Skien (pron. /²ʃe:en/) is the capital of Telemark with about 56.500 inhabitians, situated close to Porsgrunn and Bamble, which makes Grenland a working and living area for more than 100.000 people.

Telemark is known to be the miniature of Norway, stretching from the sea right outside Skien, through the agricultural landscapes of middle Telemark to the high mountains of the Hardangervidda plateau.

Skien is an old viking town, known through the Middle ages as a supplier of wood, now a modern technology area. The people of Skien are known for their ability to cope with big restructuration – from heavy industry in the past - to smaller, innovative businesses in our time.

Skien is the birth town of playwright Henrik Ibsen, and the port to Norway’s most spectacular canal with river locks taking you all through Telemark.

Getting here

Skien is located approximatly 2 hours from Norway’s capital Oslo. 
45 minutes to Torp airport Sandefjord.
2 hours 15 minutes to Gardermoen Oslo airport. 

Train: book your trip at
Airports: TORP Sandefjord Airport  l Oslo Airport

kart som viser avstand fra Skien til flyplasser og Oslo.

Need help to get established in Skien?

Contact us at or the municipal service center, tel: +47 35 58 10 00.

See our digital brochure Move to Skien.

Life in Norway

In Norway we have a good balance between work and leisure time. English is mandatory from 1st grade, and many people talk both German and French. 

School and basic health care is free, there are voluntary kindergardens for all children under 6, these at a cost.

Our unemployment rates are low.

For more information:


Place to live

Skien has many possibilities for hiring a place to live, and good access to all kinds of propety for sale. is the most popular site to visit when you are looking for something to rent or buy. Unfortunately it is in Norwegian, so please ask us for help if you need to look up something.

Real estate agents


Shopping and city centres

There are several places to shop in Skien, in the city centre or right outside.

Tripadvisor Skien

Read about Skien at Tripadvisor.

Visit Telemark

Attractions, activities and entertainment 

In love with Skien - get inspiration and tips for what to do in Skien

Cultural centres

Enjoy concerts and shows in Ibsenhuset cultural centre and in Parkbiografen.

Modern arts

Telemark kunstsenter 

Spriten kunsthall 


Telemark museum 


Teater Ibsen 


Skien library 

Litterature and debates

What’s on?


Til toppen