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Oslo is one of the few capitals in the world where you can ski within the city limits. And it’s not just for amateurs — the Winter Olympics and various world championships have been held here. During the winter season, no one is surprised to see people in ski clothing carrying their skis in the metro; these people are simply on their way to Holmenkollen. The slopes are just a 20-minute metro ride away.
The world-famous Holmenkollen ski jump is not what it used to be. Since 1892, ski jumping championships have been held here and the highest point in Oslo has been completely renovated 19 times. The current version is the only steel ski jump in the world. It weighs 100 tonnes and has a height of 64 metres. The season runs from December to the end of March. And, when there’s no snow, there’s always the ski jumping simulator. The adjacent Ski Museum, founded in 1923, is the oldest ski museum in the world. The museum admission price includes the climb to the top of the jump — not to mention a fantastic view of the city.
Four metro stops past Holmenkollen (line 1) is the Oslo Vinterpark, with 18 slopes from green to black, 11 lifts, including 3 chairlifts, a half-pipe and the only public Olympic super pipe in the world. At an altitude of 531 metres, the season here runs from early December to Easter. Snow canons ensure plenty of fresh snow and the slopes are illuminated at night. The ski school offers skiing, snowboarding, Telemark skiing and cross-country skiing lessons. All equipment can be rented. Expect to pay 45 euros for equipment and around 40 euros for a lift pass a day. There is little in the way of après-ski, but you’re only 20 minutes removed from the city centre by metro.
It is not necessarily essential to stay in a hotel outside the city, but those interested in spending the night in the snow and fresh mountain air can stay at a historic hotel in the shadow of the ski jump. The Holmenkollen Park Hotel opened in 1894 as a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients, but was soon after converted into a hotel. This red wooden building with romantic towers and balconies is one of the best examples of the popular Dragenstil (Dragon Style), the Viking version of Art Nouveau.