On an international scale, Oslo is a pretty small capital but, with just over 500,000 people, it’s Norway’s biggest city by far. More than 10% of the country’s total population lives here; if we count people in the entire Oslofjord area in the summertime, it amounts to one third of the population in Norway.
What makes Oslo unique is its location. The Oslofjord links the city with the sea to the south. In the other three directions you find mountains, lakes and forests within easy reach from the city center. This means that wherever you are in Oslo you have natural beauty just around the corner. In the winter, you can go from the shopping areas downtown to the ski slopes in just 20 minutes. The summers offer even more opportunities as both Marka and the Oslofjord with its islands are popular destinations for the people of Oslo and its many visitors.
Norway has a population of just over 4½ million people and has one of the lowest population densities in Europe with 12 people per square km.
Oslo, the capital and biggest city, has more than 500,000 inhabitants and the Oslofjord area is home to nearly one third of the nation’s population if you count all the summer residents. Bergen is the second-biggest city in Norway with 230,000 people. Trondheim comes in third with 140,000.
Fish is commonly found on dining tables all over Scandinavia, especially along the coastal areas. In Norway, since 75% of the population lives on or near the coast, many Norwegians take eating fish on an almost daily basis as much for granted as eating bread.
The coastline is 2,650 km long and, if you count the fjords, an incredible 25,150 km (nearly 10 times as long). Norway has thousands of islands, large and small, and, if they are all taken into account as well, the total coastline would be 83,000 km.
The spectacular, scenic fjords are long, deep and usually surrounded by mountains. Since most of the country’s 4½ million people live in urban areas, it leaves most of the country uninhabited. This makes for abundant wildlife in the beautiful mountains, forests, lakes, and the famous fjords. Half the country’s area is above the timberline while 25% is covered by forest. The highest mountain, and the highest peak in Scandinavia, is Mount Galdhøpiggen (8,100 feet), while the longest fjord is Sognefjorden (126 miles), the longest in the world.
These are just a few excerpts from this detailed guide to every aspect of Norway for the visitor. Where to dine, where to stay, what to see and do - it’s all here. This information is also included in our much larger Adventure Guide to Scandinavia.
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