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, historic and cutting-edge architecture, great bars, and chic waterfront district.
Spend your days exploring the harbour and waterfront, cruising the fjords, discovering bars, sampling Nordic cuisine, and hanging out in places once frequented by Henrik Ibsen and Edvard Munch. There is also a fine range of trendy, quirky and classically elegant hotels that match the mood of this progressive city. From intimate boutiques to modern high rises, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Oslo, Norway (in no particular order)...
1. The Thief – a hip and funky lifestyle hotel located in the trendy Tjuvholmen arts district perfect for partying Millennials and Gen Zs
An intriguing name is just the beginning for this luxury hideaway located in the heart of downtown Oslo. The Thief takes its name from the Tjuvholmen waterfront district, which used to be a haven for criminals and nefarious activities.
The area is now a centre for contemporary art and good living, as is the lifestyle boutique hotel.
The trendy 5-star hotel has a collection of contemporary artwork and a focus on sustainable design and organic foods.
Rooms with balconies have a view of the hustle and bustle of the harbour and the serenity of the fjord. Each room has a Nespresso machine and the price includes memorable breakfasts.
The Thief’s location in the walkable waterfront district puts theatres, cinemas, bars and restaurants within easy reach. The rooftop bar and grill have views of the surrounding hills of Holmenkollen.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Thief Oslo
2. Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel – a trendy, modern and very Instagrammable city centre hotel offering fabulous views
With a 22-storey building, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel has stunning views of the city and fjord from the rooms and Summit Bar.
It’s located conveniently near Karl Johans Gate, the main drag in Oslo, and close to the Royal Palace, National Gallery, and Opera House. There are also convenient public transport links to other locations in the city.
Nearby sights and attractions include the Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen Harbor Area, where a former shipyard has become a pedestrian paradise with waterfront restaurants, bars and shops. This is also where you can embark for ferries and sightseeing boat trips up the fjord.
At the cool hotel, you’ll find the well-equipped Lagoon fitness centre with a gym, indoor swimming pool and sauna. The 26 North Restaurant & Social Club has a farm-to-table menu with a special section for children.
Another thoughtful extra is that the hotel will store your luggage while you travel around the country.
- To book, check prices or availability for Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel
This quiet hotel is located just around the corner from Karl Johan high street, close to the Royal Palace and Oslo city center. Also nearby are the National Theatre and the Theatercaféen, as well as the Royal Palace Gardens and the Ibsen Museum.
The lively waterfront districts of Aker Brygge and Tjuvholmen are 15 minutes away on foot, and you can get a bus or train to any point in the city.
The staff are super kind and helpful. The rooms are comfortable and provided with free wifi and FACE Stockholm products. Some rooms have balconies.
Besides a delicious breakfast buffet, guests can try the innovative cuisine at the se.ua restaurant. The comfortable bar is a good place to relax after a busy day.
- To book, check prices or availability at Scandic St. Olavs Plass
4. Clarion Hotel The Hub – a creative and contemporary hotel in a perfect location for a memorable experience
The newest hotel in Norway opened its doors in 2019 and has a focus on design, high tech, and sustainability.
From the rooftop gardens where the hotel’s kitchens grow their own vegetables to secure and easy mobile check-in and room entry to the luxury toiletries from Rituals, this unique hotel is designed to suit millennial sensibilities.
The building and interiors are designed by leading architects to balance classic styles with innovation for an elegant and inviting space.
Clarion Hotel The Hub is a 2-minute walk to Oslo Central Station, near Karl Johans Gate and the best bars, cafés, shops and restaurants in the city centre. Best of all, it offers free parking, which is a major plus in the busy downtown area.
All rooms come with quirky decor, free breakfast, technology hubs, and access to the gym and relaxation area with a steam shower, sauna and heated pool.
There are three different restaurants and bars where you will find Nordic fusion menus, a healthy lunch and stunning views of the city and waterfront.
- To book, check prices or availability for Clarion Hotel The Hub
5. Scandic Holmenkollen Park – a unique recently renovated historic hotel located in an incredible location on Holmenkollen mountain
This unique hotel is built in the traditional Norwegian dragon style with its roots in Viking and medieval Scandinavian architecture.
It was built in 1894 and has been recently renovated, preserving the traditional style of the building but adding modern comforts. Guests enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and forest, the famous Holmenkollen Ski Jump, and the city and the fjord.
The hotel is right next to the Nordmarka forest and just 30 minutes by train or car to Oslo. The rooms are cosy retreats and many have balconies overlooking the city and the mountains.
Among other amenities, they have wifi, Tv and FACE Stockholm products. There’s also a well-equipped wellness centre with gym and indoor pool.
You can get a healthy breakfast at the Midtstuen restaurant. The bistro serves inventive variations on waffles during the day and a Nordic menu for dinner. Nearby restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including pizza and sushi.
