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Tartu travel guide

Tartu is located in the southeast of Estonia close to Russia’s border and is the country second city.

Tartu is a university town with a great vibe, picturesque wooden houses, stately buildings, beautiful parks and riverfront and classically designed 18th-century buildings.

How to get to Tartu

Tartu is located about 185 kilometres southeast of Tallinn and connections between the two cities are frequent. The bus is your best option. While there are trains available, they are less frequent and more expensive.

I recommend spending at least two full days in Tartu to have enough time to get a good feel of the city and enjoy some of its unique culture and atmosphere.

How yo move around

The best way to get around is on foot. Most places of interest are located within walking distance of each other. If you prefer there is an extensive and easy-to-use bus system in Tartu.

Best Things To Do In Tartu, Estonia
Raekoja Square (Raekoja Plats)

Tartu’s main square, Raekoja plats is a scenic place, with cobblestone, decorative architecture in shades of pastel colours, classically designed 18th-century buildings and rows of restaurants.

A great place to start a visit to Tartu. This funny-shaped square runs from the city’s town hall down towards the Emajõgi River.

You can find here the beloved Kissing Students Fountain, a symbol of Tartu in front of the Town Hall.

The Town Hall (which also doubles as the tourist information centre) is a neoclassical gem, built in 1789. On the end opposite the town hall, there is a yellow National Geographic frame, one of 21 such frames in Southern Estonia.

St. John’s Church

St. John’s Church is a gothic brick Lutheran church in the Old Town with an eye-catching and beautiful brick design.

The inside is not that spectacular but it is one of the highest buildings in Tartu and it is possible to climb up the tower for views over the city. Inside there are some cool sculptures.

Soup Town (Supilinn neighbourhood)

One of the more unusually interesting neighbourhoods to visit in Tartu is the Supilinn neighbourhood also known as Soup Town.

The neighbourhood is full of old wooden houses and the streets are named after soup ingredients. Soup Town is being rapidly renovated, but still offers an interesting look into Tartu pre-WWII.

Toome Hill and Toomemäe Cathedral Ruins

Toome Hill is home to Toomemäe Park, a lovely green space filled with statues and beautiful monuments. In this place, early settlers built fortifications in the 7th century.

The park of Toome Hill is also home to two curiously named bridges that link up walking paths, the Angel’s Bridge and Devil’s Bridge.

At the centre of Toome Hill are the open-air ruins of the old cathedral that was destroyed not long after during the Livonian War.

The intact part of the cathedral is now the University of Tartu Museum. You can visit the museum and climb up its towers for good views over Tartu.

University of Tartu

Tartu University is the country’s largest university (which happens to also be one of Europe’s oldest!). It was established in 1632, and has been the beating heart of the city for centuries.

The main university building is an elegant neoclassical building in Old Town.

University of Tartu Botanical Garden

The Tartu Botanical Gardens are absolutely stunning and incredibly peaceful, a must if the weather is good. It is free to enter the outdoor gardens, but the greenhouses do charge an entry fee of €3 adults.

Local Street Art

Tartu’s creative spirit is alive and you can see that on the strong culture of street art.

To find from large murals to little portraits you can use the street art map to find and experience the best of Tartu’s graffiti.

Karlova neighbourhood is the epicentre of most of Tartu’s street art and where the annual Stencibility Street Art Festival takes place.

Emajõgi Riverfront

The Emajogi River translating from Estonian as “Mother River” runs through Tartu between Lake Vortsjarv and Lake Peipsi and is the only navigable river in Estonia. The gentle Emajõgi Riverfront is an important defining feature of Tartu’s landscape.

There is a lovely riverside to stroll along with many cafes and trendy bars, bench swings, and a lovely park. It is definitely worth taking a stroll along the river. Perfect place to take a rest and watch as boats float.

Aparaaditehas

Aparaaditehas is a hip and creative complex similar to the Telliskivi Creative City in Tallinn. A trendy area housed in a former Soviet Widget factory with a number of cool restaurants, shops, and cafes with a very artistic vibe.

Markets

The Tartu market hall is an indoor market located in the centre of Tartu, that offers a large selection of fresh food.

The open-air Tartu Market is located on the shore of the River Emajõgi. A great place to buy fresh produce.

Although most visitors to Estonia keep to the capital, Tallinn, it’s not the only city worth exploring. Tartu is a fascinating city filled with interesting and unique things to do. 

Are you planning on visiting Tartu? Have you been? Let me know in the comments!

