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What things to do and see in Hamar, Norway
Hedmark museum area (free to enter and see)
Hamar is a beautiful town 1.5 hours drive north of Oslo and just an hour from Oslo Gardermoen Airport, on the train. It has plenty to offer from beautiful walks around the shores of Norway's largest lake; lake Mjøsa, to experiencing true Norwegian culture in the form of watching one of Norway's best handball teams.
Whether you are family with kids, a couple or a solo traveller, there are a range of activities available which you're guaranteed to enjoy!
1. Visit Hedmark Museum
Included in this area are:
- the cathedral ruins
- a fortress
- a picnic area
- a children's play area
- the railway museum
- some beautiful scenery
The museum includes old cathedral ruins housed in protective glass, providing an impressive landmark, sitting on the shores of lake Mjosa. It is free to see the ruins from the outside, but to go within the glass realms will cost each individual a small fee.
Within the museum complex in a beautiful forest area are a collection of old farm houses and a fortress, surrounded by a field and picnic area. Again this is completely free to make use of!
A short walk away, following the path around lake Mjosa, is a railway museum with a respectable collection of old trains and locomotives to view. During the summer a steam hauled train is in operation. This is free to see, but a small fee must be paid to enter the main train museum and library. There is also a small restaurant housed within an old locomotive serving traditional Norwegian cuisine.
For more information visit:
2. Play curling or go iceskating in the Viking ship arena
The viking ship arena was built for the 1994 winter olympics, and is a multi-purpose hall which can be used for curling, ice-skating and ice hockey to name just a few.
Entry is 40 kroner, and children under 5 can enter for free.
You can try curling or ice-skating for a further price. For more information visit the Vikingskipet website:
Tree top cabin in the winter
3. Tree top Cabin stay in Brumunddal
Brumunddal is a short 20 minutes drive from the centre of Hamar, and is the location of a series of tree top cabins which float 25 feet above the forest floor. There are a range of cabins on offer from family cabins, to cabins for couples and prices vary depending which option you choose. They are an amazing way to experience the beauty and nature of Norway and are open all year offering a stay in magical snowy surroundings or fresh green leaved trees, with views across the forest that one can only dream to experience!
Wheelchair access has been made possible by the construction of a ramp to one of the cabins.
This is the perfect getaway from the usual hotel or hostel and perfect for kids or adults alike!
For more information visit the official website:
And for bookings visit:
4. Fishing in lake Mjøsa
Lake Mjøsa is Norways largest lake and is home to over 20 species of fish, 40 rivers flow into the lake with their own stock of fish. Commonly hundertrout, browntrout, pike and greyling are caught, with lake Mjøsa having the highest population of brown trout in Europe.
Fishing can be done all year round and in the winter ice fishing is a common tradition.
The type of fishing method used determines whether you will need a permit:
Rod fishing - No permit is required and fishing with a line is allowed all year
Trolling - is only allowed during May and August (1st May - 31st August) and during October and December (1st October - 31st December) A special permit is required if you wish to fish outside of these times.
Ice fishing using ice rods or hand lines is limited to a maximum of 4 sets of hooks, although rods, fly or bait is allowed providing the lake is frozen.
Boats can be hired from the harbour in Hamar, and at the many harbours located on the shores of lake Mjøsa. Additionally, guided fishing trips are available.
5. Tyttebær berry picking and making traditional Norwegian jam
Tyttebær berries are much the same as cranberries, and used in the same way, although the taste is slightly different. They are unique to Scandinavia , and there is a long history within Norway of harvesting the berry for Jam making and they taste amazing when combined with lamb, venison or steak!
The best season for tyttebær berry picking is the during the months of late August and September. The berries grow from evergreen shrubs which are 5-20cm high.
It is certainly a great day out in the countryside of Norway and will engage both kids and adults alike! After you have collected the berries, jam can made and enjoyed on traditional Norwegian bread or with Norwegian brown cheese (brunost) available from the local supermarket.
Recipe for tyttebær jam
- Scale: 2.5kg of tyttebær berries = 5 litres of tyttebær
- Put the tyttebær berries in a large cooking pot and add 1 litre of water (for every 2.5kg of tyttebær berries)
- Cook this for 10 minutes, making sure the liquid is bubbling, being careful not to over cook.
- Take the cooking pot off the heat and mix in 2kg of sugar
- Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. When this has happened, no more cooking in required.
- Pour the jam into clean and warm glass jars, closing the lid tightly at once. Norgeglass jars are available from any local supermarket, and have rubber rings which make the jars airtight. These are the best jars to use
6. Have a local delicacy: fish burger at the fishmongers Knutstad & Holen
Located in the centre of Hamar lies one of Norways best fresh fish and shellfish shop; Knutstad & Holens. The shop is well stocked with a huge variety of seafood, that few fishmongers can rival.
The owners are extremely helpful, friendly and speak English.
If you are just stopping by for lunch, the fish burger is highly recommended, but the shop also serves many other types of fish, so make sure you visit!
7. Visit the Olympic town of Lillehammer and the Olympic museum
Forest near the ski jump and waterfall
An hour north of Hamar lies the olympic town of Lillehammer, famous for the hosting of the winter olympics in 1994. There are many attractions in this easily accessible town including:
National Olympic Museum of Norway - which is the only museum showing the full history of the Olympics from ancient times up until the present day. There are many pieces of memorabilia from each of the Olympics including sports kits and medals. Located on the same site is the ski jump used for the Olympics and is still in operation today. A short walk up a hill will take you to the impressive ski jump, and a cable car will take you to the very top offering a glimpse into the daring skill one must require to jump, but also offering impressive views across the city and beyond, even on a misty day!
Additionally, there is a beautiful waterfall located in the forest, which you will most certainly hear on your walk. It is well worth a look!
The town itself is very picturesque and a lovely place to relax after seeing the ski jump and museum!
8. Hunderfossen Family Park
The park is a popular tourist attraction in Norway, and was awarded high marks for entertainment by the national newspaper Dagbladet.
The park has a troll and fairytale theme, making is unique not only in Scandinavia but also the rest of Europe. The atmosphere is very laid back and it receives great reviews from both young and old. Located on site is a fairytale castle, a Hunderfossen troll, a fairytale grotto, the tractor ride, the fairytale ship and a high ropes course, to name a few of the wonderful attractions.
For more information visit: http://www.hunderfossen.no/
9. Kids farm at Hunderfossen
If you or your kids like animals then this is the place for you! With over 20 species of large and small Norwegian animals to get acquainted with, you will find real enjoyment in this farm. Most of the species are Norwegian, and there are playgrounds for kids and a small shop in the farmhouse.