One of my usual “must dos” on any trip is doing some vintage shopping. Research on vintage shopping in Oslo leads you to Gurnerlokka. Originally a working class neighborhood, it has become a trendy hipster area appealing to a younger crowd. In addition to vintage shopping, there are small boutiques, artsy shops, independent cafes and galleries. I originally read about the area on this blog post by an expat living in Norway. The neighborhood also hosts the Birkelunden flea market on Sundays that I mentioned in a previous blog post. Markveien Street is the epicenter of boutique and vintage shopping in the neighborhood.
Before delving into our shopping exploration, we decided to make a hot chocolate and coffee stop at Edvards Kaffeebar, named after Edvard Munch, the artist behind the masterpiece “The Scream” and many other early 20th century pieces. His expressionist work often involved psychological themes and was labeled “degenerative art” by the Nazis. He grew up in Grunerlokka and a lot of his art is located throughout galleries in Oslo. I talked about our visit to the Munch Museum in a previous blog post. The cafe in Grunerlokka has a wall size image of “The Scream” which made a perfect backdrop.
The first place we came across was a gem of a thrift store, Marita Brukthandel. It was a huge place full of lots of glassware, ceramics, dishware (including a specific Norwegian Design section), textiles, books, furniture, pottery, art and lighting. Need a vintage Norwegian waffle iron? no problem, they had a pile of those too!
Markveien Street was beautiful. It was made for bikes and pedestrians, there was very little car access. Some standout boutiques included the Chillout Travel Store and the children’s store Sprell. Oslo has a lot of great children’s stores and Sprell was among them.
The mother ship of vintage shopping in Grunerlokka has to be the Fretex store. Fretex is the Norwegian Salvation Army and they run a chain of thrift stores. I went to several Fretex locations while in Norway. I talked about the one I went to Lillehammer in a previous blog post. Of the three locations I went to (two in Oslo and the one in Lillehammer), the Grunerlokka location was the best. They all were immaculate, had great merchandising and quality items, but the one in Grunerlokka had the highest end brands of the three.
Grunerlokka had many other vintage shops. Unfortunately, some were not open, but we still admired their windows. Many of them were exclusively vintage clothing stores. I was so disappointed that the Gatsby store was not open, it looked so good! They had lots of vintage housewares in their window displays, even Sam was fogging up the windows.
More sights around Grunerlokka, even some of the cars were vintage.
On our way out of Grunerlokka we found a Rode Kors (Norwegian Red Cross) thrift store.
They had beautiful merchandise, including many expensive brands. There was just not nearly the amount of items that the Fretex store had. They had some antique Red Cross pieces as display items including an antique medical cart and an antique stretcher in the window.
Even though this shop was NOT located in Grunerlokka, I wanted to mention it while I was on a roll talking about vintage shopping in Oslo. I had read about it online and it was located in central Oslo not far from our hotel so walked over to UFF Underground, a huge vintage clothing store. It was pretty amazing, both for the amount of merchandise and the selection of items, everything from evening gowns to fur coats to vintage Norwegian sweaters to metallic silver shoes.
More great information on shopping in Oslo, including vintage shopping, can be found here. Have fun treasure hunting in Oslo!