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10 Best Things to Do in Grünerløkka: Oslo’s Quirky Neighbourhood

10 Best Things to Do in Grünerløkka: Oslo’s Quirky   Neighbourhood

If you’re looking for a place bursting with creative energy, quirky charm, and a bohemian spirit, look no further than Grünerløkka. This vibrant neighbourhood is the eclectic soul of the Norwegian capital and is a place you need to see when visiting Oslo.

From vibrant street art to vintage treasures, culinary delights to cultural haunts, the area of Grünerløkka has it all. As a traveller who loves street art and discovering neighbourhoods with unusual and laid-back vibes, this was the perfect place to explore during my 3-days in Oslo.

And I am not the only one who found Grünerløkka interesting. Oslo’s most famous painter, Edvard Munch, called it his creative haven.

In this post, I outline the best Grünerløkka things to do for travellers who are looking for a unique Oslo neighbourhood to explore.

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pink building beside a river in Grünerløkka.
19th-century factory buildings stand along the Akerselva River

Explore the beating heart of Oslo’s hipster scene

Map of the best places to see Grünerløkka

Getting to Grünerløkka from the city centre by public transport (including tram number 12) is easy. You can also walk to Grünerløkka in 30 – 40 minutes and enjoy some Oslo sightseeing.

blue tram with electric scooters by it in Grünerløkka

Embrace the Artsy Vibes #1

Grünerløkka, pronounced GROO-ner-loh-kuh, isn’t just a neighbourhood; it’s a kaleidoscope of creativity. As you wander through its streets, you’ll find yourself immersed in an explosion of diverse and captivating street art.

Every corner pops with colourful murals, thought-provoking graffiti, and unexpected art installations. Wander around the streets as I did and uncover the hidden gems that adorn Grünerløkka’s walls and alleyways.

As a traveller who loves seeking out street art in Europe, I was thrilled to come across so much colourful street art in Grünerløkka; it was a feast for the eyes!

Remember that urban art is constantly evolving. The images in this post represent the murals I captured during my time in Grünerløkka. They may change in the future.

Street art on a wall in Grünerløkka Oslo
Colourful street art in Grünerløkka in Oslo
Street art in Grünerløkka showing a girl sitting on a wall
Grünerløkka street art
black and white wall mural in Grünerløkka stating Oslo is boring
Want to know more about the urban art in Oslo? Book a Guided Grünerløkka Street Art Tour.

Grünerløkka Shops #2

If you enjoy shopping for artisan crafts or are a vintage enthusiast, Grünerløkka has your name written all over it.

The area boasts an array of independent boutiques, vintage shops, and art galleries; it is a treasure trove for unique finds.

From fashion-forward clothing to handcrafted jewellery and eccentric home décor, you’ll discover pieces a little out of the ordinary in Grünerløkka. 

A couple of shops worth visiting in Grünerløkka are:

Fransk Bazar is an antique shop with a unique collection of high-end trinkets, gadgets, and objects collected from all over Europe.

Veloria Vintage lets shoppers browse for classic designer pieces from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Dapper is a menswear shop featuring cool independent labels.

Enjoy Grünerløkka’s culinary scene #3

Experience the coffee culture in Grünerløkka and start your day at one of its charming cafés. Enjoy artisan coffee and indulge in freshly baked pastries.

Good coffee shops in Grünerløkka include Supreme Roastworks at Thorvald Meyers Gate 18A and Tim Wendelboe – Grüners Gate 1.

While at Gruner’s gate, stroll through Olaf Ryess Plass, a picturesque square surrounded by several 19th-century houses. You could always grab a takeaway coffee from Tim Wendelboe and sip it in the park!

coffee and pastry on a counter in Grünerløkka
Supreme Roastworks

For a taste of multicultural delights, head to Mathallen Oslo, a bustling food hall in the Vulcan district that combines a mix of cuisines under one roof.

exterior red brick building of Mathalen food hall in Grünerløkka.

From Nordic delicacies to international treats, this is where foodies’ dreams come true.

Interior of Mathalen food Hall in Grünerløkka Oslo.

If you have a sweet tooth, try a doughnut from The Cupcake and Pie Co. I recommend Refresh for fresh smoothies.

Døgnvill Bar & Burger is another Norwegian favourite that claims to serve up the most delicious burgers in Vulkan. It is a short walk away from the Mathallen food court.

Want to find some of the best street food in Oslo? Book a Guided Street Food Culture Walking Tour

Discover Green Retreats and Urban Oasis #4

When you have finished exploring Grünerløkka’s streets, you might find yourself in need of a breather.

An abundance of green spaces are dotted around the area.

Sip on a takeaway coffee at Sofienberg Park, where you can soak up the sun amidst lush surroundings.

Alternatively, stroll along the idyllic Akerselva River, which runs through Kuba Park, and immerse yourself in nature’s soothing surroundings.

