Complete Guide to Oscarshall Castle in Norway

Oscarshall Castle

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    The summer palace of Norway’s royal family, Oscarshall Castle is a neo-Gothic masterpiece dating back to the mid-19th century. Located in the capital city of Norway, Oscarshall Castle decorates Oslo’s bay with grandeur, artisanship and beauty.

    Let’s take a look into the fascinating history of Oscarshall Castle, how to get there and all the information you need to enjoy a visit to this wonderful royal Norwegian palace.

    History of Oscarshall Castle

    Built between 1847 and 1852, Oscarshall Castle was designed by a Danish architect called Johan Henrik Nebelong. The palace was commissioned by King Oscar I and Queen Joséphine during a time when many Norwegian and local contemporary artists were receiving commissions.

    Its interiors were constructed and decorated by Norwegian artisans, embodying traditional Norwegian styles. Paintings by famous Norwegian artists, including Hans Gude, Joachim Frich and Adolph Tidemand, hang in the dining room.

    One of the country's main embodiments of the Romantic style that was so popular in Norway during the 19th century, Oscarshall Castle consists of the palace itself, secondary buildings, a pavilion and a surrounding park that leads down to the water.

    In 1881, King Oscar II opened Oscarshall Castle to the public as a museum and it was then sold to the Norwegian state by King Carl IV in 1863. A complete renovation took place between 2005 and 2009 to restore the palace back to its original style and, today, Oscarshall Castle is open for visitors during the summer season with a fine art gallery on the castle grounds called Queen Joséphine Gallery.

    Where is Oscarshall Castle?

    Located on the peninsula of Bygdøy, Oscarshall Castle sits in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo in the south of mainland Norway.

    How to Get to Oscarshall Castle

    Reaching Oscarshall Castle is very easy, as it’s just a 10-15 minute drive from the center of Oslo. You’ll need to take the E18 out of the city center, then make a left turn onto a road called Dronning Blancas vei, then Bygdøyveien, until you reach Oscarshallveien.

    If you’re traveling via public transport, you can take the bus number 30 to Bygdøy from the city center, from the Kvadraturen bus stop. The bus will stop at Folkemuseet, from which it’s an 8-minute walk to Oscarshall Castle.

    If you fancy a walk, you can follow the road next to the E18. It’ll most likely take you around 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes to walk from the center to Oslo depending on where you start from and your walking speed.

    Visiting Oscarshall Castle

    Interested in visiting Oscarshall Castle for yourself? Here’s all you need to know to enjoy your trip to this dazzling Norwegian palace!

    • Opening times – The palace is usually open in the summer for visitors. There may be certain days that it’s closed, which you can find on Oscarshall Castle Facebook page.

    • Tickets – Tickets for Oscarshall Castle can be bought online or in the ticket booth at Oscarshall, which is located in a small building to the right of the palace. Online tickets for Oscarshall Castle can be bought on Ticketmaster.

    • Admission price – Prices for admission to Oscarshall Castle are 140 NOK (around $13 USD) for adults and students, 70 NOK (around $6.50 USD) for children aged between 6 and 17, and free for children aged between 0 and 5.

    • Guided tours – You can take a guided tour of Oscarshall Castle. The tours begin on the hour every hour between 11:00 and 16:00 from Thursday to Sunday and last for 40 minutes. Tours at 12:00 and 14:00 are in English. The tour includes all the most important rooms, including the lounge, vestibule and dining room, as well as the first and second floors where King’s apartment, Queen’s apartment and Prince’s room are located. Make sure to check the latest updates about guided tours of Oscarshall Castle before you visit, as these timings are subject to change.

    • Café – There’s a café located in the park grounds of Oscarshall Castle, which is just to the right as you approach the palace. Here, you can enjoy a bite to eat and a refreshing drink during your visit to Oscarshall Castle.

    • Park – The park and gardens surrounding Oscarshall are free to visit and you don’t need a ticket. Simply come along and enjoy the splendor of the beautiful flowers, bushes, trees and plants.

    • Nearby attractions – While you’re in the area, you might like to explore more of the fascinating museums and cultural heritage sites on offer. There’s the Vikingskipshuset, Norsk Folkemuseum, Frammuseet and more, as well as the beautiful beach at Huk bay if you fancy a swim, sunbathe or stroll along the coast.

    Explore Norway Your Own Way

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