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Travelling vegan in Macedonia

Travelling vegan in North Macedonia

Macedonia is not the most vegan-friendly of countries. Traditional Macedonian food involves quite a lot of meat, but also delicious salads.

If you are up to come up with your own quick vegan meal, some supermarkets have some choice of plant-based milk, nuts, crackers, fruits and veggies.

But there are also some dishes that are vegan in the traditional Macedonian cuisine. Just keep in mind that the word vegan or even vegetarian doesn’t mean much to the majority of people. Plus not all people speak English very well, and because I don’t speak Macedonian either, google translator was my way to go.

Traditional vegan Macedonian Food

While in Macedonia there are a few things that you can’t miss trying.

Ajvar is a spread made out of roasted peppers, aubergine, garlic and olive oil. It goes amazingly well with bread and vegetables. You can find Ajvar in all supermarket. Lutenica is similar to ajvar but has carrots, onion and tomatoes.

Gevrek is a circular bread ring covered in sesame seeds. It’s easily found on the street or in bakeries and is delicious on its own or with Ajvar.

Tavche Gravche is a traditional Macedonian dish that is vegan by default. Its a bean stew made with spices cooked in an earthenware pot. Sometimes it can contain sausage so just double-check before you ask for it. Most traditional restaurants serve this dish.

Polneti Piperki is a dish where peppers are usually stuffed with meat, but some restaurants will be happy to do it with rice and vegetables.

Travelling vegan in Skopje

Skopje the capital city of North Macedonia is probably the place where you will find more vegan option, but with that, I’m not saying that it is a well-spread concept or that it is super easy to find good vegan options.

The Juicy&Co makes a perfect stop for fresh juices, smoothies, fruit salads, muesli bowls and raw balls.

The green market, also known as Bit Pazar located in the heart of the Old Bazaar is the biggest market for fruit and vegetables, a great place to buy fresh produce.

Top 3 vegan places in Ohrid

Chances are, if you are travelling through north Macedonia, you will visit the charming Ohrid. That goes without saying that doesn’t have many options for you to choose from.

Sezers Food & Salads

Sezers serves delicious Turkish salads, soups, grilled vegetables, veggie spreads, and bean salads. It’s a perfect place to go for lunch or dinner. The food is fresh and tasty.

Dr.Falafel

As stated on the name, Dr. Falafel is a place specialized in falafel. Here you can have your falafel server on bread with hummus or you can have a falafel bun with carrot, cucumber, cauliflower and cabbage. Both options are delicious and filling.

Fruit Box

Fruit Box is a juice and smoothie bar that also serves vegan snacks, energy balls and raw cake. Everything I tried was incredible.

Have you been to North Macedonia? Do you know any other Macedonian dish that is vegan by default? 🙂

Visiting Trakai Castle in Lithuania

Trakai is a small town with a fairy-tale castle, located just 28 Km away from the capital Vilnius. Most of the town stands on a 2km long piece of land between two lakes.

Trakai Castle: A Medieval Fairytale in Lithuania

The castle is the main attraction here, and the views from outside are sublime. The Trakai Island Castle (Lithuanian: Trakų salos pilis) was built in the Gothic and Romanesque styles for defence purposes, estimated to date from around 1400.

When inside the castle, which now acts as a museum (€7), you’re free to walk around and explore, through the corridors and courtyards, but would be nice if they had more exhibitions going on.

Aside from the museum exhibitions, the grounds of Trakai make for an interesting visit. The main courtyard of the castle has several devices of punishment, that you can test, like a human-sized cage.

A visit to Trakai makes a great day out from Vilnius and during the short journey you get to see a little of the countryside.

From Vilnius to Trakai Castle by public transport

To get here from Vilnius it’s quite easy and cheap.

Go to Vilnius bus station (by the train station, outside the old town), and get an intercity bus that rides on Trakai direction. It costs €2 each way. You pay the ticket inside the bus from the driver.

Platforms No. 6, 7, 8 (local), 28 and 29 (intercity, via Alytus).

The Castle is at the opposite end of Trakai town, so takes around 20-30 mins walking to get to the castle.

Take a stroll in the town of Trakai

If you have time is also nice to have a stroll through the town of Trakai with its Karaites-style houses. It’s also possible to rent a paddleboat or kayak to explore the lake and get a different view of the castle.

Would you like to visit Trakai Castle in Lithuania?

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vilnius street art

Checking out the street art is an absolute must when travelling through Lithuania and visiting the capital city Vilnius.

