Walk Oslo from the Tiger to the kings castle with map

Your first  trip in Oslo where you will walk Karl Johans gate with all its history, gems, places and buildings. You will end up outside the kings castle with its suroundings and park.

13 attractions
Start: The tiger of Oslo
Stopp: Slottsparken, The palace park (Reverse)
Route: Map below
Route
Walk: 30 min
Distance: 2.0 km

1 The tiger of Oslo

Google maps

The tiger figure in Oslo, known as the Tigeren, is a symbol of the city's spirit. It is located near the railway-station and the transportation to the rest of the world. It embodies the city's dynamic energy. Crafted by the Norwegian artist Elena Engelsen, the tiger stands tall and poised for action, just like a real tiger. You will also meet lion-figures on this trip, near the parliament.

Tigeren has become a favorite meeting point for locals, visitors and tourists, and it is a perfect start for a walk to see, hear, smell and learn Oslo.

Tourists taking photos of each other in front of the tiger-statue while locals are walking in the background

2 Oslo domkirke (church)

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Oslo Domkirke, or Oslo Cathedral, is a captivating piece of history. Built in the late 17th century, and still used today. Tourists are welcomed when open.  Step in and admire the stunning architecture, including its baroque interior and beautifully adorned altar. Whether you're seeking spiritual solace or a glimpse into Oslo’s history, this is a nice stop on your trip.

Two tourists walking up to the Oslo domkirke church to look at this attraction

You will walk Karl Johans Gate, Oslo`s main street, a boulevard stretching from Central Station to the Royal Palace.

4 Stortinget, Norwegian Parliament

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Stortinget, the Norwegian Parliament, is not only a significant political institution but also an architectural and historical gem. While you can't enter the main chambers without a guided tour or a special event, you can explore the beautiful surrounding park and gardens. The parliament has 169 members who represent the people of Norway.

People and tourists outside the norwegian parlament, a large building made of bricks in Oslo

Cornerstone

The building's cornerstone was laid by King Oscar II in 1866, and it officially opened in 1866.

How to be a prime minister

Norway's prime minister is selected from the 169 members in the parliament and appointed by the monarch, the King.

Free seating

Stortinget is one of the few parliaments in the world where members don't have assigned seats; they choose their spots daily.

5 Spikersuppa

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A quiet room in the heart of Oslo. Spikersuppa, is a bustling public square that offers a delightful blend of history, entertainment, and relaxation. Originally a skating rink wintertime, this lively urban space has evolved into a multifaceted attraction. 

People enjoying the good weather in this park in the middle of Oslo with its benches, statues and water

Fun-fact 1

The name "Spikersuppa" translates to "Nail Soup" in English. It's a nod to the nail soup that was allegedly cooked by impoverished workers during the construction of the square.

Fun-fact 2

The square was designed in the 19th century by architect Henrik Bull but has undergone numerous renovations since then.

Fun-fact 3

The annual Christmas market are held here and transforms the square into a winter wonderland. I will higly recommend it.

6 Statue of Gunnar S√łnsteby

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The statue pays tribute to a national hero with a remarkable World War II history. Gunnar Sønsteby was a fearless Norwegian resistance fighter who defied Nazi occupation. His daring acts included sabotaging Nazi operations, gathering intelligence, and inspiring hope among his compatriots. As you can see on an old photo, he stood exactly here with his bike and watched the Nazis parade on the first day of the occupation.

A bronce-statue of the war-hero Gunnar S√łnsteby with his bike looking ot the Karl Johan road

7 Nationaltheatret, the national theater

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Nationaltheatret, Norway's National Theater was established in 1899, and has a storied history of nurturing Norwegian playwrights and actors, like Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. The theater's magnificent neo-baroque architecture stands as a gem in the heart of Oslo. Yur should check the façade with statues of famous playwrights and artists.

Check out…

For a fun fact, the theater's marble staircase is said to have been designed to prevent ladies from climbing it too quickly. A playful nod to the time's societal norms!

The doors to enter into the national theatre with statues of norwegian composers and authors on the outside

8 Studenterlunden

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More than just picturesque beauty; it's a testament to Norwegian history and student life. The name itself, which translates to "Student's Grove," reflects its deep-rooted connection to academics and youth culture. Norwegians oldest university can be seen on the other side of Karl Johan Street. Today, it's a gathering place for students, locals, and tourists alike.

Don't miss the bronze statue of Henrik Wergeland, a famous Norwegian poet, surrounded by a sea of colorful flowers. It's an Instagram-worthy spot. The park frequently hosts events and outdoor concerts.

A fountain with people and the theater in the background

9 The Karl Johan monument and the castle

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The monument

The Karl Johan Monument pays homage to King Charles XIV John of Sweden and Norway, who reigned from 1818 to 1844. The statue stands, raised in 1875, as a testament to his significant influence on the union between the two nations. You are now on the top of the city's main boulevard.

The royal castle

With its 173 rooms, The Royal Palace has been the official residence of the Norwegian monarchs since it was completed in 1849. Its façade, with a white stucco exterior and green copper roof, is a good example of 19th-century European architecture. The Royal Palace is open for guided tours during the summer, providing a glimpse into its opulent interiors and the daily life of the Norwegian royal family.

Is the king at home?

You can tell if the king is inside by the presence of the flag flying over the palace.

A dady taking pictures of his two kids in front of Kings castle in Oslo. Many people are exploring the area and walking in the background

This is a short tour, so feel free to combine it with other walking-routes in Oslo.

11 Slottsplassen

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While on top at Slottsplassen, be sure to turn around and you will understand the city and how it is built. You now have the king and the castle in the back, while the street goes in a straight line down to the Parliament. On the left side of the Karl Johans gate (road) is the “knowledge” represented with the university and on the right side is the “culture” and fun represented by the theater.

People walking up Karl Johans gate and to see the Oslo attractions

12 Royal Guard guarding the Palace

The palace is guarded by His Majesty the King's Guard, known for their distinctive uniforms. These women and men are a symbol of Norway's military tradition and an essential part of the country's ceremonial heritage.

The royal guards having a parade outside the castle in Oslo

Easily recognizable

A bold red tunic, white gloves, black boots, and white gaiters, complete with tall black bearskin hats, making them easily recognizable.

Be there at 13:30

A fun feature is the "Changing of the Guard" ceremony, which takes place daily at 1:30 PM. If you are nearby, it is highly recommended to see this.

Can we take photos?

Yes, it's acceptable to take photos with these impeccably dressed guards, as long as you do so respectfully and without interfering with their duties.

13 Slottsparken, The palace park

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A delightful place to relax amidst lush greenery and tranquil ponds. Not only can you explore the well-kept garden, but you can also admire sculptures and artwork scattered throughout the park. It all belongs to the royal family, but is open for public and tourist. The park has a rich history which it shares with the Royal Palace and the locals here are proud of this part of the city. Free to enter.

Tourists taking picture in the free-to-enter art-park behind the castle in Oslo

Map and route

Get the route at Google maps

Allow about 30 minutes to walk this route, but add extra time for attractions and other stops.

Author: Sem Hadland (More about me)

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