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“It's pretty cool that Oslo is about to become a new shopping destination internationally. That has basically never happened before.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir, Fashion Editor, KK and KK.no

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

A guide to

The best shopping in Oslo

with Fashion Editor, Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

During the last decade, Oslo has developed into a new fashion hot spot, with cute vintage and second-hand shops, popular chains, luxury retailers, and high-end fashion brands. Ida Elise Eide Einarsdóttir, Fashion Editor of the Norwegian magazine KK, reveals her favourite shopping spots in the capital.

“There is something unique about Oslo that is now being revealed,” says Ida, referring to the major changes the city has undergone during the last decade with respect to shopping and fashion shops.

When it comes to this topic, Ida definitely knows what she is talking about.

At just 36, she has already worked in the fashion industry for many years, travelling the world and watching fashion show after fashion show, and attending the most exclusive parties with the biggest designers and brands. Now, she can finally see how Norway is entering the world of fashion, in a way the country has never before.

Growing up just 30 minutes outside the capital, she has also seen the city transform from being a small dot on the fashion map, to becoming more and more of a key shopping destination.

Oslo now offers all kinds of shopping, from vintage stores to the latest high-end fashion, not just in the centre but throughout the city.

During the last decade, up-and-coming designers have founded fashion brands that have been successful internationally and have opened innovative locations. Many shops in the city now combine the hunt for clothes with cafés, art galleries, and flower displays.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir sitting in a chair at Tom Wood
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visit Norway

“There is something unique about Oslo that is now being revealed.”

Norwegian brands and designers come from all over the country, and you can nab some really great bargains by buying directly from factories or outlet stores. Check out shopping opportunities around the country here!

Norwegian and Scandinavian design

Norway might not have the longest fashion history compared to many other countries, which can make it hard to categorise Norwegian design and fashion as one particular expression.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir looking at Norwegian fashion at the F5 store in Oslo
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir looking at Norwegian fashion.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

"It's hard to say what Norwegian fashion is today, because many of
today's designers and brands are becoming more and more international
and are getting inspiration from around the world. But in general, you can
see that many Norwegian brands show signs of a minimalistic
Scandinavian design," Ida explains.

In the 1950s, designers in Norway, Sweden and Denmark
established the term Scandinavian design – a look inspired
by simplicity and the pure shapes of modernism
, which
aimed to use light and long-lasting natural materials.

Norway also has clothing traditions that go way back in time. Examples are the traditional Norwegian costume, called a bunad,
and rich knitting traditions. Today, you often see contemporary designers using
elements of these traditions in their collections.

Roots in nature

Ida also believes nature has played an important role in the shaping of Norwegian fashion.

"We live in a country with big contrasts throughout the different seasons, so I think the focus of Norwegian fashion has been to make practical clothes to keep us warm. Being outdoors or hiking also lies in the very soul of the Norwegian people, and the thought has perhaps earlier been that 'hiking clothes cannot be trendy', but I think that has changed now."

"Another important aspect today may be our strong roots to nature and major focus on sustainability. I think no brands could be started now that did not consider sustainability," she says.

Since she works in Oslo and lives close by, Ida knows the city and its hidden shopping gems very well.

We asked her to show us her three favourite shopping areas here. First out is a completely new district of the city called Oslobukta. Bring a coffee to go, and come join us!

“This is a completely new part of Oslo, with everything you need in terms of shopping, culture and places to eat, it's in a way a new hot spot. And I think the best thing is that there is a lot of Norwegian fashion."

Shopping in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

There are new buildings everywhere, in the fanciest shapes and materials.

Oslobukta is a new and fresh cocktail of everything from offices, residential building, small cafés, bars, and Michelin-starred restaurants. Not to mention the iconic Opera House and the new MUNCH museum.

And last but not least...

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir in Bjørvika, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir in Bjørvika, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

...fashion stores, packed with Norwegian design!

Ida points out two must-sees in the area: Envelope 1976 and Holzweiler.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir looking at clothes in the Envelope 1976 store, in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir looking at clothes in the Envelope 1976 store, in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

“One of the things I love about many new Norwegian brands, like Envelope1976, is their focus on sustainability. Both in the clothes themselves, but also the furniture and the premises used to display them."

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir leaving Envelope 1976, in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir leaving Envelope 1976, in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Some stores also have a little extra touch. Holzweiler Platz, designed by famous Norwegian architects Snøhetta, has combined a clothing store with a café and restaurant, inviting customers to take part in a different kind of shopping experience.

Holzweiler Platz in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visit Norway
Holzweiler Platz in Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visit Norway

“I think the move they've made here with this combination is very innovative. This is also something that makes this brand more than just a brand — it's actually the first full-blown Norwegian fashion house. Watch out for this brand in the future!"

Holzweiler Platz, Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Holzweiler Platz, Oslobukta .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Shopping in Oslobukta

The Oslobukta area is an extension of the Barcode in Bjørvika, named for its barcode-like appearance. Barcode was completed in 2016 and consists of offices, apartments, and restaurants.

In Oslobukta, there are many different types of shopping, including furniture stores, perfumeries, and flower shops. But they have one thing in common.

"I would say they are mostly modern and contemporary, with a lot of Norwegian brands and multi-brand stores. It's also kind of a melting pot of different people here and a nice mix of different shops and eating places. I definitely recommend visitors to check out this place," says Ida.

Oslobukta also offers unique cafés, bars, restaurants, art galleries of all sorts as well as offices, hotels and apartments. The area is also known as the Venice of Oslo, since the buildings are built right beside the harbour, creating canals.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir sitting in a chair in the Holzweiler Platz store
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir sitting in a chair.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

The Oslobukta area in Oslo

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Now, let's check out another hip and very different shopping area in Oslo, Grünerløkka! Just jump on a tram, grab a city bike, or stroll for about 30 minutes.

