As the nation’s capital and largest city, Oslo is the main gateway into Norway – a country famed for its beautiful scenery and warm hospitality! Oslo itself oozes Scandi-cool, with great culinary delights and innovative attractions around every corner.
Oslo is also quite spread out, meaning it can be difficult to figure out where to stay. Many of the best areas do not have hotels, so it’s important to look around for the best accommodation.
That’s why we’ve created this guide! We’ve figured out the seven best areas in Oslo, as well as what they are best for and where you can stay either in or near them.
So let’s dive right into Oslo!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Oslo
- Gamle Oslo – Best neighborhood in Oslo for your first time
- Sentrum – Where to stay in Oslo close to everything
- Grünerløkka – Where to stay in Oslo for nightlife
- Bygdøy – Best neighborhood in Oslo for families
- Grønland – Where to stay in Oslo on a budget
- Frogner – Best neighborhood in Oslo for couples
- Majorstuen – Best neighborhood in Oslo for shopping
Where to Stay in Oslo
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Oslo.
Best Hostel in Oslo
This hostel aims to provide an upgraded experience for backpackers looking for more out of their hostel. It has excellent communal facilities and arranges frequent social events. Rooms are beautifully designed and spacious. They also provide a complimentary breakfast every morning – a rarity for European hostels!
Best Budget Hotel in Oslo
As a popular hotel chain across Scandinavia, this list wouldn’t be complete without a Scandic hotel! Scandic Vulkan, located in the up and coming Grünnerløkka district, is by far their best budget option in the city. Elegantly designed with a Scandi-cool edge, they also have free fitness facilities and bike hire.
Best Splurge Hotel in Oslo
As the highest rated five star hotel in the city, Amerikalinjen had to take our top spot for splurge accommodations in Oslo! The gorgeous historic building is an attraction in itself, and the interiors are beautifully designed with modern convenience in mind. From Nespresso machines to walk in showers, this hotel oozes luxury.
Oslo 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Oslo. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Oslo for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Gamle Oslo – get a great overview of the city by taking a bike tour with AlternativOslo
- BEST place to visit in Gamle Oslo – discover a great selection of modern art sculptures at Ekebergparken Sculpture Park
Gamle Oslo, which is Norwegian for Old Oslo, was one the site of the city’s medieval origins! Whilst much of the Old Town was unfortunately destroyed in a fire, Gamle Oslo is starting to emerge once again as a major destination in the city. A region in perpetual renewal, Gamle Oslo showcases a combination of Norway’s history with modern innovation.
Gamle Oslo is great for first time travellers as, whilst it is close to the centre, it is a little more laidback and has a very local vibe! This allows you to experience an authentic side of the Norwegian capital, whilst still enjoying great attractions.
- You can still check out some of the ruins from medieval Oslo, including the Ruins of St Mary’s Church – great for learning about the history of the city
- Wander around Svartdalsparken, a large green space to the east of Gamlebyen where you can soak up the local nature
- For a more modern side of the city, discover Barcode Oslo – a collection of high rise buildings designed to look like a barcode with great recreational facilities
- Galgen offer a unique dining experience within a traditional wooden house – they have excellent coffee and baked goods
- Ruinen Bar & Café, located close to the ruins, is great if you are looking for a relaxed nightlife experience – they also offer concerts and wine nights
Best Hostel Gamle Oslo
Located just between Gamle Oslo and Grønland, Club 27 is a very sociable hostel that is perfect for backpackers looking to mingle with other travellers during their stay! The large communal spaces are well equipped, and every dorm comes with a TV. High speed WiFi is available throughout.
Best Budget Hotel in Gamle Oslo
Central City Apartments offer both typical hotel rooms as well as budget friendly apartments – giving you a little more privacy during your stay! Most rooms come with a well equipped kitchen, making them a great choice for self-catering travellers. Free WiFi is available in every room and in the communal areas.
Best Splurge Hotel in Gamle Oslo
Whilst there aren’t any splurge options in Gamle Oslo itself, Amerikalinjen is only a short walk away from the area. It is the highest rated five star hotel in the city, ensuring you will receive the best service and facilities! A 24 hour wellness centre and gym is available.
(Where to stay in Oslo close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Sentrum – wander around the Aker Brygge area, a recently renovated waterfront retail and leisure space
- BEST place to visit in Sentrum – marvel at the Royal Palace, the home of the Norwegian monarchy
Sentrum, which is Norwegian for centre, is the heart of Oslo and where most of the city’s major attractions are based! Located right on the waterfront, it is the pinnacle of Scandi-cool in the city, whilst also taking inspiration from Norway’s history.
