Shangri-La is one of the oldest and most popular alternative stores in Oslo. This eclectic store offers a treasure trove of fascinating items from distant corners of the world. Here you can explore unique and exotic items from Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, and Ecuador. Items they sell include clothes, carpets, jewelry, masks, divine statues, didgeridoos, crystal balls, pendulums, aromatic incense, handcrafted pipes, henna, mystic tarot cards, and nearly everything else associated with the New Age culture.
The store was established in 1974 by three young individuals with no prior knowledge about running a business. They started by selling imported affordable LPs directly from England and at significantly lower prices than their competitors. Due to their reasonable prices, the store became very successful and rapidly expanded to encompass an alternative bookshop, a café, and a section dedicated to Oriental items. Shangri-La emerged as the central hub and shopping haven for Oslo’s alternative audience. Even today, it remains a beloved destination for those with an affinity for the exotic and the alternative.
The inspiration behind the store’s name stems from the mystical realm described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, “Lost Horizon.” Shangri-La has since become synonymous with an earthly paradise, specifically a mythical utopia nestled in the Himalayas, a timeless sanctuary of everlasting bliss wholly detached from the external world. This name harmonizes perfectly with the store, creating an ambiance that transports you to a far-off realm of wonder and discovery.