When one thinks of going on holiday, the mind immediately evokes images of palm trees swaying in the breeze, warm powdery sand and drinks with little umbrellas. But picture for a moment letting your mind wander through a murky mist, dance it’s way over an icy sea and descend upon a land born in the shadows. Traverse the narrow elongated sea inlets surrounded by steep cliffs, known as the Norwegian fjords. A land built on the backs of mighty warriors who challenged the sea for over a thousand years. Where the sunset captures the gaze, and the breath, of every passerby.
This place is Norway: the ultimate destination for the wanderer, the experienced traveler, the vacationer and all those in search of exquisite beauty. With an abundance of natural wonders, stunning cities steeped in rich history, culinary culture and breathtaking architecture, one can only imagine how many things you'll do in the fascinating country of Norway.
Downtown Olso, Norway
As you start your holiday in Norway, your first port of call should be the sophisticated capital of Oslo. With its beautiful rich architecture, influential lifestyle, prominent food scene and splendid shopping, there are plenty of options of things to do.
Stockfleths AS Cafe in Olso, Norway
Start the day off by meandering through the downtown area. Be sure to go to Stockfleths AS, a brilliant cafe providing a relaxed atmosphere and probably the best coffee in town. Amongst the coffee scene in Oslo, you should also try the micro roaster and espresso bar, Tim Wendelboe. They strives to only buy coffee according to the harvest season. Their coffee sourcing is based on a philosophy where quality, traceability, innovation and social responsibility are the main focuses. Never have I come across a coffee shop with so much knowledge and innovation.
Exploring Oslo’s boroughs is where you can also find the modern man doing some necessary shopping. The prominent lifestyle of Norwegians is based on the value that they give to being well-dressed, both in business and leisure. It is a boon to your image and professionalism. So make sure to visit Malboro Classics, where upon entering you will find classic garments, clothing with an impeccable fit, and great accessories. All of which will distinguish your wardrobe and bolster your reputation and image.
Dapper in Oslo, Norway
Another great shopping spot for men is Dapper, a very unique shop in the heart of Oslo and only a few dozen meters from Tim Wendelboe. Dapper is both a barbershop and a clothing shop with an all-wood fireplace. This shop is a place where a man can both find the perfect outfit and recieve a great shave. They have the most modern clothing of Scandinavian fashion. The reception is very soft and the atmosphere is calm. It is a classic store where you can easily imagine seeing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin debating over the perfect pocket square, drinks in hand of course.
Overlooking Bergen, Norway
Another must-see destination in Norway is Bergen, The City of 7 Mountains. This city is proof that Norway does not do nature on a small scale. Surrounded by hills and fjords, Bergen is a beautiful and charming city. Climbing the hillsides with hundreds of timber-clad houses, cable cars carry onlookers through the clouds to the awe-inspiring beauty of this European neighborhood.
During my stay in Bergen, a famous saying amongst Norwegians was “Allemannsrett”, which literally translates to "all men's rights". It's a "freedom to roam" where public rights laws allow access to and passage through all uncultivated land. This means you can pitch a tent or hike any fjord you want. So give in to your adventurous spirit and go backpacking. Ge on intimate terms with the great green hills, monstrous peaks, enormous glaciers and gorgeous scenery of this isolated chunk of Scandinavia. Lace up your hiking boots and set forth in search of your own personal Valhalla.
Det Hanseatiske Hotel in Bergen, Norway
Among the vast array of establishments nestled in the hills of Bergen is Skansen Pensjonat, a cozy guest house with a long history. This beautiful pension is a peaceful place and has a spectacular view overlooking the city. You can also stay at the charming 5- star Det Hanseatiske Hotel located in a 16th-century building in the heart of Bergen, next door to the Hanseatic Museum. It features unique, rustic style rooms with charming surroundings and is just a short walk from many of the city's attractions. The hotel is a part of Finnegaarden at Hanseatic Wharf in Bergen, which is on Unesco's list of World Heritage Sites.
The Potetkjelleren restaurant Bergen, Norway
As you explore the elegant city of Bergen make sure to dine at the restaurant The Potetkjelleren. A restaurant that offers refined Norwegian cuisine and an unforgettable fine dining experience that is worth every Krone. The menu has a variety of courses, each paired with the perfect wine. The restaurant is found below ground in a cellar. Indeed, the name of this restaurant is Norwegian for "potato cellar".
If your tastes favor some authentic Norwegian home cooking with a delightfully informal ambience, try Pingvinen. This intimate little restaurant offers a somber atmosphere, thoughtful waiters and honest Norwegian food. You can choose from cod, lamb, mashed peas and lots of other authentic Nordic recipes. You will not be disappointed.
A country rich in culture and natural beauty, Norway is a travel destination with many offerings. You can roam around Oslo, drink some of the best coffee and shop at some of the most modern men’s clothing stores. Or you can meander into Bergen to experience 5-star hotels and fine dining. If the great outdoors is what you are after, Norway terrific hiking, offering some of the most breathtaking views. When you get ready to travel to your next white-sand-and-palm-tree destination, remember Norway and all of the exceptional things it has to offer.
written by ISAAC MURILLO