The history of the city can be traced back over 1,000 years. Oslo was founded in 1048, by the king Harald Hardråde. The city became capital of Norway around 1300, but lost its privileges during the Danish-Norwegian union from 1348 to 1814. In 1624, a fire devastated old Oslo, and the city was moved some kilometres west to gain protection from the fortress at Akershus. The city was renamed Christiania, after the Danish King Christian IV, a name that remained until it was officially renamed on January 1st 1925 to Oslo. Traces have been found close to [Ekeberg] indicating settlement as far back as 10,000 bc.
Stortinget, the parliament
After the devastating 1624 fire, old Oslo (around the mouth of river Aker) was largely abandoned and the ruins converted to farmland. Today, a few church ruins are still visible under the Ekeberg hill (across the water from the new operahouse, between road E18 and the railway). Beyond these ruins there is virtually nothing remaining of medieval Oslo. Ironically, the new city Christiania was established outside the borders of Oslo, and 'Oslo' remained the name of the small, surviving settlement outside the new city borders. During Christiania's rapid expansion in the 19th century, as the capital of a new state, the site of the original Oslo (old Oslo, or 'Gamlebyen') was included in the city. Due to the rapid inclusion of surrounding agricultural areas in the 19th century, a large number of remains from the city's farming history is still clearly visible in place names and farm houses. The remains of historical pastures can be found at parks, St. Hanshaugen for example is now used as a recreational park for Oslo's residents.
Oslo, with its approximately 453 square kilometers, is one of the largest capitals in the world by area. Most of this is forest, making Oslo a city in close contact with the nature surrounding it.
Oslo is situated in an amphitheatre-like setting, with the city centre in the bottom close to the Oslofjord, and residential areas stretching uphill from there in all directions. Behind the residential areas, the forested area of Marka (Nordmarka, Østmarka, Lillomarka) extends, with flora and fauna that is quite extraordinary for a city of this size. Moose are commonplace (easily spotted in winter), and the whole of the capital is part of Norway's wolf reserve (a breeding couple is thought to have settled in Østmarka). However, polarbears are non-existing in Norway proper, even some might think so, due to old stories about Norway.
The Oslofjord is a lake in the Skagerrak bay, stretching inland from the North Sea. In the reverse direction, the inlet runs towards Øresund and the Baltic Sea. Oslo has an impressive archipelago of islands, which in summer becomes the city's favoured playground.
The inner city centre is bounded by Oslo Central Station (Oslo S) to the east, the Royal Palace (Slottet) to the west and the seafront (from Akershus fortress to Aker brygge) to the south. It is fairly compact and easily walkable. Karl Johans gate, the mostly pedestrian main street connecting Oslo S and the Palace, is the main artery of downtown Oslo. However, several of the neighbourhoods close to the centre hold interesting sights and entertainment offerings, so to explore these you should make use of the city's comprehensive and modern public transport system.
Although well into the northern latitudes, Oslo's climate is fairly temperate thanks to warm air being wafted across the Atlantic from the Gulf Stream. Summer weather in Oslo is usually mild and pleasant, with frequent hot spells and plenty of long sunny days. In winter temperatures hover just above or below freezing, with occasional cold spells. Snow is most often plentiful in the forested areas, making Oslo a great winter sports venue. Rainfall is spread across the year, the rainiest month being August.
Oslo has a population of about 650,000 people, and nearly a million including its extra-municipal suburbs (such as Bærum and Lørenskog). It has the highest population growth of any European capital, with exorbitant real estate prices to match. The Oslo metropolitan area has a population of around 1.4 million. The diverse population includes some of Norway's wealthiest celebrities. About a quarter of the population are of non-Norwegian origin, the majority hailing from Sweden, Poland and Pakistan. This has made Oslo an ethnically and culturally diverse city. Accompanied by a large influx of people from all around Norway, Oslo is thus often referred to as the "melting pot" of Norway. Cultural differences have affected Oslo's society and cityscape in matters of cuisine and shopping, which have all blended in to the everyday life of Oslo's population. Some areas of Oslo, especially around Grønland and Tøyen, and some suburbs east of the city center have majority-immigrant or majority non-ethnic Norwegian populations. Oslo has for centuries been a remarkably segregated city, and there is still sharp differences between the different parts of the city, and attempts at decreasing this divide has been futile. There are notable immigrant communities of Pakistani, Somali, Swedish, Sri Lankan, Iraqi, Polish, Romanian, Vietnamese, Iranian, Ex-Yugoslavian, Moroccan, Turkish, Albanian, Filipino, Thai and Danish origin. Polish immigrants form the largest minority group in Oslo.
The Oslo region is the country's premier business center and has a diverse and dynamic economy with one of the highest regional GDPs in Europe. Figures published by the regional development agency for Oslo show that GDP per capita in the region was €44,190 ($51,950) (excluding oil and gas) in 2000, compared to an EU average of approximately €20,000 ($23,512). According to a report produced by the city's Chief Commissioner's Department and the Department of Finances and Development, the service sector dominates employment in Oslo. In 2001, Public and Business services accounted for more than 59 percent of jobs. Other major employment areas within the service sector include trade, hotels and catering, banking and insurance.
Following the latest reform of January 1, 2004, the city is divided into fifteen boroughs (bydeler) that are to a considerable extent self governed. Each borough is responsible for local services not overseen by the City Council, such as social services, basic healthcare, and kindergartens. For convenience, the city can be divided into six larger districts.
Sentrum (Sentrum) Central downtown area.
West (Bygdøy) "The Museum Peninsula" and the poshest area in Norway
Inner West (St. Hanshaugen, Frogner, Majorstua)
Inner East (Sagene, Grünerløkka, Gamle Oslo)
Outer West (Ullern, Holmenkollen, Vestre Aker, Nordre Aker)
Outer East (Alna, Bjerke, Grorud, Stovner, Nordstrand, Søndre Nordstrand, Østensjø)
Oslo is served by three airports: Oslo Airport (Gardermoen), Sandefjord Airport (Torp) and Moss Airport (Rygge). Oslo Airport is the largest of the three and is the main international gateway to Norway.
Be aware that most Internet flight booking sites will show flights to all mentioned airports when searching for Oslo Airport. Make sure to check the actual airport from the search results before booking. If you don't want to land in an airport that is far away from Oslo, Gardermoen and Rygge airports are your best choice.
Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (IATA: OSL, ICAO: ENGM) is Norway's largest, and Scandinavia's second largest airport, located in Gardermoen, 47 kilometres northeast of Oslo. Direct flights are available to a multitude of Norwegian and European airports, as well as several intercontinental destinations. The largest airlines in Norway, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)  and Norwegian Air Shuttle , operate most of the flights. Flights by about 30 other airlines make this airport easy to reach from most of the world. There is free wifi at the airport.
To travel between the city and the airport:
Flytoget, operates high speed express trains, generally taking about 20 minutes to reach Oslo Central Station (Oslo S). Trains depart every 10 minutes. Tickets cost NOK 170 when bought in a ticket vendor machine or by credit card, NOK 200 when bought manually from the ticket desk (NOK 85/100 retired, kids and students younger than 31 with a student ID. Tickets are not valid for transfer in Oslo). Every second train continues past Oslo S to Drammen, stopping at Nationaltheateret station, which is more convenient for destinations in the western end of the city center.
