Those of you who are interested in urban development should stay in the town centre and get out on foot. Experience Haugesund on foot, and see historical monuments, learn about industrial history and enjoy a rich cultural and café scene. Start with a short city walk in the centre of Haugesund before enjoying other urban experiences!

Today, Haugesund may be better known as a shipping and industry town, spearheaded by the Aibel shipyard. But the town’s development was largely thanks to the herring fisheries. Dokken Museum, which is open in summer, provides an insight into what Haugesund was like 150 years ago, and Karmsund Folk Museum illustrates the town’s history.

Maritime industries are still important for Haugesund, and the Norwegian Maritime Authority has been headquartered here since 2006. If you head for Smedasundet sound and the bridge across to Risøy, you'll get a sense of the town’s maritime industry, as this area has been the very heart of the town for a great many years.

Haugesund also has many Art Nouveau style buildings, more, in fact, than any other town or city in Norway. If you do a city walk through the streets, note the corner buildings and the many towers. Architect Einar Halleland, a native of Haugesund, can be given the credit for this, having designed Vår Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church), among other buildings. If you’d like to see parks, you should head to the Biblioteksparken, Byparken and Rådhusplassen parks. The park beside the library (Biblioteksparken) has an obstacle course, water mirror and slide for small children. The Town Hall is also worth a visit. It is widely regarded as Norway’s finest example of Neoclassical architecture, and has been voted the most beautiful town hall in Norway.

Local design and shopping

If you would like to do some shopping, head for Haraldsgata and the streets that run off it. This area has charming niche shops, clothes shops, home decor shops and goldsmiths, to name but a few. The book shop Den Lille Bokbutikken and the home decor shop Krimz Kramz are well worth a visit, and you can find lovely children’s clothes in Den Lille Barnebutikken and Lille Jacobi. If you’re interested in interior design, you should definitely visit the shops Hus i Nord, Crush Concept, Bruno Interiør and Trendhuset.

At Lervik Ur further up the street, you’ll find the local watch design brand Bruvik, as well as many other exclusive brands. Lervik Ur has gained recognition outside Norway for its knowledge and service. If you head up Kirkegata, you can visit Formbar Glassverksted, a combined workshop and sales outlet for local glass design products. You can watch glassblowing live, buy unique gifts or admire the glass artworks on the shelves. Head for Amundsen Spesial if you’re looking for edible gifts, and music lovers will enjoy a visit to Shabby Records.

Formbar Glassverksted|© Kristoffer Vincent

Café life

Smedasundet sound is lined with nightclubs, bars and restaurants. The acclaimed Lothe’s restaurant and the lunch venue Dattera til Lothe’s are in an elevated location above the quay. You’ll find what may well be the town’s best burger at Oxe Burger, and if it’s sushi you’re after, head for Sabi Sushi nearer the town centre. You can get the day off to a good start by eating breakfast at Naturbakst at Haraldsgata 81. Both Carlos Kaffebar at the Gamle Slaktehuset activity centre and Haugesund Folkebibliotek are known for their particularly delicious coffee and great atmosphere. If you’re looking for a sweet treat, you should head for one of the most colourful buildings in the TOWN; Jåblom Bakst - Cupcakehuset, which sells delicious cupcakes in a wide variety of flavours. If it’s good, locally produced beer you’re after, head for Garasjebryggeriet at Høvleriet – where you can almost be fooled into thinking you’re in Brooklyn. In summer, you can enjoy a delicious drink at Almenningen Bybad right outside Høvleriet. Enjoy an authentic holiday atmosphere bang smack in the centre of town!

Entertainment

Haugesund Teater stages high-quality productions every year, so don’t miss out! You can enjoy a wide range of cultural events at Festiviteten all year round, and this is where the well-known Amanda film awards are presented during the annual film festival. Other festivals worth noting are the Sildajazz jazz festival and Den festivalen i Vangen music festival, which both take place every August. The gang behind the festival in Vangen also run a music bar in the centre of Haugesund, with the catchy name Vangen Pling Plong. The bar is run on community spirit, so its opening hours are subject to change. Follow Facebook for information about opening hours.

Stay up-to-date with the what’s on calendar so you don’t miss out on any exciting events.

Doing an Escape Room challenge is a great option for those looking for some excitement. The challenge is to find your way out of a locked room – just for fun!

Festival in Haugesund |© Henriette Lien

Sunday walk

If you’re in town on a Sunday, do what the locals do and go for a Sunday walk! You’re never very far away from nature in Haugesund and you can choose between walks in areas close to the sea or in the hills that afford lovely views.

For those who want to head out towards the sea, we can recommend a walk out to the islands for a different kind of local experience. You can get to Risøy and Bakarøy on foot across the bridges from the town centre. If you want to go further, you can take the boat to Vibrandsøy or Røvær.

The Coastal Trail takes you north of the town and through a historic area along the sea. You will also be able to see the only national monument in Norway, Haraldshaugen, and see the wild sheep that roam the cultural landscape down beside the sea. Along the coastal trail, in Kvalsvik, there is also a great spot where you can go for a swim if you want to brave the elements. Asalvika, nearer the town centre, is another good tip if you fancy a swim.

If you would rather head for the woods, you can walk to Haraldsvang nature park, where you can feed the ducks and climb the high-dive platform. This walk also joins with the longer walk around Djupdalen.