Cultural venues in Oslo

Oslo venue guide

An introduction to Oslo's best culture spots

Oslo is a great place for culture, plain and simple. At the very core of the city’s cultural life are, of course, its many outstanding venues. Below you’ll find short introductions to several of them, sorted according to genre and complete with a link to their upcoming programmes.


Large venues

Oslo’s largest venues bring in big acts of many different kinds. If you’d like to know what superstar is playing here this week or what world-famous comedians will be visiting soon, these are good places to check.

Rockefeller Music Hall and Sentrum Scene are two of Oslo’s main venues for popular music. Oslo Konserthus presents big names in classical music, jazz, show concerts and more. Folketeateret brings some of the best names in comedy to Oslo.

There is also a lot going on at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, which, in addition to wonderful opera and ballet productions, presents world-class concerts and recitals.

The largest venues by size are Oslo Spektrum and Telenor Arena. They don’t host all that many events, but the ones they do put on are grand.

Jazz and related styles

Oslo is a great place for jazz lovers of every stripe, with a vibrant local jazz community that attracts many international names.

Nasjonal Jazzscene - Victoria
is hands down Norway’s best jazz venue, with an extensive concert programme that includes top-notch Norwegian contemporary jazz artists as well as international jazz pioneers. Herr Nilsen Concert Pub puts on concerts almost on a daily basis, with a selection that includes a lot of trad jazz, blues, country and Americana.

Club venues

Oslo is is recognised as one of Europe’s best spots for live music, much due to the enthusiasts who run the city’s club venues. At any given point you’ll find a lot of interesting bookings here, made with a keen eye for quality and emerging talent.

is the leading venue in Norway within the alternative realm of live music, Parkteatret Scene boasts a varied musical offering (pop, hip hop and more) in an old movie theatre, and John DEE presents both international non-mainstream artists and smaller acts. Revolver is a small club that caters to fans of the harder and noisier end of the rock’n’roll spectrum.

Venues for classical music

Oslo is the home city of many of Norway’s leading classical ensembles, including the Oslo Philharmonic, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

In addition to Oslo Konserthus and the Opera (listed under "large venues" above), popular venues for classical performances include The University Aula (decorated by Edvard Munch) and Sentralen, a fairly new culture house right in the city centre. The Norwegian Radio Orchestra performs at different locations, but NRK Store studio is their home field.

Folk and world music

If you're looking to experience Norwegian folk music, Riksscenen is your best bet. Many of Norway's best traditional folk musicians perform here on a regular basis – as do folk musicians from most other parts of the world. Cosmopolite is Oslo's main venue for world music.  

Performing arts

Although most of Oslo’s theatres only stage plays in Norwegian, there are a few places where you can enjoy performing arts either in English or beyond spoken language.

Dansens Hus, Norway's national stage for dance, presents Norwegian and international dance performances of the very highest quality. Black Box teater is Oslo’s main venue for performance art, with a lot of internationals guest performers in their line-up.

Unique venues

Cultural happenings become particularly memorable in extraordinary surroundings!

Why not enjoy music in Oslo's largest sauna at SALT, a one-of-a-kind culture venue located right at the water’s edge? Although performances here are relatively rare, the evocative Emanuel Vigeland Museum offers unforgettable concert experiences. Kulturkirken Jakob, an old church reserved entirely for culture, is another quite magical spot.