Norway has 0 cities with more than a million people, 4 cities with between 100,000 and 1 million people, and 44 cities with between 10,000 and 100,000 people. The largest city in Norway is Oslo, with a population of 580,000 people.
10 Oslo (Capital of Norway)
Oslo is the economic and governmental centre of Norway. The city is also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. It is an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world’s largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme.
As of 1 July 2017, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 672,061, while the population of the city’s urban area of 3 December 2018 was 1,000,467. The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million. The population was increasing at record rates during the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe at the time. This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but also from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population, and in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total if people with immigrant parents are included.
Bergen, historically Bjørgvin, is a city and municipality in Hordaland on the west coast of Norway. At the end of the first quarter of 2018, the municipality’s population was 280,216, and the Bergen metropolitan region has about 420,000 inhabitants. Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway. The municipality covers 465 square kilometres (180 sq mi) and is on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. The city centre and northern neighbourhoods are on Byfjorden, ‘the city fjord’, and the city is surrounded by mountains; Bergen is known as the ‘city of seven mountains’. Many of the extra-municipal suburbs are on islands. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland, and consists of eight boroughs – Arna, Bergenhus, Fana, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevåg, Ytrebygda, Årstad, and Åsane.
The city is an international center for aquaculture, shipping, offshore petroleum industry and subsea technology, and a national centre for higher education, media, tourism and finance. Bergen Port is Norway’s busiest in terms of both freight and passengers with over 300 cruise ship calls a year bringing nearly a half a million passengers to Bergen, a number that has doubled in 10 years. Almost half of the passengers are German or British. The city’s main football team is SK Brann and the city’s unique tradition is the buekorps. Natives speak a distinct dialect, known as ‘Bergensk’. The city features Bergen Airport, Flesland, Bergen Light Rail, and is the terminus of the Bergen Line. Four large bridges connect Bergen to its suburban municipalities.
Bergen has a mild winter climate, though with a lot of precipitation. During December – March, the temperature difference between Bergen and Oslo can be up to 30 degrees Celsius, despite the fact that both cities are at approximately 60 degrees North. The Gulf Stream keeps the sea relatively warm, considering the latitude, and the mountains protect the city from cold winds from the north, north-east and east.
Trondheim is a city and municipality in Trøndelag county, Norway. It has a population of 193,501 (4th quarter 2017), and is the third-most populous municipality in Norway, although the fourth largest urban area. It is the third largest city in the country, with a population (2013) of 169,972 inhabitants within the city borders. Trondheim lies on the south shore of Trondheim Fjord at the mouth of the River Nidelva. The city is dominated by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF), St. Olavs University Hospital and other technology-oriented institutions.
The settlement was founded in 997 as a trading post, and it served as the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217. From 1152 to 1537, the city was the seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Nidaros; since then, it has remained the seat of the Lutheran Diocese of Nidaros and the Nidaros Cathedral. It was incorporated in 1838. The current municipality dates from 1964, when Trondheim merged with Byneset, Leinstrand, Strinda and Tiller.
The city functions as the seat of the County Mayor of Trøndelag county, but not as the administrative centre, which is Steinkjer. This is to make the county more efficient and not too centralized, as Trøndelag is the second largest county in Norway.
Stavanger is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fourth largest city and metropolitan area in Norway (through conurbation with neighbouring Sandnes) and the administrative centre of Rogaland county. The municipality is the fourth most populous in Norway. Located on the Stavanger Peninsula in Southwest Norway, Stavanger counts its official founding year as 1125, the year the Stavanger Cathedral was completed. Stavanger’s core is to a large degree 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses that are protected and considered part of the city’s cultural heritage. This has caused the town centre and inner city to retain a small-town character with an unusually high ratio of detached houses, and has contributed significantly to spreading the city’s population growth to outlying parts of Greater Stavanger.
The city’s rapid population growth in the late 20th century was primarily a result of Norway’s booming offshore oil industry. Today the oil industry is a key industry in the Stavanger region and the city is widely referred to as the Oil Capital of Norway. The largest company in the Nordic region, Norwegian energy company Statoil is headquartered in Stavanger. Multiple educational institutions for higher education are located in Stavanger. The largest of these is the University of Stavanger.
Stavanger is served by international airport Stavanger Airport, Sola, which offers flights to cities in most major European countries, as well as a limited number of intercontinental charter flights. The airport was named most punctual European regional airport by flightstats.com in 2010.
Every two years, Stavanger organizes the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS), which is the second largest exhibition and conference for the energy sector. Gladmat food festival is also held each year and is considered to be one of Scandinavia’s leading food festivals. The city is also known for being one of the nation’s premier culinary clusters. Stavanger 2008 European Capital of Culture. Stavanger was awarded the 2008 European Capital of Culture alongside Liverpool.
Drammen is a city in Buskerud, Norway. The port and river city of Drammen is centrally located in the eastern and most populated part of Norway. Drammen is the capital of the county of Buskerud.
A few decades ago Drammen had a reputation for being a somewhat grey industrial town. Today, however, you are greeted by fashionable surroundings and a modern city beach.
Located west of the Oslofjord, Drammen is an excellent and easily accessible choice for everyone who wants to experience what a relatively large Norwegian town has to offer.
New housing, shopping facilities, restaurants, cafes and bars, as well as a public pathway along the Drammenselva river make Drammen one of Norway’s fastest growing cities, and the close proximity to Oslo ensures that it is easy to get to and around the Drammen region.
