Oslo, five tips by…

Oslo is hip and happening but sometimes it seems the inhabitants of Norway’s capital are not aware of it themselves. So it takes a local living abroad to show us the hottest bars, the funniest theaters and the best places to munch.

My name is Linn Thome and I am a newly graduated student with a MAs in International NGOs and a BAs in Spanish and Latin-American studies. Growing up in Singapore and Norway, studying in Mexico, Bergen (Norway), Chile, the Netherlands and Thailand.

Oslo, five tips by…

I have led an international life and I always search for new impulses in the cities I live in. Oslo is no exception. Having newly graduated from Webster University in the Netherlands and having lived everywhere but Oslo the past 6 years, I am looking forward to moving back to the capital of Norway!

Even though I have not lived in Oslo the past years – one can easily blend in and integrate in Oslo, becoming an Oslo’er in no time. A Mexican diplomat once told me after spending several years in Oslo, “Oslo is an extremely multicultural and diverse city, it’s just that the Norwegians are not aware of it yet”.

Oslo world music Festival

This conversation took place in 2012 at the popular Oslo World Music Festival, a festival which brings over 300 artists from mainly Asia, African and Latin-America to the capital.

After 4 successful years of its running and a renewal  and expansion in several parts of Oslo, I believe this statement has expired – Oslo is slowly, but steadily becoming an exciting capital to visit with fresh and creative impulses not just for the “cultural” tourist, but also for the urban traveler.

The following five places are the result of a brainstorming session with several friends and my sister – resulting in a mix of our favorite places and to-do’s in Oslo, giving the reader a peek into Oslo’s trending places. So here are: Oslo, five tips and a bit more…

1. Is It So Collective

Is It So Collective is a pop-up venue in the Grünerløkka area in Oslo. This area is filled with cozy cafés and restaurants! If you are in this area and you want to see a pop-up exhibition or shop in a pop-up shop, depending on what is on at the current time, Is It So Collective is the place to go.

The pop-up venue showcases work from photographers, illustrators, fashion designers and artists. So for those who want to learn more about Norwegian brands and design, and discover new, up & coming designers, the Is It So Collective pop-up venue will do just that! This is definitely a place worth visiting if you want to feel inspired! Check out their rotating pop-up events.

2. Det Andre teateret

The other theatre “… almost like a real theatre, just funnier!” Opening in 2011, Det Andre Teateret was the first theatre with a focus on improvisation – offering workshops, classes, and unpretentious performances. The theatre is run by a group of enthusiastic dramatics and a number of equally enthusiastic volunteers – “…a small theatre with a big heart”.

Student friendly prices and a diverse crowd and audience!

3. Blå Bar-Club

Blå (blue) is a bar and club situated in the most urban part of Oslo and is by the river Akerselva. The 8.2 km long river runs through Oslo and is referred to as “The vein of the city”. The Blå venue can be recognized by all the street art graffiti and is famous for its amazing line-up of events such as raves, concerts and Sunday markets.

Don’t miss Frank Znort Quartet – playing every Sunday, all year long. Described as entering an unpredictable universe, Frank Znort “fucks up your Mondays!” Check out the programme.


4. Torggata

Between popular Youngstorget and Hausmanns gate, Torggata is a street in an up and coming area in Oslo that has a lot to offer those who want to experience a different restaurant, bar or shop culture – a refreshing taste of ‘multicultural’ Oslo.

Inspired by the streets of Holland – the streets of Torggata were paved with cobblestone introducing a combined bike-and pedestrian path with almost no cars.

Places worth visiting are: Crowbar: a bar with around 20 microbrews on tap, with a wide range of beer types and brewers. They also sell kebabs!

Taco Republica: an authentic Mexican taco restaurant. Hevn: a Scandinavian-style shop.

Fly Kicks: street wear shop with cool kicks!

Torggata Kennel Klubb: taking street food (read: hot dogs) to the next level. Oh, and it’s a club with carefully selected DJ’s to satisfy TKK’s music loving clientele. Oh, and offers rotating art exhibitions…

Just off Torggata are amazing places such as Munchies, a burger joint. Lokk: a French cuisine restaurant. Piscoteket: Peruvian food, Pisco bar and club.

5. Klubb Seksuell Fisk og Vilt

As a branch of the popular gay club concept Indieseksuell at Revolver that became “too” popular, drawing the many closet loving 80s and 90s music fans, Fisk og Vilt brought the concept to their club. The first Wednesday of the month the club turns into a guilty pleasure bonanza: welcoming anyone and everyone, no matter outfit, sexual preference or dance moves.

These mix shamelessly well and with hits like “Girls just want to have fun” and “I wanna dance with somebody” (not to mention the endless boy band hits) anyone is guaranteed to be freed from their inhibitions and indulge themselves in a cheeky, magical, sweaty and shameless night.

Image: Shutterstock

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