Losing friends because I’m a travel blogger: I’m not the problem, You are

We all know someone who knows someone who’s obsessed with traveling and shares tons of photos and updates on their social media accounts.

Whether they’re sweaty low-budget backpackers (solo or not) or wanderlusting fashionistas. Insta-famous influencers or sporty GoPro-vloggers. Trendy bloggers or old school novelists. Travelers who use modern day technology to document their journey from point A to point B to wherever it is their bucket list takes them. Those who Photoshop their photos so much it doesn’t even look like a real photo anymore – and those who keep it real and refuse to edit out any scaffolding, photobombing tourists or even pimples and mosquito bites.

I, too, am a wanderlusting blogger. Often sweaty, sometimes sort of fashionable-ish (mostly not). And just like all these digital nomads (and fabulous tourists) mentioned above, I also want to tell a story and inspire others to live life to the fullest.
Yes, I want to inspire people to take a leap of faith and just go. Explore the world. Book a plane ticket to your dream destination and never look back. Not just because traveling is fun and educational, but it will teach you how to be an independent individual.

And less of a picky eater.
And better yet, you will gain self-confidence. Lots of it. Trust me.

Heck, I’ll be happy even if I can inspire you to try a dish you never dared to try before. Or learn a few words in a different language. Or even just get you out of the house and take the bus or train to a different city and at least explore somewhere new even for just a day.

I love reading sunshine stories about people who went somewhere and did something because someone else inspired them to follow their dreams. I love when people I know (as well as people I don’t know) tell me they finally had the courage to embark on their first ever solo trip thanks to me. These people are the main reason I’m blogging and sharing updates from my travels on all my social media platforms.

But as we all know, being a blogger – no matter how big or small your blog is – comes with a risk. The risk of endless conversations with your parents who worry about you because you’re exposing yourself too much and living in a delusional bubble instead of taking that office desk job and marrying the nice guy you once introduced to your parents, then dumped because he was boring.

And then there’s the risk of losing friends. Old friends, new friends, best friends.

I’ve read tons of articles on this strange consequence of blogging.

Lonely travelers who lost all their friends due to jealousy and bitterness, and stories about friends growing apart and losing touch because of different schedules and lifestyles. The traveler who won’t settle down versus the friend back home who just “doesn’t get it” when you tell them how weird it feels to be back and how you don’t even know where home is anymore.

Most of my old friends are busy getting married, having babies, working their 9-5 jobs and spamming my news feed with “Game of Thrones”-spoilers and photos of their cats, dogs or children.

And here I am, not posting a single photo or status update on Facebook anymore – as I’m worried I’ll end up completely friendless if I do. You see, there’s a whole lot of people who’ve unfriended me and stopped talking to me after I started traveling a lot.

Yes, I might have shared perhaps a little too many photos from my adventures abroad. I’m sorry (not sorry), but I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments. Why wouldn’t I be?

Yes, I am guilty of previously bombarding my feed with photos, status updates and geotags every time I traveled to a new, exciting destination.

But, does that make me a bad friend? 

Looking at it from a different perspective, I guess what I viewed as memories worth sharing with the people I love, was viewed by them as annoying spam by an even more annoying person: me. The friend turned traveler. Solo traveler. And even worse; blogger. And to top it all off; Instagram Influencer. Yuck.
I guess they liked me better as a person before I became a “show-off”, and I completely understand how the word “influencer” will make some people want to vomit. It just sounds so…so… narcissistic. Right?

At one point, I did in fact wonder.

Had I crossed over to the dark side and become something hideous?

Was I, in fact, a narcissist? 

Are all travel bloggers narcissistic douche bags who just won’t stay grounded (literally and figuratively) or are we just misunderstood?

Are we influential storytellers or are we all just a bunch of annoying attention seekers?

Well, if a blogger is happy doing what they do and is causing no harm to anyone while doing it, it can’t be all that bad – can it?

