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Lovely and low-key, Oslo is a city of split personalities. In the long days of summer Oslo is all about art, culture and mucking about in boats or picnicking in parks and gardens. Come the short, cold days of winter, a very different city comes out to play. True, the city’s mind-boggling array of museums and galleries are still there to be enjoyed, but this is when the people of Oslo, and visitors to the city, head to the hills and forests surrounding the capital to enjoy the best urban winter sports scene in Europe. Skiers and boarders only have to travel 30 minutes out of the city center to find excellent skiing or snowboarding conditions ...

Lovely and low-key, Oslo is a city of split personalities. In the long days of summer Oslo is all about art, culture and mucking about in boats or picnicking in parks and gardens. Come the short, cold days of winter, a very different city comes out to play. True, the city’s mind-boggling array of museums and galleries are still there to be enjoyed, but this is when the people of Oslo, and visitors to the city, head to the hills and forests surrounding the capital to enjoy the best urban winter sports scene in Europe. Skiers and boarders only have to travel 30 minutes out of the city center to find excellent skiing or snowboarding conditions that range from cross-country to huge ski jumps and purpose-built snowboard parks, all of which are backed up by a world class system of ski schools and equipment rental centers. And as an added bonus, when you're finished skiing you can head back into the city to enjoy the nightlife and restaurants of 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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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: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The winter sports season runs from December to April and many of the more popular slopes are floodlit to allow skiing well into the night (which comes very early here!).