Staying in Oslo
Oslo is one of the fastest-growing capitals in Europe, and the city is home to many of Norway's best cultural attractions and parks, making it well worth a stop for travelers of all ages—even if you only have 24 hours. Most visitors stick to the clean and compact city center when deciding where to stay. An excellent place to start is Karl Johans gate, the city's main shopping street, lined with some of Oslo's best cafés when you're ready to take a break. The pedestrian-friendly street connects to Palace Park, where the Royal Palace is located (home of the Norwegian monarchy).
With a good pair of walking shoes, you can access other highlights, like Aker Brygge's modern waterfront loaded with restaurants and museums and Vigeland Sculpture Park, with more than 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. On the southern side of the city are the Munch Museum and Oslo Opera House. To the east is the trendy Grünerløkka district along the Akerselva river—home to many young creative professionals. Here are more tips on how to explore Oslo like a local.
Another way to get around Norway's capital is to hop on efficient public transportation—buses, trams, and underground trains—which uses one ticketing system.
Karl Johan Hotel
You can't miss Karl Johan Hotel as it has one of the more elegant 19th-century facades on the famous thoroughfare of the same name: Karl Johans gate. The hotel dates to 1874, when it was run by two sisters named 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 lobby staircase with wrought iron handrails or the glass atrium that provides natural light during breakfast.
The hotel's 157 rooms take advantage of the tall ceilings, especially the large corner suites with arched windows. Modern 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 cozy bi-level lounge with seasonal outdoor tables, where they 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
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Clarion Hotel Oslo
The sleek Clarion Hotel Oslo blends into its ultramodern surroundings in Bjørvika, just a quick walk to the Oslo Opera House and Munch Museum. The minimalist vibe is evident as soon as you step inside the hotel's art-filled lobby with rotating artworks, including a Munch painting that underwent more than 200 hours of restoration.
More than 250 rooms and suites rise six floors with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide city or fjord views. Rooms have contemporary furnishings, hardwood-style floors, and kettles, and superior rooms and above have coffee machines and bathrobes. Some deluxe rooms have balconies or terraces (request upon check-in).
When it's time to eat, the hotel's stylish Kitchen & Table Fishery restaurant is adjacent to the front desk with a seasonal terrace, where guests can dine on seafood-focused dishes created by Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson. In addition to the restaurant, the bar serves cocktails with space for lounging or catching up on emails. Walking and jogging paths along the waterfront are steps away, or head for the fitness center with modern equipment. Learn more
Thon Hotel Opera
The expansive 480-room Thon Hotel Opera is part of a family-owned Norwegian brand known with an eye toward sustainability. This mid-range option has a great location in the center of Bjørvika, a two-minute walk to its architectural namesake: the Oslo Opera House. Repeat guests also love the convenience of being around the block from the Oslo Central Station for quick trips to the airport, as well as a short walk to several shopping malls.
Renovated rooms have cheerful decor (a Thon brand staple) with hardwood-style floors and minifridges, while superior rooms add coffee machines, bathrobes, and Molton Brown bath products in eco-friendly dispensers. Business rooms and suites face the front of the hotel and have balconies with possible fjord views (request a high floor).
The complimentary breakfast buffet is another brand staple, with a wide array of hot and cold items, including egg dishes, fresh fruit smoothies and juices, yogurt parfaits, salads, and smoked salmon. In the late afternoon, the lobby opens a full-service lounge called Eufemia Bar, serving a range of cocktails, especially gin-based specialties. Dinner is also available with a small menu that features burgers, salads, and signature items like Asian spare ribs. More dining options are a close walk from the hotel. Learn more
The boutique hotel Oslo Guldsmeden is a short 10-minute walk to Aker Brygge from the northern entrance—and closer to Palace Park than other hotels on this list. The 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, for their part, have hardwood floors, canopy beds, mounted iMac screens instead of televisions (with movies for purchase), and attractive 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
Hotel Christiania Teater
The trendy and photogenic Hotel Christiania Teater remains a historic fixture on a tree-lined street between Karl Johans gate and Aker Brygge for guests who want easy access to both. Though the hotel opened in 2008, the building dates to a century earlier, when it opened as a theater in Norway's capital. Tucked in the rear, the 600-seat space is still used today for private events like business conventions and weddings.
Perhaps more applicable to regular guests is the atmospheric bi-level lounge with rich hues and eclectic decor, especially inviting on a cold winter night. Situated above is Restaurant Teatro, an upscale pizzeria with an extensive wine list and large windows facing the street and plaza for people-watching. The hotel also serves complimentary breakfast in this space with made-to-order egg dishes.
Rooms, for their part, have theatrical touches with unique wallpapers and furnishings in bold colors and patterns. All rooms have hardwood floors, tall ceilings, minibars with beverages and snacks, kettles, and CO Bigelow bath products. Learn more