Oslo is the capital of Norway. With a population of more than 600 000 it is also the country’s largest city. It is surrounded on most sides by the forested hills of the Nordmarka and Østmarka. The head of the Oslofjord is close to the city centre, leading to a very long urban sea-front of several kilometres which runs from the royal parks of the Bygdøy peninsula, past the bars and restaurants of the Aker Brygge development, then the city hall, the Akerhus fortress, the stunning new Opera House, and finally to the hill and park of Ekeberg, which provides commanding views across the city and fjord. Oslo has several large parks close to the centre, some of which are famous for their sculptures and statues. The city is spacious and open with a variety of architectural styles, and lacks the stressful pace and crowds of some larger capitals. It is a very pleasant place in which to spend a few days - although still likely to cold in late February (perhaps below freezing during the day), the weather is more often bright and sunny than otherwise, and by late February the daylight hours are from approximately 7:30am to 5:30pm.
Main sights and attractions:
- Opera House, on the sea front five minutes’ walk from the central railway station
- Viking ships museum and the polar exploration museum, both in Bygdøy
- Edvard Munch gallery
- Ekerberg and Frogner sculpture parks
- Cross country skiing in the Markas
Transport from the airport to the city centre
The simplest means of reaching Oslo city centre from the airport is via the Flytoget high-speed train. When you leave the customs area at arrivals, turn right and continue until you reach the gates. You can buy a ticket either at one of the machines or just swipe your credit card through the reader at the gate. Make sure you take the Flytoget rather than the regular NSB trains. You can get a ticket either to Oslo Sentralstasjon (Oslo S) or to Nationalteatret: the price is the same (190 NOK, about 20 euros) and you can connect to the metro to get to the hotel from either station.
Transport from the city centre to the hotel
The hotel and workshop venue (Scandic Holmenkollen Park) is at the edge of the Nordmarka, on a hill overlooking the city. It is close to the famous Holmenkollen skip jump. It can be reached directly via the T-bane (metro). From Oslo Sentralstasjon (Jernbanetorget) or Nationalteatret, follow the signs to the T-bane, and buy a zone 1 ticket from one of the machines (NOK 35). We also remind you to validate your T-bane ticket after you have bought it, by holding it against one of the readers which are found near the ticket machines or at the ticket barriers (which are always open). Another possibility is to use the Rutter app: https://ruter.no/en/buying-tickets/mobile-ticket-app/.
A section of the T-bane (metro) will be closed after 9pm each evening: https://ruter.no/en/service-disruptions/changes-to-metro-services/). It means two possibilities:
a) If you find yourself arriving in Oslo before 9pm, please do the following: Take a west-bound train, Line 1. The stop is called Holmenkollen, and is reached after about 40 minutes - enjoy the views on the way up.
b) If you find yourself arriving in Oslo after 9pm, please do the following:
- Get off the airport train at Sentralstasjon also called Oslo S
- Instead of taking the Line 1 T-bane, instead take: Line 5 - Ringen - Eastbound. It is important to make sure that you only take the Ringen train - some line 5 trains go to other specific destinations.
- Get off the train at Majorstuen station, cross to the other platform, and then take the Line 1 train up to Holmenkollen.
Other practical information
- Credit cards are universally accepted in Norway - cash is rarely used even for small transactions.
- Note that taxis are extremely expensive - in particular, a taxi from the airport to the city centre can cost in excess of 150 euros. We recommend that you take the train/metro if at all possible.
- Norway uses the same kind of power socket as France, Germany etc.