Oslo – “The Blue the Green and the Capital in between”

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 Oslo is situated at the head of Oslo Fjord surrounded by forested ridges, and this very location gives the city  unexpected qualities for a national capital. The surrounding countryside provides recreational opportunities for the  city’s inhabitants and visitors, in summer as well as in winter. Not many world capitals offer subway service to the  forest, with lakes and hiking trails within city limits.

Oslo has a population of only 600 000, which is relatively low compared to most European capitals. However, it is  paradoxically one of the largest in terms of area. Oslo covers more than 450 km2, most of which comprises forests and  arable land.

Oslo’s beautiful natural surroundings, its varied architecture, and its multinational inhabitants contribute to the city’s  unique atmosphere. Oslo is a city full of contrasts. Its natural beauty, in combination with all the facilities of a modern  metropolis, adds to the charm of a city often called “the world’s biggest village”.

More modern districts include the bustling harbourside Aker Brygge, rehabilitated old shipyard, and Tjuvholmen, with their Mediterranean style shops, restaurants and cafés.

Oslo’s climate is better than our northern latitude might indicate due to the Gulf Stream bringing water from the Gulf of Mexico across the Atlantic Ocean and along the coast of Norway.

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From its position above the city, the Holmenkollen ski jump features the world’s oldest ski museum and one of the best panoramic views over Oslo. The new ski jump was ready for the World Nordic Ski Championships in 2011. It has prompted many to regard Oslo as a winter city, and Oslo does deserve the name “The World’s Winter Capital”.

Yet Oslo is just as much a summer city that has all the activities and pleasures we normally associate with summer. The numbers of activities on the fjord and in the city’s parks are a sign that Oslo’s citizens exploit the summer to the utmost.

The fjord is a great outdoor venue in the summer with interesting activities on the many islands in the fjord. And in the summer – the sun literally never sets.

Oslo is easily accessible, and Oslo Airport is situated 50 kilometers from the city centre. An express train links the airport to the city centre in 19 minutes.

Among internationally known museums in Oslo you find the Munch Museum, the Kon-Tiki Museum, the Polar ship Fram Museum, The Viking Ship Museum, the National Gallery, the Norwegian Folk Museum, the Vigeland Sculpture Park and Museum.

Oslo is the home of cultural giants like Edvard Munch, Gustav Vigeland, Thor Heyerdahl and Henrik Ibsen. Each of them has their own museum in Oslo.

The Vigeland Sculpture Park covers an area of 80 acres. The 212 sculptures are all modeled in full size by Gustav Vigeland. He also designed the architectural setting and the layout of the grounds. The park is a popular recreation area all year.

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 Oslo’s new Opera House, shaped like an ice-berg coming out of the water, has become an icon in Oslo, and is visited by  appx 2,5 million people every year.

Open-minded and outgoing, Oslo has increasingly embraced global and European trends. For urban souls there are  cultural attractions, nightclubs, cafés, and trendy boutiques, and outdoor enthusiasts might opt for a ride on a  mountain bike, play golf or go skiing – cross country or downhill within the vast expanse of forests that make up  greater Oslo. If you wish to go for a swim, there are outdoor swimming pools, as well as beaches accessible by ferries  from the city centre.

For more information, please see www.visitoslo.com