Staying in Oslo
Oslo is smaller compared to other capitals in Europe, and most visitors tend to stay in the compact city center. While you can access major attractions like the Nobel Peace Center, Munch Museum, and Oslo Opera House on foot in about 30 minutes, some travelers might prioritize Vigeland Sculpture Park, located northwest of the city center. It can be a trek on foot—up to an hourlong walk from some hotels—but you'll be rewarded with 212 sculptures from Gustav Vigeland made from bronze, cast iron, and granite installed in the '40s. (Pro tip: don't miss the museum in the artist's former residence.)
Since the park is in a residential neighborhood (see tips for exploring Oslo like a local), there are few hotels in this part of the city, so we found closeby options. Keep in mind that Oslo is a convenient city for walking, biking, and taking public transportation with buses, trams, and underground trains using one ticketing system. Therefore, you'll have many options for getting around to see Vigeland Sculpture Park and other attractions. For more ideas on where to go and what to do, check out the best things to do in Oslo.
The Hotel Continental is one of Oslo's longest-running hotels, dating to 1860; today, it's run by the fourth generation of the same family. It has a prime location starting with the fact that you can get to Vigeland Sculpture Park in about 35 minutes on foot. It's also a 10-minute walk or less to the Nobel Peace Center and Aker Brygge waterfront area, as well as Palace Park and Karl Johans gate. After a major renovation, the hotel features plush room interiors with coffee machines, Apple TV, and Molton Brown bath products; some suites have walkout terraces with fjord views.
The elegant lobby attracts locals for pre-dinner drinks before performances at the National Theater (across the street). At the same time, the historic restaurant Theatercafeen—with a Viennese vibe—features portraits of Norwegian's famous writers and artists from the years gone by (check out actual photos of the many celebrities and dignitaries who have dined here). There's also a fine dining restaurant that serves set course menus that change weekly, plus a hip pizzeria for a much more casual night. Learn more
The Thief stands out for its curved modern architecture and location on Tjuvholmen (Thief Islet)—about a 40-minute walk to Vigeland Sculpture Park on foot. This is an excellent option for travelers who want to be in the buzzing Aker Brygge area with easy access to the attractions here and the fjord for swims and boat excursions. The hotel even has its own swim ladder, and there's a nearby public beach during the summer months where you can sunbathe. Additional water-based activities for fees include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, private boat tours, and fishing excursions.
Inside, the deep-hued decor offers a pool, sauna, and full-service spa with six treatment rooms. The 114 modern rooms and suites have king-sized beds, Scandinavian linens, smart TVs, sound systems, Italian coffee makers, bathrobes, and slippers. Bathrooms have Grown Alchemist bath products and rain showerheads, while suites have separate showers and bathtubs. All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows with balconies (if having a water view matters, opt for the deluxe room category or higher).
Though Aker Brygge has many options for dining, one not to miss is The Thief's very own rooftop. During warmer months, this white-table-clothed dining room has heaters and spectacular sunset views, while a separate bar on the same rooftop has a more casual vibe. Learn more
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The Camillas Hus is a boutique hotel that is part of a series of preserved clapboard buildings dating back to the mid-19th century. Offering a more intimate experience, a member of the small staff will check you in and show you your room through a rear entrance to the main house. It can feel as if arriving at a friend's elegant home—a friend who lives across the street from Palace Park with walking and jogging paths surrounding the Norwegian Royal Palace. Another bonus: It's a pleasant 20-minute walk to Vigeland Sculpture Park.
There are only seven rooms, but they are individually decorated with tasteful decor and period furnishings. All rooms include bathrobes, slippers, and L'Occitane bath products; many have stand-alone bathtubs. Though the hotel is a bit removed from Karl Johans gate—about 10 minutes on foot through the park—there is an upscale restaurant next door serving lunch and dinner. The restaurant also has a private room where guests dine on complimentary made-to-order breakfasts, served daily. Learn more
Oslo Guldsmeden has a quieter neighborhood locale, just north of the city center, about a 30-minute walk to Vigeland Sculpture Park. This eclectic boutique hotel is part of a small chain located in Europe and Asia, and the distinct decor encompasses various continents. This location has a Balinese-meets-Nordic design with a mix of oversized leather furnishings, textures, and funky accessories in the common spaces.
Rooms have hardwood floors, canopy beds, mounted iMac screens instead of televisions (with movies for purchase), and interesting textiles like deerskin throws and Asian rugs. Rooms range in size for solo travelers, couples, friends, and families with adjoining rooms or multiple bedrooms, and suites have bathrobes, slippers, and stand-alone tubs.
A cheerful restaurant serves organic a la carte breakfasts (for a daily per-person fee; kids get a discount), and a cozy bar serves drinks in the evenings. You can also reserve the small Turkish-inspired hammam with dry and infrared saunas and a steam bath for an hourly fee. Learn more
Saga Hotel Oslo
The 47-room Saga Hotel Oslo is a brick building on a tree-fringed street in the Majorstuen neighborhood, close to independent shops, bookstores, and restaurants. You won't have trouble finding the entrance, lined with red carpet. One or two staff members take care of the front desk, and there are seating spaces on the main floor, ranging from lounge areas for reading or working to a cozy bar with candles that serves wine and beer in the evenings. Rooms have varying layouts given the historic architecture, with either carpet or hardwood-style floors.
Though the hotel is a little farther from the city center, this is an excellent base for travelers who want peaceful environs and quality time in both Vigeland Sculpture Park and Palace Park, as it is about a 15-minute walk to either. Other attractions can be reached on foot, or you can use the city's public transportation system close to the hotel. Free parking is open to those with a car based on first-come, first-served availability. The hotel also manages nearby one-bedroom apartments with kitchens, some of which have sofa beds for families. Learn more
The budget-friendly Smarthotel is located on the north side of the city center, about a 30-minute walk from Vigeland Sculpture Park. It has 257 rooms, and guests can choose between self-check-in at the kiosks or traditional check-in with a staff member. This ample space has the feel of a hostel and offers several seating areas with maps, books, and magazines, while in the back is a restaurant area for the breakfast buffet that leads to an outdoor terrace.
Functional but modern rooms are intentionally small, so they can be kept at an affordable rate, though the quality beds help with comfort. Solo travelers can opt for the small single rooms with a single bed built into the wall, a small desk, a mounted flat-screen TV, and a window that opens for fresh air. Bigger rooms can fit couples, while family rooms have sleeping space for up to three guests. There are also studio apartments with extra seating and a mini-fridge and microwave. Learn more