Even though the price level for a night in Oslo can be cruel to a budget
traveller , the action has really picked up over the last 10 years. A
happening local scene, simplified by trendy journalists as " The
Oslo Sound", is actually something really worth checking out.
House music, drum'n'bass, hip pop, indie pop, alternative rock, soul,
r&b and of course the billboard music are bomming into the many dancefloors.
International bands, dj's and artists often stop over for a mid-week show
in little Oslo, knowing that this is not where they make the big bucks,
but a handy "tour date filler".
Almost every night you can be certain to find a talented Norwegian or
international Dj spinning wax some place in Oslo. If you want to know
whats going on tonight, we recommend a very good source of information
called NATT &DAG. This is a free magazine, which you find at quite
a few cafés and clubs, and they also have an web site: www.nattogdag.no.
The web-sites www.nattguiden.no or www.oslopuls.no are also splendid guides
to a good time in Oslo.Now, if you don't understand Norwegian, ask someone
to translate for you.
Most bars and clubs in Oslo are open until 3-3.30 in the morning. If
you're not able to find anything interesting among these, also note that
many cafés turn into hot spots around 22-23 o'clock. ( Check out
the " Cafés and restaurant" section, or the pubs and
bars section). Beware that it's difficult to separate café, pub
and club, as some clubs may serve food during the day, and some restaurants
turn into "clubs" in the weekend.
All places where they serve alcohol have a minimum age limit of 18 years
in the evening, and the clubs mostly prefer people of 23 or even 25 years
plus. If you are 17 or younger, there are unfortunately few alternatives.
Cover charges vary a lot, with some places charging only Fridays and Saturdays,
others all week, and others again depending on the particular concept
Pubs and bars
Onkel Donald , Universitetsgata 26
This is one of the most beautiful places to spend time if you are in city
center Oslo. It is a combination of café, pub, bar and restaurant
with great international cuisine. The rooms are big, trendy and breezy
where you can enjoy pop and hits music. All these makes Onkel Donald a
recommended place in Oslo. Professional and service minded staff, good
drinks, and a nice atmosphere, though often very crowded in the weekends.
The age limit is 24 years.
Bar Robinet , Mariboes gate, next to Rockefeller Music Hall
Oslo's cutest little bar. This place is where to hang out early in the
evenings, and the friendly staff, friendly prices and friendly music makes
it a really pleasant stay.
Mono , Pløensgate 4.
Relaxed, nice place with a good atmosphere. Here comes people who appreciate
good rock music and good beer. Quality concerts and cultural arrangements
makes Mono a good choice not only in the weekends, but every day, just
ask one of the many regular guests.
Café Amsterdam , Universitetsgaten 11
For those dreaming about Heineken, the canals of Amsterdam and Dutch meatballs.
Popular version of a Dutch café. Nice atmosphere, Dutch papers
and a Dutch-speaking owner.
Teddy's Softbar , Brugata 3a
Teddy was born in the fifties and is still alive and kicking. Original
interior from those years, but no more milkshake. A Teddy Boy or two is
usually parked in a corner. It's hard to turn Teddy's down.
Underwater Pub , Bjerregaards gate
An alternative in the St.Hanshaugen area, this characteristic pub live
up to its name. Beware, Tuesday and Thursday students from the National
School of Opera have little concertos here.
Gloria Flames , Grønland 18.
Rock'n roll bar with mixed music and guests. An outdoor café is
open during summerdays with nice weather. Lovely pancakes!
Bar Boca , TMgt. 30
For the best drinks in town, really, this 50s-inspired shoebox sized cocktail
bar is the place to be for the non-claustrophobic drinker. 5 tables makes
it impossible not to speak to your fellow bar lovers. Blue Note jazz night
Bar Moskva , Pilestredet / Pattakjellern. Cheap beer, NOK 31, and ”everything
for sale”. You may actually buy everything in the bar, decorating
the walls etc.
Mir , Toftesgate 69
The best kept secret on Grunerløkka. It is a nice local pub where
you drink your beer in old plane seats. They also have concerts now and
Horgans , Hegdehaugsveien
American Bar, with good cocktails and burgers, and always packed with
people in the weekend. Young American-loving west-end crowd!
Café Sør , Torggt.11.
This is an international and cool café between the central station
and UseIt. Drinks and bites are very cheap. Evenings and weekends are
animated with chill out music which makes Café Sør a unique
place to be.
The Sportsbar Oslo , Rosenkrantzgt 9.
This is the most famous and biggest sport bar in Oslo, two minutes from
the main walkingstreet Karl Johansgate. Different kinds of people goes
there. Besides playing pool you can watch international matches. They
play all kinds of music from house to hits. Age limit is 20 years.
Solli Bowlinghall Sport , Drammensveien 40.
If you are a bowling lover, this is the place you can bowl, eat pizza
and have a drink. It is located just behind the castle near the Nobel
Oslo Bowling Sport Senter , Torggt 16.
This is a place to kill time and enjoy the city. Besides playing bowl
and pool you can drink your coffee or beer in very comfortable atmosphere.
Entry from Møllergata Right across the street from UseIt
Sikamikanico is a pleasant and lazy espresso bar in the late afternoon/
early evening, but later turns into a happening club, with Djs shipping
in every day. If the room you're staying in is a bit claustrophobic, Sika's
worn car boot sale sofas make you feel at Oslo even when not. Espresso
bar at daytime, and a hot place to be at nighttime. Age limit 24.
