Traditional Danish Cuisine
Many Danish cuisine recipes nowadays originate from the Viking era. For Vikings it was a necessity to preserve almost all food—meat, fish, dairy, fruits and vegetables alike. Therefore their food was mostly salted, pickled, marinated or dried so that it would keep for a very long time. While Danish cuisine was inherited from the Viking era, it has been adjusted to the modern Danish taste buds. When visiting Denmark, especially Copenhagen, it is a must to pay a visit to a traditional restaurant, as Danish and Nordic cuisine has become increasingly popular worldwide and this is a great opportunity to sample some!
Restaurant Schønnemann is one of the oldest restaurants in Copenhagen, established in 1877. It is a lunch-only destination and is well known for its wide variety of choices, its delicious open sandwiches (smørrebrod), and for its seafood dishes. Another restaurant with typical Danish dishes is Restaurant Puk, which offers many exciting choices for those wanting to sample something traditional. Both these restaurants offer high quality food with medium prices, so expect to pay around 200 DKK for a meal.
New Nordic Cuisine
In recent years some Danish chefs have been part of the New Nordic Cuisine movement, which is an innovative way of cooking based on high quality and local production. The restaurant that took the lead and had a great impact on the success of the New Nordic Cuisine movement was the internationally acclaimed, two Michelin star restaurant noma (set menu: 2,250 DKK). Noma (short for Nordisk mad – Nordic food) was ranked the world’s best restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015. Before it closed down in 2016 (in order to reopen with a new concept in 2018), it had two stars in Guide Michelin Nordic Cities for 2015 and 2016. After its huge success Noma opened a spin-off restaurant 108 (full tasting menu: 1,950 DKK) in 2016, which has already been awarded with one Michelin star.
Other Danish restaurants that follow the New Nordic Cuisine are Geranium, Restaurant AOC, and Radio. Geranium (set menu: 2,500 DKK) has a very dynamic style and its chef Rasmus Kofoed, considered one of the world’s best chefs, tries to involve all the senses in the restaurant’s dishes. Radio (set menu: around 400 DKK) was established by famous chef Claus Meyer and is focused on Nordic and organic cuisine. All ingredients are organic, Danish, and contribute to an extraordinary taste experience.
Traditional with a twist
Kadeau (set menu: 1,800 DKK) is a restaurant that was initially established on the island of Bornholm. It offers high class dishes inspired by Bornholm specialties and Danish ingredients. The menu and opening hours change according to the season so be sure to check beforehand!
The Standard is a Michelin awarded restaurant situated right next to the main Copenhagen canal. It offers food from the Nordic kitchen. In Almanak (set menu: 1,195 DKK) you can eat ”food that a grandmother would have made if she had known what we know today”, or you can have a taste experience like never before in Studio (set menu: 1,300 DKK), with dishes that represent Danish nature.
Of course, Danish cuisine is not only about fancy restaurants. The Danes also love their street food. There are hot-dog stands (Pølsevogne) all over the centre of Copenhagen. On Amagertorv 31 there is an organic hot-dog stand called DØP (Den Økologiske Pølsemand) (30-50 DKK). It was established in 2009 by Claus Christiansen; all bread and sausage recipes are his own, and his hotdogs are said to be the best in town! In Denmark there is an obsession with sausages (pølser in Danish), maybe even as much as in Germany. Rød-pølse (red sausage) is one of the local favorites and you can find it at any hotdog stand.
There are also many food halls in Copenhagen. A popular and very central one is Torvehallerne. There you can find stands with traditional Danish food such as Smørrebrød, but also different cuisines from other countries. Another food market, which opened in 2017, is Tivoli Food Hall – a great way to enjoy lunch in Copenhagen from all over the world and have fun in one of the oldest amusement parks in the world!
If you prefer a more rough setting you should check out Reffen Street Food market.
Even though Denmark is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world, it is also one with the highest meat consumption per capita in the world (even though it has been falling continuously). Of course, this means that in almost all traditional Danish dishes there is some kind of meat. However, vegetarians are just as easily able to find something to eat too! An example of vegetarian restaurants would be Veve (set menu: 750 dkk). It offers a special experience to its customers and its menu is inspired by kitchens from all around the world.
Some of the most traditional Danish dishes, can probably be found in any traditional Danish restaurant. Smørrebrod (an open sandwich) is one that Danes love, and eat at any time of the day. It is rye bread buttered and garnished with a variety of ingredients—meat, fish, eggs, vegetables etc. Stegt flæsk med persillesovs (fried pork with parsley gravy) is not as well-known to the outside world, but it is considered Denmark’s national dish. Another favorite is frikadeller, which is fried meatballs (pork) or fishballs (fiskefrikadeller).
One of the most well-known pastries is a “Danish”. What is surprising however, is that a “Danish” is not Danish! The Danes call it Wienerbrød because it actually originates from Vienna. The danish came to Denmark in 1850 during a bakers’ strike. Bakery owners had to hire bakers from abroad, especially Austrian bakers, who started making Wienerbrød. The Danes liked it so much that they started asking for it even after the strike and the recipe was adjusted to the Danish liking.
