Staying in Oslo's Grünerløkka District
Most visitors tend to stay in Oslo's compact city center due to its proximity to airport transportation, major museums and attractions like the Nobel Peace Center, Palace Park (home of the Norwegian monarchy), and newer gems like the Munch Museum and Oslo Opera House. Here are more ideas on the best things to do in Oslo.
While you can access many attractions in the city center in about 30 minutes, some travelers might be drawn instead to Grünerløkka—a hip, postindustrial area just northeast of the city center. Among the graffiti-covered streets, you'll find trendy art galleries, live concert venues, chic restaurants, and independent shops, not to mention walking paths and attractions dotted along the Akerselva river, which is pretty in all seasons.
Given that the Grünerløkka area is a place where locals reside, there are few hotels here (yet), so we found three options that are closest to it. Keep in mind Oslo is a convenient city for walking and taking public transportation with buses, trams, and underground trains using one ticketing system, so you'll have many options for getting around to see other city highlights. Here are more ideas on how to explore Oslo like a local.
Hotel Anker is a clean, budget-friendly tower containing 296 rooms, just 10 minutes on foot to Grünerløkka. The hotel attracts a mix of young adults and parents who are visiting their offspring at the college housing next door, and guests can spread out in the spacious lobby lounge with contemporary decor and outlets for charging devices. Simple rooms have blonde-wood furnishings, working desks, and flat-screen TVs. Families and groups can choose between several room categories with additional beds, including options that sleep up to five people.
The hotel is a short walk to the Akerselva river, which leads to the heart of Grünerløkka. Naturists, for their part, can hit the woodsy trails that meander from the river with hidden nooks and bridges. Public transportation is close to the hotel, which can get you around other city areas, or you can walk to most of Oslo's major attractions with a solid pair of walking shoes. Learn more
Thon Hotel Terminus
The Thon Hotel Terminus has a prime location if you want to be a 15-minute walk to Grünerløkka in one direction and a 15-minute walk to the Munch Museum in the other. Thon is a well-known Norwegian hotel brand with colorful decor, and rooms, like the common spaces, have bright-colored furnishings and textiles complimented by hardwood floors. They also come with working desks, minifridges, Bose speakers, and kettles for tea and instant coffee. All rooms have walk-in showers, while superior rooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and additional bath products. Families and groups can upgrade their rooms to include sleeper sofas.
There are additional benefits of staying at this location; across the street is the Oslo City Mall, a large shopping center with international brands that remains open until 10 pm. Also across the street from the hotel is an ample multiuse events space, the Oslo Spektrum, which hosts major music acts and performances. When it's time to continue your journey, the location is only a five-minute walk to Oslo Central Station with express trains to and from the airport. Learn more
If you want to be as close to Grünerløkka as possible, the Scandic Vulkan is your best option. As its name implies, the hotel is in the Vulkan neighborhood, right across the river from Grünerløkka. In its own right, Vulkan has plenty to offer, with a standout gourmet food hall, a concert venue, and a leafy river walk. The hotel is also steps from several restaurants. However, you can always stay and dine on-site at the industrial-style Italian restaurant on the lower level that faces a pedestrian walkway. The well-worn but lively lobby is also a place to chill with friends over coffee or something stronger.
The hotel's 180 rooms have contemporary decor, wood-style floors, and oversized windows with blackout shades to stave off those late nights. Superior rooms are located on the upper floors for better views and have a bit more space; families can opt for the studio suites on the top floor that can sleep three or four guests.
Right next door is Mathallen, a spacious indoor food mecca with various eateries and vendors selling local Norwegian products—great for souvenirs. There's also an intimate concert venue nearby called Vulkan Arena, pulling in notable acts, and several more independent eateries, shops, and some Michelin-starred restaurants. Learn more