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Bodo, Norway

Bodø is the seat of Nordland county in Norway. With 45 000 citizens, it is the second largest city in Northern Norway, after Tromsø. Bodø is located on a peninsula facing the open sea, and infamously windy.
It is a gateway to the Arctic, being the northern end station of the Norwegian railway network (except the short connection from Narvik to Sweden), and an important ferry station.

In the Viking Age, the province was known as Hålogaland, and famous for shipmaking. In 1663, Bodø was mentioned as a village with postal service. In the 19th century, fish canning became an important industry for Bodø and made the city grow. As Nazi Germany invaded Norway in 1940, they bombed Bodø on May 27, destroying most buildings. The city was rebuilt after the war and therefore looks remarkably modern.

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Bodo, Norway

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Bodø is the seat of Nordland county in Norway. With 45 000 citizens, it is the second largest city in Northern Norway, after Tromsø. Bodø is located on a peninsula facing the open sea, and infamously windy.
It is a gateway to the Arctic, being the northern end station of the Norwegian railway network (except the short connection from Narvik to Sweden), and an important ferry station.

In the Viking Age, the province was known as Hålogaland, and famous for shipmaking. In 1663, Bodø was mentioned as a village with postal service. In the 19th century, fish canning became an important industry for Bodø and made the city grow. As Nazi Germany invaded Norway in 1940, they bombed Bodø on May 27, destroying most buildings. The city was rebuilt after the war and therefore looks remarkably modern.

The city is the largest within a 600-kilometer radius, making it an important center of commerce and a hub for exploring the North of Norway.
The town is known for its powerful winds, so it would be wise to bring a wind jacket.

Tourist Office

  • Bodø Tourist Information, Tollbugata 13 (Hundholmen plass), ☎ +47 75 54 80 00, e-mail: turistinfo@bodo.kommune.no. Jun–Aug M–F 09:00–20:00, Sa 10:00–18:00, Su 10:00–18:00; Sep–Apr M–F 09:00–15:30. Helpful staff, of course, English-speaking. Numerous documents about Bodø and its surroundings.

Nature

Besides Saltstraumen, the municipality of Bodø has lots of wilderness to offer hikers. About 10 kilometers (6.2 mi) north of Bodø lies the popular recreation area Geitvågen. The area is inhabited by a large number of white-tailed eagles. Sjunkhatten National Park is partly located in Bodø municipality, and there are also 17 nature reserves. Sundstraumlian nature reserve has undisturbed mixed forest with marble bedrock Skånland with coastal pine forest, Børvatnet protecting a birch forest with many orchids, and Bliksvær nature reserve with well-preserved coastal nature of many types and rich bird life, making it a Ramsar site as well.

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Bodo, Norway: Port Information


The cruise ships dock (at the cruise port) within a walking distance from a town.

Get around Bodo, Norway


Bodø is a long, slender city around 2–3 km in width and over 10 km long in a roughly east-west line. This makes communication by bus well established for a city this size, and during weekdays busses go every fifteen minutes to-and-from town westwards. The Sentrumsrunden bus brings you anywhere you want within the city center, and there are also buses going northwards to the suburbs. The bus system is zonal, meaning that you pay more the further you are going.
There is also a service of regional buses to other cities, but they only depart a couple of times a day, or even more rarely if the distances are long. A bus to Sweden goes on weekends, making it possible to take a weekend trip, Friday to Sunday, to anywhere between Bodø and Skellefteå.
Many international car rental businesses are established in Bodø. The city has a good road network and many scenic roads. A car is desirable if you are planing to stay in town for a while or see the areas outside the suburban bus network.
Taxis are also available, but with typical Norwegian prices, you should be cautious about using them on longer trips.
You can also bike virtually everywhere in Bodø and suburbs, and there are many scenic routes to see.

