5 tips for blackpackers

5 tips for blackpackers

There are countless reasons for visiting Oslo. Did you know that black metal is one of them?

VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen
Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

The story of black metal is a fascinating insight into a unique part of Norwegian musical culture.

The tale of the first Norwegian pioneers who, in the early 1990s, created their own genre and subculture, is so popular that every year, hundreds of tourists flock to Oslo to see the city that shaped their favourite bands. These tourists are often referred to as “blackpackers”, and Oslo provides much to see, do and eat for such tourists.

Here are five things to do as a blackpacker in Oslo:

1. Dovrehallen (The Dovre Mountain Hall)

Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO
Dovrehallen Bar & Restaurant
Photo: Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO

Don’t forget to eat between the sights! This traditional Norwegian restaurant and bar provides authentic Norwegian food in a homely, down-to-earth atmosphere. Oslo is a city with a plethora of different restaurants, serving food from all corners of the earth. Dovrehallen offers something so rare as traditional Norwegian food, like minced meat sandwiches, cod roe, pickled herring and pork chops.

Read more about Dovrehallen

2. Akershus Fortress

Akershus Fortress
Akershus Fortress
Photo: VisitOSLO/Thomas Johannessen

Akershus Fortress is a piece of Norwegian history and culture. Black metal bands have long had a fascination for everything in Norwegian lore, and many of them have made songs about Norwegian fortresses, castles and other landmarks from a vanished era.

Read more about Akershus Fortress

3. Inferno Metal Festival

Inferno Metal Festival
Inferno Metal Festival/Viktor Jæger
Photo: Viktor Jæger

Of course! The Inferno Festival has, ever since 2001, been the number one metal festival in Norway, and is still a great place to meet up with other fans of all forms of hard-hitting music. Every Easter week sees Oslo filled up by metalheads who’ve come to paint the city black. Black metal bands like Enslaved, Mayhem, Dimmu Borgir and Gorgoroth, have all performed at Inferno, and who knows? You might just find your new favourite band in the darkness!

Read more about Inferno

4. The Munch Museum

VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen
Munch Madonna
Photo: VisitOSLO/Didrick Stenersen

Several black metal bands incorporate some of the visual elements and themes of Edvard Munch, and Norwegian band Satyricon even used an obscure Munch illustration from 1898 as the cover art for their latest album. Munch’s visual depictions of existential angst and darkness have had a major influence on the black metal scene.

Read more about the Munch Museum


5. Neseblod (“Nosebleeds”)

Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO
Neseblod Records
Photo: Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO

A Mecca for all blackpackers. Neseblod has not only one of the greatest collections of black metal records, demos, cassettes, singles, etc, it also doubles as a black metal museum. The museum exhibits objects from the genre’s earlier days, like t-shirts and rare posters. Where Neseblod is now, there used to be another legendary black metal store: Helvete (“Hell”). Helvete was the first ever black metal record stores. It operated in the early 90s, and was owned by black metal pioneer and Mayhem guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth. Helvete was the main place where black metal musicians and fans gathered, and ultimately made musical history together.

Read more about Neseblod

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