In the last few decades, a lot has been done to improve the city. The Ypsilon bridge for pedestrians and cyclists only has become a modern landmark and makes it easy to cross the river, which is clean enough for the river park and city beach to be very popular amongst the locals.
Fredrikstad is a city and municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Fredrikstad.
The city straddles the river Glomma where it meets the Skagerrak. Along with neighboring Sarpsborg, Fredrikstad forms the fifth largest city in Norway: Fredrikstad/Sarpsborg. As of 1 January 2018, according to Statistics Norway, these two municipalities have a total population of 136,117 with 80,977 in Fredrikstad and 55,140 in Sarpsborg.
Fredrikstad was built at the mouth of Glomma as a replacement after Sarpsborg (15 kilometres (9 miles) upstream) was burnt down by the Swedish Army in the 1500s. Some of the citizens stayed behind and rebuilt their old town at its original site and got their city status back in 1839.
The city centre is on the west bank of the Glomma, while the old town on the east bank is Northern Europe’s best preserved fortified town.
Fredrikstad used to have a large sawmill industry and was an important harbour for timber export, then later on shipbuilding, until the main yard was closed in 1988. The main industries are currently various chemical plants and other light industry.
In 2005, Fredrikstad was the final host port for the Tall Ships’ Race, attracting thousands to the city.
Kristiansand, historically Christianssand and Christiansand, is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway, with a population of 88,598 as of June 2016. In addition to the city itself, Statistics Norway counts four other densely populated areas in the municipality: Skålevik in Flekkerøy with a population of 3,526 in the Vågsbygd borough, Strai with a population of 1,636 in the Grim borough, Justvik with a population of 1,803 in the Lund borough, and Tveit with a population of 1,396 (as of January 2012) in the Oddernes borough. Kristiansand is divided into five boroughs: Grim, which is located northwest in Kristiansand with a population of 15,000; Kvadraturen, which is the centre and downtown Kristiansand with a population of 5,200; Lund, the second largest borough; Oddernes, a borough located in the west; and Vågsbygd, the largest borough with a population of 36,000, located in the southwest.
Tourism is important in Kristiansand, and the summer season is the most popular for tourists. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park is the largest zoo in Norway. It receives over 900,000 visitors every year. Markens Street is the main pedestrian street in downtown Kristiansand. Bystranda is a city beach located in Kvadraturen; in addition, Hamresanden beach is the longest beach in Kristiansand. Hamresanden Camping is a popular family camp during the summer season. The city hosts a free concert in downtown Kristiansand once every week in the summer. Outside the city is the industry park Sørlandsparken, which has Sørlandssenteret, the largest mall in Norway.
Sandnes is a city and municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. It is the 8th largest city in Norway and it lies immediately south of the city of Stavanger, the 4th largest city in Norway. Together, the Stavanger/Sandnes area is the 3rd largest urban area in Norway.
Sandnes is part of the district of North-Jæren. The city is divided into 13 boroughs. The administrative centre of the city-municipality is located in the borough of Trones og Sentrum in the city centre. There are several village areas in the rural parts of the municipality including Hommersåk, Høle, Foss-Eikeland, Stokka, and Vatne.
The 304-square-kilometre (117 sq mi) municipality is the 275th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Sandnes is the 8th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 75,497. The municipality’s population density is 264.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (686/sq mi) and its population has increased by 24.8% over the last decade.
Tromsø is a municipality in Troms county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tromsø. Outside Norway, Tromso and Tromsö are alternative spellings of the name.
Tromsø lies in Northern Norway. The 2,521-square-kilometre (973 sq mi) municipality is the 18th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway. Tromsø is the 9th most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 75,638. The municipality’s population density is 30.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (79/sq mi) and its population has increased by 15.9% over the last decade. It is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and the third largest north of the Arctic Circle anywhere in the world (following Murmansk and Norilsk). Most of Tromsø, including the city centre, is located on the island of Tromsøya, 350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. In 2017, the city of Tromsø had a population of about 65,000 people spread out over Tromsøya and parts of Kvaløya and the mainland. Tromsøya is connected to the mainland by the Tromsø Bridge and the Tromsøysund Tunnel, and to the island of Kvaløya by the Sandnessund Bridge.
The municipality is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude, due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. Tromsø is even milder than places much farther south of it elsewhere in the world, such as on the Hudson Bay and in Far East Russia, with the warm-water current allowing for both relatively mild winters and tree growth in spite of its very high latitude.
The city centre of Tromsø contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789. The city is a cultural centre for its region, with several festivals taking place in the summer. Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge of the electronica duo Röyksopp and Lene Marlin grew up and started their careers in Tromsø. Noted electronic musician Geir Jenssen also hails from Tromsø.
Sarpsborg, historically Borg, is a city and municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Sarpsborg.
Sarpsborg is part of the fifth largest urban area in Norway when paired with neighbouring Fredrikstad. As of 1 January 2018, according to Statistics Norway these two municipalities have a total population of 136,127 with 55,840 in Sarpsborg and 81,278 in Fredrikstad.
Borregaard Industries is, and always has been, the most important industry in the city. The city is also the home of Borg Bryggerier, part of the Hansa Borg Bryggerier, which is Norway’s second largest brewery-group.