City of Oslo

Hotel Continental is right in the heart of Oslo – Norway’s capital and largest city, with 634 000 inhabitants. This has been the official capital since Norway acquired its constitution in 1814.

The Royal Palace, the Storting (parliament) building and the government quarter are all to be found here, in easy walking distance of Hotel Continental. The city occupies a fine site at the head of the Oslo Fjord, surrounded by green hills. Oslo is a paradise for people who love the outdoors. Downtown, you are never far from a park or green space, while gorgeous beaches on the islands in the Oslo Fjord are just a 10-minute ferry ride from the centre. In the winter you can enjoy hundreds of kilometres of tracks for cross-country skiing and eight slopes for Alpine disciplines in the surrounding hills. 

Oslo offers everything you would expect of a major metropolis. It provides a variety of attractions, plenty of shopping opportunities, a vibrant cultural life, and a range of restaurants. You have plenty of choice – from an extravagant meal in a Michelin-starred restaurant to a vibrantly refreshing winter ride by dog sled through Oslo’s unspoilt forests.

Oslo’s history

The history of Oslo goes back to around AD 1 000. It has undergone sweeping changes since the Middle Ages, and changed its name several times.

Located originally on the eastern shore of Bjørvika bay, Oslo suffered a dramatic fire in 1624. King Christian IV then decided to refound the city under Akershus Castle, and renamed it Christiania. This spelling was changed to Kristiania in 1877, and the city recovered its original name of Oslo in 1925. The town was originally called Oslo.

In the Middle Ages it was located on the east side of the Bjørvika inlet. After a dramatic fire in 1624, King Christian IV decided that the town would be rebuilt in the area below the Akershus fortress, and changed its name to Christiania. From 1877, the name was spelled Kristiania, and in 1925, it reverted to its original name of Oslo. The capital has played an important role in Norway for more than a millennium. Read more about Oslo’s history here.

Source: Visit Oslo

Fifteen things to do in Oslo

Oslo’s attractions range from fine contemporary architecture to Viking remains. The selection presented below has been recommended by our concierge service as worth seeing on your visit to the Norwegian capital.

What’s on in Oslo

Want to know what’s happening in Oslo when you’re planning a visit? The VisitOslo website provides a full overview of activities for adults and children. Whether you like music, sport, exhibitions or guided tours, you are certain to find something of interest.

Activity calendar

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