Vegan Friendly Oslo, Norway

My 3 day trip to Oslo, Norway

Vegan Oslo

If you’re wondering ‘is Oslo vegan-friendly?”  Then hopefully this post about my 3 day trip to Oslo, as a vegan, with hotel and restaurant recommendations, will help you decide.

Although veganism isn’t very mainstream in Norway and when I travelled to Oslo for a concert in April 2018 I mostly lived on hummus, olives and bread, the country is so breathtakingly beautiful that I didn’t let the lack of vegan options bother me.

Before I went, I read on the internet that Norway was famous for it’s chicken and fish dishes and that’s certainly true, every menu was full of fish this, chicken that and usually a salad option at the end.

But don’t cross Norway off your travel itinerary just yet, because I’ve done my homework for you and found some vegan-friendly hotels in Oslo which have got personal recommendations by other vegans. Along with that, I’ve researched vegan-friendly restaurants in Oslo so you can be sure you won’t be living on salad and olives for your whole stay.

First things first though, allow me to tell you why I loved Oslo and why I would go back there in a heart beat.

I travelled to Fornebu in Oslo as I was attending a ‘We Love The 90’s’ concert at Telenor arena (to watch my favourite band-Hanson….remember mmmmbop?!).

As the plane began to descend over Norway, me and my friend stared in awe out of the window. The glistening, snow covered mountains looked like something out of a Christmas movie. Everything looked 10 times more beautiful than the UK. The trees were taller, the grass was greener and the fjords, with crystal clear reflections of the mountains surrounding them,  were such a beautiful hue of turquoise that I could of just dived right in.

oslo birds eye

 

Oslo airport seemed small upon our arrival but, like everything else in Oslo, was super clean, modern and very organised!

On the coach to our hotel, Radisson Blu in Fornebu, I couldn’t help notice the straight, neat lines of the buildings, everything looked so clean and contemporary and in perfect symmetry with the next building, no litter or graffiti in sight.

In contrast, as we drove through villages, the houses were so traditional and pretty! Each one, bigger than the last, made out of red timber, with plenty of land surrounding it and the nearest neighbour at least 50ft away. I was surprised at the amount of space people had, especially being used to living in a terrace in the UK. In Norway, although it’s a bigger country than the UK,  it was clear the population wasn’t as great and after googling it, found that to be true. There just weren’t many people around, (which was fine with me!) even, the motorways were quiet.

One thing I really liked in Oslo were the bus system, which worked differently to what I was used to.

On the 2nd day when me and my friend Nicki were queuing to get on a bus, we noticed that everyone was just getting on without buying or showing a ticket. It was really confusing for us and as we tried to buy a bus ticket from the driver, he looked just as confused as we did! He told us in broken English to sit down and we looked at each other in amazement, could the buses actually be free?!

Of course not, we later found out that to travel on the buses you need to download an app on your phone (RuterBillet) and purchase your ticket online before boarding. You aren’t required to show your ticket on the bus unless you’re asked and it seemed people just weren’t asked. Pretty cool.

You could also purchase your ticket from machines as an alternative to using the app, but we found the app to be super-convenient.

Oslo city centre was unlike anything I imagined. Being the capital of Norway, I thought it would be a bustling place with lot’s of high-street shops, tourists with cameras and bum bags and locals rushing around. I was pleasantly surprised to find a laid back, picturesque scene which appeared more like a cultured-town than a city. The harbour was dotted with up-market restaurants and coffee shops where you could sit at an outdoor table and watch the boats passing by. I was disgraced to see that almost all the chairs outside the restaurants were draped with reindeer skin rugs, if you quite sensitive to this then I’d avoid the harbour side and also the tourist-type shops as most of those sell reindeer skin rugs

Oslo Port View
A stunning view of Oslo Port, from Akershus Fortress.

I would highly recommend visiting the Nobel Peace Centre which has a museum (we didn’t go in the museum due to lack of time) and a shop which sells handmade and ethical items from all over the world. Very inspiring indeed.

Nobel-peace-centre-oslo
Nobel Peace Centre, Oslo

If you’re interested in history I’d also recommend The Resistance Museum which is all about Norway’s WWII history and takes around 45 minutes to look around.  It’s located on the Akershus Fortress which has a stunning view of Oslo, where you can see all across the city and harbour.

One last thing I’ll say about Norway is to take double, even triple the amount of money you think you’ll need. Everything costs twice the amount of UK prices, although the local supermarkets are fairly priced and much cheaper than the ones in Oslo city centre.

Vegan-friendly Hotels in Oslo, Norway

So, I searched for vegan-friendly hotels in Oslo and I had to sift through the hotels which only had bread as a vegan option but I was super excited to find this gem of a place below.

Oslo Guldsmeden

Parkveien 78, Oslo 0254, Norway

guldsmeden

The Food:

Oslo Guldsmeden is an Eco hotel located in the centre of Oslo serving an organic buffet breakfast, which plenty of choice for a vegan diet. Reviewers on Tripadvisor mention the fresh fruit, cereals, breads and option of dairy-free milk (on request).

I checked the menu for their restaurant ‘Café Du Nord’ and was pleased to find they cater to a vegan diet (with 8 dishes in total, including sides, available in a Vegan option).

The ‘Carlton Cantina’ restaurant within the hotel serves up vegan snacks including ‘Soy Almonds’ and ‘Fruit and Nut mix’ and they also have a Quinoa Salad and vegetarian tapas (which you could order without the cheese) on their small dishes and sides menu.

Another of their restaurants ‘Saeson Nordic Cuisine’ states on their menu “We also have vegan & children options so please ask us to help you with your dietary preference”.

Note: Upon contacting the hotel they notified me that, at the time of writing this (October 2018) their restaurant is only open for breakfast. Although they are working on plans to get it up and running for lunch and dinner.

breakfast-buffet

The Location:

Situated in a central location near the Aker Brygge, many reviewers on Tripadvisor boast about the hotels fantastic location noting it to be walking distance from the train station, bus stops, shops, water and restaurants.

oslo guldsmeden map

The Amenities:

The hotel has a spa, high speed internet and a bar/lounge area to relax. The towels, bedlinen and toiletry products are all eco-friendly.

spa

The Price:

Prices start at £96 per night for a double room. Click here to check availability. 

Vegan Food In Oslo, Norway

If you like Asian cuisine you could take a stroll to ‘Asia Aker Brygge’, just 9 minutes away. They have a dedicated ‘Vegan and Vegetarian’ section on their menu with dishes which include ‘Thai Mango Salad’ and ‘Green Curry’.

asia oslo

 

Just a bit farther away, you can visit ‘Nordvegan‘ restaurant, just 17 minutes walk from the hotel for one of their delicious vegan dishes. Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars by it’s customers, Nordvegan don’t have a menu on their website as the dishes change weekly.

nordvegan.png

 

Final Word:

After reading the excellent reviews, looking at the pictures and researching their menus I would definitely stay at this hotel as a vegan. Although, it seems they do have a lot of animal skins scattered around so please be aware of that before you book. I would advise that you ask for any animal skins to be removed from your room prior to your arrival.

I don’t think you can get away from seeing some animal skins in Norway, which is a sad fact, but it’s part of the culture there. Hopefully one day things will change but the country is definitely worth a visit because of its sheer beauty and fabulous hospitality.

 

 

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