Lined with alfresco restaurants, cafes and fashion retailers, Aker Brygge is a popular shopping and dining area on Oslo’s inner harbour. It was built on the site of an old shipyard, Akers Mekaniske Verksted, with its waterfront views, art installations and pop-up events making it one of the city’s most vibrant leisure areas today.
Aker Brygge fuses its old shipyard buildings with modern architecture, including an extensive pedestrian area along the waterfront that is often used for art exhibitions, musical performances and cultural events. Everything from fashion to flowers, groceries, jewellery and gift items are for sale in Aker Brygge’s stores, with most situated along Holmens Gate Street, together with a pharmacy, medical centre and dental surgery. There are also more than 30 bars and restaurants, most of which offer alfresco dining areas for customers to soak up the views across the marina. Apartments and office buildings occupy the upper levels of the waterfront buildings, while steps lead down to the water’s edge with benches to relax on. Aker Brygge connects to Tjuvholmen via pedestrian walkways, and it’s here that the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art is located, designed by Renzo Piano.
Aker Brygge is located just to the west of the city centre and connected by tram to the Aker Brygge Station. It lies just opposite the ferry terminal, from where there are services throughout the Oslo Fjord, or it’s just a short walk from the iconic Rådhuset town hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.
Originally designed as an industrial area, since 1854 it has functioned as a shipyard and at one point was the largest of its kind in Norway. When the shipyard closed in 1982, plans were made to redevelop the area with some old industrial buildings demolished and others rebuilt into retail space.