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I was completely knocked out!

The famous Norwegian photographer Morten Krogvold was moved by his experience at MUNCH.

The museum is just one of the many cultural attractions he recommends in Oslo ...

Oslo's best
cultural spots

with photographer Morten Krogvold

The Cultural Triangle is a series where renowned cultural personalities show you their favourite spots in Norway's biggest cities.

They will let you in on where to eat and sleep, and what to see.

"MUNCH in Oslo is on a par with the Tate Modern in London. One of the most amazing artists the world has ever seen, Edvard Munch, has finally been given the home his art deserves," says Krogvold.

The new MUNCH is 60 meters high and clad in recycled aluminium plates.

Its characteristic curve at the top is intended as a symbol: The building is respectfully bowing to Oslo.

Here, the first of many great works of art is being lifted into its new home during the summer of 2021.

Edvard Munch's legacy is one of the world's largest collections of art by a single artist, and the museum oversees more than 42,000 unique works.

"The museum has three versions of 'The Scream'. Each version of this iconic painting is shown in a rotunda, one hour at a time. It's worth all three hours," insists Krogvold.

While you wait, you can also explore 11 galleries and 13 floors of unforgettable experiences.

And last, but not least, enjoy the panoramic view from the top.

"I could see the dancers at the Oslo Opera House, who were rehearsing for a show. This is the place to be," says Krogvold.

Deichman Bjørvika, the Oslo Public Library, is nearby. The building is a piece of architectural eye candy that the Norwegian photographer highly recommends you check out.

Full of culture, but hungry for food, we tag along as Krogvold takes us to his favourite restaurant, Theatercaféen.

Since it's a Monday, the restaurant is closed (to the public), but that doesn't stop our intrepid photographer, who is friendly with the staff.

"Let's go through the kitchen," he says in a determined way, motioning for us to follow.

Krogvold quickly passes through the large kitchen, gesturing left and right.

"Hi, are you preparing tomorrow's lunch?"

"Yes," says the chef, laughing.

"Home!" says Krogvold, passing through the revolving door at the actual entrance.

The photographer chooses a table by the window, where you can see Stortingsgata, a well-known street in Oslo, and the National Theatre. Its location has made this Art Deco restaurant a favourite haunt of actors.

"This is the most important restaurant in Norway, with the richest traditions. Norwegian artists have been coming here for more than 100 years, ever since the time of the great bohemians. Here, you will find many stories and experiences," Krogvold says in an authoritative voice.

Krogvold himself resembles the bohemians he speaks so kindly of: he has wavy hair and prominent features, he enjoys life, and has a keen interest in art and cultural history.

"Everything from betrayal and infidelity, to the funniest stories and conversations have happened here."

And let's not forget the scandals.

"A horse was in here once. Someone once arrived to a small party here on horseback," he chuckles.

There are caricatures of all the greatest and most famous regulars on the walls. Among them, Krogvold himself, the artist Edvard Munch, the famous Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann, and many more.

"My favourite dishes are all connected to days of the week. On Fridays, I eat tartar, with a cold beer and a jenever."

Krogvold's triangle is almost complete. Now, we need a place to sleep.

"When we artists come to Oslo, we always stay at Cochs Pensjonat.

The pension is located only ten meters from Lorry, a restaurant that has inspired many myths and seen some notorious events.

Right next to Lorry, you will find Litteraturhuset, the country's first literature house. And on top of that, you'll be the Royal Palace's neighbour while staying at the pension.

"There are so many stories running through these walls. I can't even begin to tell you all of the things that have happened here," he says.

Krogvold then remembers a story about some guests who brought a horse in here — all the way up to the fifth floor! The fire department had to come and hoist it down.

"This place is like a novel written by the well-known Norwegian author Lars Saabye Christensen."

"... in fact, he already has written about it!" Krogvold quickly adds.

"In the award-winning novel 'The Half Brother' by Saabye Christensen, Arnold Nilsen stays 4,982 days and nights at the Cochs Pension, in room 502. This room is just called 'The Half Brother room' now," he explains.

"My foreign art students always stay here. And they love the place. It's got soul. Everyone who's interested in art history should stay a night at Cochs," Krogvold concludes.

We have now completed the triangle. You don't have to walk far to get from the pension to Theatercaféen and to the Munch museum. Oslo is one of the most walkable cities in Europe.

Scroll down to see more cultural attractions that Krogvold recommends, and read more about the extraordinary new Munch museum.

Or listen to the podcast Norway Next, and learn about Oslo on the go!

Culture on the itinerary

Check out the photographer's recommended attractions, restaurants, and hotels for culture enthusiasts.

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