Akershus Castle, also known as Akershus Slott, is a historic Norwegian landmark that dates as far back as the medieval period when it was built in 1299 as a residence for the royal family. Since then it was updated and used for multiple purposes: in 1592 as a fortress to protect Oslo against sieges, mainly from rival Sweden at the time, in 1637 as a renaissance castle, and was even used at the first half of the 19th century as a full-fledged prison. Today it's headquarters to the Ministry of Defense and is used to hold major events and a variety of other functions deemed appropriate by the Norwegian government.
The castle represents a high point of Norwegian grandeur, showcasing magnificent hallways, the Akershus Castle Church, the Royal Mausoleum, and reception and banquet rooms. On display are valuable and meaningful trinkets from throughout the fortress’ illustrious history, making it a must for historical buffs and visitors of Oslo.
There are a variety of interesting guided tours at the Akershus Castle in English that are recommended for a fuller experience and understanding of the castles history, including an introductory tour, a Medieval Castle tour; which helps point out remnants of the original structure, an Art Historical tour, and even candle wielding Ghost Tour, that shares mythical stories and castle folklore.
During the high summer seasons the outdoor areas open to tourists and groups and are included in the tour.
While bathroom and handicap accessibility are available on-site, other amenities are sparsely available, so be sure to grab a bite before your trip.