Interesting in souvenirs from Norway? Norway is a mythical land of Vikings, Valhalla and the widely believed real founders of Vinland, present-day America. Viking history is so steeped in Norway that the country is home to both a Viking Museum and a Viking Ship Museum, and both places are perfect for finding Norway souvenirs of the Viking variety, everything from Viking horns and helmets to miniature Viking ships and drinking bowls.
However, this Scandinavian wonderland isn’t just about Vikings, and souvenirs from Norway run the gamut. Here you can find authentic Norwegian sweaters, bunads (Norwegian traditional costumes), vintage Norwegian cookware, salty or sweet liquorice, ugly troll figurines (trolls play an important part in Norse mythology) and many other souvenirs unique to Norway. For example, solje jewellery, which goes with the bunad, such as pins and brooches.
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Souvenirs from Norway
In addition to Vikings, Norway is a well-known home of reindeer, and thousands traverse its majestic mountains. The Norwegians have been eating reindeer meat for centuries, and so can you via reindeer sausage, a truly tasty souvenir from Norway of which the Norwegians specialize. However, if you don’t want to eat Rudolph, devour other traditional Norwegian specialities, such as brown cheese (gjetost), smoked salmon or Freia milk chocolate. Don’t forget to also pick up an ostehøvel, aka cheese slicer, to go with all that cheese you will inevitably take home as a souvenir from Norway.
Gjetost (Brown Cheese)
Gjetost is a staple of the Norwegian diet, and they have perfected this brown cheese over the past century. Gjetost is made from goat milk or a blend of both cow and goat milk. It tastes rather sweet, somewhat like butterscotch but there is no sugar added, and you can find it from mild to strong in big blocks. Gjetost can be bought everywhere in Norway, but if you’re in Oslo, the best place to buy it is Fromagerie, which, as its name implies, specializes in cheeses, not just brown cheese.
Ostehøvel (Cheese Slicer)
Ostehøvel is a Norwegian cheese slicer and is the ideal souvenir from Norway to go with all that gjetost you’re taking home. They’re made to perfection here, as the cheese slicer was invented in Norway. In fact, they are one of the most iconic of all souvenirs from Norway. Some of the most popular cheese slicers in Norway are made by Clas Ohlson, but there are many different quality brands, all of which can be found all over the country. You can even find an ostehøvel in the shape of a reindeer.
Molde FK Fashion
Molde FK is perhaps the most popular football (soccer) club in Norway and plays at Aker Stadium in Molde. The team competes in the Eliteserien, the top football league in Norway, and recently won the league championship for the fourth time. Molde FK has tons of fans flying the team’s blue and white colours. To show your support of the club, or if you just like their logo and colours, take home a Molde FK souvenir of the team jersey, T-shirt, polo, jacket, scarf, hat, blanket or even Christmas ornament variety.
Stavanger Oilers Apparel
If soccer isn’t your thing, why not look for souvenirs from Norway of the hockey kind? Although not as popular as soccer, hockey still has legions of fans in Norway, particularly for its most dominant team, the Stavanger Oilers. The Oilers are the reigning champions of the GET-ligaen, the premier Norwegian hockey league. You can support the team with a black and yellow jersey, baseball cap, hoodie, T-shirt, beanie, foam finger or keychain with a miniature hockey puck. If you don’t like the black and yellow of the Oilers, other popular GET-ligaen teams include Oslo’s Grüner (purple and black) and Vålerenga Ishockey (dark blue and red), and Lillehammer (red and navy), all of which sell fan gear.
Freia is the premier chocolate maker in Norway and has been making it since 1889. Freia is most famous for its milk chocolate, the top-selling chocolate in Norway since the 1960s. Freia is also well-known for its Kvikk Lunsj (Quick Lunch) chocolate bar. If visiting the capital city, Oslo, stop by the Freia Chocolate Shop (Freiabutikken) on Karl Johans Gate. Here you will find all the Freia chocolate varieties you can eat and take home as a souvenir from Norway. If you’re not going to Oslo, fret not, as Freia chocolate is literally sold all over the country, from the largest cities to the smallest villages.
Viking Ship Museum Mementos
The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo. This much-visited museum is home to three Viking-era burial ships, the most famous of which is the completely whole Oseberg ship, considered one of the best-preserved Viking ships in the world. The Oseberg ship was built in south-west Norway around the year 820. The Viking Ship Museum also has a gift shop where you can find great souvenirs related to the Viking era, such as books, toys for the kids, apparel, jewellery, chocolate, Viking soap and much more.
All Things Viking
If your trip to Norway doesn’t include a stop in Oslo and the Viking Ship Museum and you really want to bring home a Viking souvenir or two, fear not, as Viking souvenirs can be found anywhere you go in the country. Viking souvenirs range from the comical and whimsical to the artistic and collectable, and everything in between. In Norway, you will be able to find Viking drinking horns, Viking horn baseball caps, Viking T-shirts, Viking rings and earrings, Viking bracelets with runic inscriptions, replicas of Viking ships, Viking cheese slicers, Viking trolls, Viking drinking bowls shaped like ships with carved dragons on both ends, etc.