Just how beauty is in the eye of the beholder and one person’s trash is another person’s treasure; bloggers are beautiful treasures to some – and complete trash to others. Digital nomads, traveling fashionistas and soul-searching writers are not self-centered for having a desire to share. They only do what makes them happy – and inspire others to do the same. That’s a good thing, no?

Before I was a blogger, I was a solo traveler with a half-tassed Tumblr blog and Instagram account, both full of photos with captions posted for myself to enjoy, like an online photo journal.

Turned out, people enjoyed reading my little captions and viewing my photos – so I decided to take it all to the next level and put my whole heart, soul and energy into creating enjoyable content for friends, family and complete strangers alike.

Before I was a solo traveler, I was…lost.

Before I expatriated to the US, and before I embarked on my first ever solo trip, I was stuck in a relationship I didn’t want to be in, and I had a 9-5 office desk job I couldn’t stand and I cried myself to sleep more often than not, without even knowing why I was sad. The feeling of emptiness and worthlessness was tearing me up inside and breaking me down.

My self-esteem was non-existent.

At work, I wasn’t good at what I did, and I never tried to make any effort to improve my skills. I just didn’t give a shit. I didn’t feel passionate about my work, my after-work activities, or anything else.
Like I said, I was lost. Before I became who I am today, I believed my life had no purpose and I had no reason to be living it. And strangely enough, this was all while still having a lot of friends. When I was that person. The sad downer with no drive, no passion, nothing.

Today, I am happy. I have a burning desire to create fun content, I have goals, hopes and dreams – and I have plenty of interesting stories to tell about places I’ve been, things I’ve seen and people I’ve met. I am an independent and confident woman. A healthier (but fatter) and better person than I was back then.

But most of my friends are long gone.

So, what happened?

Well. Let me just tell you what happened last time I saw an old friend who’d been ghosting me for a while after I found my happiness. We were at a coffeeshop and she was telling me about this trip she was planning, and told me she’d probably have to travel solo as most of her other friends were too busy to tag along. I volunteered to join her (I mean, I was her friend, wasn’t I?) and she immediately changed the subject.

And then she said; “Can I just ask you; how on earth did you get all those followers on Instagram? I mean, your photos aren’t even that good”.

The hours spent sipping coffee awkwardly with this old friend of mine were nothing but uncomfortable and I believe we’d both been better off if she’d just continued ghosting me and kept her thoughts to herself.

This girl was just one out of many people who for some reason decided version 2.0 of me was a shitty update with too much fancy stuff going on, compared to the previous version.

It’s hard to say goodbye, but sometimes you just have to let go.

If a person can’t be happy for you, they were never really a good friend in the first place.

Thanks to my curious nature and travel-addiction, I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who love to travel just as much as I do. I’ve met inspirational bloggers, vloggers and backpacking nomads from all over the world – and I’ve learned to really appreciate my friends back home.

The handful of friends who didn’t walk away when my life changed to the better. The ones who stayed to cheer me on, instead.

Those are the friends who will be enjoying room-service with me at a charming hotel in the south of France (for a complimentary stay) or get drunk with me at a beer festival in Germany (when sponsored).

Just saying.

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How to visit 4 European Capitals in a week

As much as I love my occasional road trips – the longer, the better – there’s one way of traveling I love just as much. Yes, I love sitting in the passenger seat next to my partner, while being in charge of the Spotify playlist, blasting my music out loud, only to get interrupted by the female voice of the GPS, silencing my favorite tunes to tell us to turn left or right in French.

What I love just as much as loud music and road trips,  is interrailing. If you’re not from Europe, chances are you might not be familiar with that term – although you are most likely  very familiar with the concept!

The Interrail Pass is a railway ticket available to European residents. Residents from countries outside of Europe can purchase the Eurail pass. You can purchase your travel pass from Interrail.eu – and yes, it will be cheaper and way more convenient than traveling from one airport to another to visit different cities in Europe. You’ll save time, money and energy – and the possibilities are endless!

