In the city centre around the main street Karl Johans gate you find discos, night clubs, bars, jazz clubs and cafés in between all the stores, shopping centres and hotels. Downtown Oslo has a little bit of everything.
Around Tinghuset and Stortorvet there are jazz and blues clubs, while Karl Johans gate is lined with bars and shops. The biggest concert venues are also centrally located. There are always people along Karl Johans gate, day and night. This is also the place for street parades, and on Norway's constitution day, 17 May, the streets downtown are crowded with people from all over the city, many of them dressed in national costumes.
Kvadraturen is the name of the historical centre in Oslo. The area between Akershus Fortress and Karl Johans gate, Jernbanetorget and Egertorget got its name because of the rectangular street pattern. This is where king Christian IV founded Christiania after the big fire in 1624. Some of Oslo’s oldest buildings are located in Kvadraturen, and and now the area can boast a number of fine art galleries and museums.
The big shopping centres Oslo City, Byporten, Paléet, Christiania Glasmagasin and Steen & Strøm are all located in the city centre.