This Odd Bar in Oslo Wants You to Have the Worst Time Ever

Misfornøyelsesbar | Courtesy of Misfornøyelsesbar
Misfornøyelsesbar | Courtesy of Misfornøyelsesbar
2.5 out of 5 stars. That’s how low its Facebook rating is. But the people behind Misfornøyelsesbar, Oslo’s arguably quirkiest place to have a drink right now, are probably chuckling at that. See, this visually disturbing bar in downtown Oslo is specifically designed to make you feel uncomfortable – and that’s precisely why you need to add it to your must-see list.

That’s just mental!

Misfornøyelsesbar, or as it is otherwise known “The Bemusement Bar of Discontent“, may appear chaotic at first glance but there is a method behind its (literal) madness. Many years ago, the bar’s premises were used as a mental facility and forced labour for anti-social and promiscuous behaviour from 1829 to 1905, and that’s where owner and comic book artist Christopher Nielsen got his inspiration from.

He created a space that makes you feel like you fell down the rabbit hole of various mental illnesses, each of which has its designated room: the paranoia room (where the actual bar is), the schizophrenia room, the angst room with all the eyes following you constantly… According to the owner, “mental illness is a subject that makes people uncomfortable” – and this place pushes the boundaries in a way that’s certainly thought-provoking.

Detail from Misfornøyelsesbar Courtesy of Misfornøyelsesbar

So, will you actually have a bad time?

Well, the whole place has been designed with your discomfort in mind: from the tiny and uncomfortable bar stools, to the half-full (or is it half-empty?) beer glasses and the floor that opens up beneath your feet. But here’s the thing: if you approach this literally, as you would any other bar, then you will probably have a genuinely bad experience (and you’ll completely fail to get the joke in that). On the other hand, if you approach Misfornøyelsesbar as the functional art show that it is and realise you’re just another one of its maddening, discomforting exhibits, you may as well have one of the most jolly and interesting times of your life. Bring your sense of humour, and friends who won’t get frustrated by details such as the fact that the complaint box doubles as a shredder. Cheers.

Uncomfortable stools at Misfornøyelsesbar Courtesy of Misfornøyelsesbar

For more information on mental health, have a look here.