Overview & Brief History

Oslo, the captivating capital of Norway, beckons travelers with a blend of natural beauty, contemporary design, and cultural richness. 


A Brief History

Originally founded around 1048 by King Harald Hardrada, Oslo began as a small trading post known as “Kaupangen.” It gradually evolved into a thriving medieval city and became the capital of Norway in the 13th century under the reign of Haakon V. The city’s strategic location at the head of the Oslo Fjord facilitated maritime trade and contributed to its growth.


Throughout the centuries, Oslo faced numerous challenges, including devastating fires in the 17th and 18th centuries that led to the reconstruction of the city in a more modern style. In 1814, Norway entered into a union with Sweden, and Oslo temporarily lost its status as the capital. However, after gaining independence in 1905, Oslo was reinstated as the capital of a newly independent Norway.


The 20th century saw Oslo transforming into a modern and cosmopolitan city. The city hosted the Winter Olympics in 1952, accelerating urban development and infrastructure projects. Oslo has continued to evolve as a center for culture, education, and government. Notable landmarks include the Royal Palace, the Viking Ship Museum, and the striking Oslo Opera House. Today, Oslo stands as a dynamic city, blending its rich history with contemporary architecture, a commitment to sustainability, and a high quality of life.

Things to See & Do

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress, a historic sentinel perched on Oslo’s waterfront, offers a captivating journey through time. Dating back to the 13th century, it has witnessed centuries of royal power struggles and military history. Explore its medieval architecture, visit the Norwegian Resistance Museum, and enjoy panoramic views of the Oslo Fjord.

Holmenkollen Ski Jump & Museum

This historic ski jump, with its origins dating to 1892, has been the site of numerous competitions and provides stunning vistas of the city. Within the museum, you can immerse yourself in the rich history of skiing, appreciate antique gear, and discover the stories of legendary athletes. This wintry paradise promises an exhilarating adventure, whether you’re an avid skier or just in search of panoramic views and cultural enlightenment.

The Royal Palace

As the official residence of Norway’s monarch, The Royal Palace showcases a seamless blend of tradition and contemporary royal life. Its neoclassical elegance and majestic facade command attention. Visitors can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony and explore the palace’s lavish interior during the summer months. The palace gardens, with their scenic beauty, are perfect for leisurely strolls.

Vigeland Sculpture Park

Vigeland Sculpture Park, nestled within Oslo’s expansive Frogner Park, is a masterpiece of human expression. Created by sculptor Gustav Vigeland, it features over 200 sculptures in granite, bronze, and iron, depicting the entire spectrum of human emotion and experience. The park’s centerpiece, the Monolith, is an awe-inspiring 46-foot-tall sculpture carved from a single granite block.

Viking Ship Museum

The Viking Ship Museum is a voyage back in time to the age of the fierce Norse seafarers. It houses remarkably preserved Viking ships, including the Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune ships, along with a stunning array of artifacts. These archaeological treasures provide an intimate glimpse into the Viking way of life, from their intricate burial customs to their maritime prowess. 

Oslo Opera House

The Oslo Opera House is a striking architectural marvel, rising from the waters of the Oslo Fjord like an iceberg. Designed with a modern and minimalist aesthetic, it invites visitors to explore its sleek marble and glass surfaces. Beyond its stunning design, the Opera House is a cultural hub, hosting world-class performances and concerts. You can also ascend its roof for panoramic views of the city.

Local Dining

A symphony of taste and culture…

Norway’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh seafood. Sample dishes like reker (shrimp), lutefisk (dried fish), and of course, the famous Norwegian salmon.

Seafood restaurants like Fiskeriet Youngstorget and Solsiden offer delightful seafood experiences.

Insider Tips

Make the most of your Oslo visit by getting an Oslo Pass, granting you access to museums and public transportation.


Arriving early at Vigeland Park allows you to appreciate the sculptures without the crowds. 


For transportation, utilize the efficient public transit system, which is well-connected and convenient. 

Virtual Tours


Aker Brygge

Oslo Opera House

Vigeland Sculpture Park


Interactive Maps

Oslo Opera House

Aker Brygge

The Royal Palace


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