Oslo - Where to Stay for first time travelers

Where to Stay in Oslo for a first time visit? An insider’s guide 2024

If you decide to explore the wonders of Norway for your next trip, but don’t know where to stay in Oslo, you’ve landed in the right place!

Oslo is the most populous city with over 709.037 thousand inhabitants and an economic and governmental hub in Norway. In other words, you are planning a visit to number one ranked cities for the quality of life compared with other big European cities!

Being a city of both excitement and wonder, you can enjoy a variety of activities while in Oslo. It is located at the northmost end of the Oslofjord, surrounded by mountains and forests. The climate is humid continental with mild summers and chilly cold winters. The biggest curiosity about this city is that there are over 343 lakes and almost 40 islands around it.

Question: Where to Stay in Oslo for a first-time visit?

There is plenty to mention about Oslo, such as that its first name was Christiania. It was named Europe’s capital for the year 2019, used to be a host of the Winter Olympics in 1952, and the most prestigious Nobel Prize is still awarded every year in this city.

The Norwegians, like most Scandinavians, live according to Jante Law created by the Danish writer Aksel Sandemose, according to which the society is egalitarian and people should behave in a civilized way, without showing superiority in any way, either financially, in wisdom or intelligence.

This base of commerce and culture in Norway is a desirable destination and a great place to visit. You will enjoy your stay!

We know that different types of people require different advice on travel accommodations. This guide includes the best areas for

  • the first time visitor
  • Families
  • Couples
  • Luxury & Design
  • Solo-Traveler
  • on a budget

Are you more of a visual learner/travel planner?

Lucky for you, we’ve included a map with all of our favorite neighborhoods and handpicked hotels for all of your travel needs.

Check it out below to get a better idea of where you should stay for your first or next visit to the Oslo .

This is the extension of our guide to 7 days in Norway.

(This guide is always up to date, the last updated April 2024.)

But, first things first:

Here is the question: Where to stay in Oslo for a first-time visit?

The answer is simple: Sentrum (City Center)

Sentrum or the city centre is located in the southeast part of Oslo. This part of the city is significant for its high buildings like Postgirobygget and the Plaza. As elsewhere, in this city by water, the main harbour Bjorvika is located in this district. Many new modern buildings, such as student apartments, schools and museums are also located here.

Some of these areas include:

  • Royal Palace (Slottet)
  • Karl Johans Gate
  • Oslo Opera House (Operahuset)
  • Aker Brygge

Why do we recommend these areas?

The Royal Palace, one of the most important buildings in Oslo, is located at Karl Johans Gate. It is a state property, but it is the residence of the King and the Queen and the place where the monarchy of Norway is conducted. They preside with the Council of State and organize official dinners and audiences for the officials of states who come to Norway. The palace is open to the public during the summer months.

Karl Johans Gate is the main street in the city of Oslo. It connects the Oslo Central Station and the Royal Place, slightly widening at Egertorget Square. Many places of interest are on this street including The National Theater, old University, Palace Park and a few more.

Oslo Opera House’s design is inspired by Norwegian nature. The building has a very big inner space which appears spectacular and unique, but what is very interesting is that almost all the visitors want to walk on the roof of the Opera House and experience the stunning view. The building itself is covered with Carrara marble and white granite from Italy which gives you an impression that the building rises from the water. It is undoubtedly an unforgettable view for everybody who visits Oslo.

Aker Brygge has been a very popular entertainment, dining and shopping district during the 1980’ and 90’. Back in the past, it used to be industrial, but then became a residential area and it is still a good place to reside. It is located on the Akers Mekaniske Verksted shipyard. One of the points of interest in Oslo, the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Art is near this area.

Here’s a full map for you to understand the different areas.

Please note: those might not be the exact names of the districts, neither its absolute borders. I just tried to simplify this information.

📍Best Area:Sentrum (City Center)
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Best for Families:Frogner House – Bygdøy Allé
👩‍❤️‍👨 Best for Couples:Hotel Filip
💎 Best Luxury HotelThe Thief
🤩 Best Design Hotel:Thon Hotel Terminus
😎 Best for Groups:Hotel Christiania Teater
🦸 Best for Solo-Traveller:Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo
💃 Best Hotel for Nightlife:Modern Top Floor
🤑 Cheapest Place to stay:Comfort Hotel Xpress
👌 Safest Area: Grunerlokka

1. Best areas and handpicked hotels for Oslo 

Continue scrolling or pick your group and travel type on the menu:

1.1 Families
1.2 Couples
1.3 Luxury Traveler
1.4 Design Traveler
1.5 Groups
1.6 Solo-Traveler
1.7 Nightlife-seeking traveler
1.8 Budget Traveler

1.1 Families

Oslo has been known as one of the cities which are very interesting for family visits, since there are many museums and attractions as well as activities interesting for kids. So, why not choose the Norwegian capital as a travel destination with your family?

