Located in a landmark 22-storey building close to many of Oslo’s cultural offerings, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia is the perfect place from which to explore the Norwegian capital. With the Royal Palace, the National Gallery and the Opera House all a few minutes’ walk away, it’s a homey yet modern base in one of Europe’s most underrated capital cities.
The rooms combine modern design with a retro Scandinavian feel, and offer either city views or views of Oslo Fjord. Some nice in-room touches include complimentary Nespresso coffee and USB charging ports. The jewel in the hotel’s crown is the 21st floor Summit Bar, a beautifully minimalist space designed by renowned local architects Snøhetta that offers spectacular views of the city. Nab a window seat just before sunset and watch the sun dip below the islands that dot the Oslofjord.
If you prefer something more energetic, the Lagoon fitness centre offers state-of-the-art equipment, a beautifully designed indoor pool, and a sauna. One of hotel’s highlights is 26 North, Radisson’s casual dining restaurant. All the ingredients are local, and the dishes are quintessentially Norwegian, from mini moose burgers and deep-fried cheese waffles to freshly caught halibut.
Once you are fed and watered, it’s time to explore the city. One of Europe’s greenest cities (in both the literal and metaphorical sense), Oslo is at once compact and spread out, and perfect to explore on foot. It’s culturally vibrant, with a host of museums, galleries and exhibition spaces dotted across the city, as well as a plethora of world-class restaurants – including the most northerly three-Michelin-starred restaurant in the world, Maaemo.
From the concierge
Regarded as one of the best coffee shops in the world, Tim Wendelboe is part café, part micro roastery, and part coffee training centre. Located in the hip Grünerløkka neighbourhood, the coffee here more than lives up to its reputation.
The Viking Ship Museum
Norway’s history is interlinked with that of the Vikings and the Viking Ship Museum offers an eye-opening look at the lives they led. Star of the show is a 9th Century burial ship in almost perfect condition. There’s a range of other finds too, and it’s a fascinating insight into Norway’s Viking past.
This huge Olympic ski jump overlooks the city and offers a viewing platform and a museum that showcases the history of skiing and polar exploration. Norwegians are fanatical about skiing, and this is a great introduction to the sport.
PRICE: FROM US$130 PER NIGHT / radissonhotels.com