12 Best Things to Do in Henningsvær, Norway (2024 Guide)

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The Lofoten Islands are home to some of Norway’s most beautiful and colorful villages but none have my heart quite like Henningsvær, a village of just over 500 people.

And this is a guide to the best things to do in Henningsvær, Norway (for first-timers). Having visited three times (in different seasons) and even ‘lived’ there for an entire month, I can honestly say that it is one of my favorite places in Norway.

Are you planning your trip to Henningsvær last minute?

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

🇳🇴  Top tours and experiences near Henningsvær:

  1. Trollfjord sea eagle safari from Svolvaer (my top pick in Lofoten!)
  2. Lofoten Islands cruise of Trollfjord (a chilled-out, scenic trip)
  3. Horseback riding on Gimsøy (close to Henningsvær; a bestseller)

🛌  Top places to stay in Henningsvær:

  1. Villa Bryggekanten (a historic Norwegian hotel – I’ve stayed here twice)
  2. Tobiasbrygga (apartments with harbor views)
  3. Henningsvær Guesthouse (wonderful downtown option)

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

While the village consists of over 200 small islands, there is only a small portion of that you can visit, and taking a day trip to Henningsvær is a perfect addition to your Lofoten itinerary.

Best things to do in Henningsvær, Norway
Best things to do in Henningsvær, Norway

At the bottom of this guide, you will find a quick list of the best places to eat, where to stay, and some useful Henningsvær travel tips.

Did I miss any of the best Henningsvær landmarks, tourist attractions, or things to do? Let me know if so!

📝 UPDATED FOR 2024: My first trip to Henningsvær was in 2017 and this guide was written shortly after. However, I have visited several times since and even ‘lived’ in Henningsvær for a month in March 2024, so I have freshened the guide up. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Best Things to Do in Henningsvær, Norway

1. Stroll along the Henningsvær Harbor

The most iconic place to visit in Henningsvær is the harbor! It is colorful and idyllic, attracting those visiting the Lofoten Islands all year round. While most of what I put on this guide is located along the harbor, it is still worth bringing a camera and walking along it.

The iconic Henningsvær harbor in early spring
The iconic Henningsvær harbor in early spring

The tiny fishing village of Henningsvær dates back to 1556 and it has always been important because of the fisheries and Lofoten cod industry.

You can still see evidence of that as you check out the fishing boats coming and going from the Henningsvær harbor throughout the day.

🔦 GOOD TO KNOW: There is a ‘bridge’ that will take you from one side of the harbor to the other. Please be vigilant of car traffic here, as it is the only place locals can drive across to get home. And, during the winter months, please wear a reflector on you! It is difficult to see people walking around there.

2. Grab Yourself a Beanie from Haddock

No matter where you go in the Lofoten Islands (and most of Northern Norway), you will almost inevitably see a Haddock beanie on someone’s head. These colorful, knitted beanies and headbands are from right here in Henningsvær, the founder’s hometown!

Lutta Enevold was traveling around Nepal with her husband, an avid climber, when she got to know many local women in villages there who shared her same passion, knitting.

A couple of my Haddock beanies (+ a headband!)
A couple of my Haddock beanies (+ a headband!)

Alongside the Nepalese couple, Pema and Jangbu Sherpa, Lutta has created an international sensation in winter headwear. At the same time, Pema and Jangbu ensure that the knitting factory’s working conditions remain ethical and optimal.

The shop is located in the center of the village by Galleri Lofoten, and you can pop in and grab yourself a beanie or a headband to keep yourself warm on your Lofoten adventure.

⏰ Opening hours: Daily from 11:30am to 6pm. In the winter (September until June), from 12pm until 4pm.
📍 Address: Misværveien 10, 8312 Henningsvær (they also have a location at Dreyers gate 23)

3. Enjoy the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights

Depending on your visit, you may witness the midnight sun or the northern lights!

I have had the opportunity to enjoy both when visiting Henningsvær and despite what many other blogs say, the Lofoten Islands are not a bad place for the northern lights depending on when you visit (early spring is better than fall and winter).