Art scene

The streets of Vilnius are dotted all over with amazing pieces of art. Although the city has plenty to see you need to know where to go. There is a map here with the most famous ones.

Even in Vilnius Old Town, you can find small stickers, stencils and graffiti.

from post-industrial quarter to open-air gallery

You can’t miss the Open Gallery in Vilnius a long-term interdisciplinary project and cultural initiative, located in the post-industrial district Naujamiestis.

Here you will find lots of creative projects such as paintings on the factory walls, installations, sculptures, performances, etc.

The spread of art in Vilnius doesn‘t stop with the Open Gallery, new murals keep appearing around the city.

Užupis, Vilnius’s bohemian heart

The small bohemian republic called Užupis with its own constitution and special independence day has lots of colourful street art to be found. Most work is concentrated by the Vilnia River.

Have you been to Vilnius? Did you see any of the eye-catching street art? What’s your favourite street art city?

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vilnius vegan scene

When you first arrive in Lithuania the first impression is that they are as far from being vegan-friendly as you can get. Lithuania is not exactly known for being a culinary paradise, heavily centred on meat and dairy…. and well potatoes.. but that is vegan 😉

However, like many other major cities, Vilnius has a growing vegan scene, like its neighbour country Estonia.

Nowadays there are a number of places with vegan options, especially around the University.  If you’re looking for the best plant-based options in Vilnius, here are my 5 favourite spots:

The best vegan food in Vilnius
RoseHip Vegan Bistro

This is one of the best vegan places in Vilnius. Everything I tried here was absolutely delicious, plus the staff was very kind and friendly.

The restaurant is very well decorated with electric pinks and cute neon signs.

Vieta – conscious vegetarian and vegan food

Cosy, rustic and comfortable place with a great variety of vegan/vegetarian food, located in the centre of Vilnius. The Menu is well-labelled so you easily see what is vegan.

The area is not too big, and it’s popular with local students, so better to book a table just to be on the safe side.

Vegafe
Its a really nice restaurant that served a wide variety of delicious vegan options.

Vegafe isn’t strictly vegan, they work on ayurvedic principles, but all the vegan options are clearly indicated and the staff is friendly and happy to turn several vegetarian options into vegan upon request.

 

Radharanė

The environment is cosy and warm, and the menu has lots of pictures what can be really helpful.

The food is delicious and if you are into it there are lots of deep-fried things on the menu. I personally loved the rice with chickpeas, kofta and fresh carrot juice.  The soups are also delicious.

Chaika
Chaika is a cute little tea shop that serves coffee and tea with plant-based milk, vegan sandwiches and desserts from another world. Probably the best vegan desserts in Vilnius.
Definitely worth the trip.

Have you been to any of these places in Vilnius? Do you have any other recommendation?

Vilnius, the very best things to do

Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius surprises with its green spaces, charming squares, hipster cafes, churches, history and artistic vibe.

Phrasing the recent tourist ad that went viral: Vilnius is ‘the G-spot of Europe: Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it, it’s amazing’

Old Town

Vilnius’ Old Town is truly beautiful with pebbly streets, period buildings, pastel-coloured walls and quaint little streets.

Vilnius Historic Centre is protected by Unesco, is one of the largest surviving medieval old towns in Northern Europe and a delight to explore.

Pilies Gatvè is the hub of touristic action and the main entrance to Oldtown.

The Gediminas Tower is the lasting part of a castle, located on top of a hill. From here you have panoramic views of the Old Town. (€5)

If you are not up for the walk get the funicular to Gediminas Hill (cable car) can take you for €1.50.

Hill of Three Crosses

The Three Crosses is a monument erected in 1989. Not a super interesting place in my opinion, but the views during sunset are quite nice.

Palace of The Grand Dukes of Lithuania

Is a well-presented museum with a mix of old palace ruins, history of the leaders of Lithuania, archaeological finds and Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art collections. (€7)

The best part is the 3D virtual reality tour that you can take to see and feel the past.

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square is a place that buzzes with life. Here you find the Vilnius Cathedral the main Roman Catholic Cathedral in Lithuania.

The Cathedral sits right in front of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.

Churches

Smaller charming neoclassical and baroque churches are there to be found around town like the St John’s Church, St Anne’s Church and the Church of St Peter & Paul.

The campanile of St John’s Church is the highest viewpoint in town – €2.50, a great place to contemplate the beauty of the city.