You are free to do whatever you want. Whether it’s Scandinavia that caught your interest or you’re daydreaming about French cafes or Spanish flamenco or eating pasta in Italy, the choice is yours and there’s plenty to choose from. Here’s one possibility that includes none of the suggestions listed above, but something a little different – an easy way to start your interrail adventure if you’re a Eurotrip-rookie.

Warsaw (Poland) – Berlin (Germany) – Prague (Czech Republic) – Vienna (Austria)  and if you have 3-4 extra days, add Bratislava (Slovakia) – Budapest (Hungary) to the list.

Side note: Vienna will be the most expensive out of the four destinations, and Warsaw the cheapest, so spend your money wisely.

 

How to spend 2 days in Warsaw, Poland

The central train station is not located in the Old Town, but public transportation is great in Warsaw and it will take you approximately 10 minutes to get to the Old Town from the station. If you’re staying near the Palace of Culture and Science, you’re only a short walk away from your accommodation. Click here for more information about Warsaw Public Transport.

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Where to stay: If you’re a backpacker on a low budget, chances are you’re looking for a hostel rather than a hotel. Hotels are generally not that pricey in Poland, but it’s probably still more than what you’re looking to spend. Hostel Kanonia has good reviews and is located in the heart of the Old Town. If you’d rather pay more and stay at a hotel, you might as well stay at a 4-star one. After all, at Mercure Warszawa Centrum you’ll get a room for 50 euros per night, and for only 45 euros at Novotel Warszawa Centrum. These hotels are not located in Old Town, but a thirty minute walk will get you there (so  will the buses and trams). The hotels are close to the Palace of Culture and Science.

Where to eat: I’m telling you, you have to go to the restaurant chain Zapiecek and try the traditional Polish pierogis (dumplings). You can choose between boiled or fried dumplings, with filling of your choice + sauce of your choice, on the side. Also try the platzki (large fried potato pancakes). If you’re planning to walk the distance from Novotel or Mercure to Old Town, you’ll walk past a Zapiecek restaurant on your way there. It’s just across the street from Louis Vuitton.

Zapiecek is already quite cheap, but there’s one restaurant concept that is even more cheap – and no, it’s not fast food. Nor am I talking about somewhere where you can get yourself a sad little sandwich and some tap water. No. I’m talking about what once were state-run canteens serving cheap meals during the communist era. What has now made a comeback and is considered something retro and somewhat chic. The Milk Bars. Traditional Polish food, generous portions – and yes, it’s actually really good! My favorite Milk Bar in Warsaw is Mleczarnia Jerozolimska .

What to do:

  • Explore the beautiful Old Town and its architecture dating from the 17th and 18th century. Learn the history behind the city that was almost completely destroyed during Word War II, but rose from the ashes and blossomed into the UNESCO heritage site and beloved tourist attraction it is today.
  • At the entrance to the Old Town, there’s the Royal Castle, a castle residency that formerly served as the official residence of the Polish monarchs. Take the “Royal Route” and discover beautiful parks, architecture and learn about the history of Poland – way, way back in time.
  • “The Royal Route” will take you to the Wilanów Palace – a Royal Palace and one of Poland’s most important monuments. Built for King John III Sobieski in the 17th century and later enlarged by other owners.The gorgeous palace and its beautiful garden is as picture perfect as it gets and it makes you wonder what it would have been like to be a Polish princess.
  • Close to the Wilanów Palace, there’s another part of the “Royal Route” worth visiting. The Lazienki Park, the Palace on the Isle, the Myslewicki Palace, the old and the new Orangery, the different temples, the Chinese Garden – this park is full of treasures.Take your time. There’s a lot to see here!

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How to spend 2 days in Berlin, Germany

You might wanna study this metro map  and buy yourself a day-ticket, because you’ll certainly need it. That is, of course, unless you wanna walk for hours to get from A to B. Berlin is a big city and there’s a lot to see and a lot to do in the German capital. 

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Where to stay: So, when I was in Berlin, we rented an Airbnb apartment somewhere on the outskirts of the main center of the city. If you’re traveling alone, you’ll probably prefer something cheaper and maybe less isolated? I haven’t stayed at any hostel in Berlin, but this one, ONE80, seems to have a great reputation and good reviews. Also, it’s located right next to Alexanderplatz, which is right in the center of the city.

