and a short walk from Oslo’s main shopping street and central station the Thon Hotel Astoria is convenient for budget-minded travellers who want to explore Oslo’s tourist attractions. Rooms are comfortable – if small – and the excellent breakfast is highly recommended.

First Hotel Grims Grenka

One of the most charming of Oslo’s stays, the Grims Grenka might be a chain hotel but it has the feel of a boutique establishment. Each of the 65 rooms are spacious and come with a stash of organic tea. The Madu restaurant and the rooftop Q Lounge are both worth checking out too.

Saga Hotel

Built in the 1890s, the intimate Saga Hotel sits a stone's throw from the Royal Palace but is far less grand than its setting would suggest. Instead, its rooms are romantic and remarkably short on Scandinavian minimalism, while staff are friendly and ever-ready to field questions and source decent restaurants.

The Thief

Despite the name, The Thief is a well-priced hotel with direct access to the Oslofjord that certainly won't relieve you of all your money. Housed in a modern glass and steel building, the rooms have great views and simple modern décor. There's a gourmet restaurant on site too.

Hotel Continental

The Continental is an Oslo institution that has been run by the same family for four generations and is more than a century old. Situated in the heart of Oslo next to the National Theatre the hotel is known both for outstanding service and restaurants as well as its links with the Oslo arts scene.