Scandic Holmenkollen Park is family-friendly and offers connecting rooms. Plus, kids under 12 stay for free.
- To book, check prices or availability for Scandic Holmenkollen Park
6. Scandic Sjølyst – an urban and cool hotel situated in a trendy location
Close enough to the city but located in peaceful rural surroundings in the Skøyen neighbourhood of Oslo, the Scandic Sjølyst lets you enjoy the best of both worlds.
Skøyen has a hip shopping district, jogging trails and beaches at Bygdøy, and the Kon-tiki and Folk museums. Frogner and Vigelandpark parks are within walking distance and Oslo city center is a short bike or train ride away.
The rooms are comfortable and the decor is soothing, to help you wind down after a day of sightseeing, adventure or business meetings.
The breakfast buffet gets rave reviews, as does the Skabos Hage restaurant with its outdoor service. On colder days, you can still sit outside with blankets and heat lamps.
Guests get free use of bikes, and there is a gym as well. Like other Scandic hotels, Scandic Sjølyst is kid- friendly and has a playroom with screenings of children’s movies.
- To book, check prices or availability at Scandic Sjølyst Oslo
7. Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret – a unique and stylish design hotel on a modern yet historic building
The Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret gives a night at the opera a whole new meaning. The extensively renovated 1930s Art Deco building in central Oslo used to be the opera house before the new one was built on the waterfront in 2008.
The building has been renovated and is now one of the best hotels in Oslo. Centrally situated on Teaterpassasjen at Youngstorget square, the hotel is walking distance from the Airport Express train, the central station, shops and restaurants.
The room design and colors harmonize with the Art Deco style of the building. Some rooms have balconies and terraces as well.
Besides the complimentary breakfast buffet, the room tariff includes fika and a light evening meal. Fika is the Scandinavian coffee break, which can happen multiple times a day, preferably in the company of friends and some fine pastries.
Another unique feature of the Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret is that it is cash-free. This makes all transactions as well as the hotel environment more secure for guests and staff.
- To book, check prices or availability at Clarion Collection Hotel Folketeateret
8. Lysebu Hotel – a charming and historic upscale boutique hotel in a perfect location for outdoor activities
This small luxury boutique hotel is built in traditional Norwegian style and has a history dating back to WWII, when Denmark helped the people of Norway under Nazi occupation with gifts of food.
In return, the hotel was gifted by Norway to the people of Denmark, so they could visit and enjoy traditional Norwegian comfort and food.
The Lysebu Hotel is located on the Holmenkollen mountain with hiking trails, ski tracks and a ski resort nearby. Though surrounded by woods, it’s just a 30-minute ride by train or taxi to the Oslo city center.
It’s also the gateway to the Nordmarka, the forested mountain area beloved by outdoors enthusiasts.
Guests will love the rooms and suites with mountain views, the special touches like the RÅm organic skincare in the rooms and the spectacular displays of the Northern Lights.
Much of the delicious food served at the breakfast buffet and in the restaurants comes from the hotel’s own organic farm. The wine cellar at Lysebu is one of the finest in Norway, and guests can take a tour or join in a wine tasting.
- To book, check prices or availability for Lysebu Hotel
If you like being at the centre of things, where it’s all happening, the Grand Hotel in Oslo is the place for you.
The historic hotel is an architectural landmark in its own right and is located on Karl Johans Gate, right across from the Norwegian parliament and the Royal Palace. From here, it’s only a few minutes walk to attractions and everything Oslo can offer you.
The hotel was one of playwright Henrik Ibsen’s favourite haunts, and your fellow guests may include international dignitaries, diplomats and Nobel laureates. The decor is a combination of old-world luxury and contemporary comfort.
The meals match up to the surroundings and you may want to keep coming back just for the breakfasts. There’s the sky bar with amazing views and a spa to cater to your comfort and relaxation at the end of a busy day.
When booking your stay, make sure to ask for a room or a suite with street and city views. The rooms are spacious and comfortable
- To book, check prices or availability for Grand Hotel
10. Karl Johan Hotel – a historic hotel with a cozy and classic interior design perfect for those interested in history, entertainment and architecture
This elegant hotel with nineteenth-century buildings nevertheless has a feeling of informal charm and comfort.
The rooms have been recently renovated so you’ll find soft beds, Nespresso machines and bath and wellness products from Rituals. Rooms have views of Karl Johans gate, Rosenkrantz gate or the courtyard.
The location gives you easy access to Karl Johan high street, the busy Harbor district, and public transportation links to the rest of the city. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to see the famous Oslo Christmas markets.
Breakfast is served in the Restaurant Ekman, where daylight pours in through the glass ceiling. They will even pack you a boxed breakfast if you have to catch an early flight.