Lagkagehuset is a pastry house, with locations all around town, where you can find many pastries, bread, cakes and desserts if you are hungry while walking around Copenhagen! Lagkagehuset is also located at our walking tour start point - try it out!
Lakrids (liquorice) is relished by the Danes! It comes salty, sour, sweet, fruity, chili or chocolate coated. So many different flavors! The best lakrids you can find is at Lakrids by Johan Bülow(from around 80 DKK).
Danes like to have a drink during their meals. Usually, and especially during celebrations, they have “snaps”. In Denmark Akvavit (in Latin this means water of life, how ironic…) is always used for “snaps” and is considered the national drink. Don’t forget to “Skål!” (cheers) whenever you drink “snaps”!
Denmark also has a long history of beer brewing. It has Carlsberg (probably) the best beer in the world, Tuborg (which is beloved, especially for its annual Christmas beer), and many microbreweries that are growing in number and strength. A great place to try some beers would be Brus or BrewPub, which also has a restaurant and a great courtyard to enjoy a beer during the sunny summer days in Copenhagen!
The Danes have made food an experience and a pleasure for the senses. If you are wondering what to eat in Copenhagen and you are a foodie you shouldn’t miss visiting at least one of the places listed above or trying some of our traditional Danish foodsuggestions. You won’t be disappointed!
When Amber, our Gothenburg Destination Manager, first moved to Sweden she was immediately enchanted by the incredible number of flowers and nature she found in Gothenburg, even in the depths of Swedish winter. Here, she writes about why everyone should make the urban nature trail part of their visit to this beautiful city.
When I first arrived in Gothenburg, on a cold January day back in 2016, the last thing I expected to see, as I walked through the bracing wind tunnels of the city centre, were the unexpected but near-constant explosions of colour and abundant green. That anything could live in this cold northern country seemed, to this out-of-her-element Australian, somewhat unbelievable. But live things did, and my first impression of Gothenburg was that I’d never seen so many flower shops. There seemed to be one everywhere I looked! In fact, the first shop I ventured into on my first day in the city was the flower shop La Fleuriste. As soon as I walked through its doors, my nose was filled with a warm floral scent that, to this day, I relish every time I venture into one of these delightful, bright and welcoming shops. I soon realised that flower shops were common throughout Sweden, but since Gothenburg was the first city I visited, it will forever be associated with flower shops for me. I also quickly learned that in addition to the beautiful flower shops nestled in amongst the city street, this Swedish city was also home to parks, green houses and nature galore. Even in the depths of winter in Gothenburg, you can still find the promise of spring.
But to first return to the flower shops. In some ways, I don’t think it’s even really fair to call these little rooms of beauty something as straight forward as “flower shops”. It sounds a little mundane, and belies the levels of artistry that one can find behind their doors. Simple flower shops are usually filled with bucket after bucket of cut stems, but in Gothenburg, while the cut stems remain, you can also find bonsaied worlds, often with delightfully kitsch accoutrements, such as a mushroom or a troll. Or little pots full of carefully selected bulbs, all with hints of the colours that will spring forth in just a few days. Wreaths for hanging on doors are for every season, not just Christmas, and I recently watched a heart wreath being made from ivy, pink roses and eucalyptus. At Easter, birch branches, which are about to burst into green bud and are decorated with vibrantly coloured feathers, make one feel as though one is in a candy store. This is a typical Easter decoration in Sweden, and if timed correctly, the birch leaves will come out in time for Easter, symbolising the regeneration of life associated with the coming of spring and the resurrection of Christ. In the lead up to Christmas, red berries delight the eyes just as much as the smell of pine delights the nose. Little bags of moss are packaged up, and box, pine and fir wreaths beckon you to buy them. At Midsommar (Midsummer, arguably Sweden’s biggest annual celebration), you can barely fight your way to the counter to get the perfect petals for your floral crown that you must wear as you dance around the maypole singing the (in)famous frog song.
After I got over my delight at the sheer artistry that goes on in these often tiny and crowed shops, I started to wonder why. Why were there so many? Surely with so many flower shops, the market would soon be flooded with sad, droopy buds, with no one to buy them? Not so. The only drooping buds I’ve ever seen were beautifully and purposefully arranged, with a beauty to their melancholy that only a true artist could achieve (if I tried this effect at home I would achieve something suitable only to line the halls of the Adams Family mansion). It turns out that in the winter months in particular, having fresh cut flowers, little posies, or petite bulbs artistically arranged in little trays and artificially hurried along to hasten the arrival of spring (which is usually a very long time coming naturally), are what fills the benches, tables and desks in many a Swedish household. Flowers are brought in to remind us that even in the bleak mid-winter, the warmth of spring is not too far off. I myself was delighted the other day, when I found a tiny posy at Blom Blom in Haga, which I lovingly carried around all day until I got home (and that I would guarantee would cheer up even the most bleak hotel room)! It’s also standard practice to give flowers or a potted display when you have been invited over to someone’s house, and in Gothenburg you are spoilt for choice in what floral delight you may choose to give!