Shopping at Grünerløkka .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping at Grünerløkka .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Grünerløkka, or "Løkka" in the vernacular, is a much older area than Oslobukta, and has an exciting history and a lot of soul.

Stroll around the pedestrian streets and make sure to have enough time to check out all the cute little stores. There is something for everyone here, whether you are looking for the hippest up-and-coming brands...

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping at F5 .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping at F5 .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

...or surprise treasures owned by others before you

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir inside Velouria Vintage, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir inside Velouria Vintage, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

“Velouria Vintage is almost an institution here in Grünerløkka, being one of the oldest vintage shops in the city. Here, you can really bag a great find if you are lucky, since the selection is thoughtfully curated by the owner, Åsa!"

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir inside Velouria Vintage, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir inside Velouria Vintage, Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

In case you wondered, Grünerløkka is also the perfect lunch spot!

With full bellies and new energy, we are heading towards the last shopping area for today. But first – we have to visit this little tropical spot in the heart of Løkka, called Luck...

Luck store, at Grünerløkka in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Luck store, at Grünerløkka in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

“Luck is a little gem, and for me the epitome of what Grünerløkka should be. A well-curated mix of new, unique brands of clothes and items, together with these huge living room plants (that are also for sale) makes a visit here an experience in itself!"

Shopping at the Luck store at the Grünerløkka area in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping at the Luck store at the Grünerløkka area in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Shopping in Grünerløkka

Grünerløkka was originally an industrial area with big factories along the Akerselva river. The people who lived there were mostly workers and their families. Towards the end of the 20th century, the area was in disrepair, but due to endless discussions about what to do with the buildings, it wasn't until the 70s and 80s that the area really got a makeover. After that, it has slowly become more and more attractive to live there again, and today Grünerløkka is a very hip place to visit.

"It's simply a unique flora of shops with vintage, second hand and small independent shops that you won't find anywhere else," says Ida.

"It has been pretty hip for a long time, and maybe lately got a bit more competition from other modern areas. But Grünerløkka has still managed to retain its uniqueness."

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir shopping at Velouria Vintage in the Grünerløkka area in Oslo
Shopping at Velouria Vintage.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

The Grünerløkka area in Oslo

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It's simply a unique flora of shops with vintage, second hand and small independent shops that you won't find anywhere else.

Show More Show Less

Now, let's bring our shopping bags with us and head to Ida's last shopping tip of the day, the city centre and Oslo's high street, Karl Johan.

Main street Karl Johans gate in Oslo .
Photo: VisitOSLO/Icecube Media
Main street Karl Johans gate in Oslo .
Photo: VisitOSLO/Icecube Media

Earlier, Karl Johan was a place to avoid, with souvenir shops and chain stores. Today, it has finally become the grand boulevard it should be."

Shopping in the center of Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping in the center of Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

There are now many different contemporary Scandinavian fashion stores located side by side in the side streets. One of these is Livid.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir enters Livid in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir enters Livid in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

“Livid is a very up-and-coming brand that sells both new clothes and vintage. They also repair clothes in their workshop department in Grünerløkka."

Shopping at Livid .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping at Livid .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Want more shopping tips than just clothes?

No worries, last but not the least on Ida's list today is the jewellery store Tom Wood. Located just a few blocks away.

Shopping at Tom Wood .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Shopping at Tom Wood .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Shopping in the centre of Oslo

The city centre has gone through many changes over the years. The high street, Karl Johan, which runs straight from the central station up to the Royal Palace, has been there almost since the city was founded. Throughout the ages, the buildings have mostly been reserved for prominent businesses, restaurants and hotels, and in recent times both Norwegian and foreign chain stores that have been able to afford the exclusive location.

In the last decades, however, the street was filled with more souvenir shops and low-price chains, which made many of the city's inhabitants go shopping in other places. Then, a couple of years ago the tables turned again when many of the buildings in central Oslo were renovated, more and more Norwegian designers experienced international success, and more customers entered the luxury market.

This has in turn drawn more large international brands to the capital, and slowly but steadily transformed Oslo into the shopping destination it is today.

"International luxury fashion houses choose Oslo. It's of course not accidental. The market for luxury fashion is large here. Louis Vuitton has opened its flagship store in the Nordics here. Dior's first shop in Scandinavia is in Oslo, with Chanel just around the corner," says Ida.

You can now find brands such as Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Burberry, Bottega Veneta, Jimmy Choo and Acne Studios like pearls on a string on the side streets along Karl Johan.

Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir visiting Livid in the center of Oslo
Ida Elise Eide Einarsdottir visiting Livid in the center of Oslo.
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

The center of Oslo

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The market for luxury fashion is large here. Louis Vuitton has opened its biggest flagship store in the Nordics here. Dior's first shop in Scandinavia is in Oslo, with Chanel just around the corner.”

Do you want to find some extra good bargains? Make sure to visit the Oslo Fashion Outlet in Vestby, just a 40-minute ride outside Oslo.

There is also lots of good shopping in other places in Norway. Don't miss it!

Two friends shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com
Two friends shopping in Oslo .
Photo: Fredrik Ahlsen, Maverix / Visitnorway.com

Wondering what treasures await you in Oslo?

Plan your trip to Oslo now!

Barcode skyline in front of Oslo .
Photo: VisitOSLO / Barcode Oslo
Barcode skyline in front of Oslo .
Photo: VisitOSLO / Barcode Oslo

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