Winter Holiday in Oslo- Christmas Markets, Traditions, Guide...

Looking to get away to a modern day wonderland of snowy hilltops surrounding magical Christmas markets in a beautifully lit town filled with tradition yet chic at the same time- visit Oslo at Christmas and let yourself be carried away to an innocent child-like joy over the lingering perfume of holiday spices in the air. Christmas Markets We love the Spikersuppa Christmas Market,  located right in the middle of Oslo with delicacies and crafts for sale, a Christmas workshop for children, Christmas-themed entertainment - and a Ferris wheel. - See more at: Spikersuppa Christmas Market Open daily 10:00-20:00 Christmas market at Youngstorget Located in the center of Oslo city, an exciting and cozy Christmas market for adults and children - with plenty of food and drinks, presents, Christmas delicacies, Christmas decorations and arts and crafts on offer. Youngstorget is filled with stands and tents, lit and decorated for Christmas. Bring your family and friends and come find the Christmas spirit! - See more at: Youngstorget Christmas Market Open daily 11:00-19:00 Opening hours 25 and 26 December and 1 January are public holidays in Norway, and most shops and attractions are closed. 24 December and 31 December are not holidays, but shops and offices close early and many attractions are closed. The tourist information office Oslo Visitor Center by the Central Station is open every day through the holidays. See more at: VisitOslo Norwegian Christmas traditions "Little Christmas Eve", 23 December Many families have their own traditions this evening, such as decorating the Christmas tree or making a gingerbread house, also a tradition is to prepare and eat risengrynsgrøt - a hot rice pudding served with sugar, cinnamon and butter that evening. An almond is hidden in the pudding, and if the almond turns up in your portion, you win a marzipan pig! Christmas Eve, 24 December Christmas Eve is the main event in Norwegian Christmas celebration. The first part of the day is often spent rushing around for the last Christmas presents, or in chuch for Christmas service. At five the bells ring out for Christmas, and most people have Christmas dinner at home or with relatives. The Christmas presents have been placed under the tree, and are opened after dinner. 25-30 December The days between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are typically spent going to brunches and dinners with family and friends. Many people go out in the evening, so there is more life in the city centre. From 27 December the shops are open, and people rush around exchanging presents that weren't quite what they wanted. Christmas food, drinks and snacks The most popular Christmas Eve dinner is the ribbe (pork ribs or pork belly, bone in), but lutefisk (cod cured in lye), pinnekjøtt (dry-cured ribs of lamb), boiled cod, ham roast and turkey are also common dishes. Most fish restaurants and restaurants with Norwegian food have Christmas specialities on the menu in November and December. Many Norwegians like to have a a Christmas beer with the food - a malty beer that is available from November. A drink often served during Advent and Christmas is gløgg - a warm, spicy drink similar to German Glühwein. It can be made with red wine, but the non-alcoholic version is often preferred. You can taste it in most Christmas markets in Oslo. Christmas is high season for snacks and candy. Enourmous amounts of marzipan is sold before Christmas. According to the marzipan manufacturer Nidar, Norway's less than 5 million people manage to eat more than 40 million marzipan figures during this period. 10 Interesting and Fun Facts about Norway King Harald of Norway vowed to remain unmarried for life unless he could marry his true love, who was the daughter of a cloth merchant. They both later married with help from the Government of Norway and she became the Queen of Norway. Norway gets 98-99% of its electricity from hydroelectric power, more than any other country. The archipelago of Lofoten in Norway is north of the Arctic Circle. Yet because of the largest positive temperature anomaly in the world relative to latitude, it is teeming with life and has the largest deep water coral reef in the word. The people of Oslo, Norway donate the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree in London every year in gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during WWII. To encourage more men to assume a greater share of care-giving responsibilities, Norwegian law states that 14 weeks of parental leave is reserved for fathers. Norway is the first country to introduce compulsory paternity leave. In 2008, Norway knighted a penguin. In 1251, Henry III of England was given a polar bear by the King of Norway. He kept it in the Tower of London, on a long chain so that it could swim in the Thames. In 2011, Norway went through a nationwide butter shortage, where smugglers would often get caught smuggling butter and online auctions for one packet of butter reached as high as $77. IKEA names sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, media storage and doorknobs after places in Sweden; beds, wardrobes and hall furniture after places in Norway; carpets after places in Denmark and dining tables and chairs after places in Finland. Norway has won the largest number of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals of all countries in the Winter Olympics. Book your private Oslo sightseeing & city tours here: We recommend: Best of Oslo Tour with Vigeland Sculpture Park & Viking Ship Museum +372 53 464 060 Contact us for more local tips. Oslo with passion!  