Northern lights in Henningsvær
Northern lights in Henningsvær

Of course, the midnight sun will be something you can view during the summer months, and the aurora will be something you can view during the winter months and the shoulder season.

📸 PRO TIP: If you are traveling to Henningsvær and will have a clear night during aurora season, I can highly recommend that you go toward the famous football pitch as it will allow a bit of an escape from the light pollution. It is the perfect place to photograph the phenomenon.

Just please understand that the northern lights are completely dependent on the weather (especially the clouds) and other factors, like solar activity and winds.

4. Spend the Day (and Evening!) at Trevarefabrikken

My favorite place in Henningsvær is Trevarefabrikken, hands down. The story of the recognizable building is fascinating as it was built in 1948 and was a factory for cod liver oil production, and shrimp peeling, and also home to a carpentry shop.

In 2014, the factory was sold to four Norwegians (two pairs of brothers) from the Bergen area who fell in love with Henningsvær and wanted to make a cool and innovative spot for locals and those passing through.

Outside aurora at Trevarefabrikken
Aurora outside
Trevarefabrikken in Henningsvaer - co-working area
Trevarefabrikken

As a result, Trevarefabrikken was born and now has a coffee shop, restaurant, guest house, live music, sauna with a view over the sea, beer bar, areas to play games, open-air BBQ spots, and an inspiring area to work in for digital nomads.

Be sure to check out their event schedule on their website. You can meet a lot of other travelers and locals by heading there when something is going on.

📍 Address: Dreyers gate 72, 8312 Henningsvær

5. Take a Walk Through Galleri Lofoten

Galleri Lofoten is a rather spacious museum and art gallery located right on the harbor in Henningsvær. It spans multiple floors and is a family-run place and a vital part of the life and culture of Henningsvær. 

It has more than 100 unique and beautiful paintings of Lofoten and Northern Norway’s lifestyle, emphasizing its fishing history.

Galleri Lofoten in Henningsvaer 2
Galleri Lofoten
Galleri Lofoten in Henningsvaer 3
From the outside

There is also a cinema room where you can watch a brief film of photography by the previous owner of the museum (his children now run the place after he passed). 

The photo film is spectacular, and it showcases Lofoten photos (particularly of fishing and fishermen) from before the time when digital cameras were a thing. If you’re looking for things to do in Henningsvær, definitely add Galleri Lofoten to your list!

⏰ Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 4pm; closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
📍 Address: Misværveien 18, 8312 Henningsvær

6. Style Yourself at MIN

MIN is a clothing shop in Henningsvær that specializes in unique brands (of exceptional quality) that has been around for over 6 years in the town. They offer a mix of vintage clothing and new pieces, and have something for everyone!

Inside MIN (where I bought a sweater)
Inside MIN (where I bought a sweater)

MIN just opened their new shop in the center of Henningsvær (it is right across from Cafe Knusarn). I was fortunate to be invited to the opening party and was able to pick up a few cute items, including a vintage sweater, shirt, and Steelers t-shirt.

👕 GOOD TO KNOW: If you’re heading to Tromso before or after your Lofoten trip, MIN opened a second location there in 2023! You can find them at Sjøgata 14 in the city center.

Owners Nils and Marlene are incredibly friendly and shopping at MIN is a fantastic way to support a local business!

⏰ Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 5pm
📍 Address: Dreyers gate 9, 8312 Henningsvær

7. Go Hiking around Henningsvær (Festvågtind)

I am going to be honest, I am not much of a hiker. But since the Lofoten Islands is renowned for its scenic trails (it truly is an adventurer’s paradise!), I am going to put one of the most popular hikes on here.

According to one of my favorite bloggers who are avid hikers, the Festvågtind trail is rather steep and unexciting to the viewpoint and is only worth the endeavor if the day is clear enough to get the panoramic views over the village.

The hike is 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) and has an elevation of 500 meters (1640 feet). It is classified as a moderate hike and the bloggers stated that it should take anywhere from 2-3 hours. Probably 5 for me, hence not attempting it.

