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I'm thinking about moving to Oslo and the region

Fjords and forests, festivals and food. Oslo is one of the most exciting European cities at the moment, mixing Nordic cool with continental charm. No wonder you’re considering joining the fun! Whether you have been thinking about moving to Oslo for a long time, or just started looking into it, relocating to a new country can be a daunting experience. From D-number and visa to resident permits, housing and cost of living - here is everything you need to know before moving to Oslo.

If you’ve already moved to Oslo, please have a look through our «Work in the Oslo region» section, which provides you with everything you need to know once you’ve arrived.

  1. 01 Do I need a job?
  2. 02 Recognition of foreign education
  3. 03 Secure your residence permit
  4. 04 How to get a D-number or national identification number
  5. 05 Open a Norwegian bank account
  6. 06 How to find housing in Oslo
  7. 07 Bring your family
  8. 08 Relocation services & toll
  9. 09 Cost of living in Oslo
  10. 10 Weather & climate in Oslo
  11. 11 Things to consider & what to expect in Oslo
  12. 12 Are you moving to Oslo as a student?
  1. Home
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11 Things to consider & what to expect in Oslo

Become a true Oslopolitan and take advantage of what the Oslo region can offer!

A family hiking in Blefjell

Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug/Visit Norway

Nature right there:

  • Natural Beauty: Oslo is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, with the Oslofjord and numerous parks and forests within easy reach. Visitors can explore the iconic Vigeland Sculpture Park, hike in the Nordmarka forest, or take a boat trip to the picturesque islands of the fjord.
  • The Oslofjord: The Oslo region is characterized by the beautiful Oslofjord, offering stunning coastal landscapes and a range of recreational activities such as boating, island hopping, and swimming. Visitors can explore charming coastal towns like Drøbak and enjoy picturesque views from the fjord's many vantage points.

Urban qualities:

  • Sustainable City: Oslo has a strong commitment to sustainability, aiming to become carbon-neutral by 2030. Visitors can experience this environmentally conscious mindset through the city's extensive network of public transportation, bike-friendly infrastructure, and eco-friendly architecture.
  • Scandinavian Sauna Culture: Saunas are an essential part of Scandinavian culture, and Oslo offers various opportunities to experience this relaxing tradition. Visitors can unwind in public saunas, such as the floating saunas that will take you out on the Oslo fjord, offering stunning views.
  • Cosmopolitan Vibe: Despite its natural beauty, Oslo is a modern and cosmopolitan city. It has a lively nightlife scene with trendy bars, clubs, and live music venues. The city also boasts a thriving fashion industry and a reputation for cutting-edge technology and innovation.

Scandinavian design and architecture:

  • Historical and Modern Architecture: The Oslo region showcases a mix of historical and contemporary architecture. Visitors can admire the historic Akershus Fortress, the modern Oslo Opera House, and architectural gems like the striking Jevnaker Glassworks or the futuristic Kistefos Museum.
  • Scandinavian Design: Oslo is a hub for design enthusiasts. Visitors can explore modern Scandinavian design at various stores, boutiques, and design galleries. The city is home to many renowned designers and offers a wealth of inspiration for interior design, fashion, and architecture.

Culture and food:

  • Scandinavian Cuisine: Oslo offers a diverse culinary scene that reflects both traditional Norwegian flavors and international influences. From fresh seafood delicacies to innovative Nordic cuisine, visitors can indulge in a wide range of dining experiences, including Michelin-starred restaurants and trendy food markets.
  • Vibrant Cultural Scene: Oslo is known for its rich cultural offerings, including world-class museums like the Viking Ship Museum, the Munch Museum, and the National Gallery. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of music festivals, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Cultural Heritage: The Oslo region preserves its cultural heritage through open-air museums like the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which showcases traditional Norwegian buildings and artifacts. The region is also home to the iconic ski jump at Holmenkollen, an enduring symbol of Norwegian winter sports.
  • Festivals and Events: Oslo hosts a wide range of festivals and events throughout the year. These include the Oslo Jazz Festival, the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, the Oslo Marathon, and the Christmas markets during the holiday season. Checking the event calendar ahead of your visit can help you plan accordingly.
  • Historical Landmarks: Oslo has a fascinating history, and there are several landmarks worth visiting. The Royal Palace, Akershus Fortress, and the Oslo Cathedral are some of the notable historical sites that provide insights into Norway's past and royal heritage.

Outdoor opportunities:

  • Outdoor Activities: Oslo's proximity to nature allows for numerous outdoor activities. Visitors can go skiing in the winter, hiking and biking in the summer, or even try their hand at ice skating on frozen lakes. The city also has excellent opportunities for boating, kayaking, and fishing.
  • Outdoor Adventures: The Oslo region provides ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. From hiking and mountain biking in the picturesque forests of Oslomarka to cross-country skiing and snowboarding in winter, the region offers diverse outdoor activities suitable for all seasons.
  • Charming Coastal Towns: Beyond Oslo, the region boasts picturesque coastal towns such as Tønsberg, Fredrikstad, and Moss. These towns offer a blend of historical charm, waterfront promenades, and vibrant cultural scenes, making them ideal for day trips or extended visits.
  • Beaches and Islands: The Oslo region has a surprising number of sandy beaches and charming islands. Visitors can relax on popular beaches like Huk and Kalvøya or take a ferry to explore the idyllic islands of Hovedøya, Gressholmen, and Langøyene.
Fun in the fountain Kistefos

Photo: Nikolas Gogstad Andersen