Here you will have the chance to see the small Nedre Foss waterfall and Oslo’s Love Lock Bridge.

small waterfall leading into the river in Grünerløkka.

Nightlife and Cultural Haunts #5

At night, Grünerløkka transforms into an eclectic nightlife scene.

There is a medley of bars, pubs, and live music venues that cater to diverse tastes.

Blå is an alternative music venue in an old warehouse. It hosts indie, jazz, rock and live DJ sets. Look for the outdoor chandelier, and you are at the right place!

glass chandelier hanging outdoors in Grünerløkka

The Blå Market, which showcases local arts and crafts, is also held here every Sunday from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m.

old building with monochrome painting in Grünerløkka
Blå music venue

Whether you’re in the mood for a cosy corner to enjoy craft beers or a bustling dance floor to groove the night away, Grünerløkka has plenty of places to have fun.

If you are in the mood for a spot of Karaoke, visit the neon-lit eclectic interior of SYNG.

Grünerløkka riverside bars
Bars lining the Akerselva River
Multicoloured building along the river in Grünerløkka.
Riverside view of the cultural centre Hausmania

Vintage Cinema #6

For a dose of nostalgia, Grünerløkka boasts a vintage cinema to transport you back in time.

Step into a bygone era at Parkteatret, one of the oldest cinemas in Europe. Established in 1907, it is now a live music venue where you can catch everything from indie films to electrifying gigs.

Grünerløkka Markets and Local Flavours #7

Enjoy Grünerløkka’s community spirit by visiting its local markets, where artisans and creators come together to showcase their crafts.

Blå Market offers various handmade goods, from arts and crafts to vintage clothing and antiques. It is open from 12 – 5 on Sundays.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you chat with local vendors, discover unique keepsakes, and support the thriving creative community.

Also, check out the Sunday flea market in Birkelunden Park, held all year round. It’s a paradise for vintage junkies and bargain hunters.

red bricked church with tall spire in Grünerløkka
Paulus Church opposite Birkelunden Park

Uncover History and Hidden Gems #8

While Grünerløkka is known for its modern and artistic flair, it also holds a rich history waiting to be discovered.

red bricked building with wording on the roof in Grünerløkka
Norway’s leading art university, Oslo National Academy of Arts, is at the heart of Grünerløkka.

Explore the Labour Movement Museum, which sheds light on Norway’s working-class history.

Don’t miss venturing into the neighbourhood’s backstreets, like Damstredt, where charming painted wooden houses and hidden courtyards offer glimpses of a bygone era.

Damstredt is one of Oslo’s most beautiful and charming streets and a great place to take some pretty photographs. 

Live Like a Local #9

The true essence of Grünerløkka lies in embracing its laid-back and effortlessly relaxed vibe.

A bridge with chained bikes in Grünerløkka.

Whether you’re sipping coffee at a sidewalk café, browsing vinyl records at an independent store, or simply soaking in the artistic ambience, you’ll find Grünerløkka a fascinating place to visit in Oslo.

street art featuring a dog surrounded by brightly coloured shapes.

Explore Tøyen #10

Tøyen, a neighbourhood close to Grünerløkka, is particularly rich in urban art, making it another fantastic place to see street art in Oslo.

Wall art painting of a black and white man.
Munch by Kverneland and Tellnes

Gigantic murals have been painted onto the gable side of blocks of flats to regenerate and revive the area.

Compare the size of me sitting on the bench to the scale of the mural.

Whimsical piece of street art on a wall in Toyen.
The Water of Life by Qbic

Images feature whimsical scenes like the “Water of Life” and those of positive empowerment, like “The Sky’s The Limit” by Fadlabi, detailing an astronaut.

Large piece of wall art in Toyen Oslo depicting an astronaut of colour.
The Sky’s The Limit by Fadlabi

Tøyen sees a large amount of social housing for cultural groups mixed with cool and trendy restaurants, bars and independent shops.

It is worth visiting as it completely contrasts with the polished appearance of Oslo’s central Aker Brygge waterfront district.

Tøyen is also where you will find Oslo’s Botanical Gardens.

Angie sitting on a wall in Oslo's botanical gardens.

Grünerløkka Hotels

If Grünerløkka sounds like a place you would like to explore further, why not book to stay in this hip Oslo neighbourhood? Here are some of the best places to stay in Grünerløkka:

Radisson Red Oslo Okern is a four-star property from the international Radisson brand. It is styled in a modern/eclectic manner in keeping with its surroundings. Neutral tones with pops of red make this hotel an eye-catching place to stay in Grünerløkka.

Quality Hotel Hasle Linie offers a Scandic urban design with comfortable monochrome interiors interspersed with pops of colour. Onsite amenities include a terrace, bar, French restaurant and free WIFI.

For those seeking a more home-like experience, this modern 2-bed self-catering apartment is perfect for travellers looking for extra space and flexibility during their stay in Grünerløkka. It has a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen, a washing machine, and free WIFI.

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