Oslo, the largest city in Norway, is also the Norwegian capital city. There is a lot to do and see in Oslo, no matter what time of the year you visit. About two-thirds of the 450 sq. km. that is Oslo is forest and hills. Oslo, famous for its skiing, has 343 lakes and 40 islands for the locals and tourists to do a variety of outdoor summer and winter activities.  

If you want summertime fun in Oslo, you may not know where to start. Should you head to the hills for a hike through the forest or a picnic with nature? Perhaps you’d prefer the beaches? If you want beaches, catch the ferry and head over to one of Oslo’s 40 islands. Each island has a history and identity all of its own, so you won’t get bored exploring each and every one. Of course, you might have to extend your trip to do that.

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Why visit Oslo ?

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The largest city in Norway

There is a lot to do and see in Oslo, no matter what time of the year you visit

You could start on Hovedøya, where ancient monastery ruins are found. Next head to the beaches of Hovedøya, where you can see across to the city of Oslo. This is a wonderful sight to behold as the sun goes down. Try to explore as many of the islands as you can. Each of the islands have beaches and they offer something different for you to do.  

In the wintertime, Oslo is the place to ski. You can go from the city to the mountain ranges in less than a half an hour by bus. Oslo offers cross country skiing and downhill skiing to accommodate beginners and the world’s best skiers. In fact, Oslo has been chosen to host the best skiers in the world for the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championships.  

If the outdoors isn’t your thing, pay a visit to one of the dozens of museums and galleries of Oslo. If you want to learn all about Oslo and Norway, visit the Museum of Cultural History. If you love art, then try the Stenerson Museum of Modern Art. The Norsk Folkemuseum offers a little bit of a different flavour with its open-air design and the accompanying Gol Stave Church.  

Interestingly, Oslo also claims to be the Viking capital, referring to the Viking age between 800 and 1050. Vikings were men who travelled the seas by ship for the purpose of trade or warfare. Vikings later came to be the pet name for all Scandinavians of the period. While in Oslo, be sure to visit the Viking Museum, which houses several preserved Viking ships, including the largest that is still in existence, the Gokstad. The Oslo Historical Museum also has a lot of historical data and artefacts from the Viking Age.  

You won’t have any trouble at all finding shops or nightlife in Oslo. You’ll find everything from small boutiques to large shopping malls to cheesy tourist traps (these are the most fun to shop in) in Oslo. After all the shopping, settle down to a glass of wine and fine French cuisine at Bagatelle before spending the rest of the night on one of the three floors of the Smuget nightclub.

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