Frogner

Located in the West End of Oslo, this district is made up of Bygdoy, Uranienborg and Majorstuen. The beautiful Frogner Park is located here. Bygdoy peninsula is attractive for the Viking Ship Museum, the Maritime Museum and the Ship Farm. Due to the villas and parks, the attractive architecture and the fact of being a very safe and nice residential district of the upper class, where many of those are now converted to embassies, the district is assumed to be a bit expensive.

Majorstuen

This place has a really interesting history. In the past, it used to be a rural area divided into small farms and houses but has significantly evolved in the 20th century into a nice residential area. There is also a lot to be visited in this lively area. The Vigeland Museum which shows the art of one of the most famous Norwegian sculptors, and the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology are interesting places for a family visit. Maybe not for the kids, but for you, just to mention that this is the most famous shopping street.

Handpicked accommodations for families

Frogner House – Bygdøy Allé, Frogner

Frogner House – Bygdøy Allé is a brightly decorated accommodation in Oslo which is only an 8-minute walk from Frogner Park and offer a nice and cozy stay for your family. They are self-catering and come with a kitchen, bathroom, and a heated floor. Breakfast can be brought on your request from the bakery for an easy and comfy start to the day.

Book Frogner House – Bygdøy Allé here

Relax and unwind at Frogner House - Bygdøy Allé

Have a great time at Frogner House - Bygdøy Allé

The Apartments Company – Majorstuen, Majorstuen

Enjoying both the garden and the city view, a playground is at your disposal. Free WiFi and parking, a kitchen, a seating area, a private bathroom, and a TV are offered in The Apartments Company making up one of the best places to stay in Oslo for a family. When chasing interesting places to visit, you can easily reach Frogner Park, the Royal Palace, and even Sognsvann Lake – only 7 km away.

Book The Apartments Company here

Private room at The Apartments Company

Have a pleasant stay at The Apartments Company

 1.2 Couples

Lots of green areas, modern and vintage at the same time, Oslo can be a great place to visit as a couple and a perfect getaway. No matter if just strolling and exploring or enjoying authentic cuisine and cultural events is your passion, I am sure you will be thrilled by the historical and modern vibes of Oslo.

Aker Brygge

In a short walk from the centre, you will reach this marina with 50 guest berths for a variety of boats. You can rent a boat in any season and an all-inclusive boat necessity package is included in the price you will get for an adventurous couple sail. There are many restaurants and cafes and the selection varies from very expensive and exclusive to a decent price offer. You can reserve the sunny days for a romantic walk at the promenade or shopping.

Grunerlokka

Once a workers’ district, today it is a charming point to find many cafes, dining places, shops and even flea markets. There are several irresistible parks where couples can enjoy an urban picnic. Grunerlokka is a walkable district, so skateboard and pedestrian synergy along the riverside is an amazing feeling. There is a Mathhallen food court where you can always enjoy a dish.

Handpicked accommodations for couples

Hotel Filip, Aker Brygge

Couples love to indulge, so do not hesitate to use the sauna. For those who take healthy living very seriously – even on vacation – a fitness room is at your disposal as well. this accommodation in Oslo offers a kitchen, and a private bathroom. Hotel Filip is located just a few minutes away from the city centre, but there are also a lot of parks in the are where you can enjoy a romantic picnic.

Book Hotel Filip here

Make yourself at home at Hotel Filip

Enjoy your time at Hotel Filip

Beautiful home in the heart of Oslo (Grünerløkka), Grunerlokka

This property offers a courtyard and has been recently renovated, so it is a great place to stay while in Oslo. It is 3.2 km away from the Oslo Central Station in the centre of the city. You will have a fully equipped kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom, and a terrace.

Book Beautiful home here

Experience comfort at Beautiful home in the heart of Oslo (Grünerløkka)

Have a wonderful stay at Beautiful home in the heart of Oslo (Grünerløkka)

1.3 Luxury traveler

One of the best quality life cities in Europe is a perfect host for a luxurious visit. Expensive and very stylish restaurants, modern architectural design, and historical charm of Oslo and many more add to this. There are several things that you should try. Norway Yacht Charter to explore the Verdant Island, visit the Sognsvann Lake, explore Akershus Castle and enjoy the view of the Oslo harbour. Do not miss visiting the largest sculpture park in the world, the Vigeland Park.

