The main streets of downtown Oslo are Karl Johans Gate, Rosenkrantz gate and the area around Tinghuset and Stortorvet. Here you can find many nightclubs, shops, bars, cafés and hotels. Karl Johans gate is the busiest street of the city centre.
It connects Oslo Central Station, the main rail station, and the Royal Palace. Many of Oslo’s tourist attractions are located on Karl Johans Gate such as the Royal Palace, Central Station, Stortinget, the National Theatre, the old University Buildings, the Palace Park and the pond Spikersuppa at Eidsvolls plass.
Larger shopping malls and department stores in the area are Oslo City, Byporten, Glassmagasinet, Steen & Strøm, Paleet and Aker Brygge. At Grensen you will find a good selection of shoes, while Møllergata is the street where you can find furniture.
Oslo houses several major museums and galleries. Among the city’s main museums are the Munch Museum, The National Museum, Oslo City Museum, Folkemuseet, Vigeland Museum, Viking Ship Museum, Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
The oldest district of downtown Oslo is Kvadraturen. It’s the area between Akershus Fortress and Karl Johans gate, Jernbanetorget and Egertorget. You will find some of Oslo’s oldest buildings in this area, as also a number of fine art galleries and museums. It’s the place where king Christian IV founded Christiania after the big fire in 1624.
On Norway’s constitution day, on May 17th, the downtown streets are crowded with people, many of them dressed in national costumes.
Main squares located in Oslo City Centre, Norway
Stortorvet or Grand Plaza — city centre square just west of Oslo Cathedral. The Cathedral is the main church for Oslo bishopric as well as parish church for downtown Oslo. It is used by The Royal Family and the Norwegian Government for public events like weddings and funerals.
Christiania torv — square in Rådhusgata in Oslo’s old city centre Kvadraturen. It’s a beautiful medieval square surrounded by several historic buildings, Oslo’s original town hall which is now the theatre museum, and the garrison hospital, the oldest building in the city. The square is also known for its fountain, shaped like a hand pointing to the ground.
Bankplassen or The Bank Square — Old Town Kvadraturen square bounded by Kongens gate, Myntgata and Kirkegata. Well-known buildings on the plaza are the Engebret Café and Norges Bank’s headquarters.
Egertorget — square with many outdoor cafés located in downtown Oslo at the intersection of Karl Johans gate and Øvre Slottsgate.
Eidsvolls plass — Eidsvoll square is a public park situated west of the Parliament of Norway Building, south of Karl Johans gate and east of Studenterlunden and the National Theatre.
Jernbanetorget — large square in front of the central railway station surrounded by many hotels and cheaper hostels.
Rådhusplassen or City Hall Square — square located between Oslo City Hall and the Oslofjord in Vika.
Sehesteds plass — square with a fountain in the middle, modelled after Place Vendôme in Paris. It’s named after the Governor of Norway Hannibal Sehested.
Universitetsplassen — city center square surrounded by three buildings of the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.
Slottsplassen — Palace Square located in front of the Royal Palace. In the middle stands a statue of Charles John of Norway and Sweden, sculpted by Brynjulf Bergslien.