Oslo, Norway: Europe’s snow capital

Why go there?

This is no remote snow resort hidden among the lonely mountains; it’s the lively capital city of one of Europe’s richest nations. And it’s easy to enjoy Oslo in the snow between November to March, four months when average temperatures stay below zero.

What to do

Locals are used to the snow: you’ll find ski slopes, skating rinks, cross-country trails, toboggan runs and even a ski jump, all without leaving the city. Or explore the beautiful snowscapes of Oslo fjord and the amazing Vigeland sculpture park. Oslo’s sophisticated food, culture and nightlife is also worth a trip in itself.

Where to stay and eat

The hippest new hotel in town, The Thief ((0047) 24 00 40 00) is a modern icon of Scandinavian design. Its slogan is ‘We treat rock stars as guests and guests as rock stars’. Expect healthy but stylish cuisine. In winter there’s a Christmas tree in every room. Like the tree decorations? You can take them home.

How to get there

Thanks to the spectacular new Oresund Bridge between Denmark and Sweden, the drive to Oslo from the French ports is far shorter. It’s closer to the UK than driving to the Austrian Alps and the journey is more interesting. Set aside a day and swap drivers regularly.

The route