Welcome to Backpacker’s Boutique. Every Sunday, this spot will feature a new travel blogger. Some weeks it will be a really fun interview about packing, fashion, and fitness so you can snoop inside their bags & lives a little bit and other weeks it’ll be a detailed luxury guide to a city the featured blogger/expat knows very well. E-mail me if you’d like to be featured.
A Luxury Guide to Oslo
Tell us a little about yourself and tell us why you’re an expert on luxury travel in Oslo.
I moved to Oslo after a year of backpacking around the globe. Although me and my husband were budget-conscious on that trip, we did splurge on very specific things, such as a luxury safari in Kenya, a hot air balloon flight in Laos, and the journey by Transmongolian Railway. Great local food is another crucial part of traveling of travel for me, so I always put a lot of effort into finding fantastic places to eat. I took that mindset with me when we moved to Oslo, the capital of Norway, and I still splurge on specific things, such as dinner at a great restaurant or a beautiful, handmade Scandinavian sweater. Also, as the Content Manager for travel app and website Stay.com, I meet many inspiring locals and they help me discover the best luxury places in the city.
What makes Oslo a perfect destination for travelers seeking a glamorous trip?
Oslo has changed a lot over the last couple of years. The city is now home to Michelin starred restaurants, Asian fusion dining spots, independent boutiques for Scandinavian design, interesting museums, and hip, urban coffee bars. The city center is small, so you can easily see most of it in a weekend. Also, the city is surrounded by nature, so you can combine your dose of city fuel with fresh air from the forest and the sea.
What 5 star hotel is the best in Oslo?
The Thief is definitely my number one luxury hotel in Oslo. It’s modern and stylish, and has a great location – close to the Oslo Fjord. Their rooftop terrace is a good place for summer evening cocktails.
What about the best boutique hotels in Oslo, of them all, which would you send your friends or family to stay at?
The Saga Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel in Frogner, a beautiful neighborhood west of the city center. The hotel is small and charming, and has a great location.
Are there any fun activities for the adventurous traveler in Oslo?
Oslo is a true haven for adventure seekers. In winter you can go cross-country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, and in summer there’s plenty of beach fun going on. Swim in the Oslo Fjord or hop on a ferry to one of the islands!
Where are the best hang outs during the day- café, beach, or park?
Frognerparken is a popular place for a BBQ in summer and you’ll also find tons of beautiful statues here. Grünerløkka, a neighborhood in the eastern part of town where hipsters feel at home, is where you’ll find coffee shops from world champion baristas, restaurants serving world cuisine and local craft beer breweries.
If you have a big date night, what are the most delicious restaurants in Oslo and what are their best dishes?
Oslo is home to fabulous fish restaurants and you can get some of the best sushi in Europe here, but I always recommend Hitchhiker, a funky restaurant serving up inventive cuisine. Their menu changes often and features dishes like dumpling burgers and a re-fried bean and bacon taco. The restaurant is located on the second floor of Oslo’s food market, Mathallen.
Let’s talk desserts in Oslo- what place makes the best?
Pascal is the place to go to for sweet treats, such as homemade chocolates, macarons and beautiful pastries.
Tell us all the hot shopping spots in Oslo; who’s carrying the trendy local designers?
Nest is a cute little store where they sell Scandinavian interior items and… cupcakes. Great combo, right? Kollekted By is another gem for interior items and gifts. Babel is a must-visit if you’re looking for fashion from local and international designers.
What are a couple of the best salons and spas in Oslo?
I recommend Colosseum Spa for beauty treatments, massages and other divine spa experiences. It’s a calm city spa with friendly staff and a beautiful interior.
Time for a great sunset view… where would you go?
If you’re traveling together with your partner, I’d recommend taking the ferry to one of the islands. Bring a blanket, a good bottle of wine and some snacks, and enjoy the long Norwegian summer evenings and the beautiful sunset. Another great option is Holmenkollen, the green area outside the city center where you’ll have beautiful views over the fjord.
Now that the sun’s gone down, fill us on the best places to go for some evening drinks or a great pre-gaming spot.
Cocktail lovers will enjoy Bar Boca, a small bar with a long history and some of the best mixologists in the city. Fuglen, a vintage coffee bar that turns into a cocktail heaven at night is a great choice, too, and so is Torggata Botaniske, one of the newbies in town.
Claudia is a Dutch world traveler who moved to Oslo after a one-year backpacking trip around the world. She’s the Content Manager for travel service Stay and blogs about her own adventures on her Dutch travel blog Backpackgek.nl. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.