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Key Info

Price & Hours



Entertainment and Nightlife, Free, Cafes, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 5.0Value
  • 4.5Food Scene
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Karl Johans gate stretches between Oslo's downtown train station and Palace Park, an expansive park that surrounds the Royal Palace. Boutiques, cafes, bars, nightclubs and hotels are just some of the amenities you'll find lining this central thoroughfare. Inside the smaller Studenterlunden Park, which borders the street's western end, you can catch a performance at the late 19th-century National Theatre, go ice skating at the outdoor rink or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll. This section of the boulevard is also a block away from the National Gallery, one of four buildings that comprise the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

Karl Johans gate may be Oslo's most popular street, but its wide design and ample green spaces make it feel surprisingly quiet and uncrowded. To get a complete picture of the thoroughfare, a few past travelers suggest making multiple visits at varying times. Others recommend people-watching from one of the open-air cafes. Don't forget to check out the bronze tiger statue that sits at the eastern end of the boulevard. It was gifted to the city in 2000 to honor Oslo's 1,000-year anniversary.

Getting to Karl Johans gate is a cinch thanks to its central location and ample transportation options. A variety of buses, trams and T-bane trains make stops within a block of the street. It's free to visit 24 hours a day, but keep in mind that opening hours for amenities vary by locale. Shopping and dining venues range from local specialty options to outposts of international brands like Michael Kors, TGI Fridays, H&M, Burger King and Hard Rock Cafe.

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Time to Spend
#1 Oslo Fjord

Occupying 766 square miles, Oslo Fjord attracts Oslo residents and tourists in droves, especially during the warmer months. Water vistas are available from many parts of the city, including popular attractions like the Oslo Opera House and Akershus Fortress. You can also opt to hit the water in a canoe or kayak, but to get the full experience, consider signing up for an Oslo Fjord cruise. Sightseeing and fishing excursions are available on everything from inflatable boats (known as RIBs) to sailboats and yachts to ferries throughout the year.

Traveler-approved cruise operators include RIB Oslo and Norway Yacht Charter, but the cheapest and most popular way to explore the fjord is via a tour with Båtservice Sightseeing. Affiliated with Norway Yacht Charter, this ferry company offers several fjord tour options, such as a two-hour daytime sightseeing excursion and three-hour crab-, jazz- and blues-themed cruises. Previous visitors suggest booking the evening boat tour, which includes three hours of sailing and a highly regarded all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet. But remember to bring extra money for drinks and a jacket if you plan on sitting outside.

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