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Overview

Lovely and low-key, Oslo suffers from an ill-deserved reputation for being dull. Yet this Scandinavian city is one of the region's most vibrant and culturally diverse. In summer there are few things more enjoyable than feasting on freshly caught seafood at a waterfront restaurant in the lively Aker Brygge area or listening to live music with the picnicking locals in one of the city’s many parks. Oslo is a very green city; there are numerous attractive parks and gardens and, just a few miles north of the city center, a vast region of forest known as the Nordmarka, which has a web of hiking and cycling trails running through it. The city sits ...

Lovely and low-key, Oslo suffers from an ill-deserved reputation for being dull. Yet this Scandinavian city is one of the region's most vibrant and culturally diverse. In summer there are few things more enjoyable than feasting on freshly caught seafood at a waterfront restaurant in the lively Aker Brygge area or listening to live music with the picnicking locals in one of the city’s many parks. Oslo is a very green city; there are numerous attractive parks and gardens and, just a few miles north of the city center, a vast region of forest known as the Nordmarka, which has a web of hiking and cycling trails running through it. The city sits on the banks of the Oslofjord and offers numerous opportunities for island hopping and boat rides. And for those who prefer indoor activity, the city has more than its fair share of state-of-the-art museums and cutting-edge art galleries. Shopping is another favorite pastime and the thing to buy is wool — sweaters, shawls, scarves, and hats — they're all made of the softest sheep's wool you'll find anywhere. Oslo also boasts some atmospheric cafés and bars, and a happening jazz, indie and world music scene. Boring? Certainly not Oslo.

Stuart Butler
About the Expert

Based in the French Basque Country, Stuart Butler writes guidebooks for Lonely Planet and Bradt on France, Spain, Norway and large parts of Africa and South Asia. He also works with numerous international surf magazines exploring the remoter coastlines of the world.

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Stuart Butler for Triporati

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Now Happening in Oslo (Summer)

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital of Norway and the country's largest city, Oslo is situated in the southeast near the border with Sweden.
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Currency: Norwegian krone
  • Research: Oslo
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer is when the city's cultural calender is at its busiest. In spring and autumn, tourist sites operate on reduced hours or close altogher.