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Oslo | Cultural Melting Pot of Norway

Entertainment in Oslo is usually split between pursuits and nightlife. Picnics in the park or hikes among the hills are popular activities after work and on weekends. Oslo’s many restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, cinemas and theatres are always full. Owing to the high cost of alcohol, many choose to have parties at home, or at least to begin the festivities at home with pre-parties and then go out to bars and dance clubs.

Oslo has several movie theatres that mostly feature Hollywood films, though there is a rich and active Norwegian and Scandinavian film industry that is represented.

Oslo is a shopper’s paradise, as it’s filled with boutiques and shopping centers. That said, it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world, so expats might be shocked about how much and how quickly the money gets spent in Oslo. Some of the most popular shopping areas of Oslo include:


Downtown Oslo is full of shops with most of the best-known brands, and also contains the malls of Oslo city and Byporten, which are brimming with stores and cafes for every taste and just about every budget too. Aker Brygge, the wharf next to City Hall, has expensive designer shops, as well as regular shops, cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and bars. Paleet, on Karl Johans Gate, has more upscale shops, with exclusive boutiques.


Comprising the streets Bogstadveien and Hedgehaugsveien, Majorstuen is one of the largest and most expensive shopping districts in Oslo. Here shoppers will find a good mix of exclusive brands, mid-price clothing and value clothes. Hedhehaugsveien is especially well-known for its high-end boutiques featuring designer brands. There is a monthly farmer’s market at Vibes gate, as well as market days twice a year when the whole of Bogstadveien is closed off to traffic and fills up with people looking for a bargain.

Frogner- Bygdøy Allé

This street offers a good selection of exclusive, modern interior designer shops. In this area, one can also find small independent shops with everything from exclusive clothes to kitchen utensils. Down the road toward Skoyen are several popular furniture and interior designer shops as well.


This area is full of designer boutiques, small cafes and parks. It is the place to find young Norwegian designers. Small, independent shops with clothes, pottery and handicrafts are presented, as well as second hand book and record shops. Some chain stores can also be found here.


This area has become known for its wide variety of affordable shops run by immigrants. They offer Oslo’s best selection of fruits and vegetables. If shoppers are looking for cheap fabrics, jewelry, spice, fruits and vegetables, this is where it can be found. Most of the stores are situated on Grønlandsleiret and Tøyengata streets, or on Smalgangen.

As a city with one of the world’s highest cost of living, both locals and expats mostly drink before going out (called Forespill). After dinner, there is usually a pre-drinks gathering at someone’s house and once everyone is well-warmed up, the party moves to a club. Revellers often go to Frogner on the west side or Grünerløkka on the east side. Karl Johan and Youngstorget are also nightlife hubs.

Norwegians are no exception when it comes to their love for coffee and as a result, Norway has established a strong coffee culture. Whether you are grabbing a cup to recharge during an afternoon shopping trip or pouring yourself a cup to push through a late-night session, there are plenty of places to get your caffeine fix both on and off campus.

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