48 Hours in Oslo
Seafood raw bars to charming neighborhoods to priceless art treasures that bare the Norwegian soul.
Explore the neighborhood
The brand new Sommerro House is just a 10-minute walk down the hill toward Solli Plass. The property was once the Gamle Oslo Lysverk lighting factory, but after extensive renovations, it’s now a sprawling resort and lifestyle center. Aside from the hotel, there are apartments, a rooftop terrace, and several restaurants and bars. The historic Vestkantbadet pool and spa and 1930s-era frescoes by Per Krogh were likewise renovated. With its bygone art-deco interior and abundant dining and entertainment options, Sommerro truly has something for everyone.
Sommerro. Sommerrogata 1
If you’d like to explore a few other neighborhoods in Oslo, head in the opposite direction toward Grünerløkka, and you’ll find a number of lively restaurants and bars.
Walk down Fredensborgveien – a busy road that’s been revitalized into Oslo’s foremost dining destination. The seafood bar Eff Eff serves fresh raw oysters and imported sparkling wine while the Italian restaurant Arno is renowned for its pasta dishes. Then there’s Nektar Vinbar, a trendy local favorite, which offers appetizers and the finest selection of wine in Norway, accompanied by the high-decibel beats of hip-hop. It’s almost always packed here, so you’ll want to make reservations in advance. Next door, you’ll find the venerable Chez Collin, the undisputed champion when it comes to entrecôte in Oslo. Fredensborgveien is the perfect place to go on a Friday night.
If you have energy to spare, sip a cocktail or three in a small, intimate bar like Dangerous Club or experience Oslo nightlife first-hand at Blå.
Arno. Fredensborgveien 30B
Nektar Vinbar. Fredensborgveien 42
Chez Collin. Fredensborgveien 44
Dangerous Club. Maridalsveien 10
Blå. Brenneriveien 9c
If you spent your Friday wandering through Oslo’s quiet, peaceful neighborhoods, then a trip to experience the downtown excitement may be just what the doctor ordered. Once the Munch museum opened its doors in 2021, downtown Oslo migrated a few figurative steps closer to the harbor. The museum features exciting, new events and innovative exhibits throughout the year. One thing is certain: kids and adults alike will enjoy the visit. Munch also has a children’s section, where your little ones can romp to their heart’s content while learning the ins and outs of expressionism, and there’s an aptly-named restaurant on the 12th floor called Tolvte (“Twelfth”). You can take in a lunch, dinner, or just cocktails here while enjoying the view of Oslo Fjord.
If you enjoy shopping, there’s no better place than the busy Karl Johans gate pedestrian street. A separate high-end shopping district called Promenaden (“The Promenade”), featuring luxury brands such as Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, and Hermès, also opened a few years ago. Next to this is Eger, a popular destination for clothes in a variety of price ranges.
If you’re running on fumes from all the shopping and need to seek out a calm port, we heartily recommend charting a course for Amerikalinjen (“the America Line”). Their mouth-watering brunch has been the hotel’s main calling card since they opened in 2019. And if you like jazz, they also hold live jazz concerts on Saturdays.
Or if you’re an exotic food gourmet, Oslo Street Food, which features food from all over the world, is not far away. The complex features 16 cozy, family-owned restaurants that are open 7 days a week.
Promenaden. Prinsensgate 21
Amerikalinjen. Jernbanetorget 2
Oslo Street Food. Torggata 16
Waking up in a quiet neighborhood in the West End of Oslo offers more than just birdsong and street life. Kunstnernes Hus (“The Artists’ House”) is just five minutes away from the hotel. This is an art institution that’s renowned for its exhibitions. Enjoy the art here or just take in the view of Slottsparken (“the Palace Park”) from the restaurant on the first floor.
If you don’t mind a longer hike, we recommend a visit to the Emanuel Vigeland Museum. Take the subway to Slemdal and explore the dark grotto where Mr. Vigeland lies buried in all his splendor amidst a collection of priceless artwork. The shrine is only open on Sundays and you need to book a reservation in advance.
If you really want to get to know the heart and soul of Norway, continue on to Frognerseteren. Here you can partake in a traditional home-cooked Norwegian meal while you enjoy stunning views of the entire city and keep your backside warm in front of a crackling fireplace. Just don’t get too comfortable or you may never want to leave!
Hotel in a fashionable location
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At Saga Hotel, you’ll wake up in a charming urban neighborhood in the middle of Oslo’s West End. Almost everything is within walking distance of its fashionable location, the breakfast is first-class, and the hotel bar is the perfect place to unwind in the evenings if you just feel like relaxing “at home”. It’s a good option at an affordable price.
Text by Lars K. Midtsjø Film: Calle Huth