Visitors to Gothenburg might not at first think of venturing into flower shops, as flowers are not something a traveller often buys. However, the Gothenburg flower shops are an attraction in themselves, worthy of a detour and rivalling even the biggest tourist attractions. If you’re so inclined, you can even join a floral arranging class at Blom Blom! Also, many of these stores double as a wonderful design and gift shops, where you can find wonderful and thoughtful gifts for friends and family back home. My personal favourite for this is Floramor & Krukatös, where you can find everything from beautiful botanical soaps, to amazingly tall tapered candles, to tea-light holders, to limited edition prints, to curio objects, and to beautiful handmade ceramics.
If you love the idea of walking a flower trail around Gothenburg, you’re in for a treat. A wonderful thing about Gothenburg’s flower shops is their location. So many are off the beaten track, down cosy passageways and within hidden internal courtyards (so far this month I’ve taken no less than six people into the hidden courtyard of Floramor & Krukatös, and I think I have more photos of that courtyard on my iPhone than I do my dog…well, that’s probably an exaggeration, but only just)! This makes discovering them an adventure in itself, and allows you to see an entirely different side of Gothenburg. The yellow wattle and citrus that one day spilled out of Blom Rum and into Torgpassagen looked like the physical manifestation of sunshine, even though the streets outside were lined with snow. Bunches in Victoriaspassagen similarly excels at drawing your eye and inviting you in.
Gothenburg also has a host of beautiful parks (and thus flowers!) to enjoy. Trägårdsföreningen (the Garden Society of Gothenburg) is open all year round. In June, it plays host to the biggest collection of roses in Northern Europe, with some 2500 species spilling out over the boarders of the rose garden. Even in the depths of winter, the palm house comes alive with colour in February with the camellia festival. If discovering different climes in palm houses and greenhouses is your thing, then you should also head over to the Gothenburg Botanic Gardens, which have some amazing greenhouses. If you’re in town at the right time, check out their fantastic pumpkin festival. In early spring, if you take a stroll through Kungsparken, you need to play hopscotch through the crocuses, which are so abundant that even with the best of intentions you can often clumsily trample. A real treat is walking among the azaleas and rhododendrons during the summer months in Slottsskogen. Slottsskogen at anytime of year is a real treat, and as the largest recreational park in Gothenburg, it is popular with locals and visitors alike. You can wander along the pathways that wind through the grounds, and enjoy the waterways and cycle paths. If you want a bit of indoors time after strolling around Slottskogen you will also find the Natural History Museum and the Observatory (planetarium) nearby. If you are in Gothenburg for a while in the spring time, do take the time to go out of the city to Delsjön, a wonderful place for any nature lover, which in the spring is littered with sippar, little blue and white star-like flowers that cover the ground with colour and truly herald the arrival of spring in Sweden.
Walking a flower trail through Gothenburg may not seem like an obvious choice for a visitor, but along the way, not only will you be treated with spectacular floral visions, but you’ll also get to see a lot of the city that you might otherwise miss. I recommend following the lead of the Swedish and immersing yourself in the wonderful world of flowers and nature!
Everyone should spend New Year’s Eve in Scandinavia at least once. The cold crisp air, and the lingering of Christmas lights twinkling in the dark make the frozen North an enchanting place to countdown to New Year’s (and since Scandinavia is known as a nature and health hub, it’s probably a good place to kick-start your new year’s resolutions!)
Sometimes visitors to Scandinavia have difficulties distinguishing between the Scandic countries, owing to their many shared cultural and linguistic similarities. On New Year’s you can spot these although each country still has their distinct traditions too.
All across Scandinavian, they love their New Year fireworks as much as most countries do (actually, now that we’re thinking about it, where does the ‘fireworks at New Year’ tradition come from?!), and in most cities across the region you will be able to venture out into the cold night and watch the sky sparkle and explode with colour at midnight. In fact, the locals love getting out into the fresh air for New Year’s and will certainly not stay copped up inside for the evening just because of the cold. Join the fun, but just make sure you dress up warmly, as your beer-jackets won’t really do the trick when the temperatures are well into the minuses! Just remember that there is a saying in the north: there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes! So rug up!
In Finland, Helsinki’s Senate Square is where all the firework action will be, and it will certainly be a sight to see, especially against the backdrop of one of the most magnificent settings in the capital. In Sweden, it’s actually Gothenburg, the second largest city, where the best firework action is considered to be. Head down to the river for a true visual feast, or to Götaplatsen which is known for it’s wild and friendly festivities. In Stockholm, one of the biggest events of the early evening is concert at Storkyrkan in Gamla Stan and at midnight the big tradition is the reading of Tennyson’s ‘Ring out Wilds Bells’ at the Skansen. In Oslo you’ll want to head to the Town Hall and in Copenhagen the Town Hall is also where all the action will be, although it has big competition with Tivoli. Be careful though because even though the setting off fireworks in banned in many public spots, at the peak of merriment the locals can often forget this and set of fireworks haphazardly around the adjoining streets.