NSB operates trains via Oslo to Drammen, then on to Kongsberg or Skien. This is the more popular and cost effective way to get into Oslo - trains depart from the adjacent platforms to the Flytoget express. The trip takes 23 minutes, and trains depart twice per hour. Tickets cost NOK 90 (NOK 60 with valid Oslo public transport ticket, valid for transfer in Oslo). Single tickets can be bought from the machine but thenyou must board a conductor carriage - For more details check: Local Trains
Flybussen operates buses to Oslo city center which take roughly 45 minutes to reach the city center (NOK 150, return ticket valid for 1 month NOK 250, valid for transfer in Oslo, cheaper fares if bought online, 50% discount (NOK 65 one way if bought online) for different groups, including students younger than 31).
Flybussekspressen operates buses to various destinations in the Oslo area. There is an information stand inside the terminal, which can provide information about all bus services from the airport.
Taxis can, and should, be ordered in the booth inside the terminal for different fixed prices from approximately NOK 700+ to Oslo city center. Going outside to flag one from the queue always ends up much more expensive. Most people with a destination in Oslo will be far better off getting the Flytoget, Flybussen or local train to Oslo S, and get a taxi or local public transport from there.
Torpekspressen operates between the airport and Drammen and Oslo (1 hour 45 mins) and costs NOK 240 for a single ticket, NOK 420 for a return (discounts for students (NOK 340), ISIC Card Holders and senior citizens). Torpekspressen buses are scheduled to accommodate arriving flights, so after you get off the plane, most likely there will be a bus to Oslo waiting for you. If you miss the bus scheduled for your flight, you may end up waiting a long time for the next bus.
NSB. operates trains between Torp Airport Train Station and central Oslo. The train station is linked to the airport via free shuttle buses.
Taxis are very expensive; a taxi to Oslo costs around NOK 2000.
Moss Lufthavn Rygge (IATA: RYG, ICAO: ENRY) airport near Moss is a third airport in the Oslo area. It is now Ryanair's main Norwegian hub, and there is also some domestic service by Danish Air Transport. The airport is close to the cities of Moss, Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg and is only 70km from Oslo.
To travel between the city and the airport:
Ryggeekspressen buses will meet all incoming international flights, and leave from Oslo central station for all outgoing flights. A one way ticket to Oslo costs NOK 170/adults. A return ticket costs NOK 300/adult, NOK 230/student (discount for students is for return ticket only). Buy tickets from the bus driver (you have to pay in cash in Norwegian kronas; bus driver may also accept another currency like €, but it is usually overpaid). One way journey will take approximately one hour.
NSB operates trains between Rygge train station and central Oslo and Halden. A shuttle bus leaves the airport for Rygge train station approx. 15 minutes before scheduled train departures. The shuttle bus is included in the price of your train ticket. Tickets are sold by the bus driver, you can usually pay by credit card. 3 trains per day operate from Rygge to Gothenburg, Sweden. A ticket to/from Oslo costs NOK 147/adults, NOK 110/student.
Oslo Central Station (Oslo Sentralstasjon/Oslo S, T-bane Jernbanetorget) is at the eastern fringe of the city centre, by the end of the main pedestrian street Karl Johans gate. Oslo S is at the centre of Norway's railway, all lines (including the airport express train) terminate at Oslo S, making Oslo S the supreme gateway to Oslo. The major express buses go to the bus station next door to the train station.
Internationally, there are three daily services to Gothenburg (Sweden) (4 hours). Four daily trains travel in the direction of Stockholm (Sweden) (6 hours), two of which will require a change in Karlstad (schedule ). The night train on this route is sadly terminated as of January 2009. For Copenhagen (Denmark) and beyond, you will have to change trains in Gothenburg. However, in summer a limited night train network to Malmö and Stockholm is run by Swedish train company SJ.
Tickets for the Gothenburg line are cheapest when bought at the NSB  website, where the Minipris-fares run as low as NOK 199. Tickets for the Stockholm line are cheaper if you buy them from the Swedish train company SJ's website , where the cheapest tickets can end up as cheap as 95 SEK (but rarely do). Tickets are released for sale 3 months ahead of departure, and the sooner you buy them, the cheaper they will be. Both Norwegian and Swedish prebooked train tickets can be picked up at ticket machines in Oslo Central Station (Norwegian tickets also at other stations).
Norwegian state rail operator NSB  run fairly frequent and half-efficient, though not fast, domestic services to Stavanger, Kristiansand, Bergen and Trondheim, as well as a relatively comprehensive local and regional service around Oslo. Their schedules are here: .
Long-distance trains heading south- or westwards also stop at Lysaker station at the western city border. Those heading north and east make their first call at Lillestrøm station, outside of the city.
For people using Oslo as a point of transit, it is good to note that the building just south of the main central station is still part of the train station and has lockers for rent. The small lockers are NOK 30, the medium lockers are NOK 40 and the large lockers are NOK 60. The medium lockers also come in two shapes, cubic and thinner but taller, make them useful for storing luggage which would not normally fit.
International highways E6 (from Malmö and Gothenburg) and E18 (from Saint Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm) meet in Oslo. There is a road tax of NOK 25 to enter Oslo with a car. The money is used for road construction and public transport. The toll booths are non-stop, and will snap a photo of your license plate and send the bill to the car owners' house. In addition, when entering the city from the west, an additional tax of NOK 12,50 is charged on the municipal border at Lysaker to finance the construction of a new highway leading westwards.
Oslo is well served by bus from most of Europe. The biggest operators of international buses are Swedish companies Swebus Express  and GoByBus . Both run inexpensive services to and from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen several times a day. Eurolines  runs services to Gothenburg and Stockholm.
On domestic services Nor-Way Bussekspress  is the biggest operator, with several buses to Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and tons of other Norwegian destinations. These are very useful for reaching along-the-way destinations, as outside of the central parts of Eastern Norway they stop at every single stop along the way, but are tedious for travelling very long distances also covered by train.
Lavprisekspressen  has buses to Trondheim and Kristiansand twice a day, with cheap fares (Internet booking only).
TIMEkspressen  runs a network of bus lines in the area surrounding Oslo, most notably their line 1 to Drammen, Kongsberg and Notodden, that runs every hour, day and night, year-round. Every town and city in Norway is somehow connected to Oslo by public transport, although connections are sparse outside the main arteries.
Oslo is connected to Denmark and Germany by car ferry. Color Line  runs services to Kiel (Germany) daily. DFDS  runs daily services to Copenhagen (Denmark), and Stena Line  provides service to Frederikshavn (Denmark).
You may also want to consider Color Lines high-speed boats from Larvik (2 hours south of Oslo on E18, or easily reachable by hourly NSB train) or Kristiansand (4 1/2 hours south of Oslo on E18, or reachable on five daily trains or near-hourly buses) to Hirtshals (Denmark). They both take some 3 1/2 hours to reach Denmark.
The port for cruise lines is near Akershus Festning, a short walk from downtown. The train station in Kristiansand is close to the ferry quay, while in Larvik the quay has been moved to a location which is a bit of a trek from the station.
If you are planning to go on a trip to Oslo and you want to discover the city, you can easily hop on a bike. Over the past years Oslo has developed into a real cycle city and it now even offers people to make use of the so called ¨Bysykler¨. This cycle plan offers citizens and tourists the possibility to grab a bike at over more than 100 places in Oslo. To make use of this system you have to be in the possession of an electronic smartcard. You can order a personal card via this link  or you can buy it at the local tourist information office and costs
around 13 Euros. This card gives you the opportunity to make use of this cycle system for the rest of the season. For more information you can visit the website of bysykler. However Oslo’s most famous highlights are located in the centre, the city has much more to offer. Just outside the city centre you’ll discover some really nice spots which are perfectly reachable by bike. In general cycling in Oslo is a safe way of transport. Wide streets give you a clear oversight. In less safe streets you can make use of the sidewalks. Since Oslo is becoming more and more a bike city it is also for tourists becoming more fun to hop on a bike and discover Oslo.