Where to eat: PraterGarten for traditional German cuisine – and all that beer. There’s plenty of options for meat lovers as well as for vegetarians. And as always in Germany, the portions are very generous. It will keep you full until the next day. I promise.

If you’re a meat lover, you might wanna try some curry wurst as well. Just go to any hot dog stand and look for it on the menu. It’s a popular, local specialty – and a cheap meal!

When in Germany, don’t miss out on the traditional German bakeries and cafes. In other words; eat cake. Some of the cakes on display are so beautiful to look at, it’s almost a shame to eat them. Others – the rustic pastries – taste better than they look. So if you find yourself craving something sweet, take a trip to the nearest Bäckerei!

What to do: 

  • When in Berlin, you have to see the most famous landmark in Germany; the Brandenburg Gate, an 18th century neoclassical  monument. Stroll along the square and continue to the Reichstag building. The Reichstag building was constructed in the 18th century, to house the Imperial Assembly of the German Empire. It was severely damaged after it was set on fire in 1933, and was not used for its original purpose for a very long time – that was until it was reconstructed and reopened again in 1999. It now serves the Parliament.
  • Opposite direction from the Brandenburg Gate, is the Memorial to Murdered Jews in Europe, a unique monument dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. And whatever you do, please don’t take selfies there. Yes, the monument makes kind of an edgy backdrop, but no, it’s not cool. It’s disrespectful.
  • Visit the Berlin Cathedral Church, or Berliner Dom as it’s called in German.
  • Take the “7 lakes tour” from Wannsee, a relaxing boat trip where you can sip a refreshing bright green or red beer (local fruit beers) while viewing the gorgeous scenery and enjoying the calm atmosphere.

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How to spend 2 days in Prague, Czech Republic

The central train station in Prague is not located in the Old Town. Prepare yourself for a 20 minute walk or taking the metro. The train station is located in a neighborhood that is, based on my own experience, completely safe. However, the station itself is like any other central train station in any capital city; a haven for pickpockets – and not somewhere you should hang out on your own, late at night. Here’s a guide to Prague Public Transport.

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Where to stay: When I was in Prague, I stayed at Falkensteiner Hotel Maria Prag – a hotel just across the street from the central station. I paid 99 euros per night, with breakfast included in the rate. It’s neither cheap nor expensive for Prague. It’s average. You can easily find something cheaper if you’re traveling on a low budget. One of the hostels I’ve heard a lot of good things about, is the Hostel Florenc , located next to the central bus station – and only a metro station away from the central train station. The hostel is newly renovated and have special options for vegans in the breakfast buffet. If you’d rather stay in the beautiful Old Town, there’s a lovely hostel only a 5 minute walk from the heart of the historical city center. Ahoy! Hostel has as many returning guests as new ones, and is known for its friendly staff, clean rooms and a lot of special facilities – such as free hot drinks, free Wi-Fi and a fully equipped kitchen.

Where to eat: My favorite restaurant in Prague is located close to the central train station. I first discovered it while wandering around looking for somewhere to go for dinner. A thing that really bothers me in Prague, is that people smoke indoors – everywhere. I remember entering a few restaurants that looked kind of nice from the outside, only to be greeted by a thick fog and the awful smell of cigarettes. After nearly twenty minutes of searching, I was seconds away from Googling the nearest McDonald’s. But I wasn’t ready to give up just yet. I wanted goulash. And just down the street to the left of my hotel, there it was. A restaurant called Sherwood. A restaurant with a non-smoking section with clean, fresh air. A restaurant with delicious food and good drinks – and low prices, unlike the restaurants close to the tourist attractions in the city!

If you’re a beer lover and want a great night out (and can handle heavy cigarette smoke lingering in the air) or just wanna enjoy a couple of draft beers and a pub meal, check out Prague Beer Museum . They have 30 Czech craft beers on tap!