Interesting facts about Finland! Did You Know?

Interesting facts about Finland and Helsinki! Did You Know? Land of The Midnight Sun and home of Santa Claus for you?  Not only that- Finland and it´s green seaside capital of Helsinki have much more to offer. Down here we have listed a a few weird and wonderful facts about this great country, that might prepare you for when you join us on Nordic Experience Helsinki Tours.   They drink more coffee per person than anyone else in the world, (12 kg per year). They host a whole bunch of odd competitions, including wife carrying, mobile phone throwing, air guitar and boot throwing. There are no payphones here, (it’s the home of Nokia).  Finland has been ranked number 1 in the world for education. Put your thinking caps on! It is the norm to have a sauna in your house… or even 2 or 3 saunas. And good old tradition to jump into a lake after you’ve had a sauna, even in the winter. In June and July, the sun doesn’t drop below the horizon. In the winter, the sun never reaches the horizon. Finland has the most heavy metal bands, with 53 per 100 000 people. Finland has some interesting and unique wildlife including the gray wolf, wolverine, elk, its national animal the brown bear and national bird the whooper swan. The national sport of Finland is called Pesapallo, which is a bit like baseball. Every year, Finland increases in surface area by about 7 square kilometers per year because it is rebounding from the weight of ice age glaciers and rising out of the sea. There is an old Finnish saying: “If booze, tar, or the sauna won’t help, the illness is fatal.“ In Finland (and other Nordic countries) they mostly don’t have the restriction of ‘trespassing’. You can roam across and camp on nearly all land, pick berries and mushrooms and catch fish. A Finnish doctor helped inspire Lord of the Rings, based on the national myth of The Kalevala. More tips and travel information here: Practical Information before travelling to Helsinki and Finland Summer Activities in Finland Your Helsinki & Finland travel information is available here: Printable MAP OF HELSINKI   Contact us for more local tips! Book your private Helsinki tour here: Helsinki Tours +372 53 464 060 Private tours in with passion! Follow Noric Experience on Facebook

Get to know Helsinki before your arrival with this new city ...

Every traveler has their must-have and must-do pre-voyage habits, one we recommend and love, is to make sure you have a fantastic local insight on a city or shore excursion. However, if you want to give the lovely city of Helsinki a go on your own after touring with us- put this city map below in your pocket and let the adventures begin!   Helsinki City Map  

Top attractions for cruise visitors in HELSINKI

Top attractions for cruise visitors in HELSINKI. In Helsinki most sights and attractions are within walking distance and getting around town is easy. The Senate Square and the Esplanade Park are filled with concerts and other outdoor events and festivals during the summer season. South Harbour is the centre of maritime city life. The Finns are friendly people who speak good English, and Helsinki’s relaxed atmosphere makes it easy for visitors to feel welcome.

Must-have attractions while in Helsinki

The capital of Finland has a lot to offer, from seaside recreational areas to lush parks in the middle of the town as well as family fun at zoo and the amusement park to the unique setting of the Rock Church. This is a great guide to make up your own list of attractions to see while in Helsinki. For more information, please see: Helsinki Attractions