There is also the possibility to discover Oslo with a guided bike tour, offered by various biking tour companies. For example Baja Bikes and Alternative Tours Oslo offer bike tours in Oslo. A local guide takes you along all Oslo’s highlights. In a few hours you will get familiar with the city and afterwards you could rent a bike and explore the city on your own.
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 centre 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 centre: 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.
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. A single ticket costs NOK 30 when bought in advance from a kiosk or a ticket machine, and NOK 50 when bought from a bus or tram driver. After being stamped or activated (validated), the single ticket is valid for one hour of free travel in the zone(s) the ticket is valid for. You can also get a Travelcard where you load pay-as-you-go-credit for price of NOK 27 per ticket.
There are also period tickets available; 24-hour ticket (NOK 90), 7-day ticket (NOK 220), 30-day ticket (NOK 650) and 365-day ticket (NOK 6500). Read more about the tickets and see prices for multiple zones here: .
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: . For a short visit, one additional option is to buy a Oslo Pass which includes free admission to many tourist attractions and other benefits.
All tickets can be bought at Ruter Service Center (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 (read more about this here: . 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. There are no checks getting on to T-banes, trams or buses, but if you choose to ride ticketless look out for inspectors as random spot checks are common and being caught without a valid ticket leads to an automatic fine of at least NOK 750. Read more about ticket control: 
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 .
Oslo has one of the largest metro systems in Europe. It is known as the Tunnelbane or mainly just T-bane in Norwegian.
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 together 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 centre to the center and back. The loop line is called "Ringen" (the ring) in Norwegian.
With rolling stock from the 1960's, 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)).
Trams and buses complement the metro network, and use the same tickets. They cover most of the city, and run from approx. 5AM to past midnight, on some lines up to 1AM. 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, buses cover parts of the city with varying frequency. All regular tickets are valid. More information and a map of the weekend night lines can be found online . Most of these start or pass by the bus stops close to the Parliament building (Stortinget) and Jernbanetorget (Oslo Central Station/Oslo S).
Local trains cover certain areas of the city, and run out to the neighbouring municipalities and towns. The local train network spans across the city limits to neighbouring cities and towns. The network inside Oslo is depicted in grey on this map .
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. You may be fined NOK 900 if you use one of these carriages with, say a single ticket, and a conductor does come to check your tickets. 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 centre, 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 centre/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).
Dronningen and Kongen. The two piers in Frognerkilen.
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. Single tickets are sold on board for NOK 50.
The departures, especially in evenings and winter, are infrequent, so make sure you don't miss the last one! Schedules can be found here: .
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.
Except during the winter (approx. Dec-Mar) Oslo has a public bike service . Just get a keycard at the tourist office (NOK 80, valid one day) or at the aforementioned web site before going to Oslo (NOK 90 for the whole season) 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.
Taxis are expensive. The minimum charge with most companies is at least NOK 80, increasing to a whopping NOK 160 late at weekend nights. Short central hops cost upwards of NOK 100, so if public transport still runs, use it. 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. All taxi companies have a starting fee (NOK 0-160) and a fee per kilometer that varies from NOK 14-30. These fees vary by taxi company and time of day. Usually, there's 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 M-F and 06.00-18.00 Sa. The last rate is usually for Saturday after 18.00 till Monday 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 is 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.
Some people tip taxi drivers, or round the bill up to the nearest NOK 10, but taxi drivers do not generally expect tip - most people pay the exact amount by card anyway.
For general information on driving in Norway, see Norway.
The major roads entering Oslo is 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 centre. 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).
Architecture in Oslo may at first seem dull. Unlike for instance its Swedish counterpart, Stockholm, downtown Oslo has only scattered monumental buildings where in particular the Parliament-Palace axis (upper part of Karl Johan Street) has a certain Parisian grandeur. 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. 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. Oslo also has many exciting building projects and a huge part of the city's waterfront will in a few years have changed.
Royal Palace, (T-Nationaltheateret, tram 13-19 to Slottsparken. Located at the end of KarlJohans gate, the city's main avenue.), . Tours inside the palace are arranged in summertime, this year from 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.edit
University in Oslo
University of Oslo, (between the Royal Palace and Stortinget on the Karl Johans gate). The building is currently only housing the Faculty of Law, the rest of the university is situated at Blindern. Occasional concerts will be arranged in the magnificent Universitetets Aula, housing 11 of Edvard Munch's pictures. The room is only occasionally open for the public, but is one of the most magnificent rooms in all of Norway.edit
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 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. Be careful when temperatures go under 5 degrees as the roof may be very slippery! 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. edit
Oslo Cathedral, (tram 11-17-18 or bus 37 to Stortorvet, between T-Jernbanetorget and Stortinget). is none too impressive, but recently refurbished. After the terrorist attacks on Oslo in July 2011, the square Stortorget, in front of Oslo Cathedral, became the centre for afterthought and compassion. The square was fully covered by roses, greetings and mourning messages for weeks.edit
Kirkeristen. The old bazaar surrounding the church is now used by artisans and craftsmen, and holds a couple of cafes and restaurants. edit
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). Open to the public, with a spectacular main hall featuring huge murals with typical Nordic social democratic themes. There are also some displays of historical artefacts 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.edit
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.edit
View of Bygdøy
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.edit
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.edit
Oslo has a large number of museums.
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 (NOK 270 for 24 hrs), 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) for NOK 80 (24 hrs). You can buy 24, 48 or 72 hour Oslo passes or travel cards. They can be purchased at Tourist Information Offices in Oslo.
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 re-opened, and is a treat. Included in the Oslo Pass.NOK 85/adult. edit
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.NOK 100/adult. edit
National Gallery, Kristian Augusts gate 23, Oslo, . featuring Norwegian art from the national-romantic period, as well as some art by international artists. Included in the Oslo Pass.NOK 50/adult, NOK 30/concessions, Free/children under 18, Free to all on Sundays. edit
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.NOK 80/Adult, NOK 55/student. edit
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.NOK 50/adult. edit
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 (you'll see a big sign that says Bygdøy). Day tickets are valid on this ferry. At Bygdøy, you will find two groups of museums within walking distance of each other:
In the first group, around 800 metres inland:
Woodstore, Museum of Cultural History
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, . 10-18. 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.NOK 100/adult, NOK 75/student. edit
Viking Ship Museum, . 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.NOK 60/adult, NOK 35/concession, NOK 30/children under 16. edit
In the second group, on the harbour:
Norwegian Maritime Museum, . 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.NOK 60/adult. edit
Kon-Tiki Museum, . 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.NOK 70/adult. edit
Fram-Museum, . 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.NOK 100/adult. edit
The Holocaust Center, . 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 Holocaust and the plight of religious minorities. Included in the Oslo Pass.NOK 50/adult. edit
Some other museums are:
Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology & The Norwegian Telecommunications Museum, (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.NOK 90/adult. edit
Tramway Museum, (metro, tram or bus to Majorstuen), . Displays the history of Oslo's trams, buses and metro.NOK ?/adult. edit
DogA - The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, Hausmanns gate 16 (Bus or tram to Hausmanns gate), ☎ +47 23292870 (email@example.com), . 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.edit
Oslo is a very green city. Lots of parks are scattered around town.
The monolith in the Frognerpark.
Frogner Park, (T-bane, tram 11-19, bus 22-25-45-46 to Majorstua, tram 12 or bus 20 to Vigelandsparken), with the 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.
