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What is the capital of Norway? The Norwegian capital of Oslo

What is the capital of Norway?

Norway is a stunning place, brimming with culture and history. This is a place best-known for it’s amazing natural landscapes, fantastic fjords, and delightful saunas. However, there are still a lot of people out there who don’t know much about Norway and its ways. 

For instance, have you ever been in the middle of a general knowledge quiz, and discovered that you don’t actually know what Norway’s capital city is called?

You’re not alone.

If you haven’t grown up in Scandinavia, and you didn’t pay that much attention in your geography class, it’s easy to forget that Norway’s capital city is Oslo. 

Here’s everything you need to know about Norway’s capital. 

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What’s the capital of Norway?

The capital city of Norway is Oslo, formerly known as Christiania, and Kristiania. 

This is the largest city in Norway, and it lies at the top of the Oslo Fjord, which happens to be in the Southeast of Norway. 

Interestingly, the original site of Oslo was in a different location, east of the Aker River. 

Oslo was founded by King Harald Hardraade during the year of 1050, and the original site was destroyed by a fire in 1624. 

After that, the king Christian IV of Norway and Denmark built a new town under the walls of the Akershus Fortress built by King Harald. 

This location, first called Christiania, eventually became the new Oslo. 

It wasn’t until 1925 that the Norwegians renamed Christiania as Oslo, soon after the second world war. The city also incorporated the nearby town of Aker, and in the decades to come, a lot of different residential areas and towns started to pop up to the west and east. 

Today, Norway’s capital is the heart of the country’s industry, trade, banking, and shipping economies, and the Oslo Harbour is the largest in the country. 

There’s also a range of leading cultural institutions to discover in Oslo, from the Concert Hall, to the Norwegian Opera, to the New Theatre. 

Fans of art can see the National Museum of Art, Design, and Architecture here, which features famous paintings by Edvard Munch

Norwegian capital fact file

Despite a lot of rapid growth over the years, Oslo is considered by many to be an area in the midst of early urbanization. Unlike other capitals around the world, this place isn’t as cluttered or busy as most. 

Oslo also has an exceptional environment for winter sports like cross-country skiing, and it’s where the Philharmonic Society holds the majority of their concerts too. 

  • Size: About 454 km squared
  • Population: 697,549 as of 2020
  • Time zone: Central European Standard time
  • Climate: Humid continental 
  • Currency: Norwegian kroner

Norway’s capital is a unique place. Although the country sits in the North, and is exposed to the oceanic climate, humid and quite warm weather often prevails. 

The Gulf Stream often stops coastal areas from suffering from poor winter temperatures, although Oslo can receive a decent amount of snow during the winter. 

Oslo is a capital city that’s easy to fall in love with, thanks to its amazing natural environment, and ability to showcase beautiful experiences like the Northern Lights. 

The location is home to the National Gallery of Norway, Karl Johans Gate, and the Royal Palace of Norway too. 

Norway also contributes to the beauty of other locations around the world — particularly at certain times of the year. 

You may already know all about the Norwegian fir Christmas tree, but did you know that the people of Oslo are responsible for one of the most important trees in the UK? Every year, the people of Oslo donate one of their trees to the Trafalgar Square decorations in London. 

The gift is in gratitude to the assistance of the UK in the second World War.

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What is Norway’s capital like today?

Home to some of the greatest sights in Norway, Oslo is the name of both the capital city, and the province in which it is located. The city is just beginning to find its urban roots and is a cultural melting pot for people from all over the world. 

Interestingly, Oslo has a bigger percentage of immigrants than any other region in Norway, with around 25% of the city’s population born somewhere outside of the county. 

With immaculate streets to explore, and amazing architecture to discover, Norway is a wonderful place to visit if you’re looking for a chance to expand your horizons. 

This is a city where you’ll see people from all different walks of life living in harmony together with those from different ethic origins, and the amount of foreign language in the country is high. 

Living in Oslo can be quite expensive, however, though like many regions throughout Scandinavia, there are also plenty of opportunities to make money here. Income tax is around 25%, but the residents don’t seem to mind, as they believe that tax is a good thing. 

The islands surrounding Oslo also offer plenty of great places to visit if you decide that you want to venture away from the shore. Natural trails, historical ruins and beaches are common. 

Interestingly, the Empire Strikes Back, the Star Wars movie, was recorded partially near the Oslo-Bergen railway in Finse. 

What is the Norwegian capital known for? Fun facts

Norway’s capital is a delight for visitors and local residents alike. Interestingly, the residents are some of the healthiest in the world, according to government statistics, with only around 19% of people suffering with their weight, compared to a national average of 28%. 

The majority of the city is actually made up of forest, with vast areas of greenery to explore beyond the houses and buildings. 

Keen to maintain its natural roots, the Oslomarka is protected from all kinds of development, and acts as a home to deer, moose, beaver, wolf, lynx, and many other creatures. 

Here are some interesting facts about the capital city of Norway:

  • It’s home to the Nobel Peace prize: The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year in the Oslo City Hall. You can also book a walking tour of the hall throughout the year. 
  • Oslo loves Viking ships: There’s a museum in Oslo that’s home to a selection of fully in-tact 1000-year-old ships. That’s definitely worth checking out. 
  • It’s full of sculptures: The world’s largest sculpture park (the Frogner park) is located in Oslo, and its home to around 212 sculptures all made by the same artist. 
  • Artists thrive here: Edvard Munch, one of the world’s most famous artists, displays his painting “The Scream” here. 
  • It’s very environmentally friendly: Oslo is one of the greenest cities in the world. It was named the European Green Capital in 2019, and city bosses plan on slashing emissions by around 95% by the end of 2030. 
  • Oslo is all about family life: Women get 44 weeks of paid maternity leave when having a child, and men get 6 weeks of paid paternity leave. 
  • Education is free: You can get a great education in Norway without spending anything. Oslo makes it totally free to go to college. 
  • It’s home to the longest tunnel in the world: The longest tunnel in the world sits in Oslo, reaching a total of 24.5 km. 
  • Inventions happen here: Norway invented the cheese slicer, which is something they’re actually quite proud of. Additionally, they’re also responsible for the paperclip. 
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Discover the capital of Norway

One of the most interesting capital cities in the world, in a beautiful country that everyone should visit once, Oslo is a must-visit destination

You can get an Oslo Pass to enjoy admission to over 30 attractions and museums, access to a suite of great tours, and unlimited travel on the city’s public transportation.

Whether you want to check out the city that’s home to the band A-ha, or you’re keen to discover more about Norway’s Viking heritage, Oslo has plenty to discover, and it’s brimming with opportunities to learn. 

If you do plan on taking a trip to Oslo, then we’d recommend making sure that you have time for a few fish dinners. Norway is the world’s biggest importer of Salmon, and Oslo loves this fish more than anything else. 

You can also find a sort of brown cheese in Oslo named Burnost — which isn’t actually cheese at all. 

Make sure that you’re stocked up with plenty of warm clothing and space on your phone for snapping photos if you decide to visit Oslo — it’s a place you’re going to want to spend plenty of time soaking up. 

Find places to stay in Oslo.

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