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Travel Trade

Try these three secret nightly treasures in Oslo

In Norway's capital, you can go skinny dipping in ice cold water during the day – and have aquavit with foxberries in a secret bar in the evening.


"Norway has so much more to offer than just fjords and northern lights."

For years, Torunn Tronsvang worked in high-end tourism in places like Dubai, Thailand, Bhutan and the Maldives. During that time, she was often met with a large dose of curiosity surrounding her native Norway. At the same time, a lot of travelers had a hard time finding the more unique travel experiences.

As head of the new travel service Up Norway, Tronsvang is now working to connect travellers seeking quality holidays with the hidden treasures of Norway.

"We want to show people the places that the world has not yet heard of, the ones Norwegians have hardly heard of themselves."

Up Norway draws its inspiration from both dating and gaming technology, building custom profiles of travelers before offering highly customized travel packages. Once travel is booked, everything from booking confirmations and contact details for places of interest to a day-to-day itinerary is made available through an app, also containing a map and the customer support chat.

"The wealth of information and options that is out there today is almost too much to handle, so we connect travelers with professional insiders, helping them choose."

The customized travel packages can contain anything from Nordic gastronomy and local food culture in the districts to musical-, biking- and hiking-experiences along the coast or in the mountains.

"Due to the closeness between city and nature, you can go on trips that combine driving national tourist routes where you can find architecture and design along the road to spa trips and visits to historic and soulful hotels." 

One example of this type of combination tourism can be found in the company's latest video, featuring a cross-section of Oslo encompassing everything from the Marka forest areas to the city's secret nightspots:


And regarding Oslo, Tronsvang has three insider's recommendations:

Coffee: Fuglen – Universitetsgata 2, inngang fra Pilestredet


Always the big question...which barspoon to pick #turningjapanese #bartenderschoice

Et bilde publisert av Fuglen Oslo (@fuglenoslo)

This may be one of the most challenging locations for a coffee- and cocktail-bar in all of Oslo, right next to a road with heavy traffic, but this place is always packed. There is a similar Fuglen bar in Tokyo, so a lot of people put this on their list of places to visit after experiencing the one in Japan. While being a bar, there is also a shop selling vintage furniture here.

The people who run the place are really good at collaborating with places nearby. For instance, they once had the idea to match homemade sausages to cocktails and invited a sausage maker from Håndverkerstuene fifty meters down the road to visit while they made up mustard inspired drinks.

As for coffee, go for a regular cup of black, brewed in exactly the right way. If you buy a bag of coffee from this place, they'll hold off on handing it to you until they've made sure you know how to brew it without ruining it.

Dinner: Pjoltergeist – Rosteds gate 15 b

Outside, there is no indication that there's a great place waiting inside. The interior features dark and informal furniture, while the food is a fusion between Asian and Icelandic.

This is not your regular sit-down-and-be-super-formal-white-tablecloth kind of experience. The music is blaring and guests do anything between sit at the bar or order nine course meals at their tables. What impressed me the most was how skilled they are at pairing wine with food, and how they turn the after dinner coffee into a small ceremony.

Snapping photos with a flash is not allowed in here – it distracts from the food experience.

Drinks: Himkok – Storgata 27

This bar made the 'World's 50 Best Bars'-list of 2016 and is located behind a hidden door – easy to spot on Fridays and Saturdays due to the long line. They have their own distillery where they produce their own gin and other spirits, a snazzy cocktail bar and a view of the barbershop on the top floor. They also have an informal courtyard featuring an excellent selection of ciders – perhaps the best in Oslo.

One cool drink we tried there was the "Ut på tur – aldri sur" [a Norwegian expression, which basically says to go hiking in good spirits, ed.] which contains both aquavit and foxberry. Also exciting is a simple gin and tonic, made with Himkok's own gin.

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