Welcome to Lilyhammer
The charming, small town you should visit this year.
You might have seen the TV series with Steven van Zandt, from the town of Lillehammer, Norway. If you have, you probably imagine that it’s a small countryside town, with strange people doing weird things.
But what else is there?
Activities for the entire family
In 1994, Lillehammer hosted the Winter Olympics (something the citizens won’t hesitate to tell you all about if you should have forgotten). As a result, there are plenty of activities to keep tourists busy in Lillehammer. Make sure you visist Lysgårsbakkene, where you can ride the chairlift to the top of the ski jump or take the stairs if you feel like burning some calories. A ride in the bob- and luge track that reaches a speed up to 100 km/hr is recommended if you don’t scare easily. Take a look at Olympiaparken’s website to read more about the areas and activities.
In the winter, Hafjell right outside of Lillehammer is a must if you’re into slalom or snowboarding. The ski resort is one of Norway’s most visited, and with 31 different slopes there’ something for everyone from beginners to experienced skiers. You can also find cross-country trails in the area if that’s more your thing.
Hafjell as well as the bob- and luge track are both in close proximity to Hunderfossen Familiepark, a natural place to visit if you’re travelling with children. The family park offers fun attractions, the thrilling ride Il Tempo Extra Gigante and not to forget the big troll leading into the word of Asbjørnsen and Moe’s fairytales.
For a trip back in time, visit Maihaugen. Maihaugen is an open air museum that allows you to enter old houses from 1890 and the 20th century with the “residents” in place. You should also make sure you visit the exhibition “Langsomt ble landet vårt eget”, to get a glimpse into the history of Norway. There are also plenty of fun things to do for the kids, like visiting the farm animals, trying out the stilts and checking out the Christmas market if you’re there around Christmas time. Don’t miss the beatutiful Garmo stave church while you’re visiting.
If you’re found of museums, you should also go by the art museum in the city center.
For the foodies
Lillehammer might be a small town, but the food at restaurant Hvelvet is first class. The name, which translated means The Vault, is located in an old bank building. The building exterior is breathtaking, and the interior is stylish and modern. The best part however, is by far the food. The menu is composed with commodities of the season, and is both traditional and unique. Hvelvet is conveniantly located at Stortorget in the city center, right next to the cosy and affordable Hotel Breiseth.
For tasty cakes, luxury chocolate and hot beverages, the chocolateria Atelier Cacao is the place to be. The café specializes in chocolate, and offers a wide range of gluten free pastries and lunch dishes. You can also buy delicious chocolates and small gifts in the café.
The newest addition to Lillehammer’s restaurants, is the burger and pizza joint Dudeburger. The name is inspired by ameican “dude food” a term used to describe fast food with soul. Soul is something Dudeburger possesses as well, with its Italian pizza made in a stone oven, American burgers with goodies like blue cheese, cheddar and gourmet mushroom, and other grill dishes from the josper grill.
If you’re a steak enthusiast and want a more exclusive restaurant experience than Dudeburger, you should visit Bryggerikjelleren. At the cosy restaurant, the steaks are tender and the sides are just what you want with that tasty piece of meat.
You might not imagine that there’s much shopping to do in a town as small as Lillehammer, but don’t be too sure about that. Tendenza and Strada are shops with a good selection of exciting brands, and Strada even has a café in the shop (the perfect place to leave those who aren’t that into shopping). Spot right next to Strada is also worth a visit, as well as one of Norway’s best flower binderies Tornerose.
In the shop Folk & Røvere, you can kill two birds with one stone. This shop doesn’t only carry a good selection of toys and children’s clothes, you can also find gorgeous interior and women’s clothes. Interior such as mugs, some furniture and design articles can also be found in Libertine close by. If you’re more into food, take a stroll over to the deli Oliven where you can enjoy a wide selection of oils, coffee beans, tea and other exotic goodies.
Overall, small, charming shops are what characterizes the shopping in Lillehammer city center.
Two recommended hotels in the city center
There are plenty of hotels in Lillehammer, and two of the best are Clarion Collection Hotel Hammer and Hotell Mølla. Mølla is, as the norwegian name implies, and old mill turned into a hotel. The hotel also houses the restaurant Egon and popular Toppen Bar. Recommended if you want a hotel experience out of the ordinary! Like Mølla, Hotel Hammer is also in the middle of the city center with a short distance to everything from the charming pedestrian street to Maihaugen and the art museum.