Tjuvholmen

This island, translated as “Island of Thieves” used to be a haunt of thieves. It was developed and it represents a site of very modern homes built in a futuristic architectural style. The Nedre Slottsgate street, located here, is ranked Oslo’s most exclusive.

Tjuvholmen Sjømagasin is the best seafood restaurant where you can pick a lobster or king crabs that you would dine. The Indian restaurant “The Pin Elephant” is also a must-visit.

Frogner

The west end of Oslo, famous for the Vigeland Park and the world’s biggest open-air art museum with artworks by one single sculptor, makes this spot famous and desirable to visit. With that in mind, if you’re wondering where to stay in Oslo to experience the best luxuries, look no further!

Handpicked accommodations for the luxury traveler

The Thief, Tjuvholmen

The Thief has a stylish room with a built-in sound system, a Nespresso coffee machine, a minibar, in-room spa treatments, free gym access, and a private bathroom with a rainforest shower are some of the luxury amenities you are getting in one of the best hotels in Oslo, Norway.

The Turkish hammam bath, sauna and swimming pool are extras and a chic rooftop terrace where you can taste the delicious food is a cherry on the top. Enjoy!

Book The Thief here

Enjoy your stay at The Thief

Have fun at The Thief

Sommerro, Frogner

Sommerro is located in the centre of Oslo and makes you feel at a perfect distance from any spot of interest. It offers cozy and stylish rooms with city views, adorned with sophisticated furnishings. There is a spa centre at your disposal and an à la carte breakfast in a restaurant that serves international dishes.

Book Sommerro here

Relax and unwind at Sommerro

Have a great time at Sommerro

1.4 Design-lovers

Oslo is set on a fjord, it’s green and constantly evolving. It is a real paradise for your type of traveller. In the art galleries, you will find many contemporary works, exploring along the city you will meet the most modern buildings, the unique shopping and dining spots, but for some you will even have to ask the locals. Still, you will enjoy it.

Grunerlokka

You will find great cafes and restaurants such as Bonder and Byen authentic restaurants, not to mention the Mathallen Food Hall offering a dining wonderland feeling. At night, you may stop by the largest Oslo show restaurant, Wallmans. It is a great shopping area as well and what I will recommend is the F5 Concept Store that sells clothes from Norwegian designers only. Many hidden gems in this area are waiting for you.

Tjuvholmen

Culturally rich neighbourhood of Oslo is a great place to be for whatever interest you have. Modern art and interesting architecture are significant here. The area is full of contemporary sculptures, offers boho vibes and is very rich with street murals. Here, you can enjoy the bars and restaurants or swim in Oslofjord if the season is right.

Handpicked accommodations for the design lover

Thon Hotel Terminus, Grunrlokka

The place to stay in Oslo offers bright and nicely decorated rooms with a private bathroom and carpeted floors. You can enjoy breakfast at the glass-roofed restaurant and relax with free tea or coffee at Thon Hotel Terminus. Your location is just 5 minutes away from Karl Johans Gate.

Book Thon Hotel Terminus here

Private room at Thon Hotel Terminus

Have a pleasant stay at Thon Hotel Terminus

Aker Brygge – Sjøside hjem – Sentral beliggenhet, Tjuvholmen

Aker Brygge offers private parking, a beach area, and a terrace in the central part of the city. There are two bedrooms, a living room, a fully equipped kitchen and a private bathroom. The perfect location allows you to explore Oslo in every spot!

Book Aker Brygge here

Make yourself at home at Aker Brygge - Sjøside hjem - Sentral beliggenhet

Enjoy your time at Aker Brygge - Sjøside hjem - Sentral beliggenhet

1.5 Groups

Oslo’s diverse offerings and welcoming vibes are perfect for a group coming to enjoy and explore unforgettable adventurous experiences back home. Groups wondering where to stay in Oslo needn’t worry as countless accommodations will fit you just nicely!

Grunerlokka

This hip part of Oslo is a great place to be explored with a group on a leisurely walk. You will enjoy beautiful streets, visit galleries, some vintage shops, cafes and restaurants and get a notion about the offbeat culture of Oslo.

