Explore a winter wonderland in the heart of Oslo

Jul i Vinterland, a magical Norwegian Christmas market

skates winter

You can bring a pair of skates or rent a pair at Jul i Vinterland to enjoy the outdoor skating rink there. After your skate, you many want to warm up with some gløgg or a cup of hot cocoa.

Mona Anita K. Olsen
Innovation BARN AS

While the clock gets turned back and the evenings get darker in Oslo in November, the air becomes filled with the festive spirit of Christmas. Starting on Nov. 11, the heart of the city comes alive with the enchanting allure of Jul i Vinterland, a Norwegian Christmas market.

Nestled in the heart of the Norwegian capital, Jul i Vinterland is a captivating celebration that transforms the city into a winter wonderland right outside of Grand Hotel Oslo by Scandic and Paleet Shopping. Drawing locals and visitors alike, this market is a testament to the magic of the season.

christmas market skating

The Christmas market is located in the heart of the city between the Storting and the royal palace.

Jul i Vinterland is an experience of Lund Gruppen Arrangement AS (LGA). Founded in 2007, LGA is an integral part of Lund Gruppen Holding AS, a conglomerate with a rich history dating back to 1895. Over the years, the Lund Group has evolved into a prominent force within the experience industry in Scandinavia. Boasting a diverse portfolio, the group has solidified its position as one of the region’s largest players and serves over 3.5 million guests each year.

Jul i Vinterland is just one of the various destinations that provide unparalleled experiences and has contributed to LGA’s popularity. Nestled along the ice-skating rink in Spikersuppa and extending into Karl Johans gate, this festive extravaganza is conveniently located just a short stroll from the iconic National Theater.

Jul i Vinterland is open to all ages, and there is no fee for admission. With a variety of food and beverage options for purchase to create memorable moments, one can savor the flavors of gløgg or cocoa at Julenissen’s Gløgghus, enjoy tasteful raclette and onion soup of the French Alps at French’eez, or indulge in a gyro at the Taste of Greece.

Bring a pair of ice-skates or rent a pair to enjoy the skating rink, buy tickets to attractions such as a ride on Ponnieekspressen or the new carousel attraction called Ballongferden, or follow the signs to the North Pole and share your wishes with Santa.

lights

Stjernehimmelen—the Starry Sky—a celestial tapestry of lights welcomes you to Jul i Vinterland.

For the photo and light enthusiasts, a visit to Stjernehimmelen (the Starry Sky) is a must! In Stjernehimmelen, one can visit where countless LED lights come together, crafting a celestial tapestry resembling a starry sky. This one-of-a-kind light installation extends its luminous path from the Nationaltheatret, meandering along Stortingsgata, and gracefully descending toward Eidsvoll Plass.

Alternatively, take a ride on the 131-foot carousel called Julestjernen, which is precisely placed to not disrupt the required lines of sight from the royal palace to the Norwegian parliament.

With collaborators such as Oslo Municipality, Twentyfour, Coca-Cola, Lunds Tivoli, Paradox Museum, and Leger Uten Grenser, organizers are putting the spotlight on sustainability, making waste management a central theme for the experience, which is open until Dec. 31. Collaborating with a new supplier, Jul i Vinterland aims to improve its standard in eco-conscious event planning.

This year, guests can visibly see change at all outlets selling drinks. Jul i Vinterland is introducing clearly marked deposit holders nearby, ensuring a convenient and efficient system for waste management. The move is a step toward encouraging responsible disposal practices.

In a bid to combat residual waste, 40 waste containers equipped with lids are strategically placed throughout the market. These containers aim to streamline waste disposal and minimize environmental impact, emphasizing the commitment to a cleaner and greener event. Five environmental stations are also located across the market. These stations are meticulously divided into categories such as residual waste, food, and paper, ensuring that waste is efficiently sorted and recycled at the source.

The 131-foot carousel called Julestjernen is a highlight for children who come to Jul i Vinterland.

Behind the scenes, the closed production area is set to become a model for waste management. A comprehensive sorting system is being implemented, covering a range of sections including residual waste, cardboard, plastic, woodwork, electrical waste, food waste, and cooking oil/frying materials.

Jul i Vinterland is aligning itself with Oslo Municipality’s commitment to reducing plastic usage. In a groundbreaking move, exhibitors and catering establishments within the market will abstain from plastic cups, plastic glasses, and plastic cutlery.

To further take a proactive stance against plastic elements, the market is steering clear of giveaways, balloons, and other plastic-based items to reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable event.

As Jul i Vinterland paves the way for a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future, it sets a precedent of continuous improvement and commitment to growth, demonstrating that large-scale markets can be both entertaining and environmentally responsible. The organizers are confident that these initiatives will not only enhance the festival experience but also inspire positive changes in waste management practices on a broader scale.

julemarked

The annual Christmas market offers something for everyone, young and old alike, and is an annual destination for many residents in the capital, as well as tourists from around Norway.

Learn more at julivinterland.no.

Photos by Maja Moan / Jul i Vinterland

This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of The Norwegian American.

Mona Anita K. Olsen

Mona Anita K. Olsen

Mona Anita K. Olsen, Ph.D. is a British-American entrepreneurial academic based in Norway. She holds an academic appointment as an associate professor at the University of Southeastern Norway. As a Ph.D. student, Olsen was a U.S. Fulbright Grantee to Norway in 2012-2013; she continues to follow her dream in progress to make a difference in entrepreneurial education in Norway as a fourth-generation owner of Innovation Barn in Borhaug alongside her daughter and husky named Buddy Grunder. Learn more at monaanitaolsen.com.