What to see in Bodo, Norway


Museums

  • Norwegian Aviation Museum (Norsk Luftfartsmuseum), Olav V gate. Located in the shopping center area, a 20-minute walk from the city center, you can visit a quite large museum and experience the history of aviation and highlights from the Cold War. Bodø is one of the airfields used for U-2 high-altitude recon and ozone monitoring.
  • Bodø friluftsmuseum (Bodø open-air museum) (South of the Bodø camping). Open 24h. The inside of the houses can only be visited by appointment. Various traditional house styles from Bodø. 
  • Kjerringøy handelssted. Kjerringøy trading post is a 19th-century trade center typical for Northern-Norway. It's a museum, and you can get guided tours. Kjerringøy is a peninsula with beautiful scenery and many tourist activities. Busses from Bodø.

Churches

  • Bodø Cathedral

    (Bodø domkirke), Torvgata 12. Modern with a separate bell-tower and a beautiful window.
  • Bodin Kirke

    (Bodin Church) (In the South part of Bodø). One of the oldest churches in Norway, built around 1240. 

Music

  • Enjoy the many music festivals in the region every summer. The most renowned are Parkenfestivalen 1 and Nordland Musikkfestuke 2.

The first being a rather new popular-music festival, growing fast. Artists like Chris Cornell and Turbonegro have been there, along with major Scandinavian artists like Bo Kaspers Orkester, CC Cowboys, Dum Dum Boys and Timbuktu.
​Nordland Musikkfestuke is a more 'cultural' festival, concentrating on jazz, choirs, classical, and many internationally renowned musicians.
In recent years, the alternative music scene of Bodø has flourished. Bodø Hardcore Festival, a festival that attracts anything in the Scandinavian alt scene, is held every late autumn, and the very experimental Nødutgangfestivalen, with a focus on Industrial and Avant-Garde, is arranged every summer. Large names that have visited are Faust, The International Noise Conspiracy, and KK Null.

Hiking

  • Keiservarden (The Bodø summit) (In the East part of Bodø). You have not seen Bodø without a visit to Keiservarden. From the summit, you have a wonderful view towards Bodø, towards the surrounding islands and, if the weather is good enough, towards the Lofoten. There are several paths, all relatively easy. Count 1h hiking (one way) from the bottom, plus an additional 30 minutes (one way) from the city center.

Outside Bodø

  • Saltstraumen

    . The world's strongest maelstrom (tidal whirlpool), with some of the best fishing in the world. International fishing competitions are often held there, and there are possibilities of renting fishing gear or staying at the camping place. A must-see if you are in the region.
  • Watch the midnight sun at the beautiful beach of Mjelle, 30 minutes out of town by car.
  • Ride by boat to the lighthouse at Landegode, and have a look at the Norwegian coastline.

What to do in Bodo, Norway


  • Watch the midnight sun at the beautiful beach of Mjelle, 30 minutes out of town by car.
  • The boat that goes to Landegode also visits a number of other islands - instead of disembarking, stay on the boat and have a look at the Norwegian coastline.
  • Enjoy the many music festivals in the region every summer. The most renowned are Parkenfestivalen and Nordland Musikkfestuke.


The first being a rather new popular-music festival, growing fast. Artists like Chris Cornell and Turbonegro have been there, along with major Scandinavian artists like Bo Kaspers Orkester, CC Cowboys, Dum Dum Boys and Timbuktu.
Nordland Musikkfestuke is a more 'cultural' festival, concentrating on jazz, choirs, classical, and many internationally renowned musicians.
In recent years, the alternative music scene of Bodø has flourished. Bodø Hardcore Festival, a festival that attracts basically anything in the Scandinavian alt scene, is held every late autumn, and the very experimental Nødutgangfestivalen, with a focus on Industrial and Avant-Garde, is arranged every summer. Large names that have visited are Faust, The International Noise Conspiracy, and KK Null.

What to eat and drink in Bodo, Norway


Eat

Bodø does not have a great abundance of eateries, but there is a decent selection of cheap restaurants, as well as a couple of good gourmet restaurants.

