The Oslo region is the central area of East Norway including the capital Oslo and the Akershus district surrounding it. It's a contiguous metropolitan area with more than 25% of Norway's population and the visitor can regard it as one city. The Oslo region is Norway's economic centre of gravity and transport hub. Oslo Airport sits at Gardermoen on the flatlands near Jessheim. In addition to Oslo Airport, Norway's major roads (E6, E18, E16) as well as all railway lines to/from Oslo pass through.
- City of Oslo
- Former Akershus county
- Southern towns and suburbs
- Western Suburbs
- Further afield
- 7 Eidsvoll - hosted the 1814 Norwegian Constituent Assembly that introduced democracy and civil liberties
- 8 Oslo airport at Gardermoen and Jessheim
- 9 Lillestrøm - suburb and hub just outside Oslo at a river delta in Øyeren lake
- 10 Nittedal
Oslo and Akershus make up one contiguous metropolitan area and the visitor can regard it as one city. Large parts of Akershus are effectively suburbs for Oslo and also home to important industrial and business districts. Only the eastern and northern agricultural districts of Akershus are clearly not part of the metropolis. Oslo airport sits at Gardermoen on the flatlands near Jessheim. Oslo and the former county combined are home to more than 25% of Norway's population. Oslo and Akershus has traditionally been governed as one district for instance with a joint governor.
Romerike area in the north is relatively flat or gentle hills. Norway's largest rivers (Vorma and Glomma) flows through the eastern parts of the region and there are major lakes and countless smaller lakes. There is also some rugged, low altitude terrain in Bærum and Asker and in Østmarka (east Oslo forrest).
The urban area is concentrated around the northern (inner) part of Oslofjord in a horseshoe shape along a driving distance of some 50 kilometers. Within this horseshoe most people live with a view of the fjord or within minutes of the shore. In addition there is a north-eastern axis from central Oslo through the eastern valley and a low elevation to Lillestrøm at the other side of the waterdivide. Drøbak sits at the strategic narrow entrance to inner Oslofjord. The Oscarsborg fortress was installed to control this narrow strait. Inside the strait the Oslofjord is a sheltered small ocean with countless islands and peninsulas.
Oslo, Bærum and Asker are separated from the surrounding areas by hills and forests, and there are several smaller rivers flowing to Oslofjord. There are countless lakes in these uplands. These undeveloped hills and forests are collectively known as Marka and are protected by law. Marka covers about one third of the Oslo region. The largest part of Marka stretches for some 40-50 km north from the city to Lunner in Oppland. There are additional wide forests covering large parts of the region, about 60 % of the area is covered by forest. There officially some 3000 lakes covering 7 % of the region.
Norway's first railway line, Hovedbanen (literally "The main line"), was built between Oslo and Eidsvoll via Lillestrøm in 1854. This stretch is still Norway's main transport corridor and main roads E6 and E16 runs across the plains north of Oslo. When Oslo airport was constructed on the Romerike plains in the 1990s, the main line was shifted to include the airport.
- 1 Boat to Nesodden (Nesoddbåten). The town of Nesodden is served by frequent boat from Oslo (20 minutes across Oslofjord).
- 2 Oslo Airport (Gardermoen). Oslo Airport, Gardermoen is located in Akershus. It is a major international airport with flights from the USA and major European cities, as well as Asia. Direct trains to Oslo, Eidsvoll, Lillestrøm, Sandvika and Asker, and with a change to Ski. Airport coaches to Oslo and Ski.
- Sandefjord Torp Airport near Sandefjord (1 hour south of Asker) has flights to some major and minor cities around Norway and Europe, including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Warsaw, and some tourist destinations in southern Europe. There is a free transfer bus to a nearby railway station.
Local trains from Oslo, or regional trains from surrounding areas, or from Gothenburg in Sweden. See nsb.no
Rental cars and taxis are often available, but are rather expensive in Norway in general. The public transportation system is relatively good. All railway lines run through the area and serves long distance as well as local trains. Oslo itself has a fine public transport network of frequent metro, tram and bus departures. Some metro and tram lines cross the city line to Bærum. Buse lines cover the whole urban area as one integrated system. There are buses going between the major cities and stopping at bus stops marked with a sign (blue with a white bus on it, rectangular) and/or an open air booth with the place name written above with white lettering. Public transport is reasonably inexpensive though costs can build up if you buy tickets every time you get on, day/week/month/season passes can be purchased at the major stops. At the central bus station in any town, cashiers will speak English. For local buses, see http://ruter.no. Public transport focused on Oslo has an integrated ticket system.
- 1 Oslo. Oslo is surrounded by Akershus but is not part of it, so travel in Akershus often involves Oslo.
- 2 Eidsvoll 1814 (Eidsvollsbygningen), Carsten Ankers veg 19, 2074 Eidsvoll Verk, ☏ . The building where the 1814 constitution was signed, and a democracy museum.
- 3 Lake Mjøsa (Mjøsa). Norway's largest lake and one of the deepest in Europe. Norway's first railway was the Oslo-Eidsvoll-line, simply called the "main line" (1854), station at Vorma river in Eidsvoll from where boats could sail to Lillehammer.
- 4 Svanfoss locks & dam (Svanfoss sluser). Allows boats to sail the Vorma river. The dam controls the outflow from Mjøsa lake.
- 5 Tusenfryd Amusement park, Fryds vei 25 (Vinterbro, Ås), ☏ . is the largest amusement park in Norway. Carousels, roller coasters, ghost castle, etc.
- 6 Oscarsborg Fortress (Ferry from Drøbak to the island of Kaholmen/Oscarsborg). (Ferry timetable). History and beautiful scenery, with a museum and a hotel. Historic site: German warship Blücher that was sunk just outside Drøbak on April 9, 1940 during the invasion of Norway.
- 1 Kolsåstoppen summit. Climb "Kolsåstoppen", a hill and summit in Bærum. Nice view over the Oslo Fjord from the top. free.
- There's also an even better hill in Asker with an even more excellent view.
Norway has high water quality and tap water is completely safe. If you still want bottled water, most stores carry several brands of non-artificially treated water.
Most areas in Akershus are more or less crime free, and you should not be afraid to walk around alone day or night, though you should always take precationary measures and follow your common sense when in a new country. Signs and maps are usually in Norwegian, but do not be afraid to ask for directions; the vast majority of Norwegians speak enough English to help out a lost tourist.