Oslo, capital of Norway

Oslo, the capitol of Norway, has in excess of approximately 650,000 inhabitants and covers a area of 454,0 km2. Oslo municipality is surrounded by forest and fjord. An important part of the city´s political tradition is to preserve the fjord and the area surrounding the city for leisure and outdoor pursuits. Under the reign of King Olav Kyrre, Oslo became a cultural centre for Eastern Norway. St. Hallvard became the city´s patron saint and is depicted on the city´s seal.

Oslomarka is used by thousands of skiers and hikers all the year round thanks to restrictions in the urbanization of the city. Some of the major sports events in Oslo will be the Grete Waitz Race, the Holmenkollen Relay, Oslo Marathon and the Holmenkollen Ski Festival. Oslo is a ski-eldorado with over 3,000 km of prepared ski tracks for cross-country skiing and many ski lifts for alpine skiing. The tracks are also used throughout the rest of the year: Bærumsmarka, Nordmarka and Østmarka are all places where many people meet every weekend.

Oslo is one of the oldest Scandinavian capitals, Oslo has never been on the mainstream European tourist circuit. Many have the impression that it’s lean on historic and cultural sights. In fact, it offers enough sights and activities to fill at least 7 busy days. It´s also the starting point for many easy excursions along the Oslofjord or to nearby towns and villages.

In the ’90s Oslo has grown surprisingly from what even the Scandinavians considered a backwater to one of the glittering cities of Europe. Accommodation, Restaurants, nightclubs, cafes, shopping complexes, pizza, fast food and other places have opened.

Proceed with caution if you´re on a strict budget. Oslo was founded in the mid-11th century by a Viking king, and became the capital around 1300 under Haakon V. In the course of its history, the city burned down several times; it was destroyed by fire in 1824.

The master builder, Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway, ordered the town rebuilt near the Akershus Castle. He named the new town Christiania (after himself), and that was its official name until 1924, when the city reverted to its former name. In 1814, Norway separated from Denmark and united with Sweden, a union that lasted until 1905. During that period the Royal Palace, the House of Parliament, the old University, the National Theater, and the National Gallery were built.

After the Second World War, Oslo grew to 175 square miles. Today it´s one of the 10 largest world capitals. Oslo is also one of the most heavily forested cities, with fewer than half a million inhabitants. One final point: Oslovians love nature. They devote much time to pursuits in the forests and on the fjords. It takes only half an hour by tram to go from the Royal Palace to the 390-foot Tryvann Observation Tower, where you can enjoy a view over Oslo Marka, the giant forest.

The Krogskogen forest was the setting for many Norwegian folk tales about princesses, kings, penniless heroes, and the inevitable forest trolls. From this observation tower in the summer, you can look down on hundreds of sailboats, motorboats, and windsurfers among the numerous islands of the Oslo archipelago.

Oslo is made for walking – in fact, you can walk from the Central Station all the way to the Royal Palace in a straight line. Except for excursions to the museum-loaded Bygdøy peninsula and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, most attractions can be covered on foot. Oslo is not neatly divided into separate neighborhoods or districts. It consists mainly of central Oslo, with the Central Station to the east of the city center and the Royal Palace to the west. Karl Johans Gate, the principal street, connects these two points.

There are almost 50 museums and galleries in central Oslo, enough to fill many a rainy day. The most interesting include Akershus Castle, the Historical Museum, and the National Gallery.

The streets Drammensveien and Frognerveien lead northwest to Frogner Park (whose main entrance is on Kirkeveien). This historical area is the site of the Vigeland Sculpture Park, which displays some masterpieces of Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943).

Ekebergparken (Ekeberg Park) is a sculpture and national Heritage park for the people of Oslo and visitors looking for a unique experience. The park is large and spacious enough for the artworks not to be visually intrusive, but they are of such high international standard that they justify the trip alone. Once here, however, visitors will in addition to the art enjoy the added value of fantastic views over the city.

The Old Town lies south of the Parliament Building (Stortinget) and Karl Johans Gate. This section contains some of the city´s old-fashioned restaurants, along with the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the Old Town Hall.

