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Europe's First Underwater Restaurant Just Opened — and It's Already One of the Most Coveted Dinner Reservations in the World

Travel + Leisure logo Travel + Leisure 20/03/2019 Andrea Romano

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(Video by: Huffpost UK)

Europe’s first underwater restaurant is now open off the southern coast of Norway. Predictably, it’s already becoming one of the most coveted dinner reservations in the world.

Despite only having its soft opening on Wednesday, Under already has more than 7,000 reservations. And paying guests won’t be able to get into the restaurant until April.

a body of water with a mountain in the background: Under, an underwater restaurant in Norway designed by Snøhetta © Ivar Kvaal/Courtesy of Snøhetta Under, an underwater restaurant in Norway designed by Snøhetta Because the restaurant is only capable of serving 40 guests at a time, it will take months to work through the build-up. According to the Under website, the earliest reservations available for two guests are currently in August.

Guests will dine on a set tasting menu, consisting of seasonal, local ingredients and ridiculously fresh seafood. 

But despite a mouth-watering menu (the head chef is Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, who has worked at Michelin-starred establishments around Scandinavia), it’s probably not the food that most people are waiting for.

Ivar Kvaal/Courtesy of Snøhetta © Ivar Kvaal/Courtesy of Snøhetta Ivar Kvaal/Courtesy of Snøhetta "The fascination is just this movement from above water to underwater through the building,” Kjetil Traedal Thorsen, the founder of Snoehetta (the architecture firm that built the restaurant), told Reuters.

“The big window exposes the underwater not like an aquarium, it’s the real thing.”

More than half the sperm whale-shaped structure is submerged underwater, allowing guests an unprecedented and immersive experience in Norwegian waters.

a wooden table: From left: Inger Marie Grini/Bo Bedre Norge/Courtesy of Snøhetta; Fotograf Stian Broch/Courtesy of Snøhetta © From left: Inger Marie Grini/Bo Bedre Norge/Courtesy of Snøhetta; Fotograf Stian Broch/Courtesy of S... From left: Inger Marie Grini/Bo Bedre Norge/Courtesy of Snøhetta; Fotograf Stian Broch/Courtesy of Snøhetta Diners will enter the restaurant through its uppermost level, which includes a foyer and cloakroom. The middle level houses a champagne bar and the main restaurant space is located on the lowest floor.

Luckily, the long waiting list will give you time to save up for a meal. An 18-course menu, with drinks, will set you back $430 (3,700 krone) per person.

If you’re planning a trip, you’ll likely want to stay overnight. The closest airport is an hour drive away.

a close up of a tree: André Martinsen/Courtesy of Snøhetta © André Martinsen/Courtesy of Snøhetta André Martinsen/Courtesy of Snøhetta Not only is Under the first underwater restaurant in Europe, but it’s the largest in the world. There are other, warmer locations, mainly in the Maldives and Indian Ocean, where diners can submerge themselves to eat fresh seafood among the fish.

Gallery: Europe's first underwater restaurant (Reuters)

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