When in Prague, you might want to try the local street food, the sweet specialty called trdelnik. You’ll find it everywhere in the city. It’s dough rolled around a thick rolling pin, grilled on live coal and sprinkled with sugar. Basically a Czech doughnut.

What to do: 

  • Admire the amazing thirty baroque statues situated on the famous Charles Bridge. Cross the bridge and continue to the spectacular Prague Castle – the most significant Czech monument and an important symbol and cultural institution in the country. The castle, dating from the 9th century, is currently the residence of the President of the Czech Republic. It was a seat of power for kings of Bohemia, Holy Roman Emperors and presidents of former Czechoslovakia.
  • Every hour, you will see big groups of tourists gathering in front of the Old Town Hall to see the mechanical performance from the beautiful Astronomical Clock. The procession of Apostles, the music, the moving statues – it never fails to amaze people. If you want to catch the performance, I recommend you do it in the evening. The night sky adds a little extra magic to the experience!
  • Do you like graffiti? Then you might have heard of the John Lennon Wall in Prague. Since the 80’s, what once was a normal wall, has been filled with John Lennon-inspired street art and pieces of lyrics from Beatles’ songs.
  • If the Prague Beer Museum seems like a perfect place for you to hang out, chances are you will either hate or love the concept of a Beer Spa. All treatments are made using beer – and while enjoying your massage you get to drink as much beer as you want. I suggested the idea for my partner, but it was too weird for him. Oh well, maybe next time.

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How to spend 2 days in Vienna, Austria

The central train station is located in the Favoriten district, which is a heavily populated urban area with many residential buildings – but also parks and recreational areas. Many hotels are located here and in surrounding neighborhoods. The station is only a few blocks away from the Museumsquartier, which is the eight largest cultural area in the world. I stayed in this area, and I loved it. The beautiful baroque buildings, side by side with Modern architecture. I assume you wanna see the rest of the city as well, so here’s a guide to Vienna Public Transport.

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Where to stay: I stayed in the artistic Musemsquartier, at Hotel Viennart. I found a great discounted deal on Booking.com and went straight ahead and booked it. The hotel was lovely and the breakfast buffet had a wide variety of foods. If you’re lucky to find a similar deal, go for it. The regular rate listed on the website starts with 65 euros for a single room, breakfast excluded. A cheaper option in the nearby area is the Kaiser 23 – Hostel & Guesthouse , where you’ll get a private room for 37 euros per night – breakfast included.

Where to eat: My partner and I tried – yes, tried – twice to book a table at a restaurant called Fromme Helene. We never succeeded in our mission and the restaurant seems to be fully booked every single day, so you might wanna send them an e-mail and reserve a table quite early in advance if you wanna be one of the lucky chosen ones. The food there is supposed to be amazing!

When in Vienna, you have to try the local specialty; the Schnitzel, or at least eat at a restaurant that specializes in this and other traditional Austrian dishes. At Schnitzelwirt you’ll find all of that – and a lot of vegetarian options as well.

What to do: 

  • Visit the Historic Center of Vienna and admire its stunning architecture, including the Baroque castles and gardens and the 19th century Ringstrasse (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the numerous monuments along the boulevard.
  • The most frequently visited tourist attraction in Vienna is the beautiful Schönnbrunn Palace, a former imperial summer residence. The palace itself is gorgeous, but so is the sculpted garden. The garden contains, among other things, a maze (in case you’d like to pretend you’re Alice in Wonderland), an Orangery, a palm house and a Zoo.
  • Take a few pictures of the gorgeous Belvedere Palace, the former residence of the Price of Savoy – which now houses the Museum of Medieval Austrian Art, the Museum of Austrian Baroque, and the Austrian Gallery.
  • Channel your inner Austrian princess and listen to some Mozart while comfort eating some delicious cake. Not any cake, but the local specialty, Sachertorte. Comfort eating, because you’re probably broke by now. And if not… Those classical tunes will sound way better in concert ( Wiener Mozart Konzerte ).  Enjoy!

