Fredrikstad: A charming Norwegian city

Things to do in Fredrikstad

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    Nestled on the banks of the Glomma River, Fredrikstad stands as a testament to Norway's rich history and vibrant culture. With its cobblestone streets, iconic fortifications, and a bustling waterfront, this city is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the true essence of Norway.

    What is Fredrikstad?

    Fredrikstad is a historic city in Norway, founded in 1567 by King Frederick II. Over the centuries, it has played significant roles in trade, maritime activities, and defense, with its fortified old town, Gamlebyen, standing as a testament to its rich past. Today, 

    Fredrikstad is a vibrant city blending its historical roots with modern culture. With a population of over 80,000 residents, it's known for its cultural festivals, museums, and as a gateway to the beautiful archipelagos of Hvaler.

    Fredrikstad in Norway

    Where is Fredrikstad?

    Fredrikstad is located in the southeastern part of Norway, nestled on the banks of the Glomma River. It's situated in the Østfold county, close to the border with Sweden. 

    The city's strategic location by the river has historically made it a crucial maritime hub. Today, it serves as a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering a mix of natural beauty and historical significance.

    Things to do in Fredrikstad

    Go to the Old Town

    The Old Town of Fredrikstad, known as "Gamlebyen", is one of Northern Europe's best-preserved 17th-century fortress towns. As you wander through its cobbled streets, you'll encounter a blend of history, art, quaint shops, museums, galleries, theaters, and charming cafés. 

    This historic area has been a hub for shopping since 1640 and offers a unique atmosphere. The star-shaped defense walls surrounding the town are perfect for picnics and leisurely strolls. More about Gamlebyen

    Old Town of Fredrikstad

    Visit the Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad

    The Old Town Model Train Centre is Scandinavia's largest model railroad exhibition. It showcases an expansive model railway layout set within a vast landscape filled with intricate details. 

    The highlight is a scale model of Gamlebyen – the fortified town. The 2.0 track layout is computer-controlled, ensuring smooth operation of the 30 train sets on the track. More about the Model Train Centre

    Gamlebyen Miniature Railroad

    Explore Fredrikstad Museum

    The Fredrikstad Museum offers insights into the city's rich history, from its founding to its role in the Norwegian Resistance during World War II and its contemporary life. The museum is a testament to the city's cultural and historical significance.

    Fredrikstad Museum

    Go to Isegran

    Isegran is a living coastal culture park and a center for the dissemination of traditions, history, and experiences. The island has a unique history, with its maritime exhibition showcasing the restoration of traditional boats. Isegran is also home to the country's only boatbuilding school. 

    The Renaissance garden outside Isegranhuset is a testament to the island's rich history, which dates back to the late 1200s.


    Visit Hankoe

    Hankø is a picturesque island offering a blend of nature, activities, and relaxation. The island has been a recreational spot since the 1870s. Today, it's home to the Hankø Fjordhotell & SPA, where visitors can indulge in luxurious treatments. 

    Hankø has several unique beaches, such as Trouville, and has been a favorite getaway for the Norwegian royal family.


    Visit the Fredrikstad Cathedral

    The Fredrikstad Cathedral is a testament to Norway's rich architectural history. Built in the 12th century, it stands as one of the oldest churches in the country, showcasing intricate designs and religious artifacts.

    Fredrikstad Cathedral

    Take a walk along the river

    The Glomma River offers a serene backdrop for visitors looking to take a scenic walk. As you stroll along its banks, you'll be treated to picturesque views of Fredrikstad and its historic landmarks.

    Visit the Fredrikstad Kunstforening

    This art gallery is a hub for art enthusiasts, showcasing a range of exhibitions by both Norwegian and international artists. The gallery offers a glimpse into the contemporary art scene and the rich artistic heritage of the region.

    Fredrikstad Kunstforening

    Go shopping in the city center

    Fredrikstad's city center is a bustling hub of activity, with a plethora of shops and boutiques catering to every taste. From high-end fashion to local handicrafts, the city center offers a shopping experience like no other.

    Enjoy a meal at one of the city's many restaurants

    Fredrikstad boasts a diverse culinary scene, with restaurants serving everything from traditional Norwegian dishes to international cuisines. Whether you're in the mood for fresh seafood or a hearty steak, the city's restaurants promise a gastronomic delight.

    Campervan Adventures

    While Fredrikstad offers a plethora of experiences within its boundaries, the true beauty of Norway lies in its vast landscapes and scenic drives. Renting a campervan from Campervan Norway allows travelers to explore the city and its surroundings at their own pace. 

    Whether it's the serene fjords or the majestic Northern Lights, a campervan journey promises an unforgettable adventure.

    Sunset in Fredrikstad in Norway


    Fredrikstad, with its rich history, cultural landmarks, and modern attractions, offers a perfect blend of the old and new. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or someone looking for a relaxing getaway, Fredrikstad promises a memorable experience. 

    And remember, the best way to explore this Norwegian gem and its surroundings is on the road. So, why wait? Rent a campervan and embark on your Norwegian adventure today!

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