The Akershus fortress dominates Oslo, which is the capital and most-populous city in Norway. Founded in 1048, the city was known as Kristiana until 1925. It is a beautiful city that is coincidentally – and officially – the world's most expensive city. Meeting venues in Oslo tend to be technically advanced and easily accessible.
Oslo International Airport (OSL), known as Gardermoen, is approximately 20 miles southeast of the city center. Right in its middle of it is the Flytoget train, which can speed groups into the middle of Oslo in 20 minutes and for far, far, far less than can a taxi. It runs nearly all the time. Flights from everywhere come into Gardermoen, and there are particularly painless connections from New York City's JFK and Chicago's O'Hare.
There are two large convention venues in Oslo's vicinity; the first is Norway's largest convention center, the Norway Exhibition & Convention Centre, which is in Lillestrom, 15 miles east of Oslo and a short drive long the E6 freeway, or 12 minutes by train. It has more than 440,000 square feet of convention space, including a new exhibition hall opened in 2009; connected to it is the 355-room Thon Hotel Arena. In Oslo itself is the Oslo Congress Center, also known as the Oslo Kongressenter, which can host 1,400 for meetings and 1,000 for banquets.
Hotel venues in Oslo account for 6,700 hotel rooms citywide, and are also connected to some type of meeting facility. These include the 673-room Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo, 526-room Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, 434-room Thon Hotel Opera, 336-room Holmenkollen Park Hotel Rica and 241-room Scandic Edderkoppen.
The most famous name for a ship in Norway is Fram, which explored the Arctic, and the museum in which the ship now resides can cater to up to 400 persons. Select groups can have a meal in Roald Amundsen's cabin (20 persons) or fellow explorer's Fridtjof Nansen's cabin (eight). You can do your bit for world harmony at the Nobel Peace Center, where the annual award is given out. It has a theater for 350 people and a dining capacity of 180.
Oslo has many excellent, innovative restaurants. The architecturally delightful Ekebergrestauranten is on a hill directly south of the city center, has wonderful views and can host up to 180 diners, while the Wallman Salonger Oslo is a dinner-theater showplace with space for large groups. Feinschmecker is a great place for fresh Norwegian fish—grilled halibut with cashew-nut cream, for example—has a cooking school and a private dining room for 20 persons and is only a few blocks from Oslo's famous Frogerparken, which contains Gustav Vigeland's 212 statues of frolicking, playful people.