Surrounded by forest and fjord, Oslo is very much an outdoor city, offering a wide range of sports and outdoor pursuits. In summer, locals take to the hills to hike the network of trails that lattice the forests and lakes of the Nordmarka, where many also try their hand at a little freshwater fishing, while others head out to the offshore islets of the Oslofjord to sunbathe and swim. In winter, the cross-country ski routes of the Nordmarka are especially popular, as is downhill skiing. Indeed skiing is such an integral part of winter life here that the T-bane carriages all have ski racks. Every winter, from November to March, a floodlit skating rink, Narvisen, is created in front of the Stortinget, beside Karl Johans gate. Admission is free and you can rent skates on the spot at reasonable rates. The tourist office also has the details of all sorts of other winter fun in the Nordmarka – from tobogganing and horse-drawn sleigh rides to guided winter walks.

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