If you are planning to move to Oslo, like a lot of people are, or just heading to the capital of Norway for a vacation, you are going to want to know about the best Oslo neighborhoods.
While Oslo is not a big capital city when compared to the capitals of the rest of the world and with just over 1 million residents it has only 1/9th of the population of London. But, that doesn’t mean Oslo doesn’t have a bunch of different characteristic neighborhoods for you to choose from.
Join me as I run through the best neighborhoods in Oslo in detail so you can choose the one that suits you best for your vacation or move to this magical city.
Sentrum literally means “center” in Norwegian and it is no surprise that it is located slap bang in the middle of the inner city.
Being in central Oslo means that when staying in Sentrum you will be close to all the major attractions the city has to offer and you will be based right on the water too.
There are great theaters, art galleries, and museums in the area as well as great shopping options along the water too. You will also find the Royal Palace in Sentrum too and if you are on vacation, the Royal Palace is a must-see.
Just to the east of Sentrum lies the main transportation stations of Oslo so you can be on a train or ferry to explore the likes of Denmark, Sweden, and the rest of Norway in just a few minutes.
Overall, Sentrum is an epic place to stay while on a city break in Oslo and it is a great place to live too, but it is one of the more expensive areas in the city.
Gamle Oslo sits on the eastern side of the city and it runs from the waterfront east towards the countryside. Gamle Oslo was a large part of the medieval city of Oslo, which was unfortunately burned down in a fire but the Old Town is slowly being brought back to life.
Today, Gamle Oslo is the perfect combination of historical Oslo and modern Oslo, highlighting the old and the new in a great way. The atmosphere around Gamle Oslo is lovely, down-to-earth, and very local, meaning you feel more like you are in a community than in a big city.
The best the city has to offer isn’t far away either and you can access the center, major attractions, and more within a few minutes of using public transport.
Gamle Oslo is a great place to live if you are moving to Oslo as it is quite affordable and very welcoming. It is also a great place to stay on vacation if you want the authentic side of Oslo.
St. Hanshaugen is one of the more upmarket areas of Oslo and you will find it sitting on the top of a hill in the northeast of the city. This gives St. Hanshaugen some of the best views in town that stretch across the city and into the fjord.
St. Hanshaugen is more of a residential area and is known for having some of the most beautiful apartment blocks in Oslo and being a sought-after place for couples and families to live.
This does mean hotels are hard to find in the area and you will need to book in advance if you want a room with one of the best views in Oslo.
Some of the highlights in St. Hanshaugen include the renowned Hendrix Ibsen coffee shop, the stunning St. Hanshaugen park, and the Mathallen food market. Mathallen food market is a must-visit for anyone who wants to taste the best of what Oslo has to offer.
Frogner is one of the poshest parts of Oslo and it has been since the 1800s. Oslo was once split between the west and east along the Akerselva River. The west was reserved for the higher ends of society while the east was for industry and its laborers.
Today, Frogner is mostly a residential area that is close to the center of the city making it easy to access all the great attractions that Oslo has to offer. It is a great place for tourists who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of the area and nip in and out of central Oslo with ease.
Frogner is home to lovely streets, and some great cafe culture, and the local Frogner Park, aka Vigeland Park, is a lovely place to have a stroll. Frogner Park is pretty big and provides a great taste of the Norwegian countryside.
You will also find lots of great restaurants in Frogner too that match all budgets and you will have access to the Oslo Fjord and amazing sculptures at the Vigeland Museum.
If you want to be by the water and immersed in both nature and culture then the area of Bygdøy might be exactly what you are looking for. Bygdøy sits on a little peninsula a few minutes south of the center of Oslo and is home to forests, beaches, harbors, and lots of museums.
Bygdøy is a very quiet part of Oslo and is a very family-orientated part of the city. If you are visiting in the summer, you can enjoy hikes, swims, and museums, as well as some great bars, restaurants, and more.
Somewhere you should visit when traveling with kids is the Viking Ship Museum in Bygdøy where you can learn all about how the Vikings helped shape the history of the regions.
There are no hotels in Bygdøy which means it is hard for tourists to stay there but you can probably find a rather expensive Airbnb if this is where you want to stay.
Aker Brygge is one of the more delightful parts of Oslo but it didn’t use to be. This spot was once a rusty dockyard but it has been reborn through regeneration and today is a mixture of the old docks and canals along with lots of great architecture that compliments it perfectly.
