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. Akershus Slott og Festning

    Sentrum | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    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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  • 2. 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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  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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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  • 6. 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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  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Pascal

    Sentrum | Restaurant–Sight

    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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. Slottet

    Sentrum | Castle/Palace/Chateau

    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

  • 13. Ibsenmuseet

    Sentrum | Museum/Gallery

    Famed Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, known for A Doll's House, Ghosts, and Peer Gynt, among other classic plays, spent his final years...Read More

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