Heroine City Guide: Oslo

For the third instalment of Heroine City Guides, we travelled to the charming city of Oslo, Norway. The city is small but full of life, and with a population just over 600,000, Oslo offers true Scandinavian minimalism in every sense. The city itself is architecturally rich and is surrounded by Norwegian forests and the Oslo Fjord, an inlet with over 40 islands, making it an attractive destination for tourists all over the world. Here are our favourite spots to eat, drink, shop and hunt for vintage treasures in Oslo, Norway.

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Photography by Erik Spanne.

For coffee: Fuglen (Universitetsgata 2)

Fuglen, meaning the bird, is a cafè and coffee house founded back in 1963. Fuglen is filled with original and collectible furniture predominantly from the 50’s and 60’s and serves quite possibly the best chai latte in Oslo—a perfect kickstart for a day of shopping and exploring. If you can’t make it to Oslo, the cafè is also home to Tokyo, Japan, where it’s adorned with the same mid-century Norwegian aesthetic.

For furniture and home goods: Kollekted by (Schous Plass 7)

Kollekted by is an interior shop carefully curated by the stylist-duo Kråkvik & D´Orazio. They sell their favourite furniture, lighting and interior objects from around the world, representing brands like Frama Cph, Astep, Fogia, Futagami, Hampson Woods, and local emerging talent. Kollekted by is a minimalists dream and is located near the casual-cool area of Grünerløkka. “If I could bring one item from the store home with me today it would be the Anette Krogstad bowls, she recently made the new cutlery for the infamous NOMA restaurant in Copenhagen”, says Bjørn van der Berg, Shop Assistant Kollekted by.

For vintage treasures: MA Vintage (Briskebyveien 28)

MA Vintage is one of Oslo’s best kept secrets for vintage designer clothing. The store sells both second-hand vintage and brand-new designer garments at incredible prices (like Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière for $200). “Celine, Balenciaga and Chanel are the brands we’re seeing the most in the store. These brands can truly stand the test of time,” explains Marte Tafjord, Shop Assistant at MA Vintage.

To eat: Brutus (Eiriks Gate 2)

When it comes to eating Scandinavian, it’s not about exotic animals like whale and reindeer. Scandinavian cooking, especially Norwegian, is all about abstract flavour combinations and ingredients that speak for themselves. Brutus’ menu will challenge your pallet and can be paired with their extensive natural wine list. A 6-course menu priced around $70 brings to the table local ingredients and creative food pairings.

For art: Astrup Fearnley Museum (Strandpromenaden 2)

Astrup Fearnley originally opened in 1993 and relocated in 2012 to Tjuvholmen. Although Astrup Fearnley might sound like an obvious choice, the museum carries some incredible works of art that deserve to be seen in person. The monumental building was designed by Renzo Piano and houses works of art by Francis Bacon, Dan Colen, Elmgreen & Dragset, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and more. Once you’re done browsing, stop by the man-made beach outside where you can cool down before getting back to shopping.

To shop: YME Universe (Karl Johans gate 39)

A mini Colette in the heart of Oslo, right on the passage to the Royal Castle, lies the multi-brand store, YME Universe. Designed by Snøhetta, the store has a distinct Nordic theme throughout with ice, wood and fire running through the interior. YME opened its doors just four years ago and carries brands like Off-White, Helmut Lang, ALYX, A-Cold-Wall, Ambush, Stone Island and Rick Owens. Jafar Haidar, YME’s third-floor manager, explains that “YME first and foremost appeals to a wide range of customers and is a destination for the fashion savvy community which is always updated regarding current trends. An important part of our selection are brands with a high international demand. These brands are highly exclusive and are in general rarely available in the Scandinavian market. Typical brands in this segment are Yeezy Season, Off-white, Gosha and Stone Island.”

For cocktails: Torggata Botaniske (Torggata 17B)

The woods are never far away in Oslo, but Torggata Botaniske brings them to the heart of the city. With draping vines and ceiling-tall shrubbery, Torggata Botaniske’s calming, garden-like atmosphere perfectly compliments its incredible cocktail menu. Michael Paul Kirya-Atabala a bartender at Torggata Botaniske, says his personal favourite drink to order at the bar is the Yuzain Bolt cocktail: “It’s a fresh, tasty summer drink with notes of sencha tea and yuzu sake, that’s why it’s called Yuzain Bolt.”

Written by Madeleine Holth for Heroine

Photography by Erik Spanne

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