Where most opera houses in big cities have a traditional architecture with columns and a pediment, the Oslo opera house has a very modern design. It was built in 2007 and opened a year later, so it’s quite new. The architecture comany is called Snøhetta and in my opinion, they did a great job. They produced a beautiful, yet simple building that visitors can walk on.
The building consists of white granite and glass, so when the sun is shining, it reflects everything. That is why I would advise you to bring your sunglasses when visiting the opera house. I did not and really regretted that decision. I could barely see where I was going because I was almost blinded by the bright sunlight reflected on the ground I was walking on. And it’s quite important that you can see where you’re going when you’re walking around here, because every now and then, there’s a small, almost invisible step and you could fall or maybe even sprain your ankle if you don’t see them coming.
You can take a walk over the opera house too. If you do, you’ll have a beautiful view over the Oslo fjord and you can take some great pictures. On the other side of the roof, you have a very nice view over Oslo. You can also visit the inside of the opera house. It’s worth taking a look inside, because the interior also has a special design. Immediately on your right, you’ll see a wall covered in a pattern of hexagonals. But the most striking part of the interior is the waving wood wall in the middle of the building. It adds a little more warmth to a building that looks quite cold on the outside. The waving shapes also contrast beautifully with the angular exterior.
The entrance to the opera house for just a quick look inside is free, just like the walk across the roof of the building. Toilets can be found inside the building behind the wall with the pattern of hexagons. There’s also a tour available in English. I believe it’s about 100 NOK (10 euros). You get a 20% discount if you have an oslo pass. And I don’t know if the ice cream stand that was there the day we visited is always there, but if it is, go buy some ice cream! It’s absolutely delicious.