Designated: 2017
Population: 27,476
Language: Norwegian


Contact Lillehammer



Lillehammer is among the most important cultural cities in Norway. The region has rich literary traditions and holds a leading position nationally.

In Lillehammer you find the homes of two Nobel laureates in Literature: Aulestad, the home of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnsson and Bjerkebæk, the home of Sigrid Undset.


Since 2008 Lillehammer has been an ICORN international city of refuge for authors suffering from persecution. In so doing, the city has assumed a particular responsibility not only in the struggle for freedom of expression, but also to provide practical assistance for individuals who find themselves in dangerous situations.


Lillehammer is home to the Norwegian Film School, ranked by a Hollywood reporter in 2014 as one of the world's five leading film schools. The School offers the country’s most prestigious bachelor and master programmes in screenwriting.

Lillehammer’s Nansen Humanistic Academy offers a one-year study founded on the Scandinavian Folk High School tradition. The Academy offers a programme in Creative Writing, where the method of teaching is independent writing, workshops and tutoring, often taught by established visiting authors.

Lillehammer has a long history of investing in children and youth. The Cultural Rucksack, which is a comprehensive literature programme for students, courtesy of the County Council and the municipality, ensures that all children are introduced to literature at school. Here authors meet children and youths with activities such as reading out loud, debates and workshops. Lillehammer also hosts the Amandus Festival, a national film festival where young film makers meet the professional film industry.



Lillehammer will take part in “Drop the Mic,” a project aimed to engage the diverse worlds of poetry in an effort to advance participative and kinetic literary arts; integrate communities; increase social and cultural cohesion and understanding; engage youth; contribute to the development of leadership and cultural management skills; build a strong international community of poets and event organizers; and create a sustainable Nordic-Baltic network for knowledge/talent exchange and mentorship via poetry.


The Norwegian Festival of Literature is an annual event is hosted in Lillehammer. The festival is the largest of its kind in the Nordic region, and ranked as one of the 20 best literature festivals in the world. The festival offers more than 200 different events, workshops, debates, readings and conversations. The festival is the principal meeting place for Norwegian authors, publishers, translators and agents. The festival also has a comprehensive programme for children and youth: Pegasus. 


Bastard is an annual festival celebrating art books and micro-publishing, organized by Oppland Art Center.