The train and ferry stations are located in the east of Sentrum, giving you easy access to the rest of the city as well as further afield in Norway, Sweden and Denmark! For most visitors, this will be your first taste of Norwegian culture with the many museums, theatres and art galleries available across the area. Like Gamle Oslo, Sentrum would also be a great choice for first time visitors.
- Marvel at the gorgeous Opera House, a wonder of modern architecture right on the waterfront – you can even climb onto the roof during the summer
- Studenterlunden is the most popular park in the summer, with romantic walkways during the summer and outdoor ice rinks during the winter
- Visit the National Gallery – most of the exhibits showcase Norwegian artists, though there are a few international artists featured
- Oslo Concert Hall is the home of the city’s philharmonic and symphony orchestras, with regular performances throughout the year
- Head to Bohemen for a drink and to catch up with the latest Norwegian and international sports matches
Best Hostel Sentrum
As the name suggests, Saga Poshtel aims to bring a touch of luxury to its hostels – allowing you to experience a little extra comfort and style during your stay! Located right in the heart of Sentrum, this hostel gives you unbeatable access to all of the main attractions. They also serve a complimentary breakfast.
Best Budget Hotel in Sentrum
Located right next to the main railway station, Comfort Hotel Xpress is perfect if you are only in Oslo for a short period of time! All of the rooms are fully soundproofed and come with work desks, making it a popular choice with digital nomads and business travellers. There is also an on-site bar.
Best Splurge Hotel in Sentrum
The five star Hotel Continental oozes traditional elegance whilst still benefiting from modern fixtures and fittings! There is a 24 hour fitness centre on-site, as well as a small lithographic exhibition. The restaurant serves a complimentary breakfast buffet every morning, which is highly rated by previous guests.
(Where to stay in Oslo for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Grünnerløkka – dance the night away at Hva Skjer, one of the hippest nightclubs in town!
- BEST place to visit in Grünnerløkka – there are plenty of independent art galleries to explore in the area, we recommend Galleri TM51 for innovative contemporary pieces
Though most of the best known nightlife is focussed in Sentrum, Grünnerløkka is gradually becoming the hipster hub of the city! The bars and clubs here have a much more alternative and youthful atmosphere, providing a variety of vibes from buzzing parties to laid back speakeasies.
During the day, Grünnerløkka keeps up its hip reputation by hosting a wide range of independent art galleries, vintage stores and cool cafes! Though quite busy, it still maintains a laid back air ensuring you an easy going stay in the city. For all of Oslo’s most up and coming attractions, you can’t miss out Grünnerløkka.
- Head to Sculpturestop, a unique public park area filled with sculptures – including a large baby head
- Wander down towards Mølla where you can marvel at the huge waterfall, a true piece of Norwegian nature right in the heart of the city
- Discover the traditional Norwegian way of life, as well as the history of the Grünnerløkka area, at the working class apartment at Sagveien 8
- Nedre Foss Gård is a great start to a night out – take a tour of their brewery, and then relax in their bar with a local craft beer
- Beat the hangover at Munchies Grünnerløkka – they offer a great selection of burgers
Best Hostel Grünnerløkka
Anker is a popular hotel chain across Norway with a few excellent options in Oslo – including Anker Apartment in Grünnerløkka that also offers some dorms! All dorms in this hostel come with communal kitchens, and those who opt for private rooms also have small kitchenettes available. Free WiFi can be accessed throughout.
Best Budget Hotel in Grünnerløkka
Scandic is another popular hotel chain in the country, and Vulkan is one of their budget friendly options! There is a popular Italian restaurant on-site, which also serves a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning. Rooms come with basic, yet sturdy, furnishings as well as complimentary WiFi.
Best Splurge Hotel in Grünnerløkka
If you want to reduce your environmental impact whilst travelling, PS:hotell is an eco-conscious hotel located in the centre of Grünnerløkka! They also work with the local community, ensuring the money you spend on your stay is spent well on charitable projects and employing locals. A buffet breakfast is included.
(Best neighbourhood in Oslo for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bygdøy – hop on a ferry between Bygdøy and Sentrum for sweeping views across the harbour
- BEST place to visit in Bygdøy – check out the famous Viking Ship Museum to learn about the Nordic conquerors and their impact on the history of the region
Bygdøy is a small peninsula about ten minutes south of central Oslo where you can enjoy great museums and vast nature reserves! It has a very reserved atmosphere, making it perfect for families looking to relax whilst in the city. The great facilities and attractions are also some of the most popular with kids in the city.
