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Nov. 6, 2022

This is the world’s most sustainable city – here’s why

Nov. 6, 2022

Add Oslo to your green travel bucket list. World-class architecture, seasonal Nordic cuisine and a laid-back, outdoorsy lifestyle put Oslo firmly at the top of our go-to list.

And since being named European Green Capital in 2019, the city’s eco credentials have skyrocketed…

What makes Oslo sustainable?

The Norwegian capital topped the latest sustainable cities index, and is on track to becoming the world’s first capital city with all-electric public transport. It is also known for its use of renewable energy, its abundance of green spaces – over half of the city is given over to parks and forests – and its clean air, making it a thoroughly pleasant place to visit.

Oslo Opera House by Arvid Malde

Munch museum by Franz Wender

What to see

Don’t miss the startlingly contemporary Norwegian National Opera House, in the cutting-edge Bjorvika district, right on the shores of Oslofjord. Wander past the area’s bars, restaurants and galleries to the Munch museum, to take in the world’s largest collection of the renowned artist’s works. Then head through the elegant old centre to the city’s brand new, sustainably-built National Museum, Scandinavia’s largest arts, craft and design centre.

The city is also perfect for outdoor enthusiasts: take a stroll along the river Akerselva, or ride Metro Line One to its final stop, Frognersteren, for spectacular hiking trails into the forests.

Where to stay

For maximum convenience, you can’t go wrong with accommodation in Sentrum, Oslo’s central neighbourhood – or opt for a stay in artsy Grünerløkka just next door. The Oslo Visitor Centre has a list of green hotels which rate highly on metrics from treatment of waste water to using environmentally-friendly suppliers. Our partners, Google and Expedia also work together to highlight the greenest places to stay across their platforms.

Grünerløkka, Oslo by elCarito

What to eat and drink

Oslo has recently spawned a raft of experimental chefs, who all share a strong focus on local, sustainable and seasonal. Both Maaemo and Vaaghals, in the hyper-modern Barcode district, boast contemporary, Michelin-starred cuisine, while more traditional restaurants in town serve up staples such as brown cheese waffles, ‘raspeball’ (potato) dumplings, salt cod and smoked salmon aplenty. Vippa food court is another great option, located in an old industrial building with views of the fjord.

Fun fact: the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo – the only Nobel presented outside of Stockholm. Stop by the Grand Hotel on Karl Johans Gate for a glimpse of the famous balcony where winners wave to the crowds each year.

Oslo, Norway by Angel Luciano

Akerselva river, Oslo by Nick Night