Before arriving in Bodo I didn't really know what to expect, it's not commonly written about like Oslo, Bergen or Tromso. That's probably because less people visit. But now that I've visited several times along with my friends over at Scandinavia Only, I want to share some of the best things you can do in this far north, coastal city.
Before going, all I really knew about Bodo is that it's the last and most northerly stopping point of all trains in Norway after crossing the Arctic Circle. Most people also see it as the gateway to the Lofoten Islands. Essentially, it has good transport links, but that's not really the kind of fact that would get anyone screaming to go.
RIB Boat Safari Across Saltstraumen
If you want to see Bodo at her most adventurous, take a trip to Saltstraumen. I would go as far as saying no trip to Bodo is complete without visiting this natural wonder - the world's strongest tidal current. But don't just stop at looking at it from a distance, the really exciting part of Saltstraumen happens when you take a RIB boat safari trip across it!
Search for Street Art
Street Art isn't something you really expect to find in the Arctic, but Bodo has a surprising amount to discover. As soon as I pulled up to the Scandic Hotel Bodo, I was startled by a huge wall mural created by UK-born street artist Phlegm. The idea of him travelling this far North, to such a relatively unknown place, always makes me smile when I think about it.If you have time to explore the town you'll find other great pieces of street art, so keep your eyes carefully peeled. Though the one of the eagle by Dzia is right outside the Information Centre so you don't need to look too hard to find that one.
Bodogaard Art and Culture gallery
If you want to delve further into Bodo's arty side then Bodogaard Art and Culture gallery is the place to go. It's the largest private collection of art and cultural artefacts in Northern Norway, and is listed as Norwegian Cultural Heritage. It's unlike any other art gallery I've been to before and certainly one of the quirkiest, so for this reason I wouldn't just recommend this place to people who have a penchant for museums but for anyone who enjoys rummaging through unusual artefacts.
As well as art by Oskar K. Bodogaard (1923 - 2011), this museum has two other main attractions - a religious shrine and an extremely expansive ethnographical exhibition which allows you to explore Northern Norway through the ages. It basically looks like a basement overflowing with vintage paraphernalia.
You'll be amazed once you clap eyes on the shrine of religious artefacts (you really don't have to be religious to enjoy the spectacle) because the sheer volume of objects look, well, quite bizarre and a bit trippy - and that's exactly why I loved it!
Norwegian Aviation Museum
I was a bit skeptical about this museum at first - I mean, how interesting can an Aviation museum be to someone who isn't interested in planes? Well... I guess the test of a great museum is it makes you interested in things you had no idea you'd find interesting, right? This museum holds the biggest collection of military and civil aviation history. It goes into amazing historical depth of Norway during WW2 and showcases some fascinating and rather spectacular looking aircrafts. It opened in 1994 and the huge building is shaped like a propeller. That alone will make you want to visit.
Red Beach at Mjelle
On a summer's day, take the 30-minute drive out of the city to Mjelle Beach and see its unusual colours whilst taking time out for a spot of scenic swimming or sun-bathing. The beach is made up of both red and white sand, so the hues along the shore vary depending on the movement of recent winds and tides. I was told after a strong storm that red prevails afterwards and can look so deep and heavily the beach almost looks purple!