Osla, Norway – A Christmas Holiday Guide

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is obviously the most attractive Norwegian city and one of the most visited cities in the entire Scandinavia. It attracts thousands of tourists every year by its combination of old traditions and modernity that makes Oslo so unique and unsurpassed. Since Norway in general is a winter country, it is not surprising that Christmas time is a very special period in Oslo with the atmosphere of magic and wonders. In this article we will tell, what to do and where to go in the Norwegian capital, if you appear to be here during Christmas holiday.

 Where to eat in Oslo?

Frognerseteren

This unique restaurant that is located right in the heart of Nordmarka approximately 40 minutes by public transport from the city center,  is known for its old traditions that have been maintained by its owners for a couple of centuries already. Only there you can try traditional Norwegian cuisine that dates back to the 1800s and enjoy a magnificent view of the Oslo fjord.

Lorry’s

If you find yourself tired and hungry in the city center of Oslo, then the best place to go will be definitely the restaurant of traditional Norwegian cuisine – Lorry’s. It is located near the King’s Castle and is considered to be one of the best places in Olso for Christmas dinner. During this magic and very special time of the year, the restaurant can boast of some special meals that you will hardly find somewhere else, such as ribbe, lutefisk and a Norwegian famous apple pie.

Engebret Cafe

This restaurant is fairly considered to be one of the oldest in the Norway’s capital that attracts guests by its old building of the 18the century, wood panelling, candlelight, draped curtains and, of course, delicious food. Here you can try fresh seafood and reindeer prepared according to age-old recipes.

Since Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world, prices in restaurant are quite high, especially in Christmas: an average price for dinner or lunch is between $25 and $55 per person.

Where should you drink?

Oslo can boast not only of many restaurants, but also of numerous places to drink: bars, pubs, and wine bars, some of which are presented below

Dr. Kneipp’s

Wine lovers usually choose this bar because of its rich variety of wines all over the world. Cosy, warm and hospitable Dr. Kneipp’s is the best place to spend some time in a relaxing atmosphere with a glass of wine before heading to Christmas dinner in one of the restaurants described above.

Tilt

If you would like to try real Norwegian beer and to spend great time with your family or friends, the bar Tilt is the right place to be. Only there you can play arcade games, shuffleboard, or flipper by holding a glass of one of 19 sorts of beer offered here.

 

Enoteca Svanen

Feeling cold in Oslo and want to feel true Italian hospitality? Then you should go to one of the most famous Italian wine bars in the city located right in the heart of Oslo. Enoteca Svanen is more than just a bar – it is like a small piece of Italy, where you can warm your soul and stomach with fine Italian wine and delicious appetizers.

In average one pint of beer in Oslo breweries will cost $10, while the glass of wine costs between $10 and $16.

Christmas market in Oslo

Once December comes, many Christmas markets appear in Oslo and the city is filled with the smell of traditional ginger cookies and chocolate. The main and the biggest Christmas market in Oslo is open annually on the Eidsvoll square in the city center. There you can enjoy Christmas music and walk around numerous stands that offer Norwegian Christmas crafts and delicacies. Another Christmas fair that fascinates visitors with its magnificent Christmas setting is organized every year in the Botanical garden. It is definitely the best place for trying mulled wine, sweet waffles and chocolate. Moreover, only here you can see the traditional Christmas dancing around the Christmas tree and even meet the real Santa!

Where to go and what to in Oslo on Christmas?

Winter and especially Christmas in Oslo is magic time with many opportunities for fun and entertainment. If you would like to make your Christmas holidays in the Norway’s capital more varied, here are some suggestions of places where you can go.

Oslo Winter Park

Oslo is the place of winter fun and outdoor activities. For those, who want to enjoy winter holidays to the full, we recommend to go to the Oslo Winter Park – the largest ski resort of the capital that you can easily get by public transport for less than 30 minutes from the city center. It is equipped with 18 slopes for skiing and snowboarding both for professionals and beginners.

Shopping street

Christmas shops in Oslo are the true paradise for every shopaholic. A great variety of shops and shopping malls are located in the main shopping street – Karl Johans gate, where you can find all types of Christmas decorations and gifts. Even if you are not going to buy anything, it is still a great pleasure immerse yourself in a busy Christmas atmosphere and do some window-shopping.

Christmas church concerts

Those who would like to get some aesthetic pleasure and hear traditional holiday music, can attend one of the numerous concerts held annually in Oslo’s churches. The main venue is Oslo Cathedral, where it is possible to hear wonderful singing of the Oslo Cathedral Choir.