You can read more about their hike on Festvågtind here. If the weather permits, it offers the best views over Henningsvær.

8. Stop at Rørvik Beach (Rørvikstranda)

When you are driving (or taking the bus) into Henningsvær, you will notice a lot of beautiful beaches and clear water areas along the main road into town.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; this is actually what many white sandy beaches around Lofoten look like!

Rørvikstranda, or Rørvik Beach, is a noticeable one that you will encounter as soon as you turn off the E10. Depending on the time of day, you may not notice just how clear the water is.

Rørvikstranda (or Rørvik Beach)
Rørvikstranda (or Rørvik Beach)

But if you encounter it in an hour when the sun does it justice, your jaw will drop. It is nestled in a cove, surrounded by steep mountains.

You can get off the bus here or park in a large parking lot that is situated behind it. It is a fantastic place to set up a picnic or just walk around. There are a few short hiking trails in the area.

9. Wander Around Kaviar Factory

One of the coolest places to visit in Henningsvær is this old caviar factory that has been transformed into a contemporary art museum and aptly named, Kaviar Factory

The factory used to be a stable workplace on the island and provided many jobs and connected well with Henningsvær’s rich fishing history. Once the factory was left abandoned, a couple named Venke and Rolf Hoff purchased it and gave it new life. 

Inside Kaviar Factory in Henningsvaer
Inside Kaviar Factory in Henningsvaer

Its inspiring location right on the sea easily makes it a gallery with the best view in the world, in my opinion! The coolest thing about the Kaviar Factory is that it gives aspiring artists with varying perspectives a place to showcase their works. 

These creatives have been from places all over the world and their works have been brought here, to small Henningsvær, Norway, and that is pretty special. 

⏰ Opening hours: hours change (especially with the season), so check their website for the latest information
📍 Address: Henningsværveien 13, 8312 Henningsvær

10. Have a Coffee at Henningsvær Lysstøperi & Cafe

There are a few super cute cafes in Henningsvær but given that Henningsvær Lysstøperi & Cafe also make their own candles, it kind of takes the cake, in my opinion.

In 2002, Line Marie Jensen and Pål Arild Pettersen opened the doors to the candle factory and cafe in Henningsvær and it was later passed on to Ziga Tominc and Thea Bonde.

Lysstøperi in Henningsvaer
Lysstøperi in Henningsvaer

Today, you will find a cozy atmosphere where you can purchase fresh baked goods (their cinnamon buns come highly recommended by me!), tasty coffee, and a candle to take home as a souvenir.

If you happen to visit from Friday-Sunday, you can also walk across the street to their actual candle factory where you can see everything in one place. It is open from 10am-4pm then.

Henningsvær Lysstøperi
Henningsvær Lysstøperi for coffee

The cafe, however, remains open throughout the week. If you are not able to visit the candle factory and shop across the street, don’t worry! You can still purchase a candle to take home inside the cafe.

⏰ Opening hours: Daily from 10am-4pm (candle shop is only open from Friday until Sunday)
📍 Address: Gammelveien 2, 8312 Henningsvær

11. Drone the Henningsvær Football Stadium

I am only putting this on here because it is a large reason why people visit Henningsvær.

The iconic football field is recognized internationally as the most beautiful place to play the sport in the world. And, everyone seems to score that same photo of it with a drone.

Famous football stadium in Henningsvaer
Famous football stadium in Henningsvaer

The stadium is small, has a capacity of 500, and supports the local amateur team. However, it has been used by teams around the world due to its unique location. Today, it is an iconic Henningsvær tourist attraction.

