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Drink: if you don't see it, doesn't mean it's not there (pssst, it's a hidden bar in Oslo)

Nestled in the heart of the capital lies a peculiar stretch of street. For some inexplicable reason, this patch of asphalt has become a sort of clubhouse for the heroin addicts that inhabit the city. Allow me the occasion to advocate a bit for them. Often, they appear disheveled, shabby-looking and burdened with plastic bags containing dubious contents. Yet, it is essential to recognize that most of them have merely fallen on hard times—whether due to whatever life has to throw at some of them or a party that spiraled out of control, leading to unfortunate consequences. My point is this: they are not criminals; they suffer from drug addiction and bear the weight of an image problem. The fact that they still roam the streets of Oslo speaks to the Norwegian state's commitment to caring for its sick citizens in various ways. Unlike many other cities, an addict here will not beg for money.

The reason I bring this up is that as you stroll through the heart of Oslo on your way to my next recommendation, you will undoubtedly come across a few (heroin) addicts. I hope that you may look upon them with a slightly different perspective and, above all, not be afraid.

I would be delighted to guide you to Prindsen Hage, a hidden outdoor bar in Oslo. In essence, it resembles a beer garden you might find in Berlin. The only difference is that you won't see any conspicuous signage advertising its presence, save for a very small sidewalk board that is sometimes there, and sometimes not. Moreover, the surrounding buildings entirely obscure your view, making it improbable to stumble upon Prindsen Hage at all.

Oslo Skyline Impression

Yet, once you step inside, you'll understand the rationale behind this secrecy. It is never overcrowded but always exudes a convivial atmosphere. Particularly on a delightful summer's day, it becomes an idyllic haven. You can bask in the sun or find ample shade. While others flock to the waterfront promenades on scorching days, this place offers a much more serene sanctuary. The ambiance is tranquil, complemented by pleasant music, truly evoking the sensation of being in a garden.

There are about four food stalls where you can order Indian cuisine or pizzas, along with several bars serving delicious local beers or whatever has your fancy (mine is beer).

The fact that such an expansive inner courtyard is preserved in the midst of such a costly location, right in the heart of the city, is, in my view, a testament to an idealistic approach to urban planning.

*Keep in mind that Prindsen Hage is closed during the cold months!


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