  • Løvolds Kaféteria, Tollbugata 9, is one of the most traditional diners in Bodø. Serving traditional Norwegian food, as well as a very limited selection of norwegianized international food, this is considered an institution among many of the inhabitants, but mostly elders and people in the harbor scenery. Situated close to the harbor, in a fisherman's warehouse, the view from the inner part of the café is great. Good for lunch as well as dinner. One of the cheaper restaurants in town.
  • Rajas Rullekebab is the favorite of many of Bodø's young people. This small corner shop, just over the street from the aforementioned Løvolds, serves döner kebabs in fresh homemade limps of bread and is widely considered to be the best kebab shop in town. Even though they have a somewhat wide menu, they rarely sell anything but kebabs. Kebabs cost 80 NOK, which is quite pricey, but they might be worth it. They also have another eatery called Centrum Bistro, witch also focuses on döner kebab, but also have other types of fast food, like hamburgers, pizzas, and steaks.
  • Orion, situated close to the railway station, is a low-price diner that specializes in pizza and pasta but does have a pretty large selection of steaks, salads, and hamburgers. Prices are between 80-150 NOK.
  • Jernbanekaféen, on the second floor of the railway station, this is a nice place to wait for your train and serves a good variety of Norwegian food at a decent price.
  • Svendgårds, near the Glasshuset shopping-centre, is known as the best, but also the most expensive, restaurant in Bodø, and one of the best restaurants in Northern Norway. The food is typical for high-end restaurants, but specialties include typical Norwegian fish dishes.
  • Mama Rosa's, a small but nice eatery in the center of the part of town called Rønvik. They specialize in Italian styled pizzas and kebab and have a rumor of being the best money-for-value place in town, whose food quality rivals the nation-wide pizza restaurants.
  • The Great Ghandi, Dronningens gate 25, [1]. Two streets up from the main street Sjøgata. Serves very tasty Indian food for a decent price. 
  • Kjerringøy bryggehotell restaurant, Kaiveien 3, ☎ 004776303822, [2]. 1400-2100. Located in kjerringøy harbor 4 miles north of bodø, with fantastic seawiev. Enjoy your meal of local products on the big outside terrasse or inside the restaurant with panorama windows. It's also perfect for enjoying the midnight sun. It is open from June to mid-August. 

Drink

As with everywhere in Norway, alcohol is expensive and limited to those over 18, a law that is vigorously enforced. Liquors stronger than 22% vol. is limited to those older than 20. Beer can be bought at groceries, wine and spirits must be purchased at special outlets, Vinmonopolet. There are two of these in Bodø, one a short walk from the Glasshuset shopping mall, the other one inside City Nord, another shopping centre a bit away from the city centre.
Norwegians are known to engage more in binge drinking than many other nationalities, mainly because the culture of starting evenings with pre-parties at home drinking shop bought alcohols. They also tend to drink little during weekdays, with the exception of Wednesdays, something that gives them a tendency to consume a tad too much during weekends.