Aker Brygge is naturally right on the water, so views of the sea and fjord are excellent. It has a lively scene too with lots of art galleries, restaurants, bars, and shops that make it a super fun place to stay.
While in Aker Brygge you have to take advantage of the multitude of seafood restaurants as they serve up some of the freshest and best seafood dishes you might ever try. You should also make sure to pop into the Astrup Fearnley Museum and the Tjuvholmen Sculpture Park.
There are some great boutique hotels in this part of town that are right on the waterfront but don’t expect them to be the most affordable options. You can also find some great apartments but they are expensive too.
Bjørvika is actually a part of the Gamle Oslo neighborhood which only adds to Gamle Oslo’s appeal but Bjørvika is a spot in itself that everyone needs to hear about.
Bjørvika sits right next to the main railway station in Oslo which makes transport about as easy as possible and it is so close to the city center that you can see the best of Oslo with ease.
In recent years it has been developed a lot and is now home to amazing apartments, a new residential area on the Oslo Fjord, and the Munch Museum is being built there too. Saying this area is up and coming, would be a big understatement.
Unfortunately, Bjørvika isn’t the most affordable part of town for tourists or residents either but the area is with so many new apartments being built, a deal might be able to be found.
Whether you are planning to move to Oslo or are just heading for a city break, Bjørvika is a place you should seriously consider staying.
Sitting in eastern Oslo, Grünerløkka is pretty much the hippest part of town and this is thanks to its redevelopment in the 1980s and 1990s. A lot of new immigrants moved to Grünerløkka and slowly began changing the area to be full of culture, fusions, new cuisine, and more.
This created a move by local artists to the area and over time it has become the coolest part of the city that the younger generations love to hang out and live in.
You will find amazing nightlife in Grünerløkka with everything from pumping clubs to dancing bars and chilled speakeasies too, the youthful atmosphere is quite addictive.
Something not to miss in Grünnerløkka is all the vintage stores and the galleries that are a delight to explore. Also, if you love to dance, go for a boogie at Hva Skjer, one of the best nightclubs in Norway.
Sitting next to the area of Frogner to the north is Majorstuen which is a part of the old west side of Oslo. This is one of the most popular parts of Oslo and it holds one of the most expensive land prices in Norway because of it, and the popularity is for good reason.
Majorstuen is incredibly central, has one of the major metro stations, and is home to Bogstadsveien, one of the best shopping streets in Oslo that just happens to lead to the Royal Castle gardens. It couldn’t get more idyllic!
It is a busier part of Oslo than Frogner with a much livelier atmosphere, you can stroll to the waterfront with ease, and there are some great local sites too. Fagerborg Church is a must-see with its stunning neo-gothic architecture.
For anyone wanting to drop some cash on a stay in Norway, Majorstuen is the place to do it plus it gives you great access to the city center too.
If you are looking for a more affordable part of Oslo that still has easy links to the city center then Grønland is the place to be. It sits in between Gamle Oslo and Sentrum, so it is pretty central and it is one of the most multicultural neighborhoods the city has to offer.
Grønland is home to loads of awesome things from restaurants serving up food from around the globe, to very affordable bars too. This is not the safest part of Oslo though so stay a little bit alert while you are enjoying it.
So things not to miss in this area are ice skating at the Jordal Ice Rink (winter only) and going to the Museum of Natural History too. It also provides easy access to the waterfront and lots of green areas to enjoy too.
Tøyen is one of the lesser known areas to stay in Oslo and it is usually avoided by tourists and newcomers as it is quite crowded, populated, and very central. But, there are some great things about Tøyen that not everybody knows about.
Tøyen has a lovely vibe to it, it is within walking distance to the city center and the waterfront, and there is a huge Botanical Garden and park right on its borders. You will also find lots of great cafes, and other lovely parks like Kampen park and Tøyenparken.
If you are moving to Oslo or just going on a vacation, Tøyen is one of the best places when it comes to value for money and it is also close to the city center. It might not be a popular choice, but it should be!
Uranienborg sits on the western side of Oslo close to Frogner and it was once an agricultural area outside of the city but slowly became a part of it.
You can still see remnants of the farms today with large houses that are detached and sit side by side that remind you of the past of Uranienborg.
Uranienborg is ideally located and is one of the best places to stay in Oslo if you can afford it. You are pretty much right next to the city center and all the great things it has to offer and you can get to the shores of Frogner with ease.
Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.