Imagine a building crammed full of travel books from every corner of the world, with maps plastering the walls, a maze of bright backpacks, light up globes bringing life to your wanderlust dreams, all of the travel accessories you can think of, a cosy cafe serving up a range of global goodies, and hip travel experts with some wonderful stories! It all sounds like a nomad’s dream…
However, in Norway it is now a reality.
I stumbled across The Chillout Travel Centre when wandering through Oslo the other day. Thanks to the most glorious looking hammock hanging outside, I was drawn in. Stepping through the door was like entering paradise. The first hour I spent inside, walking through the different levels, drooling at the variety of bags and getting cosy in the basement cafe.
The entrance level invites you to explore a variety of travel nic nacs and clothing. Offering the usual cutlery, flasks and head torches, to the more unusual ‘Go Girl’ urination device (it helps you pee standing up!) – Adam was horrified when I showed him this option! If there is an accessory that you could invent to help you whilst wandering, it probably lines the shelves of The Chillout Travel Centre somewhere.
Upstairs you will find a rather large array of travel books. Now, I am not totally a big fan of the ‘Lonely Planet’ books as the locations they suggest are now VERY touristy. Not so ‘Lonely’ after all. However, if you do need a guide book then these are a good place to start. The Chillout Travel Centre pretty much offers a guide for every country you can name. On the plus side, there doesn’t seem to be any raised eyebrows if you browse through them over a coffee (or in my case a Chilly Hot Chocolate). Try before you buy!
The top floor is also hammock heaven! I spent a good while having a rather vicious mind battle as to whether or not I should purchase one. Sadly, I would have no use for the extra weight it would take in my backpack. When I finally settle down, a hammock will definitely feature within my home.
Heading down, you will find a backpack bunker – filled with backpacks of every size and style available; Norwegian prices though (ouch!). If you get stuck on your travels, then this shop is definitely the place to head to grab some must haves. With a broken buckle on the waist strap of my backpack, I thought I was going to have to put up with it for the next 4 months. I mean, where do you get a replacement buckle?! And then in flew the Chillout Travel Centre to save the day.
Delving deeper into the ‘Chillout Cave’ you will find the cosy cafe. It’s a bit of a Persian paradise. I couldn’t recommend more the ‘Chilly & Chocolate Boller’. It’s similar to a warm cinnamon bun; however is a lot stickier, with gooey chocolate and a hint of chilly! Washed down with a Mango Lassi (reminiscing of India), it’s a pretty fantastic afternoon bite to eat. I fell in love with the cafe’s menu, with exciting options from across the world.
Scandinavia is known for their coffee culture or Fika as Sweden calls it! It’s a daily routine, so I therefore feel like I have to participate in order to really experience their culture. But hey, I’m not complaining – I am a self confessed cakeaholic. However, constantly having the famous cinnamon bun daily does get boring. The Chillout Travel Centre’s menu is a breath of fresh air. It’s an around the world dream!
Despite the store being a quirky, fun and ideal place to hang out, the ultimate reason for staying is the staff. Three weeks in Norway, and I had gathered the impression that Norwegians are not the most friendly bunch. However, the employees challenged that thinking. They are bubbly, bright and brilliant. With A LOT of travel experience (that I am quite envious about) there is always a story to hear or share. They can help with any dilemma you are wrestling over – the perfect trip planning pals!
If you are in Oslo (or in Bergen, where they also have a store!) then drop in and ‘chill out’. You can visit all eight corners of the world right under the one roof.
I must point out here that I am not a cafe critic; I am simply sharing my passion for The Chillout Travel Centre. It is a place I felt inspired, at home and fell a little bit in love with. If only every country offered one of these! (In fact, I even wrote this post whilst sipping their lassi!)
If you have any other questions, or need any help at all, then do get in touch.
I am constantly making an adventure out of life, and looking for a new story around every corner. You can follow all my adventures here on the blog, subscribe to get a little email each time I post so you can travel along with me. Also, follow of me on my Instagram and Facebook for the latest news and photos.
Inspiring women and showing them that they have the ability to do what they want in the world, is the main aim of this blog. It is the reason I document my adventures and travel stories. I want to show women and girls, that the world is their oyster. Just go out, and grab from it what you want.