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Christmas Time at Bærums Verk

Bærums Verk Village in the Winter

Oslo has its fair share of Christmas markets, but this one ranks as my favourite.

It's been a right royally cold week in Oslo!

The temperature has been below -10C for most of the week and even touched -19C at one point. It only got colder than that once last year, when I was introduced to biathlon. Not that I'm complaining though, I'd rather it be cold than wet.

As winter takes it hold on the city, my thoughts have drifted towards the upcoming holidays. Now I'm an expat, Christmas has taken on a new meaning. I was never a fan, but now Christmas means a chance to reconnect with “home” and spend some quality time with my family, something I always took for granted when I lived in the UK.

Many Christmas markets in and around Oslo

The Christmas season in Norway starts much later than back home, not getting going until December. It's also a more subdued affair, with simple lights (mainly white, not garish colours) and traditional customs. One of those traditions is the Christmas market.

Rather than one huge market, Oslo spreads the festive joy across the city with a number of events.

There's a small but popular market in the city centre, Christmas weekends at the Folk Museum, a Designers market, the Christmas market at Blå in Grünerløkka, and last but not least, the festive program at Bærums Verk, where I spent my Saturday.

Welcome to Bærums Verk

Bærums Verk is a former ironworks across the city border in Bærum. These days its a shopping village, but still retains much of its original character. I travelled on the 143 bus directly from Oslo city centre.

The journey took about 45 minutes and took me through some bits of Oslo and Bærum I hadn't seen before, such as Stabekk and Bekkestua.

First impressions

As I arrived the first thing that struck me was the frozen river alongside old brick factory buildings, reminding me very much of Akerselva (the river running through Oslo) around Grunerløkka last winter.

Frozen River Lomma

At first I thought it odd to find a supermarket located here, along with a modern shopping centre inside one of the old buildings. But I soon realised this is not just a shopping village, it's also a village centre for the few thousand people who live nearby in the residential parts of Bærums Verk.

The centre straddles the River Lomma and its distinct areas are linked by several bridges, making for a picturesque environment – especially with the snow!

View along the River Lomma

There were a lot of people about especially families with young children, but I couldn't seem to spot the Christmas market that had been advertised.

It turns out the centre was a lot bigger than I first realised, and a short walk along the river took me past a frozen waterfall to Verksgata, home of many more boutiques and at last, the Christmas market!

Christmas Weekends at Bærums Verk

The centre hosts a program of activities throughout December, mainly aimed at families with young children. As I wandered around Verksgata it gradually became a picture postcard Scandinavian Christmas… there were reindeer pulling children on sledges, Glühwein by the bucket and yes, even chestnuts roasting on an open fire!

River Lomma towards Verksgata

Reindeer

Reindeer pulling a sled

Christmas market at Bærums Verk

Surprisingly so for such a market, there was some pretty decent stuff on sale. Between the stalls and the boutiques, there was arts, crafts, interiors, toys, hats, clothing, chocolate, and a whole load of Christmas food. For the hungry there were a couple of cafes and restaurants, including an impressive looking Pancake House!

Interior Design store at Bærums Verk

Sjokalade Fabrikken

Sjokolade Fabrikken at Bærums Verk

Christmas market stall

The history of the site is fascinating, but with the holiday spirit in full swing I didn't really pay a lot of attention to it. I will return to Bærums Verk at some point to find out more about the former ironworks, but this visit was all about the magic of Christmas.

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.

1 Comment

  1. Looks like a great Christmas market. We went to Egersund this past weekend which apparently has one of the biggest markets for our region. It was nice but so crowded and definitely no reindeer!

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