- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Oslo Guide (PDF)
Oslo certainly has a jam-packed events calendar, with everything from performing arts to sports and history.
In the summer, festivals are recommended. In the winter, expats should check out the national and international sports competitions. One thing's for sure, expats will never have a reason to be bored in this exciting city.
Annual events in Oslo
New Year's Fireworks (January)
The New Year is celebrated by often inebriated and happy Norwegians with free rein to set off fireworks. It is an amazing sight for those who are used to more regulated fireworks displays.
Sami National Day (February)
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History marks Sami National Day with a series of activities and entertainment for all the family. Attendees even get to sample Sami specialities, including reindeer meat.
Alpine Ski World Cup (March)
The annual World Cup ski competitions are held in March at the Holmenkollen ski jump, Norway's most popular tourist destination.
Easter celebrations (April)
Påske (Easter) is usually accompanied by a lot of snow and a four-day weekend which often turns into a full week. This is a great opportunity for expats to head into the mountains for skiing, or down south for some sunshine.
Norwegian Constitutional Day (May)
Spring brings warmer weather and Norway’s Constitutional Day celebration on 17 May. Called Syttende Mai, it is celebrated by everyone, most dressed in traditional outfits and waving the Norwegian flag. It is an uplifting and colourful day when friends and family gather until the wee hours.
Midsummer Night (June)
June is the lightest month of the year, and it culminates on Sankt Hans (Midsummer Night), which is celebrated on a Saturday between 20 and 26 June. Midsummer's Eve is celebrated with large bonfires and processions in the evening.
Øya Festivalen (August)
August is the climax of the festival season. Øya Festivalen, Oslo’s biggest rock (and indie) music festival with world-renowned artists, takes place in Oslo’s Medieval Park.
Oslo International Jazz Festival (August)
In mid-August, the Oslo Jazz Festival takes place around the city and attracts thousands of jazz lovers.
Ibsen Festival (September)
The Ibsen Festival celebrates Henrik Ibsen's work on several of the city's theatre stages. In late September each year, Oslo hosts Kulturnatt (Culture Night), when museums are free and all sorts of cultural events take place, including a torchlight walk along Akerselva, the city’s main river.
Oslo World Music Festival (November)
At the beginning of November, the Oslo World Music Festival invites star musicians from around the globe to perform. Concerts take place in venues across Oslo.
Nobel Peace Prize ceremony (December)
In December, don’t miss the world-famous Nobel Peace Prize event, which begins with the ceremony, followed by a parade to the Grand Hotel where the winner greets the public.
►See and Do in Norway provides a list of sightseeing must-sees
"Enjoy the possibilities! One of the greatest things this country has to offer is TIME. If you organise yourself, you can dedicate it to do what you love, whether it’s spending time with your kids, doing sports or that long-forgotten hobby. When you come back from work at 5.30 pm, it feels like having a whole new day before you so make good use of it!"
Read our expat interview with Gisèle to get more insight into life in Oslo.
Are you an expat living in Oslo?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Oslo. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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