Oslo

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Oslo Travel Guide

City Map

City Introduction

Oslo is a cozy city with short distances between the many sights, which include churches, museums, the royal palace, the famous town hall and of course Karl Johans Gate. The old town, Kvadraturen, is where King Christian IV established Christiania, which became the starting point for the present Oslo. There are beautiful 16th century houses in this area, and it is also here, the Akershus fortress can be seen. It was the king’s residence around 1300.

The proximity to the water is felt and seen in many places. The beautiful square in front of the town hall or the Opera House roof is among the best places to relax and enjoy the view to the Oslo Fjord, which is the reason for the maritime history of the city. Both places are among the city’s most popular places to enjoy the sun in the season.

Maritime transport is in many ways part of what Oslo has grown from, and the city’s museums in this field are internationally top class. You can board the Roald Amundsen polar ship Fram, see Thor Heyerdal’s fleets and visit Norwegian Viking history just to mention the highlights.

Oslo is also the capital of the fantastic Norwegian nature, and from the city it is never far to the open plains, mountains and forests that supplement the Oslo Fjord with vast recreative activities. You can even get on the city’s subway to the wilderness. The area at Holmenkollen is a good starting point for hiking.

Top Attractions

City Hall, Oslo

City Hall/Rådhuset

Oslo’s monumental city hall is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. It was built by the architects Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson in the years 1931-1950. The two towers dominate the building. The building stand beautifully and almost sculpturally on the town hall square at the banks of the Oslo Fjord.

 

Kvadraturen

This is King Christian IV’s modern district from the construction of Christiania in the 1600s. The town plan was very innovative at the time and inspired by contemporary layouts with perpendicular streets, which has since given it the name Kvadraturen.

 

Opera House, Oslo

The Opera House/Operahuset

Oslo’s Opera House opened in 2008, and it is centrally and beautifully located on the Oslo Fjord, a few minutes walk from the Central Station. The architecture of the opera house is interesting, and the construction makes the roof of the building a promenade with a nice view of the water.

 

Akershus Castle and Fortress/Akershus Slott og Festning

Akershus is Norway’s largest medieval castle, built in 1299 by King Håkon V Magnusson to defend the city and the area. By the fire in Oslo in 1624, the castle was destroyed but rebuilt.

 

Vigeland Park, Oslo

Vigeland Park/Vigelandsparken

Vigeland Park, also known as the Frogner Park, is a large recreational area with lawns, hiking trails, outdoor summer pools and Gustav Vigeland’s famous sculptures. There is great variety in the park’s many sculptures with everything from the angry boy, Sinnetagen, to the central pillar.

 

The Fram Museum/Frammuseet

This is a unique historical exploration museum named after the ship on display here. The entire museum is built around the ship Fram, which was built in 1892 for Fridtjof Nansen’s polar expedition, which lasted from 1893 to 1895.

 

Viking Ship House/Vikingskipshuset

The Viking Ship House is a museum that exhibits three preserved ships from burial mounds in Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune respectively. The ships were built in the 800-900s and used for fjord and sea sailing.

 

Munch Museum, Oslo

The Munch Museum/Munchmuseet

More than half of the world-famous Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch’s, works are owned by the Munch Museum, which is again owned by Oslo City. Edvard Munch bequeathed more than a thousand paintings and many other items to the city in 1944, and in 1963 this museum opened to the public.

Other Attractions

Karl Johan Street, Oslo

Karl Johan Street/Karl Johans Gate

Karl Johans gate is Oslo’s central and famous shopping street. It was laid out in 1826, and it was later expanded to a beautiful boulevard between the Stortinget and the city’s royal palace.

 

Oslo Cathedral/Oslo Domkirke

Oslo Cathedral was consecrated in 1697 with the name of Our Savior Church. In addition to the religious purposes of the church, its tower initially served as a lookout post in the fire-ravaged Christiania.

 

National Gallery, Oslo

The National Gallery/Nasjonalgalleriet

The National Gallery is the Norwegian National Museum’s department of art, and the museum also has the country’s largest collection of works with emphasis on the period from around the year 1800 to today. You can see the works of both Norwegian and international artists.

 

Astrup Fearnley Museum/Astrup Fearnley Museet

The Astrup Fearnley Museum was opened in 1993 with Norwegian and international modern art from the time after 1945. Among the exhibited works are art by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.

