At Parkteatret (the old cinema at Grünerlkka) you will find an exciting theater company that has performed a number of interesting plays. Nordic Black Theater is a drama school specifically aimed at young people with origins in Third World countries. It readily experiments with alternative methods and forms of expression. This is a good place to visit if you are looking for a different and unusual theatrical experience.
Inspired by the Norwegian wilderness, the Oslo Opera House is a marvel of modern architecture and the home of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. The glass facade of the playhouse is embraced by a marble roof that swoops down to its base in a graceful arch, inviting the audience to take a walk on the roof and drink in sweeping views of the waterfront. Inside, the spacious hall is a tapestry of textures and patterns designed by local artists; a visual and tactile experience that mimics the country's natural wonders. The concert hall itself is illuminated by a moon-like chandelier of hand-cast glass bars, beneath which sprawls a horseshoe chamber replete in wood. On stage, the Oslo Opera House hosts a diverse program of the performing arts, showcasing classical performances alongside contemporary renditions by some of the world's best-known artists. A cultural and artistic pearl, the Oslo Opera House is a contemporary wonder that was built to be touched by the masses.
Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park dedicated to the work of a single artist, and an ode to one man's obsession with the human form. The park displays over 200 sculptures fashioned from granite, bronze and wrought iron by the Norwegian artist, Gustav Vigeland, created over a period of 20 years from 1924 to 1943. In fact, the park itself was designed by the famed sculptor and is actually a mammoth installation in Frogner Park. Vigeland's work varies from depictions of humans engaged in everyday tasks, to more symbolic and abstract works like The Monolith, a 14.12-meter (46.33-foot) high sculpture composed of 121 human figures intended to represent the human desire to reach out to the divine. Other notable sculptures include The Wheel of Life and The Fountain. Although each is a masterpiece in its own right, the interplay with the layout and architecture of the park creates a whole that is more amazing than the sum of its parts. Today, Vigeland Park is one of Oslo's most popular attractions, visited by over one million tourists each year.
Holmenkollbakken on the west side of the city is famous for the enormous ski jump that can be seen from just about everywhere in Oslo. The most popular sports arena in Norway, Holmenkollen also contains the world's oldest Ski Museum and an exciting ski-simulator (on which visitors can try out the Holmenkollen ski jump themselves!). Holmenkollen hosts a variety of winter sports events, culminating in the annual ski festival in March. Even those not interested in winter sports should not miss the chance to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the city.
The former studio of sculptor Gustav Vigeland's lesser-known brother, Emanuel, is now a combined museum and mausoleum. The windowless, church-like room plays tricks on your eyes when you enter, but after a few minutes an impressive mural covering the walls and ceiling will unravel, a truly awe-inspiring representation of entire human life.
Norsk Folkemuseum, the open-air museum that has been giving visitors a peek into a life-sized past for over a century, contains more than 150 authentic buildings from different regions. The buildings date from as far back as medieval times, including the 13th-century Gol Stave Church. The permanent exhibition features sections on handicrafts, traditional clothing and the culture of the Sami people. A souvenir shop, cafe and restaurant are located on the grounds.
This is Oslo's main street, a pedestrian area leading from the central station to the palace. Visitors can watch the world go by at one of the street's numerous watering holes or simply follow the crowds down the road, past street vendors and entertainers, past the parliament, national theatre, Grand Hotel and the university. With hundreds of different shops, the street is also a Mecca for shopaholics. The park between the parliament and national theater is turned into an ice-rink in the winter.
Spikersuppa is a temporary, open-air ice rink located right in the heart of the city between the parliament and National Theater. The 25 x 10 meter (82 x 33 foot) rink is open during the winter and makes a great place to spend an energetic hour or two, skating, enjoying the atmosphere, and admiring the city. Skates can be rented from the outdoor restaurant. A loudspeaker system provides the music and entrance is free. In the summer the ice rink is transformed into a pond.
With its main stage a stone's throw from Karl Johans Gate, Oslo Nye has a repertoire consisting mainly of comedies, frequently contemporary, interspersed now and then with more hardboiled pieces and children's plays. Since 1971 Centralteatret in Akersgaten has served Oslo Nye as a second stage, whereas Oslo Bymuseum in Frognerparken houses the theater's stage for puppet plays. Oslo Nye Teater was founded as a joint-stock company in 1957, and since 1967 the Municipality of Oslo has been taking care of its finances. Some of the theater's famed directors have included Mentz Schulerud, Thoralv Maurstad and Berthold Halle.
The Parliament building houses the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) and dates back to 1866. The magnificent building was designed by the renowned architect Emil Victor Langlet. The facade is a beautiful blend of styles, mainly inspired from Italy and France. Visitors can enroll themselves for a guided tour of the entire structure. Private tours for groups can also be arranged upon request. The tours last approximately one hour. Admission is free.
Until the opening of Nationaltheatret in 1899, Christiania Theater served as Norway's national public theater. Through the 19th century, the theater heavily contributed to the deep-seated theater-culture, covering all genres from operas to contemporary performing arts. Presently, the restored Christiania Theater is a modern venue that boasts of advanced sound and lighting techniques. For schedule of current and upcoming shows check out the website.
Det Norske Teatret is the only theater in Oslo where all the plays are presented in Nynorsk (contemporary Norwegian), the country's second written language. During the last few years it has been the most popular theater in Norway. The large, modern theater building also hosts exhibitions, Saturday matinees, and "Poems at Lunchtime" (daily in the Bistro). The theater has three stages and is equipped with an IR system for those in need of a hearing aid.