Aker Brygge is Oslo´s newest neighborhood. It emerged near the mouth of the Oslofjord in the old wharf area formerly used for shipbuilding yards. Fueled by oil wealth, steel-and-glass buildings now rise from what had been a relatively dilapidated section. Some of the best shops, theaters, restaurants, and cultural attractions are here, along with apartments for such well-heeled owners.

Tjuvholmen is sticking out from Aker Brygge into the Oslofjord. The area was bought by the shipyard Akers Mekaniske Verksted in the mid 19th century, who planned to build a drydock there. The area have approx. 1,200 apartments and it is part of the Fjord City urban renewal program. This program has seen the opening of several art galleries, amongst them the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art and the Gallery Haaken.

The main attractions in eastern Oslo are the Botanic Garden (Botanisk Hage), the Zoological Museum, the Munch Museum in Tøyen.

Akerselva is a river which flows through Oslo. It starts at Maridalsvannet in Oslomarka, and follows the urban areas Nordre Aker, Sagene, Grünerløkka, Oslo centre and Grønland, whereby it finally ends at Paulsenkaien and Oset in Bjørvika. The entire river is about 8.2 kilometres long, and has a difference in elevation between source and mouth of approximately 149 metres.

Many Oslo neighborhoods lie along the Oslofjord, which stretches more than 60 miles north from the Skagerrak to Oslo, and is filled with basins dotted with islands. (There are 40 islands in the immediate Oslo archipelago).

Nearly all visitors want to see Holmenkollen, a wooded range of hills northwest of the city rising to about 1,740 feet. You can reach it in 35 minutes by electric train from the city center. Marka, Oslo´s forest, is a sprawling recreation area that offers hiking, bicycle riding, skiing, fishing, wild berry picking, jogging trails, and more. It contains 343 lakes, 310 miles of ski trails, 387 miles of trails and roads, 11 sports chalets, and 24 ski jumps and alpine slopes.

Some would be happy to come to Oslo just for the views of the harborfront city and the Oslofjord. Panoramas are a major attraction, especially the one from Tryvannstårnet, a 390-foot observation tower atop 1,900-foot-high Tryvann Winterpark in the outlying area. On the other side you have the funkis-restaurant Ekebergrestauranten, with a panorama view overlooking Oslo and the Opera House. Many other attractions are worthy of your time and exploration, too. The beautiful surroundings make these sights even more appealing.


To the west of Oslo, 4 miles by car but better reached by car ferry, is the Bygdøy peninsula. Bygdøy has several museums, like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum), the Viking Ship Museum; the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen. Bygdøy Royal Estate, the official summer residence of the King of Norway and Oscarshall Castle are also located here.

Bygdøy is one of Norway´s oldest cultural landscapes with a rich history. Bygdøy has beautiful parks and forests and some of Oslo´s most popular beaches, including the Huk ordinary and nudist beach. In 1885 there were only 111 houses at Bygdøy, today most of the huge gardens have been and are being split into smaller patches of land, making Bygdøy largely a residential zone while retaining a profile of upscale demographics. However, large parts of the area such as The King´s Forest and the Bygdøy Royal Estate are protected from development.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, a memorial for the victims of the catastrophe was initiated by the Norwegian government. The memorial is located on the western shore of Bygdøy and was officially unveiled by HM King Harald V on 19 October 2007.


The Royal Palace, The Akershus Fortress, Norway´s Resistance Museum, the Prison Museum, the Armed Forces Museum, Holmenkollen, Ski Museum, Aker Brygge, the Opera House, the Ekebergrestaurant, Ekeberg Park, Oslo Cathedral, the City Hall, the University Building, the Nobel Institute, the Historical Museum, the National Gallery, the National Theatre, the Astrup Fearnly Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Children´s Art Museum, the Ibsen Museum, the Parliamant Building, the Munch Museum, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, the Vigeland Museum, the Botanic Garden, the Zoological Museum, the Norwegian Folk Museum, the Viking Ship Museum, the Polar Fram Museum, the Kon-Tiki / Ra Museum, the Minibottle gallery, the Henie Onstad Art Center outside Oslo in Sandvika.


