Hotels in Lillehammer
SKI TO YOUR HEART’S CONTENT IN LILLEHAMMER
Lillehammer is a skier’s paradise with over 116 km of slopes and 1,500 km of cross country trails! Nestled in a beautiful private park, the luxury Radisson Blu Lillehammer Hotel makes a wonderful base for a skiing holiday and is just a stone’s throw from Lillehammer’s main street, the Olympic Park and Maihaugen Museum. After an exhilarating day on the slopes, look forward to time out in the hotel’s relaxing fitness and leisure centre!
The hotel is nestled in sumptuous surroundings and has a wealth of facilities to offer its guests. Here you can choose between two restaurants and several bars, not to mention two heated swimming pools. Perhaps you'd like to try your hand at mini-golf, or take a trip to the Olympic Park and try some of the activities there? The choices are endless and the Radisson Blu Lillehammer Hotel is right in the action.
Lillehammer was founded by merchant Ludvig Wiese; there is a statue of him in Lilletorget, erected there to commemorate the city's centenary celebrations. Lillehammer was awarded township in 1827, and city status in 1842.
In recent years, the city has almost gained cult status following the production of the Lilyhammer series by NRK and Netflix, starring Steven van Zandt in the lead role. Van Zandt is known for being a guitarist with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and from The Sopranos television series. The Lilyhammer series is about Frank Tagliano, a former Mafia member from New York, who moves to Lillehammer after having testified against his boss. The transition to unemployed immigrant in Norway is far from easy and Frank resorts to extortion and intimidation to survive in rural Norway. Most of the series is filmed in Lillehammer, so here you can follow Frank's footsteps around the city. You might even spot Frank himself wandering around Storgata!
In addition to the usual chain stores, Lillehammer has several speciality boutiques. The costume shop at Storgata 47 is among the biggest of its kind in the country and here you will find all the costumes provided through Husfliden. The shop also sells wool, clothes and gifts for every occasion with a focus on Norwegian traditions. So here you can really find something unique and truly Norwegian.
Like most other cities, Lillehammer also has a number of shopping malls. Just 15 minutes from the city centre is Strandtorget shopping mall with its 65 exciting shops. Here you will find many of the stores shops you know and also some you don't. FABRIKKEN is a creative business centre with over 30 different companies working in creative professions. You'll see glass blowers, musicians, artists, photographers, graphic designers, potters, jewellers and many other creative types. The premises recently housed Steen & Strøms Møbelfabrikk - from where the name FABRIKKEN came. Here you can buy arts and crafts and visit the studios.
The area surrounding Lillehammer also has plenty to offer shopaholic visitors. From Lillehammer up through the valley there are many local communities that let you shop locally. Segalstad Bru, Øyer, Tretten, Fåvang, Ringebu, Vinstra, Kvam and Otta are places where you can find many little treasures to remind you of your stay in the region.
Did you know, for example, that the Norwegian expression "samling in bånn" (collecting metal) comes from the 1928 winter Olympics? At the museum you will learn a lot about the Olympic Games through the ages, and some more or less important trivia. The Olympia room, which is the Norwegian Sports Honours Gallery, displays photos of Norway's most famous athletes, a separate exhibition about Lillehammer Olympics Kjetil Andre Aamodt's medal collection and one of the world's biggest pin collections. The gift shop has plenty of Olympics-related items to buy, so why not take an official Olympic poster back home with you?
If you're visiting Lillehammer in winter, you can't avoid a trip to the Hafjell Ski Centre. It lies to the north of Lillehammer and is Norway's most modern ski resort. Here you will find one of Norway's best winter experiences for the whole family. The pistes range from almost flat nursery slopes to the steepest of runs. The cross-country skiing trails are also extensive and include a network of floodlit runs. Hafjell is known for its long pistes, excellent snow and sunny days. So, it's just a case of putting on your skis and setting out.
If you prefer a day off the skis, then the beautiful open air museum of Maihugen is a good alternative. It is home to 200 historical buildings, exhibitions and experiences for all the family. If you get the chance, take a trip to Bjerkebæk - Sigrid Undset's home and writing workshop. She lived here together with her three children in old log cabins that had been moved from two farms in Gudbrandsdalen. She created a very special home with very traditional and carefully considered decor. When the oldest of the houses was completed in 1924, she wrote: "The new house is now so beautiful that you have to see it to believe it (...) I couldn't get it any more to my taste if I tried." She created a beautiful garden around the houses.
For more history and culture, Bjørnstjerne and Karoline Bjørnson's home in Aulestad is worth a visit. They arrived here with their four children on a hot June day in 1875. They had just returned from a long stay in Italy. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's dream of owning a farm in Norway had come true. The family continued to spend long periods abroad, but Aulestad was the base they always returned to. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson lived here till his death in 1910, and Karoline right up to 1934. The dark main building became light and airy under Karoline's supervision. Hugely inspired from her travels, she created a welcoming townhouse in the country, filled with art and decor from far and wide. Aulestad was bought by the state in the 1920s and since 1935 the house has been open to guests in the summer season.
Today the Birkebeinerrittet, Birkebinerrennet and Birkebeinerløpet are organised here. The idea for the Birkebeiner came from the historical journey of skiing with the little prince, Haakon Haakonsøn. The sack weighing 3.5 kilos, which all Birkebeinere have to carry, symbolises the little boy.
Birkebeinerrennet was first organised in 1932. In 1932, 155 men lined the start at Rena. Now this figure is around 25,000. The run is currently 54 km, from Rena to the Birkebeiner Ski stadium in Lillehammer.
The first Birkebeinerrittet in 1993 had 1327 participants. Birkebeinerrittet is currently the world's biggest mountain-bike race and attracts around 25,000 competitors. At present, the distance covered is 92 km and it starts in central Rena and runs westwards towards Lillehammer. You cross the finish line at Håkons Hall amidst jubilant cheering from many of the spectators, who come to enjoy the event.
Birkebeinerløpet is the little brother of the Birkebeiner family. It has grown slowly but surely and is now one of Norway's biggest cross-country runs. The first Birkebeinerløpet in 1998 attracted 1442 competitors. Interest in the race has grown every year and now more than 10,000 runners take part in the 21 kilometre run along the piste. So whether you're a cyclist, skier or runner, this may be something for you.
Most of Lillehammer's restaurants are situated around Storgata and Elvegata.
The Churrascaria distillery is unique in Norway and is a Brazilian eating concept. The speciality here is grilled meat. In Churrascaria you can help yourself to a vast buffet of salads, potatoes, dressings and other accompaniments. The serving staff will then come to your table to cut the meat for you. Choose from grilled chicken, pork, beef, lamb, sausages and spare ribs.
Restaurant Hvelvet is based in the former Norges Bank building on Stortorget in Lillehammer. It serves excellent food in a modern and intimate setting. The menus are changed monthly, so there's always something new to try. The restaurant covers five bank vaults of different sizes. It was here that Norway's gold was moved on 9 April 1940 in the final hours before the Germans took over Oslo. The gold was stored for ten days in Lillehammer's vault before being shipped further north and out of the country by boat.
Lillehammer Bryggeri re-opened in 2006. Here you can enjoy a beer on its own or with food in the restaurant, which serves locally produced food. Lillehammer Bryggeri has a unique decor that makes guests feel like they are experiencing both physical and mental tasters of the city's history - from beer and food to stories from the time when the first cobble stone was laid to the present day.
Radisson Blu Lillehammer Hotel has two restaurants to choose from. The informal Three Poets Restaurant serves an American style menu and the Salt & Pepper Restaurant serves sophisticated, high quality gourmet food that you will remember for a long time. The hotel also has several bars where you can enjoy a beer after a day on the slopes, or a pre-dinner drink.