Sentrum (City Center)

What can you visit, see and explore in the centre of this city? Everything! From important monumental buildings, such as the Royal Palace and Akershus Fortress to a variety of restaurants and cafes fulfilling the taste of each one from the group.

Handpicked accommodations for groups

Maya Apartments – Thorvald Meyers gt. 38, Grunerlokka

For a pleasant stay, you will be able to enjoy a seating and a dining area, a kitchen, and a private bathroom. Few rooms have balconies or inner courtyard views. Many important spots are also very close to Maya Apartments – Thorvald Meyers gt. 38, some of which include Oslo Spektrum Music Arena, Sognsvann Lake, Akershus Fortress and others.

Book Maya Apartments here

Experience comfort at Maya Apartments - Thorvald Meyers gt. 38

Have a wonderful stay at Maya Apartments - Thorvald Meyers gt. 38

Hotel Christiania Teater, Sentrum

Hotel Christiania Teater in Oslo is a great combination of the glamour of old with today’s comfort, making up an iconic place to stay in. This Neo-Renaissance building had many roles to play during the times.

It used to be a fairground, concert hall, theatre, cinema and the first Oslo’s opera stage. You can enjoy a nice dinner in three acts in a Teatro restaurant or a journey through a wine list at the bar. The location can be explained as perfect because all that Oslo has to offer is next to you.

Book Hotel Christiania Teater here

Enjoy your stay at Hotel Christiania Teater

Have fun at Hotel Christiania Teater

1.6 Solo-travelers

You can have a great time for yourself in Oslo. Friendly transportation, great nightlife, plenty to see, visit, explore and learn at your own pace, following your own itinerary.

Grunerlokka

This famous hang-out spot in Oslo offers retro and jazz live music in the bars. Brewdog, Oslovelo and Bar Boca are cool for cocktails, while live music spots are BLÅ, Rockefeller Music Hall and Revolver.

Sentrum (City Center)

Starting from the centre I will suggest some landmarks to visit. Royal Palace, Farm Museum, Norwegian Museum of Cultural History and the rest is your choice. Consider visiting Kirkeristen, the bazaar behind Oslo Cathedral or go to discover the Ekeberg neighbourhood which was a place where Edvard Munch was inspired for his painting “The Scream”.

Handpicked accommodations for a solo traveler

Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo, Grunerlokka

Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo offers a garden and quiet street views together with a picnic area where guests can relax. The rooms have a private bathroom and a kitchen and besides the cozy stay as you get out to explore many of the landmarks will be within a small distance.

Book Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo here

Relax and unwind at Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo

Have a great time at Leiligheter i Gamle Oslo

Hotell Bondeheimen, Sentrum

You won’t feel alone at Hotell Bondeheimen, situated only 100 meters from the National Gallery and the main shopping street in Oslo. Noted as one of the best hotels for solo travelers in Oslo, Norway, you can enjoy spacious rooms and an in-house restaurant, Kaffistova, where you can try popular Norwegian dishes like potato dumplings and cod.

Book Hotell Bondeheimen here

Private room at Hotell Bondeheimen

Have a pleasant stay at Hotell Bondeheimen

1.7 Nightlife Traveler

This city of night owls offers pubs, and electric nightclubs for a diverse nightlife. A great experience can be visiting a traditional Norwegian pub, dancing to top DJ beats or enjoying a tranquil cocktail bar. Oslo’s public transport is reliable to count on when you think of how you will get back to your accommodation.

Grunerlokka

This neighbourhood offers great concerts as an important part of the nightlife which is why it is a great choice to stay there. Kafé Haarwerk, Blå, Bar Boca and even Anker Hotel Lobby Bar are cool places to welcome the dawn.

Aker Brygge

Famous for its dance clubs Jaeger, Gudruns, Aku Aku Tiki Bar, LaWo and Club Crystal this neighbourhood is a perfect place to stay during your visit to Oslo if you are a night owl and like to party.

Handpicked accommodations for nightlife

Unique and modern top floor – Super central, Grunerlokka

In this apartment you will have all the necessities that a night bird needs. Pleasant and relaxing light top floor accommodation offers two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a private bathroom. Both Oslo Spektrum Music Arena and Rockefeller Music Hall are Close as well as many places of certain significance for Oslo’s history.