Whilst there are no hotels in Bygdøy itself, the surrounding areas have plenty of quieter options that give you easy access to the peninsula! They also contain some excellent restaurants, bars and stores where you can sample local cuisine and connect with Norwegian culture.
- Head to the Kon-Tiki Museum to learn about the voyage of Thor Heyerdahl and the discoveries he made along the way
- Hire a bike from one of the many providers near the ferry terminal and take a ride around the peninsula
- During the summer, Paradisbukta Beach is a popular place for locals to relax and enjoy the sunshine
- Learn about Norway’s unique culture at Norsk Folkemuseum
- Café Hjemme Hos Svigers functions as both a cafe and an antiques shop, housed entirely within a former post office
- Enjoy some typical Norwegian cuisine and take in views across Oslo fjord at Lanternen Restaurant
Best Hotel for Backpackers near Bygdøy
Located in nearby Ullern, Hotel Montebello is within easy reach of Bygdøy and is the perfect option for backpackers on a budget that want to explore the peninsula! They provide a complimentary buffet breakfast every morning, as well as high speed WiFi in every room. Staff can also arrange excursions.
Best Budget Hotel near Bygdøy
Another great hotel from Scandic, this accommodation is the closest one to Bygdøy – only a few minutes walk from the peninsula! It is also close to Skøyen Train Station, giving you easy access to the city centre. They offer free parking on-site – perfect if you are travelling by car and want to avoid the congested centre.
Best Splurge Hotel near Bygdøy
Scandic Fornebu is a bit of an upgrade choice for the popular hotel brand, and also located within easy travelling distance of Bygdøy! They offer free bike rental, as well as a buffet breakfast. The on-site restaurant has a gorgeous terrace area that is perfect for relaxing in during the summer.
(Where to stay in Oslo on a budget)
- COOLEST thing to do in Grønland – if you’re visiting during the winter, head to Jordal Ice Rink every Saturday for budget friendly skating
- BEST place to visit in Grønland – head to the Museum of Natural History on Tuesdays for free admission
Sandwiched between Sentrum and Gamle Oslo, Grønland has a much more multicultural feel than other parts of Oslo! This not only creates a vibrant atmosphere, but also makes it one of the cheapest districts in the city. Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world, so staying close to Grønland will help you deal with that.
Though often avoided by tourists, there are plenty of great attractions in the area. The restaurants serve cuisine from across the world, and are popular with locals during the day! For more seasoned travellers the nightlife also offers some budget friendly drinks – but we do recommend you stay cautious.
- Learn about immigration to Norway and how it has shaped the nation’s culture at Interkulturelt Museum
- Oslo Prosjektrom is an independent art gallery that showcases up and coming artists from across Norway and the world
- Run entirely by volunteers, Oslo Fire Museum is dedicated to the people that keep the city safe
- Godthab is a great alternative nightlife spot in the area – it also functions as a cafe and art space during the day
- Grab some of that famous Scandinavian coffee at Evita Espressobar Smalgangen
- Olympen is a large beer hall with historic significance to the city – they also have great prices
Best Hostel Grønland
This is another great hostel from Anker, and is located just between Grønland and Grünnerløkka, giving you easy access to both areas! They offer both dorms and private rooms, and come in at very budget friendly rates. They have a large library and lounge area, as well as a communal bar.
Best Budget Hotel in Grønland
Though located just outside of Grønland, Thon Hotel Spectrum is only short walking distance away from the area, as well as from the central train station! Rooms are fairly basic, but come with high speed WiFi and work areas – perfect for business travellers. A complimentary breakfast buffet is included in the rate.
Best Splurge Hotel in Grønland
Also located just outside of Grønland, Radisson Blu Plaza is the closest luxury option the notoriously cheap area! The large restaurant area provides excellent views across the city, and there is a separate bar where you can enjoy high quality cocktails and craft beer. A sauna and swimming pool are also available.
Save a bit of cash in Oslo with our EPIC guide to the best hostels in Oslo!
(Best neighbourhood in Oslo for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Frogner – head on an adventure down Oslo Fjord with RIB Oslo, based in the south of Frogner
- BEST place to visit in Frogner – discover the sculptures of Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland at the Vigeland Museum
Frogner is one of Oslo’s most desirable neighbourhoods! Though mostly residential, tourists looking to remain close to the centre whilst still enjoying the peace and quiet of suburban life will be right at home in the area. This calm atmosphere, alongside the upmarket attractions, make it a great choice for couples visiting the city.
