Well, if you’d honestly ask me, I would give you a list of places I find suitable for a Christmas vacation that wouldn’t include Norway (or any of the Nordic countries for that matter), but I really don’t want to ruin your Christmas spirit. Yes, Norway can be the magical winter wonderland you’re looking for - however, it highly depends on where you’re planning to go exactly! In this post, I’m therefore highlighting everything you should consider before booking that Christmas/New Year’s Eve trip to Norway!
It might seem like Stavanger in summertime is full of tourists, while all the locals disappear to either their summer cabin or to Spain in search of vitamin D. However, there's actually loads going on in the city during the summer months and besides Hafrsfjordkaupangen in June, late July is a time when the entire region gathers in Stavanger again after the summer break to celebrate food at Glad Mat Food Festival and this year, also to have a look behind the scenes of the world's sailing vessels at the Tall Ships Races.
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!
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!
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.
You maybe know the city of Stavanger as the oil capital of Norway. Or maybe as the city closest to Preikestolen. But did you know that Stavanger also is Norway's most colourful city and a real hotspot for street art? This gem at the west coast has so much more to offer than what you might expect and I'm so glad to be able to call it my home.In this article, I'll take you on a visual tour around the street art in town and explain why a street art walk is the best way to really get to know Stavanger!
When I moved to Stavanger, I was almost certain that from now on, I'd only ever see snow when visiting Simon's family for the Easter holidays. Literally, everyone told us that "it only ever rains in Stavanger" and asked if we wouldn't miss the snow in Tromsø. Of course, we would, but as it turns out - there was no need to worry!
Lysefjorden Hiking Festival takes place in early September each year and after having lived in Stavanger for 4 weeks at that time, it seemed like a great opportunity to finally explore the famous fjord and at least get a glimpse of Preikestolen and Kjerag from the boat. It felt like a win-win situation: Heading all the way to the end of the fjord at Lysebotn (that way seeing the entire length of the fjord on the trip) and gaining insider knowledge from our local guide - what could possibly go wrong?
Autumn is a popular time to visit Norway and I'd recommend people to come to Tromsø or the Lofoten Islands in September and October in a heartbeat. Western Norway in autumn, however, isn't even all that popular among the locals, so that should give you a hint about the weather here at this time of year!Aside from the usual autumn storms, there are a few more things you should keep in mind before heading to Stavanger, Bergen, and co. in autumn, which I'd like to present you in this post.
I've been living in Stavanger for 2 months now and I keep hearing people say that Stavanger can easily be explored in a day as there "isn't much to see anyway". Now, maybe it's because I'm still in the honeymoon phase of living somewhere new but to me, Stavanger offers endless opportunities to go out and explore! I live west of the city center, in an area that's called Madla, situated at the famous Hafrsfjord. Don't worry if you haven't heard about the fjord before though - I hadn't either!