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Oppdatert: 23. feb.

Haugesund is located in the heart of the area in which Harald Fairhair united Norway into one kingdom. This charming city has an idyllic city centre located beside Smedasundet sound, where you will find cultural experiences, great restaurants and a wide range of shopping opportunities.


A walk through the town`s history. Haugesund emerged beside Smedasundet sound during the herring fisheries of the 19th century. Many of the people who worked in the herring fisheries settled along the sound, and combined the trades of fishing and salting herring. The number of ferries and cargo boats gradually grew, and Smedasundet became the main thoroughfare with offices and shops, and shipping agents, exporters and ship-owners setting up business along Indre Kai quay. The buildings in Haugesund still bear witness to the town’s origin as a fisheries centre – particularly the buildings on both sides of Smedasundet sound. A walk along the sound will give you a good insight into the historical development of the ‘herring town’.

A vibrant town centre. Haugesund has numerous established specialist shops that are well worth a visit. Den Lille Bokbutikken, Shabby Records, Crush Concept, Krimz Kramz and Hus i Nord are just some of the shops in the centre of town that are well worth a visit. You can also see local glass artworks at Formbar Glassverksted – a combined workshop, shop and studio. There are a number of restaurants and bars along Smedasundet sound.

Norway`s prettiest town hall. The pink and richly decorated town hall in Haugesund, was voted Norway’s prettiest town hall in 2010. The square in front of the town hall is the annual venue for different events. Festiviteten – the town’s main cultural venue – is situated close by and stages local and national productions.

Haugesund on exhibition. The open-air museum Dokken on Hasseløy give visitors a good insight into what living and working in Haugesund was like during the herring fisheries from 1850 to 1950. The exhibition ‘Byen som gikk i land’ (the town that went ashore) at Karmsund Folk Museum illustrates the history of the town. Situated on the island next to Hasseløy island – Vibrandsøy – is Haugesund municipality’s day trip cabin ‘Varøy’. To get there, you need to take the Røværbåten ferry.

Majestic national monument. Haraldshaugen, known locally as Haraldsstøtta, is Norway’s national monument. It was erected in 1872 in commemoration of Harald Fairhair uniting Norway into one kingdom. Krosshaugen, a stone cross dating from the earliest period of Christianity in Norway (approx. 1000), is situated nearby. The coastal path is a walking trail just north of Haugesund city centre. The national monument, Haraldshaugen, is on the popular Coastal Trail, which also passes Kvalen lighthouse and you may encounter the wild sheep that help to preserve the cultural landscape. If you continue past the lighthouse, you can visit the exhibition ‘The Rising Tide’ by Jason deCaires Taylor in Kvalsvik. There are lovely places to go for a walk in Djupadalen valley and in Haraldsvang.

Røvær - the hospitable island. An island, which is home to 80 people and just a 25-minute boat trip from the centre of Haugesund. Experience a vibrant and car-free island community where hospitality is central to life. Relax and enjoy life on Røvær at a slower pace. The island has a local shop, a chapel, aquaculture centre, a wharfside warehouse with a summer café, which serves the world’s best potato dumplings, and a lovely culture hotel. Find out more about Norway as an ocean nation at Røvær Aquaculture Centre, and how we have become a world-leading salmon producer. You can also arrange to visit Hiltahuset – Røvær’s oldest house and museum – in the heart of the island. Among other things, the house has an exhibition about the Røvær accident of 1899, when 30 of the island’s population of 130 died when their boat capsized.

What`s on

The town of Haugesund offers an array of cultural activities throughout the year, ranging from stand-up shows, concerts, theatre productions and sporting events to art exhibitions and culinary events. A number of festivals are also held each year, the largest of which are Sildajazz and the Norwegian International Film Festival Haugesund. A complete overview of what’s on can be found at

Complete list at

Tourist information

Haraldsgata 131, 5527 Haugesund Tel: +47 52 01 08 30

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