Užupis

The Užupis district is a cool and edgy neighbourhood that sits across the river from Old Town Vilnius. Užupis declared itself an independent republic on April 1, 1997. Created by bohemians and artists is a home for the dreamers.

This place has its own flag, its own national day (April 1st) and its own constitution. It is packed with trendy bars, galleries, boutiques and restaurants.

On Thursdays, nearby Tymo Turgus food market is the destination for organic produce, there’s also plenty of street food.

 Jewish history

Vilnius’ Jewish Quarter is a particularly pretty section of the city’s old town. This area of Vilnius is all cobblestone streets, paper lanterns, and carved wooden doors.

There are a few museums to visit in the area dedicated to the history and the people that used to live there and about the genocide.

Art scene

Checking out the street art is an absolute must. The cobbled streets of Vilnius are dotted all over with amazing pieces of street art. There is a map here with the most famous street art.

You can’t miss the Open Gallery in Vilnius a long-term interdisciplinary project and cultural initiative, located in the post-industrial district Naujamiestis.

Here you will find tons of creative projects such as paintings on the factory walls, installations, sculptures, performances, etc.

It’s free to visit.

Museums and Galleries

The Nacionalinė Dailės Galerija (called NDG), located across the River Neris from the centre has a collection of contemporary art.

The National Museum of Lithuania displays artefacts from Lithuanian life from Neolithic times.

For 15th to 19th-century Lithuanian sacred art, the Museum of applied art is the place to go.

Gate of Dawn

The chapel in the Gate of Dawn in the former city wall hosts the famous Madonna.

This place attracts pilgrims from all over the world who visit seeking miracles even if you’re not religious the gate is quite impressive.

Hales Market

The Hales Market dates back to 1906 and it’s one of the oldest markets in the city.

A great place to browse and check out the Lithuanian fresh produce and cuisine.

There are also a couple of coffee shops and fast food stalls in the market.

Literatu gatvė

Writer’s Lane, or Literatu Gatvė is a stretch of a street dedicated to Lithuanian writers.

Parks and gardens

There are many lush, green spaces in Vilnius and if the weather is fine, many locals and tourists alike like spending time in them.

Just outside of the city on the banks of the River Neris is Verkiai Regional Park, a great place with lakes, cycle paths and stunning green spaces. The park is always open and the entrance is free.

Bernardine Garden is a nice and peaceful place close to the Cathedral Square and the Gediminas Castle Tower

Vilnius’ botanical garden located on the outskirts of Vilnius was founded in 1781. The place is stunning and a must-see. Entry €1.5o

Getting to and around Vilnius

Getting to Vilnius is quite straight forward, with a city airport receiving flights from all over Europe. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the city centre (around 10 Euro), or you can also take the bus or train, both cheaper options.

Vilnius is a compact city, and most sights are easily reached on foot.

Free Walking Tour

It’s great to do a free walking tour from Vilnius With Locals. It lasts about 2.5 hours and gives a great introduction to Vilnius and its history and interesting sites.

It gives you a good “first look” in the city, the opportunity to speak with a local and get some recommendations.

Is Vilnius worth visiting? The answer is definitively yes!

Are you planning to visit Vilnius? Have you been? 

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Vegan Guide to Saigon

If you’re traveling to the south of Vietnam you will likely end up in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). It’s really easy to travel as a vegan in Vietnam. There’s so much great vegan food around that is almost unbelievable and Ho Chi Minh is no exception. You can find great vegan places around the city.

Saigon has a great vegan scene, due to its young population, the prevalence of Buddhism. From street vendors to restaurants there are endless plant-based options to be found in the streets of Saigon.

There are a big number of ‘Quan Chay’ (vegetarian restaurants) which serve at least a large selection of vegan food. Just look for the word “chay” in shop banners

From my experience language can be a barrier so it’s better to be prepared. I normally do a PrintScreen of some keywords from google translator.

Vegan Guide to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Here’s my guide on where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City.

Filthy Vegan

Filthy Vegan is located in District 1, the heart of the city, and serves delicious vegan comfort food. They try to be zero waste and use biodegradable packaging.

Friendly staff with fast service. All the food I tried was delicious and everything they sell here is vegan.

10% of the profit goes to a vegan charity based in Vietnam.

Nhà Hàng Chay Bà Xã

Ba Xa is a Vietnamese vegan restaurant with an extensive menu and tasty food. You can try a variety of faux meats but also tofu and vegetable dishes, the food is fresh and delicious.

Phúc Quang Chay

Phuc Quang Chay is a vegan restaurant with a large menu of Vietnamese dishes, with organic and raw options located in District 1.

