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The United Nations says that Norway is the number one place to live in the world. Oslo, the capital, is divided into two distinct areas, the wealthy West End, where all the elegant parks, chic boutiques and cafes are located, and the more vibrant East End, where you will find the city's nightlife scene. Like to exercise? This city is a maze of forests, lakes and islands. It seems that almost everyone here is an athlete. Just watch any Winter Olympics and you'll be reinforced. One of the great charms of Oslo is that you’re never far from nature. There is a must-see sculpture park that depicts the various stages of life called Vigeland.
National Opera House
Opened in 2008, this impressively modern marble structure is located at the head of the Oslofjord, the main inlet of Oslo. Along with Opera, ballet will also be presented.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.20.0404
Inspired by Norway's beautiful scenery, the National Gallery holds much of Norway's greatest landscape paintings. Be sure to see the incredible paintings of fjords done during the 19th century.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Tel. +47 (0) 188.8.131.52
Opened in 1990, the Museum of Contemporary Art continues to be an important museum on the modern art scene. They frequent new installations providing an always current glimpse into the world of contemporary art in Norway
Museum of Decorative Arts and Design
St. Olavs gate, 1
Tel. +47 (0) 184.108.40.206
The Museum of Decorative Arts and Designs contains over 20,000 pieces of furniture, silverware, textiles, and ceramics while tracing the history of craft art in Norway. As part of their collection, they have an impressive arras of royal robes from different times in Norway's history.
Gustav Vigeland Museum
Tel.+47 (0) 23.49.3700
This museum entirely focuses on the work of Gustav Vigeland, one of the world's greatest sculptors. In conjunction to the museum and made up of exclusively his works, Frogner Park is itself a masterpiece which took 40 years to build. Here the stages of life are presented on grand scale and with immense poignancy. Plan on spending at least 2 hours to truly appreciate this wonderful park.
Nobel Peace Center
City Hall Square
Tel. +47 (0) 48.30.1000
Norway is often referred to as peace broker to the world. This new museum is testament to that term, with interesting exhibits about Norway's philosophical approach to peace.
Oslo City Museum
Tel. +47 (0) 23.28.4170
This unique museum is filled with artifacts depicting the history of life in Oslo. Many tourists either don’t know about this museum or overlook it, but a visit here is worth the time, especially if you are interested in learning about the city.
The Munch Museum
Tel. +47 (0) 23.49.3500
Focusing exclusively on the work of Edvard Munch, Norway's most famous artist, a visit to Olso would not be complete with out stopping by this museum, which is home to many of the works including the Scream.
Bygning 21, Akerhus
Tel. +47 (0) 23.09.3280
This museum tells the story of Norway's stoic and quite amazing resistance during World War II, particularly towards Nazi Germany.
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Tel. +47 (0) 22.93.6060
Founded with the art collection of one of Norway's great shipping families, this museum focuses on contemporary American art. One of the highlights of the collection is Jeff Koon's sculpture of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubbles, which the museum acquired in 2002 for over five million dollars.
Stortingsgaten 24-26 (Hotel Continental)
Tel. +47 (0) 22.82.4050
One of Europe’s most famous cafes, Theatercafeen has long been a hub for the city's intellectuals and artists. The Viennese ambiance with Art Nouveau mirrors gives this place an ambience to match its elegant patronage. Stop by for the wonderful open-face sandwiches at lunchtime. They also have a reputation of serving the finest salmon in Norway.
Tel. +47 (0) 99.31.6810
Rustic restaurant with exposed brick walls and wooden beams hidden in a cobblestone courtyard in the upscale neighborhood of Frogner. The restaurant offers a seven course tasting menu at 745 Norwegian kroner. Typical Norwegian dishes include wild mushroom soup with black truffles and grilled reindeer.
+47 22 83 10 90
This very polished Japanese fusion restaurant stands out and features fresh seafood pulled from the Norwegian seas. If the the weather cooperates try to get a table outside on the promenade which offers prime people watching.
Cort Adelers gate, 2
Tel. +47 (0) 22.43.999
Alex Cabiao is one of the top sushi chefs in Japan. Enticed by the quality and abundance of fresh fish, he came to Norway and now mixes Japanese cuisine with local fare, creating unique and memorable dishes. He even offers chocolate sushi for desert!
Ovre Slottsgate 16
Tel. +47 (0) 23.10.0165
Every respectable city must have a respectable French brasserie and for Oslo, it does not get better than Brasserie France. Decorate in the classic bistro style with big mirrors, bistro seating and white tablecloths, you might forget that you're in Norway at all. All the expected fare such as Burgundy snails, onions soup (with cheese) and, of course, creme brulee are served.
Bygdoy Alle 3
Tel. +47 (0) 22.12.1440
A Michelin Star restaurant, Bagatelle is also generally recognized as one of the best in all of Scandinavia. Chef Eyvind Hellstrom's combines classic Norwegian ingredients with contemporary french cooking methods to make food that is truly special and unique, such as scallops in oyster sauce as well as sole steamed in seaweed.
Tel. +47 (0) 23.24.2300
Having just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, Ekebergrestauranten is one of the hottest tickets in Oslo. They also have one of the best views, overlooking the port and fjord, which is the main attraction for the establishment. The high-ceilinged, white-walled restaurant features fish dishes such as arctic char and red fish, food that is worthy of the incredible view.
Bølgen & Moi Briskeby
Tel. +47 (0) 24.11.5353
One of the best places for a leisurely breakfast in Oslo, Bølgen & Moi Briskeby is also one of the most chic restaurants in the city. Be sure to check out their champagne brunch every Saturday and Sunday and their wonderful fjord fish.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.46.7200
Located in Majorstuen, one of Oslo's most stylish neighborhoods, this tapas and wine bar brings the taste and drink of the Iberian peninsula to Norway. Providing a wide variety tapas items as well as the best Spanish wine to match, Delicatessen Majorstuen has become a hit for its elegant fare and simple and timeless ambience.
