In Southern Norway, you can now experience dining with the fishes on a whole new level. “Under” in Lindesnes is Europe’s largest underwater restaurant, putting Southern Norway on the dining map. The restaurant is submerged 5m below the ocean’s surface, resting on the ocean floor. Under is the world’s largest underwater restaurant with the capacity for 100 guests, with a normal night serving 40 guests. It is also Europe’s first underwater restaurant.
What makes Under such an exciting experience for guests compared to other underwater restaurants is that several research studies are conducted in the water submerged by the restaurant. The restaurant opened in March 2019, built out into the sometimes harsh waters of the Spangereid in Lindesnes, on Norway’s southern tip.
The building itself is a feat of magnificent architecture. Following the styles of Norway’s natural fjords and rocks, the building rises out of the water like a rock formation. It is similar to an art installation. Snøhetta is the award-winning architecture firm that designed the magnificent building. The building is sunken into the sea with a 34m long monolithic form breaking the water’s surface and resting directly on the seabed 5m below.
Like a sunken ship, the structure is designed to integrate with the marine environment over time. The rough concrete shell functions like an artificial reef welcoming limpets and kelp to make a new home on the manmade structure. The rough concrete walls that lie against the shoreline are designed to withstand the rough sea conditions that Norway is known for.
The Ocean View Below
The words “ocean view” take on a whole new meaning, with the glass wall offering panoramic views of the sea. Depending on the time of year, guests at the restaurant will get to see fish swim by, including pollack, cod, wrasses, urchins, crabs, lobsters, and spiny dogfish. Guests are able to descend 5m into the ocean without a scuba suit, making their way to the bottom of the ocean.
There is plenty of fish to see when sitting in the restaurant, but seals sometimes visit and chase away the underwater entertainment. This is where researchers are going to “cheat” with underwater entertainment.
Researchers are training the fish and small sea animals eaten by the fish with artificial lighting. The lighting will attract plankton and other species from the sea for an ongoing feast outside the restaurant’s wind. “One of our main criteria is that our guests will get to experience something unique in the sea,” the restaurant owner, Gaute Ubostad, ensures.
The Gourmet Menu
The restaurant serves a wide array of local dishes, including fish, seabird, and wild sheep. These will be sourced from the nearby archipelago and prepared by head chef Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen. In 2020, the restaurant was awarded a one star in the prestigious Michelin guide.
Other Attractions in Southern Norway
The underwater experience is worth the trip to the tip of Norway. But the restaurant is not the only thing that guests will be able to explore in the Lindesnes area. Spangereid nearby is home to the famous Spangereid Canal that was reportedly used by Vikings and reopened in 2007. The restaurant is within walking distance of incredible accommodations for the best opportunity to fully explore the area.
Southern Norway is also home to another major tourist attraction: Norway’s oldest lighthouse, the Lindesnes Lighthouse. A trip to Lindesnes offers a wide array of experiences, making a dining experience at Under worth the journey to Southern Norway.