 

Royal Palace, Oslo

The Royal Palace/Det Kongelige Slott

Norway’s Royal Palace is located at the end of the main street, Karl Johans gate. The castle was built in the years 1827-1849 as the Norwegian residence of the then Union King, and today it is the residence of the Norwegian monarch.

 

City Museum and Theater Museum/Bymuseet og Teatermuseet

Oslo Bymuseum is an urban history museum located in Frogner Hovedgård, which was completed in 1792. Here you can see and learn about parts of Oslo’s history, and in the same place there is a theater museum.

 

Christiania Square, Oslo

Christiania Square/Christiania Torv

This square is the center of Christian IV’s Christiania, today known as Kvadraturen. On the square the Old Town Hall is located, which was built in 1641 as Christiania’s first town hall. You can also see the building Rådmannsgården from 1626 here.

 

Holmenkollen

Holmenkollen is a beautiful nature reserve that became popular as an excursion destination in the 19th century. Today it has become known for its ski jump, from which there is an impressive view of Oslo and the Oslo area. Here you can also visit an interesting ski museum.

 

Bygdøy, Oslo

Bygdøy

Bygdøy is a peninsula in the Oslo Fjord immediately southwest of Oslo city center. It is very varied with elegant housing, fields and forest, and then some of the Norwegian capital’s famous museums are located here.

 

Norwegian Maritime Museum/Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum

The Norwegian Maritime Museum’s interesting exhibitions depict Norwegian maritime history with general collections and themes about, for example, polar research and whaling. Roald Amundsen’s ship Gjøa is located by the museum.

 

The Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo

The Kon-Tiki Museum/Kon-Tiki Museet

The Kon-Tiki Museum is a museum that exhibits boats and objects from the adventurer Thor Heyerdahl’s various expeditions. Kon-Tiki itself is the balsa timber raft that Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1947.

 

Norwegian Folk Museum/Norsk Folkemuseum

In the park area on Bygdøy, Norway’s largest open-air museum is located, where more than 150 buildings from the country’s history have been rebuilt. The oldest building is the Stave Church from Gol, originally built around 1200.

Day Trips

Eidsvoll, Norway

Eidsvoll

An important part of Norway’s parliamentary history has taken place in the town of Eidsvoll. The Norwegian constitution was drafted here in the spring of 1814. It happened in the hall og Rikssalen, which stands as in 1814, and which has been a museum since 1850.

 

The Emerald Mines/Smaragdgruvene

The town of Byrud is located north of Eidsvoll at Mjøsa, which is Norway’s largest lake. In the late 1800s, Evelyn Aston found some emeralds in the area. Her father, Edward Aston opened the emerald mine in 1899, and the valuable stones were extracted until 1909.

 

Drammen, Norway

Drammen

In 1811, the city of Drammen southwest of Oslo was merged by two villages, Strømsø and Bragernes. Since then, the city has grown significantly and now over 90,000 people live here. Here you can see the town’s fine town hall from 1871 and the neo-Gothic Bragernes Church.

 

Fredrikstad

The city of Frederikstad was founded by King Frederick II in 1567, and in the 1660s the city was classified as Norway’s strongest fortified city. Frederikstad’s old town, Gamlebyen, is unique in Scandinavia as the only very well-preserved and still inhabited fortress town.

Shopping

Arkaden

Karl Johans gate 5-7
arkaden.no

 

Byporten

Jernbanetorget 6
byporten.no

 

Gunerius

Storgata 32
gunerius.no

 

House of Oslo

Ruseløkkveien 26
houseofoslo.no

 

Oslo City

Stenersgate 1
oslocity.no

 

Paleet

Karl Johans gate 37-43
paleet.no

 

Steen & Strøm Magasin

Nedre Slottsgate 8
steenogstrom.no

 

Strømmen Storsenter

Støperiveien 5, Strømmen
strommenstorsenter.no

 

VikaTerrassen

Ruseløkkveien 26
vikahandel.no

 

Shopping streets

Karl Johans Gate, Aker Brygge, Bogstadveien, Hegdehaugsveien, Bygdøy Allé, Møllergata

With Kids

Zoological garden

EKT Husdyrpark
Ekebergveien 99
rideskole.no/husdyrpark

 

Football

Fotballmuseet
Ullevål, Sognsveien 75
fotballmuseet.no

 

