11 Things to Do in Haugesund (Shore Excursions & Day Trips!)

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Haugesund, Norway? We’ve got some tips and top attractions for you!

Are you planning your trip to Haugesund last minute?

If youʻre booking your trip to Haugesund last minute, we have you covered. Below are some of the top tours, hotels, and more!

🇳🇴  Top Activities and Tours in Haugesund:

  1. Åkrafjorden & Langfoss Waterfall day trip (perfect for cruise passengers!)
  2. RIB safari trip in Haugesund (awesome fjord tour!)
  3. Regional highlights tour (includes Karmøy!)
  4. Guided E-Bike tour around Haugesund (and a coastal path)
  5. Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus in Haugesund

🛌  Top Lodging Options in Haugesund:

  1. Park Inn by Radisson at the Haugesund Airport
  2. Haraldshaugen Camping

🚗  Visiting Haugesund independently? Be sure to book your Norway rental car ahead of time to ensure availability!

Haugesund is one of the most underrated places in Norway, in my opinion! My first visit was all the way back in 2010 and I think the town and its day trips are some of the best in Western Norway!

This guide contains the best day trips from Haugesund, and some of the top attractions, landmarks, and more!

Best things to do in Haugesund Norway
Best things to do in Haugesund Norway

Do you have any tips for what to do in Haugesund? Let us know in the comments!

Best Haugesund Tours (to Maximize Your Time!)

If you’re looking for something more organized when in Haugesund and the surrounding area, here are some awesome Haugesund tours you should check out. 

These tours will help you maximize your time, which is especially important if you only have a short amount of time in the city! We listed a variety so that you can pick which one is most suitable for you (and many include multiple places!):

  1. Åkrafjorden & Langfoss Waterfall day trip (perfect for cruise passengers!)
  2. RIB safari trip in Haugesund (awesome fjord tour!)
  3. Regional highlights tour (includes Karmøy!)
  4. Guided E-Bike tour around Haugesund (and a coastal path)
  5. Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus in Haugesund

Best Things to Do in Haugesund

1. Step Back in Time at the Viking Village on Bukkoy Island

Bukkøy is a Viking village located on the small wooded island of the same name in Avaldsnes.

On its site, you will find a farmhouse, a longhouse, a boathouse, and several other buildings that will give you a glimpse into what life was like during the Viking age.

The farm was reconstructed based on the archaeological finds that were made in Rogaland and it exhibits how the ancient people were farmers, fishermen, craftsmen, merchants, as well as explorers and poets.

A winter trip to Bukkøy
A winter trip to Bukkøy

With this immersive experience, you can learn how Norway’s Viking ancestors build houses using the materials they had and how they lived.

During the summer season, guided tours will take you through a hands-on learning experience on the village complex.

Old Viking home
Old Viking boat home (reconstructed!)

You can engage in a variety of ancient activities as well, such as shooting a bow and arrow. Western Norway’s largest Viking festival is also held at the farm in June every year.

2. Learn about Haugesund’s History at the Karmsund Folkemuseum

Learn about Haugesund’s cultural heritage at the Karmsund History and Folk Museum. It is located in the center of the main section of Haugesund in the city’s old dairy building.

There are four permanent exhibitions in the museum, two of which are recent additions that elaborate on agriculture from the mid-17th to the 20th century and its transition into a maritime and fishing culture.

They are titled “From field to meal – Farming”, and “The town that went ashore.” The older exhibitions are titled “Home and Local Environment” and “Shipping and Fishing.”

Karmsund Civic Museum - Joyce Nelson - Shutterstock
Karmsund Civic Museum – Joyce Nelson – Shutterstock

Every year, new exhibitions are presented at the  Karmsund Folkemuseum.

At the conclusion of the tour through the museum, or perhaps if your kids aren’t interested, there is a play corner and treasure hunting available for children to enjoy.

Additionally, the museum houses a small shop and a café. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and costs 70 kr for general adult admission.

Address: Skåregata 142, 5527 Haugesund

3. Birdwatch on Utsira Island

Utsira is a Kommune and island with a wild and rugged landscape and a haven for birdlife.

The island is only six square kilometers – 2 kilometers from north to south and about 3 kilometers from east to west – and is situated about 18 km west of Karmøy.

It is also only accessible by boat. The first and most prominent thing you’ll see upon arriving on its shores is the lighthouse, Utsira Fyr.

Utsira Island
Utsira Island

As you walk through the small commune of 200 people, you’ll also find old harbor walls, heritage-listed buildings, amazing streets, and popular bird-watching spots.

The nearest mainland town to Utsira is Haugesund, which has a ferry trip taking about 70 minutes to the tiny just about every day.

In lieu of bringing a car on the ferry, which is unnecessary considering the size of the island, opt for a bike rental, which is granted with free passage.

4. Visit the Grand National Monument of Haraldshaugen

Haraldshaugen is a national monument that can be found 2 kilometers north of Haugesund City Center. The monument was built on the place where Harald Fairhair, one of the kings in Snorre’s sagas, was buried.

It is dedicated to the unification of Norway and was erected in 1872 during the time of the millennial celebration.

The monument is situated on a large mound surrounded by granite memorial stones along with 29 smaller stones, one from each of Norway’s historic counties.


A 17-meter-high granite main obelisk stands at the top of the mound with four bronze panels around the base. Important scenes from the life of King Harald I are depicted on each panel.

The Haraldshaugen monument also commemorates the Battle of Hafrsfjord, which has traditionally been regarded as the point at which western Norway was unified under one monarch for the first time, and also holds the burial site of King Harald I.

Although there is no archaeological evidence to prove it, the monument stands proudly today.

5. Take a Day Trip to Charming Skudeneshavn  

Skudeneshavn is a charming town found at the extreme southern tip of Karmøy. The calm town has narrow streets and alleyways, charming historic buildings, beaches, and a beautiful coastline.

Enjoy fresh waffles and coffee in picturesque waterfront cafes or explore the view on foot with a walk.

Skudeneshavn in summer
Skudeneshavn in summer

The Olde Town has almost 130 original and well-preserved timber homes and seafront wharves that you can check out.

The craftsmen that founded the town attempted to recreate the aesthetic of Ancient Rome in their embellishments and ornamentation, which you can learn more about at the Skudeneshavn Museum.

In the 19th century during the successful herring fisheries, the old fishing village grew into a sailing ship town.

No one visits in winter - all the more reason to do so!
No one visits in winter – all the more reason to do so!

Shipping is still important to the town as it is home to a shipyard industry and numerous shipping companies.

Check out the galleries, cafes, and museum while wandering through the Old Town! Skudeneshavn is excellent in the summer high season but also worth a winter day trip!

6. Take a Day Trip to Visnes

Visnes is a small village on Karmøy in Rogaland, about 2.5 kilometers west of the village of Avaldsnes. It is one of the best day trips from Haugesund!

The name of the mine was Vigsnes, and during the 1870s it was home to Norway’s largest copper mine and was also one of Northern Europe’s largest.

My visit to Visnes
My visit to Visnes

The mine Vigsnes was notable for providing the majority of the copper used for the Statue of Liberty in New York, and at the time was French-owned.

You can visit the Visnes Mining Museum, which consists of numerous other buildings on its campus, such as the Workers’ Homes, King Oscar’s Gate, the Administration Building, the Smelting Hut ruins, the Gazebo, and Cafe Fransehagen.

Taking a day trip to Visnes from Haugesund
Taking a day trip to Visnes from Haugesund

You can learn about the mining community in Visnes and the impact that the mine had on Norway and its economy, as well as how it had an impact on American culture.

7. Spend a Day on the Gorgeous Beaches of Akrasanden

Just off Haugesund on the west coast of Karmøy are the beaches of Åkrasanden. Voted as the most beautiful beach in Norway several times, you’ll find a series of linked beautiful white sandy beaches.

Åkrasanden’s beaches extend over a kilometer and are loaded with a bunch of culture and nature trails, some of which date back to the Viking Age.

The beaches also have a Mediterranean vibe, however, the temperature of the turquoise water is worthy of the Vikings.


The eight beaches are also excellent for windsurfing. There are spots available for picnicking as well as free toilets and parking. The beaches are popular with families because of their calm waves.

There are numerous popular natural hiking trails along the beaches as well, including a scenic hike to Ferkingstad, which should take about two hours.

Smell the sea and lounge until sunset whilst picnicking with your family at the clean, gorgeous beaches of Åkrasanden.