The Royal Palace is situated on a rise, the Bellevue, at one end of Oslo´s main thoroughfare, Karl Johans gate. The Royal Palace is one of the country´s most important buildings, and a concrete symbol of the course of Norwegian history since 1814. Building activities commenced in 1824, and the foundation stone was laid by King Carl Johan on 1 October 1825. The Palace was officially taken into use on 26 July 1849 by King Oscar I.

The Royal Palace is where the daily work of the monarchy is conducted and where the King and Queen live. It is where the King presides over the Council of State, grants audiences and holds official dinners. Foreign heads of state who visit Oslo stay at the Palace. Most of the members of the Royal Court have their workplace here. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer season.


King Harald and Queen Sonja have move to the Royal Palace from Skagum, King Harald´s childhood home.


Steeped in tradition. the world-famous skijump above Oslo. At Holmenkollen, an elevator takes visitors up the jump tower for a view of Oslo and the fjord. Nearly all visitors want to see Holmenkollen, a wooded range of hills northwest of the city rising to about 1,740 feet.


Devoted to the works of Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Scandinavia´s leading painter, this collection was his gift to the city. It traces his work from early realism to latter-day expressionism. The exhibits change periodically. His work can also be found in the National Gallery, the University and the City Hall.


The lifetime work of Gustav Vigeland, Norway´s greatest sculptor, is on display in 80 acre Frogner Park, in western Oslo. The Vigeland Sculpture Park have more than 200 sculptures in granite, bronze, and iron are here. Notice his four granite columns, symbolizing the fight between humanity and evil (a dragon, the embodiment of evil, embraces a woman). The Fountain, The Monolith, The Bridge Statues and the Wheel of Life illustrate the Cycle of Life, all aspects of human relations and emotions. Don´t miss The Angry Boy. The angry boy is the most photographed statue in the park. The most celebrated work is the 52-foot monolith composed of 121 colossal figures, all carved into one piece of stone.

Vigeland Museum

Nearby the Vigeland Sculpture Park is the Vigeland Museum, the former studio of Norway´s greatest sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. It contains more of his works, sketches, and woodcuts.


The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in 1904, and moved into its present building in central Oslo, close to the royal palace, in 1905. The building, which was built in 1867, is a classic mansion house. It was bought in 1903 from consul Christian Christophersen, a prominent figure in the booming business life of Kristiania (the name of the Norwegian capital until 1924) in the 1890s. A private house consisting of two separate apartments, it had to be totally renovated inside before the Institute could start using it.


The announcement of the laureate´s name is not made on a fixed date, but is often made on a Friday in mid-October. The Peace Prize is awarded annually on 10 December, the day on which Alfred Nobel died in 1896.

Each year on December 11th the Nobel Peace Prize Concert gathers a selection of talented artists and hosts from around the world to pay tribute to the year’s laureate. The resulting Concert is a virtual melting pot of melodies ranging in genre from classical to rap.


The opera house is 38.500 square metres in size and has close to 1000 rooms and a total of 36.000 marble and granite slabs have been laid down to create the characteristic appearance. The house is divided into three main sections: the audience section, the rehearsal and administration section and the workshop section. The house has three stages: the Main Stage with approximately 1400 seats, Scene 2 with up to 440 seats and Rehearsal Stage 1 with 200 seats.


The Ibsen Museum occupies the last home of the playwright Henrik Ibsen and is located close to the Royal Palace at Henrik Ibsens gate 26 (Eiendomsspar). Ibsen lived in an apartment within walking distance of the National Theater from 1895 until his death in 1906. On the occasion of the hundred-year commemoration of Ibsen´s death, 23 May 1906, the Ibsen Museum reopened a completely restored writer´s home with the original interior, original colours and decor. Ibsen´s plays are performed on stages all around the world, but only in Arbins gate it is possible to acquire a glimpse behind the facade of the aging writer. it was here that he lived the last 11 years of his life and wrote his final dramatic works John Gabriel Borkman (1896) and When We Dead Awaken (1899). The museum curators have tried to re-create the apartment (a longtime exhibit at the Norwegian Folk Museum) as authentically as possible.


