Hamar is a charming Norwegian city that sits on the banks of Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake. With my brother and his family living nearby, this was not my first trip to the sweet little city. I always leave Norway feeling refreshed with boosted wellbeing so on this trip I paid special attention to why this area of the world makes me feel fantastic –so I could share with you!
Here’s how you can explore this part of the world and leave with an extra skip in your step.
How to get there? Frequent trains travel to Hamar from Oslo Lufthaven airport station and take about an hour. You can then walk to everything in town from the station.
What to do? As we know, five things can help us feel happier, more positive and able to get the most out of life. With Norway being one of the healthiest (#11) and the happiest (#1) countries in the world, it’s no surprise that Hamar has plenty of ways to explore these Ways to Wellbeing.
Here are my top tips to thrive in Hamar according to the 5 Ways to Wellbeing:
- Connect | Spend an afternoon in the community hub called Larsen Café. This sweet café has so much more than incredible coffee, food and the loveliest boutique –they’ve created a real place to ‘be’ in community. Every time I go there, I see families and friends spending real time with each other and connecting. Even better, Larsen has a back garden, which is not only great for hanging out in but also hosts loads of musicians to bring the community together.
- Be Active | Being active is the norm in Norway so it’s not hard to find a footpath or beach to take a stroll on. What’s really popular, though, is biking. There are loads of incredible trails in the area, like the Pilgrim Route (#7), or many others, which you can find with bicycle maps from the Norwegian Tourist Association.
- Be Mindful | Pack a picnic and one-time use BBQ (that you can buy from any grocery store) and head to Koigen Park so you can relax on the beach of the largest lake in Norway, Mjøsa. If you really want to do it Norwegian style, make sure you pick up some hot dogs (or pølse) in a tortilla-looking wrap made of potato (called a Lompe). If savouring the moment means something more active for you, there are also lots of opportunities to move at the park as well (i.e. outdoor gym, basketball court, sand volleyball, etc.).
- Keep learning | Take an exhilarating leap off the most expensive diving tower in Norway at Koigen Park (I was buzzing the rest of the day after one jump!). Or, learn how to wakeboard at the fantastic Seaside Cablepark, which is a great place to learn the basics without having to negotiate the wake of a boat as well.
- Give to others | Volunteer at Mercy House, an independent Christian ministry focusing on supporting refugees and immigrants. Even if you’re not religious, they’ll welcome any helping hand that wants to help build community and support those in need.
Where to stay? Airbnb is always a great choice with some apartment listings right on the lake. You can even get £30 off your booking if you open a new account and use my link here! Make sure to follow the link and then open a new account to get the discount. If you already have an account, just make a new one with a different email address! Here are some of the top Airbnb places in the area.
With these tips, you can leave Hamar feeling a boost of wellbeing that will hopefully bring you back into your daily routine feeling like a happy, healthy Norwegian 🙂