Oslo is one of Europe’s fastest-growing cities, with a population aproaching 700,000 and new neighbourhoods with eye-catching architecture. The largest city in Norway is quickly transforming into a cosmopolitan hub with an abundance of world-class museums, restaurants and art, but still maintains the relaxed atmosphere of a much smaller town.
The city is nestled between the Oslofjord and hundreds of square miles of forested hills, and is a green city in more ways than one. The compact city centre is easily explored on foot or by bike, and an efficient public transport system makes the whole city accessible without a car.
The city has been Norway’s capital since 1814 and is home to the Norwegian government and the Royal Family.
Oslo is home to more than 50 museums, and top attractions include the Opera House, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Munch Museum. The city’s evolution over the last 1,000 years is on display along the waterfront, where historical sites like Medieval Park and Akershus Fortress are neighbored by the contemporary architectural marvels of Tjuvholmen and Bjørvika.
The country’s largest cultural institutions, which include the Norwegian Opera & Ballet, the National Theatre and the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, present first-rate art exhibitions and opera, ballet and theatre performances.
Live music is a big part of the city’s identity, and every year Oslo’s clubs and arenas host thousands of concerts that showcase the talents of everyone from local bands to international superstars. Several large pop and rock festivals are held every summer, and there are annual festivals for genres ranging from chamber music to heavy metal.
For more tourist information about Oslo – see Visit Oslo.