Insiders guide to Oslo

Your interests and what you do for a living often predicts what you like to see and do when travelling. So I wanted to make an insider guide to Oslo based on that. I asked some friends and colleagues what they would recommend. Here you go:

Hike with a view and multicultural Grønland

Take a hike in Ekebergparken. Why? Great view over the Oslo fjord, world famous art and great nature. Take the tram to get there.

Visit exotic Grønland. Oslos most multicultural area. Eat cheap and very good indian food at Punjab Tandoori, good Norwegian food at Olympen or the best food in Norway at Maaemo. Drop by Oslo Mekaniske, great selection of beers (and the Norwegian apple cider Lovløs which some friends and I make), enjoyed in a Norwegian sofa from the 50ies.

Jostein Magnussen, marketing manager and founder, likes running and cross country skiing and is a bit of a foodie.

Nature walks, sculpture park and seafood

Oslo is a small city, so to see the different neighborhoods and the variations of the city is doable in a day or two. Here is my top list! Best nature walks; Sognsvann-Ullevållsæter and Bygdøy. Best sculpture parks; Frognerparken and Ekebergparken. Best Seafood: Lofoten Fiskerestaurant. Best drinks: Himkok. Best hidden restaurant; Sawan. Best Sunday Brunch; Bølgen & Moi. And you must take a walk in these areas; The Opera, Tjuvholmen and Vulkan/Grunerløkka. 

Melinda Johnsen, Digital Marketing Manager, I travel & eat a lot! :)

Mausoleum and fish cakes

One of the coolest places I take my friends is the Emanuel Vigeland's mausoleum. Some find it macabre, some find it beautiful, everyone loves to enter that little door into complete darkness.

Another one loved by foreigners: I used to take my friends to buy fish cakes and eat them by the ocean in Aker Brygge, watching the boats pass by. The little boat to Bygdøy. And the Viking ship museum. You can stop by Lille Herbern to eat afterwards.

Renata Barros, designer and creative lead. Brasilian so she has an outsiders view as well.

Music, music, music and drinks and vinyl

When I tour and travel, I like finding small bars and clubs with a laid-back atmosphere and great music on the stereo. Which in my case means old school soul, r&b and rock.
Here in Oslo you can´t go wrong if you go to Robinet next to Rockefeller Music Hall. Oslo´s smallest and best bar for decades. A classic hole in the wall with a wonderful vibe.
Close by, at Youngstorget, Hell´s Kitchen offers good pizza, nice booths and some of my favourite Oslo dj´s. Informal and friendly. 

In the slightly hip Grünerløkka area there are plenty of good places. A new favourite is Perla. A tiny cocktail bar with kind of an Italian touch, cool interior, 70s funk on vinyl.  If you prefer having good coffee, hip beer and buying vinyl at midnight, the nice (but horribly named) Hendrix Ibsen at the Vulkan area might be your thing,

Good music and dj´s is always a bonus, and if you catch Erlend Mokkelbost spinning you are always in good hands. You´ll find him at Peloton, Hell´s Kitchen, Mono, Fisk&Vilt. Great dj, great bars. If you want the best soul, r&b and disco try finding Audun Vinger or the legendary DJ Claes. They also have their own monthly club night together at Blå called Contagious, which is really nice and smooth.

Martin Windstad, musician, Todd Terje & the Olsens

Bygdøy, Frognerseteren and Akerselva

Bygdøy! And you should go to Folkemuseet. A round trip there is great, take bus number 30 and the ferry back to Aker brygge (then you also get to see Oslo from the sea side).

If you want to explore the beautiful nature around Oslo you should rent a bike and start from Frognerseteren. Next stop Ullevaalseter for coffee and buns. If the weather is nice you should walk along Akerselva. Cool streetart and you should end your walk at Mathallen for lunch. 

