Sentrum Walk, Oslo (Self Guided)

Sentrum, meaning city-center, is located on the southeast side of the city near the inner Oslofjord. The district is dominated by high buildings and valuable tourist attractions. Take this tour to visit Ibsen Museum, as well as Stortinget, National Theater, University of Oslo, National Gallery, Oslo Cathedral and many others.
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Sentrum Walk Map

Guide Name: Sentrum Walk
Guide Location: Norway » Oslo (See other walking tours in Oslo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 km
Author: karen
Oslo Cathedral

1) Oslo Cathedral (must see)

Oslo Cathedral, previously known as Our Saviour’s Church, is the current cathedral for the city, and the third in the history of Oslo. The first was built in the 12th century when the city was located slightly to the east of where it now stands. Following a great fire in 1624, the city was rebuilt around Akershus Slott. The second cathedral lasted only fifty years before another fire destroyed it. The current building, located off the Stortorvet main square, was consecrated in 1697. Rebuilt in 1850 by Chateauneuf and von Hanno, this elegant, if unassuming, neo-Gothic church was most recently restored between 2006 and 2010, and reopened with a grand Mass.

The cathedral is used by the Norwegian royal family and government for public events. It was the venue for Norway’s last royal wedding in 2001, when Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, married Mette Tjessem Hoiby. The interior is notable for fine stained glass windows designed by Emanuel Vigeland, a silver sculpture by Arrigo Minerbi, and elaborate ceiling decoration by Norwegian painter Hugo Mohr. Home to the Bishop of Oslo, the church holds Mass each Sunday and is free to visit throughout the week. Guided group tours can also be arranged on weekdays.

Why You Should Visit:
Simple and elegant, and open for everyone. The pulpit and King's seating area are beautifully carved, and the ceiling and Last Supper bronze are very worth seeing.
Not merely a religious building but a center of culture for the whole city; in fact, you can often attend many different concerts and events during the year.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm; Sat: 4pm-6am
Services (Mass) are celebrated Sun: 11am; Wed: 12pm; Fri: 4:30pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

2) Basarhallene

Basarhallene is a famous traditional Norwegian shop with hand-crafted products built 150 years ago. Today the renewed shop sells traditional Nordic sweaters, glass, ceramics, jewelry and art, all high quality with prices reflecting the value of the goods. In summertime there are outdoor exhibits of art and local crafts.
Oslo Indoor Concert Hall

3) Oslo Indoor Concert Hall

Oslo Konserthus, or Concert Hall, is one of Oslo’s, and indeed Norway’s premier cultural venues. Located in the Vika district of the city center, it is also the home of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. The hall hosts over 300 events each year, meaning there is an event on almost every day. It was built as a home for the orchestra, and to provide the nation with a first class concert hall. However, as with other modern additions to the city, it took time to get off the ground – twenty two years passed between the planning stage and the hall’s grand opening.

Submissions for the design were first submitted in 1955. Ten years later, a holding company was founded, but the hall did not open until 1977. A year later, the hall’s organ was installed. Specially made in Germany, the 7000 pipe organ is the largest in the country. The hall itself holds 1600, whilst a smaller second hall can host around 250 people. A box office is also found within the hall, as well as restaurants, bars and practice rooms. A sleek, modernist stone clad building, based on Gösta Abergh’s winning design, the Konserthus has suffered criticism from the former orchestra conductor, who resigned over the hall’s alleged poor acoustics.
Sight description based on wikipedia

4) Tukthuset

Tukthuset was an old social institution, built in the 1740s in order to deter begging and crime. It also became Norway’s first asylum for the mentally ill. Beginning in the 19th century it was used as a prison and was demolished in the 1940s to be used for offices and shops. Just a single wall is left from the original building, which is now part of a police station.

5) Stortorvet

Stortovet, or ‘Grand Plaza’, is a central square, west of Oslo Cathedral. Inaugurated in 1736, it has consistently played a central part in the city’s daily life. The square hosted a large market until 1889, and still hosts seasonal markets to this day. Some seventy years later, Stortovet became a major center once again, with the introduction of the Oslo tramway. The square became a central terminus for a number of tram services in the 1960s, and is still well served by trams and buses.

