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Oslo is most often viewed as a summer destination. Because Oslovians are starved for sunlight, everyone takes to the outdoors in summer, and many of them virtually stay up around the clock this time of year. If you come in winter, you get short days, with darkness descending around 3pm. Oslovians counter the climate by becoming the candlelit center of the world, and the flickering lights make bar-hopping a warm, cozy experience.

To compensate for those long, dark nights, the parties of Oslo become even more frenetic in the winter months. From rock clubs to Mozart concerts, the nightlife in Oslo is more amped up than ever before. The city's cultural activities and special art exhibitions also reach their zenith.

Seasons aside, some travelers would be happy to come to Oslo anytime just for the views of the harborfront city and the Oslofjord. Panoramas are a major attraction, especially the one from Tryvannstårnet, a 117m (384-ft.) observation tower atop 570m (1,870-ft.) Tryvann Hill in the outlying area. Many other attractions are worthy of your time and exploration, too. The beautiful surroundings make these sights even more appealing.

Try to allocate at least 2 or 3 days to exploring Norway's capital. After a stay here, most visitors head west to Bergen and the fjord district or continue east by train or plane to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

The Loftiest Lookout Tower in Scandinavia -- Tryvannstårnet (tel. 22-14-67-11), at Voksenkollen, dazzles you with its panoramic sweep of Oslofjord and Sweden to its east. The gallery is approximately 570m (1,870 ft.) above sea level. A 20-minute walk down the hill returns you to Frognerseteren, and another 20-minute walk down the hill takes you to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, where the 1952 Olympic competitions took place. It's also the site of Norway's Holmenkollen Ski Festival.

Admission is NOK40 ($8/£4) for adults or NOK25 ($5/£2.50) for children. Open May to September daily 10am to 5pm, off season daily 10am to 4pm. Take the T-banen to Frognerseteren (SST Line 1) from near the Nationaltheatret to Voksenkollen (a 30-min. ride). From here, it's a 15-minute walk uphill.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.