A Christmas Holiday Guide to St Petersburg, Russia

St Petersburg is the northern capital and one of the most visited cities in Russia. Though the peak season in St Petersburg is from May to September, and winter there is usually described as icy, gloomy and extremely cold, it is still a perfect place for Christmas family holidays. Thus, if you are planning your trip to this beautiful and historic city, read our article and find out how to make your winter holidays unforgettable.

Where to eat in St. Petersburg?

Chekhov Restaurant

If you would like to try classic Russian cuisine, then Chekhov Restaurant is the right place for you. Here you can enjoy such traditional fare as cabbage with apples, jelly pork legs, fried potatoes with mushrooms, ruddy pies and some others. Moreover, only here you can immerse yourself into the atmosphere of Russia’s rural atmosphere of the 19th century with its idyllic atmosphere.

Russkaya Rybalka

This traditional fish restaurant is located in a very picturesque place in an old wooden house overlooking the lake that is full of fish. The unique feature of this place that sets Russkaya Rybalka from many other restaurants is a unique opportunity for guests to catch their own meal that will be then cooked by the chef.

Literary Cafe

Located in the heart of St Petersburg this up-scale restaurant is well known for its cosy atmosphere, warm hospitality, and delicious Russian and European cuisine. Moreover, it is also known as a place, where the most famous Russian poet Aleksander Pushkin had his last meal before heading off to the fatal duel that ended his life in 1837.

Regarding price, lunch for one person in one these places will cost around $15, while an average price for dinner is between $30 and $35 per person.

Where should you drink?

St Petersburg is full of wine bars, pubs, sport bars and microbreweries that offer a variety of drinks and live music.

Griboedov

It is believed to be one of the best and oldest night clubs in the city that is located in a very atmospheric Soviet-era bunker. There you can enjoy not only good music and pleasant atmosphere, but also delicious meals and the variety of drinks.

Vinnyi Shkaf

If you are a true wine lover and you are searching for a place with a cozy and family-like atmosphere, then Vinnyi Shkaf is the right place. Here you can try many fine sorts of wine that imported from Portugal, Italy and France, as well as local Russian wines as well.

Pivnaya Karta

It is one of the best places for beer lovers, since this bar offers 16 different sorts of draft and more than 400 sorts of bottled beer. The bar is usually full, especially in evening and during Christmas holidays, and its open only until 11 PM.

In average one pint of beer in pubs of St Petersburg costs between $3 and $4, while for a glass of wine you will have to pay between $3.5 and $15 depending on the sort, brand and place.

Christmas fair in St Petersburg

If you would like to combine your gastronomy experience in the northern Russia’s capital with fun, entertainment and Russian old winter traditions, then you are invited to visit one of the Christmas fairs that are annually held and organized in different parts of the city. One of the biggest is the market on the Pionerskaya square that offers its visitors to enjoy the true Christmas atmosphere, to see traditional Russian performances, to try warm dishes and drinks and even to visit the residence of Santa Claus, where the youngest guests can take a photo with a chief magician and tell him about the gifts that they are awaiting for Christmas.

Where to do in St Petersburg on Christmas?

St Petersburg during Christmas holidays is often described as a fairytale city. If you would like to feel like a character of this fairytale and to feel its winter magic, here are some recommendations on where you should go in St Petersburg on Christmas.

The Nutcracker performance in the Bolshoi Theatre

It was previously known as the Kirov Ballet, and today it is considered to be one of the foremost performances in the world, the premiere of which occurred in 1892. No Christmas holidays in St Petersburg would be complete without attending this performance, especially if you would like to learn more about Russian theatre culture.

Troika rides in Pavlovsk

Pavlovsk, located just outside of St Petesburg, is known as a famous royal retreat. It is one of the favourite and most visited places in summer. However, in winter and especially in Christmas time it still has a lot to offer to its guests and tourists. The main winter activity there are troika rides organized in traditional Russian carriages pulled by three horses. So if you want to feel yourself like in a Russian novel, you should take your fur coat and a cossack hat and head for Pavlovsk in order to enjoy your frosty day in a picturesque place.

The Hermitage Museum

Christmas time in St Petersburg is known for its extremely cold weather and low temperatures, which does not allow you to spend much time outside. Fortunately there are still many options for great indoor entertainment. Good examples are one of the most famous galleries in Russia the splendid Hermitage Museum, the monumental Kazan Cathedral that hosts a traditional Christmas service, or Russian Museum with interesting exhibitions.