A vibrant and eco-friendly city with a seafaring history, Norway’s cool capital enjoys a dramatic location at the end of the fjord which provides a backdrop for the many museums, incredible architecture, and fine range of elegant hotels that match the mood of this progressive city. From intimate boutiques to modern high rises, here are my favourite cool and unique hotels in Oslo, Norway...
One of my favorite places in downtown Oslo is The Thief, a luxury hideaway with an intriguing name rooted in the Tjuvholmen waterfront district’s history of crime and mischief.
While visiting, I fell in love with the vibrant atmosphere of this lifestyle boutique hotel. The 5-star gem boasts contemporary artwork, a commitment to sustainable design, and a dedication to serving organic foods.
My stay was in a room with a balcony, offering picturesque views of the lively harbour and the tranquil fjord. I appreciated the Nespresso machine in my room, and the inclusive memorable breakfasts were a delightful touch.
The hotel’s prime location in the walkable waterfront district made it easy for me to explore theaters, cinemas, bars, and restaurants. I tried the rooftop bar and grill, enjoying panoramic views of the Holmenkollen hills.
Thief Spa for in-room treatments
Relaxing Turkish Hammam bath
Chic-style rooftop terrace access
Free entry to nearby museum
Pools are not for children
Drawer space is limited
Radisson Blu Scandinavia
One of my favorite places to stay in Oslo is the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel. With its 22-story building, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the city and fjord right from the rooms and the Summit Bar.
I love the convenient location near Karl Johans Gate, Oslo’s main drag, and its proximity to key attractions like the Royal Palace, National Gallery, and Opera House. The hotel is also well-connected with public transport for easy city exploration.
While visiting, I explored nearby gems like Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen Harbor Area. The transformation of a former shipyard into a pedestrian paradise with waterfront restaurants, bars, and shops was a delightful experience. Plus, it’s the perfect starting point for ferries and sightseeing boat trips up the fjord.
During my stay at this fantastic hotel, I made the most of the Lagoon fitness center. The gym, indoor swimming pool, and sauna were well-equipped and added to the overall experience. The 26 North Restaurant & Social Club impressed me with its farm-to-table menu, including a special section for children.
Restaurant offers Nordic cuisine
Summit Bar for drinks
Lagoon Fitness Centre
Crowded at Breakfast Buffet
Parking space is often full
Scandic St. Olavs Plass
Nestled just around the corner from Karl Johan High Street, this quiet hotel quickly became one of my favorite places in Oslo. Being so close to the Royal Palace and the city center made exploring easy. I loved the proximity to the National Theatre, Theatercaféen, Royal Palace Gardens, and the Ibsen Museum.
During my stay, I found the lively waterfront districts of Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen just a pleasant 15-minute walk away. Whether by bus or train, reaching any point in the city was a breeze.
What made my experience even better was the incredibly kind and helpful staff. The rooms were not only comfortable but also equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi and fantastic FACE Stockholm products. I was fortunate enough to stay in a room with a balcony, adding an extra touch to my stay.
The mornings were a delight with a delicious breakfast buffet, and I couldn’t resist trying the innovative cuisine at the on-site se.ua restaurant. After a busy day of exploring, the cozy bar became one of my favorite spots to unwind.
Playroom is available for children
Modern meeting rooms are available
Theater Edderkoppen Scene
Ac is only centrally controlled
Extra charges for hot tub/sauna
Clarion Hotel The Hub
While visiting Oslo, one of my favorite places to stay is the newest hotel, Clarion Hotel The Hub. Opening its doors in 2019, it uniquely blends design, high-tech, and sustainability, catering perfectly to my millennial sensibilities.
From the rooftop gardens growing fresh vegetables for the hotel’s kitchens to the seamless mobile check-in and room entry, every detail reflects innovation. The luxury toiletries from Rituals add a touch of indulgence to the experience.
Designed by leading architects, the building effortlessly balances classic styles with modern innovation, creating an elegant and inviting space. The hotel’s location is unbeatable—just a 2-minute walk to Oslo Central Station and close to Karl Johans Gate, the city’s vibrant hub of bars, cafés, shops, and restaurants.
What I love most is the free parking. The rooms are a delight with their quirky decor, and the complimentary breakfast is a beautiful way to start the day. Each room is equipped with technology hubs.
During my stay, I experienced the fantastic gym and relaxation area, complete with a steam shower, sauna, and heated pool.
The hotel boasts three different restaurants and bars, each offering Nordic fusion menus, healthy lunch options, and breathtaking views of the city and waterfront.
