The traditional Norwegian gifts are usually items of use and high quality. Perfect for the upcoming festive season, the ideas for Norwegian souvenirs will help you to choose a present for your family and friends from the Scandinavian region. I can guarantee that they (and you) will love them!
Since the beginning of our life in Norway, every trip back home from Oslo involves us bringing some typical Norwegian gifts. Everyone is interested in Norwegian culture and wants to try a little bit of our new home for themselves. But to be honest, Norwegian souvenirs are great gifts in general. Even if you don’t live in Norway, they make for a perfect present.
For all of you living in Norway, loving Norway, returning from a Norway trip or just dreaming of visiting this beautiful country. Here is the list of the best gifts and souvenirs from Norway to enjoy the spirit of Norway.
Psst… Looking for more gift guides? Here are some:
The best Norwegian Gifts and Souvenirs
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#1 Norwegian cheese
The real Norwegian Gjetost (brown cheese) is made from the cow and goat’s milk according to the special recipe. It has a distinctive sweet flavour, yet it doesn’t include any added sugar. Norwegians are very proud of this cheese and it’s a must to try for any cheese connoisseur. You can find it in several strengths – from a mild one to the strong one. The cheese is normally sold in big blocks, which are supposed to be cut with a cheese slicer. Apart from Gjetost, you can also find other types of Norwegian cheese, for example, goat cheese from Undredal.
If you are more into a gift box with several different types of cheeses from the whole Scandinavia you can try this Scandinavian cheese board in a gift box.
#2 Ostehøvel – Norwegian cheese slicer
Did you know that the cheese slicer was invented in Norway? It’s one of the things that Norwegians are the proudest of. You can even get it in a shape of moose or a reindeer (to be even more cheesy ;-)).
#3 Freia – the Norwegian chocolate
The main chocolate producer in Norway is Freia company. Freia Milk chocolate is of good quality, available as milk or dark chocolate with nuts, raisins, sweets etc. Also, Freia snacks like Kvikklunsj bar or half sweet, half salty Smash are very popular among Norwegians.
#3 Woollen sweater
The traditional Norwegian sweater is made from wool. The Scandinavian knitwear involves shapes like snowflakes and natural colours like grey, white or dark blue. The typical Norwegian sweaters are made from 100% wool and are perfect for harsh Scandinavian winters. It’s a staple in the Norway winter clothing selection. Take one for Norway winter road trip or to Svalbard and you will never get cold. Dale of Norway is the best known Norwegian brand producing sweaters of very high quality. Apart from being warm, functional, and cosy, they are also very pretty!
Norwegian sweater for her – 100% wool, real quality material and Norwegian design from Dale of Norway.
Norwegian sweater for him from Dale of Norway, 100% wool
#4 Merino wool sportswear
Norwegians love sports, especially winter ones, so there’s no surprise that they sportswear is of great quality. Very popular are items made from the merino wool. Everyone in Norway uses them for skiing (which is their favourite winter sport). The merino wool is also the best for hiking, as they keep you warm when it’s cold, or cool you down when it’s too hot, always giving you a dry sensation. One of the brands popular in Norway for merino wool is Kari Traa.
#5 Trip to Norway
There’s no better gift for someone who loves Norway, than a trip to visit this fascinating country. From arctic adventures on Svalbard to dog sledding in the mountains, through the road trips in the fjords, chasing Northern Lights or discovering the history of Oslo – there is plenty to do in Norway.
#6 Norwegian T-shirt
A nice T-shirt is always a good idea for a souvenir. You can find different designs of T-shirts from Norway for women and men. I especially like the ones made from the soft and quick-drying material.
#7 Smoked Norwegian Salmon
Smoked salmon is one of the most famous Norwegian foods. It’s known for its great quality and distinctive taste. Buy it together with Norwegian cheese, some crackers, cloudberry jam and chocolate, so you can prepare a full Nordic meal for your loved ones.
#8 Norwegian Book
You don’t need to know Norwegian to read Norwegian books. Famous Norwegian author Jo Nesbø and his Harry Hole series of the crime novels are widely available in English. There are 11 books in the series, so this idea for the Norwegian gift can be used for more than one occasion ;-).
#9 Anything Viking related
Norwegians really embrace their Viking heritage. In Oslo, you can visit the Viking Museum to learn about Viking history in the country. The Viking-themed souvenirs are widely available and strongly associated with Norway. You can find anything from Viking drinking bowls to Viking jewellery.
#10 Norwegian Jule ornaments and Nordic Santa
Nothing says Christmas more than Christmas Ornaments. Get one of the cute Nordic Santas as one of the Norwegian presents for your friends and family. And have a God Jul (Merry Christmas in Norwegian)!
#11 Norwegian craft beer
Even though the prices of alcohol in Norway are very high (and I thought I had my most expensive beer in Iceland), the drinking culture is still active. The new craft beers are popping up in different parts of the country. One of the interesting beers to try is the one from Svalbard brewery. The world’s northernmost brewery in Spitsbergen produces local beer from the crystal clear glacier water, which can be a unique gift for any Norway (and beer) lover.
#12 Waffle maker
Waffle anyone? Waffles are normally associated with Belgium, but real Norway enthusiast will know that they are also very popular in Scandinavia. We even have waffle Thursdays every week in the office ;-). Also, nothing tastes better than a crispy waffle with brown cheese and hot glogg (mulled wine) after a skiing trip in Norway. Norwegians eat their waffles with jam and cream or brown cheese. You can make the perfect Norwegian waffles with this powerful waffle maker.
# 13 Painted rosemaling
Rosemaling, the decorative painting of Norway is becoming more and more popular amongst local artists. The colourful flowers and ornaments appear on traditionally painted boxes, cheese boards, cups or vases. They bring folklore feel into the household.
# 14 Aquavit /Akvavit
Akvavit is a popular Scandinavian spirit, commonly consumed on special occasions. It’s made with dill or caraway and typically has 40% of alcohol. Perfect with any type of strong food like fish, it matches the Norwegian salmon or pickled herring perfectly. To make your friends or family learn more about this Scandinavian spirit you can give them the AKVAVIT – Rediscovering a Nordic Spirit book, which explains the secrets of that drink. And then buy them a drink itself. Skol! (“Cheers” in Norwegian).
# 15 Norwegian Troll
Trolls are an integral part of the Scandinavian folklore. They used to be associated with bad luck and appearing in the dark stories. However, lately, their image has been transformed into a more friendly one. Trolls are now perceived as cheeky little creatures hiding in the forests and mountains. They are definitely one of the most original Norwegian souvenirs that you can get. I find them cute 😉
#16 Nordic Tales
For everyone interested in the Nordic culture, the book with traditional Nordic tales would be one of the best Norwegian gifts. This illustrated Nordic Book for Teens and Adults is a collection of 16 traditional tales from the Nordic folklore. The enchanting stories will bring you and your loved ones into the magical world of folklore.
The best gift from Norway?
So there you have it, the list of the best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back to anyone interested in this part of Scandinavia. And next time, take them with you for a Norwegian adventure!
Find more Norwegian gifts inspirations here:
- Best outdoor gifts for hikers and campers
- Essential camping equipment
- Norway winter clothing
- Scotland packing list
- Useful items for packing light in a carry-on
Read more about Norway:
Posted: November 2018, Updated: June 2020
Which gift from Norway is your favourite? Can you add anything to the list?
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