Entry from Universitetsgaten
A small bar where listening to music and silent flirting are the two main
activities. The staff put up a sign saying " No music requests",
and loud rock'n'roll music makes talking difficult in groups of more than
two. So just sip your pint, smile and listen. Age limit 22, cover charge
The Living Room , Olav V's gate 1
Even if the beers are too small, this stylish and leisurely pub/bar is
the best place to lounge out before or after going to one of the many
cinemas in the area. Age limit 24.
Nylon , Arbeidergata 2
Don't expect any break beats or programmed hi-hats on the sound system
here, but rather pop and rock from the early eighties and up till today.
A nice alternative to those rather than sitting and drinking their pint,
then shaking it off on the dancing floor. Age limit 20.
Killyrego , Storgata 25. Alternative and obscure Tecno. Different happenings
and performance parties.
Rockefeller Music Hall , Torggata 16 (entrance from Mariboes gate)
This is Oslo's most consistent rock venue. It has a big concerts stage
with room for 1500 people. A lot of activities, ranging from concerts,
cinema, literary debates etc. See program in local newspaper .no. Age
limit 18, often no age limit at all.
John Dee , enter from Henrik Ibsens gate, neighbour of, and run by, Rockefeller
This stage aims at up and coming rock/ pop bands, and bands that are a
bit past their days of Top of the Pops. John Dee also has a very cosy
pub in the basement, host of Beat Basement, a rhythm'n'soul club that
earned nightlife magazine NATT & DAG's Oslo good clubbing price of
the year 1999. Less activity during summer. no. Age limit 18.
, Brenneriveien 9
Situatet in a former storehouse, aims to be the best jazz stage in Oslo.
And there's no doubt you'll find good music here. But not jazz only, as
serves a wide range of different music, and also other arrangements as
book café and performance. Outdoor café next to the river
Akerselva with great (and cheap) food during summer.
Cosmopolite , Møllergata 26
Oslos Multicultural music stage can offer everything from world music
till jazz and contemporary music. Many conserts and festivals are held
here, as Oslo Jazz Festival and Sami winterfestival. Only open at days
Smuget , Rosenkrantz gate 2
This is one of the biggest live stage halls in the city center with 3
stages, 6 bars, restaurant, café and nightclub. Here you will experience
Norwegian music, jazz, rock, blues, R&B, funk,soul etc....You may
also get the opportunity to meet Norwegian celebrities!!!!!!!
Age limit 24.
If you plan to enjoy a night on the town with locals, you need to be aware
of the typically Norwegian night life phenomenon called a "vorspiel".
The Norwegians have given this German word an entirely new meaning: "Pre-party"
- a party before the real party, where a few beers, glasses of wine or
maybe a couple of longdrinks are consumed. The reason for this ritual
is simple. As you may have discovered, alcohol and tobacco are heavily
taxed in Norway. Consequently, young people in Norway make a "vorspiel"
at somebody's apartment before going out, to get a little "tipsy"
in a budget fashion. They bring Oslo brew, alcohol bought in shops, the
Wine Monopoly, or stolen from their parents' wine cellar, put on some
records, tell about the latest incidents and get on the good foot. This
is often very good fun, sometimes even more amusing than the bar/clubbing
bit that follows. At a "vorspiel" everybody is cheerful and
still have great expectations to what experiences the night will bring.
Unfortunately, "vorspiels" may also lead to people getting totally
wasted before even reaching the doorstep of a club. Be aware, as you may
encounter a lot of half-digested pizza on your night out in Oslo. And
if you feel that sober Norwegians enjoy practising their English, those
you meet at a "vorspiel" are truly blabbering away.
If you encounter a lot of people standing around a certain club or bar
after closing time, they are not necessarily drug dealers. They are probably
only looking for a nachspiel. You guessed correctly, if "vorspiel"
means pre-party, then "nachspiel" must mean post-party. Although
most of us have attended at least one or two really good nachspiels in
our lives, most nachspiels tend to end up as pretty boring wastes of sleep,
or social disasters that we neither can nor want to remember.
Pint prices in bars and clubs
The price of a pint of beer can often tell you things about the bar or
club you're in. Even though many Norwegian pubs have the cruel practice
of serving 40 centilitre "pints" to make you empty your pockets
quicker, the real Norwegian "pint" should be 50 centilitres.
Also, notice how many bartenders deliberately "cut" the beers
before they reach the pint line, thus saving money in the long run. Having
this in mind when you order, what should you then pay for it? Well, if
...more than 50: Come on, this place is way too expensive, even for Norwegian
standards! But you might also pick up or be picked up by someone stinking
rich (and probably stinking drunk too).
...less than 50: This place is high average, but if you're having a really
good time, maybe it's worth it?
...less than 45: This place is low average, and if you're having a good
time, it's worth it.
...less than 40: Now you're talking. If the tunes and the people are good
too, this might just be Your Night Out.
...less than 30: This place is either a watering hole for local alcoholics,
bankruptly desperate for some business, or run by somebody who definitely
makes most of his money through other methods. Probably all three. And
forget about the music bit.
...less than 25: Maybe you should go Oslo now. You're too drunk to even
count your change. No? Then the bartender must be your best mate - or
trying to lure you Oslo.