One quite big distinction between the Scandic countries at New year is that in Norway the focus is on spending the evening with family. In Finland and Sweden however, it is mainly spent with friends (since Christmas was dominated by family and thus NYE is a chance to get away from Uncle Bob’s appalling jokes and awkward conversation!) and many will hold big parties and invite all their friends to celebrate with them. In Denmark, it’s a bit of both. Interestingly, Denmark has quite the set of rituals to follow before the clock strikes midnight. The Queen’s televised speech to the nation earlier in the evening is something that most people will watch, and many will cluster around Amalienborg to watch the Royal Guard Parade. After that the jokes begin, and there is a bit of a Halloween theme as the Danes play pranks on their neighbours and friends, coating trees in toilet paper and smashing china plates on doorsteps! Norway also has a slight Halloween twist on New Years! In Finland, one of the best traditions of the evening is fortune telling! To celebrate the general theme of new opportunities in the new year, the Finns try to predict the future by interpreting shapes formed by molten tin. Of course, the shapes and their fortunes are always positive and you are bound to have a great coming year!
Food is also a pretty important component of New Years, alongside the warming (both physically and metaphorically) beverages consumed. Each country has their own set of dishes that are traditional New Year’s fodder! In Sweden’s Jansson’s Temptation (Janssons frestelse) is a solid favourite. Also popular at the Christmas table, this is a creamy potato dish which takes most of its flavour from cheese and anchovies. It’s delicious, even if its description sounds a little dubious! It’s also super popular in Finland, although there it is called Janssoninkiusaus. Cold cuts are also popular in Finland at this time of year, and so you’ll probably find offerings of cold-smoked reindeer and roast beef all around. In Demark cod is the favourite dish of the evening, but this should also be accompanied by a marzipan ring cake (Kransekage), which is so delicious that it will have any marzipan lover begging for seconds (and thirds, and fourths). In Norway, rice pudding is a favourite treat to see in the new year, and similar to a Christmas plum pudding, they bake it with a hidden silver penny. The idea is that the person who gets the silver penny in their helping will have fantastic luck for the coming year.
After the New Year’s countdown, for those wanting to extend the festivities into the early hours, all across Scandinavia you will be able to find clubs, restaurants and bars that will keep the party going. Make sure you have a look at what’s on offer and book a place, as these parties can get pretty busy. If you’re really in the partying mood, you can even enjoy double New Year! The towns of Haparandra in Sweden and Tornio in Finland and only 5 minutes drive from each other, but they are in different timezones, so celebrate an hour apart. So, you can celebrate first time around in Finland and then an hour later celebrate all over again in Sweden!
We absolutely recommend that you spend New Year’s Eve at least once in your lifetime in Scandinavia. It’ll be something you remember forever! If you need a good outdoors activity to help you recover the next day, our tours run across our Scandinavian cities on the 1st of January! Finally, you’ll need to be able to wish everyone around you a Happy New Year when the clock strikes midnight and we’ve got you covered for that too!
How to wish people a Happy New Year in Scandinavia. These are the sayings:
Finnish: Hyvää uutta vuotta!
Swedish: Gott nytt år!
Danish: Godt nytår
Norwegian: Godt nytt år
Here we‘ll offer a few YouTube videos on some of the most popular Christmas songs in our destinations. They might be a bit different from what you're used to but we‘re sure you‘ll enjoy them all the same. We‘ll give you a little introduction to the origin of the languages, some of them might be hard to learn whereas others might be easier. It depends on where you come from and how quick you are to pick up these exotic new words. Let‘s see if you can learn the lyrics and sing along, loud and clear for all to hear!
Finnish, or Suomi, is spoken by the majority of the people of Finland and about five million people speak the language, most of them reside in Finland. FInnish is a member of the Finnic group, that is part of the Uralic family of languages. Included in the Finnic group is Estonia (see below) and other Baltic countries. The language is believed to be originally a Proto-Uralic language from the boreal forest belt around the Ural Mountains region or the end of the middle Volga. This is thought to be the case because there are many similarities in the structure and the grammar.
Have a listen to this wonderful Christmas song. It is sung by Katri Helena, one on Finland’s best-selling female soloists.
Merry Christmas: Hyvää joulua!
Swedish is a North Germanic language and it is the official language of Sweden. There are around 9.6 million people that speak the language natively and it is very similar to Norwegian, and to some extent with Danish. The North Germanic language is part of the Indo-European language group and is the most spoken language out of the North Germanic languages. The origin of Swedish can be traced to Old Norse, from the Viking Era. The Old Norse evolved into two similar dialects: Old West Norse and Old East Norse. The Old East Norse covered Sweden and Denmark.
Today, Swedish has many traces of the English language, so if you speak English you might be able to catch some of the words that are being sung in this popular Christmas song; Mer Jul. The song is written and sung by the band Adolphson & Falk.
Merry Christmas: God Jul!
Danish is, like Swedish, a North Germanic language and is a descendant of Old Norse. Dansih is the official language of Denmark and around six million people speak the language, it is also spoken widely in Greenland and the Faroe Islands due to the fact that the two countries are an autonomous constituent of Denmark. Well into the 17th century, German and Latin were the most important written languages in Denmark and that is why traditional Danish dialects have almost disappeared completely. The language has changed between generations and today it only has remnants of a former case system. Danish is often considered a difficult language to learn because of the vowels, difficult prosody and “weakly” pronounced consonants. We encourage you to try out some of their pronunciations.