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How to visit Oslo, Norway on a BUDGET

When you think of Norway, what is the first word that comes to mind besides cold weather, mountains, fjords and salmon?

Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind, but definitely not far from it, the word I’m thinking of is most commonly introduced as a follow-up to “I’d love to visit Norway, but…..”

Yeah, you got it. It’s expensive. So damn expensive. Pardon my language, but I really needed to emphasize that word. Norway is expensive. I know that, you know that, everybody knows that. And the capital is one of the most expensive cities in the country – although I believe Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger will burn holes into your wallet and eat your money just as fast as the capital city would do.

But guess what – I have lived in that city and I’m here to share some travel hacks with you all. I want to make Oslo more accessible to ANY traveler – on ANY budget. Not just the privileged kids who can go wherever they want without worrying about the costs. Listen up. I have created TWO different lists of where to eat, sleep and what to do during your weekend in Oslo. Two different lists for two different budgets. Low and lower. I have also created a list of upcoming events in Oslo, so that you can plan your weekend around one of those events – or have an idea of when Oslo will be busier than usual.

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Budget for the BROKE traveler

Where to stay:

Norway is generally a safe place to use websites like Couchsurfing.com . But if crashing on a strangers’ couch ain’t quite your thing, don’t worry. There are options. For 26 euros per night you’ll get a bed in an 8-bedded dorm at Anker Hostel (although bed linen and a towel will add a little extra to the cost). The hostel is located a ten minute walk from the heart of the city center, and a five minute walk from the cool hipster neighborhood Grünerløkka.

Are you traveling with friends? At P-Hotels you can get a 3-persons room for 95-96 euros (31-32 euros per person) per night or a 4-persons room for 110 euros (27-28 euros per person) per night. The hotel is located in the city center, close to the busy shopping street Karl Johan.

Where to eat:

In spring/summer/early fall; do like Norwegians do. Go to a nearby supermarket (Rema 1000 and Kiwi are the cheapest ones), buy a disposable barbecue (costs about 1-2 euros) and whatever you wanna barbecue and find a park where you can peacefully have a picnic in the grass and barbecue. It is not permitted to barbecue in the Palace Park. My personal recommendation would be Frogner Park, St. Hanshaugen Park or Sofienberg Park.

At Harald’s Vaffel you can get either a regular Norwegian waffle or a gourmet waffle with blue cheese and bacon or any of the other varieties on the menu (between 2 and 4 euros).

Aker Brygge is not a part of Oslo I’d recommend you to visit for a low budget meal, but if you want an authentic Norwegian experience, go to pier number 3 and buy some boiled fresh shrimp from the local fishermen.

The supermarket chain Meny has a deli department where you can buy freshly made meals like salads, burgers, fish, meat, anything – and ask them to re-heat it for you.

If you’re one of those people who needs their daily coffee fix, visit Deli de Luca at Karl Johan’s gate. There’s a bunch of Deli de Luca’s everywhere in Oslo, but that particular one has a large seating area. If you want to accompany your coffee with a pastry, go for the Kanelbolle (cinnamon roll) or Skolebrød (sweet roll with custard and icing with grated coconut).

If you really, really like hot dogs, you’ll be in for a treat. Cafes, mini markets, gas stations, newsagents – a lot of them offer “varme pølser” (warm sausages). They’re hot dogs. And they cost 1-2 euros, which is cheap in Norway.

What to do:

  • Visit The Vigeland Sculpture Park . There is no entrance fee to visit this famous and sort of bizarre sculpture park. I used to live only a stone’s throw away from the park and went there a lot during the summer to lay in the grass with a good book and a basket of strawberries – and a great view of the gigantic centerpiece that looks like a gigantic…well..google it and you’ll know what I mean.
  • Visit Akershus Fortress . You can visit the fortress free of charge and explore it on your own, or pay 6 euros for a guided tour. There will be an additional cost to visit the museum.
  • Walk through the Palace Park and see the exterior of the Royal Palace.
  • Visit the famous  Opera building and its marble and granite exterior and get a nice view of the Oslofjord from the rooftop.
  • Visit the University Botanical Garden free of charge.
  • Spend a day in the forests of Nordmarka – you’ll find some cafes there, in case you forget to pack your lunch!