Ski slope and museum

Holmenkollen
Kongeveien 5
skiforeningen.no

 

Swimming pool

Frognerbadet
Middelthuns gate 28
oslo.kommune.no

 

Natural History

Naturhistorisk Museum
Monrads gate
nhm.uio.no

 

Reptiles

Oslo Reptilpark
Storgata 26
reptilpark.no

 

Trams

Sporveismuseet Vognhall 5
Gardeveien 15
sporveismuseet.no

 

Technology

Teknisk Museum
Kjelsåsveien 143
teknisk-museum.no

 

Swimming pool

Østfold Badet
PM Røwdes gate 8
ostfoldbadet.no

City History

Prehistory and foundation

Archaeological excavations in the Oslo area have resulted in finds in the form of Christian burials, which are believed to date to the years before the year 1000. The finds do not have a clear knowledge of the city’s start, which is set for year 1000, where It is believed that the first church was erected. However, Oslo is considered to be founded as an actual city with Harald Hardrådes first major facility in Oslo in 1049.

The early construction took place at the outlet of the Alna River, which was central to transport across the sea and inland. Harald Hardråde had a royal estate and a church built.

 

The first centuries

Oslo quickly developed into an important trading town in the area. This happened at the same time as the production of ships and agricultural products took place. During this time, for example through the 12th century, several institutions were also established. These talked the cathedral school as the city’s premier education site.

Oslo’s status in the Norwegian area was elevated to the capital from 1299. It happened to King Haakon V Magnusson, who as the first of the country’s kings took permanent residence here.

The time had also come for the city to be fortified. It happened from the year 1300 with Håkon V Magnusson’s construction of the castle of Akershus, which continues to throne on the Oslo Fjord. The fortress was primarily built to protect the threat from the Swedes to the east, but Akershus also became the king’s residence castle.

 

A long decline

The 1300s had started with the construction of Akershus, and it made clear to Oslo’s development that the city was the capital. However, it wasn’t many years before optimism disappeared. In 1349, Oslo and Norway were affected by a plague epidemic, with half to three-quarters of the population perished. The city was for many years after the plague devastation. Trade fell while churches and royal buildings decayed.

In 1380, weakened Norway became part of the Kalmar Union and thus entered into a federal union with Denmark, from which the country was ruled. The Danish kings were also kings of Norway, and for many centuries the country was ruled from Copenhagen, which established itself as the leading city in Scandinavia.

With this form of government, Oslo was not developed in the same way as if the city had been the capital of an independent Norway. A number of institutions, such as higher education institutions, were located in Copenhagen, where some Norwegians went to study.

 

17th century Christiania

Over the following centuries, Oslo burned down several times. The houses were often made of wood with peat roofs, which gave the fire good conditions. After the great fire in 1624, King Christian IV decided to move the city to the area at Akershus Fortress and thus effectively establish a new city.

It was a modern city that Christian IV wanted to build, and he was involved in its planning. The city changed its name to Christiania, and to avoid fires the buildings had to be of stone. It was a change for Oslo, which with Christiania saw a new beginning.

Christiania was created with European cities as role models. The streets were perpendicular to each other and should be 15 meters wide. High defenses were also erected around the city center, which was accessed through the city’s three gates. The Christiania of the 17th century can be found in today’s district of Kvadraturen, and here, among other things, lies the city’s oldest town hall, built under Christian IV in 1641.

 

Oslo in the 1700-1800s

International trade of the 17th-18th century, especially with England and the Netherlands, developed in the time after Christiania’s founding, and increasing prosperity characterized the 18th century.

It was also the century when the Thirty Years War raged in the North, and in isolation, the Norwegian economy caused a boom through the country’s considerable shipbuilding. In 1716, the city was attacked by Sweden, which besieged Akershus, but did not fall.

Throughout the 19th century, there was a boom in Oslo. The city’s university was founded in 1813, and the following year the union with Denmark was dissolved as a result of the Napoleonic wars, and Christiania became Norway’s capital after Copenhagen. The city was not yet big, but it was developing rapidly through the 19th century. In 1830, Oslo became larger than Bergen, making it the largest city in the country.

The new Norwegian capital became the seat of government and one of the Swedish king Oscar Is residence cities. In 1825, the construction of Oslo’s royal palace was begun, it was completed in 1848. Other institutions were also established; for example Norges Bank, Stock Exchange and in 1866 Parliament.

