Best Norwegian Souvenirs: The Top 20 Norwegian Gifts And Souvenirs

You will want to bring home a few souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family after having visited Norway, because who doesn’t like bringing home a memory with them? Most people won’t be able to visit Norway more than once or just a few times in their lives, but a souvenir on a shelf might be enough to recreate some of the feelings and good times you had when you visited.

But what should you buy as a souvenir or as gifts for your friends and family when you visit Norway? We’re going to be looking closer at 20 of the best and most common souvenirs and gifts to bring home from Norway.

This guide is perfect for anyone that visits Norway and want to bring something home with them. We’re only including a few of the “traditional Norwegian souvenirs” that are actually not really something Norwegians use or like, and rather focus mostly on the authentic Norwegian things that you might want to buy.

1) Norwegian chocolate

There’s nothing better than real, Norwegian chocolate, and it’s really something special. I always bring some Norwegian chocolate as gifts to foreigners, and there’s plenty of different brands to choose from.

Some prefer to go for the classic Friea Melkesjokolade (just pure milk chocolate), while others prefer Kvikk Lunsj, the “official” hiking chocolate of Norway.

Other popular options are Stratos (a type of milk chocolate with air bubbles), different types of Freia chocolates (they often have different flavors yearly), or Smash (a salt cracker chocolate).

While it might be a bit boring to only give chocolate as a Norwegian gift or just buy chocolate as a souvenir, it’s definitely a great thing to including along with other souvenirs. Chocolate bars are sold at all grocery stores, gas stations and kiosks, and are actually pretty cheap.

Kvikk Lunsj
Kvikk Lunsj. Photo published with permission.

2) Reindeer pelts

Norway is home to both wild reindeer populations as well as domestic reindeer, and this animal is a big part of Norwegian culture and traditions. It was originally used for both its meat and its pelt, but these days most Norwegians don’t really eat a lot of reindeer meat.

The pelts are still very popular due to the fact that they are incredibly good at insulating against cold, so they are nice to use a seating when sitting outside in the snow.

Reindeer pelts are sold by both tourist shops as well as in outdoor gear stores, and most of the pelts are from domestic reindeer by Sámi reindeer owners.

When buying a reindeer pelt, make sure you buy one that is prepared. Look at the underside of it; this should be white and soft, not brownish and stiff. And make sure to check out your local laws when it comes to importing animal products. It will be fine in most countries, but make sure to check out which rules applies to your specific country.

So what do you do with the reindeer pelt? The brittle and hollow strain of fur makes it unsuitable as a carpet, but most people use it as outside cushioning for cold winter days. It’s also beautiful to hang up on your wall.

If you do decide to use it as a carpet, be aware that it will be ruined in just a few months since the brittle hairs will break off.

Expect to pay around 800 – 1,500 NOK for a good reindeer pelt. They can be bought at souvenir shops or sporting good stores. You will typically get a better quality for a lower price at a sporing goods store, so aim for one of these over a souvenir shop.

If you don’t want an entire pelt, another option is to buy a “sitteunderlag“, a small pelt that you use as a seat to bring with you on hikes when its rainy or snow outside. These are far cheaper in the 400 – 500 NOK range, and are designed to fit in a regular backpack.

A good reindeer sitteunderlag can be used for many years without loosing its heating capacities.

A reindeer in Jotunheimen national park
A reindeer in Jotunheimen national park. Photo published with permission.

3) Brown cheese

There’s nothing that says “Norway” more than a piece of brown cheese, and this can make for a nice and interesting souvenir if you enjoy giving gifts or buying souvenirs that can actually be used or eaten.

The taste is truly unique, and nothing like anything most people have tasted before, so it’s very difficult to describe. People tend to either hate it or love it, so make sure that you don’t give it to someone who hates it..

You should keep brown cheese in a cool place, but I would think that it should be fine in your suitcase for a good while if you want to bring a pack of brown cheese with you home. Just make sure to put it in the refrigerator when you get home.

You can buy brown cheese at any grocery store. They are sold under the names “Gudbrandsdalost“, “Geitoist” and “Fløtemysost“, which are different types of brown cheese. Gudbrandsdalost is the most common type of brown cheese.

PS. brown cheese is a milk based product, so some countries might have import taxes or laws against it. So make sure to check this before bringing it home with you.

Brown cheese
Brown cheese. Photo: Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.

4) A cheese slicer

If you decide to buy brown cheese, make sure to also grab a cheese slicer. This is by far the best method of cutting slices of both brown and white cheese, and it’s a commonly used utensil in Norway.

The cheese slicer is one of Norway’s most popular inventions, and it’s a great gift that can actually be used. They are sold in grocery stores or stores that sell kitchen equipment, as well as in many tourist souvenir shops. The latter option is often a good choice if you want an ornamented cheese slicer. If you want to splurge, consider buying a silver cheese slicer (expect to pay around 1,000 NOK).

The cool thing about buying a cheese slicer as a gift from Norway or as a souvenir is that you will likely find it to be incredible, and find it very difficult to go back to other methods of cutting your cheese after having used this.

A Norwegian cheese slicer. Photo by Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.
A Norwegian cheese slicer. Photo by Nicklas Iversen / The Norway Guide.

5) Wool clothing

Norwegians love wool, and we make really good wool products! This includes everything from thermal underwear to knitted sweaters.

Thermal underwear is used a lot in Norway, and typically have a fancy design like on the photo below. This is a great souvenir that can also be used when it’s cold outside. Each set last for many years as long as you wash it with a wool program. Expect to pay between 600 and 1500 NOK for a pair (pants and shirt) of woolen thermal underwear. You can buy these at places that sell outdoor and hiking goods. And make sure that the label says 100 % wool / ull or 100 % merino wool / merinoull (the best type of wool).

Norwegian woman with wool clothing
Norwegian woman with wool clothing / thermal underwear. Photo published with permission.

Other wool products like knitted sweaters are also popular in Norway, and make amazing gifts and souvenirs. These can be bought at souvenir shops or from stores that have specialized in wool products.

6) Norwegian hiking and outdoor gear

If you or your friends or family enjoy being on hikes outdoor, then buying clothing or gear from Norway can be a great souvenir or gift. Norwegians obviously love hiking, and we have become really good at producing great hiking clothing and equipment.

There are some good Norwegian brands that makes outdoor gear, including Bergans and Stormberg. These are both affordable and good options for buying good hiking gear.

Hiking and outdoor clothes and equipment can be bought at outdoor stores that specializes in selling outdoor and sporting goods. There are plenty of these in Norway, even in smaller towns.

Read more about how to buy camping and outdoor equipment in Norway here.

The prices tend to be quite good compared to many other countries due to the fact that there are plenty of competing chains of outdoor gear stores.

Some cool hiking or outdoor equipment you can buy are tents, wool clothing, backpacks, fleece jackets, soft shell jackets, hiking boots or hiking pants.

Inside XXL
Inside the XXL store. XXL sells pretty much anything related to sport, camping or outdoor activities. Photo published with permission.

7) Viking related gifts

Most Norwegians don’t really give much thought to our viking heritage, but viking culture has become very popular in mainstream media, so there are lots of people who would be happy to get Norwegian viking goods as a gift or buy it as a souvenir.

You can usually find a lot of viking related items at most gift shops and souvenir shops these days, and there are plenty of different things you can buy, including jewelry, runes on stones or gems, drinking horns, figures, shields, swords, helmets and lots of other things.

In addition to being able to buy some viking related items at souvenir shops, there are some “viking shops” at certain tourist destinations where they have a big range of viking related items.

The viking gifts are a type of gift that I would consider to be a typical tourism souvenir that you won’t ever see in a real Norwegian home. So while these are based on the Norwegian viking heritage, it’s not really a contemporary authentic Norwegian thing.

Runes and a drinking horn
Runes and a drinking horns are just some of the many viking souvenirs you can buy in Norway. Photo published with permission.

8) Norwegian Christmas ornamentations

Norwegians celebrate Christmas in a pretty unique way, and both the food, the traditions and even the ornamentation is unique to Norway. If you come and visit Norway in either November or December, make sure to pick up some Christmas ornamentations as a souvenir or gift. These come in all shapes and sizes, but the most unique ones have a classic Scandinavian style to them.

The price range can be anywhere between 20 NOK to thousands of crowns, depending on what type of ornamentation you want and how much you are willing to pay. You will have some trouble buying this outside of season, but it’s a great souvenir for everyone that visit before the Christmas season.

Norway celebrates Christmas, but most people don’t focus a lot on the religious aspect of it. So most Christmas ornaments are free from religion, so you can safely buy this without feeling like it’s religious appropriation.

9) A Norwegian waffle iron

Most people think of Belgium when they think of waffles, but Norwegian waffles are a distinct type of waffles that you should try. The big problem is that you need a good waffle iron to make real Norwegian waffles, so you might want to consider buying this as a souvenir.

The Norwegian waffle iron will produce a set of 5 heart shaped waffles that you can serve with butter and sugar, butter and brown cheese, or jam.

Buying or giving away a Norwegian waffle maker will allow you to re-experience Norway whenever you have the desire to do so, so it’s a nice souvenir. They are also fairly cheap, and you can get a good one for 400 – 500 NOK. You can also probably pick up a super cheap one for 100 – 200 NOK, but don’t expect these to last for many years. You will need to buy an electrical converter if you plan on bringing it back to the United States though.

Make sure to read the recipe for making Norwegian waffles! You can get the ingredients in most countries (basically just eggs, flour, milk, butter, sugar and baking soda), so you won’t need to bring these with you.

A Norwegian style waffle iron
A Norwegian style waffle iron. Photo published with permission.

10) Rose-painting / Rosemaling

Rose-painting (rosemaling) is a traditional painting style used to ornament wooden objects. This is a historic type of ornamentation that you will find in many museums all around Norway, but the style is still used to a certain extent these days.

Many souvenir shops sell objects with rose-painting on it, and this is a great souvenir if you’re into traditional and historic objects. It’s most common to find chopping boards, wooden plates, spoons or cake containers with rose-painting on it.

Painting objects with the rose-painting style is actually both time-consuming and difficult, so be prepared to pay a premium for this handcrafted souvenir. A ballpark figure is to expect to pay around 200 – 300 NOK for a single plate, 100 NOK for a single spoon, or something along those lines.

You can buy rose-painted wooden objects at most tourism souvenir shops. These things are not really for sale in regular Norwegian stores, since rose-painted objects are pretty much only bought by tourists these days. Rose-painted wooden items are something most Norwegians won’t have in their homes (unless they are in their 80s), but most Norwegians have a certain connection to them historically.

A wooden plate with rose-painting on it
A wooden plate with rose-painting on it. Photo by Rune Nesher / CC BY-SA 4.0.

11) Aquavit

Aquavit, or akevitt in Norwegian is a type of spirit made in all of Scandinavia. We Norwegians mostly drink it during the Christmas times, but it can be a great gift for anyone who wants a strong taste of Norway.

The aquavit is made from grain or potatoes with herbal spices, and it typically drunk without mixing in anything. Most people drink it at room temperature with no ice cubes.

It could be a nice gift or souvenir to bring back home, but be aware that it’s a pretty acquired taste in my opinion.

12) A Norwegian folk tale book

Norway has plenty of unique folk tales, and these were collected by the duo Per Christian Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe in the 1840s. They traveled between Norwegian villages and recorded their local folk tales, and ended up with the book called “Norske Folkeeventyr”. This book is really special, and there are translations of it that are perfect gifts or souvenirs for anyone who loves Norway or Norwegian culture and history.

The English title for the book is Norwegian folktales by Per Christian Asbjørnsen og Jørgen Moe, but there are also lots of retellings and other interpretations of Norwegian folk tales, so you don’t have to pick that particular one. However, it includes all the famous Norwegian folk tales, and many of these are really cool.

The entire book set includes over 100 different folktales, including some that are very popular and a household story, and plenty of more rare and uncommon stores.

Kvitebjørn kong Valemon
“Kvitebjørn kong Valemon” by Theodor Kittelsen. Theodor Kittelsen made paintings to many of the traditional Norwegian folk tales.

13) A Norwegian festdrakt

A festdrakt is a type of cheap version of a bunad, the traditional Norwegian folk costume. These are unique to Norway, and are used on Norway’s national day on May 17, as well as on other big celebrations. While you might think that using a traditional Norwegian folk costume is cultural appropriation, most people are fine with foreigners and tourists buying a festdrakt to use, as long as you treat it with some respect.

You can buy a festdrakt at places like Coop Obs or Sparkjøp, and expect to pay around 2,000 to 3,000 NOK for a full set. They are rapidly getting a lot more popular, so I’m sure they are available in a lot of other stores by the time you read this.

Some people might even be tempted to buy a bunad as a souvenir, and go ahead if you got the money. A real bunad will cost around 40,000 NOK ($4,000 USD), so these are far from cheap. And some people will likely be offended by tourists who buy the actual traditional folk costume, so I would be a bit careful about this.

If you do decide to actually buy a bunad, please read up on how to treat it respectfully and how to use it. I would probably not really recommend this for anyone without Norwegian roots, since this is one of the few things Norwegians are very protective of.

Bunads are usually far too expensive to be bought as souvenirs. Photo by Sigmund / CC BY 2.0.

14) Norwegian silverware

Norway has a long tradition of every home having a set of silverware that should be used for special celebrations, such as on Christmas Eve. This has lead to several companies specialized in producing ornamented silverware, and many of these are absolutely beautiful.

Buying a set of Norwegian silverware could be a great souvenir or gift, but it comes at a pretty hefty price. Expect to pay around 400 – 700 NOK per single item, so a full set of two forks, a knife and a spoon will cost around 2,000 NOK. Now buy that as a big set of 6 and you’re looking at a 12,000 NOK souvenir!

That said, Norwegian silverware are great gifts for those of you that are looking for souvenirs in this price range. They will last forever, and likely stay valuable since they are made of silver.

Silver cutlery
Silver cutlery. Photo published with permission.

15) A troll figurine

Trolls are an important part of Norwegian folk lore, and most shops aimed at tourists are filled to the brim with different troll figurines for sale. These can range from cute to incredibly ugly, and there’s something for everyone’s taste.

