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Harstad Harstad
Photo: Indre Elgsnes Sissel Erlandsen
Travel Trade

The cultural capital of the north

Bring your walking boots and experience Harstad's cultural attractions and nearby nature on foot.

The town of Harstad enjoys a scenic and strategic location on Norway's largest island Hinnøya, with close proximity to Lofoten to the west, Narvik to the east, Tromsø to the north, and Bodø to the south.

Harstad is a municipality comprised entirely of islands, and also covers a large number of smaller islands and islets, offering white sandy beaches and fine fishing and bathing spots.

The long, bright summer days are perfect if you like hiking in the mountains and forests. This is also the place to visit if you want to go on deep-sea rafting trips or archipelago safaris in rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). You can see historic settlements on islets, where the fjord meets the open sea, or experience the huge kittiwake cliff on the island of Helløya.

When you visit Harstad, you will discover a pleasant town and a surrounding area with a rich array of culture and nature-based experiences. Harstad is a mix of old and contemporary architecture which, in combination with the town's many cafés and restaurants, provide a good atmosphere.

In the last week of June, Harstad hosts the annual Festival of Northern Norway, a cultural celebration featuring a mix of amateur and professional artists.

Kayaking in the Harstad archipelago
TI Bergsmo
Archipelago Safari by RIB boats, Harstad
Jan-Erik Kristoffersen
Midnight Sun, Harstad
Tommy Simonsen

Where to stay

Food and drink

Getting here and around

By plane:
  • There are several daily flights to or from Oslo Airport to Harstad/Narvik Airport, with onward connections. Flight time is 90 minutes.
  • The drive to or from the airport takes around 40 minutes. An airport express bus is available.
By road:
  • Several bus services connect Harstad with elsewhere in Norway.
By train:
  • NSB (the Norwegian State Railways) offers daily train departures between Oslo and Fauske in Nordland, with onward travel to Harstad by connecting bus.
By boat:
  • Harstad has excellent express boat connections with Tromsø, located about three hours away, and to the island kingdom outside Harstad - Bjarkøy and Senja.
  • North- and southbound ships from Hurtigruten, The Norwegian Coastal Voyage, meet daily in Harstad.

Northern lights forecast

Harstad also offers ...

There is no need to wait until you're here to find out what you'd like to do.