Botanical Garden, (tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole or t-bane to Tøyen, walking distance 200 metres), . Located just south of Tøyen park, the garden is a wonderful and relaxing area. Free entrance, opening hours 1 Apr-30 Sep: Sa-Su 10AM-8PM, M-F 7AM-8PM, 1 Oct-31 Mar: Sa-Su 10AM-5PM, M-F 7AM-5PM.
St.Hanshaugen (bus 37 to St.Hanshaugen) is 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.
Slottsparken (Palace Park) 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.
Birkelunden and Olaf Ryes plass Two cool parks in eastern Oslo, situated in the Grünerløkka, a so called Greenwich village look-alike area. On sundays, there is a second-hand market in Birkelunden.
Sofienbergparken A lot of activities all day long and especially in the weekends; ballplay, pick-nick, public barbecue, specially nice area for children.
Visit Ekeberg, the steep, green hill east of centre. From the wide hairpin bend at road Valhallaveien there is a great view of the city. This point is assumed to be the background for 'Scream', Edvard Munch's famous picture.
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.)
Vår Frelsers Cemetery, (Bus 33-37-46 to Nordahl Bruns gate), north of city center on Ullevålsveien holds the graves of Edvard Munch and Henrik Ibsen, two important cultural figures in Norway's history. It is also the burial site of a host of reputed Norwegian individuals and families.
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 town houses. 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 a commonly visited by tourists, and may not be mentioned in 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 ia also located by the church.
Oslofjord (boats 91-92-93-94 from Vippetangen, bus 60 runs to the quay). During summer island hopping in the Oslofjord is recommended. Hovedøya, Gressholmen or Langøyene are wonderful places to spend a sunny day. There is also a bathing bus (number 87) running from mid-June to mid-August from Jernbanetorvet to the brilliant beaches Hvervenbukta, Bestemorstranda and Ingierstrand. Ingierstrand is a 1930's bathing resort with very special functionalist architecture. Also at Bygdøy, Snarøya and further out towards Asker you will find several great beaches. During the summer months the water temperature will, perhaps surprisingly for many foreigners, be very pleasant and beaches will be packed. Outdoor swimming pools can be found at Frognerparken and Tøyenbadet.
For fresh water 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, but a couple of the major lakes (Maridalsvannet in particular) are drinking water for the city. Buy a map and bring your swimming gear!
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 6), 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 possibilites for walks and rural life, everything less than half an hour from the city centre. 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). 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 run offs flowing down the mountain.
Biking: Discover the city and its major tourist sites by bike, from April through October.
The area around Holmenkollen (T-bane 1) is well suited for cross-country skiing, 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.
Several festivals are arranged in Oslo each year. A very few include:
Øya A major music festival taking place each August in Tøyenparken.
Norwegian Wood Another annual music festival arranged in Frognerbadet next to the Vigeland park.
Ekebergsletta (bus 34 or 74) during Norway Cup (beginning of August every year), billed as the world's biggest football tournament (about 25,000 participants). Lots of fun and football. Held annually at the beginning of August.
In 2010 Oslo was ranked 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.
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 focuses 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).
Aker Brygge, (Tram 12, bus 21, 33 or 54 to Aker Brygge/Bryggetorget/Vika Atrium), . A seaside shopping and nightlife centre with high prices, but lots of glam and fun.edit
Akersgata, (just above Stortinget T-bane, at the rear of the Norwegian parliament.). Here you'll find several exclusive shops as well as the high-end shopping centre Eger at Egertorget.edit
Bogstadveien, (Majorstuen metro station (tram 11 runs the length of the street)). A high end shopping street. Good for non-chain stores, focus on clothes and accessories.edit
Byporten, (T-bane to Jernbanetorget), . Byporten is connected to the Central station. This shopping mall is focusing on everything. The traveler's choice! A lot of designers stuff, branded clothing, travel stuff and more.edit
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 their large area of cosmetique sales.edit
House of Oslo, (Bus 32, 33 or 54 to Dokkveien), . A shopping center focusing on interior designs with several 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).edit
Oslo City, (T-bane to Jernbanetorget), . a big shopping center just across the street from the Central station. The shopping center is focused on the young people. edit
Paleet, (T-bane to Nationaltheateret, Close to the National Theatre (Nationalteateret) and Royal Palace.), . an upmarket, central shopping centre. edit
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 view all over the city centre and the surroundings. edit
Baby Shop AS, Ullevålsveien 11 (bus 33, 37 or 46 to Nordahl Bruns gate), ☎ 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. (37.0625,95.677068)edit
DesignTorget, Byporten shopping centre, House of Oslo shopping centre and Grensen 8, . Swedish chain that showcases high quality quirky design. Worth checking out for quality gifts to bring back home.edit
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.edit
Living Large, . A store for both tall and solid men, sizes range form 3X to 9X with decent formal and informal clothes.edit
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.
Buy at least one Hot dog. They are referred to as "pølse" and they are great for keeping the low blood sugar troll at bay and to increase your weight! Other street snacks are also available throughout the city, but it's 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 sea-food (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.
Mathallen (tram 11, 12 or 13 to Schous Plass, bus 34 or 54 to Møllerveien)  is an indoor food hall located in an old factory building in Maridalsveien 17. It's close to Grünerløkka in an area called Vulkan. Here you can shop both local Norwegian produce and international food, go for a quick snack or two, have a drink in Norway's longest bar or just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. Opening hours are Tue-Wed: 10-19, Thu-Fri: 10-20, Sat: 10-18, Sun: 12-17, Monday closed. Restaurants have separate opening hours.