Stortovet also hosted a public demonstration against the union between Sweden and Norway in 1829, when the city was still known as Christiania. Ceded to Sweden by Denmark in the early 19th century and given increasing autonomy, Norway faced a battle to become a fully independent nation, free of influence from their larger neighbors. The tentative union survived until 1905, when Norway became fully independent.

The grand square features a number of well preserved 18th and 19th century buildings, including Glasmagasinet and Stortorvets Gjaestgiveri. The latter, a dual entrance yellow townhouse dating from the construction of the square, is listed as a Norwegian Cultural Heritage Site, meaning it is protected by the government from demolition or development.

6) GlasMagasinet

GlasMagasinet is located in the historical area, between Stortorvet and Karl Johans Gate, and is Oslo’s oldest department store. It carries on the tradition of selling old Norwegian crystal and other handmade crafts, but also sells some modern goods, in an elegant and stylish atmosphere.
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00 am - 7:00 pm; Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Heimen Husflid

7) Heimen Husflid

Heimen Husflid is where you will find rosemaling, the traditional Norwegian method of painting on wood. This shop has eighty years of experience in this area and also sells traditional wooden baskets and costumes, known as Bunad.
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Etnografisk Museum

8) Etnografisk Museum

The Ethnographic Museum was opened in the 1850s and became a part of the Historical Museum at the beginning of 20th century. The museum’s exhibitions focus on non-European cultures and also houses a library containing one of the richest collections of ethnological literature in the world.

Operation Hours: Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm;
University of Oslo

9) University of Oslo

The University of Oslo was founded in 1811. It is the oldest and largest university in Norway, and considered to be one of the world’s hundred best educational institutes. Its central campus is located in the heart of Oslo’s city center, close to the Royal Palace and Stortinget. Whilst many of the modern faculties are now based at a campus outside the center, the neoclassical, Prussian influenced buildings remain. These buildings now comprise the university’s prestigious Faculty of Law.

The university was modeled on those already established in the nearby cities of Copenhagen and Berlin. Originally named after King Frederick, ruler of a unified Norway and Denmark, it only changed its name in 1939. It is informally known simply as ‘universitet’, or ‘the university’. This is understandable, given that it was the only university anywhere in Norway until as recently as 1946.

The university’s main hall was used to host the internationally acclaimed Nobel Peace Prize from 1947 to 1989. It is the only university to have hosted a Nobel Prize ceremony. The institute can also claim five previous Nobel Prize winners amongst its alumni. The campus also hosts cultural and natural history museums, created from the university’s extensive archives and research facilities.
Sight description based on wikipedia

10) Stortinget

The Stortinget is Norway’s Parliament building. It is located in the very centre of Oslo, on Karl Johanns Gate. Designed by the Swedish architect, Emil Victor Langlet, it has housed Norway’s Parliament, or Storting, since March 1866. The parliament had led a nomadic existence for fifty years between its creation and the opening of the Stortinget. Beginning in a private home, the fledgling government met at schools and university halls before land was purchased in 1857.

Following an open design competition, a red brick, classically Scandinavian design by Schirmer and von Hanno was announced as the winner, only for parliament to overturn the decision, claiming it looked too similar to a church. Langlet’s more classical design, with a circular central chamber and arcade style archways, was selected and built between 1860 and 1866. The building, considered too large initially for its purpose, was not significantly altered until after World War 2.

During Nazi occupation of Norway, the country’s Parliament fled abroad, and the Stortinget was used as an army barracks. Following liberation, the edifice was fully renovated, and a modern four-storey building added at the back. The interior is characterized by opulent red and gold designs, influenced by French and Italian architecture.

