This laidback riverside city in southern Norway offers art, architecture and beer as well as outdoor year-round adventures.
Relaxed riverside walks, outdoor adventures, art and a historic brewery make Drammen an interesting stop on vacations in Norway. Traditionally an industrial center, today Drammen is an attractive city that straddles the gently-flowing river, Drammenselva. It’s the capital of Buskerud County, located in southeastern Norway.
Drammen’s flat streets and compact city center make it a good destination to explore on foot. Start your visit at Bragernes Torg, the city’s central square on the north side of the river. Watch city life unfold from a café terrace or enjoy open-air concerts during summer festivals such as Drammen Elvefestival. Check out the castle-like architecture of the town hall and admire the 19th-century neo-Gothic architecture of Bragernes Church.
Stroll along the riverfront, where locals sunbathe on grassy banks and cool off in the water during warm summers. Enjoy the views from a waterfront café or sample the beers at Aass Brewery, Norway’s oldest surviving brewery. Relax in the manicured gardens of Gamle Kirkeplass surrounded by colorful townhouses and the Drammen Theatre. Visit the theater to watch orchestral concerts, ballets and musicals.
Cross the river via the Y-shaped Ypsilon Bridge to Union Brygge, a cultural area with concert hall, restaurants and boutique shops. Visit the wooden Stromsgodset Church, built in 1843, to see interesting architecture. Spot displays of ceramics, textiles, glasswork and folk art from the Buskerud region at the Drammen Museum.
Enjoy panoramic views over the city from Sprialtoppen, a lookout reachable by pathways leading through the city’s surrounding hills. Alternatively, drive to the lookout via the zigzagging tunnel that cuts through the hillside. Go to the 10,000-year-old Kjosterudjuvet canyon for more outdoor activities. Hike along a wilderness trail to lakes and waterfalls, try gorge-jumping or abseil down the canyon’s vertical walls. When the snow falls, ski and snowboard at Drammen Skisenter.
Drammen’s varied attractions make it a popular side trip from Oslo. The city is also on the route of the train journey between Bergen and Oslo, which passes through Norway’s breathtaking scenery.