Veggie Saigon Cafe & Restaurant

Veggie Saigon serves  Vietnamese dishes in vegan and international versions. All the food I’ve tried was delicious, fresh and full of flavor. They have an extensive menu and a central location.

Thực Phẩm Chay Âu Lạc

Âu Lạc is a small chain of vegan restaurants and food stores.

The one I went to served really good food, especially for the price. During the day they have a great buffet of mock meat, stir-fries, rice, spring rolls, etc.

Because is a buffet you can get by easily without speaking Vietnamese you can just point at what you’d like.

If you want to cook you can find all you need to cook with except fresh vegetables.

Nha Toi vegan

Nha Toi, is a vegan restaurant with a large menu with mostly Vietnamese food.

You can order from the menu or have the buffet plate. Everything I tried was delicious and super flavourful.

I hope this guide to being vegan in HCMC has put your mind at ease, Vegan food here is abundant and delicious. Vietnam is an awesome place to travel and is well worth the trip.

Saigon’s top sights

Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon, is Vietnam‘s busiest city. There’s so much to see and do here, whether you’re staying for just a few days or planning to visit for a month.

If you’re planning to spend time in Ho Chi Minh City, here is a list of the top 6 things to do around Saigon’s region.

Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta, is an incredibly beautiful and exotic place with its great floating markets, where locals sit on boats to sell their wares, small villages along the canals and spectacular rice paddies.

It’s possible to visit the Mekong Delta without a tour and is actually quite easy. You just need to ask around and combine different ways of transport, bus, ferry or rent a motorbike. Save at least 3 days to explore the Mekong.

If you are looking for a more comfortable experience there are many cruise routes along the Mekong Delta.

Củ Chi Tunnels

Deep under the ground, you’ll find a network of connecting tunnels, called the Củ Chi Tunnels.

To get here from Ho Chi Minh on your own you can choose from one of these options: motorbike, car, bus or speedboat.

To get there by public bus first, take the bus nº 13 from 23-9 park (nearby Pham Ngu Lao, backpacker area) to Cu Chi bus station. Then transfer to Bus nº 79 headed to Ben Duoc. This is by far the cheapest option but the total travelling time is around two and a half hours. To return to HCMC get the bus nº79.

Tip: download the BusMap app beforehand to make travelling by bus in and around Ho Chi Minh City a breeze.

These tunnels were once in use by the military and acted as hiding places, living quarters, hospitals and supply routes, all safely hidden from view. This gives a fascinating insight into life in Saigon through the Vietnam War.

There are two entrances:  Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc that for some reason have different entrance fees.

Ben Dinh or Ben Duoc?

The truth is, Ben Duoc is the best example of the original tunnels and is cheaper. Ben Dinh is closer to Ho Chi Minh City therefor more touristy.

Delicious vegan food

Saigon is a paradise for vegan food lovers, there is an abundance of choice, quality and great prices everywhere you look.

Find incredible temples

Ho Chi Minh City is filled with magnificent temples, to be discovered all over the city.

The famous Thien Hau Temple, located in District 5 in the Chinatown has great small details and decoration.

Standing out amidst Vietnamese architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral is distinctly European. Created by French colonists, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon has two bell towers and some incredibly impressive stained glass windows.

Phuoc Hai Temple, also known as the Jade Emperor Pagoda. located in District 1 – the downtown of Saigon displays many statues of saints in Chinese culture.

Markets

Don’t miss Ho Chi Minh City’s vibrant and bustling street markets. These are an incredible sight, and a chance to sample local foods and flavours.

The most famous market in Vietnam is the hugely varied Ben Thanh Market, but if you go to Binh Tay Market you will find better prices and have a more “local” experience.

Binh Tay Market is located in the Cholon area of Ho Chi Minh City, which is Chinatown.

For something more unusual, find military memorabilia at Dan Sinh Market, or go to incredibly colourful Ho Thi Ky for the largest wholesale flower market.

Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre

Often described as one of the best things to see in Ho Chi Minh City, the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre is an attraction that’s not to be missed. Here you can enjoy Vietnamese culture amongst the locals and other tourists. Often the shows are presented entirely in Vietnamese, but can still be enjoyed if you don’t speak the language.

Staff will explain the premise of the story before the colourful puppet show begins. Water puppetry is a Vietnamese tradition, so this attraction is an experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

How to get around Saigon

If you fly to Ho Chi Minh city, you can take a taxi or bus from the Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport to the city. To take the bus look for bus nº152, it will take you all the way to Ben Thanh Market.

