Situated in the Østfold county in eastern Norway, Fredikstad is a city with much charm and deep historical roots. The city promises warmth and comfort to every traveler who comes to visit as the inhabitants of Fredrikstad are known to be open and friendly. Furthermore, Fredrikstad is one of the sunniest cities in Norway. Those who look for a relaxed vacation in Norway must come to Fredrikstad. As one of the best preserved fortress cities in Scandinavia, Fredrikstad offers breathtaking landscapes, places to do outdoor activities, a delectable selection of foods and much more. If you ask for the best things to do in Fredrikstad, here is the list.
1. Walk down the memory lane at Hans Nielsen Hauge’s Memorial Museum
Hans Nielsen Hauge’s Memorial Museum is the old residence of an influential figure, Nielsen Hauge. He was no other than the preacher who founded the Haugean Christian movement. A trailblazer by heart, he also established a number of mills and factories in the country. The significance of his works became even more outstanding as Hauge was put in prison for several years. Be inspired by the story behind the man that created remarkable changes in Norway. Revisit his childhood home in Fredrikstad, sign up for a quick tour, and maybe after, his bold determination will inspire you to start that project you have been putting off.
Hans Nielsen Hauge’s Memorial Museum
Address: Hans Nilsen Hauges vei 39, 1661 Rolvsøy, Norway
Website: Hans Nielsen Hauge’s Memorial Museum
2. Witness the scenic seascapes of Ytre Hvaler National Park
Ytre Hvaler National Park is Norway’s first-ever national marine park, which opened in 2009. Here, you get to witness spectacular seascapes, especially during sunrise or sunset when rays of warm light hit the waters. The entire park covers a total area of 354 sq km (137 sq mi), and over 90% of it is land. The sight of the sea, however, is expansive, seemingly stretching on forever. You will find this quite relaxing and mesmerizing. There are boathouses on site, remnants of the coastal culture that developed in the early days. Visit Ytre Hvaler National Park, breathe in the fresh air, and discover the beauty and history of this magical place.
Ytre Hvaler National Park
Address: Torvet 7, 1680 Skjærhalden, Norway
Website: Ytre Hvaler National Park
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 3pm (closed on Mon, Sat & Sun)
3. Learn the art and science of glassblowing at Glasshytta
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
What started as a passion for artsy glasses now becomes a sought-after arts and crafts store, easily one of the main attractions in Fredrikstad. Glasshytta by the creative Abel Sawe brings you fine quality, stylish glasses in various forms—vases, glasses, plates, figurines, and more. A candleholder turns into an exquisite art piece under the skillful hands of Sawe. Take your kids to this glassblowing workshop that allows them to design glassware and take it home for a price. Above all, you will appreciate finding this lovely glass cabin in a picturesque location.
Address: Torsnesveien 1, 1632 Fredrikstad, Norway
Opening hours: Sat: 11am - 3pm (closed from Sun - Fri)
4. Explore the impressive bear trails of Bjørneløypa
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Kids and adults love the walking bear trails of Bjørneløypa, stretching 1 km (0.62 mi). However, don’t mistake this for a hunting spot with real bears. The gigantic, dog-like creatures you will see here are outdoor sculptures carved by the skillful hands of Jordan Anderson. The route is circular, spread over different types of land surfaces. Going through the trail and spotting the bears strategically placed along the way (some are hiding and hugging trees even) is an altogether fun and relaxing experience. You will hear birds chirping in the background, and for some time you get to commune with nature. Don’t forget to take pictures with your bear friends!
Address: 1605 Fredrikstad, Norway
Opening hours: 7am - 7pm (daily)
5. Learn about different polar regions at Roald Amundsen’s Birthplace
Roald Amundsen was a renowned Norweigan explorer who had traveled the highs and lows of the polar region. He may have successfully landed on the South Pole, but in 1928, he and his troop went missing somewhere in the North Pole. Albeit his sudden disappearance, his research and exploration made a significant contribution to the world. Before he rose to prominence, he had once lived a typical country life that you will come to appreciate when you visit Roald Amundsen’s Birthplace in Fredrikstad. His old family residence is now a historical place, well-maintained and frequented by tourists. Here, you will learn stories about Amundsen’s exhibitions and personal life.
Roald Amundsen’s Birthplace
Address: Framveien 9, Fredrikstad
6. Gaze at spectacular paintings at the lovely Østfold Art Centre
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Østfold Art Center is a lovely art space managed by artists, featuring four rooms (i.e., two galleries and two studios). Set in an idyllic location, the serenity makes one appreciate the exhibits more profoundly. If you are a lover of contemporary visual and applied art, then you cannot miss a visit to Østfold Art Center. Here, you will find paintings, pictures, sculptures, and indoor installations that carry a seasonal theme. Apart from exhibits, they also hold shows, programs, workshops, and other events for public and private groups. A nice little cafe is available on site where you can relax, take a sip of a hot coffee, discuss your art-related thoughts with a friend, and possibly even meet new people.
