Oslo's eastern waterfront is undergoing rapid change. Circling the city's exquisite Opera House is a new neighbourhood of contemporary architecture, Barcode, and the under-construction Bjørvika. Barcode's restaurants are pulling diners in increasing numbers and its controversial contemporary architecture is worth a wander, while the new waterfront at Sørenga has become a popular place to swim and sunbathe.
The Opera House, an easy wander away from Central Station, is the main draw to the eastern waterfront, and is somewhere you'll probably want to linger. It’s busy any time of day and its public spaces are in fact open 24 hours. Barcode and the newer reaches of Bjørvika are just beyond its glacial expanse, and at the time of writing there was still the need to sidestep the odd construction site as the area rapidly develops. Barcode's in-your-face, controversial architecture is compelling from afar but it's also fascinating to walk among the various buildings and can provide an hour or so's amusement for architecture fans. It’s mostly a place of work, so is most lively during the week and on Friday evenings, when its restaurants and bar are packed, but on Sundays it's a ghost town.
- Oslo Opera House Climbing to the roof of Snøhetta's masterpiece for the city and Oslofjord views and to be part of the beautiful architecture.
- Maaemo Being wowed by a four-hour multicourse meal at the world's best Scandinavian restaurant.
- Vaaghals Sharing elegantly rustic dishes at this chef-driven restaurant in the smartest of contemporary surrounds.
- Kunsthall Oslo Discovering emerging Norwegian artists and pieces from the Munchmuseet in Barcode.
- Sørenga Seapool Dipping your toe into the Oslofjord and getting some Norwegian-style swimming action.
Barcode's business orientation makes it a vibrant destination during the week but not so much on Sundays.