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Budget for the SOMEWHAT POOR traveler

Where to stay:

Comfort Hotel Børsparken is where I always stay, when in Oslo. It’s 82 euros per night for a single room – with breakfast included, and free coffee and tea all day in the lobby. There’s also a gym in the hotel. If you’re traveling with a friend or your partner, you can have a double room for 87 euros per night. The hotel is located close to the central train station and the Opera.

Anker Hotel is located right next to the hostel by the same name. For 90 euros per night you’ll get a single room with breakfast included in the rate. If you’re a group of five friends traveling together, you can book a family room for the price of 179 euros (35 euros per person) per night.

Where to eat:

Jensen’s Bøfhus is a steakhouse located right next to the parliament building, close to the Karl Johan street. The taste and quality of the food is nothing out of the ordinary, but with a lunch menu offering a meal for the price of 6-10 euros it’s worth it. Absolutely. Remember, in Norway this is considered a cheap meal. And it’s way batter than the 1 euro hot dogs you’ll find everywhere in the city!

Fiskeriet is a combined restaurant and fish market. They offer anything from fancy oysters (which is a lot more pricey than everything else on the menu) to traditional creamy fish soup (18 euros) to fish cake with bread and aïoli  (14 euros) and a lot more. And they are rumored to have the best fish & chips in town!

Illegal Burger has – in my opinion – the best burgers in town. Actually, I might even go as far as call them the best burgers in Norway, and I share that opinion with food critics who voted it the best burger-restaurant in Norway, two years in a row. The price is a little less than average Norwegian price – so it’s not cheap, nor too expensive. You can choose between the char grilled meat or the veggie patties (all burgers can be done vegetarian). The fries come with aioli sauce. Yum!

ChillOut is, as you all know, my favorite hangout-spot in Oslo. Which is why I dedicated an entire post to the place. I highly recommend you visit the hipster district Grünerløkka, have a coffee and a snack at ChillOut Travel Store, relax and read one of their many travel guides or travel magazines. Also, sign their guestbook while you’re there. Share one of your greatest memories from a recent trip or write down all the things you’re looking forward to do in Norway!

Cocoa used to be another one of my favorite hangout-spots in Oslo, at least while I lived in Grünerløkka and was close to all the cool cafes, restaurants, secondhand shops and everything else that neighborhood has to offer. Cocoa is Norway’s first hot chocolate/cocoa-cafe. They offer hot chocolate with various flavors and toppings, and cold chocolate with different flavors as well. The pastries are just as yummy as their hot choc.

What to do:

  • Get yourself an Oslo Pass – which gives you free entry to more than 30 museums and attractions, free travel on all public transportation, free entry to outdoor swimming pools, free walking tours, discounts on sightseeing, ski simulator, Tusenfryd Amusement Park , concert tickets, climbing, ski and bike rental, and special offers in restaurants, shops, entertainment and leisure venues.
  • Stroll along Aker Brygge, visit the Astrup Fearnley Art Museum. Order the today’s special (18 euros) or just a dessert at restaurant  Rorbua (everything else is quite pricey) and enjoy the view of the Oslofjord.
  • Visit Mathallen – a glamorous food court and meeting point for locals. The food is quite pricey, so I recommend just going there for a snack – perhaps a yummy pastry to satisfy your sweet tooth, or a sandwich if you need something more filling?
  • Join The Norwegian Trekking Association on a guided tour! I used to work for this association when I lived in Oslo and I know just how professional these guides are and I know they’ll take you to some amazing destinations – whichever the tour you choose. They do anything from day tours to week-long tours. All you need to do is browse through the website and search for a tour that fits your interests, skills, budget and time frame – sign up – or send them an e-mail if you have any questions.

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Upcoming Events in Oslo

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Important note: Euro is not the currency in Norway. Norwegian Kroner is. I just converted the currency to make it easier for you to understand the prices.