Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Norway

The Holmenkollen Ski Festival is one of the most exciting events in Norway. This hugely successful event attracts thousands of spectators and competitors to Oslo’s amazing hills. The festival started in 1893, and holds the distinction of being the oldest notable ski jump competition in the world. The festival’s official name is FIS World Cup Ski Competitions, and is held annually in March for three weekends.

Holmenkollen Ski Festival has become the culminating event of the winter season in Oslo. More than just any sports event, the Ski Festival is now a certified tourist attraction, exuding a very vibrant and exciting atmosphere for locals and visitors to enjoy. It has a long and proud history, and was conceived out of the Norwegians’ love for nature and winter sports. The ski jumping competitions were already held in Osolo since 1866, but the organizers decided to move it to Holmenkollen to maintain the best quality of snow for the competitions.

The ski jumping competition is mainly held at Holmenkollen ski arena, which has been host to several national and international ski competitions. The highlight sport structure in the festival is undoubtedly the imposing ski jumping tower, which presently extends to 60 meters above the ground. During the festival, you will get the chance to buy tickets for any of the regularly held winter competitions like solo and combined ski jumping, cross country skiing, and cross country youth relay.

After watching some of the greatest winter athletes battle it out for the coveted prize, honor and distinction; don’t forget to stop by the Holmenkollen Ski Museum. Situated at the base of the ski jumping tower, this structure is considered to be the world’s oldest ski museum. Here, you can get more information about the long and dramatic history of skiing in Holmenkollen. The exhibits showcased in the museum reflect about 4000 years of skiing tradition, which dates all the way back to the Viking era.

The Holmenkollen Ski Festival has indeed proven to be more popular every year. While here, you will be treated to gorgeous views of Oslo’s countryside. You will also get the chance to interact with enthusiastic Norwegian sports lovers who have traveled from different parts of the country just to watch the event. You may even get to a glimpse of the Norwegian Royal Family, as they have never missed attending the event for several years now.

Ski racing fanatics camping out in the snow close to the trails is now a usual sight during the festival. The main organizer of the event, Skiforeningen, welcomes and appreciates the fans’ solid support so much that they even arrange toilet facilities and firewood sales to make the fans’ camping more comfortable.

During the festival, parking is limited around Holmenkollen. However, there is available public transport to the hills and the competition sites. Oslo’s T-bane metro network has a dedicated Holmenkollen line, which carries thousands of passengers to the festival’s major events. If you are already within Holmenkollen’s vicinity, you can always opt to explore the festival traditionally, which is travel up and down the hills on foot.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!