International Student Blog

Won’t you take me to… Gingerbread Town?

In the following post, I’ll take you through a step-by-step process that led me to Pepperkakebyen (Gingerbread Town).  It began with discovering Pepperkakebyen is an annual event here in Bergen and culminated in my visit to the town on opening day.  If you could time-travel back to mid-November, these ‘instructions’ would allow you to replicate my experience in seven steps.


Step One: Listen as a kindly Norwegian tells you that the world’s largest gingerbread town* is right here in Bergen. Find this inherently charming event inherently charming.


Photo: Stand Hiestand


Step Two: Go to the Pepperkakebyen website.  Use google translate, laugh at google’s translation.  Eventually find the English version.  Discover that it costs 70 nok (almost 11 usd, or nearly 9 euro) remember that you are a student on a budget, ask the kindly Norwegian for advice.


Photo: Stand Hiestand


Step Three: Learn that if you contribute a submission by 17 November, even as a team, you get in for free. Immediately call into action a team of your friends.


Photo: Stand Hiestand


Step Four: Gather supplies, including pre-made dough (if you’re lazy like me),  and decorative candy.  Search how to make a gingerbread house online, or have a friend call someone who knows how.


Photo: Stand Hiestand


Cookie Break: take a break, eat a cookie.


Photo and cookie: Stand Hiestand



Step Five: Bake, assemble and decorate (the link provided in step four gives some guidance).  Forgive our house its imperfections, it was our first attempt.


Photo: Stand Hiestand



Step Six: Submit your house (or maybe your friends will do it for you because you went out of town and they’re the best).  Collect your free ticket.


Photo: Stand Hiestand



Step Seven: Enjoy the expansive, glowing gingerbread city.  Breathe in the sweet scents of ginger and cinnamon. Try to avoid stepping on children as the sound of their enthusiasm surrounds you.  And of course, find your house tucked among its new friends.



Did I miss any steps?  Is anybody else attending Pepperkakebyen this year?  I would love to hear your experiences!


*That Bergen’s Pepperkakebyen is the world’s largest gingerbread city is actually contested.  However, having seen it personally, I’d vote for it hands down.  It may not fit into the Guinness Book of World Record’s parameters, but it is whimsical, impressive, and enormous.


7 comments for “Won’t you take me to… Gingerbread Town?

  1. 'Yemi Thomas
    26. November 2014 at 16:20

    How often does this event come up in the year? Sounds interesting and fun filled for amateur bakers like I’m. (Smiles)

    • khi005
      27. November 2014 at 11:26

      My understanding is that Pepperkakebyen is a Christmas specific event, gingerbread submissions are due by mid-November, and it opens to the public once per year from late November – December.

  2. Inger
    28. November 2014 at 18:21

    Hi! So happy you liked our Pepperkakeby! I would love to just add two things: Studenttickets (valid student ID) are 50 nok (Bring cash if you are a foreign student as our cash machines do not take foreign cards). AND we sell already made gingerbread houses in Pepperkakebyen for 150 nok, that you can take home to your friends and you can all have a festive decoration session 🙂 You also get some things to decorate your house with included in that price. 🙂


    • khi005
      28. November 2014 at 22:20

      Thanks for that information, Inger! Hopefully you’ll have many more happy visitors.

  3. Nan Vassili
    6. December 2014 at 00:37

    I wish I were there. I would love to go.

    • khi005
      7. December 2014 at 22:41

      Well, you can certainly come for a visit. Bergen is definitely worth a trip, and if you come in late November or December you can see the Gingerbread town!

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