Veronica Heltne, interaction designer  and nature lover (skiing, running, hiking you name it she does it)

Fortress, burgers and waffles

I love castles and fortresses, so I do recommend checking out our own  Akershus Fortress. Old halls, a dungeon and scenic grassy hills by the fjord, smack in the city center.

Get one of Oslo's best burgers at Illegal Burger at Møllergata 23. It's a short walk from downtown Oslo. Be sure to taste a Norwegian waffle! You can get them at cafés here and there, or go to the true Norwegian eating experience - Kaffistova. Simplicity all the way.

Line Kamhaug Hopmoen, marketing consultant and 4th generation Oslo-inhabitant. Love city weekend trips, hiking, cooking and British TV crime.

French food and raspeball

Start your walk in Torggata, through Markveien and along Akerselva. Eat french food at Le Benjamin or Chez Colin. Drink wine at Territoriet.

Walk up to the castle, one of the very few castles in the world where you can touch the wall even though the king is at home. For real Norwegian food - eat raspeball at Kaffistova.

Ida Jackson, content advisor, author and nerd.

Spend a day at Frogner/Bygdøy

Take a walk in the beautiful streets to view the amazing apartment buildings, take a stroll along the Frognerkilen, feed the ducks, go for a run in Bygdøy´s beautiful nature and pass Bygdøy Sjøbad, Paradisbukta and Huk. On your way out of Bygdøy, say hello/goodbye to the Kings animals: cows, horses and sheep.

If you want to buy flowers, visit MinaMilanda flower shop. Its next to Kolonihagen Frogner, where you should have your lunch.

Choose Restaurant Sawan in the evening (Oslos indisputedly best thai restaurant) and be sure to choose the tasting menu/chefs selection. Sawan is located in a nice old villa, and after 22:00, the lights dims and the music volume rises. Have a beer and/or glass of wine in front of the cozy fireplace at Forest&Brown before you go to sleep.

Hilde Rudi Olsen, web communications manager, runner, eater, loves animals.

Must see sights from an Airbnb host

Welcome to Oslo - after hosting hundreds of travelers via Airbnb my must see Sights are: Vigeland Park, Oslo Opera House, the River Aker, Botanical Garden, Munch Museum and the Fram Museum.

Grønland - multicultural melting point - Oslo Mekaniske for the great selection of beer and great atmosphere. If you are hungry you can bring your own food from the nearby sushi, hamburger, indian, pizza etc to this place. At the Teaterplassen you´ll find Vognmand Nilsen, check out their "After work" offer. 
Elias Mat & Sånt and Fiskeriet serve good Nordic food to a reasonable price. Visit Bare Jazz for your small break in the city center. Great atmosphere in that. 

In the city center you can make your own salat at Kvadrat Salat. Maybe for your picnic at Akershus Fortress? Or your walk along the picturesque River Aker that cuts through Oslo, you can walk for hours or just a little bit. If you start at Grønland and walk upstream you will come to a waterfall after ca 2 km. Turn to the east (right) and walk back to the city via vibrant Grünerløkka.   

There are always something going on in Oslo. Maybe your favorite band will be on stage when you are in town? Your favourite painter have an exhibition? Have a look at What´s on in Oslo. For more info about art in Oslo and Norway, have a look at Listen.  

Open your eyes, be curious, enjoy…if you are lost? Just ask someone, people are more than happy to help you.

Merete Sæther - Airbnb host, work as an Information Analyzer and my biggest hobbies are fine art, technology and traveling.

Hipsters and second hand shopping

If you find hipsters fascinating they can be observed in Grünerløkka, the district of fixies, black-rim glasses and waxed beards. To get there you may start in the city center and take a stroll down by the street Torggata. Apply you fake beard and glasses while crossing the bridge above the river Akerselva and take a left into the main street of Markveien. Your are now in hipster territory. 

