Spikersuppa (literally meaning nail soup) supposedly gets its name from folklore: A poor woman went along the houses nearby, telling everyone she was making soup from cast-iron nails. People were naturally surprised and wanted to see this strange soup. She said she only needed a few ingredients more (like potatoes, onions, carrots—you get the picture), and people happily contributed so she could make her nail soup. In the end, she had tricked everyone to give her all the ingredients she needed to make a perfectly ordinary soup, and thus managed to fill her belly that day. A telling tale about conditions Oslo faced way back when.
Today Spikersuppa is the area that stretches between the Parliament Building and the National Theatre, dominated by a large pool and several cafés.
During the colder part of the year, the pool is transformed into a skating rink where you can rent skates and tumble around. When you’re cold enough, you can enjoy a hot chocolate at one of the cafés nearby (like Kaffebrenneriet or Grand Café, two other highlights on Afar.com).
There’s also a Christmas market during Christmas, which sells handicrafts and the traditional Norwegian Christmas drink, gløgg.