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.edit
Bari, Torggata. Inventive name for a pizza joint, the best in the area.edit
Dalat Kafe, Osterhaus gate (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke/Calmeyers gate). Vietnamese. Simple interiour but very popular among people who appreciate authentic Vietnamese food. Dishes and beverages at affordable prices.edit
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 meal option with choice of side dishes: NOK 100 and up.. edit
Lekkerbisken, Hammersborggata 8. Offers a decent variety of sushi, cooked food, salads and baguette sandwiches. Large sushi portions aside, prices generally do not exceed NOK 70.edit
Marino, Torggata. Generally accepted as the best kebab in the area, but steadily contested by Mediterran and Marmaris.edit
Mitsu, Møllergata east (Bus 34-54 to Møllerveien). Japanese/Asian. Probably the best budget sushi in town, as well as baguettes (from NOK 30) and a few hot dishes. Not the most cosy place to eat, but a great place for a cheap lunch or dinner.edit
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.main courses for about NOK 125. edit
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).edit
Tay Do Cafe, Torggata Bad. Vietnamese. Try the 'Dagens' (daily special) for only about NOK 80, or some of their other Vietnamese offerings.edit
LOKK, Torggata 18b. Soup bistro. Won the award for 'Best Restaurant in Oslo' by the magazine NattogDag. Affordable prices and large portions.edit
Gronland is full of cheap eating joints, shops selling fabrics and jewellery, 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.edit
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 here.edit
Sushi Deluxe, Schweigaards gate 50 (Gamlebyen. Take tram lines 18 or 19 eastwards from Jernbanetorget, get off at at the Munkegata stop, or take the metro to Grønland (about 5-10 minutes walk eastwards along Grønlandsleiret)). Great tasting sushi meals from as little as NOK 79. Also have small daily specials for NOK 59 (fried rice, fried noodles etc.).edit
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.edit
Vann & Brød, Tøyenbekken (by Grønland Bazar). In an old prison, this Spanish joint has cheap-ish tapas dishes and wine by the glass.edit
Vognmann Nilsen, Rubina Ranas gate 3 (On the main square of New Grønland). Daily specials: NOK 99. edit
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, often for less than NOK 100. Tuesdays are Eisbein day, be there!edit
Schrøder, Waldemar Thranes gate (bus 21-33-37-46 to St. Hanshaugen). Dark drinking den with delicious, traditional, cheap and fattening Norwegian food.edit
Carl Berner-kjelleren, Trondheimsv 113 (20 m 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.edit
Cafe Fedora, Frognerveien 22, entrance on Gabels gate (tram 12 to Lille Frogner Alle), ☎ +47 47473644 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Open Tuesday-Sunday. Cafe Fedora is Oslo's only authentic American cafe. They have great comfort food from American South such as pies, milkshakes, soups, salads and dinner, everything is made by hand. Open on weekends, featuring american-style brunch such as pancakes, omelettes, and breakfast burritos. Cash and norwegian bank cards accepted.edit
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 favourite.edit
Bislett Kebab, Hegdehaugsveien 2 (tram 11, 17 and 18 to Høyskolesenteret), . Voted Oslos best kebab many times, not the cheapest place, but good value for money. There are several other branches across town. However if you want authentic kebab try Torggata or the beginning of Trondheimsveien.edit
Curry and Ketchup, Kirkeveien 51 (near Majorstuen station). Cheap and popular indian restaurant, often full during the weekends. Cash only.less than NOK 100 for a feed. edit
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.Starting NOK 65. edit
Izakaya, St. Olavs gate 7 (Bus 37 to Nordahl Bruns gate), . A small, intimate Japanese izakaya where you can enjoy tasty, small dishes and chose from a great selection of sakes and other drinks. It's located in a basement and there's no sign visible from the street.edit
L'Oasis Mazze, Trondheimsveien 14 (Tram 17 or bus 31 to Lakkegata skole, then walk towards the city center), . Beduin-style restaurant run by Palestinians. Falafels, tagine, etc. Good for lunch or dinner. Friendly staff and low prices.edit
Nam Fah, Prinsens gate 18. Nothing fancy at all, but you get very tasty Thai food very fast very cheap. They also have a take-away only branch (and shop) in Nordre gate 15-17 at Grünerløkka.edit
Nam Sushi, Sannergata 28. The restaurant offers good sushi for a nice price. Featuring about 10 seats, the place could be considered more a take-away than an actual restaurant.edit
Noahs Ark, (close to Birkelunden (tram 11-12-13)). has some excellent Turkish dishes. Burgers, pizza and breakfast are also available from NOK 49 and upwards. A cozy place with occasional unexpected classical music played early in the day.edit
Prince Lunch Bar, Prinsens gate (close to the department store Steen & Strøm). The best baguettes downtown. Delivers lashings of filling on their allmighty subs. Also chicken breast, fish and beef burgers. NOK 54 for everything.. edit
Rådhuset Canteen, In the cellar of the city hall. noon-1PM. 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. A filling box of salad (sold by weight) can cost less than NOK 40. .edit
Sakana Sushi, Prinsens gate 2. Closed on Sundays.. Good sushi at low prices.7 pieces: NOK 69; Take-away vietnamese spring rolls:NOK 10. edit
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.edit
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.Set 3-course menus from NOK 199, and duck dishes for as little as NOK 149.. edit
Tasty Thai, Pilestredet (Tram 17-18 to Bislett). Just around the corner from the football pub Store Stå). Oslo's best budget Thai offering.edit
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. Several canteens dish up filling food at budget prices, the main canteen in the Fredrikke building has edible meals at under NOK 50. There's also several other student canteens, although they are closed during the summer. One branch in the city centre is at St. Olavs plass. edit
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.edit
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.edit
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.edit
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.edit
Bombay Darbar, Egertorget. 200 tables and bland Indian-ish food.edit
Elvebredden, Hausmanns gate (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke). Inside the Design and Architecture centre, Elvebredden has some fantastic lunch offerings as well as stunning, but fairly upmarket, main dishes in the evening.edit
Fjord, Kristian Augusts gate 11 (Tram 11, 17 and 18 to Tullinløkka), . Excellent gourmet seafood. Reasonable prices.edit
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.edit
Gate of India, (next to Majorstuakrysset). Good Indian restaurant.edit
Intermezzo, Underhaugsveien 2 (near Bislett (tram 17-18 or bus 21 to Bislett)). East-Asian and sushi.edit
Japanese Dining Sato, Frognerveien 10 (Near Solli Plass (tram 12)), . Possibly the most authentic Japanese food in town. Big, tasty portions and very reasonable prices. (2014-11-29: place is ran by Chinese nationals, ramen is not authentic)edit
Kampen Bistro, Bøgata (T-bane 1,2,3,4 to Ensjø or bus 60 to Kampen Park). Lovely neighbourhood joint with brilliant food and occasional free concerts.edit
Lanternen, (First ferry stop on Bygdøy.). Salads, sandwiches. The herring is good.Three kinds of herring with bread: NOK 80.. edit
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. Another branch near the crossing of Hegdehaugsveien/Sporveisgata in Homansbyen (tram 11-19 to Rosenborg) does little to redeem this.edit
Nam Kang, Torggata 24, . A friendly Japanese and Korean restaurant. They serve some tasty shabu shabu and bulgogi here.edit
Oriental, Prof. Aschehougs plass (tram 11-17-18 to Tinghuset/Prof. Aschehougs plass or T-bane Stortinget). Brilliant all-Asian restaurant with inventive dishes. edit
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.edit
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.edit
Odonata, (take the 31 bus to Snarøya). Enjoy this unique design experience. This used to be the old Oslo airport in the 50's and is now a cafè with a great lunch menu and various cakes and treats. edit
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.edit
Plaka Athena, Trøndergata (tram 11-12-13 or bus 20 to Torshov). A Greek haven in suburbia.edit
Restaurant Eik, Kr. Augusts gate (tram 11-17-18 to Tullinløkka). The least upmarket of the central gourmet offerings, Eik consintently get rave reviews and doles out a fine five-course gourmet menu for around NOK 400. Fantastic. Bib gourmand award in the Michelin guide.edit
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.edit
Restaurant Victor, Hans Nielsen Hauges gate (Tram 11,12,13 to Grefsenveien or bus 30 to Sandaker). Oslo's best suburban offering, with innovative and fabulous food. Prices to match, though, even if their afternoon special (after 4pm) at NOK 145 is a relative bargain.edit
Siam Oriental, Waldemar Thranes gate (bus 21,33,37,46 to St. Hanshaugen). Friendly Thai ladies doles out fabulous shrimp dishes. edit
Smalhans, Waldemar Thranesgate 10 (bus 21 or 37 to St. Hanshaugen), . A down to earth restaurant with tasty, honest European food on a menu which is changed three times a day. Highly recommended if you're looking for a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. For private parties they also have a separate 60s-style living room for rent.edit
Smia, just by Vålerenga kirke (bus 20,37 to Galgeberg). Atmospheric restaurant in an old wooden house area with tons of charm.edit
Sult, Thorvald Meyers gate (tram 11,12,13 or bus 30 to Birkelunden, bus 21 to Sannergata). Good neighbourhood-gourmet style food, with an ever-changing menu, and vegetarian options (this place is unfortunately shut down).edit
Tabibito, Stortingsgate (buss, tram or subway to national teater). They have 30 years of asian cooking experience, resulting in asian gourmet dishes from NOK 98 for 3 course meny.edit
Tintin, Lysaker Statsjon. Sushi and korean dishes.edit