Østfold Art Centre
Address: Ferjestedsveien 5B, 1606 Fredrikstad, Norway
Website: Østfold Art Centre
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
7. Take a walk in the enchanting fortified town, Gamlebyen
Whether it’s the wide water-filled moats, the timbered houses, the drawbridge, the gates or the high earth defensive walls, everything about Gamlebyen, which is also known as the Fortified Town, is enchanting. King Frederik II founded the Gamlebyen in 1567. The town was constructed according to Dutch architectural models. Take a relaxed stroll on the narrow, cobbled streets and enjoy the picturesque buildings from the 17th-century, as well as the grassy embankments that are pleasant to the eyes.
Address: Gamlebyen, 1632 Fredrikstad, Norway
8. Visit the Fredrikstad Museum
If you are interested in gaining some insights about the interesting and diverse history of Fredrikstad, the Fredrikstad Museum is your perfect stop. Delve into the permanent collection of art and cultural historical artefacts spanning from the 1500s until present day in the museum. If you’ve got kids traveling with you, they can watch a movie presented by the museum. Moreover, there is a cafe in the museum if you feel the need for refreshment.
Address: Tøihusgaten 41, 1632 Gamle, Fredrikstad
Website: Fredrikstad Museum
9. Take a ferry ride at the Byfergene
To get the best of Fredrikstad, take a ferry ride at the Byfergene. The best time to take the ferry is during the warm afternoon or evening. You can really get the impression of the city during these times when the city is full of life. The Norwegian people profoundly love outdoor activities. The fantastic news about the ferry ride is it is free and available daily for visitors!
Address: Fergestedsveien, Fredrikstad, Norway
10. Observe the Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad
Situated in the Old Town of Fredrikstad, observe the interesting Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad that exhibits the computer-operated operation of more than 30 trains, in which you will have a rich experience of the railroad traffic of the city. One thing that you should not miss is the scale model of the Old Town itself, which is located in the heart of the exhibition.
Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad
Address: Voldgaten 8, Fredrikstad 1632, Norway
Website: Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad
11. Be amused at the Hvalfanger (Whaling) Museum
Another must-see attraction in Fredrikstad is the Hvalfanger (Whaling) Museum, the one and only museum of whales and whaling in Europe. In the museum, you can find a collection of whaling guns that were once used in the Antarctic. You will be able to see artifacts, books and photographs related to whaling, whales and local history. If you are interested in seeing the penis of a blue whale, which is the largest in the animal kingdom, you can see it here! The museum only operates in the months of July and August. Be sure to check the website first before visiting.
Hvalfanger (Whaling) Museum
Address: Toldbodgaten 37, Fredikstad, Norway
Website: Hvalfanger Museum
12. Enjoy some nature at Hankoe
Admire what nature offers at Hankoe, an island that was once the hunting territory of the Master of the Manor Elingaard. Hankoe is internationally known as the venue for sailing. Throughout the years, it has hosted several world championships in different yacht classes. To get to the island is easy, since it is connected to the mainland. Hop aboard the boat or the ferry from Hankosundet.
Address: Hankoe, Fredrikstad 1621, Norway
13. Marvel at the Fredrikstad Cathedral
Set in the heart of Fredrisktad in between two beautiful parks, the Fredrikstad Cathedral was designed by an architect Ferdinand Waldemar Luhr and built between 1879 and 1880. The main facade of the cathedral features a single tower. The cathedral is famous for its Gothic Revival style of brick, the main altarpiece that was painted by Axel Revold and the beautiful stained-glass windows that can be found inside.
Address: Riddervoldsgate 5, 1606 Fredrikstad, Norway
Website: Fredrikstad Cathedral
14. Head to the Fredrikstad Literature House
Located right by the river stands a building with very nice architecture called the Fredrikstad Literature House. The iconic building is filled with everything interesting, from literature and music to conferences and dining. The Fredrikstad Literature House is the second largest house of literature in Norway. What can you do here? There are plenty of activities, actually. You can watch some interesting debates about politics or other topics, enjoy concerts, listen to the conversations around you or just relax in the comfortable sofas.
Fredrikstad Literature House
Address: Storgata 11, Fredrikstad 1607, Norway
Website: Fredrikstad Literature House
15. Explore the Kongsten Fort
The last must-see attraction in Fredrikstad is the Kongsten Fort. Built in 1663, the fort was built to guard the River Glomma. The Kongsten Fort may not be as big as other fortresses, but it is interesting to see and explore. Visiting the fort, you will get an interesting look into the history of the city.
Address: W. Blakstads gate, 1630 Gamle Fredrikstad, Norway
Website: Kongsten Fort
How much have you traveled?
Travel to as many destinations as you can when you still have the chance. How much have you traveled? How many beautiful places have you explored? The Earth is so big that there is still so much to see. Visit Fredrikstad, admire the beauty it offers and get lost in the city!
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