Oslo does Christmas in its own koselig (cozy) way. Throughout Juletid, aka the Christmas period, the Norwegian capital lights up and offers children of all ages some of that holiday magic. From seasonal treats and gifts to buy at the Christmas markets to cool events that cater to the hipster crowd, this is how to do Christmas in Oslo. God Jul!
The Christmas markets
There are several Christmas markets in and around the city, where you can find anything from gourmet products and sweets (gingerbread or peperkaker cookies are everywhere) to handmade gifts and decorations. At the Youngstorget Christmas market right at the city center, you can gather under the warmth of large, heated tents, buy presents and eat local delicacies at communal tables. Jul i Vinterland, the Christmas market in Spikersuppa, is a destination for the whole family, as apart from the market stalls there’s also a Ferris wheel, an ice rink, various workshops and, of course, the opportunity to meet Santa.
If you feel like venturing outside the city a bit, then a visit to Hadeland Glassverk in Jenvaker, an hour outside Oslo, will be worth your time. Apart from the Glass Museum and the traditional glass stores in the area, there is a Christmas market with fun activities for children—sleigh ride, anyone? On the west side of Oslo you’ll also find the picturesque Bærums Verk, with its beautiful houses dating back to the 17th century, where you can enjoy Christmas workshops, children’s activities and concerts.
The festive events
Christmas in Oslo is not just about carol-singing and keeping the kids happy. There are also plenty of concerta and cool events taking place. How about a banjo show by the Norwegian bluegrass and country band Ila Auto? Or spending Christmas Eve listening to soul and country sounds by the Frank Znort Quartet at Blå? Check out all the events of the season here and take your pick.
Once Christmas is done, Norwegians aren’t done. The period between Christmas and New Years is known as Romjulen and, although most of the shops are closed, there are still cool things to do in the city. Our favorites this year involve spending some quality time at the sauna, followed by hearty food at SALT, as well as indulging in some cult fun times at the Bingo night that Blå organizes. And then, getting ready for New Year’s Eve of course.