Aker Brygge once rang to the strident sounds of shipbuilding, but since the shipyard closed in 1982 the sounds have turned to laughter and the clinking of glasses. This former industrial eyesore has been reborn as Oslo’s most fashionable entertainment quarter, with the old workshops converted into chic boutiques and funky bars.
More than twelve million visitors flock to Aker Brygge every year to shop, meet friends or just hang out and people-watch. Browse for clothes and accessories, jewellery, leather goods, shoes and giftware, or pick up the day’s groceries from a wide range of independent specialist stores. Treat yourself to a new hairstyle or an invigorating facial, get expert advice on cosmetics and nail polish, and check out the latest lifestyle gadgets.
The promenade is brought alive day and night with street entertainers, illusionists and musicians. Take a leisurely stroll to soak up the atmosphere and admire the boats moored at the marina or check out the latest prints by Norwegian and international artists at Gallery Fineart. Don’t miss the thought-provoking Eternal Peace Flame that stays permanently alight. Then bag a table in one of the floating restaurants and enjoy the view of the medieval fortress of Akershus across the harbour. Many of the restaurants and bars stay open until the early hours.
The waterfront is also the ideal setting for many open-air events, including the Oslo Wine Festival and the Midsummer celebrations. Full details of the annual programme are available from the Aker Brygge website, so check to see what’s on during your visit.
Aker Brygge is on the Oslofjord close to the City Hall. There are plenty of public transport options, including train, tram, bus and boat, as well as underground pay parking. The wharf is open every day apart from Sundays and major public holidays the bars and restaurants keep their own hours and are often open even when the shops are closed. Some facilities are currently closed while a major programme of refurbishment is undertaken, due for completion in 2015.