City Visit: Oslo, part one – the Aker Brygge area and its marina
The Oslo Boat show was winding down when we arrived in the Oslo area, which meant that the Aker Brygge marina was still closed to the public. We decided to stay in one of the lovely anchorages not far from the city. The Ostøya-Grimsøya-Kjeholmen group of islands is only about 6 nautical miles from Aker Brygge in Oslo and outside of the “high” season in the middle of summer, it’s not crowded at all. Several houses dot these islands so lying at anchor is the best solution so as not to disturb the inhabitants.
The Aker Brygge marina had announced on their website that it would open to the public on the Tuesday after the boat show, so we left the anchorage for Oslo city.
Surprise! The workers who were taking down the tents and temporary pontoons were not yet finished with their task. We were given the choice of lying on the outside of the pontoons or finding another marina. The wind was brisk and coming straight into the marina making the waves in the entire harbour quite choppy. We clearly did not want to moor on the outside of the marina. The ferries and cruise lines that enter and exit Oslo also create a lot of waves. We opted to go to Dronninghavna.
Unfortunately, Dronninghavna did not a berth for our boat and we were given a waiting pontoon. We weren’t pleased with the situation. We were told that all of the marinas in Oslo were full because all of the visiting boats and even the permanent renters of berths at Akerbrygge were relegated to the other Oslo marinas. There was nothing to do but accept the situation. At least they let us use the waiting pontoon free of charge (there’s no water, electricity or access to toilets, etc.)
The Dronninghavna is otherwise a good choice for those of you who want to visit the most famous of all of the Oslo museums: the Viking Ship Museum, the Kontiki Museum, the Fram museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum. They are all on the same island as the marina, Bygdøy.
Finally, on the Wednesday after the boat show, we were permitted to up at the Aker Brygge marina. This is the marina closest to the city centre of Oslo. Aker Brygge is a modern waterfront neighbourhood that successfully blends restaurants, cafés, boutiques, offices and living space. For anyone who loves modern architecture, this place is just amazing!
Marina Review: The Aker Brygge marina
The marina is relatively new and you’ll find everything you need, including toilets and showers, a laundry room, wifi, and a small café. The toilets, showers and laundry room were all spotless and in brand new condition. We absolutely loved staying here!
It’s relatively expensive, but you get a pristine marina and walking distance to downtown Oslo for the price.
The only downside is that it can get quite noisy if the weather is nice and there are lots of people out.
Marina Prices: 14 NOK per foot. This includes WiFi, use of toilets, showers, washers and dryers, electricity and water.
The Akerbrygge/Tjuvholmen borough of Oslo
The Aker Brygge/Tjuvholmen area was built from land that served as a shipyard and small mechanical factories until 1982. It was then developed, step by step, into the amazing architectural wonderland that it is today.
A few of the buildings were not removed, but renovated and reborn as shops, offices, restaurants and apartments.
Some of the more well-known architects represented here include Niels Torp (who also designed the beautiful SAS building outside Stockholm), Space Group and Renzo Piano, who designed the Astrup Fearnley Museum on Tjuvholmen. Renzo Piano is also the architect responsible for the Shard in London, the Paul Klee Centre in Bern, Switzerland and the New York Times building in New York. If you are passionate about architecture as an art form, you will love this area.
The Aker Brygge is the part of this new area with the most restaurants, shops, bars and cafés. We had dinners or lunches here and found what we think are Europe’s best croissants for breakfast (it’s the incredible Norwegian butter)! You’ll find lots of different shops and boutiques, but for essentials, there is the Coop grocery store. You can get your internet access card for your router at Telia.
In my next post, I’ll go over our favourite places to visit in and around Oslo.