This video is a private recording of the Danish folk star Lars Lilholt - a master of the Danish language :-)
Merry Christmas: Glædelig jul!
Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language but it’s no longer certain that it is a valid group for Hungarian. Hungarian is the official language of Hungary, and it belongs to the same family as Finnish and Estonian; the Uralic language family. However, throughout the 18th and 19th century there have often been debates on whether the language might be more related to the Turkic language. Today, Hungarian is part of the 24 official languages in the European Union.
In this Christmas video, you are able to see the lyrics, which might make things easier for you, but we will not promise anything. The band, T.N.T, is a pop band that gained a large popularity in Hungary in the 90s.
Merry Christmas: Boldog Karácsonyt!
Estonian is a Southern Finnic language and it’s the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million. The language is in the branch of the Uralic language family, closely related to Finnish, and the interesting thing is that they are not related to their nearest geographical neighbors and Indo-European language speakers; Swedish, Latvian and Russian. Estonian has borrowed up to one-third of its vocabulary from Germanic languages, even though they are not considered to be related from that origin, and from the Russian language. Estonian, Hungarian and Finland are three out of four official languages of European Union that aren’t from the Indo-European origin.
In this Christmas video, you’ll hear the wonderful song Jõuluingel, which mean Christmas Angel. It is a popular Christmas song in Estonia and has been performed by many artists.
Merry Christmas: Häid jõule!
Christmas is around the corner and many are planning where to be, what to eat and what to do during this wonderful holiday. If you are traveling to Europe, you should know that every country has their own Christmas traditions, especially when it comes to food. But there is one thing that all European countries have in common; friends and family get together and eat great food and enjoy each others company. Here we will introduce some of our destinations favorite food traditions and share with you their recipes. It’s the season to eat and be jolly!
Christmas, or Jul, is the main family event of the year and in Sweden, people travel all around the country to be with their loved ones. Over the last decades, Swedish Christmas traditions have been changing and become somewhat more modern, they have taken up foreign traditions and blended them in with old traditions.
A typical Swedish Christmas table is usually a gathering of; bread, potatoes, ham, meatballs, salmon, and herring. What makes their Christmas table different from others is their amazing Gravad Lax. This delicious raw salmon is a Nordic dish and it is cured in salt, sugar, dill and different spices. It is usually served as an appetizer and is accompanied by gravlaxsås (a dill, mustard sauce) on top of a bread or with boiled potatoes. Here is a recipe for Gravad Lax and the sauce:
The Fish (for 6):
Start by scaling the salmon and remove the small bones, but leave the skin on. Make a few cuts in the skin so the marinade will penetrate from below. Mix salt, sugar, and pepper and sprinkle it beneath and on top of the salmon filet along with plenty of dill. Place a weighted cutting board on top of the salmon filet and let it marinate at room temperature for 2–4 hours. Then refrigerate for 24−48 hours, turning the salmon filet a few times. Rinse the salmon in cold water. Cut into thin slices without getting too close to the skin, so the dark salmon is included.
Gravlax sauce is served alongside the dill-cured salmon. Mix the mustard, sugar and vinegar and season with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Stir vigorously, while pouring on the oil in a steady, thin stream. When the sauce has attained a mayonnaise-like consistency, stir in the chopped dill.
Just like in Sweden, many of their Austrian traditions have been influenced by the countries the countries around them, especially those they have borders with. Vienna is well-known for their beautiful Christmas markets and you will find so many great Christmas decorations being sold, yummy food and candy stalls and so much more. But, there is one thing that you must try, and it will be sold in so many stalls all around, and that is Glühwein. Although Glühwein is originally from Germany, it has really made its name in Austria and you will not be disappointed!
To get the drink right you need the right mixture of wine, cinnamon, sugar and spices and it is sold in Christmas markets all over Europe. We will give you a great recipe for Glühwein but remember that the recipes differ depending on family traditions and countries. Try this one out and add or take out ingredients depending on your taste-buds.
Glühwein (10 servings):
Put all ingredients in a pot and bring it close to boil. For additional taste, cut 2 oranges into bite-size pieces and add to the wine. Let simmer but not boil. Remove cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving it into lightly pre-warmed glasses. Decorate glasses with an orange slice.
Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly!
Hungarians love food, they love to eat, and Christmas is just the season to do that. Their Christmas tables are decorated with green fir twigs, Christmas confectionery, oranges, and red apples. The red apples represent culture, health, and love. Although there are many dishes on the Christmas table there is one in particular that will NOT be absent on Hungarian tables; Halászlé. Halászlé, or Fisherman's soup, is a traditional Hungarian fish soup that was originally prepared by fishermen along the river of Danube and Tisza. However, every region in Hungary have their own fish soup recipe but the soup, in general, consists of a good amount of hot paprika and mixed river fish.
Halászlé (Serves 4):
Cut fish into 3 cm pieces and refrigerate. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-low heat, add fish heads and bones and cook, turning once, for 2 minutes. Add 3 litres cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin, discarding solids.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and capsicum, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes. Add paprika and stir for 1 minute or until fragrant, then return strained stock to the pan. Simmer for 40 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Add fish pieces and simmer for 10 minutes or until just cooked. Season again.
