Past, present and future law in a Norwegian and International Perspective

The 42nd Annual Course of the International Association of Law Libraries

Oslo, Norway, 16.-20. of June 2024


Intro to Oslo

The centre of Oslo is quite compact, and exploring it by walking is a pleasant experience. The city centre proper is for the most part dominated by businesses and offices, and is surrounded by more varied mixed residential areas. Major shopping areas as well as many museums and other tourist attractions are located here, but it is by no means purely a tourist trap. From west to east inside the number 2 ring road, the districts of Frogner, St.Hanshaugen, Grünerløkka, and Gamlebyen each offer their own flavour of Oslo.  

From west to east

Frogner is the historically affluent part of town, with well kept 19th century apartment blocks and a more upscale selection of shops than the rest of the city. The Frogner park is well worth a visit. The theme of late 1800s apartment buildings continues through St.Hanshaugen, a more varied area with a younger population. The St. Hans haug (= hill) itself offers nice views of the city centre. Moving towards Grünerløkka we cross the proverbial west/east end divide at the Aker river. The path along the river is a nice walk dotted here and there with bars, restaurants and cafes. Grünerløkka was for a long time a traditional working class district, but was invaded by the hip crowd in the late 90’s and is now a centre for Oslo’s bustling nightlife and music scene. It has something to offer during daytime too, with many independent shops, cafes and restaurants. If you like old buildings, take a slight detour through Rodeløkka, a very well preserved neighborhood of 19th century wooden houses.

Further east, the neighborhoods of Tøyen and Grønland are Oslo’s inner city multicultural alibis, and the definitive place to be for those who are too cool for the increasing gentrification at Grünerløkka. Formerly run down and plagued by traffic, the Gamlebyen (= old town) area is now a nice place to explore although there is nothing particularly old about it apart from a few ruins where the centre of Oslo lay when it was originally founded. Finishing off the inner city, the development area of Bjørvika is no longer just a construction site. It now sports a number of fancy bars and restaurants, and this is also where you will find the famed opera house. Directly opposite it lies the newly completed main public library (Deichman), definitely worth taking a look at. 

Fjord and forests

Situated at the end of the Oslo fjord surrounded by the large forested areas known as Marka, Oslo also has more to offer than just busy city life. Bring your hiking boots and take the metro to Nordmarka or Østmarka and seek the calm environment of the forest. For those who prefer something less strenous than a hike, take the number 1 metro to Frognerseteren and enjoy spectacular views of the city and surrounding areas. Going out on the fjord, a ferry brings you from Aker Brygge to one of the many “city islands”. The biggest island is Hovedøya. Here you can find the ruins of an old monastery from the 12th century. Walk among the ruins or cool down by taking a swim in the Oslo fjord. 

Things to see and do close to the venue 

More information on exploring Oslo, shopping, restaurants and nightlife will be added soon!

Akershus Castle and Fortress

Situated in the middle of central Oslo, 15 minutes walk from the Conference Venue, is the Akershus Castle and Fortress from the 14th century. It is a must see and a beautiful place to explore Oslo’s history. The fortress is surrounded by green areas and the Oslo fjord. The fortress has been at the center of the nation’s growth and development for 700 years. The area offers a unique historical environment and cultural experiences. It is even said that it shelters its own ghost. 

Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

Karl Johans Gate 

Karl Johans gate is the main street of Oslo. It stretches through the city center, from Oslo Central station to the Royal Palace. The parliament is located about halfway between the station and the palace. The street itself is pretty standard fare as far as high streets go, but things get more interesting by simply taking a right or left turn or moving to one of the parallel streets. Many high end shops are located in Akersgata, Nedre Slottsgate, and Øvre Slottsgate. In Prinsens gate you will find smaller brands and some independent shops as well. Three major shopping centres worth visiting are located on or near Karl Johans gate: Paleet, Eger, and Oslo’s only real department store, Steen & Strøm. Other major shopping streets nearby include Grensen, Stortorvet, and Torggata.

The Royal Palace and the Royal Gardens  

Karl Johans gate will take you straight up a small hill to the Royal Palace, just five minutes from the venue. Walk in the beautiful garden or watch His Majesty The King’s Guard changing of the guard. Guided tours of the palace and gardens are available.

Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen


The Munch museum in Bjørvika is well worth a visit. Edward Munchs most famous works, such as The Scream and Vampire, are on display. Read more and book tickets here. Close to the venue you will also find the museum of history and the new National Museum, both of which are worth a visit.

Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen