Official language: Norwegian
Time zone: UTC+2 (summer), UTC+1 (winter)
Currency: Norwegian krone (NOK)
Every year in June, the Viking Festival takes place in Avaldsnes. You can enjoy the fight and cooking shows, as well as performances about the Vikings’ everyday life. There are also arms and jewelry to buy.
In the Old Town, you’ll find Dokken Muzeum which houses the exhibits from the 19th century. It’s here that you can see what the everyday life and work in Haugesund was like.
You probably wouldn’t expect that, but Haugesund also boasts a magnificent sandy beach which draws whole families on sunny days. The water is warm enough to swim.
Haugesund is a charming port town on the south-west coast of Norway. It used to be the dwelling of the most important Viking leaders. Harald Fairhair, the first King of Norway, ruled from nearby Avaldsnes. The memory of the Vikings is still cherished in the town. Haugesund received its city charter in 1855. Over hundreds of years, the area was developing due to large hauls of herrings.
One thing that will undoubtedly delight you in Haugesund is the architecture. Built in 1931, the Town Hall is considered one of the most beautiful neo-classical buildings in Norway. It provides a great view over the market square and the city park from 1949. No less charming are the tenements just outside the harbor. Take a leisurely walk along the embankment to find out what Haugesund has to offer.
When you’re in Avaldsnes, don’t miss the St. Olav’s Church dating from 1250. A plain stone building with a raw interior will transport you to the times of medieval Norway. According to archaeologists, there is still much to discover in the area. In the nearby woods, you can find a replica of a farm from the Viking Age. It’s open to visitors. You’ll see what life – fishing, farming, and crafting – was like at that time.
If you’re feeling tired of sightseeing and craving for some physical activity, Haugesund will satisfy your needs. You may choose from kayaking, skiing, hiking, or cycling. The latter one is particularly popular. You can enjoy several cycling routes with varying levels of difficulty. There’s something here for everyone!
When you start feeling peckish during the trip, don’t waste your time looking for a restaurant and visit Naturbakst, a family bakery on Haraldsgata (it’s open on Sundays too). It serves tasty sandwiches and pastry you can take on the road. But if you get really starving, go to Brasserie Brakstad on Kaigata and order hot fish soup. They also have a great salmon. Don’t miss Naustet Spiseri on Aasbygata – the menu card is short, but it includes superb seafood.