We recommend topping the soup with sour cream and parsley. Enjoy!
If you get a change to try these recipies, we would love to get your feedback on them. Were they tasty?
Czech Republic has a long history of beer making and it is still, to this day, making some of the best brands in the world. It is a fact that the people of Czech Republic consume more beer per capita than any other country in the world. Some of the most famous brewing cities were Budweis (where the American Budweiser brand took its name from), Plzen (where Pilsner was first made) and Prague. Beer brewing in Prague, at the beginning of the first millenium, was mostly being done by monasteries. Today there are many small breweries in Prague, but it is also home to a very well-known brand and the second biggest brewery in the country, Staropramen. The story of beer in the Czech Republic is exciting, but trying it is even better, so we will give you some suggestions on where you can enjoy beer when visiting Prague.
In the capital of the Czech Republic you can enjoy a good glass of beer anywhere in the city and also very cheap. A glass of beer in Prague often costs less than a bottle of water! Some of the most popular and traditional versions are Urquell, Kozel, Staropramen, Budweiser Budwar and Gambrinus. How many have you tried?
The best places for a local beer
T-Anker is a bar that serves local beers and the best part about it; the rooftop bar! A perfect spot for tasting new beers and enjoying Prague’s skyline at sunset. Another interesting place for beer lovers is Prague Beer Museum Gastropub. It is not a museum (there is also a beer museum in Prague), but it has around 30 taps with beer from small brewers from all around the country. The staff is very knowledgeable and the atmosphere amazing!
Want to have a drink right next to the river? Then Lod Pivovar is the right place to go. It combines its own brewery, a restaurant with traditional Czech cuisine and a wonderful view, all on a ship on the riverside, which once used to be a disco dancing ship. At U Medvidku, a brewery housed in a historic brewery building of the 15th century, you can try their brewed beer on the ground level. Very cozy place, with a good cold beer; a great way to unwind after a day in Prague.
A modern craft beer experience in Prague Once you've tried some of the local and traditional pilsners then be sure to head over to one of the many incredible newer craft beer bars around Prague. Bad Flash has an amazing corner-bar in Karlin where they also serve some of the best and most recognised newer beer brands from around the world. Get your Danish Mikkeller, Belgian Cantillon, their own BadFlash editions and much much more.
If you want to try something away from the tourist-hotspots then stop by ALE Bar in Prague 5. Small local place with 8 taps - and never afraid to try something different.
One of the most popular newer bars in The Golden City is the BeerGeek Bar. They have an absolutely incredible selection and they change it quite frequently. You will not regret it!
Other Beer experiences
And if that is not enough beer for you, Prague also has beer festivals to offer! Beer festivals in Czech Republic are called pivni slavnosti and take place mostly on weekends. Most of them are rock festivals organized by breweries, which means that only the beers of these particular breweries are available, but there are also some festivals where multiple breweries are invited and show off their wares. One of the biggest festivals in Prague is Český pivní festival, which has a duration of two weeks and a lot of brewed beer to try out. Another beer festival in Prague is Žižkovské Pivobraní. The aim is not high consumption but rather tasting, with 30 different breweries exhibiting each time.
One of the most visited beer attractions in Chezh Republic is the Urquell Plzen brewery and museum - around 1.5 hours from Prague. This museum takes you through all the steps of making beer in beautiful visual installations so that everyone has a chance to taste, see, smell and touch. Great experience for all beer enthusiasts!
Another local-favourite experience during summer are the beer gardens at Riegrovy Sady-park - incredible view of the city, cheap beer and a lot of happy people.
On the same track, here is also a list of the best beer halls in Prague - check it out!
Finally, if you are up for an alternative beer experience. In Prague you can experience beer in other ways, one of which is beer baths. Yes, that’s right! In Czech Republic you can go to specialized spas and bathe in beer. Beer baths started as a concept in the West Bohemia area of the country by the Chodovar brewery, but today there are also some situated in Prague, the most well-known being the Original Beer Spa.
The Czechs love their beer! Visiting Prague it is easy to understand why. You can experience new tastes, enjoy a good glass of beer anywhere in the city, and even sink in a bathtub full of lager and have a relaxing time in the Czech capital.
At first you may not think of Sweden as a vegan paradise, but it is. Around 10% of the Swedish population identify themselves as being vegan or vegetarian and the number of fantastic restaurants and supermarket products that have popped up because of this new-found identity and lifestyle are fantastic. Even if you eat at a restaurant that serves meat or fish, you’ll be surprised at the number of plant-based options that are available for you. In fact, meat in some ways seems less and less prominent on menus across the country as the locals opt for a more sustainable and cruelty free lifestyle. For those who still think of vegan food as stodgy vegetable mush, you’ll be thrilled to find out that modern vegan cuisine in Sweden is a far cry from this. It is delicious, with popping flavour combinations, incredible tastes and surprising ingredients that you may not have heard of before!
