You have rented an apartment in Grünerløkka for a few days, but are pretty clueless as what to do next? Need groceries, or a bottle of wine? Wondering what todo? Here’s everything you need to know to get the ultimate, full-on Grünerløkka experience.
First things first: Food. For filling up your fridge, you should cruise along lower Trondheimsveien. There you can find both halal-meat and cheap veggies. If you want a standard grocery store, both Kiwi at Markveien or Rema 1000 at upper Thorvald Meyers gate are both safe and reasonably cheap options. Meny at Ringnes Park has everything you need and then some, but the quality comes with a heftier price tag than at Kiwi or Rema 1000.
On Sundays, all the regular grocery stores are closed. The smaller options, Joker and Bunnpris, are your slightly pricier go-to on these days.
Wine and alcohol
If you are planning for a feast at home (and if you didn’t stock up at duty-free upon arrival at Gardermoen Airport), Vinmonopolet should be the next stop on your list. Norway has a federal monopoly on the sales of wine and spirits, and you can only buy them at Vinmonopolet. Grünerløkkas branch is located in Nordre gate 16, which is where Markveien meets Nordregate.
The employees at Vinmonopolet are excellent sommeliers and you should definitely get something recommended by them. Let them know what you will have for dinner and what price range you are aiming for, and they will give you plenty of options. Vinmonopolet also has a good selection of microbrew beer with high alcohol percentage (above 4.7%).
The standard grocery stores are licensed to sell beer up to 4.7 %. Nevertheless, these shops mostly sell your average pilsners and ciders. For both domestic and imported specialty pale ales, stouts, porters, mead, sour beer etc, be sure to visit Gulating in Markveien.
Alcohol sales at Vinmonopolet are: Mon – Fri from 09 am until 6 pm; 3 pm on Saturdays. Closed on Sundays. Visit their site here.
Alcohol sales (beer & cider only) at supermarkets and at Gulating are from 9 am until 8 pm Mon – Fri; 9 am – 6 pm on Saturdays. Also closed on Sundays.
Tip! During spring and summer, we locals usually like to enjoy a picnic in one of our many parks, such as at Sofienbergparken near Schous plass. In theory, it isn’t legal to drink in public, but frankly, this law is not enforced (as long as you behave and don’t get too wasted!)
Oslo has been crowned the 2019 “Green Capital of Europe,” and has plenty of environmental friendly options for you to get around town. The public transport system is excellent, and the trams 11, 12 and 13 will all take you downtown to the city centre (though it is so close by that you could easily walk there). All lines take you near Oslo S (the central station), where the train to the airport is, and also the underground “T-banen” which will takes you nearly everywhere in Oslo, at fast speed. If you want to visit the woods “Nordmarka” for instance, this is your best mode of transportation! To see departure times and routes, download the app Ruter Reise, and you can purchase tickets using the app Ruter Billett.
You could also rent bikes via Oslo bysykkel, that you can pick-up and drop-off at any Oslo bysykkel-station in the city. Download the app to unlock the bikes, and to locate where to find available bikes. You can ride up to one hour, after which there is an extra fee.
The city recently introduced rental electrical scooters. These scooters have different operators and different rental fees. When you find an available scooter, often randomly placed on the curb or in parks, follow the instructions on the bike and download the app. Drop it off anywhere within the city limits, and the next person that walks by can use it. Use common sense and common courtesy: place it along the side of the pavement, so that blind people won’t crash into it. Also follow standard rules of traffic – running a red light can be considered an offense which may result in a traffic fine and/or loss of your driver’s license!
Do as the locals does
Eager to actually talk to someone local? Norwegians are often described as introverted people, but not in Grünerløkka. Here the neighbours can easily be found out at the pubs and cafés, and “everybody knows everybody”. One of the top meeting points is the retro café Retrolykke kaffebar. Here both freelancers and other Grünerløkka characters hang around all day, eat cheap breakfast plates and drink coffee. The waffles here are also really popular, served with either brown cheese (caramelised goat cheese – a Norwegian specialty) or with sour cream and jam. The staff is super friendly and have ooze with charisma, some of them always immaculately dressed in vintage clothes and heavy ‘60s eyeliner. Here you can also buy plenty of second-hand items, anything from cups to coats! You will find coffee shops all over “Løkka” – from the large chains to the smaller high quality places like Tim Wendelboe and Supreme Roastworks.
Grünerløkka is like an expansive beer garden. The districts specialty is craft beer, and bars often provide a large range of both international and Norwegian craft beer brands. The streets own craft beer suppliers are Grünerløkka Brygghus and Schouskjelleren, and a few smaller ones as well. Both breweries have their own bars.
Craft beer bars which are filled with locals instead of tourists are Hytta Bar and Glød, and BD57 (short for Brewdog), Meyers, Schouskjelleren and Grünerløkka Brygghus (which is also a gastropub). Sports enthusiasts can enjoy visits to Qadis, Sport 33 or O’Reillys Irish Pub in the basemant of Markveien 35. If you like karaoke, try out the riverside hang out Syng.
For the wine lover, Territoriet is the place to visit. Is it small and intimate, and they really know their wine. Bar Bellini, which is «hidden» deep inside of the Northern Italian restaurant Villa Paradiso, also has a great wine selection. There are plenty of bars and restaurants around Løkka, so check the map to find your new favourite!
Where to stroll around
There are plenty of nice spots for a walk in the Grünerløkka vicinity. The Akerselva river is famously known for dividing Oslo in half, between East and West, and carries with it plenty of the city’s history. Follow the river all the way up to “Hønse-Lovisas hus” and you can read about the industrial workers of the past, and how the whole area used to belong to the working class. Today however, Grünerløkka is one of the most sought out districts to live in, and the district’s working class legacy is somewhat a part of the past. If you just keep on heading up and alongside the river bank, you will at last reach Nydalen, which is a place for eating and drinking – and in the summer – bathing. The area is quite polished and neat (doesn’t have quite the character as Løkka does), but it’s good for a dip!
The Botanical Garden in Oslo is also located in Grünerløkka, and it is beautiful! It holds both he Natural History Museum, which boasts a great outdoor café, and which is a peaceful and organic experience throughout the seasons. Beautiful flowers, butterflies, and large trees to seek the shade in summer can be found here. Notice though that this is not your average public park – you cannot barbeque here for instance. It is open to everyone, but treat it like a museum – with respect! In the middle of the park you have the café Handwerk Botaniske, which serves traditional Norwegian pancakes called “sveler”. Some claim that you are simply not a Norwegian if you don’t like this delicacy! On the far side of the park you’ll find the Edvard Munch Museum, which is currently in the process of moving to a new location in the Bjørvika district.
Grünerløkka has numerous parks to hang out at, although the best for barbequing and doing other activities in is Sofienbergparken, close to Schous plass. Here you can “grill” (barbeque), as long as you don’t do it directly on the grass. Use a stand or place it on the pavement close to where you are sitting. You can buy single-use grills at most grocery stores during spring and summer.
The independent shops
Grünerløkka is THE district in Norway that has the most independent stores. These various shops showcase curated vintage clothes, unique luxury fashion, Scandinavian design, interiors and much more. “Løkka” is also widely known for its many vintage and second hand shops, from conceptual pin-up 50’s fashion to your standard Ramones t-shirt, all alongside modern shops you might expect to find in a city – Grünerløkka has it all! Be sure to explore our our interactive map.