One of Europe´s largest outdoor museums, showing Norwegian traditions and culture. From all over Norway, 140 original buildings have been transported and reassembled on 35 acres on the Bygdøy peninsula. This open-air folk museum, one of the oldest of its kind, includes a number of medieval buildings.

Inside, the museum´s 225,000 exhibits capture every imaginable facet of Norwegian life, past and present. Furniture, household utensils, clothing, woven fabrics, and tapestries are on display, along with fine examples of rose painting and wood carving. Also look for the outstanding exhibit on Norway´s Lapp population.

Among its more significant buildings are Gol stave church from the 13th century which incorporated was into the Norwegian Folk Museum in 1907. The Gol Stave Church is one of five medieval buildings at the museum, which also includes the Rauland cabin (Raulandstua) from the 14th century, and the 18th century tenement building relocated from historic Wessels gate 15 in Oslo.


The adventure museums on the tip of Bygdøynes. Polar and tropical expeditions that have altered our view of world history. Kon-Tiki is a world-famous balsa/log raft. In 1947, the young Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl and five comrades sailed it from Callao, Peru, to Raroia, Polynesia (4,300 miles).


Next to Fram and Kon-Tiki on Bygdøynes, you will find Norwegian Maritime Museum (Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum), an encyclopaedia of Norwegian maritime tradition sailing boats old-fashioned ships, hundreds of models of ships right from Viking times up to the present day slide-shows and films. Polar Ship FRAM

This museum contains the sturdy polar exploration ship Fram, which Fridtjof Nansen sailed across the Arctic (1893-96). The vessel was later used by the famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole (1911).


Displayed here are three Viking burial vessels that were excavated on the shores of the Oslofjord and preserved in clay. The most spectacular find is the 9th-century Oseberg, discovered near Norway´s oldest town, Tønsberg. The richly ornamented 64-foot dragon ship is the burial chamber of a Viking queen and her slave. The Gokstad find is an outstanding example of Viking vessels because it´s so well preserved. The smaller Tune ship was never restored. Look for the Oseberg´s animal-head post and four-wheeled cart, and the elegantly carved sleigh used by Viking royalty.


Former skating champion and movie star Sonja Henie and her husband, shipping tycoon Niels Onstad, opened this museum to display their art collection. On a handsome site beside the Oslofjord, 7 miles west of Oslo, in Sandvika, it´s an especially good 20th-century collection. There are some 1,800 works by Munch, Picasso, Matisse, Léger, Bonnard, and Miró. Henie´s contributions can be seen in her Trophy Room.


It emerged near the mouth of the Oslofjord in the old wharf area formerly used for shipbuilding yards. Fueled by oil wealth, steel-and-glass buildings now rise from what had been a relatively dilapidated section. Some of the best shops, theaters, restaurants, and cultural attractions are here, along with apartments for such well-heeled owners.


One of the oldest historical monuments in Oslo, Akershus Castle was built in 1300 by Haakon V. Magnusson. It was a fortress and a royal residence for several centuries. A fire in 1527 devastated the northern wing, and the castle was rebuilt and transformed into a royal Renaissance palace under the Danish-Norwegian king, Christian IV. Now the government uses it for state occasions. English-speaking guided tours are offered Monday to Saturday at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm, and on Sunday at 1 and 3pm.


The changing exhibits concentrate on Norwegian artists and on foreigners. The displays come from the museum´s collection, with some items from other museums in rotating exhibits. The museum, which has large, airy, well-lit display areas, was created by some of Norway´s leading architects and designers.


Oslo’s 17th-century cathedral (Oslo Domkirke) at Stortorvet (the marketplace) was restored in 1950, when Hugo Louis Mohr completed its modern tempera ceiling decorations. The cathedral contains works by 20th-century Norwegian artists, including bronze doors by Dagfin Werenskiold.


Constructed from 1861 to 1866, the Parliament, in the center of the city, was richly decorated by contemporary Norwegian artists. The style is neo-Romanesque. The public is admitted only on guided tours. Guided tours in English.