Trattoria Populare, Trondheimsveien 2 (bus 30 or 31 or tram 17 to Heimdalsgata or tram 11, 12 or 13 to Nybrua), . Share great Italian food with your friends in this two story trattoria. Highly recommended.edit
Villa Paradiso, Olaf Ryes plass (tram 11-12-13). Excellent pizza at Grünerløkka. edit
Xich-Lo, Øvre Slottsgate 27 (T-Stortinget). A central, more classy Vietnamese eatery with great food.edit
If money 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. They've also got branches at Tjuvholmen and in Nydalen amongst other places. edit
Dinner, Stortingsgata 22, . One of the finest Chinese restaurants in Oslo. Specializes in the Szechuan and Cantonese kitchen. Their Peking Duck, which must be pre-ordered the day before, is a true feast.edit
Ekebergrestauranten, Ekeberg (tram 18,19 to Sjømannsskolen). An architechtural monument, this place offers gourmet dining and Oslo's best views. Hugely popular but the service can disappoint.edit
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. edit
Hanami, Kanalen 1 (Tjuvholmen, Aker Brygge), . Great Japanese fusion restaurant where you can enjoy sushi, izakaya and robata dishes by the seaside.edit
Hos Thea, Gabelsgate 11 (tram 13 to Skillebekk), . A small place with outstanding food, small seasonal menu.edit
Jensens Biffhus, Holmens gate 4 (tram 12 to Aker Brygge or bus 32,54 to Vika Atrium), ☎ +47 22 83 41 74, . Mon - Sat from 16:00, Sun from 15:00. Probably the best steak house in town. Very expensive but a cosy, small place that fills up quite easily so better make a reservation.(59.910345,10.726179)edit
Maaemo, Schweigaards gate 15B, . This New Nordic Cuisine restaurant serving organic, local food jumped straight to two stars Michelin Guide Rouge at the earliest opportunity after opening, the first Nordic restaurant to do so. Getting a table here is hard, they literally disappear the same second they're available, so book as early as possible.edit
Nodee, Middelthuns gate 25 (T-Majorstuen, tram 12 to Frogner stadion). All-Asian gourmet offering just close to Frognerparken. edit
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. A ten-course meal costs about NOK 850 per person. Only 23 seats and no reservations, but a good bar to while away the hours waiting for food.edit
Restaurant Oscarsgate, Pilestredet (Tram 17,18 to Dalsbergstien). Now closed. Edging up for their second Michelin star, they still only hold one, while Oslo's finest chefs rave about them. If you want to be in for a culinary treat of a lifetime in Oslo here's the spot. They've got eight tables only so booking ahead is absolutely essential.edit
Statholdergaarden, Rådhusgate 11 (on the corner of Kirkegaten), 0151 Oslo, ☎ 22 41 88 00 (email@example.com, fax: 22 41 22 24), . M-Sa 6PM-12AM. Arguably one of Oslo's finest seatings. 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. edit
Theatercaféen, inside Hotel Continental next to Nationaltheatret, . Pretending to be a classic upmarket Wiener Café with a continental menu. What you get on the plate may only have a passing resemblence to the description on the menu. Staggeringly overpriced and excrutiatingly "culture-posh", you might just get better food from the Asian take-away in the removable kiosk across the street for a fraction of the price. However, being "the" classic Café in Oslo, the experience may just be worth it if your wallet is running thick.edit
Beer can be purchased in supermarkets at a cost of NOK 20-30 for a 0.5l can. Supermarkets stop selling beer after 8pm each day, 6pm on Saturdays, and 3pm 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 he/she is having a bad day you can get a fine of NOK 1500. 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 or wine can only be bought at international airport terminals or state-owned shops called Vinmonopolet . Vinmonopolet outlets are open Mon-Fri till 6PM, Sat till 3PM, Sun 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 centre
In the Steen og Strøm shopping centre, close to Karl Johans gate
Rosenkrantzgate 11, close to Grand Hotel, Karl Johans gate
In the House of Oslo shopping centre, Vika (tram 12 to Vikatorvet)
Thereses gate, Bislett (near Bislett stadium, trams 17 and 18)
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. The price for a half-liter of beer is typically ranging from NOK 58-70. Closing hours are as late as to 03:30 in 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.
Barfly, great spot,classic bar. Upper class, great place to meet up in town. Stortinsgata.
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.edit
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.edit
Beer Palace, Holmens Gate 3 (Aker Brygge), . A popular pub with 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 .edit
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 consert. Walk up the river from the centre and you'll find it. Old factory style houses with lots of grafitti.edit
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. edit
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 a 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.500ml beer: NOK 52. edit
Cafe Fiasco, Schweigaards gate 4 (next to the train station), . Classy place that is not expensive at all. Also has live music and DJs with NOK 70 cover charge.Beer: NOK 58. edit
Cafe Sara, corner of Torggata and Hausmanns gate. (Bus 34-54 to Jacobs kirke), . Conveniently close to Anker Hostel, Cafe Sara pours beer and dishes up tasty Turkish and tex-mex 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.edit
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').edit
Champagneria, Frognerveien. (Tram 12-13 or bus 21-30-31 to Solli/Lapsetorvet.), . Spanish cava and tapas bar, fairly cheap and enjoyable.edit
Choice Pub, ønlandsleiret (T-Grønland). A rowdy bar with very cheap beer. Popular with the locals.Beer: NOK 39. edit
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.edit
Destiny Cafe, Skippergata (almost on the corner with Prinsengata). A bar where you won't find any tourists, but very nice local people. This place is a bit cheaper than the average bar and they have a pool table in the back (NOK 20). Always pay cash here as they are known to fraud people who pay with credit cards!Beer: NOK 38. edit
Dr. Jekylls Pub, Klingenbergg 4, . 15-03. Whisky bar with wide selection. over 500 whiskies and several fantastic rums and over 60 beers on bottle. But the management and security do not show enough respect to the customers even they are regular.edit
Elm Street, Dronningsgate 32, . Popular rock/metal bar that serves a decent burger. Often concerts in the weekends. edit
Fyret Mat & Drikke, Youngstorget 6, . Intimate and lively pub and resturaunt 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 necessary love it unconditionally.edit
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 50's, this should be familiar. Pricey.edit
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.edit
Highbury, Bogstadveien 50, . Official Arsenal supporter pub in Norway.edit
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.edit
Oslo Ocean Bar, Trondheimsveien 20, . a neighborhood bar customers, mostly returning, at every time of the day (from 8AM...). The staff is great! The service is impeccable despite the low prices and the very unpretentious surroundings (and clientele).500ml beer: NOK 40. edit
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.edit
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.edit
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 marvellous dining room.500ml beer: NOK 52. edit
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 milk shakes 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.500ml beer: NOK 52. edit
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.500ml beer: NOK 52. edit
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 big screen, jolly atmosphere and darts.500ml beer: NOK 49. edit
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 coctails and unlimited amounts of beer, both on tap and bottles.edit
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.500ml beer: NOK 39. edit
Oslo is ranked as one of the best coffee cities in the world and you will find cafés serving good coffee everywhere. Serious chains like Kaffebrenneriet and Stockfleths are worth a visit, but there are numerous other great places. To mention a very few:
Tim Wendelboe, Grünersgate 1 (Tram 11, 12 and 13 to Olaf Ryes plass), . Tim Wendelboe is a micro roastery and espresso bar in Grünerløkka serving what's considered by many the best coffee in the world. Tim Wendelboe means business. It's a tiny establishment and seating is scarce. If you want a simple black coffee you will most probably be pointed to a small lab-like room where the coffee will be made for you. So if you like great coffee this is an obligatory stop. They also arrange barista courses.edit
Fuglen, Universitetsgata 2 (Tram 11, 17 and 18 to Tullinløkka), . To enter Fuglen is like enter a living room from the 60s. Not only do they serve great coffee, but they also sell retro furniture and vintage design. In the summer of 2012 Fuglen also opened a branch in Shibuya, Tokyo.edit
Mocca Kaffebar & Brenneri, Niels Juels Gate 70 B (Tram 19 to Riddervolds plass). Good coffee in Briskeby, Frogner.edit
Java Espressobar & Kaffeforretning, Ullevålsveien 47 (Bus 21 and 37 to St. Hanshaugen). Great espresso bar located next to the St. Hanshaugen park.edit
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.edit
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.500ml beer: NOK 62. edit
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.edit
Rockefeller 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 Oslos best stages for music. Rockefeller houses three stages while Sentrum Scene houses a forth and larger stage. Mostly consert stages but they also show the odd fotball match or cinema. Both norwegian and international artists. edit
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.500ml beer: NOK 48. edit
Getting a hotel in Oslo can potentially be difficult. In peak periods, when big fairs or conferences visit Oslo, tourists have been sent as far as Lillehammer (170 kms, 2h 15 min by train) to find accommodation. It would be smart to reserve a room in advance. There are also relatively few youth hostels, etc., for backpackers and people travelling on a budget. During Nobel Prize week room availability will fall and prices may double.
