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Akershus Festning

Top choice in Oslo

When Oslo was named capital of Norway in 1299, King Håkon V ordered the construction of Akershus, strategically located on the eastern side of the harbour, to protect the city from external threats. Extended and modified over the centuries, it still dominates the Oslo harbourfront and the sprawling complex consists of a medieval castle, Akershus Slott (currently closed for renovations), a fortress and assorted other buildings, including still-active military installations.

Entry is through a gate at the end of Akersgata or over a drawbridge spanning Kongens gate at the southern end of Kirkegata. After 6pm in winter, use the Kirkegata entrance.

The Akershus Fortress Visitor Centre, inside the main gate, has permanent exhibits recounting the history of the complex, as well as temporary exhibits highlighting aspects of Oslo's history. Staff can organise guided tours. The fortress also serves as the backdrop for a raft of cultural events throughout the year, from theatre performances to music recitals. Check the website for listings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Oslo attractions

1. Norwegian Resistance Museum

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Within the Akershus Fortress complex the Norwegian Resistance Museum stands adjacent to a memorial for resistance fighters executed on this spot during…

2. Akershus Slott

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In the 17th century Christian IV renovated Akershus Castle into a Renaissance palace, although the front remains decidedly medieval. In its dungeons you…

3. Museet for Samtidskunst

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4. Sentralen

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5. vi, vii

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An independent gallery with a good reputation for interesting shows from up-and-coming artists, housed in an interesting 1930s building.

6. Rådhus


This twin-towered town hall, completed in 1950 to commemorate Oslo's 900th anniversary, houses the city's political administration and is filled with mid…

7. Nobels Fredssenter

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8. Parliament Building

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