Provides one with a complere understanding of Norwegian art and consolidates Norways place in art history. Large classical international colection.


The National Theatre (Nationaltheatret) is one of Norway´s largest and most prominent venues for performance of dramatic arts. The theatre had its first performance on 1 September 1899 but can trace its origins to Christiania Theatre, which was founded in 1829.


See the world through children´s eyes in the museum that presents children’s art from 180 countries.


Color Line operates four international cruise ferry lines between ten ports in Norway, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The Color Line fleet totals six ships. Color Line´s ships offer facilities and activities suitable for every age group. The Color Line terminals in Norway: Oslo, Larvik, Kristiansand and Sandefjord. The Color Line terminal in Denmark: Hirtshals. The Color Line terminal in Germany: Kiel.

Stena Line is one of the world´s largest ferry companies with a modern fleet of 35 vessels and Europe´s most comprehensive route network consisting of 18 ferry routes in Scandinavia and around the UK. The Stena Line terminals in Norway: Oslo. The Stena Line terminal in Denmark: Frederikshavn.

DFDS Seaways integrates freight and passenger services. DFDS Seaways provide great maritime experiences as well as transport services for passengers travelling by car. The DFDS Seaways terminals in Norway: Oslo. The DFDS Seaways terminal in Denmark: København.


Among the existing government incentives, all-electric cars are exempt in Norway from the annual road tax, all public parking fees, and toll payments as well as being able to use bus lanes.

Charging stations is 249 and Charging points is 1226 in Oslo at the moment.

Charging points can be found on street parking, at taxi stands, in parking lots, at places of employment, hotels, airports, shopping centers, convenience shops, fast food restaurants, coffeehouses etc., as well as in driveways and garages.


Færderseilasen, also called Færder´n, is a regatta that held on the second weekend in June by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club. The regatta starts in Oslo for ordinary sailboats and in Son for old yachts. The fastest of the sailboats reach Færder Lighthouse. The endpoint is in Horten. Smaller boats turn around at Hollenderbåen or Medfjordbåen. The regatta is open for any member of the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (KNS), and boats are placed in classes according to their sailing potential. The trip from Oslo to Færder to Horten is approx. 83 nm long.


This is the largest amusement park in Norway, conceived as a smaller version of Copenhagen’s Tivoli. It includes a number of simple restaurants, a roller coaster with a loop and corkscrew, an amphitheater with all-day entertainment by performers such as musicians and clowns, and many games of skill or chance. The park is located at Ås, approximately 20 km from the the Central Station.

Tryvann Winter Park is located at the top of Holmenkollen, only 20 minutes from downtown Oslo is the city’s alpine facility, and Wyllerløypa is the alpine facility located in from Sørkedalen. In the summer, hiking, fishing, cycling and canoeing are popular activities. At Tryvann Skisenter you can find 14 runs and 6 ski lifts, including 2 4-seat chairlifts. The longest run is 1.400 metres long, and has a drop of 381 metres. Tryvann has a designated area for children and beginners, challenging runs, a large snowpark with a high quality halfpipe of international standards, a boardercross run and slopes for cruising. Advanced snowmaking facilities and an altitude of 531 metres ensures that the normal season lasts from December to medio April. All runs are floodlit for night skiing.

BEACHES in and around OSLO

Tjuvholmen Bystrand Beach, Sydstranda (Ulvøya) Beach, Huk Beach, Bygdøy Sjøbad, Paradisbukten, Katten bad (Nordstrand), Hvervenbukta, Ingierstrand Beach, Storøyodden Beach, Sørenga, Nordstrand bad.


Fishing possibilities are good in Oslofjorden.


You can play Golf on several courses in and around Oslo. Oslo Golfclub have 18 holes and is located in Bogstad, Groruddalen Golfclub have 9 holes and is located in Groruddalen, Grønmo Golfclub located at Skullerud, Golfcenter is a golfsimulation located at Myren Verksted on Torshov, and Grini Golfclub a 9 holes course located at Østerås, Kringsjå Golfclub located close to Løkka Farm at Sognsvann.

Holmenkollen Golfclub and Brekke Golfclub is under construction,