FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2011 in Oslo
Oslo's Universitetsplassen (University Square) in the center of the city will become a meeting place for all competiton-related activities during the ski championships. Here you can experience on February 23 the opening ceremony and, the next day, the opening show. But even on the regular competition days the new heart of Oslo will have everyone tapping their toes. There are shows before the medal presentations every evening, which will ensure (with the help of a special light show) a scintillating party atmosphere.
A bit frostier is the adjacent Spikersuppa Park. Through March 6 it will be transformed into a ice sculpture park, in which artists from all over the world create original works on the theme of "Munch in Ice and Snow" out of 70 cubic meters of ice and veritable mountains of snow. In the tents of the nearby Nordic Park you can get reindeer stew and other Norwegian specialities.
In between the events of World Championships, you should definitely reserve an afternoon to discover Oslo. The new opera house (Norske Opera) - a exceptional modern structure of white marble built into the fjord - is one of the major attractions of the city.
It may not be for every taste, but the same is true of the City Hall. For some it is an acquired taste like the brown Norwegian goat's cheese, but it is nonetheless (or perhaps precisely for that reason) Oslo's unmistakable landmark on the water.
Right next door you encounter the busy wharves of the Aker Brygge neighborhood, where Osloers and visitors stroll past shops, restaurants, and cafés.
The Bygdøy peninsula is home to two of the city's most worthwhile museums - both of which take you back to a time when Norwegians tended to be grumpy Vikings and not the friendly hosts of international competitions. In the Vikingskiphuset are three original Viking ships from the 9th century, while in the open-air premises of the Norwegian Folk Museum stand 170 historical wood houses, including a stave church.
The ski jump facility at Holmenkollen has been rebuilt for the Nordic Ski Championships. The Norwegians would never tear down their venerable ski shrine without constructing the world's most advanced ski jump facility in its place. If the Holmenkollen Arena was already the mecca of nordic ski, then that's even more true during the ski championships.
For visitors to Oslo, the Vigeland Sculpture Park is a true standout. The 212 amusing and enigmatic sculptures by painter Gustav Vigeland attract more than a million visitors a year -- making it the city's top attraction.
Nightlife in Oslo: During the ski competition, the city will be up all night, and the neighborhood near University Square will definitely not be boring. If you want to dance the night away, you can do so in the Barbeint Club (chic House-Disco) or in Smuget (a favorite nightlife spot). At the Dattera til Hagen the Nordic night will easily reach daybreak.For more information and news about the 2011 Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, go to http://www.oslo2011.no/en/