There is something so comforting about visiting a big city. Maybe it’s the constant hum of people making their way through the streets, or the ability to visit the same city so many times and still uncover hidden treasures. Everything about the city is worth experiencing: the fashion, the food, the people and the overall beauty. Among the top major cities in the world are New York, London and Paris; but if you’re searching for a beautiful, under the radar city Oslo, Norway is definitely one to consider. It might not be the warmest destination, but it has a unique vibe, and Scandinavian culture is well worth experiencing.
Districts 1, 2 and 3:
Roughly divided into three major districts, each area of Oslo offers their own unique experience.
Central Oslo: The name basically says it all! Filled with shops, hotels, nightclubs and cafés, Central (or Sentrum) is the Oslo’s downtown area.
The West End: Known as one of the richest areas in Oslo, the West is the place to be if you’re looking for regal boutiques and cafés lined along the oldest area of the city.
The East End: This former industrial area has become Oslo’s new hot spot, with a fun and vibrant atmosphere.
A Taste of the Past:
Though Oslo is an up and coming city, as you walk through the different districts and neighbourhoods, its historical influences definitely shine through. Even if you aren’t a history buff, the antique presence in Oslo can’t be ignored.
Grünerlokka: Located in the East End and once an old hub for factory workers and industrial buildings, Lokka (nickname) is Oslo’s cultural and bohemian hangout. Filled with cool little shops, cafés, galleries and a lively bar scene centered around two squares, Lokka is definitely a university student’s dream.
Aker Brygge: With contemporary architecture and reclaimed warehouses along the waterfront, traces of the former Shipyard that was located in this harbor are still very much present. A pedestrian zone is stretched along this beautiful area lined with shops and cafes, perfect for an afternoon stroll and some people watching.
Kvadraturen: It is one of the oldest areas in Oslo that was unfortunately leveled by a huge fire. However, what rose from the ashes is even more beautiful. With the old street grid remaining, Kvadraturen is now known for its great shops and the National Museums for Architecture and Contemporary Art, both located in old bank buildings.
Food For Thought:
Oslo’s Scandinavian traditions have a large impact on the restaurant and café scene. There are so many different options – narrowing it down to the top picks would make a mile long list.
Theatercaféen: Named one of the top ten cafes in the world, according to the New York Times, it is the perfect place for an afternoon break from wandering through the beautiful streets of Central Oslo.
Bare Jazz: After a busy day of hustling around the city there’s no better way to end the day than to sit in a café listening to jazz in this courtyard haven.
Solsiden: Located in a repurposed industrial warehouse on the docks just below the fortress, it is considered one of the best fish restaurants in Oslo. It creates a perfect atmosphere with its large waterfront view, fresh air and delicious food.
If this isn’t proof enough, do some more research and I guarantee Oslo will make its way onto your Bucket List.
Erica Headley, Online Contributor