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The small town of Haugesun boasts a broad spectrum of natural beauty, ranging from a vast and wild coastline to snow-capped mountains with cascading waterfalls flowing into the fjords. Haugesund is known as the homeland of the Vikings, as the area used to hold the royal seat of ancient Viking kings. Today, it is a prime travel destination that encapsulates everything Norway has to offer: fjords, waterfalls, mountains, rugged coasts, and an eclectic city culture full of fascinating history and a forward-thinking spirit.

The City

The town of Haugesund dates back to Viking times, but is today looked upon as young and vibrant, and as one of Norway’s most popular congress and festival towns, hosting the standout Norwegian Film Festival. The town is buzzing with life day and night throughout the summer. The population of Haugesund is only 36,538 people, but the town is the regional centre for approximately 160,000 people. This is one of the reasons the town has a lot to offer in the fields of culture, commerce, and services. As such, it is a huge shopping hub, attracting huge crowds to its commercial streets and shopping malls.

Do & See

Haugesund is a buoyant centre for cultural and sporting events, as well as a launch pad used by many to explore the fascinating natural surroundings in the area. Additionally, the Norwegian International Film Festival is held in Haugesund every year and the town likes to project itself as Norway’s Cannes.


Haugesund offers a broad selection of restaurants with dishes from all over the world. As the town is located near the water, seafood dishes are very popular and fresh--the fish often having been caught the very same day. Many of the restaurants are based in the cosy area near the waterfront, and in the summertime, it is possible to enjoy your meal outside near the water.


Haugesund is the perfect place to stroll along the quayside and take in the fresh sea air. During the winter, there are few better ways to warm up than enjoying a warm beverage, and you can easily stop for coffee or a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants found in the area.

Bars & Nightlife

Bars in and around Haugesund often play a mix of Irish folk, country, and Norwegian pop music, but the latest hits can also be heard and danced to at the city's modern nightclubs. Many of the coolest places are located around the Smedasundet area on the quay front, where you have a good chance to spark up a conversation with groups of local night owls.


Shopping in Haugesund centres around the downtown area, especially the pedestrian streets Skåregata and Haraldsgata, where shops and boutiques line the sidewalks with interesting products and beautiful handicrafts. If you need more than the shops in town, there are also large modern shopping centres nearby.