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Karl Johans Gate
Karl Johans Gate

Karl Johans Gate

Karl Johans Gate, Oslo, Norway

The Basics

Start an exploration of the city’s main thoroughfare at the top of the hill at the Royal Palace, working your way down to the central shopping district. One of the best ways to visit is with the Oslo City Pass, which drops you off at the gate and allows free admissions to must-visit attractions such as Kon-Tiki Museum and Akershus Fortress, plus extras such as free public transportation in select zones, discounted meals, and more. Or explore the street as part of a full-day walking or biking tour. Most tours visit the city’s top attractions, while others focus on different themes such as the country’s socially-progressive criminal history. If you have more time, take a full-day tour that adds on a cruise in the fjord.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Expect to walk a lot, so wear your most comfortable shoes.
  • Keep in mind that shops open at around midday.
  • The street can be very crowded on weekends and holidays.
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Trip ideas

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How to Get There

Karl Johans Gate runs from Oslo Central Station to the Royal Palace in the center of the city. Take Line 12 tram to the Øvre Slottsgate stop. Or you can take the Line 3 subway and stop at Stortinget and then walk for a few minutes.

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When to Get There

During Oslo’s short summer, residents flock to the beer gardens lining the street. Come winter, a pond along the street transforms into an ice skating rink. On National Day (May 17), watch the children's parade from the promenade. In the wintertime, visit the Christmas market and go ice-skating for free at the Spikersuppa.

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Wildcard

The Royal Start Begin your walk at the neoclassical Royal Palace designed by Hans Linstow and built in the early 19th century for King Charles III, who reigned over a united Norway and Sweden. Today it is the official city residence of King Harald V and Queen Sonja, and is open during the summer for guided tours of some of its palatial rooms including the Council Chamber, Bird Room — decorated with 40 species of bird — and Great Hall — where lavish balls still take place under dripping crystal chandeliers.

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