Oslo

- City of Possibilities

street view from Karl Johan street, Norway

Oslo is an exciting city. Not big in international measure, but with lots of possibilities. A citywalk in the main street of Norway, Karl Johans gate, leading from the Central Railway station to the Royal Palace is a must!

Try Aker Brygge with it's many shops and restaurants, the Akershus Fortress, or the Vigeland Sculpture Park.

This is a modern city, with the highest annual increase in population for any European capital city.

The population in June 2014 was 634.200.

The city has something for everyone, whether you want to visit attractions, go to the theater or concerts, do shopping, or participate in sport activities.

Get your Oslo Pass and you will have free access to a lot of it, as well as special offers in restaurants and shops.

Oslo is the governmental center in Norway, and also the center of trade, shipping and banking activities.

The town was established in 1838. During the reign of the Danish-Norwegian king, Christian IV, the town was rebuild near the Akershus Fortress, and named Christiania.

By late 1800’s, the name was Kristiania, before the name again changed to Oslo in 1925.



The City Seal

Oslo City Seal

The town has no formal approved Coat of Arms, but are using this old, City Seal.

The seal is showing St. Halvard, the Patron Saint of the city, with his attributes: The millstone and the arrows. The arrows which killed him, and the millstone that was used to sink him in the water.

At his feet there is a naked woman, who is the symbol of the woman the saint was trying to rescue when he was killed. He is sitting on a throne with lion decorations. Around the sea is a ribbon with the inscription "Unanimiter a constanter Oslo". It means something like "Agree and Ever Oslo".On top of the coat of arms is a crown.

The version of the seal that is used today was designed in 1924 by Børre Ulrichsen, based on a seal that is more than 700 years old.



Landmarks

Christopher Hagelund-visitnorway.com-Operabuilding

The city has several landmarks, like the Royal Palace, the Stortinget (Parliament building), the old University building, the National Theatre and of course the Holmenkollen Ski Arena.

In 2008 the city got it's newest landmark, the new Opera House.

(Photo: Christopher Hagelund-visitnorway.com)

Read more about the best Attractions


Museums in Oslo

Fram Museum-Gunnar Strom-visitOSLO.com

At the Bygdøy peninsula, close to the city, there are several museums, and park areas.

You should not miss the Fram Museum. And of course not the Viking Ship Museum. Don't miss any of the many interesting museums in Bygdøy.

Here you will find the Norwegian Folkemuseum, which in addition to showing folk art and clothings, also has an impressing outdoor part, with more than 150 authentic, old buildings, collected from all over the country.

You can even see an authentic, old stave church at this museum.

Take a look at our Top Listings of the city Museums.


Theatres

Oslo National Theatre

In the city you will find as many as 20 theatres, including the National Theatre, which is the largest theatre in the country.

The building is situated between the Royal Palace and the Parliament Building (Stortinget).




The Nobel Peace Centre

Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, Norway

The Nobel Peace Price Centre has a permanent exhibition, where you can learn about the Nobel Peace Prize, and the winners of the prize over the years.

The Peace Prize ceremony takes place in the City Hall in December every year.

Read more about the Nobel Peace Prize




The Royal Palace

Liv Osmundsen -The Royal Court

The foundation of the Royal Palace (Photo: Liv Osmundsen The Royal Court) was finished in 1825, when the foundation stone was laid by the Swedish-Norwegian King Karl Johan.

The Palace is situated at the end of the Main street in Oslo; The Karl Johans Gate (gate=street), and is recognized as the most important building in the country. In 1849 the palace was taken to use for the first time, then by King Oscar I.

The King and Qeen are living in the Royal Palace, and are conducting their official task as monarchs. This is where the King and Queen are holding official dinners, where audiences are granted, and where the King presides over the Government.

The Royal Palace is usually open to the public during the whole summer season.

Source: www.kongehuset.no

Read more about the Palace Building

Visit our Royal Pages


Oscarshall - The Royal Summer Palace

Jan Haug -The Royal Court - Oscarshall

Just outside the city centre, on the peninsula of Bygdøy is the Royal Summer Palace, the Oscarshall. Photo: Jan Haug -The Royal Court

Oscarshall palace was finished in 1852, is the property of the State, and is for disposal for the King and his family.

Several Norwegian artists contributed with their art during the building of Oscarshall, making the palace to a monument of Norwegian art from the 19th century. King Oscar II opened the palace as a museum in 1881.

Source: www.kongehuset.no Read more about Oscarshall



The Parliament Building

Norwegian Parliament photo bestnorwegian.com

On your walk along Karl Johans Gate, from the Central Train Station to the Royal Palace, you will be passing Stortinget, which is the Norwegian Parliament. The building was completed in 1866. Guided tours are arranged every weekday, Monday to Friday from June 20. to August 19th.

From August 20th. the guided tours are arranged every Saturday until December 17th.

At the outside of the building, by the entrance, there are two large stone lions guarding.

The Lion as a symbol has been used in the Norwegian Coat of Arms for centuries, but the use of lions guarding the building was debated in the Parliament, in the question wheter it was appropriate. The lions were modelled and sculptured by Christopher Borch. However, the real work cutting the lionfigures out of the stone was actually done by prisoners from the Akershus Fortress.

The work was mainly done by the prisoner Gudbrand Eriksen Mørstad, who was convicted for murder. The death sentence had been changed into "life in slavery".

For his excellent work on the Lion Project, he was set free from prison in 1872. Some years later, mr. Mørstad emigrated to the USA, to start a new life on the American prairie, like thousands of other Norwegians.

Source: www.stortinget.no


Read more about the Norwegian Parliament



Hotels and accomodation

Most of the hotels has high standard, and anyone will find a suitable hotel or hostel in town. From totally 351.537 hotel stays overnight in June 2011, 44% of these was by foreign tourists.

Of the first 6 months of 2011, foreign tourists did 33% of the hotel stays in Oslo, and 3 out of 4 were from Europe.

If we are looking just on the numbers for June 2011, 15% of the hotel guests in the city hotels were German, and 15% came from the USA.

There is a wide range of hotels, hostels, B&B, camping and private accomodations. Your wallet decide what standard you choose,but there is a choice for almost any budget.

Check out our Hotels page



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Climate

The weather in Oslo is quite pleasant during the summer time, and the temperature will normally be around 20 - 22°C (68 - 72 F), which in Norway will be classified asa warm summer.

Read more about the Oslo climate:







Akershus Fortress

akershus fortress in Oslo Norway

Central Train Station

central train station in Oslo Norway

City View

street view Oslo

City Fountain

fountain in Oslo park

Freia Advertising Sign

commercial sign in Oslo Norway

Building on Karl Johan

building in Oslo Norway

Parliament Building

Norwegian parliament building

Open space

People in park in Oslo