From the mid-1800s, there was great economic progress in Christiania, and it attracted people from all over the country who hoped for better times for a life in the capital. Industrialization started from the area around the Akerselven, and it gave the economy a real boom. Many facilities and institutions were built in the city, which could eventually be called a larger city. Oslo as a city was expanded in 1859 and again in 1878.

 

1900s to today

The population of the city grew from 30,000 in 1850 to 230,000 in 1900. Many worked on the countless factories that were built during the industrialization that had also brought the railway to the capital.

In 1905, the union with Sweden was abolished. Christiania again became a royal residence when the Danish prince Carl became Norway’s King Håkon VII.

Economically, things went well in Oslo until the outbreak of World War I, which put a damper on developments across Europe. In 1925, the city’s name was changed from Christian IV’s Christiania to the original name Oslo.

Norway was occupied by Germany in 1940, and the king and the government of Oslo settled during the war years in London. During those years, the Germans and the Norwegian Nazis align themselves with the Akershus Fortress. It was also here that Commander Josef Nichterlein finally returned the city to the Norwegian home front on May 11, 1945.

After World War II, there was a large housing shortage in Oslo, and large-scale housing construction was started in the suburbs. In 1952, the Norwegian capital came on the world map as host of the Winter Olympics, which took place on Holmenkollen’s famous ski slope. However, Norway continued to not count as the economic superpower that it is today.

It was in the 1970s that the extraction of Norway’s large oil deposits in the North Sea started, and this has resulted in a very solid economy in Norwegian society, which is seen and experienced in the modern capital Oslo. Since the 1980s, Oslo has experienced a great cultural boost, which has created a wide range of opportunities for visitors. This applies, among other things, to the city’s opera house, which in modern architecture lies towards the Oslo Fjord.

Geolocation

In short

Overview of Oslo

Oslo is a cozy city with short distances between the many sights, which include churches, museums, the royal palace, the famous town hall and of course Karl Johans Gate. The old town, Kvadraturen, is where King Christian IV established Christiania, which became the starting point for the present Oslo. There are beautiful 16th century houses in this area, and it is also here, the Akershus fortress can be seen. It was the king’s residence around 1300.

 

The proximity to the water is felt and seen in many places. The beautiful square in front of the town hall or the Opera House roof is among the best places to relax and enjoy the view to the Oslo Fjord, which is the reason for the maritime history of the city. Both places are among the city’s most popular places to enjoy the sun in the season.

 

About the upcoming Oslo travel guide

  • Contents: Tours in the city + tours in the surrounding area
  • Published: Released soon
  • Author: Stig Albeck
  • Publisher: Vamados.com
  • Language: English

 

About the travel guide

The Oslo travel guide gives you an overview of the sights and activities of the Norwegian city. Read about top sights and other sights, and get a tour guide with tour suggestions and detailed descriptions of all the city’s most important churches, monuments, mansions, museums, etc.

 

Oslo is waiting for you, and at vamados.com you can also find cheap flights and great deals on hotels for your trip. You just select your travel dates and then you get flight and accommodation suggestions in and around the city.

 

Read more about Oslo and Norway

 

Buy the travel guide

Click the “Add to Cart” button to purchase the travel guide. After that you will come to the payment, where you enter the purchase and payment information. Upon payment of the travel guide, you will immediately receive a receipt with a link to download your purchase. You can download the travel guide immediately or use the download link in the email later.

 

Use the travel guide

When you buy the travel guide to Oslo you get the book online so you can have it on your phone, tablet or computer – and of course you can choose to print it. Use the maps and tour suggestions and you will have a good and content-rich journey.

City Hall • Bygdøy • Viking Ships • Edvard Munch • Vigeland Park

Overview of Oslo

Oslo is a cozy city with short distances between the many sights, which include churches, museums, the royal palace, the famous town hall and of course Karl Johans Gate. The old town, Kvadraturen, is where King Christian IV established Christiania, which became the starting point for the present Oslo. There are beautiful 16th century houses in this area, and it is also here, the Akershus fortress can be seen. It was the king’s residence around 1300.

 

The proximity to the water is felt and seen in many places. The beautiful square in front of the town hall or the Opera House roof is among the best places to relax and enjoy the view to the Oslo Fjord, which is the reason for the maritime history of the city. Both places are among the city’s most popular places to enjoy the sun in the season.