Bogstad Camping, 9 kms out of town at the entrance of picturesque Sørkedalen (T-bane 2 to Røa, then bus 32, direction Voksen Skog, to Bogstad Camping. Or take bus 32 from the central station (bus stop P)), . Bogstad has cabins as well as tent space. Price - e.g. one adult, one child, one tent - NOK 185. Less than a stone's throw from the campsite there is a mini mart Kiwi (used by the locals), a petrol station Statoil with heat-up fast food options, and a fast food restaurant Jafs! which does pizzas, kebabs and burgers ("Hamburger meny" take-away, 100 g burger & french fries & salad & drink, NOK 95).edit
Ekeberg Camping, (Bus 34, 46 or 74 to Ekeberg Camping. The trip takes 10 minutes from Central Station.), . checkin: 7.30 AM to 11.00 PM. Open June 1- September 1. The closest campsite to central Oslo. Beautiful view of the city. No cabins. Owned by the Norwegian Automobile Federation. Mini-golf and horse rental. Fully equipped sanitary facilities: showers with hot and cold water, toilets, kitchen, launderette.4-person tent: NOK 260. edit
Langøyene Island, (take ferry 94 from Vippetangen). Not an official campsite; however, Langøyene Island allows free camping (tents only). You may only stay 2 days unless you have special permission. You must keep the island clean. Police have their own boats and enforce these laws via hefty fines.Free!. edit
Oslo Fjord Camping, 8km south of Oslo central station (Train to Hauketo, then corresponding bus 76 to Hvervenbukta, or bus 87 (both options summer only)), . Near the beautiful swimming spot of Hvervenbukta.2-person tent: NOK 150; 4-person tent: NOK 200. edit
Anker Hostel, Storgata (tram 11-12-13-17, bus 30-31 to Hausmanns gate), ☎ +47 22 99 72 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 3; checkout: 11. Very centrally located, 5 minutes walk to the central station or Grünerløkka. Beds may be cheap but renting bedsheets is required, which costs 50 extra. Factor that in.Dorm bed: NOK 220. edit
Haraldsheim Youth Hostel, Sinsenkrysset (tram 17 or bus 23-24-31-33, 4 km from downtown Oslo), . The biggest HI hostel in Oslo. Not too far from the action (but it is hard to find), walking distance to the lively neighbourhoods of Torshov and Grünerløkka. Located in a very quiet area of Oslo, this is a place you'd go to sleep, not to party. The breakfast is outstanding for a hostel and is vegan-friendly, although with reduced choice. It is advisable to reconfirm your booking before you come and inform at what time you are going to arrive although the reception is open 24 hours.Double room: NOK 620; Dorm bed: NOK 240, breakfast included. edit
Oslo Holtekilen Hostel, Stabekk/Kveldsroveien (train to Stabekk, or bus 151, 153, 161, 162, 252 or 261 to Kveldsroveien), . HI hostel. Outside the city border, extra fee needed if you have Oslo Transport card. Open May-August. In a picturesque neighbourhood close to the sea.edit
Oslo Hostel Rønningen YMCA, Myrerskogveien 54, Rønningen (Metro 5 or tram 11, 12 and 13 go to Storo, and from there bus 56 until Rønningen. Bus 56 only runs twice an hour, but every 20 minutes during rush hour), ☎ +47 21023600 (email@example.com), . checkin: 15-18. Open June 1 - August 19. 7.5 km from the center.edit
Perminalen Hotell, Øvre Slottsgate 2 (T-bane to Stortinget, bus 30-31-32-54 to Wessels plass, tram 10-12-13-19 to Kongens gate), . Perminalen offers slightly higher standards at slightly higher prices. OK cafe with good, old Norwegian homely grub at nice prices.Bed in 4-bed dorm: NOK 370; Single: NOK 620; Twin: NOK 840. edit
Sentrum Pensjonat, Tollbugata 8, entrance from Skippergata (300 meters from Oslo Central station), . This hostel is located in a bit of a dodgy part of town. Literally all the prostitutes at night surround the area and you can't walk more than 50 meters without being propositioned to come home with them. (Most charge NOK 1000-1400 in case you were wondering)Dorm bed: NOK 290; Single: NOK 500; Double: NOK 750. edit
Cochs Pensjonat, Parkveien 25 (tram 11 to Majorstua and 5 minutes walk or subway to Nationaltheatret and walk 10 minutes), . Centrally located, next to the Royal Palace and Slottsparken. Three types of room to meet all budgets. They don't serve breakfast but have agreement with near cafe. edit
Park Inn Oslo Airport, Property Grn 207 - Brn 359 (Located at the Oslo airport), . Conveniently located at the airport, making it an ideal hub for business and leisure travellers visiting Oslo. edit
Oslo Budget Hotel, . The cheapest rooms require shared bathrooms.Single: NOK 495; Double: NOK 595. edit
P-Hotels, Oslo, Grensen 19, (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Affordable hotel, centrally located with nice rooms. Simple breakfast delivered to your door.Single: NOK 595; Double: NOK 795. edit
Thon Hotel Astoria, Dronningensgate 21 (50 metres from the main street Karl Johan, 5 minute walk from Oslo Central Station), . Single: NOK 695; Double: NOK 895. edit
Thon Hotel Munch, Munchs gate 5, . A short walk to the main street, as well as easy walking distance to public transportation, airport shuttle bus and a vast variety of shops, restaurants, museums and theatres.Single: NOK 695; Double: NOK 895. edit
Carlton Hotel, Parkveien 78 (near Aker Brygge), . 50 rooms, small but good value. Restaurant with Japanese food.edit
Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret, Storgaten 21-23 (tram 11,12,13,17 to Brugata or bus 30,31,31E,34,54 to Brugata), ☎ +47 22 00 57 00 (email@example.com, fax: +47 22 00 57 01). Nice hotel with stylish rooms and an evening buffet that is included in the rate. Walking distance to central station.NOK 1200+. edit
Radisson Blu Oslo Airport, N - 2061 Gardermoen (Located at the Oslo Gardermoen Airport), ☎ +47 63933000, . Conveniently located at the Oslo Gardermoen Airport, making it an ideal hub for business and leisure travellers visiting Osloedit
Radisson SAS Nydalen, Nydalesveien 33 (T Nydalen, 15 minute ride to center), ☎ +47-2326-3000, . Choose from funky "Chilli" or more staid "Urban" roomsNOK 900+, breakfast included. edit
Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel, Sonja Henies Plass 3, . With 37 floors and breathtaking views of Oslo and the Oslofjord, the Radisson SAS Plaza Hotel is Northern Europe’s highest and Norway’s largest hotel. Suited 3 min walk from the train station.NOK 1300+. edit
Thon Hotel Gyldenlove, Bogstadveien 20, . Newly renovated hotel, with excellent location in Oslo's west quarter, right in the city's best shopping avenue, Bogstadveien. edit
Thon Hotel Terminus, Stenersgaten 10 (downtown), . edit
Thon Hotel Bristol, Kristian IV's gate 7 (right in the city centre, near the National Gallery and the main shopping street KarlJohansgate), . As soon as you enter the lobby you will experience the unique style characterising the hotel. An air of elegance which have been maintained since the opening in 1920. From NOK 661. edit
Grand Hotel Oslo, Karl Johans Gate 31, ☎ +47 23 21 20 00, . The hotel where Nobel Peace Prize winners stay when coming to Oslo for the award ceremony. Expensive and lots of services. Excellent view over main street Karl Johans gate. Grand Café, at street level, was Henrik Ibsen's daily watering hole, and is Norway's answer to Vienna's Cafe Landtmann.From NOK 2,175. edit
Grims Grenka, Kongens gate 5, . Five star hotel which has received international acclaim. Operated by First hotels. Member of Design hotels.edit
Hotel Continental Oslo, Stortingsgaten 24/26 (Located between the National Theatre and Aker Brygge), ☎ +47 22 82 40 00, . Family-run hotel has a large Vienna-style cafe (Theatercafeen) which is the place to be seen in Oslo. Outstanding service and prices to match, still considered fair value for money. Nice quiet bar with original Edvard Munch litographs. edit
Most of the internet cafes are located in the eastern part of town or Grønland. Look for small shops selling telephone cards - they usually have internet terminals. If you carry your own laptop, WLANs will be easy to find at cafes, hotels, bars and even in parks. For a good overview of free WLAN sites look here:  (in norwegian). There are several open wifi connections on the upper level cafes at the train station Oslo Sentralstation and the subway station at Grønland.
