Posted by: Sarah | June 4, 2011

My Norwegian Wish List: 19 Things I’d Still Love To Do In Norway!

I’m writing this post from 33,000 feet!  Norwegian Airline now has free onboard high-speed WiFi (it’s fantastic).  As we took off from Oslo and I looked down at the stunning lakes, islands and mountains surrounding the city I took some time to reflect (even though I’m half asleep).

Eliot and I have lived in Norway for over 2 years now and we’ve been sharing our experiences through this blog.  However, there’s always room for more and below is my Norwegian wish list of things I’d still love to do in Norway.  I hope we can tick some of these off in year 3!

  1. Learn to ski (cross-country will do!)
  2. Wear a Bunad
  3. Bake Kringle kake (as per Cath’s recipe from her Grandma)
  4. Speak Norwegian…fluently
  5. Cruise the fjords on the west coast
  6. Stay in a winter cabin
  7. Stay in a summer cabin
  8. Hike up Besseggen
  9. Learn to cook fresh fish
  10. See the Northern Lights…just one more time!
  11. Ice fishing
  12. Visit Svalbard to see the polar bears and penguins
  13. Meet Gunnar Sønsteby – a WW2 resistance fighter in Norway and local hero!
  14. Shake the hand of King Harald
  15. Travel on a Russ Bus
  16. Go to the Norwegian Wood festival
  17. Stand on the Pulpit Rock
  18. Visit Dyreparken –  Norway’s biggest zoo.  Apparently all Norwegians go there as kids
  19. Watch “Alt For Norge” – a game show where Americans discover the real Norway by taking part in different challenges

Any other recommendations?


  1. Great list. I’ve done 14 of the 19 :p

    A couple of more things to your list?

    I believe you can play with baby brown bears there. Great plan B if the polar bear doesn’t show up in Svalbard.

    2. Lofoten Island! If you haven’t been there, go there! Espescially Reine is great!

    3. Glommafestivalen! This is an annual festival in Fredrikstad. Lots of people in a great summer city just an hour away from Oslo. Visit the fortfield town and make a day of it!

    4. A journey on Hurtigruten!

    • Thanks for the suggestions Stein. If I can play with a baby brown bear…we’re going! It’s not too far – I checked on the map! I’m thinking of taking a trip to the west coast this summer so the Hurtigruten has to be part of that. Not sure if you can hop on/off it though. Lofoten…how could I have left that off the list. I think that’s the place they hang all the fish right? Glad you’ve achieved much of what is on my list. I have to ask if one of those achievements is to do with shaking the hand of King Harald? :-)

      • I believe you can choose your own destinations at Hurtigruta. You don’t need to travel all the way from Bergen to Kirkenes. A much cheaper alternative is to drive to Geiranger and take the car ferry from Geiranger to Hellesylt. You will see the most beautiful parts of Geiranger fjord. It’s crowded with japnese people though. Nice and funny people, but they took up all the space when I took the ferry :p

        Haven’t met King Harald, but been into his castle one summer when it was open to public. Maybe it still are. Did however had a little chat with Sønsterby when he visit my work one day :o)

    • great blog! There is no pinguines in Norway, North-pole or Svalbard :)) But you may see them in the acvarium in Bergen :)

      • Ha ha – I think you might be right! :-)

  2. 1. Climb Gyrihaugen at St. Hans and watch the sun set and rise–it’s a short sleep if you want a few winks (on boulders) but the view is incredible and the climb thru the crevice a fun challenge. You can take the easy hike back down.
    2. Kongens Utsikt–another great view
    Both sites are very close to where you live.
    3. Trollstigen
    4. Flåm railroad
    5. Dalsnibba

    • What great suggestions Brit – thank you! I’m thinking of going to the west coast this summer so perhaps I can take in the Flåm and Trollstigen at the same time! I like the idea of climbing Gyrihaugen on the longest day. It really would be a short sleep then! Thank you so much.

  3. You really want to go on a Russ bus?? Sounds like utter madness to me ;-)

    • I certainly do…perhaps not for long and at the start of the Russ season before it gets too messed up!

  4. Great list =) Have you decided which bunad to wear? I have got the kystbunad, it is for the entire coast line.
    I dubt you will manage to see penguins at Svalbard :P Unless they have a zoo there.
    Im not so sure if it is smart to travel with a russebuss. Usually when they do it where Im from, we get tossed in the lake…. Great fun if you are not though!

    • I haven’t decided which bunad yet – I need to check a website to see what the choices are. Looking forward to it – I just love the bunad. It’s so beautiful to look at.

  5. You should sleep in the woods outside Oslo under an open sky at least once in the summer. I did it often with my daughters when they were kids and they loved it.

    • What a wonderful idea – perhaps up at Sognsvann so you get a stunning view in the morning. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • Might be to much people there. You should try a more quiet place, there are lots of places both in the woods east of the city and to the north with great views.

  6. 19. Watch “Alt For Norge” – a game show where Americans discover the real Norway by taking part in different challenges

    – A season starts 4th of september (sunday) at 2000, in case you didn’t know.

    The first season is available at TVNorge’s website. For 40 nok (?) you can watch everything on their web TV for a week.

    • Brilliant – I didn’t know that but no I’m going to watch it! Thanks for the tip Stein.

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