The Norwegian royal family's seat of residence emerges from the woodland-like Slottsparken, a relatively modest, pale-buttercup neoclassical pile. Built for the Swedish (in fact, French) king Karl Johan, the palace was never continuously occupied before King Haakon VII and Queen Maud were installed in 1905.
Construction of the 172-room palace originally began in 1825 but wasn't completed until 1849, five years after Karl Johan's death. His son, Oscar I, and daughter-in-law, Josephine, became the first royals to move in. The palace has been greatly modernised under the current monarch, King Harald V.
What's remarkable about this palace (indicative of the royal family in general) is how approachable it is: unimpeded by railings or barriers, children play and tourists pose for photos with guards just metres from the main entrance door – quite a contrast to some other European royal seats.
In summer, one-hour guided tours of the interior are available. Tours visit a dozen rooms including the Cabinet Parlour, Banqueting Hall and the Palace Chapel. Tickets can be bought at the gate (at the rear of the palace), but it's wise to pre-purchase by phone or from www.ticketmaster.no, as only limited spaces are available on the day.