Book a holiday to Halden and experience Norwegian history for yourself
The locals call it “The Pride of Iddefjord”, and you’ll soon discover why. Halden’s old wooden buildings and 17th-century fortress make it a distinctive and charming town. Halden is also known as one of Norway’s major music towns and has hosted the “Allsang på grensen” (“Singalong on the Border”) TV show for many years.
Due to its proximity to Sweden, the Fredriksten Fortress (Fredriksten festning) was built on a hill overlooking the city at the end of the 17th century. Today, the fortress is a popular cultural hub and a much-loved symbol, but it was also the scene of many dramatic battles, and has played an important role in Scandinavian history.
If you visit the fortress, you’ll discover museums, restaurants, a golf course and a hotel, with stunning views of the town. The fortress is also used as a concert arena, while the Tons of Rock festival attracts famous international artists such as Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and Megadeth.
Halden also boasts other attractions. If you go down the hill from the Fredrikstad Fortress to the south side of town, you will get to Immanuel Church, built in 1833 and considered to be an Empire-style masterpiece. From here, walk along the Tista River until you reach the wooden houses in South Halden. Halden’s beautiful guest harbour is located nearby, and the Food and Harbour Festival takes place here every summer.
On the north side of town, you can follow the hills up to 17th-century Rød Manor (Rød herregård) – one of Norway’s biggest and best-preserved manors. Do as the locals do and take a stroll around the manor’s baroque-style gardens, or take a tour of the main building.
Travelling to Halden is simple once you’ve touched down in Oslo, the nearest airport. The town is the last station of the Østfold Line running between Oslo and the Swedish border, and you can also drive here by following the E6 motorway through Østfold until you get to Svinesundsporten, where you can then follow M22 all the way to this beautiful fortress town.