The fast-growing city of Oslo offers plenty of glossy new architecture, but there are still charming hotels that have stood the test of time. We've compiled a list of three mid-range options in Norway's capital dating back to the 19th century with renovated interiors that blend nicely with the buildings' original details. Read on to learn more.

Staying in Oslo

You can explore Norway's historic capital on foot from these three hotels

Though Oslo today is growing at a rapid rate, a significant chapter in the city's formation took place in the early 19th century when the town of Christiania became the capital of the newly independent Kingdom of Norway. The best place to see this period's growth is on the main street, Karl Johans gate, connecting the capital with Palace Park and the Norwegian Royal Palace, where the monarchy still lives today. This pedestrian-friendly area provides shopping, sidewalk cafés, and other state institutions like Parliament and the National Theater.

As for more things to do in Oslo, you can see other top attractions within a 30-45 minute walk of Karl Johans gate, including Vigeland Sculpture Park and the 13-story Munch Museum opened in 2022, housing more than 26,000 works. When your feet need a rest, Oslo's public transportation is available with a single ticketing system for buses, trains, and trams, so you can easily combine a bit of old and new on the same day. Here are some ideas on how to explore Oslo like a local

Karl Johan Hotel

Modern decor melds with historic architecture (photo courtesy of Karl Johan Hotel)

Karl Johan Hotel has one of the more lovely, historic facades on Karl Johans gate and a great backstory. The hotel dates to the 19th century when it was run by two sisters, Marte and Marie, who had a knack for hospitality. New owners completed a major renovation in 2021. However, you can still find many of the building's original details, like the staircase in the lobby with wrought iron handrails and a glass atrium providing natural light during breakfast. 

The hotel's 157 rooms take advantage of the tall ceilings, especially the large corner suites with arched windows. Blonde wood furnishings include plush beds and bedside outlets, while new tile bathrooms have upscale bath products. When not in the rooms, guests can enjoy a bi-level lounge with seasonal outdoor tables, where you can sip drinks with views of the Parliament building across the street. 

When it's time to explore, the central location is steps from the city's best shopping and theaters and about a 15-minute walk to Oslo Central Station with regular express trains to and from the airport. You can also walk to the Nobel Peace Center and the lively Aker Brygge waterfront area in about 15 minutes. Learn more 

Camillas Hus

Original details and elegant furnishings (photo courtesy of Camillas Hus)

The historic clapboard hotel, Camillas Hus, is a series of preserved buildings that date 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 happens to live across the street from Palace Park and its walking and jogging paths surrounding the Norwegian Royal Palace and gardens.

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

Hotel Christiania Teater

Front-facing rooms have historic windows that face the leafy plaza (photo courtesy of Hotel Christiania Teater)

The 102-room Hotel Christiania Teater has a romantic Neo-Renaissance facade. It's centrally located between the National Theater and Parliament building—just steps from Karl Johans gate on the other side of a lengthy plaza that holds seasonal events and parades. Though the hotel opened in 2008, the building dates to a century earlier, when it launched as a theater in Norway's capital. Tucked in the back, the space is still used for private events ranging from business conventions to weddings (ask the staff to take a peek). 

To get to the theater means walking through a trendy lobby and bar area with dark, rich colors and eclectic decor that wouldn't feel out of place on a film set. On the second floor is Restaurant Teatro, an upscale pizzeria with an extensive wine list with windows facing the street and plaza. This space is also where the hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast with made-to-order egg dishes. 

Room categories range from cozy single rooms to spacious suites trimmed with unique wallpaper and furnishings in bold colors and patterns. They have hardwood floors, tall ceilings, minibars stocked with beverages and snacks, kettles, and CO Bigelow bath products. Some decor updates are expected to occur in 2022. Learn more