It’s not just the restaurants that cater for a plant-based palate. Most cafes and fika hot spots will have tasty vegan morsels on offer (try Husaren in Gothenburg, Bageri Leve in Malmö or Mahalo Hälsocafet in Stockholm) and all good cafes will happily switch in Oatly’s incredible and industry-changing iKaffe oat milk in your latte (we can’t go past Condeco’s Beet Me Ginger latte). If you’re in a rush and don’t feel like sitting down to eat, don’t ignore the korv (sausage) stands dotted around the city either: Pretty much every street corned korv and burger stand will also serve a delicious vegan option for a quick bite to sustain you as you explore the city! Equally, if you’re after Swedish fast food, do pop by Max’s, a burger chain that has a fantastic menu full of ‘green’ options, including their incredible vegan BBQ burger made from Pulled Oumph! (a Swedish vegan soy product that is taking the world by storm).
So, get ready to go on a taste adventure around Sweden and tuck in to the fantastically delicious and perfectly sustainable menu options at some of our favourite restaurants. Here we present to you our top five vegan (or at least vegan-heavy but vegetarian) restaurants in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö that we guarantee even non-vegans will adore!
The capital of Sweden is certainly embracing the plant-based lifestyle and in Stockholm you’ll find lots of options to captivate your tastebuds. STHLM RAW’s ‘Unbakery’ is a must-try for those of us with a sweet-tooth, and beautiful treats awaits you at this raw patisserie. Their café will also delight and offers up raw dishes which are truly awesome. If you feel like having a delicious Chinese meal, look no further than Lao Wai, a Chinese restaurant (with a emphasis on Tiawanese and Sichuan dishes) that is completely vegetarian (and heavy on the vegan options). We love their fresh ingredients and especially their variety of mushrooms. If you’re in the mood for a Middle Eastern flavour, look no further than Falafelbaren, which, according to the word on the street, serves up Stockholm’s best falafel. With everything vegetarian, and mostly vegan, you won’t be disappointed with the range of combinations you can choose here. The Plant is a fully vegan restaurant with all their produce being organic as well. Do not miss out on their incredible burgers, which ooze tastiness and satisfaction. We also love Mahalo, a haven for budget-friendly travelers in the mood for some seriously vibrant vegan dishes, smoothies or desserts. We highly recommend their Knivsöder glass noodle salad packed with peanut sauce, avocado, broccoli, mango salsa and a whole bunch of other tasty morsels!
The vegan food scene in Gothenburg is just awesome. So many and varied options, each as good as the last. A top pick is definitely Jinx Food Truck. This little van (which happens to be located in the hippest square in Gothenburg, surrounded by top-notch Scandi-design stores), only has three menu choices, one is vegan and it is mouthwatering. It's a panko coated deep fried piece of spongy tofu in a bao bun accompanied by spicy vegan mayo, with lashings of fresh coriander, cucumber and pickled carrots. En Deli in Haga has an amazing variety of mouthwatering dishes to choose from in a pseudo-buffet style. You can get their Lyx Deli plate which means you can try a little bit of everything and even come back for seconds – just make sure to ask for the vegan selection as some things contain dairy. Their stuffed vine leaves are a particular favourite. Andrum is one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants (with lots of vegan options) in Gothenburg and still does a roaring trade, especially at lunch where you will get a wonderful midday meal that will keep you full and warm. We recommend a bowl of their daal soup in particular. For dinner you can’t go past Blackbird or Folk. Blackbird is a fully vegan restaurant and everything on their menu is sure to impress. For us, we can’t go past their mushroom tortellini which is just a big bowl of happiness. Folk is a restaurant that is hard not to absolutely love. Occupying the lobby of Gothenburg’s Folkteatern, Folk is truly adventurous restaurant that we think deserves a Michelin Star. While it used to be fully vegetarian/vegan, now seafood is also on the menu. However usually over half the menu is still vegetarian and many dishes can be made vegan. Nothing is what you expect and the diversity and exotic flavour combinations will delight and astound. You can’t go past their tasting menu where you get to sample 3 of their dishes, with which you can even get a wine pairing menu.
Malmö has a vast selection of Vegan food and it’s fast becoming a hot spot for vegan travelers. So it’s probably unsurprising that we find it hard to make a top five! Sustainable eating has taken Malmö by storm and there are lots of options. In fact, the word on the street is that Malmö is fast becoming one of Europe’s vegan hot spots. If your after a quick lunch that is packed full of awesome flavour, head to Pink Head Noodle Bar. With fantastic vegan options and noodles that are made in front of you, this place is a win-win. Another must is The Vegan Bar, which probably has the best vegan burger in town, accompanied by the best chips. If you’re hungry, we highly recommend you try their ‘Wasted’ burger, which comes with mouthwatering avocado chili fries! If you’re after a pairing of plant-based food and wine, you can’t go past Mineral. This wine bar and restaurant does salad and soup for lunch and their recipes change regularly but from our experience it’s always delicious (think parsnip soup spiced up with forest chanterelle mushrooms and flakes of crisped Jerusalem artichoke…heavenly). Mineral also has live music events in the evening and for brunch so you can enjoy fantastic wine, food and music all at once. Mutantur is also right up there on our list. It is not exclusively a vegan restaurant but the head chef (who represented Sweden in the Bocuse d’Or!) clearly loves to put together dynamic dishes that cater to the vegan palate as much as he does to the traditional. Indeed, over a quarter of the menu is vegan and you’ll be delighted by every option (but make sure to leave room for their bergamot sorbet served with aquafaba meringue, rose and basil). Last but definitely not least is Sájvva, which is definitely the place to check out if you’re after vegan cocktails to accompany your spectacular meal. The food at Sájvva is jam-packed with flavour and takes inspiration from food around the world. It’s hard to pick a favourite, but at the moment probably the Autumn Garden Pho or the Korean Street Bowl, which will not fail to impress, even the pickiest customers.