11) Theatercaféen

Theatercafeen is a famous and prestigious place for meeting. This place is a real symbol for a meeting planning; therefore all those implicated in the world of culture and finance fix their ceremonies here. The location is just one of those few of this style left in northern Europe. Built in the early 20th century the construction was designed in an Art Nouveau Viennese-style.
Chat Noir

12) Chat Noir

Chat Noir (French for "Black Cat") is a cabaret and revue theatre in Oslo, Norway. It was established in 1912 by Bokken Lasson. The current director is Tom Sterri. Chat Noir was established as a cabaret in 1912 by singer Bokken Lasson and her later husband, writer Vilhelm Dybwad, modelled after the Paris cabaret Le Chat Noir from the 19th century. During a visit to Paris in the early 1890s Bokken Lasson had found the inspiration of her life. She experienced the literary cabarets of the time, and performers such as Yvette Guilbert. The next years she toured European cities, wearing a self-composed costume, singing gypsy songs and playing lute, performing on the street, at restaurants, cabarets and occasionally in musical comedies. Chat Noir opened in the Tivoli building and Bokken Lasson managed the cabaret from 1912 to 1917. Chat Noir became a cultural meeting place, with the artists Christian and Oda Krohg (Bokken's sister) as leading figures. Their son Per Krohg painted the first decorations. To begin with Chat Noir was a literary cabaret. Herman Wildenvey and Arnulf Øverland contributed with poetry, Vilhelm Dybwad composed melodies, and Bokken Lasson was singing. In 1913 the first revue, called 1913, was played at Chat Noir. In 1916 Lalla Christensen was introduced, singing children's songs. Lalla – later married Carlsen – was engaged at Chat Noir until 1947, and came to be one of the most popular revue artists in Norway.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Galleri Fineart

13) Galleri Fineart

Galleri Fineart's focus is on the display and sale of high quality lithographic arts, located on Kristian IVs street. Owned by the Art Club, the gallery once exhibited only works by Norwegian artists, but today features some international works as well.
National Theater (Nationaltheatret)

14) National Theater (Nationaltheatret)

Oslo’s Nationaltheatret is located on Johanne Dybwads Plass, close to Karl Johans Gate, the city’s central shopping street. It is served by metro, tram and rail services at its eponymous station. Noticeable for its imposing columned facade, the theater has been a fixture of Oslo life since 1829, when it opened as the Christiania theater. It has existed in its current form since 1899, when the building was opened with a three day festival.

The center piece of the grand opening was the performance of the Ibsen play Enemy of the People. Henrik Ibsen, arguably Norway’s greatest playwright, saw the vast majority of his works performed here, including his internationally acclaimed play A Doll’s House. This was during the theater's golden age, when a combination of government funding and the work of artistic director, Vilhelm Krag, established the theater as the biggest and best in Norway. The theater now contains three separate performance areas – the main stage, the amphitheater and the painting parlor. There is also a sister theater in the Torshov district of Oslo.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 9.30 am - 6 pm; Saturday 11 am - 5 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Norwegian Nobel Committee Building

15) Norwegian Nobel Committee Building

The Norwegian Nobel Institute is am elegant stone clad building in the centre of Oslo. It is situated next to the Royal Palace, and opposite the U.S. Embassy. It was established in 1904, a year before Norway achieved full independence, and is the administrative centre for the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The committee is a five-person panel, comprised only of Norwegian citizens, that award the Nobel Peace Prize each year.

Whilst it is widely acknowledged that the prize is named after Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, a lesser known fact is that it was Nobel who posthumously created the award. His will donated money to the Norwegian government to create a committee, and award an annual prize for the promotion or advancement of world peace. Notable recent winners of the prize include Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama. Other Nobel awards are given out by the Swedish government, again under instruction from Nobel’s will.

The institute also houses a library, comprising a staggering 180 thousand volumes, all related to peace and international relations. The building also contains an extensive research facility which is visited by scholars from across the globe. Seminars and lectures on international development and relations are also held here, including the renowned Nobel Symposia – invitational debates attended by some of the world’s most distinguished scholars and public speakers.
Royal Palace

16) Royal Palace (must see)

The Royal Palace or Slottet in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of the French-born King Charles III of Norway, who reigned as king of Norway and Sweden. The palace is the official residence of the current Norwegian monarch while the Crown Prince resides at Skaugum in Asker west of Oslo.

