Oslo, Norway's capital, is located on the northern tip of the 118-kilometer-long Oslofjord. Almost a third of Norway's 5,3 million inhabitants live in and around the largest city in the country. The city is Norway's political center, an important administrative and university location and the country's most important economic center. More than half of the urban area consists of forests and parks. Although Norway is not an EU member state, in 2019 Oslo has been awarded the title of "European Green Capital" by the EU Commission.
Bogstadvannet and Holmenkollen
Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and at the same time one of the metropolises with the highest quality of life. Tourists enjoy the diverse cultural offerings, great architecture and short distances.
Elements of the barcode master plan
Oslo - historical
The time the city was founded is indefinite. Excavations have suggested Christian graves from around AD 1000. These discoveries prompted the pragmatic city fathers to celebrate the city's millennium in 2000.
There is evidence that King Håkon V made Oslo the capital of the country in 1299. Oslo then turned into a residential and merchant city. Akershus Fortress and some churches were built during this period. The city survived several Swedish looting and some city fires. In 1624, under Danish rule, the city name was changed to "Christiana". This name was retained until 1924. Then the city got its original name back. Oslo has remained the royal seat to this day.
Akershus fortress with cruise ship
Oslo - Norway's political, economic, scientific and cultural center
Oslo is the seat of parliament and government. Greater Oslo is the country's economic center. Major Norwegian companies and organizations have their headquarters there, including the State Fund for the Administration of Oil Income. In the ranking of the Norwegian seaports, Oslo's port only ranks fifth; however, the city is of great importance as a ferry port.
Well over 30.000 students are enrolled at Oslo's universities and colleges of various subjects.
The country's most important cultural institutions are located in Oslo. The venerable National Theater and the fascinating new Opera House in Bjørvika offer theater, opera and ballet performances. Around 50 museums, numerous galleries and a dynamic music scene create a varied cultural life. Oslo also sees itself as a festival city in which several thousand concerts take place every year.
Oslo's new opera house & ballet
Oslo - a tourist destination of great importance
The city is a worthwhile travel destination in all seasons. The main attractions are in the inner city area. They are easy to reach using the well-timed public transport network.
Oslo is also an interesting cruise destination. A total of 101 ships with around 200.000 passengers are planned for the period between April and December 2018. The cruise ships dock at four terminals within walking distance of the center.
The city on the Oslofjord is definitely worth a visit. Oslo is one of those cities that can be discovered independently from organized excursions. More on this under Oslo - attractions.
Update July 2022