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Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway
Look out Sydney: Oslo is giving you a run for the coolest public architecture on the waterfront. The Astrup Fearnley Museet, which reopened at the end of 2012 in a fabulous Renzo Piano design, is now the city's gathering point. The museum's collection pushes the boundaries of contemporary art, much like its surroundings on Tjuvholmen (which translates to Thief Island). The new community boasts strong architectural lines and attracts an artsy crowd. A sculpture park hugs the museum, and next door, you can ride up a glass elevator called the Sneak Peak for striking views of the harbor. The surrounding streets are dotted with art galleries, eateries (be sure to check out fourth-generation Bergshaven Bakeri), and even a city beach for the hardy. The neighborhood's crown jewel is The Thief, a new hotel. Each of The Thief's 118 contemporary Norwegian-style rooms sports handpicked art. You'll want to reserve the Apparatjik Suite, with an art installation signed by the supergroup.