Construction began on the palace in 1825; it took almost twenty-five years to complete. The building process, overseen by local architect Hans Linstow, was fraught with political difficulties. The government refused further funding for the expensive project at one point, due to the king’s efforts to tie Sweden and Norway closer together. Despite proceeding with a simpler, three storey neo-Classical design, the palace was still unfinished when Charles III died in 1844. His son and heir, Oscar I, became the first resident five years later.

Since public tours began in 2002, the general public has been able to view and appreciate the renovation and splendor that the palace now boasts. The daily changing of the guards has become a popular tourist attraction in recent years. Additionally, in 2017, the former palace stables were renovated and converted into a multipurpose art venue which was named Dronning Sonja KunstStall. The building will be used as an art gallery, museum and concert hall and is also open to the public.

Guided tours run all afternoon through the summer months, though they are mostly in Norwegian. English language tours take place at 12pm, 2pm, 2:20pm and 4pm each day. Tickets for the guided tours are available online from 1 March each year.

Why You Should Visit:
Not a palace in the tradition of older European monarchies but still elegant and beautifully decorated with many of the objects you'd expect to see in a royal residence.

Changing of the royal guards is at 1:30 pm daily. You can always politely approach one of the guard soldiers and take a nice photo or have a chat with them :)
The garden are peaceful and freely accessible – you can have a picnic over there and quietly sit down in the midst of nature.

Opening Hours (during Summer):
Mon-Thu: 11am-5pm; Fri: 12-5pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-5pm
Note that the 2018 season lasted from 23 June until 18 August.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Oslo, Norway

Create Your Own Walk in Oslo

Create Your Own Walk in Oslo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Oslo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Gamle Oslo Walk

Gamle Oslo Walk

Gamle Oslo translated as "Old Oslo" is one of the oldest boroughs in town, as well as one of the biggest. This tour will show you the main attractions of Gamle Oslo district, including Munch Museum, Asylet, Vålerenga Kirke and others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km
Kvadraturen Walk

Kvadraturen Walk

Kvadraturen is the oldest quarter of Oslo. It is located in the very heart of the Sentrum borough and offers plenty of tourist spots to visit. Take this tour to explore the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Gamle Raadhus, Film Museum and many others.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Frogner Walk

Frogner Walk

Frogner is an Oslo borough, located in the West End part of the Norwegian capital, renowned for its exceptional residential and retail facilities. The area is named after Frogner Manor, the site of which is now occupied by the eponymous Frogner Park. Centrally located, this is one of the priciest districts in Oslo, abounding in parks, marinas and pretty architecture. Take this tour to explore the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen Walk

Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen Walk

Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen used to be small villages not far from the main settlement, then called Christiania. Today these neighborhoods are perfect for exploring historical and cultural heritage of Norway capital. This tour will guide you through the St. Hanshaugen Park, Zoologisk Museum, Botanisk Hage og Museum and many others.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Pipervika Bay Walk

Pipervika Bay Walk

Norway's capital, Oslo, is a magnificent city where you will find an eclectic mix of architectural styles. Be sure to explore its lovely streets and wonderful museums that are considered to be some of the best in the world, as well as original restaurants and cafes located in the Pipervika Bay.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 km
Bygdøy Self-Guided Tour

Bygdøy Self-Guided Tour

Also called Oslo's Museum Center, Bygdøy is where some of the most visited museums are located, displaying precious items from Norway’s past. You can also visit Bygdøy’s beautiful parks, forests or the wonderful beach located on the west side.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Traveler's Choice: 15 Norwegian Gifts from Oslo

Traveler's Choice: 15 Norwegian Gifts from Oslo

The Norwegians are strict about gift making and believe that each gift must be equaled with a return one. For this reason, public holidays and birthdays are a very serious business in Norway, with everyone making and receiving gifts. In the spirit of this tradition, you might want to treat your dear...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Oslo for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Oslo has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Oslo, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.