The bunad is Norway’s traditional national costume. Furthermore, there are more than 400 different regional variations, for men, women and children. Typically, the bunad for females consists of colourful floor-length double-shuttle woven skirts and jackets with scarves. For males, it is a colourful, embroidered three-piece suit with knee-length trousers. A bunad is made of wool and often adorned with metal buckles, buttons and jewellery, and is sometimes even accessorised with a knife. They can be found all over Norway, and some of the best places to buy them include Norwegian National Costumes Oslo, which also sells all the accessories needed to make a bunad complete; and Husfliden Bergen AS, located in Norway’s second-largest city, which has a great selection of everything bunad.
You will need some solje jewellery to put the finishing touch on that bunad. This traditional jewellery of Norway typically consists of a setting of sterling silver from which round “spoons” of either silver or gold medal. Solje jewellery pieces represent the sun and are worn on the collars and cuffs of bunads as brooches or pins. Solje jewellery can be found in most jewellery stores in Norway, including Sugar Shop Smykkestudio in Oslo as well as the aforementioned Norwegian National Costumes Oslo, which has a huge selection.
Due to its northern latitude, Norway can be a very cold country. On the plus side, this has enabled Norwegians to become experts at creating warm knitwear, particularly sweaters. Norwegian knitwear typically features geometric snowdrops, Selby roses, hearts and bold colours. Some styles open at the front, similar to a cardigan, with hinges rather than zippers or buttons and, are quite popular.
The most iconic brand in the country is Dale of Norway, which makes knitwear, including sweaters, jackets, sweatshirts, beanies, headbands, scarves and more, for men, women and children. All of their knitwear is made from 100 per cent wool. Dale of Norway knitwear can be found in clothing stores all over the country, or at its flagship store in Oslo.
Helly Hansen Outerwear
Helly Hansen, headquartered in Oslo, is one of the world’s oldest and best-known brands of outerwear. In fact, it has been making heavy-duty clothing since 1877. Helly Hansen’s most renowned item is its sailing jacket, which is water-repellant, windproof and lined with fleece, and comes in white, black, red and bright nautical blue. Helly Hansen makes all manner of durable outdoor apparel, for men, women and children, including ski jackets, hiking jackets, windbreakers, rainwear, sailing pants, ski pants, hiking pants, sweaters and hoodies, base layer tops and pants, winter boots, hats and beanies, gloves and mittens, backpacks, wetsuits and so much more. Helly Hansen gear is sold in more than 275 stores throughout Norway, including 40 stores in Oslo alone and 12 in Bergen, so finding it will pose no problem.
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When in Norway, you will see troll figurines everywhere, and probably wonder why. Trolls are mythical creatures that are an integral part of Scandinavian folklore, and historically have been portrayed as famously ugly giants that are dangerous and evil and turn to stone in the daylight. Today they are made more comical, with wild hair, very big noses and impish smiles (occasionally holding the flag of Norway), and seen as more mischievous than menacing. You can find troll figurines in almost any souvenir shop in the country, as they are one of the most iconic souvenirs from Norway. You can find trolls dressed like Vikings, trolls wearing Norwegian sweaters, trolls wearing bunads, trolls playing soccer, families of trolls and trolls doing just about anything you can imagine.
Rosemaling is a traditional form of decorative folk art painting in Norway. It dates back to the 1750s, and has seen a resurgence in recent years. Rosemaling (rose painting) is characterized by stylized flowers, scrollwork and geometric elements in flowing patterns. Today, you will find a plethora of products featuring rosemaling, which make for classic souvenirs from Norway, such as plates, cups, bowls, chests, vases, posters, playing cards, clocks, boxes and even bicycle helmets.
Like the neighbouring Swedes, Norwegians are obsessed with liquorice, and they also like it extra salty. Sweet liquorice lovers should not be concerned, though, as you can find non-salty varieties everywhere if the salty version is too much for your taste. Norway is truly a land for liquorice connoisseurs. Liquorice can be found in just about any supermarket or convenience store in Norway, but if you want the most variety, stop in at one of the many quality candy shops in the country, such as Yummy Heaven Torggata, Godteslottet or Dropsen in Oslo; Digg Kiosk or Lille Kiosken in Bergen; and Sweetheart or Taras and Nerstranda Senter in Tromsø.
Norway loves its sausage, and none more than reindeer. Visiting sausage connoisseurs won’t want to miss sampling this Norwegian delicacy, and taking some home as a truly Norwegian souvenir (you can buy it frozen in most markets). However, if customs in your country doesn’t allow you to bring foreign meat home through the airport, ship it instead. Contrary to popular belief, reindeer sausage is actually quite tasty and healthy. In fact, reindeer meat is rather lean and mild tasting, and not at all gamey, as many mistakenly believe it to be.