Some things to note about the Henningsvær soccer field:

  • It is in a residential area. Do NOT disturb or trespass on the property of people living near it.
  • It may be covered in snow during the winter months.
  • Review drone flying regulations in Norway before proceeding. YES, you must register your drone to legally fly in Norway, regardless of its weight and size. You can register (and pay the small fee) here. This does NOT apply to those who have their drones registered elsewhere in the EU.
  • Drone flying may soon be banned in the Lofoten Islands due to the entitlement and negligence of those flying the drones. Please review these rules before putting your drone into the air. Norway is actually deporting people violating drone policies, and I am 100% here for it.
  • Max drone altitude in Henningsvær (and most of Norway) is currently 120m (393ft) high. Do not exceed this.

12. Go Horseback Riding on Gimsøy

Close to Henningsvær is the island of Gimsøy. This island is very sparsely populated but home to one of the coolest activities in all of the Lofoten Islands, which makes for one of the best day trips from Henningsvær. 

You can head over to Hov Gård and go horseback riding in the Lofoten Islands atop a beautiful Icelandic horse. The best thing about horseback riding there is that the views are epic. I have been in both winter and summer, and both seasons were magical!

Horseback riding at Hov Gård on Gimsøy
Horseback riding at Hov Gård on Gimsøy

Hov Gård also has a cafe and eatery inside, where you can take a break for a few hours and enjoy the relaxed vibe in this part of Lofoten.

Where to Eat in Henningsvær

Restaurant Lofotmat

One of the best restaurants in Henningsvær is called Restaurant Lofotmat and it is a top place to enjoy some of the local seafood that is brought in fresh daily.

Operated by head chef Siv Hilde Lillehaug and chef Geir Robertsen, Lofotmat serves fresh fish in various ways: dried, poached, raw, and beyond. Guests will also find a lovely dessert menu and wine list.

It is recommended to book a reservation before dining there as it is very popular, and head chef Siv Hilde is award-winning and very accomplished (and people know this)!

Their website goes back and forth between working and not working, so the best way to get in touch with them is to call or send a message through their Facebook page.

⏰ Opening hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 6pm to 9pm; Sunday from 4pm to 7pm; closed Monday-Wednesday
📍 Address: Dreyers gate 56, 8312 Henningsvær

Fiskekrogen

Another popular spot in Henningsvær for lunch or dinner is Fiskekrogen, the oldest restaurant in Henningsvær. This restaurant is situated on the harbor in town and has an array of menu items to satisfy any palate.

One of their specialties is cod tongue, but it was sold out the last time I went, so I settled for a tomato-based seafood stew. It was delicious!

Seafood stew at Fiskekrogen in Henningsvaer
Seafood stew at Fiskekrogen in Henningsvær

I recommend making a reservation beforehand with them, particularly during the summer months. They also have an outstanding wine menu where you can find options that pair with every dish they have. Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

⏰ Opening hours: Sunday (1pm-8pm); Monday to Thursday (1pm-9pm), Friday (1pm-10pm), Saturday (12pm-10pm)
📍 Address: Dreyers gate 29, 8312 Henningsvær

Other Popular Henningsvær Restaurants and Cafes

There are limited places to eat in Henningsvær since the village only has around 500 people. But, there are still more than enough options given the population of the place!

If you see stockfish on a menu - try it!
If you see stockfish on a menu – try it!

Some other top Henningsvær restaurants and cafes are:

  • Restaurant Feskarheimen: One of the best places in Henningsvær; was closed for the season when I was last there, unfortunately.
  • Klatrekafeen: Casual eatery renowned for its delicious burgers.
  • Trevarefabrikken: I know I mentioned them above, but they have wood-fired pizza during the high season. A must!
  • Knusarn: This cute cafe is known for its sweet treats.
  • Henningsvær Lysstøperi & Cafe: Highlighted above; great place for baked goods and coffee.

What to Do in Henningsvær: On a Map!

🗺️  HOW TO USE THIS MAP: You can use your fingers/mouse to zoom in and out. To get more info about a place, simply touch/click the icons. Want to save this map for later use? Click the ‘⭐’ by the map title and it will add it to your Google Maps account (Saved > Maps or ‘Your Places’).

