The waterfront city of Fredrikstad is an enchanting mix of old and new. In the Old Town, cobbled streets and centuries-old buildings recall Norway in the 1500s. Across the river, lively bars and restaurants give the modern district an upbeat feel. Fredrikstad is one of the sunniest cities in Norway, making it a paradise for outdoor lovers.
Things to do in Fredrikstad
The Old Town, or Gamlebyen as it’s known by locals, is one of the most atmospheric fortresses in Scandinavia. A star-shaped channel encircles the fort, with access via fairy-tale wooden drawbridges and stone archways.
Inside the stronghold are narrow cobbled streets lined with timbered houses. Today many have been reimagined as cosy cafes, boutiques and galleries. The grassy embankments are perfect for soaking in the sunshine and enjoying a picnic.
A breezy waterfront promenade skirts the modern district and is lined with al fresco bars and restaurants. Seafood is a staple in Fredrikstad, with most restaurants sourcing ingredients from local fishmongers. Cod, salmon, crab, trout and shrimp are just some of the local delicacies hauled in from the North Sea.
Just west of Fredrikstad, the Hvaler archipelago beckons with more than 300 islands and skerries. Many are car-free and laced with scenic hiking and cycling trails that lead to sandy beaches and hidden bays. Others can be accessed by road and feature lively towns brimming with artist studios and antique shops.
Getting around Fredrikstad
Fredrikstad is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot, while bicycles are a great way to explore the Old Town and the Hvaler archipelago. Local buses are a fast and affordable way to get from A to B, and trains run to Oslo in around one hour. Ferries run between the city centre and the Old Town, and to the offshore islands. Oslo Airport is a 1.5-hour drive away.