Karl Johans Gate, starting at Oslo Sentralstasjon (Oslo Central Station, also called Oslo S or simply Jernbanetorget ("railway square" in Norwegian), and ending at the Royal Palace, forms the backbone of downtown Oslo. Many major museums and historic buildings lie between the parallel streets of Grensen and Rådhusgata. West of downtown are Frogner and Majorstuen, residential areas with fine restaurants, shopping, cafés, galleries, and the Vigeland sculpture park. Southwest is the Bygdøy Peninsula, with a castle and five interesting museums that honor aspects of Norway's taste for maritime exploration.

Northwest of town is Holmenkollen, with its stunning bird's-eye view of the city and the surrounding fjords, a world-famous ski jump and museum, and three historic restaurants. On the more multicultural east side, where a diverse immigrant population lives alongside native Norwegians, are the Munch Museum and the Botanisk Hage og Naturhistorisk Museum (Botanical Gardens and Museum of Natural History), where you can see Ida, the oldest primate fossil ever found, our 47-million-year old ancestor. The trendy neighborhood of Grünerløkka, with lots of cafés and shops, is northeast of the center.

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  • 1. Aker Brygge

    Aker Brygge | Museum/Gallery

    This area was the site of a disused shipbuilding yard until redevelopment saw the addition of residential town houses and a commercial sector...Read More

  • 2. Akershus Slott og Festning

    Sentrum | Castle/Palace

    Dating from 1299, this stone medieval castle and royal residence was developed into a fortress armed with cannons by 1592. After that time,...Read More

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  • 3. Astrup Fearnley Museet

    Tjuvholmen | Museum/Gallery

    Across the pedestrian bridge from Aker Brygge, the privately funded Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is one of the city's architectural...Read More

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  • 4. Frammuseet

    Bygdøy | Museum/Gallery

    The Fram was used by the legendary Polar explorer Roald Amundsen when he became the first man to reach the South Pole in December 1911. Once...Read More

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  • 5. Frognerseteren

    Holmenkollen | Scenic Drive

    This lookout is the most common place to begin or end a cross-country ski outing or the traditional Sunday hike. It's also the spot where every...Read More

  • 6. Nasjonalmuseet

    Sentrum | Museum/Gallery

    Set to open its doors in 2021, the newly constructed National Museum now stands as the largest art museum in the Nordic region. The eye-catching...Read More

  • 7. Norsk Folkemuseum

    Bygdøy | Museum/Gallery

    One of the largest open-air museums in Europe offers the perfect way to see Norway in a day. From the stoic stave church (built in 1200) to...Read More

  • 8. Operahuset

    Sentrum | Arts/Performance Venue

    One of the crown jewels of Scandinavian architecture, the Oslo Opera House is a stunning addition to the city's waterfront. When it first opened...Read More

  • 9. Skimuseet i Holmenkollen

    Holmenkollen | Museum/Gallery

    A feat of world-class engineering, this beloved ski jump was first constructed in 1892 and has been rebuilt numerous times, remaining a distinctive...Read More

  • 10. Vigelandsparken

    Frogner | Park (National/State/Provincial)

    A favorite hangout for locals, Vigeland Sculpture Park has 212 bronze, granite, and wrought-iron sculptures by Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943)....Read More

  • 11. Vikingskipshuset

    Bygdøy | Museum/Gallery

    The Viking legacy in all its glory lives on at this classic Oslo museum. Chances are you'll come away fascinated by the Gokstad, Oseberg, ...Read More

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  • 12. Kon-Tiki Museet

    Bygdøy | Museum/Gallery

    The museum celebrates Norway's most famous 20th-century explorer. Thor Heyerdahl made a voyage in 1947 from Peru to Polynesia on the Kon-Tiki...Read More

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  • 13. Munchmuseet

    Sentrum | Museum/Gallery

    Edvard Munch, Norway's most famous artist, bequeathed his enormous collection of works (about 1,100 paintings, 3,000 drawings, and 18,000 graphic...Read More

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  • 14. Nationaltheatret

    Sentrum | Arts/Performance Venue

    In front of this Neoclassical theater, built in 1899, are statues of Norway's great playwrights, Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, who...Read More

  • 15. Nobels Fredssenter

    Sentrum | Museum/Gallery

    Every year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo. At this high-tech attraction by the harbor, you can learn about past and present laureates...Read More

  • 16. Oslo Domkirke

    Sentrum | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Consecrated in 1697 as Oslo's third cathedral, this dark-brown brick structure has since been Oslo's main church. The original pulpit, altarpiece...Read More

  • 17. Parkteatret

    Grünerløkka | Arts/Performance Venue

    This atmospheric art deco–style movie house (built in 1907) has been converted into a funky bar, café, and restaurant. Live music gigs, literary...Read More

  • 18. Pascal

    Sentrum | Restaurant

    The French coffee, homemade pastries, and ice cream are the big draws at Pascal, a trendy, Parisian-style patisserie inside an old-fashioned...Read More

  • 19. Rådhuset

    Sentrum | Government Building

    This boxy brick building is best known today for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize, which takes place here every December 10. Inside, many...Read More

  • 20. Slottet

    Sentrum | Castle/Palace

    At one end of Karl Johans Gate, the vanilla-and-cream-color Neoclassical palace was completed in 1848. The equestrian statue out in front is...Read More

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