From historical landmarks to rock carvings, public art and a lively pedestrianized shopping district, Sarpsborg has a varied collection of attractions. King Olav Haraldsson established Sarpsborg in 1016, and made it Norway’s capital city, after stopping at Sarpefossen waterfall while sailing the Glomma river. You can appreciate the magnificent sight of Sarpefossen, among Europe’s biggest waterfalls, at the edge of the city center.
Explore regional history at Borgarsyssel Museum, an open-air museum featuring over 20 typical buildings from the Østfold county. It stands in the grounds of the 12th-century ruins of St. Nicholas Church. At nearby St. Marie Square, an imposing sculpture called Genesis portrays a young King Olav. The square connects with St. Marie Gate, a pedestrian-only shopping street with cafés, restaurants, shops and a sculpture inspired by the stories of author Roald Dahl.
A short walk from the city center is the beautiful Hafslund Manor, which opens its doors every Sunday from June to August for guided tours of elegantly furnished rooms. The surrounding garden is open year round and has examples of millennia-old rock carvings. The Bjørnstad Ship, one of Northern Europe’s largest pieces of rock art, is 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of the manor. For something different, keep the children entertained with the interactive exhibits at INSPIRIA Science Center.
In Sarpsborg there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors. Kulåsparken has gorgeous tree-shaded lawns in the heart of the city. Go swimming at Lake Tunevannet and relax at the lakefront Landeparken. Play 18 holes at scenic golf clubs, fish for salmon on the Ågård River and walk the ancient burial ground of Opstadfeltet.
Less than a 30-minute drive from the city are the popular seaside resorts of Dusa and Høysand. Carve up on the slopes of Kjerringåsen Alpinsenter in winter. Rent a car and drive sections of the E6, a highway stretching from the Arctic Circle and along the southwest coast of Sweden.
Buses, flights and trains offer fast and direct transport links between Oslo and Sarpsborg, a destination for history, nature and family entertainment.
Waterfalls, Recreation and Waterparks