Litteraturhuset (The House of Literature) is one of my favorite, and most versatile spaces in Oslo. Sitting in the heart of downtown, behind the Royal Palace, Litteraturhuset serves as a bookstore, a cafe, a reading room, a forum for debates and lectures, and more. Litteraturhuset describes it’s purpose as to “communicate and promote interest in literature and reading as well as freedom of speech issues.”
I’ll describe my own reasons for visiting to give you a sense of some of the possibilities, but really this is a place you need to explore for yourself. I like to regularly check the event calendar to look for interesting book readings, debates, and films. Look here to see what’s happening during your time in Oslo. I’ve heard rumors that space at a talk by author Haruki Murakami filled up within minutes, so look often.
If you walk straight to the back of the ground floor, you’ll see a beautiful reading room with plenty of comfortable chairs. This is one of my favorite rooms in Oslo, so you may find me with an americano from the cafe, meeting a friend, or catching up on some reading. As we get into summer, the steps out front start to overflow with people sitting in the sun drinking a beer in the late afternoon and into the evening. And I haven’t even mentioned the book shop which carries titles in both English and Norwegian. I’m sure you’ll find your own reasons to stop by.