Specializes in Scandinavian cuisine
Terrace open for coffee and cocktails
Short walk to Munch Museum
Breakfast can be crowded
Can be noisy
Scandic Holmenkollen Park
This hotel, crafted in the traditional Norwegian dragon style rooted in Viking and medieval Scandinavian architecture, quickly became one of my favorite places. Built in 1894, it recently underwent renovations, preserving its historic charm while seamlessly integrating modern comforts. During my stay, the captivating views of the mountains, forest, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, and the city with the fjord were genuinely enchanting.
Nestled beside the Nordmarka forest, just 30 minutes from Oslo by train or car, the hotel offered cozy rooms, many with balconies overlooking the city and mountains. I loved the blend of tradition and comfort.
The amenities, including wifi, TV, and FACE Stockholm products, were thoughtful additions. The wellness center, equipped with a gym and indoor pool, provided a relaxing retreat. My mornings began with a healthy breakfast at Midtstuen restaurant, while the bistro’s inventive waffle variations during the day and a Nordic menu for dinner made dining a delightful experience.
The family-friendly Scandic Holmenkollen Park offered connecting rooms, and the fact that kids under 12 stay for free was a pleasant surprise.
Holmenkollen BISTRO Restaurant
Special Norwegian cuisine
Artesia spa for calming treatments
Meticulously preserved building
There is a limited capacity in the spa
Booking for spa
While visiting Oslo, I discovered the Scandic Sjølyst, nestled in the tranquil Skøyen neighborhood. It’s close enough to the city for convenience yet surrounded by peaceful rural landscapes, creating a perfect balance.
Skøyen itself is a gem with a trendy shopping district and jogging trails at Bygdøy’s beaches. The Kon-tiki and Folk museums, along with Frogner and Vigelandpark parks, are within walking distance. Getting to Oslo’s city center is a breeze, either by a short bike ride or a quick train trip.
During my stay, I loved the cozy rooms adorned with soothing decor, providing a perfect retreat after a day of exploring, adventuring, or attending business meetings.
The breakfast buffet at Scandic Sjølyst is a delight, receiving well-deserved praise. The Skabos Hage restaurant, with its outdoor service, is a personal favorite. Even on colder days, I could still enjoy the outdoors, wrapped in blankets with the added warmth from heat lamps.
What sets this experience apart is the complimentary use of bikes for guests and the availability of a well-equipped gym. The hotel, true to the Scandic style, is family-friendly and features a playroom.
In-house restaurant Skobas Hage
Tastefully decorated Bistro
Special Scandinavian cuisine
Some rooms are small
Clarion Collection Folketeateret
The Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret is now one of my favorite places in Oslo. Having stayed there, I discovered that the 1930s Art Deco building, once the city’s opera house, is a gem after extensive renovations.
Situated centrally on Teaterpassasjen at Youngstorget Square, it’s a convenient walk from the Airport Express train, the central station, and buzzing shops and restaurants. The room design seamlessly blends with the Art Deco style, and I particularly loved that some rooms come with balconies and terraces.
During my stay, I enjoyed more than just a room. The complimentary breakfast buffet was a great start, and I cherished the included Fika. What’s unique is that the room tariff also covers a light evening meal, adding a special touch to the experience.
A notable feature that stood out to me was the cash-free policy. This not only streamlined transactions but also enhanced the overall safety of both guests and staff.
Complimentary light evening meal
Located in the heart of Oslo
1930s gyms-inspired fitness center
Spacious rooftop terrace for meals
Air-conditioning systems require an update
Dark decor might not be for everyone
One of my favorite places is the Lysebu Hotel, a small luxury boutique hotel that exudes traditional Norwegian charm. Its roots trace back to WWII when Denmark, aiding Norway during the Nazi occupation, received this gem in return.
While visiting, I was captivated by its location on the Holmenkollen mountain, surrounded by woods and offering easy access to hiking trails, ski tracks, and a ski resort. Remarkably, it’s only a 30-minute ride from Oslo city center by train or taxi, making it a perfect retreat.
Staying at Lysebu felt like stepping into a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, serving as a gateway to Nordmarka, the forested mountain area. The rooms and suites, boasting mountain views, were a true delight, complemented by thoughtful touches like RÅm organic skincare.
I loved how the hotel showcased its commitment to sustainability and local produce. The breakfast buffet and restaurant offerings featured delicious fare sourced from the hotel’s organic farm. As a guest, I had the chance to explore the impressive wine cellar, one of Norway’s finest.
