This simple, red-brick building – Oslo's city hall – houses colorful murals and frescoes depicting aspects of Norway's history, culture, and economy. The hall and grounds feature paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and woodcarvings by such Norwegian artists as Edvard Munch, Per Krogh, Dyre Vaa, and Dagfin Werenskiold. Other noteworthy features of the structure include easy-to-spot twin towers and a clock face that's one of Europe's largest. Each December, the world's attention turns to Norway's city hall when it hosts ceremonies for the Nobel Peace Prize. Guided tours are available in English but need to be pre-booked. T-BANE: Nationaltheatret or Stortinget
Situated near the western terminus of Karl Johans gate, Norway's 160-room royal palace dates from 1824, when King Karl Johan commissioned architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow to construct a grand, neoclassical residence on a hilltop just outside of what was then the city center. The palace becomes Norway's focal point each year on 17 May, when thousands gather to celebrate National Day. The palace is open to visitors at different intervals every summer; however, tour tickets must be purchased in advance and can be quite hard to come by. T-BANE: Nationaltheatret
The Akershus complex was originally built in 1300 as a fortress and royal residence and was later rebuilt, after a fire in 1527, as a royal Renaissance palace. Currently, it's used for state occasions. The castle is an important – and beloved – symbol of medieval Oslo, and its mausoleum is the final resting place of Kings Haakon VII and Olav V and their wives, Queens Maud and Märtha, respectively. Overlooking Oslofjorden and just south of Karl Johans gate, Akershus is one of many historically and culturally significant sites in the immediate area. English-language tours are available daily; contact for further details. T-BANE: Stortinget; TRAM: 10 and 12 to Aker Brygge
This century old theater is located by Karl Johans gate and plays a significant role in Norwegian culture. Productions feature mainly Norwegian plays, both traditional classics and contemporary works. Henrik Ibsen is a key figure in the theater's history and the Biennial International Ibsen Stage Festival celebrates his works.
This neo-Romanesque parliament building, completed in the mid-19th century, features lavish decorations by Norwegian artisans. The park in front of the building – along Karl Johans gate – is one of Oslo's busiest summertime sites. Reservations for guided tours are not required. T-BANE: Stortinget