With a history dating back to 1900 and a deep connection to the National Theater (which sits just across the street), the Hotel Continental is a venerable figure in Oslo’s arts scene. The family-owned hotel has long prided itself on being a hangout for local artists, a tradition manifest in its impressive art collection, displayed both in public areas and in the rooms themselves. The guestrooms at the Continental juxtapose modern and classical touches—like top-of-the-line flat-screen monitors viewed from classical European divans. There are unique touches in all the rooms, generally centered around the objets d’art chosen for each individual room. Many rooms come with balconies, some of which have absolutely spectacular views. As befits a hotel with a deep connection to the local arts scene, the Continental offers a number of all-inclusive packages that bundle accommodations, meals, and tickets to shows around Oslo.
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On the western end of Oslo’s central Karl Johans Gate, the Continental looks out over the National Theater to the north and The Royal Palace to the northwest. As the Continental sits at the plaza’s end, the area is a bit quieter (but no less regal) than that surrounding The Grand Hotel Oslo (across the plaza and just down the block). A five-minute walk to the west leads to the Ibsen Museum, and just past this the American Embassy, and a ten-minute walk to the south leads through a more residential area filled with quaint Oslo architecture, shops, and homes to the highly picturesque waterfront.
Need to Know
Rooms: 155 rooms, 25 suites; from $385. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Continental has five dining options, including the opulent Theatercaféen, a classical Viennese-style bar and restaurant, the more formal Eik Annen Etage, the Caroline & Christian breakfast buffet, the streetside Steamen café, and the Dagligstuen bar in the lobby. Spa and gym details: The fifth-floor fitness room has weights and cardio equipment and is open 24 hours a day. While there’s no on-site spa, management works closely with area spas, which can arrange in-room massages.
Who’s it for: Business travelers, fans of art and theater, visiting dignitaries looking to be close to Oslo’s embassies. Our favorite room: Room 816 is a Deluxe room with a balcony that offers panoramic views of the entire plaza, including the National Theater and the Royal Palace of Norway. For art buffs: The lobby bar, Dagligstuen, is more than just a place to relax with a good drink; it’s also home to one of the largest collections of works by Norwegian expressionist artist Edvard Munch. The 12 original prints cover several decades of the artist’s career and are on display on the lounge’s back wall.