 

About the upcoming Oslo travel guide

  • Contents: Tours in the city + tours in the surrounding area
  • Published: Released soon
  • Author: Stig Albeck
  • Publisher: Vamados.com
  • Language: English

 

About the travel guide

The Oslo travel guide gives you an overview of the sights and activities of the Norwegian city. Read about top sights and other sights, and get a tour guide with tour suggestions and detailed descriptions of all the city’s most important churches, monuments, mansions, museums, etc.

 

Oslo is waiting for you, and at vamados.com you can also find cheap flights and great deals on hotels for your trip. You just select your travel dates and then you get flight and accommodation suggestions in and around the city.

 

Read more about Oslo and Norway

 

Buy the travel guide

Click the “Add to Cart” button to purchase the travel guide. After that you will come to the payment, where you enter the purchase and payment information. Upon payment of the travel guide, you will immediately receive a receipt with a link to download your purchase. You can download the travel guide immediately or use the download link in the email later.

 

Use the travel guide

When you buy the travel guide to Oslo you get the book online so you can have it on your phone, tablet or computer – and of course you can choose to print it. Use the maps and tour suggestions and you will have a good and content-rich journey.

Gallery

Gallery

Other Attractions

Karl Johan Street, Oslo

Karl Johan Street/Karl Johans Gate

Karl Johans gate is Oslo’s central and famous shopping street. It was laid out in 1826, and it was later expanded to a beautiful boulevard between the Stortinget and the city’s royal palace.

 

Oslo Cathedral/Oslo Domkirke

Oslo Cathedral was consecrated in 1697 with the name of Our Savior Church. In addition to the religious purposes of the church, its tower initially served as a lookout post in the fire-ravaged Christiania.

 

National Gallery, Oslo

The National Gallery/Nasjonalgalleriet

The National Gallery is the Norwegian National Museum’s department of art, and the museum also has the country’s largest collection of works with emphasis on the period from around the year 1800 to today. You can see the works of both Norwegian and international artists.

 

Astrup Fearnley Museum/Astrup Fearnley Museet

The Astrup Fearnley Museum was opened in 1993 with Norwegian and international modern art from the time after 1945. Among the exhibited works are art by Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons.

 

Royal Palace, Oslo

The Royal Palace/Det Kongelige Slott

Norway’s Royal Palace is located at the end of the main street, Karl Johans gate. The castle was built in the years 1827-1849 as the Norwegian residence of the then Union King, and today it is the residence of the Norwegian monarch.

 

City Museum and Theater Museum/Bymuseet og Teatermuseet

Oslo Bymuseum is an urban history museum located in Frogner Hovedgård, which was completed in 1792. Here you can see and learn about parts of Oslo’s history, and in the same place there is a theater museum.

 

Christiania Square, Oslo

Christiania Square/Christiania Torv

This square is the center of Christian IV’s Christiania, today known as Kvadraturen. On the square the Old Town Hall is located, which was built in 1641 as Christiania’s first town hall. You can also see the building Rådmannsgården from 1626 here.

 

Holmenkollen

Holmenkollen is a beautiful nature reserve that became popular as an excursion destination in the 19th century. Today it has become known for its ski jump, from which there is an impressive view of Oslo and the Oslo area. Here you can also visit an interesting ski museum.

 

Bygdøy, Oslo

Bygdøy

Bygdøy is a peninsula in the Oslo Fjord immediately southwest of Oslo city center. It is very varied with elegant housing, fields and forest, and then some of the Norwegian capital’s famous museums are located here.

 

Norwegian Maritime Museum/Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum

The Norwegian Maritime Museum’s interesting exhibitions depict Norwegian maritime history with general collections and themes about, for example, polar research and whaling. Roald Amundsen’s ship Gjøa is located by the museum.

 

The Kon-Tiki Museum, Oslo

The Kon-Tiki Museum/Kon-Tiki Museet

The Kon-Tiki Museum is a museum that exhibits boats and objects from the adventurer Thor Heyerdahl’s various expeditions. Kon-Tiki itself is the balsa timber raft that Heyerdahl sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 1947.

 

Norwegian Folk Museum/Norsk Folkemuseum

In the park area on Bygdøy, Norway’s largest open-air museum is located, where more than 150 buildings from the country’s history have been rebuilt. The oldest building is the Stave Church from Gol, originally built around 1200.

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