The lobby bar serves wine, coffee and other beverages, and just outside the door, you have a wud selection of city restaurants and bars.
- To book, check prices or availability for Karl Johan Hotel
The family-owned Hotel Continental has a history going back over a hundred years and a reputation as one of the finest 5 star hotels in Norway.
Located in the city center, it is within easy walking distance of the harbor and Aker Brygge, Tjuvholmen, the Royal Palace, the National Theatre and the parliament building.
The unique hotel is a city landmark itself and home to the famous Theatercaféen, which has been a meeting place for actors and artists since the early 20th century.
The luxury hotel’s art collection includes prints by Edward Munch prints, paintings by Norwegian artists, art glass, sculptures and portraits in Theatercaféen.
The Hotel Intercontinental has been designated one of the Leading Hotels of the World, an exclusive club with just 375 members worldwide. The light-filled, spacious interiors combine traditional elegance with contemporary styles.
Rooms and suites are luxurious and well equipped with Apple TV, Chromecast, minibar, Nespresso machine and Moulton Brown toiletries. There are a number of restaurants and bars, where you can find everything from pizza to gourmet cuisine.
- To book, check prices or availability at Hotel Intercontinental
12. Saga Hotel Oslo; BW Premier Collection – a stylish and elegant boutique hotel perfect for a romantic getaway
This boutique hotel is located in the quiet part of town near the Royal Palace yet within easy reach of Oslo city centre and all major attractions. The location is a special favourite for couples.
The building and rooms have a charming ambience, combining nineteenth-century elegance with modern comfort, and the staff are outstandingly friendly and helpful. Rooms at this Oslo boutique hotel have a Nespresso machine, writing desk, flat-screen TV and minibar.
There is a complimentary breakfast buffet and a cosy bar in the lobby lounge. The chic Fangst restaurant serves Norwegian-Asian fusion cuisine. Another welcome extra in this part of town is the free parking, though spots are limited and it’s first come first served.
- To book, check prices or availability for Saga Hotel Oslo; BW Premier Collection
Named after a Norwegian fairytale about questing for love and happiness, the historic Soria Moria Hotel sits on a mountain outside Oslo, overlooking the city and the fjord.
It was built in 1983, on the site of a 19th-century sanatorium, which was given the name Soria Moria by composer Edward Grieg. The new building took the name as well as the spirit of strength and healing.
The setting is secluded but it’s just a 12-minute walk to the train to Oslo city centre. It’s also an easy hop to Oslo airport, by car or train. Holmenkollen Mountain is a paradise for those who love nature and the outdoors, with hiking and ski trails and the Nordmarka forested area nearby.
The rooms at Soria Moria have been renovated and have comfortable Jensen beds, muted and relaxing decor and windows that open to the forest and mountains.
Guests can use the gym, relax in the sauna, and recharge at the lobby bar. The restaurant serves traditional Norwegian cuisine and there are also wine and food tastings for guests and visitors.
- To book, check prices or availability at Soria Moria Hotel
14. Thon Hotel Cecil – a quirky chic boutique hotel with a perfect central location to all local attractions
The Thon Hotel Cecil is a unique and vibrant boutique in downtown Oslo. It has a great location, adjacent to the Stortinget parliament building and Karl Johans high street, friendly staff, comfortable rooms and a great breakfast buffet spread.
Within walking distance, you’ll find the Aker Brygge waterfront district, the town hall, Akershus Fortress, the museum ferry to Bygdoy and the Royal Palace.
A short tram ride will take you to the Opera House and other attractions in the city. Guests can also leave their luggage in storage at the hotel while they travel.
The elegantly wallpapered rooms have colourful armchairs, Bose speakers, Nespresso machines and minibars. Some rooms and suites are hypoallergenic, with allergen- and irritant-free spaces.
Besides the breakfast buffet, the hotel offers guests free coffee all day in the lobby, plus a light evening meal as well, with soup, salads, cold meats, cheese, fruit and beer and wine.
- To book, check prices or availability at Thon Hotel Cecil
15. Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo – a chic, modern and eco-friendly hotel newly renovated in the centre of Oslo
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo is right in the heart of town, next to the Stortinget parliament building, Karl Johans high street and the town hall.
This makes it a great base for just about anything you want to do in the city, whether you’re travelling for business or on holiday. As a bonus, the friendly staff will help you plan out your activities.
The hotel is also a comfortable home base, with rooms that are clean and comfortable, and well-equipped with minibars, Tv, free wifi, Bose Bluetooth speakers, L’Occitane toiletries, and umbrellas.
Even though the competition is fierce, the complimentary breakfasts are ranked as the best in Norway. The Brasserie Paleo has an all-day menu with organic foods.
- To book, check prices or availability for Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz Oslo
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Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled 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 organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising 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, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome, Twitter @garynansome and his website https://garynunn.co.uk/