Oslo districts: where to stay and what to see

upd 28 January 2024

Oslo is an extraordinary city where you can find either wooden houses and skyscrapers, classicism and modern architecture. To get a representative picture of the city you should see all the sides. To help you to do this here is the list of different Oslo districts below.


Kvadraturen – is an Oslo historical center. Here you can find buildings from XVI century when the city was founded. There are also a lot of shops and cafes. Tourists usually walk only in the main street – Karl Johans gate, so the surrounding streets are half empty if you want to calmly wander around.

It’s a great district to stay as the main sightseeings would be close to you. The best hotels here are: Amerikalinjen (3500 NOK/night), Hotel Bristol (2500 NOK/night, closer to the Royal Palace) and Karl Johan Hotel. One of a few hostels is also located here – Citybox Oslo (999 NOK per night).

Gamle Aker

In this district, you can see wooden houses of the XIX century that are quite rare for Oslo.

The main sightseeing in the Gamle Aker is the church of the XII century which is the oldest building of Oslo.

Scandic Vulkan hotel is the best option to stay near Gamle Aker and Grünerløkka.


A century ago Grünerløkka was an industrial district with factories and manufactories. But now they are rebuilt into the cultural centers andthe disctrict has become a trendy place. All the hipster shops, cafes, and second-hands are situated here. It’s a pleasant place just near the city center – across the Akerselva river.

Aker Brygge

Aker Brygge is situated along the Oslo fjord. It was reconstructed from a shipyard named Aker to a district with a lot of shops, cafes and expensive accommodation.


A small district behind Aker Brygge called Tjuvholmen has a modern art museum and some more apartment buildings.

Some of the buildings have a beautiful Oslo fjord view.

It’s a great place to stay: beautiful views, nice walking areas and a lot of cafes nearby. The best hotel in Tjuvholmen is The Thief (5000 NOK/night).


Barcode – is the newest Oslo district that was finished in 2016. It’s located in the center of the city right behind The Oslo Opera House. The project of Barcode has been widely discussed, a lot of people had thought of it as chaotic and inappropriate for a city center. But the district has been built anyway. Most of the buildings are offices.

Thon Hotel Opera (1900 NOK per night) is in Barcode district – a very nice hotel, close to the central station and Opera.


Grønland is located near a city center. This is a multicultural district with a lot of ethnic shops and cafes. An obvious choice of hotel here is Radisson Blu Plaza with great reviews (1600 NOK/night).