Outgoing and talkative locals with tall tales to tell make a visit to Hammerfest that bit more exciting.
Hammerfest is known as the world's northernmost town and was official recognised as such in 2009. The town is situated on Kvaløya island and is linked to the mainland by a bridge. The harbour is ice-free despite being located north of the Arctic circle.
Hammerfest is a town with a long history in the fishing trade. Pop by the tourist information office situated on the ferry quay for further information. If you are travelling with children, a visit to Hammerfest lekeland play centre is highly recommended.
When on holiday in Hammerfest, you should also visit Gjenreisningmuseet for Finnmark og Nord-Troms; a modern museum that tells the story of the evacuation, burning and rebuilding of the town during WWII. When visiting the town, make sure to put time aside to visit Hammerfest Church, which was constructed from concrete in 1961. Don’t forget to visit the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, where you can learn more about the town's rich history as a hunting town.
If you want to see more of the local area, follow the majestic Gammelveien trail. Be careful not to miss the Meridianstøtten monument in the Fuglenes neighbourhood. From Hammerfest, you can also go fishing aboard a genuine fishing vessel if you want to experience the area at sea.
Hammerfest has its own airport with connections to several European cities. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights to or from airports further south in Norway, and if travelling from the UK, you’ll need to make a stopover first. Hammerfest is one of the ports of call for the Hurtigruten cruise ships and you can easily visit the town as part of a journey to the North Cape.
There is plenty of Norwegian history in Hammerfest. You can learn about anything from the burning of the town during the war to its central role as a hunting town. Head out on the open sea and try your luck at fishing or sit down at a cafe and listen to a fairy tale or two.