Life, Travel

Natural Wonders & Utterly Chic Cities: Norway Is Europe’s Best Kept Secret

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Nordvegan, Oslo

The bechamel sauce lasagna is so good I want to eat it forever. And so is the vegan cheese-filled pie–one of the most unique vegan restaurants I’ve ever eaten in, for sure.

Next, I check back into Hotel Christiana Teater, and my room this time is even nicer, bigger, and has views!

Hotel Christiana Teater

This is my view for a night. I feel like a princess! The Royal Palace is literally a five-minute walk away.

Royal Palace in Oslo

To celebrate my last night, I get dressed up and walk along Karl Johans Gate, the main road that leads to the Royal Palace (above). I love how there is no one around in Oslo, it’s like a balm to my New Yorker soul. My concierge had recommended checking out The Thief Hotel bar for cocktails, so I walk over to the ultra trendy and modern Tjuvholmen area on the water.

The Thief, Oslo

Slavo, who created the cocktail program here, doesn’t actually appear in black and white in person. But he may as well, since he’s the most dapper and handsome mixologist ever. Plus he asks if I like chocolate (“Yes, I do!” I squeal with delight) and gives me dark chocolate garnishes to nibble on. <3

La Vie En Rose cocktail at The Thief, Oslo

La Vie En Rose, a love-inspiring libation of champagne, gin, hibiscus tea syrup, pansy, and dark chocolate garnish.

After many drinks, I end up at Himkok, an utterly cool speakeasy that’s actually open at 3 am on a Sunday night in Oslo–and filled with beautiful and trendy people. Since I can’t find speakeasies even in NYC, it is one epic night out to be sure.

Day 5

Fragrance of the Heart, vegan restaurant in Oslo

My last meal in Oslo: Fragrance of the Heart vegan cafe was right near by hotel, and I could eat this baked tofu plate with creamy tahini dressing every day. So bomb!

One more lap around beautiful Oslo. I take a morning walk around the brygge and the medieval Akershus Fortress.

It’s astonishing how just four days can change your perception of a place from cold and unwelcoming, to lovely and incomparable. I find it really hard to leave Oslo–it’s only because I know I’ll return that I can go happily.

Ships at the brygge in Oslo

Is Norway on your list of travel destinations?

Related: Sustainability, Avocado Toast, Endless Tulips. Why Amsterdam Is Still The Coolest

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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling

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Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.
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