Going to a market is a fun way to spend a morning or an afternoon. Norway has a variety of markets on offer for different types of shoppers, looking for a day off from exploring Norway. Whether you are there during the summer or the winter, there is a market to suit you and your interests. Below is just a little selection.
This flea market (or “bruktmarked” if you are trying to improve your Norwegian) is open every Sunday during the summer (14th May – 3rd September). The stalls are filled with used books, clothes, bikes and LPs. Local artists are encouraged to sell their work there, so it is the perfect place to bring home a unique local souvenir. The flea market also has some lovely food stalls where you can enlighten your palate with some Norwegian specialities.
Norway verges on magical during the winter, and the Røros Christmas market lets all your Christmas fantasies to come true. The whole trip starts with a horse-drawn carriage ride from the station to the centre. The UNESCO world heritage town in mid-Norway makes an authentically snow-covered setting for the idyllic stalls selling local beer and reindeer meat. It is even possible to feed Santa’s reindeer, gracefully tended to by a Sami family for the rest of the year. The market takes place on the first weekend of December.
The market by the Beitstad Fjord has traditionally been viewed by locals as the beginning of autumn and is usually held during an August weekend (no, Norway isn’t exactly in the Caribbean). Steinkjer has been a marketplace for the past 800 years and today’s market, which dates back 150 years, lives up to its proud heritage. The committee who organises it base it around four pillars – celebration, diversity, trade and experiences – making it a great market not just for hunting down a great deal, but as a day out for the entire family too.
Although you may not want to bring fish back in your suitcase, a fish market provides an excellent insight into an essential part of one of Norway’s most important historical livelihoods. This fish market in southern Norway is supplied with fresh fish and seafood every day, leaving you with a great variety and assortment if you’re staying in the area and keen on making a fish dish. The sellers are always happy to provide a top tip or two for fish preparation and storage. In the summer, the terrace in front of the store opens up to become a restaurant, where you can enjoy some of the freshest fish around.
If you are spending a casual Saturday in Oslo, head to this farmer’s market to try local produce provided directly by their producers. There is no better place to try local delicacies including fresh berries (look out for real Norwegian blueberries, they are smaller, red inside and much more flavourful than most of the blueberries you find in stores today), sausages, cheeses and homemade Norwegian waffles – which are part of the national culinary cannon and a must-try.
In early July, Høvåg opens its doors to a Norway of the past, where traditional crafts from the Viking Age are brought to life. The whole family will be entertained by the many market stalls and craftsmen showing off the impressive, and often intricate, skills the Vikings had. There are demonstrations and re-enactments as well as traditional Viking food to sample – you’ll be tempted to take home plenty of goodies from this southern Norwegian market.
This large market runs for three days in July and offers everything in handicrafts. More than 100 craftsmen travel from Denmark, Norway and Sweden to sell their goods made from ceramics, glass, textiles, metal, leather, wood, paper and wicker. It is Norway’s biggest handicraft market and even offers classes in certain crafts.
At the start of September, this huge farmer’s market on the West Coast comes together to exhibit farming equipment and animals. It’s a great day out for children as well as adults, and everyone gets the chance to pet the animals and take a closer look at the expensive equipment the farmers use on a day-to-day basis. There are plenty of food and drinks stalls, as well as stalls showcasing the best produce from the local farms.
Discover the beautiful fortified town in Fredrikstad, close to the Swedish border, and enjoy the old market in the main square every Saturday from April until winter kicks in. The market is a treasure trove of Norwegian and foreign goods and a great opportunity to meet the local community. Enjoy the wonderful historical town, smiling faces and making a great find or two.
This market is open most Sundays and sells used items dating as far back as the 1940s. Dig into modern Norwegian cultural history and find kitchen utensils, clothing, books, vinyl, furniture, jewellery and much more. Enjoy a walk around this large and varied market before heading out to explore more of Oslo – possibly to more of the nice markets you can find in the capital.
Featured image by Kārlis Dambrāns.