Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway.
It has close to 700000 inhabitants and over 1 million in its urban area. It is located in southern Norway at the end of the Oslofjord, a long bay about 60km away from the open sea.
Oslo was founded around 1000 AD and first became the capital of Norway at the end of the 13th century during the reign of king Haakon V. Oslo was destroyed several times by fire and finally rebuilt in 1624. In 1924 the city was renamed from Kristiania to Oslo.
Compared to other cities in Norway, Oslo feels like a huge and busy place. It doesn't have the flavour and atmosphere of the typical Norwegian city, which is much smaller, centered around a bay in a scenic environment. There is no clearly identifiable ancient, medieval core with for instance old buildings and cobblestone streets. The centre of Oslo is dominated by large buildings in neoclassical style and large, wide streets.
The waterfront area between the opera and Tjuvholment has been redeveloped in recent years and is now quite modern and fresh. Oslo has a number of interesting museums and pleasant parks.