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A summer night in Oslo, Norway - Photo: Nancy Bundt/VisitOslo
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A summer night in Oslo, Norway Photo: Nancy Bundt/VisitOslo

Key facts about Oslo

The capital of Norway is also its largest city. Oslo has over 600,000 inhabitants and covers 454 square kilometers, 242 of which are forests.

Oslo has been the capital since 1814, when Norway gained its independence from Denmark. The city is one of Europe's fastest-growing capitals, with annual population increases exceeding 2 per cent in recent years.

The capital is the seat of Regjeringen (the Norwegian Government) and Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament). The home of Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja, The Royal Palace, is located at the end of Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate.

Many of Norway’s main businesses and educational institutions are based in Oslo, which is also home to important cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, the Norwegian Opera and Ballet and the National Theatre.

Location, geography and climate

Oslo is located innermost in the 62-mile-long Oslofjord, which is home to 40 islands. Over half of the municipality of Oslo is covered by forests and parks, making Oslo a truly green city.

Oslo’s climate is milder than its latitude might indicate. Summer temperatures often equal those of cities much further south, yet the winters are cold enough to make Oslo a great skiing destination.

Important events

The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually on 10 December in Oslo City Hall.

Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics and the 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Every winter Holmenkollen hosts World Cup biathlon and Nordic skiing events.

Oslo statistics

  • Total area: 175 square miles
  • Population (January 2014): 634,463
  • Forest area: 93 square miles
  • Park and sports arena area: 3 square miles
  • Lakes within the city limits: 343            
  • Islands within the city in the Oslofjord: 40              
  • Length of the Oslofjord: 62 miles
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Last updated:  2014-11-18
The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway - Photo: Nancy Bundt/VisitOSLO
The Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway
The Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony is held every year in Oslo City Hall, Norway - Photo: Matjaz Intihar/VisitOSLO
The Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony is held every year in Oslo City Hall, Norway
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A summer night in Oslo, Norway - Photo: Nancy Bundt/VisitOslo

Key facts about Oslo

The capital of Norway is also its largest city. Oslo has over 600,000 inhabitants and covers 454 square kilometers, 242 of which are forests.

Key facts about Oslo

Source: Visitnorway

About Oslo

Tourist information in Oslo

Oslo Tourist Information can help with accommodation, the Oslo Pass, currency exchange and tickets for public transport, sightseeing and fjord tours.

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