Ribe was the last place my parents and I visited when we explored Denmark together last year, but this charming small town also was the one place that impressed me most! While Aalborg was a big surprise to me and Odense is so enchanting, Ribe made me want to stay longer and explore more of Denmark's west coast! Not only is Ribe, in south-west Jutland, Denmark's oldest town, it also has plenty of present-day attractions to offer. But see it with your own eyes:
Norwegians quite simply have a different understanding of a simple hike than someone who grew up in the plains of Germany (in other words: me). Understandably so, Norwegian kids grow up hiking in the mountains while I, even after 4 years in the country, still can’t get myself to even attempt to hike Pulpit Rock - that edge just looks too scary! So, when I say “easy hikes”, I really mean it! The following 7 hikes all feature relatively flat terrain and well-maintained trails, and could probably easily be done by any Norwegian 2-year old ;) ... Well maybe not quite a 2-year old but at least, these hikes are manageable even if you’re not in best shape and/or suffer from a fear of heights! Happy hiking!
The prospect of going on yet another day trip on a really miserable, cold and rainy day during last year's Easter holidays didn't excite my parents a whole lot, to be honest. I knew, though, that they'd become much more excited when we'd eventually arrive in what turned out to be Denmark's most enchanting city: Odense! Just a 2-hour drive from Copenhagen, as well as Aarhus, and perfectly situated in the middle of Denmark, Odense makes for the perfect day trip when visiting the country.
Why you would want to stand in line (and this is no joke!) at Pulpit Rock, Trolltunga and co. when there's an entire country of over 1600 km in length to explore, is beyond me! Therefore, I've decided to put together a small selection of alternatives to the "must-sees" of Norway - for anyone who'd like to escape the summer crowds in the country and those of you, who are seeking to discover Norway like a local!
Have you ever heard of Aalborg? Granted, Denmark's fourth largest city was a mystery to me for a long time as well - until I hopped on the ferry from Oslo to Denmark and decided that if I'll pass by Aalborg on my way to Aarhus anyway, I might as well make a pit stop for a day and explore what the city has to offer. Turns out, a lot!
This post is long overdue considering the fact that I visited mainland Denmark in 2017 but better late than never. Prior to that, I'd been to Copenhagen several times but you haven't really seen a country until you venture out of its capital, right? So, that's what I did last year. I based myself and my parents for a week in Aarhus and we went on to explore Aalborg, Odense and Ribe from there. Needless to say that I got to know a different side of Denmark on this trip and learnt SO many things about the country that I didn't know before!
Stavanger is one of the oldest cities of Norway and remnants of human settlement in the area date back to the Viking Age. All the more reason to stop obsessing with Pulpit Rock for a moment and have a closer look at the city and its history itself! Often overlooked by tourists coming to visit, Stavanger actually has an abundance of Viking culture to offer - there are old gravestones with runic inscriptions, the former residence of Harald Fairhair at Utstein, and, of course, several monuments paying tribute to the Battle of Hafrsfjord. The biggest and for most people probably also most interesting attraction when it comes to experiencing Viking culture in Stavanger however, has got to be Hafrsfjordkaupangen!
Nonetheless, vegetarianism, veganism and food allergies are all widely known in the country and if you're visiting, you shouldn't have to lose any sleep over where and what to eat during your trip. Therefore I decided to give you the rundown of allergy-friendly Norwegian dishes and restaurants in the biggest cities of the country that cater well for anyone on a special diet - whether you're vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant, or suffering from an IBD/IBS or celiac disease.
With only a dozen hotels to choose from, accommodation options on Svalbard are pretty limited - and certainly not for those travelling on a tiny budget. I was surprised to find hostel prices in Longyearbyen at the same rate as you'd get a stay in a decent Scandic Hotel on the mainland of Norway. Nevertheless, the accommodation costs are totally worth to experience Svalbard up close and while it might not be entirely possible to visit Svalbard on a backpacker's or student budget, it certainly isn't impossible to save a few bucks - or splurge, if that's what you prefer!
Living in Tromsø for 3 years, I thought that packing for a trip to Svalbard in the summer would be a walk in the park. After all, I had all the proper winter gear and outdoor equipment and thought I'd be done packing in no time! Turns out, however, that things are a little more difficult… I thus decided to make a list of all the things I really ended up needing in the High Arctic and will also tell you why you can leave your down jacket at home, in this article!
Now, Tromsø might be situated way above the Arctic Circle and transportation options to and from the city might not be as frequent as they are for Oslo, but it's not impossible to get to Tromsø on a budget. There are in total 5 ways to travel to Tromsø - some of them rather fast and easy, and others rather slow and scenic - which I'd all like to present to you in this article, along with their pros and cons!
After all, I would have been stupid not to head to Svalbard when the archipelago only is a 1 1/2-hour flight away - am I right?! I definitely fell in love with the region and would have loved to stay just a night or two longer to explore even more. Personally, I'd say that Svalbard can best be explored in summer as opposed to the 24-hour darkness of the polar night that lasts from October to February - but I guess it depends on what you come there to do and see.
With its lovely mix of state-of-the-art design, history, exciting art galleries, and Nordic food, Oslo is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It offers an excellent setting to explore as well as relax. However, despite such fantastic appeal, this Norwegian capital is quite expensive. In fact, the Deutsche Bank ranks it as the most costly place in the world to get a beer. Luckily, we’ve discovered how you can enjoy living in Oslo without spending too much cash.
Are you looking for a last-minute summer getaway somewhere off the beaten path? Or have you been dreaming of the 24-hour summer days of the Arctic for ages? Either way, I know the perfect place for you: Malangen Resort near Tromsø! I was fortunate enough to stay at the resort on a work trip 2 years ago and couldn't help but fall in love with its surroundings. I mean, red cabins with a fjord view? Yes, please!
I actually planned my trip to Bergen three times before I finally made it, but visiting in February, while the city was covered in snow, couldn't have been a better time - not only did I avoid the summer and Christmas crowds, I also saved a huge amount of money on accommodation! In fact, I only spent roundabout $250 - not bad for a weekend trip in Norway! In this article, I therefore want to give you a detailed overview of how much I spent, what I did, and how you can travel to Bergen for under $250 too - even if you don't live in Norway!
This is my fourth year of living in Norway and you should think that Norway's National Day isn't a big deal for me anymore, except that this year was the first one I got to spend in my new home of Stavanger! Having spent it in cold and rainy (and one year even snowy) Tromsø in previous years, I had high hopes of lovely weather and warm temperatures for the day - which, except for the coastal wind, was a wish come true!
Bergen is such a lovely gem at the west coast of Norway and even though it's Norway's second biggest city, it's extremely compact and cosy! You can walk almost anywhere and 2 days are plenty of time to see most of what the city has to offer! I got to visit Bergen back in February and the city did not hold up to its reputation as Norway's rainiest place - it didn't rain one bit during my stay. Instead, the city was covered in snow - which, to be honest, made it even more beautiful!
Today I wanted to take the time to not only update you on myself, though, but also fill you in on the Norwegian healthcare system that I've now been forced to get to know a lot better than I ever did before in recent weeks. Whether you're a tourist coming to Norway on holiday or planning to move to the country, in this article I'd like to tell you everything I've learnt about what happens when you get sick in Norway!
I totally get the wish, of course, but I'd also like to make sure that if you go, you choose a tour operator that cares well for the animals. What you need to consider before booking that trip and what to look out for before choosing a dog-sledding/reindeer-sledding or whale-watching tour, will thus be the topic of this article!