Oslo Tip Sheet: The New Guard
More details on the places writer Joshua Levine experienced.
Stay: Book the Oslo Suite at The Thief, a hotel that epitomizes the new art-and-architecture vibe of the Tjuvholmen neighborhood. The three-room penthouse on the eighth floor has 360-degree views of the fjord and a private roof terrace. The hotel hired curator Sune Norden, the former director of Norway’s National Museum of Art, to line the hotel’s halls with artwork; as such, the Oslo Suite is decorated with original Oslo-inspired collages by artist Peter Blake, the Pop maestro behind the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s cover. Oslo Suite starts at $4,125; Landgangen 1; 47/2400-4000; thethief.com.
Eat: The first Nordic restaurant to receive two Michelin stars, three-year-old Maaemo is still the place to dine. The langoustine with pine—in which chef Esben Holmboe Bang cooks the shellfish in a pine-infused butter, glazes it in a pine gel and serves it on a bed of pine needles—is one of the eatery’s most popular dishes and appears most months on Bang’s seasonal tasting menu. Half the tables overlook Oslo’s high-design Barcode District, but ask for one with a view of the kitchen, which is suspended over the dining room and viewable through a large window. Because the restaurant is continually packed, it might be easier to get a reservation for the newly launched Saturday lunch, which stars the same menu. Schweigaardsgate 15b; 47/9199-4805; maaemo.no.
Visit: A stone’s throw from The Thief sits Renzo Piano’s year-old Astrup Fearnley Museet. Like many of the city’s museums, Astrup Fearnley holds a private collection open to the public; in this case, it’s one belonging to a foundation established by two Norwegian shipping dynasties. The museum also offers a starry roster of contemporary art-world provocateurs: Photographer Cindy Sherman’s role-playing portraits jostle with works such as Damien Hirst’s bisected and preserved cattle. Don’t miss Jeff Koons’s Michael Jackson and Bubbles, one of three infamous gilded statues of the late singer with his pet chimpanzee. (The other two statutes are at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Strandpromenaden 2; afmuseet.no.
Hear: At the Bjørvika harbor area’s Oslo Opera House (pictured here), home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, score tickets in the first balcony, preferably row 1, seats 35 and 36. This vantage point offers a perfect full-stage view of the productions from new artistic team Per Boye Hansen (opera) and Ingrid Lorentzen (ballet). If the performance season is on hiatus (it runs through June), stroll out onto the house’s sweeping Carrara marble roof, a popular plaza with panoramic views of the city. Kirsten Flagstads Pl. 1; 47/2142-2121; operaen.no.