Experience Norway’s capital Oslo by walking the riverside

First published at travelista.club

Oslo is Norway’s capital and biggest city but in global context a really small city. Although Oslo isn’t the center of the world there is still a lot of things you can see and do while visiting.

You can do the regular tourist attractions like seeing the Royal Palace, walk the roof of the Opera, take your picture outside of Stortinget or go to the museums at Bygdøy.
But Oslo also has a lot more, cooler places, that you must see.

Akerselva is an 8 km long river that runs through five of Oslo’s districts from Maridalen all the way into the ocean in Bjørvika. With this guide, I will give you the opportunity to see Oslo from the riverside.

Akerselva at night time.

We will start the tour at Kjelsås. This is where Maridalsvannet flows into what becomes Akerselva. To get to Kjelsås you can take the tram (line 11 or 12) from many different stops in the city. Download the apps RuterReise and RuterBillett and you will easily figure out the system of public transport.

Eat, brew, play, repeat at Nydalen bryggeri og spiseri

Walking about 3 km down the river you arrive Nydalen. It is also possible to take the metro directly here and start your river tour at this point if you are not a big fan of hiking. Just use the Ruter app from earlier.

If you choose to stop in Nydalen, a newly renovated area, you need to go to Nydalen Bryggeri & Spiseri. The place is both a restaurant and a brewery. If you are a group of 8 or more you can book a beer-tasting experience before or after your meal. The place also consists of a second floor with its own drink- and snack bar, where you can play shuffleboard, dart, board games or watch sport on the TV.  

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: Opens at 11 | Sat-Sun: Opens at 12
Address: Nydalsveien 30A, 0484 Oslo

Can you spot this one while you are wandering down the riverside?

A new way of theatre at Det andre teateret

The next stop is Det andre teateret (meaning the other theatre) which has its focus on improvisation shows. With its intimate and warm atmosphere, it is a great place to spend an evening with friends and laughter and maybe something to drink. The place is popular, so if you want to be sure you get a seat, you’ll be smart to book the show in advance.

Booking: https://detandreteatret.no/
Opening hours: Mon-Tue: Closed | Wed-Sat: Opens at 17 | Sun: Closed
Address: Ivan Bjørndalsgate 9, 0472 Oslo, Norway

A beautiful suspension bridge crossing Akerselva.

Refreshments under the open sky at Månefisken

Done watching the theatre? Walk further down to Månefisken for a coffee or refreshing drink under the sky with lights and candles, right next to the running river. A beautiful place to spend the warmer nights (or days).

Månefisken right next to the river.

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10-16 | Sat-Sun: Depends on time of year
Address: Sagveien 23A, 0459 Oslo

The real Norwegian experience at Hønse-Lovisas hus

Right across the river from Månefisken lays Hønse-Lovisas hus. A tiny, tiny red house which is a cafe with very limited opening hours. But if it is open when you pass you should make time to eat a Norwegian waffle at this one-of-a-kind place.  

Hønse-Lovisas hus is this small red house. The name means ‘Chicken-Lovisas house’.

Address: Sandakerveien 2, 0473 Oslo

Enjoy a spectacular show at Wallmans Oslo

If you are into more fancy and spectacular shows than improvising theatre you should visit this restaurant and show scene. At Wallmans you can enjoy your meal served by waiters dancing and singing and making a show of the whole evening. But it is expensive and you should book in advance.

Enter Wallmans walking the bridge over Akerselva.

Booking: http://wallmans.no/en/home/
Address: Møllerparken 6, 0459 Oslo

Student housing like you have never seen it before

During the short walk from Wallmans to the next stop, you pass three different colleges. So there is no coincidence that our 6th stop is a student housing. And it is not just any student housing. The building is an old grain silo, that is now transformed into circular apartments housing the students of Oslo. It is not possible for visitors to go inside, but the building is a great watch from the outside, and maybe you are lucky to get a glimpse through a window.

The silo has a different color at the windows for each floor of the building. There are 19 floors in total.

Address: Marselis’ gate 24, 0551 Oslo

The newer Oslo; Vulkan

While watching “Siloene” you are entering a part of Oslo that has really bloomed in the later years; Vulkan. In this area, you can find many different bars and restaurants, small shops and cafés. The two things I will recommend you to do in this area is to visit Mathallen which is an inside food market where you can taste and buy lots of different well-tasting goods. After visiting the food market you should cross the street and take the elevator up to the rooftop of BAR Vulkan (closed during October – April). The rooftop offers a great view over most parts of Oslo, and the place is great both for dinner or just drinks.

Address: Vulkan, 0175 Oslo

Get your boogie pants on and go to Blå

Located right next to Vulkan you find Blå. A bar, concert area, dance club and gathering place for all of Oslo’s people. I hang here, and so did my parents when they were younger. Everyone has some memories from this place. And you don’t even have to go inside and party at Blå to have this one on your “must see” list. The street where it is located, is a piece of art it selves. With its graffiti, lights and gigantic outdoor chandelier, it is a place I think most people will enjoy visiting. On Sundays, there is a market outside where you can buy food, books and maybe you will find an old vintage clothing treasure?

Somewhere on that wall is the entering door to Blå.

Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 14 – 2330 | Fri: 14 – 03 | Sat-Sun: 11 – 03
Address: Brenneriveien 9C, 0182 Oslo

Sing-a-long at Syng

Do you like singing karaoke? At Syng, less than 200 meters down the river from Blå you can sing your favorite songs every day of the week, whether it is in a private room, in the bar, outside on the colorful chairs and benches, or while watching a sing-along movie in the evening.  

Friends dancing and singing in a private karaoke room at Syng.

Opening hours: Mon-Thu: 17 – 01 | Fri: 15 – 0330 | Sat: 13 – 0330 | Sun: 13 – 01
Address: Nedre gate 7, 0551 Oslo

Sunset in the sky at 34th Restaurant and Bar

The tour ends here, at the sky bar of the highest building in Oslo, Radisson Blu Plaza hotel. I think this is a proper way to end the riverside tour as you can sit down, almost in the sky of Oslo, and watch the beautiful sunset (hopefully).

Imagine seeing the sunset from the tallest building in Oslo.
Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Address: Sonja Henies Plass 3, 0185 Oslo
Opening hours:  Mon-Thu: 17 – 0030 | Fri-Sat: 17 – 0130 | Sun: 17 – 0030

I can’t see how, but if you get tired of watching the sunset, and want to go all the way to the end of the river you will end up at the Opera. This is where Akerselva runs out in the Skagerak ocean. So now you are at the Opera. But I guess you’ve already seen that.

God tur!