Book Unique and modern top floor here

Make yourself at home at Unique and modern top floor - Super central

Enjoy your time at Unique and modern top floor - Super central

Spacious & stylish apartment in Oslo – Supercentral, Aker Brygge

Set in the centre of the city in a very stylish appearance, this recently renovated accommodation in Oslo will be a real treat for you. Two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a private bathroom are basic amenities, in addition to a flat-screen TV, laptop and smartphone. You also have a private entrance, so you won’t be disturbing anyone no matter how late you come back from partying!

Book Spacious & stylish apartment here

Experience comfort at Spacious & stylish apartment in Oslo - Supercentral

Have a wonderful stay at Spacious & stylish apartment in Oslo - Supercentral

1.8 For the Budget Traveler

Diversity of lifestyle, interests, architectural styles, monuments and natural beauty it is more than clear that Oslo can offer a budget traveller category as well. Oslo pass that can obtain visits to more than 30 museums, low-budget air tickets from Norwegian Airways and many more are the possibilities to go, enjoy and not break the bank.

Grunerlokka

Boho-style neighbourhood offering many parks, cafes, shops and Oslo alternative cultural scene that you can experience on a decent budget.

Central Station

Staying in this neighbourhood means that you will easily reach any part of the city and have no worries about accommodation because there is a big offer.

Handpicked accommodations for budget traveler

Bright and charming apartment from 1878 with view to the new National Museum in Oslo, Grunerlokka

This charming apartment set in a historic building offers three separate bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room with a city view. The apartment has a private entrance and welcoming treats, such as cookies, fruits and chocolates.

Book Bright and charming apartment here

Have a pleasant stay at Bright and charming apartment from 1878 with view to the new National Museum in Oslo

Have fun at Bright and charming apartment from 1878 with view to the new National Museum in Oslo

Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station, Central Station

These rooms are soundproofed and offer a private bathroom. You’ll be a minute from the Karl Johans Gate. Relaxing with a drink and some snacks is possible in the bar within Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station.

Book Comfort Hotel Xpress here

Have a great time at Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station

Relax and unwind at Comfort Hotel Xpress Central Station

2. Best Neighborhood to Stay in Oslo

Each of the best places to stay in Oslo offers comfortable accommodations, promising a nice experience for whichever type of traveller you are. In any case, you’ll be able to explore different districts and enjoy the charm and the dynamic of the city, including all it has to offer.

  • Grunerlokka
  • Frogner
  • Sentrum (City Center)
  • Aker Brygge

3. FAQs

What is the best neighborhood to stay in Oslo?

The best neighborhood to stay in Oslo depends on your preferences and travel purpose. However, Sentrum (City Center) is often recommended for first-time visitors due to its central location and proximity to major attractions like the Royal Palace, Karl Johans Gate, and the Oslo Opera House.

Where should you not stay in Oslo?

While Oslo is generally a safe city, some areas may have higher crime rates or lack convenient access to tourist attractions. It's advisable to avoid secluded or poorly lit areas, especially at night. Additionally, travelers should exercise caution in areas known for nightlife, as they can sometimes attract rowdy crowds.

What should I avoid in Oslo?

While Oslo is a welcoming city for tourists, there are a few things visitors should be aware of. It's recommended to avoid confrontations or arguments, as Norwegians generally prefer peaceful interactions. Additionally, it's courteous to refrain from littering and to respect the local customs and laws, such as not consuming alcohol in public places where it's prohibited.

Where should I stay in Oslo for the first time?

For first-time visitors to Oslo, staying in Sentrum (City Center) is highly recommended. This area offers easy access to major attractions, shopping areas, restaurants, and public transportation hubs. It provides a convenient base for exploring the city's landmarks, such as the Royal Palace, Karl Johans Gate, and the Oslo Opera House.

4. Map + All Sights

5. Summary of Where to stay in Oslo

Since I always go in-depth with my research, rest assured I can give you good advice for a comfortable stay, safety and any details that may concern you, I am positive that all mentioned neighbourhoods are appropriate, no matter to which group of travellers you belong.

I truly hope that these tips on where to stay in Oslo will be helpful for you. For even more excellent travel suggestions, check out the rest of my blog.

Other European Destinations

Before you run off, here is a few more handwritten articles for you. These will help you to find more unique experiences and enjoy your holidays at fullest.

Any Questions?

There you have it. I hope you have no questions and found your home in my home town.

However, please remember: I am not perfect, and it is likely I missed a few things to point out.

Therefore: Do you have questions? Is anything not clear?

Please please please drop me a comment below with your email! I will reply to you ASAP via email and here in the comments.

In fact, your questions help me to make this article better. So I help you to help me.

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