Skip the stilettos when heading out for a day of shopping in Oslo, Norway. Here, casual is key even if the options are luxurious.
“If you go for shopping on the west side, you dress somewhat smart; otherwise, most people dress casual, some very casual,” says Henning Kletvang, chief concierge with Grand Hotel Oslo. “There are not that many unwritten rules connected to shopping in Oslo. As long as you have the money, you are good to go.”
Part of that casual feel might be due to the pedestrian nature of the Oslo. Shopping is concentrated along a few streets, allowing travelers to stroll from boutique to boutique.
On the west side of the city, head to Majorstua, particularly its most fashionable street, Bogstadveien, for a day of high-end shopping. The fashion center is right behind the Royal Palace and boasts well-known names including H&M, Benetton and Zara, as well as small vintage and luxury boutiques. Sections of pavement are heated in the winter; so even if the rest of Oslo is icy, shoppers can stroll in ease.
Must-Stop Shops in Oslo
Checking out House of Oslo is a must, according to Kletvang. While some of the more spectacular items in this home interiors store might not fit in travelers’ carry-ons, it’s the place to go for sleek, Nordic-inspired décor ideas. From wine glasses and cutlery to light fixtures and furniture, “This is the store if you want some products or items a bit out of the ordinary,” Kletvang says.
Continue with the Nordic inspiration by heading to Norway Designs at Stortingsgata 28. Here, shoppers can browse jewelry such as beaded arm bands and objets d’art such as metal sculptures. Everything is made in the workshop right beside the store.
The Grand Hotel’s central location puts it between Majorstua and the trendy shopping district of Grünerløkka. This eastside area is home to cafés, vintage and secondhand shops and a farmers’ market. “I love to shop at Grünerløkka,” Kletvang says. “There are a lot of antique shops in that area that sell old books and other cool stuff.”
Book reservations well in advance at super-trendy Maaemo while in this area. The restaurant serves a set menu to guests, including a set drinks menu.
After a day of shopping, head back to the Grand Hotel. Female shoppers might want to reserve a suite on The Ladies Floor, where 13 guestrooms are designed with a feminine touch by famous Norwegian women.
“The most popular room is the one designed by Silje Nergaard, a Norwegian singer, and [Inger] Ellen Nicolaisen, the woman who started the hair salon chain Nikita,” Kletvang says.
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