HCMC is not the most pleasant place to walk around because of the crazy amount of motorbikes but its still the best option especially in the central areas of town. Walking is always one of the best ways to explore any city.

To get somewhere outside Ho Chi Minh, renting a motorbike is the best option, there are plenty of rentals agencies, and the fare for the day is quite cheap.

You can also use the local bus system that is a cheap and safe way to get around town.

Using a taxi can be challenging, and to be fair I avoid using them when possible. If you go with this option make sure you take a reliable company and confirm the taxi is legit.

You’ll have to spend quite a few days in the area to see everything this region has to offer. Have you ever been to Saigon? What are the things to do in Saigon that you enjoyed the most?

photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha

Chocolate Fudge Brownies

I definitely have a sweet tooth, but as we all know sugar is not great for our health, so in order to be able to fulfil my sugary desires, I try to make my own sweet treats as much possible using natural ingredients. cutting down on processed food, rich in refined sugar and saturated fat, with no real nutritional value.

When I can’t make my own snacks I always choose to buy from a small, local and independent business, that have values aligned with mines.

Deliciously Guilt Free

Basma and Dan are the magic hands behind Deliciously Guilt Free. They started baking their own sweet snacks when Basma was pregnant with her first child and was diagnosed with pregnancy diabetes.

They now bake and sell indulgent keto treats like brownies, blondies, cakes and biscuits that are both low sugar and low carb. Everything they sell is handmade in their kitchen in Cambridge, UK.

I can’t recommend enough their vegan chocolate fudge brownies. They are absolutely delicious, gooey, meltingly soft, mega chocolatey, dense, fudgy and everything a chocolate lover could dream of.

Seriously the best Vegan Brownies I’ve ever had! The quality is amazing, they are virtually carb and sugar-free, made with Tofu, Almonds, Coconut Oil, Coconut milk, cocoa and cocoa butter. Made without any weird ingredients, you’d never believe that they could taste this good!

I’m trying my best to describe them, but I feel I’m not making them justice, so nothing better than trying for yourself 😉 for all the chocoholics out there, this is for you!

They ship to all over the UK, USA and Ireland and hope to ship to more EU countries in the near future.

I just hope that more vegan products get launched in the future 🙂

The vegan guide to Norway

Norway is a beautifully simple country with breathtaking landscapes. If you love nature, exploring new places and vegan food then it should be one for your travel bucket list.

You may think it’s difficult to find good vegan food in Norway, but right now there is a vegan revolution happening in this unlikely Nordic country. If you are going further afield, make sure you read The Secret Traveller’s top tips.

So, here are just a few reasons why Norway can be a vegan food haven:

It’s gaining traction, fast

Although many traditional dishes are meat and fish-based, the country has seen a rise in vegans in the past few years. Apparently, it’s the fastest-growing food category in grocery stores. Over the past 6 years, the total number of people eating ethically in Norway has increased by a huge 80%, so it seems to be going in the right direction.

Oslo is the place to be

Oslo, Norway’s capital is quickly becoming an exciting destination for vegans, with more than one hundred places offering plant-based options.

Silk Road

They have a very eclectic menu with dishes from different cuisines. Everything I tried was absolutely delicious. The quality, flavour and presentation are mind-blowing.

Food Shack

If you’re in the mood for some proper junk food without the guilt, Food Shack serves delicious jackfruit and other plant-based burgers.

Nature and the Fjords

Norway is a great place to appreciate and connect with nature. Just think about the majestic mountains, crystal-clear waters, and vibrantly green fields that dominate much of the country.

On top of that if you visit the Geirangerfjord in north-western Norway pop into the Geiranger Chocolate Factory to try some of the vegan chocolates they have.

Fjords Norway travel

Food markets and festivals

The Trøndersk Food Festival happens during the summer in Trondheim, and represents over 200 of the country’s local producers. Again, there’s a lot of meat and fish as you’d expect, but there are also plenty of fresh veggie dishes to get stuck into. The Gladmat food festival in Stavanger is also another one for your list – it draws in over 250k foodies on an annual basis, and has live music, too.

vegan Norway APP 

There is a free app which helps you find all the vegan-friendly places in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim & Stavanger, called Vegan Norway ( iOS * Android )

So there you have it – the vegan foodie’s guide to Norway. Have you got your own tips and tricks when travelling the Nordic countries? Let me know!