The port city of Haugesund is located on Norway's southern fjord coast between Bergen and Stavanger. The Boknafjorden opens to the south, and north of Haugesund begins the 178 km long Hardangerfjorden, at the end of which eidfjord lies. Like from a tourist point of view Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger can be far more important and attractive places than Haugesund. Nevertheless, history-conscious Norwegians value the city as an extraordinary destination: Haugesund is the home of the Norwegian Vikings, who ruled the area for centuries.
Worth knowing about Haugesund
Historically there is Haugesund in Viking times and Haugesund founded in the 18th century. Originally, Norway was divided into many dominions. Harald Hårfagre, called Harald Fairhair or Harald I, undertook a successful attempt to unify the country in 872. Harald I was memorialized in 1872 near Haraldshaugen - two kilometers from today's center of Haugesund - with a 17 meter high granite obelisk.
In the 18th century, a fishing settlement was established at the current location, the inhabitants of which lived primarily from herring fishing. At the end of the 19th century the herring fishery had reached its peak. At that time, Haugesund became increasingly important as a transhipment point and post office for the maritime economy.
At present, shipbuilding, shipping and tourism are the most important economic sectors. The city with almost 38.000 inhabitants is also the location of one of five branches of the University of Western Norway; and since 2006, the Sjøfartsdirektoratet, the Norwegian Maritime Authority, has its seat in Haugesund.
Haugesund - City Hall
In terms of culture, the city is famous for its two festivals held during the summer months: the norske filmfestivalen and Sildjazz, a jazz festival. Haugesund also has several museums, including the Dokken open-air museum, as well as several theaters and a symphony orchestra.
Haugesund - Smedasundet
Haugesund for cruise ship guests
Haugesund's pier for the cruise ships is on the island of Risøy. Ships with a length of almost 300 meters dock at Garpeskjærskaien. Unlike many port cities in the world, the city center can be reached on foot in just over XNUMX minutes, because Haugesund is a city of short distances.
Haugesund - Cruise Terminal
As for timing, the first cruise ships were welcomed in Haugesund in 2013. Ten years later, the port administration expects 134 ship calls and around 420.000 passengers for the year as a whole. According to their own statements, those responsible are assuming robust growth.
Tour operators have their stalls at the terminal. This is where the hop-on and hop-off buses and the CityTrain start. Prices in 2023: Adults pay NOK 2023 (EUR 450) for the hop-on hop-off buses in 39,80; adults pay NOK 290 (EUR 25,70) for trips on the CityTrain, a tourist train. The shuttle buses to the nearby center also stop at the terminal. You stop next to Vår Frelsers Kirke. The fare: NOK 70 (EUR 6,20) per person/day. The Tourist Information is located in the city center at Haraldsgata 131 pedestrian street.
Frequently visited destinations for cruise ships are the Aakrafjord, 100 kilometers away, with the Langfossen waterfall or the Ryvarden lighthouse and the idyllic town of Skudeneshavn. These destinations are 20 kilometers north and 35 kilometers south of Haugesund. Tours will be available on Holland America Line in 2023 for $300, $140, and $130 (in order).
It remains to be seen whether it is even necessary to take part in one of these tours. Haugesund offers its visitors enough variety. The city is very manageable in size and can be easily explored on foot and on your own in the course of a day's rest. The Haraldshaugen Viking monument, two kilometers outside, can be reached from the city center by local buses. Under Haugesund sights we call those attractions that offer themselves as destinations for a short visit.