Letisha Elkins

Written by Letisha Elkins

Modified & Updated: 21 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Lonelyplanet.com

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, is a fascinating destination that combines rich history, jaw-dropping natural beauty, and a thriving modern cultural scene. From its well-preserved Viking heritage to its sleek contemporary architecture, Oslo offers a unique blend of tradition and innovation. With a population of over 670,000 people, this vibrant city is known for its high standard of living and progressive mindset.

In this article, we will uncover 32 captivating facts about Oslo that will not only enrich your knowledge, but also inspire you to explore all that this remarkable city has to offer. From iconic landmarks to interesting traditions, from mouthwatering cuisine to delightful festivals, Oslo has something for everyone. So let’s delve into the secrets and surprises that make Oslo a truly remarkable destination.

Key Takeaways:

  • Oslo, the Viking city, is a green capital with museums, ski jumps, and a vibrant music scene. It hosts the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and offers outdoor activities for all.
  • From the Viking Ship Museum to the Oslo Fjord, Oslo is a city of history, art, and natural beauty. It’s a hub for Scandinavian design and a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
Table of Contents

Viking Origins

Oslo, the capital city of Norway, traces its roots back to the time of the Vikings. It was founded around 1000 AD.

Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo is the proud host of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, held annually in the Oslo City Hall.

Green City

Oslo has been awarded the title of European Green Capital for its commitment to sustainability and environmental initiatives.

A City of Museums

Oslo is home to a wide array of museums, including the famous Viking Ship Museum, the Munch Museum, and the Nobel Peace Center.

Scandinavian Design Hub

Oslo is a thriving center for Scandinavian design, known for its minimalist and functional approach.

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump

The Holmenkollen Ski Jump in Oslo is one of the most iconic and visited tourist attractions in Norway.

Marit Bjørgen, the Ski Queen

Oslo-born Marit Bjørgen is one of the most decorated cross-country skiers in history, with multiple Olympic and World Championship titles.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace of Oslo is the official residence of the Norwegian monarch and is open to the public during summer months.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park is the world’s largest sculpture park created by a single artist, featuring hundreds of captivating statues by Gustav Vigeland.

Opera House

The Oslo Opera House is a distinctive landmark in the city, known for its striking architecture and breathtaking views from its rooftop.

Outdoor Activities

Oslo offers countless opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, skiing, and sailing.

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress, located in the heart of Oslo, has played a significant role in Norway’s history and is now a popular tourist attraction.

The Viking Ship Museum

One of the most popular museums in Oslo, the Viking Ship Museum houses remarkably preserved Viking ships and artifacts.

Holmenkollen Ski Museum

The Holmenkollen Ski Museum showcases the rich history of skiing and winter sports, making it a must-visit for sports enthusiasts.

Nobel Peace Center

The Nobel Peace Center is dedicated to the Nobel Peace Prize and the laureates who have made significant contributions to peace.

TusenFryd Amusement Park

TusenFryd is Norway’s largest amusement park, offering thrilling rides, shows, and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

The Oslo Fjord

The Oslo Fjord is a stunning natural feature that offers scenic boat tours and picturesque islands to explore.

Akerselva River

The Akerselva River winds through the heart of Oslo, showcasing beautiful waterfalls and providing a tranquil setting for walks and picnics.

Resistance Museum

The Norwegian Resistance Museum sheds light on Norway’s resistance movement during World War II and its courageous fight against Nazi occupation.

The Fram Museum

The Fram Museum is dedicated to the history of polar exploration and houses the famous polar ship Fram, which carried various expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic.

Royal Palace Park

The Royal Palace Park is a peaceful green oasis in the city center, perfect for relaxing strolls and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

The Kon-Tiki Museum

The Kon-Tiki Museum showcases the incredible voyages and expeditions of Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, including his famous Kon-Tiki raft journey across the Pacific Ocean.

National Gallery

The National Gallery in Oslo houses a vast collection of artworks, including Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, “The Scream.

Edvard Munch

Speaking of Edvard Munch, the renowned Norwegian painter was born in Oslo and his works continue to inspire artists and art enthusiasts around the world.

Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral, also known as Oslo Domkirke, is the main church in Oslo and serves as the venue for important ceremonies and events.

Music Scene

Oslo has a vibrant music scene, with a range of concert venues and festivals catering to all musical tastes.

Aker Brygge

Aker Brygge is a popular waterfront area in Oslo, filled with restaurants, shops, and vibrant nightlife.

The Astrup Fearnley Museum

The Astrup Fearnley Museum is a contemporary art museum showcasing works by renowned artists, located in the Tjuvholmen area of Oslo.

University of Oslo

The University of Oslo, founded in 1811, is Norway’s oldest and most prestigious educational institution.

Skiing Championship Host

Oslo has hosted several skiing championships, including the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and the Biathlon World Championships.

Oslo Jazz Festival

The Oslo Jazz Festival is a popular annual event that attracts jazz enthusiasts from around the world, showcasing both local and international artists.

Nobel Peace Prize Concert

Each year, the Nobel Peace Prize Concert takes place in Oslo, featuring renowned musicians and performers celebrating the laureate’s achievements.


In conclusion, Oslo is a fascinating city that offers a unique blend of rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. From its world-class museums and iconic landmarks to its breathtaking natural beauty, there is no shortage of reasons to visit and explore this captivating Norwegian capital. Whether you are interested in immersing yourself in the local history, enjoying outdoor activities, or indulging in delicious cuisine, Oslo has something for everyone. With its commitment to sustainable living and progressive mindset, Oslo continues to evolve and set an example for cities around the world. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your visit to Oslo and discover all its hidden treasures for yourself!


1. What is the best time to visit Oslo?

Oslo is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the summer months from June to August when you can enjoy pleasant weather and longer days.

2. Is English widely spoken in Oslo?

Yes, English is widely spoken and understood in Oslo, so communication won’t be a problem for most visitors.

3. How can I get around in Oslo?

Oslo has an excellent public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and trains. You can also easily explore the city by foot or bike, as Oslo is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets and bike lanes.

4. What are some must-visit attractions in Oslo?

Some must-visit attractions in Oslo include the Viking Ship Museum, the Oslo Opera House, the Royal Palace, and the Vigeland Sculpture Park.

5. Are there any outdoor activities available in Oslo?

Absolutely! Oslo is surrounded by beautiful nature and offers numerous opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, boating, and skiing in the nearby mountains.

6. Is Oslo an expensive city to visit?

Yes, Oslo is known for being quite expensive compared to other cities. However, with careful planning and budgeting, it is still possible to enjoy your visit without breaking the bank.

7. Are there any traditional Norwegian foods to try in Oslo?

Absolutely! Don’t miss the opportunity to try some traditional Norwegian dishes such as rakfisk (fermented fish), reindeer stew, and lutefisk (dried cod in lye).

8. Are there any day trips from Oslo worth taking?

Yes, there are several day trips worth taking from Oslo, including visiting the iconic fjords, exploring the charming city of Bergen, or experiencing the breathtaking scenery of the Geirangerfjord.

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Oslo's captivating history, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture make it a city worth exploring further. From the gripping tale of the movie "Oslo" to the mouthwatering delicacies at Fish Market Oslo, there's no shortage of intriguing aspects to uncover. For those interested in academia, the University of Oslo offers a wealth of knowledge and surprising facts that will leave you craving more. Continue your journey through this enchanting city by delving into these fascinating articles.

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