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Cultural cities and idyllic seaside experiences

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Ready to explore some of Norway’s most charming fortress towns, before you wind down by the sea?

Or see edgy contemporary art and prehistoric rock-carving sites in the forest?

If so, Østfold is the perfect place for you!

Østfold runs along the eastern side of the Oslofjord, from the town of Moss to the Swedish border.

The largest city is Fredrikstad, which is one of the best preserved fortified towns in Northern Europe.

Take a free “river cruise” with the city ferry from the city centre to the historic old town Gamlebyen.

Here, you’ll find both a selection of quirky shops and Scandinavia’s largest model railway exhibition.

During the summer months, the weekly Saturday flea market is a must.

Gamlebyen is simply bubbling with creativity!

Check out the exhibitions at Østfold Art Center (pictured) and the artists’ collective Bastion 5.

Round off your visit with a culinary experience in one of the local eateries, like Restaurant Slippen.

Now, hit the beach! The Hvaler islands is the place for idyllic seaside experiences.

Here, sunscreen, a swimsuit, and your coolest pair of sunglasses are all you really need.

And remember: the ocean breeze is a natural stress reliever all year round.

More fun awaits at the border.

In Halden, the fortress Fredriksten towers above the friendly border town.

Follow the cobbled streets towards the harbour. Make sure to stop in a local cafe or one of the charming shops.

Maybe you’ll catch a glimpse of one of the town’s many American classic cars?

Stop by the historic Rød Manor House, where you can take a stroll in the beautiful English landscape garden after a visit to the museum.

Bring the family – they’ll love it!

Drop by Klatreparken as well – one of Scandinavia’s largest outdoor climbing parks lies right outside of Halden.

Getting used to the altitude? Spend the night in a treehouse in the forest.

Are you a fan of contemporary art?

If so, you must visit the coastal town of Moss and Jeløy peninsula. The art gallery F15 offers not only high-quality art experiences – you need to taste the Albykringle in the café!

Afterwards, you can digest on the beautiful coastal paths …

... go for a bike ride through the beautiful alleys of maple trees ...

… or delve into the large art collection at Refsnes gods, which includes names like Edvard Munch and Andy Warhol.

You’re very welcome to spend the night here. Or go a bit further south, to Støtvig Hotel in Larkollen.

Can you decipher some of the 3000-year-old rock-carvings along the prehistoric path Oldtidsruta in Sarpsborg?

Since the last Ice Age, there have been human settlements in the area, and Østfold has Norway’s largest collection of rock carvings.

Sarpsborg was founded by King Olaf Haraldsson of Norway in 1016 when he was unable to pass the waterfall Sarpefossen by boat.

Considering that Sarpefossen has one of the largest water flows of any European waterfall, we can’t really blame him …

Visit the Inspiria Science Center for some cool experiments and activities. Afterwards, trick your way through the bike park outside.

If you want total relaxation, let the tranquil surroundings in Indre Østfold flow through your body.

Get close to nature in a canoe or kayak, hike some of the marked trails, or cycle the Unionsleden, the Union Trail – a route from Moss to Karlstad through Indre Østfold.

Find more information about Inner Østfold, Fredrikstad, Sarpsborg, Halden, and Moss.

Or check out the various attractions, hotels, and restaurants in Østfold on our plan your trip to Østfold page.

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