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The art of spending in stylish Scandinavia

The new wave of Scandinavian fashion and design has made Norway an attractive destination for fastidious shoppers.

What’s the one thing you should buy when coming to Norway? Well, that obviously depends on your budget, as we are not a low-prized nation by any stretch of the imagination. However, you can find some true gems on a limited budget as well – as long as you know what you’re looking for.

In the last decade or so, the interest in Scandinavian design has grown significantly, mostly thanks to young designers who combine traditional materials such as bare wood, leather and wool with contemporary styles and impulses. Furniture, lighting, carpets and other decor items (often deceivingly simple-looking and minimalistic) are attractive among high-end shoppers.

Fashion is another focus area for young Norwegian creatives, and in the last few years several local clothing brands have gotten international recognition. Scandinavian fashion design is known for focusing on functionality, sometimes minimalism, and bright colours – a consequence, perhaps, of the the long, dark winters. Either way, the probability of finding high-quality wool and knitwear is high in Norway, as the art of knitting has long traditions here.

 

Wool is sometimes used as basis for sportswear as well. Many local producers of hiking gear, hunting clothes and skiwear offer products of supreme quality,tailored to cool or outright freezing climates.

While a few things are admittedly quite expensive in Norway, more pricey objects can sometimes give good value for money. Certain brands of expensive Swiss watches, for example, are favourably priced in Norway, especially considering the VAT refunding when leaving the country.

Souvenirs like trolls, jewellery, goat and reindeer skins, glass and the like can be bought at most tourist destinations. Certain local food specialities are suitable for bringing home as well, such as sausages, fenalår (the traditional dried and salted leg of a lamb), cheese and local brews.

More than 4,000 shops across Norway offer foreign tourists the opportunity to shop and receive a refund on VAT (Value Added Tax) when leaving the country. There are several refund points where you can receive your tax refund, such as airports, road borders, on board ferries and cruise ships.

 

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There is no need to wait until you're here to find out what you'd like to shop.

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