Oslo was once considered a bit staid, but it’s now throwing off that reputation and putting some serious energy – and money – into incredible design, architecture, boutiques and cuisine.
Trendy neighbourhoods have emerged that are well worth visiting, and in-the-know travellers board flights to Oslo with this at the forefront of their plans. Check out Tjuvholmen, where the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (a destination in and of itself) has opened. The same area is also bursting with art galleries, restaurants like Fru K, and a stunning hotel; The Thief. Vulkan, on the Akerselva River, is another hot place to check out, with plenty of nightlife venues and a food hall, Mathallen Oslo.
Design is an important part of life in Oslo, and poking around shops for local goods is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Even venerable department stores like GlasMagasinet sell a plethora of Scandinavian-made clothes, accessories and crafts. Wandering Kvadraturen, the old town, is a good way to get a peek into some lovely old buildings, complete with cosy lounges and fun design shops. Oslo has an impressive art scene too, and the Munch Museum (home of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting The Scream) is a must-visit.
Oslo can be an expensive city, but it offers good value – restaurants and cafes may charge a lot, but the standards are high and the emphasis on beautiful design makes every meal, or even just a quick coffee, feel like an experience. It’s a city that exemplifies Scandinavian cool.