Photo Courtesy of Astrup Fearnley Museeet/Nic Lehoux

Norwegians love nature and activities such as hiking, skiing, and sailing. The Nordmarka woods, at Oslo's front door, are used year-round. The Oslo fjord is dotted with islands, making for cozy day trips in the summer via ferry or private boat. Oslo's other attractions that retain a Norwegian feel include a medieval fortress, several theaters, urban coffee shops for people watching, and the world-famous opera and ballet house designed by the same Norwegian architects responsible for the library in Alexandria, Egypt.

The largest festivals are Norwegian Wood and Øya Music Festival, both held in the summer. The Oslo Open House festival happens in September, when government buildings, the Royal Palace, and gardens normally closed to the public throw open their doors to let visitors have a snoop. Oslo has a wine festival in February, the Holmenkollen FIS World Cup Nordic Ski Festival in March, and a medieval festival in the Old Town in May.