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The Norwegian capital has a tumultuous history, having been torn apart by fire and plague and reinvented several times since its founding in the mid-11th century. Nearly 1,000 years later, Oslo continues to preside over Oslofjord, the inlet that connects the city to the North Sea. It is famous for its beautiful scenery, as well as for the hiking trails and ski slopes that pattern the surrounding forests. It is also an economic powerhouse and a cultural haven filled with galleries, theaters and museums. Whether you’re conducting business in the center or intending to explore the waterfront shops and restaurants of Aker Brygge, we look at a few of Oslo’s best hotels. Options range from family-friendly picks to romantic boutiques.
Best Overall: Hotel Continental
Located opposite the National Theater and a stone’s throw from the Royal Palace, five-star Hotel Continental is ranked on TripAdvisor as the best hotel in Oslo. It is also the only Leading Hotel of the World in Norway. Much of its charm comes from the fact that it has been owned and run by the same family for four generations. Opened in 1900, its interiors treat you to a luxury blend of the classic and contemporary, while the walls are adorned with hand-picked artworks. There are 155 guestrooms and suites, all with a bathtub, a balcony, an LCD TV and free Wi-Fi.
The hotel’s Les Clefs d’Or concierge provides exemplary service, giving you insider information about which restaurants, museums and theaters to visit. When hunger strikes, choose from five restaurants and bars, including Oslo landmark Theatercaféen. Since the hotel’s opening, this breathtaking Art Nouveau restaurant has dazzled patrons with its seasonal European fare. Lobby bar Dagligstuen is known for its cocktails and its Edvard Munch print collection.
Best Budget: Comfort Hotel Karl Johan
Situated near Oslo Cathedral on the city’s main thoroughfare, Comfort Hotel Karl Johan gives budget travelers the opportunity to experience life in the heart of the action. Opened in 2016, the hotel is bright, modern and affordable. There are 181 unique rooms, the cheapest being the Moderate Double. Although small, you’ve got all the amenities you need, including an ensuite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. On Sundays, enjoy late check-out until 6 p.m. at no extra cost.
Breakfast is included, giving you even more value for money. Fill up on organic, sustainable produce before heading out to explore the city. There’s a cozy lobby lounge for relaxed afternoons at the hotel, as well as a complimentary downstairs gym. A 24-hour shop sells essentials, including tasty snacks. If you’d rather sit down for a proper meal, head to Rodins Bar & Bistro. Blessed with outdoor terraces for al fresco meals in summer, the restaurant specializes in French cuisine.
Best Boutique: Saga Hotel Oslo
Four-star boutique Saga Hotel Oslo offers a quiet location on a leafy residential street near the Royal Palace. Step through the original 1890s façade into an elegant interior that has been carefully reinvented as a temple to contemporary style. With just 47 rooms and suites, the hotel offers guests a refreshing sense of intimacy. Decorated in complementary shades of gray, white and gold, each room includes a 40” TV, a Nespresso coffee machine and a minibar.
Upgrade to a higher category for extra space or ask for a room with a private balcony. Communal areas include a simple breakfast room and an atmospheric lobby bar (perfect for daytime coffees and evening apéritifs). However, the star of the show is downstairs sushi bar, Restaurant Fangst. Here, you can sample the freshest Norwegian seafood prepared in fine Japanese style. Other hotel perks include complimentary access to a local gym.
Best for Families: Scandic St. Olavs Plass
An excellent mid-range option for those traveling with young kids, Scandic St. Olavs Plass puts your family within easy walking distance of major attractions such as Palace Park and the National Gallery. All children receive a welcome gift, while during peak holiday times there’s a mobile play module with toys and a PlayStation. Choose the Family Room for a pull-out sofabed, free Wi-Fi and a TV with children’s channels.
Connecting rooms accommodate larger families, while Teenage Rooms are charged at discounted rates depending on availability. Worried about the expense of a Norwegian vacation? Children under 13 stay for free at this hotel. Breakfast is included, too, and the restaurant offers a dedicated kids menu designed to suit younger tastes. When you need a quiet adult moment, head to the bar and lounge, or to the on-site gym.
Best for Romance: Oslo Guldsmeden
Eco-friendly boutique Oslo Guldsmeden is a short stroll from waterfront Aker Brygge - the best date night destination in Oslo. Small and rustic, it’s the ideal choice for a romantic getaway. All 50 rooms create an atmosphere of intimacy with a four-poster bed, soft lighting and warm wooden floors. For special occasions, splash out on the Bridal Suite (with a copper bathtub and private sauna, it’s worth it).
An organic breakfast is included in your room rate, while the lobby lounge enchants with driftwood sculptures and colorful rugs. Curl up in front of the fireplace for a cozy afternoon spent reading together, then return for small plates and drinks after dark. Another romantic hotel highlight is the Turkish hammam, complete with a choice of saunas and a serene relaxation room.
Best Luxury: The Thief
Five-star hotel The Thief takes its name from the luxury development on which it sits - Tjuvholmen, or Thieves Island. This is the choice for design-conscious travelers, seducing with a bold, ultra-modern color scheme, luxe gold accents and an impressive art collection. All rooms spoil with floor-to-ceiling windows, a private balcony and a state-of-the-art sound system, but The Oslo Suite is the most decadent.
From this penthouse apartment, expect original Peter Blake artworks and a private roof terrace with breathtaking fjord views. The same views can be appreciated from Thief Roof and Thief Roof Foodbar in the summer. Together, these outdoor options treat you to signature cocktails and sumptuous seafood. There are two indoor restaurants, while the spa offers treatments from Turkey, Morocco and Germany.
Best for Nightlife: Grand Hotel Oslo
Surrounded by city center theaters, restaurants and bars, five-star Grand Hotel Oslo lets you explore a broad spectrum of nightlife options. This historic hotel is also home to Othilia Lobby Bar, a newly renovated space serving sophisticated drinks. The party continues with craft cocktails and stunning city views at Eight Rooftop Bar. From the standard Grand Petite Rooms to the impressive Grand Suites, all rooms offer free Wi-Fi, a minibar and a deluxe bed. After a late night, restore your equilibrium with a fitness center workout or with a dip in the indoor pool. The spa tempts with a full menu of treatments and massages; while Palmen restaurant serves fine Nordic cuisine ahead of the next night’s festivities.
Best Business: Thon Hotel Opera
Located a three-minute walk from the airport train terminal at Oslo Central Station, Thon Hotel Opera is especially convenient for visiting business travelers. It has 18 meeting rooms - the largest of which can accommodate up to 220 delegates. Business Rooms include free Wi-Fi and a generous work desk, as well as amenities designed to help you unwind after a busy day (like a TV, a minibar and bathtub). This category includes breakfast, while Scala Restaurant promises all-day dining with a view of the Oslo Opera House. You can also work out in the fitness room or network with co-workers in the bar. Your choice.
Best Views: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel, Oslo
On the other side of Oslo Central Station, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel is a glass tower with 37 stories. As well as upscale amenities such as a minibar and free WiFi, all rooms offer downtown views. For the most impressive panoramas of Oslo landmarks and the fjords beyond, book an upper level Business or Signature Suite. Alternatively, 34 Restaurant and 34 Skybar boast the same dizzying vantage point (with the added benefit of traditional Norwegian cuisine and specialty cocktails, respectively). Need inspiration to stay in shape? The health club complements its gym and swimming pool with mesmerizing 37th-floor views.