Sweden is really truly a great choice for the vegan foodie traveller. You will easily be able to find something delicious on your adventures around this incredible country and your taste buds will not miss out on the joy of traveling! So, bon appétit, or as the Swedes say: Smaklig Måltid!
The Akershus Fortress (or Akershus Festning in Norwegian) is a medieval castle and it is believed that its construction dates to the turn of the 14th century, during the reign of King Håkon V. The Fortress is one of Oslo’s top attractions as it is considered a national symbol owing to its role as the seat of the king and of government. The Fortress was also the backdrop to many important historical events that helped shape its history.
The History of the Akershus Fortress
King Håkon V used the castle as his residence. The castle was also home to many other royals, some of them significant figures in Scandinavian history. The popularity of the castle as a royal residence eventually lead to the capital being moved from Bergen to Oslo.
In 1624 there was a great fire in Oslo and King Christian IV decided to rebuild the city closer to Akershus Fortress, such was its importance. The Fortress was at that point remodeled into a renaissance castle and the castle functioned as a palace until the turn of the 19th century.
During the 17th and 18th century the fortress was also used as a prison. Many of Norways rebels, criminals and some well-known individuals were imprisoned there including the author Gjest Baardsen (1791-1849) and norwegian socialists.
World War II
Even though the Fortress was never successfully besieged (it survived numerous sieges over the centuries and was never captured in active battle), it was however surrendered to Nazi Germany in 1940 when the Norwegian government evacuated Oslo. The Nazi’s used the fortress as a military camp, prison and a place to execute their prisoners and captives. Up to 40 members of a Norwegian resistance group, that led acts of sabotage against the Nazi’s, were amongst those who were executed there.
In 1945, the Germans handed over the Fortress to the Norwegian resistance movement and once the war was over, eight Norwegian traitors were executed at the fortress.
Akershus Fortress today
Today, the fortress is a popular place to host major events such as concerts, public holiday celebrations and ceremonies. The grounds of the fortress are free and open to all, and this is where you will find some of the best views of Oslo’s Fjord.
Within the Fortress you will find the Armed Forces Museum and if you visit the castle’s buildings you will find the final resting place of many of Norway’s kings and queens. The castle will take you on a journey through the history of Norway from the 1300s until this day... but be careful because there have reportedly been a few ghostly sightings over the years!
On our 3 hour walking tours, you will get a change to visit the famous fortress and be briefed on its history. You can book here! For further information regarding opening hours and upcoming events: https://www.visitoslo.com/en/product/?TLp=14900#product-info1
Christmas in Sweden is a truly magical time. Lights twinkle along the city streets, and it seems like every single household fondly embraces the tradition of lighting candles and hanging stars in their windows, to help guide travellers home after a long journey in the evening darkness. Everyone will make sure they enjoy a Lucia concert, and sprigs of pine will scent the frosty air. Saffranbullar (saffron buns) and Glögg (mulled wine) become standard in bakeries and street stalls, and every weekend from mid November until January you can find a Christmas market (julmarknad) to enjoy, and there are some markets that you can visit every day throughout the festive season. The Swedish Christmas Markets have a different vibe to, say, the famous German markets. There is less of a focus on tree decorations and typical ’Christmas fare’, and more of a focus on the wares and products of local producers. Think pots of jams and honey rather than decorated gingerbread cookies, and knitted mittens and beautiful candle holders rather than hand-blown glass ornaments. You’ll get to quickly recognise the fantastic Swedish traditions, and you should definitely buy yourself a straw Christmas goat or a beautiful fir wreath.
So which Christmas markets are best and where should you go to see the best Swedish Christmas Traditions? That’s a hard question! It’s so difficult to decide on a ‘favourite’ Christmas Market. They all offer something special and the wide range of artisans exhibiting at each means that all the markets are unique and special in their own right. Regardless of which you end up choosing to visit, what we can guarantee is that you’ll have a magical time in the cosy atmosphere that is typical of Swedish Christmas markets. But to help you make a choice, here are our top julmarknad picks in Sweden’s three largest cities. One thing to note is that you should always check which markets will be open during the days you’re visiting. Only a very few markets are open even day throughout the Christmas season, and most are only open for a weekend or over several weekends.
Our top Christmas Market picks in Sweden’s 3 largest cities!
To find out more about Christmas in Stockholm and the dates and times for all the markets, visit: https://www.visitstockholm.com/guides/christmas-in-stockholm/
Enjoying reading all about Gothenburg, the Christmas City here: https://www.goteborg.com/en/christmascity/
If you want more info on things to do and markets to visit in Malmö, visit https://www.malmocity.se/en/christmas-malmo-city/