Very subjective guide on “city life” in Lofoten

Svolvaer

Some people expect certain standards (like opportunities to eat out, drink and have fun) when travelling. Lofoten islands would not be this type of destination and the Italian guys from my other post learnt the lesson about it. It doesn’t mean though that the islands are a desolate and out-of-civilisation place either, which was a surprise for two German girls who brought all their food supplies in big heavy backpacks.

So can you do anything on Lofoten which is not outdoorsy? To be honest I can’t really say much about this subject. And it is not only that it is very expensive (which it is) to go out in Norway but I mainly go there to do more adventurous stuff or at least to be away from crowds. But there is always a time when you need to go shopping or feel like having a coffee in the café to warm yourself up after a busy or cold day. So below there’s my subjective guide about “social life opportunities” on Lofoten (“city life” from the post title is just a tease really).

Graffiti by Pobel in Henningsvær

Graffiti by Pobel in Henningsvær

I mentioned Henningsvær in my other posts, it is one of the places claiming to be the “Venice of the North” because of the great waterfront streets. It used to be a popular fishing village and although now it is getting quieter, it still has some “artsy” atmosphere about it (in a good sense). Café’s, art and photo galleries, climbing centre, etc., there is quite a lot to choose from. Unfortunately it is not very busy out of season and I could see some buildings in an urgent need of repair. More people need to go there to spend some money and keep the business going…

Henningsvaer, Lofoten

Henningsvaer, Lofoten

I sometimes wonder how it is going to be when I get older, how it will affect my energy levels. And there I was, admiring the views of Henningsvær when I noticed two elderly ladies having an afternoon stroll with their walking aids. They looked so interesting that I decided to take a photo and after running (!) to catch up with them I managed to capture two figures walking away with the speed I wish I had when at their age.

Two elderly ladies running away from me, Henningsvær

Two elderly ladies running away from me, Henningsvær

 

But back to my guide. Leknes is one of the main Lofoten towns but somehow it is not very appealing to me. It has all it needs to have but lacks some charm. There is an airport here and bus connections to all important places on Lofoten so one usually at least passes by. It also has a yearly country music festival which I missed by a few days without much regret to be honest. Because of the location I have spent a lot of time shopping or having a latte in the shopping centre called Lofotsentr. Tip: If you are after cheaper groceries, another supermarket called Rema 1000 usually has better prices than Co-op in Lofotsentr. Just opposite the road.

When meeting friends in Leknes we even risked a meal out in an Italian pizzeria called Milano. What I liked the most (being very indecisive when it comes to food choices) was that the price of a smaller (half-size) pizza was exactly half-price of a bigger one. And the pizza was good with price affordable even for UK standards. Cannot say it about beer though… One shop caught my attention when leaving the restaurant and made me question my geography lessons at school.

"Asia" shop in Leknes, Lofoten

“Asia” shop in Leknes, Lofoten

The most chance of social life one has in Svolvær. There is even kind of a town square there with shops, café’s and restaurants. I haven’t spent much time in Svolvær as we prefer the other side of the islands but it was busy even out of season. The shopping centre is bigger than in Leknes with more shops and food outlets.

Svolvær

Svolvær

Svolvær

Svolvær

There are so many other great places to grab some food or drink when driving around but it is so interesting to discover them on our own. So try and stop as often as you can on the way and forget about crowds as it is cheaper anyway to drink in a hostel or hotel. I will try to explore them a bit more next time although it might be difficult if I visit again out of season…

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