Oslo is my city. I’ve lived here for most of my life and it is a city that is close to my heart. I take a lot of pride coming from a thriving capital where we are surrounded by nature as well as a urban city life. Marka, which is what we call the forest surrounding Oslo, is used by Osloites on a daily basis- for skiing and hiking. If you want to escape the city life, the nature is just a few minutes away.
I’ve put together a guide for anyone who wants to explore Oslo further from a local point of view. Here is a list of some of my favourite places to shop, eat or spend the afternoon. This list will not include the most famous tourist sites, as these are easy to discover on your own.
Their famous apple cake is worth the 30 minutes ride from the city centre with the subway. Also, you get an amazing view of the city from here. A perfect little get away, especially during autumn when the trees are painted in those vibrant colors. When you are in the area, be sure to check out this hotel which looks like a castle taken right out from a Norwegian fairy tale.
This wonderful little red house at Sagene serves coffee, Scandinavian waffles, cakes and more. A beautiful place to sit during the summer when everything is in full bloom. Perfect for a break after strolling down Akerselva. Something worth noticing is their bee hotel at the back of the house. The House was built in 1800 as a sawmiller’s house, and today it is a café and cultural meeting place, where the arts and crafts of today meet tradition and history of the past.
Rated amongst world’s best bars- this hidden little gem is something to experience. With their surperior drinks and impressive bartenders this will certainly be a night you won’t forget too soon. They brew their own liquor and they even have a barber shop for the guys!
If you love beer or need to check out a new type, this is the place. This is the place I go when I’m craving a cherry beer, which is my absolute favorite kind of beer. Order take away from Burger Joint and enjoy your evening as the sun sets, overlooking the Oslo fjord.
Oslos new food court with a huge selection of food from all over the world.
“Mathallen Oslo is inspired by the great European food courts. Here you can find specialty shops, cafés and great places to eat. Throughout the year, we are also a venue for different festivals and events celebrating food, drink and good experiences.
Mathallen Oslo is the place to go for everyone who appreciates high quality food and drink and something unique. We offer fish, meat, vegetables, baked goods, coffee – everything brought to us by the best suppliers and distributors of Norway, as well as some imported products. The atmosphere and our products reflects our passion for good food and beverages.
Mathallen is a place for both the everyday consumers and professional chefs to buy foods from Norwegian small-scale producers and importers. Everyone is welcome to taste, shop, drink, to share knowledge and experiences and to find inspiration.” – Mathallen
They like to stand out of the crowd which means that you will find produce that is unique. Gutta på Haugen is a special store for tasty foods, with a huge selection of both local and not-so local delicacies. If you want to get away from Oslos centre, this is the place to go. A place that takes you right back a hundered years in time, with a merchant counter, quality product, exciting cheese, cured meat, fruit and vegetables. Psst; I once heard they served soft serve (ice cream) with a bacon- and blue cheese topping, drizzled with olive oil.
Walk in fields of wild thyme at Nakholmen, have a stroll along the beaches at Gressholmen or experiencing a deep history from the second world war at Hovedøya. Bring a picnic basket, blanket and a thermos filled with coffee and enjoy spending your day island hopping.
Experience the frescoe art of Gustav Vigelands brother, Emanuel in this beautiful kept secret. An eye opening experience as you enter the pitch dark tomb, later to discover the walls that are covered in beautiful art from floor to ceiling.
“Emanuel Vigeland constructed the building in 1926, when considering a museum of his paintings and sculptures, but decided later that the building would serve as his tomb. All windows were walled up, and his ashes were to rest in an urn above the door.
The dark room is covered with frescoes, and the 800 square-metre painting VITA (life) coveys the dramatic scenes of human life from conception to death. In line with his Italian idols, Emanuel called the building Tomba Emmanuelle.
Emanuel was the brother of Vigeland Park sculptor Gustav Vigeland.” – Visit Oslo
A beautiful city right outside Oslo, just a short trip form the city centre. Well worth visiting and spending the day, when sunny. Streets lined with small wooden houses give the town an idyllic touch. Walk amongst beautiful nisje shops and local food- you can also pick some really good mussels here during the right season.
“Half an hour outside Oslo, on the east side of the Oslo Fjord, lies Drøbak. The narrow 18th- and 19th-century streets lined with small wooden houses give the town an idyllic touch. On an island just outside Drøbak you can visit the fortress Oscarsborg. The centre of Drøbak is the square Torget where you find the popular Tregaarden’s Christmas House and Santa’s Post Office. They have Norway’s biggest permanent Christmas exhibition and a special Santa Claus post stamp. By the charming boat harbour there is also an Aquarium, with the world’s only “lutefisk” museum, and Badeparken a little north of the centre is a great place for swimming. From Sjøtorget there are regular ferries to the fortress Oscarsborg. The trip takes 5 minutes and there is no charge for entering the island. The construction of the fortress was finished in 1853. It got the name Oscarsborg when king Oscar I visited the fortress in 1855. The fortress has a proud and dramatic history, and is best known for the sinking of the German heavy cruiser Blücher on 9 April 1940 during World War II. In the summer it is possible to take a ferry from Oslo (departure from Aker Brygge) to Oscarsborg and Drøbak.” – Visit Oslo