Det Gamle Rådhus
Nedre Slottsgate 1
Tel. +47 (0) 22.42.0107
Housed in the former town hall built in 1641, Det Gamle Rådhus has been restored to provide the ultimate in traditional Norwegian ambiance. The fare is simple, but that allows the fresh Norway seafood to take center stage in their meals.
Tel. +47 (0) 23.10.0466
You will need a reservation if you want to eat at this chic Chinese restaurant. Their Peking duck is served traditionally in three courses, while they also provide an incredible vegetarian menu. Be sure to check out their wine by the glass list as well.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.83.0808
Synonymous with the Lofotfisket which marks the beginning of cod season in Norway, Lofoten focuses on the rich abundance of seafood available in the country. Though they prepare fish in a variety of different and tasty ways, their Lofoten's Fish soup is their most well known dish and certainly a must try when visiting.
Tel. +47 (0) 23.13.1140
An incredibly fashionable restaurant, Palace Grill only seats 23 people and does not take reservations. Every night, one of three rotating chefs offers 10 menu items while expertly mixing Norwegian, French and Italian cuisine.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.56.4300
Inspired by his love of Thai and Asian food, Chef Terje Ommundsen opened this restaurant to combine Southeast Asian cuisine with fresh and local Scandinavian ingredients. Plah also sports a tapas menu, wine cellar, and a beautiful terrace that can be enjoyed during the summer.
Thereses gate 45
Tel. +47 (0) 97.06.1021
Highlighting the tradition of Scandinavian grilling, St. Lars offers incredibly fresh meats cooked to perfection. Located near Bislett stadium, owner Andreas Viestad wanted to offer quality food based on the singularity of the fantastic ingredients, in which they succeed in every way.
Thorvald Meyers gate 78
Tel. +47 (0) 22.36.4760
Not for vegetarians, Trancher offers an immense selection of fine red meats served in the traditional Norwegian way: very large servings. Along with the meat, there are many great side dishes and sauces, along with an excellent wine cellar. Go on a Monday night to enjoy their house specialty dried meat.
Tel: +47 400 02 409
Every civilized city has a food hall and Oslo now has Mathallen. The space occupies and old brick factory has more than 30 stalls, shops and restaurants under one roof.
Chang & Biorck Enamelware
Tel. +47 (0) 22.56.2288
Designer Grete Prytz, 87, is not one to rest on her laurels. Her work in the 40s and 50s helped bring Scandinavian design where it is today. Now she has created a stunning new series which adds to her original designs the inspiration she took from the enamel factories she visited in China. Aabel Aaby showcases her finery.
Tel. +47 (0) 23.11.4510
This store offers many original glass and ceramic creations.
Tel. +47 (0) 23.21.4200
National traditional Norwegian clothing is the best of all here. Not only will you find folkloric contumes but also Viking style pewter jewelry.
This city info site is unique in that it also enables you to buy a two-day or seven-day city pass for public transport which in this town can be a fun way to spend some time getting around.
Use it: Streetwise
Another Olso information site that will help you plan your time here.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.09.9181
Marketed as a jazz club, BLÅ has become a hub for Norway's alternative culture. They feature both the latest Scandinavian and international rock, folk, and jazz groups and has a relaxed vibe until it gets late in the night. The highlight of the week is every Sunday, where the resident and local favorite Frank Znort Quartet takes the stage to play their punk infused jazz licks.
In the daytime it's a stylish coffee bar with a 60's atmosphere (vintage sofas and armchairs) and a night it turns into classic cocktail bar. The owners have recently opened their 2nd lounge in Tokyo and are talking about New York and Buenos Aires.
Thorvald Meyers Gate 30 Gruenerlokka
Tel +47 (0) 22.04.1080
Home to great mixologists, Bar Boca is a small quaint bar that makes excellent cocktails. Though a bit on the pricey side, even by Oslo standards, many of the locals do frequent this bar. Settle in and enjoy the jazz that plays.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.83.0060
This huge barge turned pub moored along by fishing boats and ferries has fantastic views, especially during summer months when the setting sun and cocktails can go on forever.
C.J. Hambros plass 5
Tel. +47 (0) 22.33.5405
Herr Nilsen is a popular bar that features top jazz artists. The ambiance, with big picture windows overlooking courthouse square and gliding trams, takes on an incredibly cozy feeling during winter, especially when it's snowing.
Tel. +47 (0) 21.94.8802
Focusing on champagne, Champagneria has become favorite spot for the elegant women of Oslo. They offer an incredible selections of the finest French champagne and though it sounds pretentious, Chanpagneria tries to let everybody enjoy this French classic making it one of the most festive nightspots in the city.
Tel. +47 (0) 22.20.0880
During the day, come enjoy the showroom filled with classics of Scandinavian design and have an espresso. At night however, come for the amazing drinks and electro club feel. Bartenders Halvor Digernese and Jana Rogozina are two of the countries top mixologist; let them serve you a classic cocktail with modern twists. The Negroni and Kin of Denmark are recommended.
One of Oslo's newest hot spots that doesn't seem to be cooling off anytime soon. Come for concerts, electronic music and very late nights that often sport many acclaimed international Djs.
Oslo Mekaniske Verksted
Tel. +47 (0) 45.23.7534
Located in what was only a few years ago considered a rundown area of town, Oslo Mekaniske Verksted has a bohemian feel that makes the industrial surroundings look elegant. They have an excellent selection of cocktails and play a wide range of music, allowing this bar to become a staple in Oslo.