Be sure to try the local specialty, vafler medøst (waffle and cheese), sold at most cafeterias and restaurants. Most restaurants will automatically add around a 15% service charge to your bill. If you like the service, it's customary to leave some extra small change as well.

Beauty from the Sea -- On Ice

Some Norwegians believe that genuine beauty can be found in the fruits of the sea, and even if you don't agree, you should make a point to visit one of Norway's most appealing indoor fish markets, Ravnkloa Fiskehalle (tel. 73-52-55-21). Set at the northern terminus of the Munkegate, adjacent to the ferry piers servicing Munkeholmen Island, this is a glass-and-steel structure of impeccable cleanliness -- with the kind of hard-surface interior that gets hosed down frequently as a means of taking away some of the fishiness. Inside, a series of independent vendors sell meat on one side and stunning-looking fish, laid out in ordered rows on beds of ice, on the other. The variety and freshness of the scenario are memorable, and even if you're not -- as a traveler -- prepared to actually cook your purchases, you still might be tempted by the salmon sandwiches, fish salads, and small platters designed as takeout food -- perhaps the raw ingredients for a picnic on Munkeholmen Island or elsewhere. Consider buying a half-kilo of shrimp per person, along with fresh bread, butter, and mayonnaise (sold here in tubes that you squeeze like toothpaste). Purchase a glass of beer from the on-site beer tap, commandeer one of the indoor or outdoor tables, and dine like Neptune himself. Platters, which include such fare as pan-fried turbot with risotto, or warm fish cakes with salad, cost NOK55 to NOK80 ($11-$16/£5.50-£8) each; sandwiches cost NOK40 ($8/£4), and stuffed crab goes for NOK55 ($11/£5.50). The complex is open Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.