The icing on the cake was witnessing the spectacular displays of the Northern Lights, making my stay at Lysebu Hotel an unforgettable experience.
In-house restaurant offers Norwegian cuisine
Special wine cellar
Large beautifully maintained garden
Art exhibitions are held
Restoration is needed
Out of the city
Staying at the Grand Hotel in Oslo is like finding one of my favorite places at the center of all the action. Situated on Karl Johans Gate, it’s an architectural gem facing the Norwegian parliament and the Royal Palace. Just minutes away from key attractions, it’s the perfect base to explore Oslo.
While visiting, I discovered that this historic hotel was a cherished spot for playwright Henrik Ibsen. The guest list is impressive, featuring international dignitaries, diplomats, and Nobel laureates. The blend of old-world luxury and contemporary comfort in the decor creates a unique atmosphere.
I loved the meals, especially the breakfasts, perfectly complementing the grand surroundings. The sky bar offers breathtaking views, and there’s a spa for relaxation after a bustling day.
During my stay, I requested a room or suite with street and city views when booking. The spacious and comfortable rooms added to the overall experience.
Delicious breakfast at Grand Cafe
Palmen restaurant with Nordic cuisine
Established in 1874
Rooftop bar with panoramic views
Little space for clothing
Air conditioning needs an update
Karl Johan Hotel
This charming hotel quickly became one of my favorite places. The nineteenth-century buildings exude elegance, yet there’s an inviting, informal charm throughout.
Recently renovated, the rooms provided pure comfort with plush beds, Nespresso machines, and indulgent bath products from Rituals. Whether I looked out onto Karl Johans Gate, Rosenkrantz Gate, or the serene courtyard, the views were enchanting.
The central location granted me easy access to Karl Johan High Street, the bustling Harbor district, and seamless public transportation links to explore the city. It was the ideal hub for immersing myself in the renowned Oslo Christmas markets.
Breakfast at Restaurant Ekman was a delightful experience, surrounded by natural light streaming through the glass ceiling. They even thoughtfully packed a boxed breakfast for me on those early flight mornings.
The lobby bar, serving various beverages, became my go-to spot. Stepping outside, a diverse array of city restaurants and bars awaited, making my stay truly memorable.
Housed in 19th-century buildings
Renovation was done recently
Iconic architecture by Ove Ekman
Minimal cupboards in bathroom
Staying at the family-owned Hotel Intercontinental in Norway was an unforgettable experience. With a history of over a century, it quickly became one of my favorite places. It offered convenience with the harbor, Aker Brygge, the Royal Palace, the National Theatre, and the parliament building all within easy walking distance.
The hotel itself is a city landmark, boasting a unique charm, and home to the renowned Theatercaféen, a historic meeting spot for actors and artists. Exploring the hotel’s art collection was a treat, featuring prints by Edward Munch, paintings by talented Norwegian artists, exquisite art glass, sculptures, and captivating portraits in Theatercaféen.
As a proud member of the Leading Hotels of the World, this luxury haven showcased light-filled, spacious interiors that seamlessly blended traditional elegance with contemporary styles. My room was a haven of comfort and style, equipped with an Apple TV, Chromecast, a minibar, a Nespresso machine, and indulgent Molton Brown toiletries.
The culinary journey was equally impressive, with various restaurants and bars offering everything from delectable pizzas to gourmet cuisine.
Delicious pizza at CASBAR
Classic-modern interior design
Oak Second Floor for gourmet meals
a lobby lounge
The bar is packed every night
This boutique gem quickly became one of my favorite places. Tucked away in the tranquil corner near the Royal Palace, it’s a sweet spot with easy access to Oslo’s heart and its main attractions. During my stay, I fell in love with the charm that resonates through the building and rooms – a perfect blend of 19th-century elegance and contemporary comfort.
What made my experience truly memorable was the staff. My room, a delightful haven, came equipped with a Nespresso machine, a practical writing desk, a sleek flat-screen TV, and a well-stocked minibar.
Each morning, I indulged in the complimentary breakfast buffet, and evenings were spent in the cozy lobby lounge bar. For dinner, I tried the Norwegian-Asian fusion cuisine at the chic Fangst restaurant, a unique culinary adventure.
Trendy restaurants nearby
Soothing yet vibrant interiors
Free parking space
Free parking subject to availability
The rooms can be quite dark
Renovation is required for soundproofing
While visiting the historic Soria Moria Hotel, I found it to be one of my favorite places. Built in 1983 on a mountain outside Oslo, this enchanting hotel offers stunning views of the city and the fjord.