Here you may buy second hand Norwegian coffecups in Markveien 59th, locally handcrafted jewelery in 55th and coldpressed fairtrade oliveoil in 35th. Take lunch in the backyard of the cafe Godt brød (“Good bread”) in Torvhald Meyers Gate 49th and remember to wave to the developers crafting opensourced ReactJS applications in the old factory next door. Have a locally brewed IPA at Grünerløkka Brygghus at 37th and end your night testing your boogy-woogy skills at the dancefloor of Ryes in Sofienberggata 8th.

Joakim Bording, universal design missionary and a harmonica player.

Tram, boats and sushi

1. Walk. Choose a neighbourhood (or several), and stroll around with a coffee in hand. My favorite is Grünerløkka, with it’s independent shops and great coffee. 
2. The tram. Get a day travel card, and join the tram as it takes you on an independent tour through Oslo. When I need creative inspiration, I usually get on tram number 19, and take it from end station to end station. 
3. Eat cheap and awesome sushi (number 78 is my favorite)at East Kitchen (Grünerløkka), or indian food at Punjab Tandoori (Grønland). If you’re traveling alone and want to sit in a bar and eat great food and meet good people, latin american restaurant Aymara close to Solli Plass (Vika) is a great choice. 
4. In summertime, take the boats out to the islands. You can use the same ticket as you use on the bus/tram/metro. Choose an island, bring a blanket and some refreshments, and relax. 

Ingvild Moen, Airbnb host in Oslo, social media enthusiast and traveller.

Vintage shopping and statues

A stroll along Akerselva is a must. Every little part of it is a new adventure. Bring a camera! While you’re out walking, make sure to stop by the old factory grounds at Lilleborg. There you’ll find a “secret” dam that takes you to right in the middle of the waterfalls! You’ll also find  Gypsywagon, a new, awesome second hand vintage shop with the loveliest owner in the world. Well worth the trip.

A walk in Vigelandsparken is a must at any time of the year. Marvel at the statues and blend in with the Japanese tourists. When you’re done, go to Majorstua and Rå Sushi for Oslo some awesome creations (make sure to order the Ayaka Maki and Hot Jordbær!).

Nadia Tokerud, Communications Manager. Loves food, roller derby, technology and lots of nerdy and/or quirky stuff.

Icelandic-Norwegian-Korean fusion and interesting drinks

Torggata botaniske - for the best (interesting flavours, not too sweet) drinks in Oslo. Inside the bar there is a small greenhouse with herbs used in the drinks.

Pjoltergeist is a fun restaurant. Very relaxed, not too expensive (but not very cheap either). I don’t know anywhere else you can eat icelandic-norwegian-korean fusion. The people who work there are great to. 

For shopping; the record shop Big dipper and the book store Tronsmo.

Ida Aalen, strategy advisor and interaction designer, author, runner and a nerd


That's it, should be enough to fill a few days in Oslo. Any questions, feel free to drop me a line. Enjoy your stay!



Travelling and home sweet home

One of the effects of travelling is the fact that I appreciate so much more what I have back home. I love exploring new countries, understanding other cultures, seeing new things and meeting new people. But it also makes me understand how lucky I am, what I have where I live.

Off course growing up and living in Norway is pretty good because it's a democratic and wealthy country with benefits others can just dream about. But what I appreciate the most is the beautiful nature we have. I live in Oslo and today I have been walking in the nature (Østmarka) for hours and I started just outside my own door. The closeness to the nature is great about Oslo.

But even more I love the place where I grew up (Urke in Ørsta, Sunnmøre), one of the most beautiful places in Norway, between mountains and fjords. I actually had to move away to understand how beautiful it is and I understand it even more after travelling.

I was standing on a mountain top in Peru (4000 meters above the sea, the highest I have ever been), and the local guide proudly asks me; Isn't this the most beautiful view ever? I didn't know what to say, because it was truly beautiful, but I have seen something even more amazing, at home sweet home.

I'm so grateful that I can travel the world, learning about the world and seeing new places the way I do, but I will always love home sweet home the most.

This picture is from the mountain Saksa in Urke, I grew up in the village you see at the foot of the mountain.

My sanctuary

My sanctuary