  • Kafé Kafka is a Franz Kafka-themed café, located very close to the central bus station. The quality of the food here has increased recently, but they still serve beer, wine, and booze. A very popular quiz session takes place every Monday evening, and the place is usually completely packed from about 8PM.
  • Cinema Pub. Located in the Glasshuset shopping mall next door to the cinema, this is currently the only place to drink for those between 18 and 20. Tired travelers should steer clear, on weekends this dark basement pub is packed with drunk teenagers, and extremely noisy.
  • 2.etg, in Glasshuset. One of the most popular late-bars/nightclubs in town. Quite crowded during weekends, but a good place if you want to go dancing and don't mind waiting a while for service.
  • Avenue, near the central bus station, this rather large late-bar is one of the most established places in Bodø. Its capacity is the largest in town, with room for over 500 people, something that has been a problem for the bar.
  • Top 13, is a sky-bar located on the top floor of the Radisson Blu hotel. This is a calm, not too crowded bar with a fabulous view of the city. They have the best selection of drinks and cocktails in town and can rival most places in Norway in selection. The bartenders are well trained and provide good service. The bar used to be the place to be for the social and cultural elite in Bodø, and during the 90's it was common to see local celebs and other wealthy people there, even though now it is usually facilitated by tourists and people taking a break from the more crowded nightclubs. No cc.
  • Public, near the lower side of the Koch shopping centre. It is a small rock'n'roll oriented bar, specializing in music from alternative to pop/rock, but plays mainstream music at times. It is extremely crowded, but if you get there early and get a large secluded booth it's a good place. They serve simple cocktails, an array of shots and have a good selection of lager beer. Maybe the best place to be if you're planning to go out during mid-week in down town. 
  • Piccadilly is just as the name suggests, a British-style pub, the only of its kind in Bodø. Quietly crowded with everything from heavy alcoholics to construction workers, communists, musicians, and painters, as well as combinations of the five, it is a strange experience. Sports a good selection in beer, wines, and spirits, but no food. Opens at 4PM, and serves cheap beer until 8PM, when the price skyrockets. Located on the other side of the road from Kafé Kafka. 
  • Bryggerikaia, at the harbour. One of the most classy establishments in Bodø. Its clients are mostly well established adults, and has a lively but not over-the-top atmosphere. They have a wide array of drinks, cocktails and beers and is a good place for people on business visiting Bodø and other mature people wanting to go somewhere informal but classy. 
  • Samfunnet, is the student pub/nightclub located in the Mørkved area on the campus of University College Bodø, some 10 km from the city center. A taxi trip will set you back around 250 kr, but there also is frequent bus traffic from and to town, the last one being at 4 o'clock during weekends, and at 1 o'clock during weekdays. It has a simple selection of beers, alcopops, and other drinks, but the best prices in town. Samfunnet is divided into three parts, the bar, the extra bar (open if it gets too crowded in the primary bar), and the scene/dancefloor. At a certain interval, they arrange Super Wednesdays, where prices drop to employee prices, and all parts of Samfunnet is open, and they stay open until 3:30AM. These Wednesdays usually attract many people, and the place is as crowded as other nightclubs/bars during weekends. 
  • Chonticha Thai Restaurant, Bankplassen, Storgata 11 B (200 m north of city square), ☎ +47 75563200. 12-22. Small authentic Thai restaurant with a broad range of typical Thai dishes, prepared as the Thais do to themselves - not to the tourists! Most dishes are with prawns, fish, chicken or pork. Beer (also thai beer), wines (mostly Italian) and a nice selection of alcohol (including absinthe), located in the northern part of the pedestrian street at ground level with huge windows in 3 directions. 36 seats + a small bar section. 

Shopping in Bodo, Norway


There are shopping centers, such as  Glasshuset, and  City Nord. Tourist may also be interested in going shopping to local gift shops to buy some authentic souvenirs.

Safety in Bodo, Norway


If you stay on land, you ought to be safe for most of the time.
If you go out on the sea for fishing or diving, check the local weather forecasts as rapid weather changes can occur, as if you go trekking.
If you go in the winter or up in the mountains, you should have some knowledge about when you need special skills.

Language spoken in Bodo, Norway


Norwegian is the official language of Norway, and it is the most commonly spoken language in Northern Norway. Norwegian is mutually intelligible with Danish and Swedish. Sami is official in seven municipalities, and Kven (close to Finnish) is official in one municipality. Russian is a common language in Kirkenes due to immigration, but it is not an official language.

Most Norwegians speak English well. In theory, all Norwegians are also able to speak a third language, usually German or French (but also Spanish, Italian or Russian), as learning a third language is mandatory in the Norwegian school. However, most people's knowledge of their third "school language" is basic at best.

LOCAL TIME

7:16 pm
June 17, 2019
Europe/Oslo

CURRENT WEATHER

10.46 °C / 50.828 °F
overcast clouds
Tue

11.57 °C/53 °F
light rain
Wed

11.25 °C/52 °F
light rain
Thu

12.42 °C/54 °F
light rain
Fri

10.87 °C/52 °F
overcast clouds

LOCAL CURRENCY

NOK

1 USD = 0 NOK
1 EUR = 0 NOK
1 GBP = 0 NOK
1 AUD = 0 NOK
1 CAD = 0 NOK

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