During my stay at the place, I learned about its rich history, being constructed on the grounds of a 19th-century sanatorium, originally named Soria Moria by composer Edward Grieg. The new building not only adopted the name but also embraced the spirit of strength and healing.
Conveniently located, it’s just a 12-minute walk to the train station for easy access to Oslo city center. For nature lovers like me, Holmenkollen Mountain, with its hiking and ski trails and the Nordmarka forested area, are nearby.
I loved the recently renovated rooms at Soria Moria, featuring comfortable Jensen beds, soothing decor, and windows that opened to the serene forest and majestic mountains.
While staying at the hotel, I tried out the gym and relaxed in the sauna, truly recharging at the inviting lobby bar. The on-site restaurant impressed me with its offering of traditional Norwegian cuisine.
Renovation was done in 2013
12-minute walk to subway station
Small and cozy rooms
Swimming pool has seasonal open times
Away from the city
Thon Hotel Cecil
Thon Hotel Cecil in downtown Oslo became one of my favorite places. Nestled next to the Stortinget parliament building and Karl Johans high street, the location was perfect. The staff was not only friendly but also made my stay truly comfortable.
While visiting, I explored nearby attractions like the Aker Brygge waterfront, the town hall, Akershus Fortress, the museum ferry to Bygdoy, and the Royal Palace—all within walking distance. A short tram ride conveniently took me to the Opera House and other city attractions.
During my stay, I loved the elegantly wallpapered rooms adorned with colorful armchairs, Bose speakers, Nespresso machines, and minibars. What impressed me even more was the option of hypoallergenic rooms and suites, providing allergen- and irritant-free spaces.
I tried the delicious breakfast buffet, and the hotel’s thoughtful touch of offering free coffee in the lobby all day was a pleasant surprise. In the evenings, a light meal with soup, salads, cold meats, cheese, fruit, and beer and wine was a perfect way to unwind. Oh, and the option to leave my luggage at the hotel while I explored the city made my travels even more convenient.
200m from the train station
Vibrant-chic interior design
Decorated with quirky
The lounge closes at 3pm
Subtle noise from nightclub below
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo became one of my favorite places instantly. Nestled in the heart of the city, it’s a stone’s throw from the Stortinget parliament building, Karl Johans high street, and the town hall.
While visiting, I loved the convenience it offered for both business and leisure. The staff, always friendly, went out of their way to help plan my activities.
Staying at this hotel felt like a comfortable home base. The rooms were not only clean and cozy but also well-equipped with minibars, a TV, free Wi-Fi, Bose Bluetooth speakers, L’Occitane toiletries, and even umbrellas.
Despite the tough competition, the complimentary breakfasts here are unparalleled, ranking as the best in Norway. The Brasserie Paleo, with its all-day menu featuring organic foods, was a delightful experience I tried during my stay.
Newly-renovated and eco-friendly
Trendy-chic interior design
Brasserie Paleo offers organic foods
Right next to Stortinget Parliament Building
Quite expensive to park in garages
All Hotels in Oslo Ranked
The following table compare the Top 15 Cool and Unique Hotels in Oslo for the reader’s convenience.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|Radisson Blu Scandinavia||Holbergsgate 30||$185-$539||Yes||0.4||81|
|Scandic St. Olavs Plass||St. Hanshaugen||$158-$217||Yes||0.5||105|
|Clarion Hotel The Hub||Biskop Gunnerusgate 3||$207-$758||Yes||0.4||281|
|Scandic Holmenkollen Park||Kongeveien 26||$150-$769||Yes||6.3||1|
|Scandic Sjølyst||Sjølyst Plass 4||$176-$219||Yes||2.6||27|
|Clarion Collection Folketeateret||Storgata 21 - 23||$132-$264||Yes||0.2||277|
|Lysebu Hotel||Lysebuveien 12||$172-$250||Yes||7.8||0|
|Grand Hotel||Karl Johans gate 31||$559-$625||Yes||0.3||200|
|Karl Johan Hotel||Karl Johans gate 33||$280-$880||Yes||0.3||189|
|Hotel Continental||Stortingsgaten 24 / 26||$663-$852||Yes||0.1||153|
|Soria Moria||Voksenkollveien 60||$154-$204||Yes||7.6||0|
|Thon Hotel Cecil||Stortingsgata 8||$270-$372||Yes||0.2||190|
|Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz||Rosenkranzgt. 1||$232-$259||Yes||0.4||183|
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Gary Nunn – Videographer, photographer and writer
Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fueled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organizations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specializing in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, travel, starting up new businesses, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find Gary on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or his Website.