You won’t ever find troll figurine in Norwegian homes, but they are still some of the most popular souvenirs for tourists who have visited Norway. The price can range from 50 NOK to 500 NOK for the bigger figurines.

Again, these are what I would consider a typical tourist souvenir that most Norwegians won’t ever put in their home even if they got paid to do so.

Norwegian troll figure
A Norwegian troll figurine. Photo published with permission.

16) Norwegian seafood

Norway produces a lot of different seafood, including salmon, and some of these products have become popular tourist souvenirs. So what about bringing dried fish or dried salmon back home? These have a long shelf life and will be okay being outside of a refrigerator, so you can easily bring them with you.

This is a great method of sharing some of the unique tastes of Norway with your friends and family. Dried fish or smoked salmon can be bought at souvenir shops or from regular grocery stores.

Again, make sure to check your local import laws before taking animal products back home.

Drying fish in Lofoten
Drying fish in Lofoten. Photo published with permission.

17) Norse inspired jewelry

There are lots of souvenir shops that sell jewelry that has taken inspiration from the vikings or from Norse mythology, and these are very popular souvenirs and gifts. The great thing is that you can buy either cheap jewelry as a small souvenir to remind you of Norway, to silver or gold jewelry that has a Norse theme to it.

Most Norwegians won’t be wearing things that are related to our viking heritage, so again, this is a typical tourism souvenir that is not really worn or used by Norwegians.

This means that you have to look to gift shops aimed at tourists if you want to buy Norse inspired jewelry. Norwegian viking gifts are pretty popular among tourists though, so they’re usually easily found.

Norse themed ring
Norse themed ring. Photo published with permission.

18) Sheep pelts

We’ve already covered reindeer pelts, but another good option are sheep pelts. These are very common in Norway, and can be used either as home decoration or used as a sitting mat. Many people have sheep pelts in their sofa or use them for cushioning on chairs. I personally use them in our sofa to prevent the dogs from dirtying it.

It’s possible to use the sheep pelts as a rug, but it’s not really very easy to wash it, so I would be a bit careful about this if you plan on walking on it with shoes on.

You can buy sheep pelts for sale at interior stores, souvenir shops or stores that have specialized in sheep and wool products.

Free ranging sheep in Norway
There are lots of sheep in Norway. Photo published with permission.

19) Pewter goods

Pewter is known as “poor man’s silver“, but don’t be fooled into thinking that this is a cheap and boring product. You can actually find a lot of beautiful pewter figurines for a reasonable price, and they are pretty common at souvenir shops.

Norway used a lot of pewter back in the days, but its popularity has faded. These days pewter is mostly used for ornamental pieces, and they are very popular at tourism shops where they sell viking and Norse inspired pewter figures. You can also find products like candlesticks, cups and things like that.

Just look at the photo below to get an idea what the pewter goods are like. Those pewter viking ships can be used to serving snacks in, or just to be put up at a shelf of mantelpiece to look great for visitors.

PS. make sure that the product is pure pewter (tin alloy) and does not contain lead if you plan on serving food in it. Lead is toxic. All modern pewter goods are free from lead, but vintage products bought secondhand might have it.

Pewter viking ship containers
Pewter viking ship containers make for amazing gifts. Photo published with permission.

20) Wool knitting yarn

Norwegians love to wear wool, so we obviously love to knit wool. Real wool and special types of wool like merino wool or wool from alpacas are very rare in many parts of the world, but wool yarn is generally very common in Norway. The price is also pretty OK, so picking up some wool knitting yarn for a friend or family member who enjoys knitting is absolutely a nice gift.

There are wool stores in Norway that pretty much only sell knitting yarn and knitting supplies, so stop by at one of these to buy some premium wool yarn. You often find these knitting stores even in smaller towns, and they are much more common than most people expect. Some knitting stores also function as a store that also operates as a small coffee shop where you can buy wool, then sit down and knit with a cup of coffee after.

That said, many regular grocery stores (especially Coop) also sell real wool at an OK price.

Wool yarn
Wool yarn is common in Norway. Photo published with permission.

Where to buy souvenirs in Norway

Most tourist attractions will have souvenir shops by, but many of the things on this list can also be bought at regular, Norwegian stores all over the country. Some of the items can also be bought in other countries from places like Amazon if you don’t want to travel to Norway to get it.

Norwegian souvenir shops tend to sell a lot of stuff that is typical for tourists, but that real Norwegians don’t ever use or see. Things like troll figurines are a good example. These are found by the hundreds in all souvenir shops, but I’ve never seen one in a Norwegian home. The same goes for biking jewelry, t-shirts with moose on it or fluffy “viking hats”.

Be aware that some of the tourist gift shops sell low-quality products at a high markup. I usually recommend people to rather buy authentic Norwegian products from real shops if they are able to.

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