Oslo´s greatest Christmas market
Christmas is approcahing, and the Norwegian capital´s lights are lit for the season. A secure sign of Christmas are also the wide range of Christmas markets around the town. Most of the big squares have their own collection of stalls and Open Air markets, where you find home made knitting wear, short travelled food and other excotic products to bring home as gifts for your loved ones.
If you visit Oslo during the first two weekends of December, you should consider catching the #30-bus to Bydgøy and the Museum of Cultural History. The Open Air part of the museum includes 158 old buildings from different parts of Norway from the Middle Ages until the present time. The combination of December´s Christmas market and the old houses with their historical exhibitions, is the perfect way to explore the world´s biggest open air museum.
ABOVE: See the video snut of kids dancing at the Christmas market in Bygdøy.
Santa´s nisse dance
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural history is situated at Bygdøy peninsula ouside Oslo. The museum holds Norway´s biggest collection of artifacts from all social groups and all regions of the country.
The two first weekends of December, the museum turns in to a big Open Air Christmas market, with heaps of local food and hand made products for sale. A certain highlight is also the performance of traditional Christmas songs and dances, given by kids and teenagers in different national and regional costumes.
For the performance, the kids dress up as «nisser». «Nisse» is the name of the small Norwegian mytical Christmas goblin, wearing red long hat, woollen sweater or other traditional winter clothes.
Santa Claus himself participates in the dance on outdoor dance piste, and when he is not dancing, he is driving his horse and carriage with the young visitors as free passengers.
Christmas in Christiania anno 1700
Christmas in Old Town Oslo, or Christiania , as was the former name of Oslo up to 1924, is busy before Christmas.
This is the first day of the Christmas market anno 2016, and the streets are crowded by families, couples and dogs that walk up and down the streets of «Old Town».
We don´t actually feel like beeing in a museum, because the area is big enough to give the feeling of walking through any old European «old town», decorated for Christmas.
Parts of the area is dedicated to the 17. and 18. century in Christiania, with autentic houses, shops with local «old» stuff, run by people dressed up for their time. Next to the Christiana quarter, we enter the area of the small coastal town of Kragerø and Brevik. Today most people associate these typical small whitepainted towns with summer holdiday, beach-, and yacht life. But if we go back a couple of houndred years, it was timber, sail ships and trade that dominated and gave life to small coastal towns like these.
Eat, drink , shop
If you have limited time during your stay in Oslo, the Christmas market in the Open Air museum at Bygdøy is a good option for getting both the cultural experince and the mandatory gift- and souvernir shopping -session at the same spot.
Still, on days like these, the amount of local peole visisting is surpringly high. I guess that is a sign of quality!
While waiting for the «Nisse»-dancers at the outdoor dance piste, we get in touch with two German girls, visting the Christmas market and the museum for the first time.
– We just arrived here, but this is really cool, says the two friends, named Ella and Angela.
Ella has been studying in Norway since August, and will be going home for Christmas. Her friend has come over for a visit, and together they picked out this Christmas market as one of the attractions wothe visiting.
Whether you are into some typical Norwegian knitting wear, a local cheese made in the mountains in Valdres, or some warm sheep skin, you ´ll get it somewhere along the streets.
The line in front of the first local donut stall is already 12 dozen meters long, but they are certainly worth waiting for. A bag of warm donuts is the perfect take away lunch for the first hour of walking.
If you are into a hot meal, try the local moose burger or a lamb sausage from one of the local barbeque stalls. Together with a cup of spicy and hot «gløgg» toddy, you´ll regain the energy to keep on walking, watching an shopping for another couple of hours.