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Drink: the best bars in Oslo, according to me

The best bars in Oslo... This exercise, in truth, is a bit rediculous since taste varies. But I'll proceed anyway in an attempt to let you glimpse Oslo through my eyes. In a completely arbitrary sequence, I present to you the drinking establishments I hold dearest (though regrettably frequented far too infrequently of late due to a persistent lack of funds, the result of escalating living costs).

The interior of a fancy bar in Oslo, Norway

Dattera til Hagen. The most exceptional quality of this establishment lies within its clientele. Nestled inconspicuously amidst Oslo's most "international" district, it caters to a truly diverse audience. I'm not sure if this could be called one of the hidden bars of Oslo, but it's not frequented by foreign visitors at least. It's mostly students, hipsters, new Norwegians, and an assorted array of characters gather in the convivial courtyard to indulge in their libations. The atmosphere is utterly unpretentious, exuding an optimistic cheerfulness that becomes evident upon entry, as you traverse the artistically decorated corridor.

Bryggeri Bar in Nedre Foss Gård. This is the haven for those seeking an unparalleled array of craft brews, hitherto unexplored by the palate, and for the sheer spectacle of its interior. One of the more unique watering holes in Oslo. The amalgamation of copper and wood imbues the place with a distinctly inviting ambiance. Here, in the company of a dear friend, one can discuss life's intricacies over a rich, chestnut-hued porter or a jaw-dislocating pale ale.

Kastellet. It is within these walls that the most exquisite cocktails are conjured, and the interior is a marvel in itself. A kaleidoscopic amalgam of design classics graces this metropolitan cocktail bar on the second floor. Kastellet can easily be called one of the more trendy cocktail bars in Oslo. Here, one encounters the more elegant and affluent urbanites - the Botox-adorned lips, the impossibly attractive twenty-somethings flaunting ostentatious Rolex timepieces, and the aspirational influencers, all order their cocktails here. Be not deterred, have a cocktail or two, feast your eyes, and then move on.

Schouskjelleren Mikrobryggeri. Descend the staircase, and you'll find yourself in a dimly lit cellar that carries an almost medieval allure. At the far end, a substantial hearth smoulders, evoking an olfactory sensation reminiscent of its ambiance. This locale is steeped in history, as it occupies the grounds of the erstwhile Schous brewery. Here, one may savor splendid brews, and this spot remains a reasonably well-kept secret while being one of the best craft beer bars in Oslo.

Blå. A veritable institution in Oslo, exuding a ceaseless vibrancy. A particular recommendation is the Frank Znort Quartet, whose musical prowess turns Sunday evenings into legendary affairs.

Oslo Mekaniske Verksted. Housed within an antiquated workshop, this may well be Oslo's coziest haven. Its interior is adorned with an assortment of curiosities - aged maps, globes, tomes, and posters. Expressing precisely why this place is so enchanting proves elusive, a sentiment captured most poignantly upon a visit during the early eve. Additionally, the amiable bar staff are a blessing.

Bortenfor. A realm unto itself, this falls into a realm beyond categorization. A bonus category if you please. The closest neighbour of Blå. Relaxed, chilled, stylish and excellent to spend a warm summer evening on the terrace. One of the chill bars in Oslo.

HIMKOK is nothing but an institution in the Norwegian capital. Tucked away on the second floor, one would not even closely suspect to find anything here. And for good reason. This bar is ranked number 10 in the top 50 of the worlds best bars. Yes, you read that correctly! And that.... is just amazing!

I resided in Tøyen for a while. It's a bit of a neighbourhood that the rest of western Oslo tends to turn up their noses at. This is undoubtedly due to its more diverse demographics. This perception is entirely unfounded because what used to be a windswept and grim square has now transformed into a hub of warmth and activity. This is where you'll find Glasnost; a rough-around-the-edges but oh-so-cozy pub where the (trendy) locals gather for their tipple. It exudes a kind of homely atmosphere, adorned with a multitude of quirky decorations. I instantly feel at home in such places.


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