Deichmanske Bibliotek (Library), . Free wifi and 30 minutes of free use of computer terminals at all locations.edit
Unginfo, Møllergata, . Free use of computer terminal for 30 minutes for people 26 and under, although age is rarely checked.edit
Arctic Internet, Inside the train station Oslo S On the third floor (one level up in the main hall), . The most complete Internet cafe - business center with full spectra of services and personnel onsite.edit
Oslo S Train Station. On the first and second floor, there are several automated stand alone computers setup for basic internet surfing, as well as an Internet cafe in the bus terminal next to the central station. edit
7-11. Many 7-eleven shops have terminals you can use for a small fee, although this is not a very convenient way to surf if you need to use the computer for a long time. edit
Litteraturhuset, Wergelandsveien 29. Free wifi with purchase.edit
Internet cafe, (Across from the Nationaltheatret next to a pub called Paddy's). edit
Oslo City Shopping Center. Internet kiosks. FREE Wifiedit
Crime is not a big problem in Oslo, but as in any metropolitan area, some caution is warranted. Violent crime is frequent to a certain point, though, usually committed by foreigners. Avoid getting in to quarrels in taxi queues after closing hours of bars. The police advise that the area along the Akerselva river from Grønland to Cuba is best avoided after dark falls. It is notorious for multiple instances of rape, muggings and drug dealing.
There has been an relative increase of rape in Oslo. Authorities have increased the frequency of patrols and have made arrests. Women should remain highly 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 forms of transportation.
The lower parts of the Karl Johan street (down towards the Central station) is best avoided at night. Be aware of prostitutes approaching you; they often do pickpocketing by coming close to you, "flirt" and try to hold around you. And, for the record: buying sex is strictly illegal in Norway, and can result in a heavy fine on up to as much as NOK 25 000, about USD 4000.
Since some time back, drug dealers and addicts are now less prevalent than before around the Central station (Oslo S). This is partly due to crackdowns by police. Currently, the drug trade has mainly moved to the area around Brugata, Hausmanns gate and Torggata. It is possible that drugs might be offered to tourists passing by, but the dealers will accept no for an answer and won't further hassle you. The area is also crowded at most hours.
Theft and pick pocketing is a relatively visible problem in some parts of Oslo. Police blame itinerant criminal bands from abroad for some of it. Normal precautionary rules apply:
Watch out for pick pockets in crowds. Especially packed trams and buses passing through the eastern part of the city (Grønland, Grünerløkka).
Do not leave your belongings unattended.
Avoid leaving your cell phone and wallet on café tables.
Homophobic crime is not a huge problem in the city as a whole, but LGBT-persons should avoid physical signs of affection, at least in the districts of Grønland and Tøyen due to a large and fairly conservative Muslim immigrant population in the area - there has been cases of homophobic violence in this area in recent years.
Inner-city areas such as Grønland and Tøyen have smaller gangs operating locally, be vigilant after dark. The chances that something might happen are very slim, but these areas top all statistics in Norway when it comes to crime, assault and robbery.
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 and icicles 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 as in other European cities. In environmental policies, Norwegians have a fairly European-minded attitude when climate issues are discussed, but fewer people (including activists) will be vegetarian.
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. But be aware that now chloride is added to the tap water.
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.
It is easy to get around in Oslo, and almost every Norwegian speaks English. Most people will respond in English to any question you may have. Some Norwegians also speak some German or French.
The Youth information (Unginfo) runs an independent information desk in Møllergata  aimed at budget travelers. This service is free and they also provide free internet access. On their web page there is an online guide to Oslo for budget travelers.
Oslomarka is the 20 to 40 km wide forest surrounding the city. This is an important recreational area for the citizens of Oslo, and quite unique for a capital. Take the T-bane to Holmenkollen (line 1), Frognerseteren (line 1), Sognsvann (line 3) or Skullerud (line 3 - in the opposite direction of Sognsvann), bus 41 from Røa T-bane to Sørkedalen or bus 51 from Nydalen T-bane to Maridalen. You can also visit the tourist association at Storgata (at Kirkeristen tram stop) for good maps and inexpensive accommodation alternatives in Oslomarka.
Oslofjord is the 120 km long fjord which Oslo is situated at the bottom of. The outer part of the fjord is the most tourist-friendly, with thousands of islands and hundreds of beaches situated near a line of cities containing 8 of the 20 largest urban areas in Norway. All of these cities are reached most easily by taking the Inter City-trains bound for Skien or Halden.
Kongsberg is a beautiful city well-known for its silver mining history. The city is located about an hour and a half west of Oslo by train or bus. The Kongsberg International Jazz Festival is hosted here every year in early July.
Fredrikstad is a very enjoyable city not far from Oslo, with a walled old town and lots of street life in summer. Trains run approx. every hour (taking 1h10min), and express buses run about 10 times per day (1h30min).
Tønsberg is an attractive seaside town with an attractive city centre. It's the oldest town in Norway, and even if this isn't instantly visible, there's lots of history to digest. Excellent highways will take you to the city in an hour from Oslo. The train takes around two hours.
Drøbak is another of the picturesque, small seaside towns dotted all over southern Norway, and the closest to Oslo. A nice place to get away from the big city bustle, even if Drøbak also can become crowded in summer. Buses run at least hourly.
Son is also one of the coastal pearls. Take a local train to Moss, alight at Sonsveien station, and take the bus that meet most (but not all) trains.
Drammen used to be a totally unremarkable industrial city dubbed "the biggest road crossing of Norway". Even if traffic is still rife, the city has gone through a face lift, and the centre is as cosy as any. TIMEkspressen bus line 1 (every hour, day and night) and 10, and 3 trains an hour gets you there and away.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!