8. Hike Himakana for Spectacular Views

Himakånå is one of the most well-known mountain hikes in the region, taking you up to a peak of 357 meters above sea level.

The Himakånå rock formation has always been known amongst the locals and is even referred to it as the ‘Little Trolltunga.’

The mountain is the corner of the Tysvær township, which is a special landscape loaded with oak, beech, and birch in a favorable, mountainous microclimate with rich soil.


A hike to the top of Himakånå takes about 1 hour, in which afterward you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the theNedstrandsfjord, Lysevatnet lake, and the farms framed by the lush and dense forests.

Himakånå gets its name from a typical Norwegian story about trolls, where a stay-at-home wife ultimately turns into stone and becomes the rock formation that you will be summiting.

That’s something to think about as you hike!

9. Experience the Dokken Open Air Museum

Go back 150 years to the very start of the Great Herring era at the Dokken Open Air Museum for an insight into daily life in Haugesund.

Cross the bridge to Hasseløy to find the Dokken, where you will be greeted by a green area surrounded by numerous small, historic buildings standing as a testament to old Haugesund.

The museum presents an important part of Haugesund’s herring tales and how its urban environment helped people live between the mid-19th and 20th centuries.

Exploring historic Haugesund
Exploring historic Haugesund

Dokken’s first houses were built nearly 200 years ago when there was a small, closed harbor for the herring boats, or a “dock.”

Since then, the name “Dokken” has been used for the area, and despite the dock being filled with stone, concrete, and earth.

The buildings in the museum complex include furnished living rooms, a barrel workshop, a herring saltery, and a colonial shop.

Additionally, the boathouse has an extensive boat display and a photo exhibition depicting everyday life.  

Address: Brugata 1D, 5527 Haugesund

10. Take a Drive North to See Langfoss Waterfall 

Dropping down the steep mountainside with a thunderous power is the Langfoss Waterfall, one of the natural highlights of Norway’s west coast.

The waterfall cascades down from a height of 612 meters into the fjord below, so it is impossible to miss.

In terms of width, the falls expand to 62 meters. The water comes from the river Tjørna as well, making Langfoss Waterfall along with its height, one of the largest waterfalls in Norway.

Langfoss Waterfall  is about 1.5 hours from Haugesund
Langfoss Waterfall  is about 1.5 hours from Haugesund

It is about an hour and a half drive away from Haugesund, and as you drive by, you can roll your windows down and feel the water droplets on your skin.

The thundering of the falls powerfully runs down the steep mountain into the fjord.

You can also experience the beauty of the waterfall and the lush green vegetation of the Åkrafjorden with a boat cruise.

The scenery is excellent, especially in the summer when the vegetation holds a striking contrast against the gray rocky terrain and greenery of the fjord.

11. Visit Haugesund’s Pink Town Hall

Haugesund Town Hall was once voted Norway’s most beautiful town hall and is known for its pink color. It is easily one of the top landmarks in Haugesund!

Designed by the architects Gudolf Blakstad and Hermann Munthe-Kaas, the Haugesund Town Hall was a gift to the city from shipowner Knut Knutsen and his wife Elisabeth.

The building was officially opened in 1931 and the park was opened in 1949, and til this day, the town hall is one of the most famous buildings in Norway.

City Hall in Haugesund
City Hall in Haugesund

It is notable for its wealth of artistic decorations inside the building and the well-maintained and preserved surrounding highlighting the beauty of the area.

In the book “The History of Norwegian Art,” Leif Østby describes the cultural significance of the town hall among architects in the 1920s: “One of the movement’s most important works is Haugesund Town Hall – with its magnificent, outstandingly striking corner section embellished with double pillars.”

Address: Rådhusgata 66, 5528 Haugesund

Where to Stay in Haugesund

There are not too many places to stay in Haugesund (to be honest, I stay with a friend when there!) but here are some of the top Haugesund hotels and accommodations:

Did we miss any of the best things to do in Haugesund, Norway?

Let us know your favorite Haugesund attractions in the comments!

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Haugesund, Norway? This guide covers the top Haugesund landmarks, day trips, museums, and beyond! | What to do in Haugesund | Visit Haugesund | Haugesund things to do | Haugesund attractions | Haugesund sightseeing | Haugesund day trip | Haugesund activities | Haugesund tours | Haugesund itinerary | Places to visit in Haugesund | Day trips from Haugesund

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