East Norway

East Norway (actually southeast; Norwegian: Østlandet) is the region surrounding the capital Oslo, where the largest number of people live.


Slidre lake in the Valdres uplands

This is region has about half of Norway's population including the larger Oslo metropolitan area. Locally known as Østlandet (or Austlandet), literally the east country, and is defined by the border with Sweden and mountain ranges creating watersheds with Trøndelag and Western Norway. East Norway includes the densely populated lowlands around Oslofjord (and lake Mjøsa) and the more sparsely populated valleys, forests and highlands in the hinterland. The most populated lowlands/flatlands greater Oslo, around Oslofjord and around lake Mjøsa is informally referred to as Central East Norway.

A number of long valleys (notably Gudbrandsdalen, Valdres, Østerdal and Hallingdal) and rivers converge in the lowlands around Oslo. Oslo itself is separated from these rivers and valleys by forests and hills known as Oslomarka (the Oslo woodlands). Areas around Oslofjord and lake Mjøsa are mostly lowlands or flatlands, while upstream along the big valleys and rivers the gently rolling landscape gradually gives way to steep hills, barren highlands (such as Hardangervidda) and alpine summits such as Jotunheimen. These valleys also host transport corridors (rail and road) to West Norway and Trøndelag. Western parts of Telemark, Buskerud and Oppland are part of the central mountains/highlands, while northern parts of Oppland and Hedemark includes wide mountain areas such as Reinheimen, Dovre and Rondane. East Norway is home to a large number of lakes, including several of Norway's largest. The shores of southern Oslofjord with myriads of polished islands and bays are popular summer resorts for city residents.

Typical "svaberg" (polished cliffs) at Tjøme


The interior of Eastern Norway generally enjoys relatively dry continental climate (warm summers and cold winters). Winters can be bitterly cold in the interior. Closer to Oslofjord the winters are milder, although temperatures below minus 10° C are common in Oslo, and summers are slightly warmer in sheltered valleys. Large parts of East Norway enjoys the rain shadow created by the central mountains, and some of East Norway gets less than 300 mm precipitation annually (less than Madrid).


Regions on East Norway
The region surrounding Oslo and home to many of Oslo's suburbs, and is largely part of Greater Oslo with about 1/4 of Norway's population.
Buskerud county stretches from the urban and agricultural lowlands at Oslos western suburbs through great valleys to popular ski resorts and the barren Hardangervidda.
The landlocked county in East Norway's deep interior, great valleys, rivers and forests
From lakes and lowlands to the great mountains and highlands
Norway's capital
Lowlands east of Oslofjord
From urban lowlands through green valleys to rugged highlands
Lowlands west of Oslofjord



Other destinations

Krøderen lake with road 7 at the entrance to Hallingdal


Most people will respond in English to any question you may have. Some Norwegians also speak some German, due to the proximity of the language, and that they study it in school. Migrant workers from Sweden, Poland, and elsewhere may not even speak Norwegian.


Those interested in dialects can observe the diversity of Norwegian dialects spoken in Eastern Norway, especially the differences between urban areas and peripheries. The differences can be observed even if you do not understand Norwegian. There are differences in the tone of language and words used. Even within the capital, Oslo, there are dialect differences between the east end and west end.

In some inland municipalities, a writing form of Norwegian usually associated with West Norway known as Nynorsk is the official form.

Get in

By boat

Oslo is connected to Kiel and Copenhagen by ferries. Larvik is connected to northern Denmark by ferry, whereas Sandefjord is connected to Strömstad (Sweden) by ferry.

Get around

Oslo totally dominates this region. Oslo and its airport at Gardermoen is the transport hub for East Norway. Roads and railway lines have Oslo as their focal points. All railway lines, including the airport express train, terminate at Oslo Central Station ("Oslo S"). Main roads E6, E18, E16 and Road 4 meet at or near Oslo S. Regional and long distance buses depart from the bus station next door to Oslo S. Oslo Subway (T-banen) has a main station underground next to the train station.

By plane

By bus

By train

By car

For more details see: Driving in Norway

Most of Norway's motorways are around Oslo. There is one car ferry across Oslofjord at Moss-Horten and one across Randsfjorden lake.


Climb or hike mountains

East Norway includes gentle sloping highlands such as Hardangervidda as well as alpine peaks such as Jotunheimen.


The Norwegian cuisine is known for eclectic food with a good supply of many local ingredients. Try Norwegian seafood!


Local Norwegian beer, aquavit and cider. Or simply clean and fresh water.

Stay safe

Eastern Norway is experienced as generally safe, with few exceptions in parts of Oslo and the larger cities.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.