There are plenty of fantastic restaurants in the area – whether you are looking for fine dining or cheap eats, there is something for everyone. The nearby Frogner Park is a popular spot for locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the Norwegian nature!
- Head to Gimle Cinema – they screen both international blockbusters and local independents, and serve alcohol for you to enjoy during the movie
- Discover the cutting edge of Scandinavian design at Utopia Retro Modern, a museum right in the heart of Frogner
- Head to Gable Antiques to pick up some unique souvenirs, clothing and home goods to take home with you
- For the perfect date night restaurant, you can’t beat a trip to Galt – this Michelin starred restaurant offers gourmet cuisine inspired by Norwegian culture
- Afterwards, head to F6 Cocktailbar & Lounge in the upmarket Solli Plass nightlife district of Frogner
Best Hotel for Backpackers Frogner
Our final Scandic hotel in this guide, this accommodation is situated in the heart of the Solli Plass area giving you immediate access to Frogner’s best nightlife! Rooms are well decorated and come with either city or sea views. A large buffet breakfast is provided every morning, and private parking is available.
Best Budget Hotel in Frogner
If you are self catering, Frogner House Apartments offer well facilitated kitchens – perfect if you are in town for a longer stay! Each room has a private ensuite bathroom with heated floors, adding a touch of luxury to your stay. There are also laundry facilities available on-site.
Best Splurge Hotel in Frogner
This magnificent four star hotel has a country manor vibe about it and is by far the best choice for young couples looking to splurge on a short trip to Oslo! There is a large spa on-site, as well as a library and relaxation areas. Rooms with balconies are also available.
(Best neighbourhood in Oslo for shopping!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Majorstuen – wander along Bogstadveien, the largest shopping street in the city
- BEST place to visit in Majorstuen – head to the marvellous Fagerborg Church, a neo-gothic style building in the heart of the area
Like Frogner, Majorstuen has a very upmarket vibe – the ideal choice for those willing to really splurge on their stay in Oslo! The largest shopping street in the city, Bogstadveien, runs through the area with plenty of international brands, local boutiques and cool restaurants along the way.
Majorstuen is a lot busier than Frogner, giving it a much more vibrant atmosphere! It is well connected with the city centre, and is only a short walk away from the waterfront. There are also some quieter residential areas where you can relax and admire the historic architecture.
- Visit the Vestkanttorget Vintage Market every Saturday to pick up bargains on clothes, jewellery and homewares
- The Norwegian Skating Museum is located just west of Majorstuen, with great exhibits about the history of ice skating in the country
- The Majorstuen end of Frogner Park has a large public bathing area during the summer, and an ice rink during the winter
- Oslo Mikrobryggeri was the first craft brewery based in the city – they’ve been serving delectable beers since 1989
- Sample tastes of Northern Norway at Lofotstua – they offer some of the best seafood in the city
Best Hotel for Backpackers Majorstuen
This aparthotel offers rooms, studios and apartments – allowing you to enjoy private kitchen facilities! Thought Majorstuen is not really a backpacker friendly area, the Sweet Apartmentshotel is great if you are on a budget and want to self cater. They offer a bike rental service on-site.
Best Budget Hotel in Majorstuen
This boutique hotel is a great mid-range choice in a notoriously expensive part of the city! Rooms are beautifully decorated using Scandinavian design principles, and well equipped with modern conveniences. The on-site restaurant offers Nordic Asian fusion cuisine, and a complimentary breakfast buffet. Free WiFi is also available throughout.
Best Splurge Hotel in Majorstuen
Despite being a relatively new hotel, Camillas Hus has hundreds of great ratings from previous guests thanks to the excellent service standards! The on-site restaurant offers fantastic Italian cuisine, and a continental breakfast is included in the room rates. Free high speed WiFi can be accessed throughout.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Oslo?
Oslo is a buzzing city that showcases Norwegian tradition with a modern edge! Constantly in revival, the city has a very youthful atmosphere and is an important gateway into the Scandinavian nation.
For best area we are going to go with Grünnerløkka! This neighborhood exemplifies the hip and cool atmosphere of the city, and is well connected to the city centre as well as outer suburbs.
Nevertheless, everywhere mentioned in this guide has its own charms and where you choose to stay will be based on your needs whilst in Oslo. We hope this guide has helped you to plan a fantastic trip to the Norwegian capital!
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
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