FAQ

How to Get to Henningsvær

There are many ways to get to Henningsvær, but the best option is to rent a car yourself and drive there. You will see spectacular views and it is an easy trip from the Evenes/Narvik Airport, Svolvær Airport, and Leknes Airport. Although Narvik is a little further away.

If you are coming by bus from Svolvær, you can take the 743 from Svolvær Sentrum to Henningsvær and just get off in the Sentrum there.

Bus 743 from Svolvaer to Henningsvaer
Bus 743 from Svolvaer to Henningsvaer

A ticket is anywhere from $5-$6 currently (one way). The journey is anywhere from 41 to 58 minutes (depending on the bus).

>> You can view the bus schedule to Henningsvær here

When is the best time to visit Henningsvær?

The driest months in the Lofoten Islands are June and July, but I think it is best to visit Henningsvær in April or May. While May can certainly be busy as a lot of Europe is on vacation, it will be possible to avoid the summer foot traffic that comes through the village.

If you are flexible on travel dates, I can state that I visited Henningsvær for the entire month of March and it was perfect. Despite being in the Arctic Circle, it receives a climate that is far warmer than you’d imagine, thanks to the warm Gulf Stream.

Henningsvær in March
Henningsvær in March
Henningsvær in June
Henningsvær in June
Henningsvær in December
Henningsvær in December

The weather was a bit spring-like, and many trails were not open yet, but there were clearer skies than in autumn and winter, and I saw the northern lights regularly.

Like most places, there are perks to traveling to Henningsvær in every season.

Is Henningsvær walkable?

Yes, Henningsvær is walkable, but be please vigilant and stay to the side of the streets you walk along.

During the winter months, it is dark in the Lofoten Islands, and seeing people can be a challenge if they are not wearing a reflector on them. Please bring one with you on your trip or purchase one inside the Joker (grocery store) in town.

How much time do you need in Henningsvær?

One day is plenty! You can visit Henningsvær on a day trip, but I recommend an overnight stay if you can. The area is so calm in the mornings and it is a pleasant place to stroll before the day trippers come in and before the village starts to wake up.

A day in Henningsvær is plenty (but I recommend an overnight)
A day in Henningsvær is plenty (but I recommend an overnight)

If you are staying in Svolvær, you can easily take a public bus here for the day (or half a day). It alleviates the parking situation which can be a bit annoying during the summer months.

If you have extra time on your Lofoten trip, you can plan a few good day trips from here. Some of the most popular places to visit on day trips are Haukland Beach (and nearby Uttakleiv Beach), the Lofotr Viking Museum, and Ramberg Beach.

Where to Stay in Henningsvær

There are a few places to stay in Henningsvær, but many of them are apartments or Airbnbs these days.

Lobby of Villa Bryggekanten in Henningsvær
Lobby of Villa Bryggekanten in Henningsvær

Here are two of my top picks of places to stay in Henningsvær:

Villa Bryggekanten

However, I can highly recommend staying at the Villa Bryggekanten (a historic hotel; I stayed there before its name changed when it was called the Henningsvær Bryggehotell).

It is part of the Classic Norway Hotels group, is small, and has a nice breakfast.

>> Click here to check Villa Bryggekanten rates and availability

Trevarefabrikken

If you’re passing through and are excited to engage in the local social or creative scene here in Henningsvær, Trevarefabrikken is the place to be. Not only do they offer a workspace, cafe, restaurant, sauna, and more, but they also offer accommodation and a co-living space.

>> Click here to check Trevarefabrikken rates and availability

Do you have any questions about the best things to do in Henningsvær? Let me know in the comments!

More Lofoten Islands Travel Guides

Pin this Henningsvær Bucket List and Travel Guide

Are you looking for the best things to do in Henningsvær, Norway? This guide contains the top attractions, restaurants, travel tips, and places to stay. Learn more! | Lofoten Islands | Henningsvaer travel guide | Henningsvaer travel tips | What to do in Henningsvaer | Henningsvaer itinerary | Henningsvaer in summer | Henningsvaer in winter | Henningsvaer restaurants | Henningsvaer hiking | Henningsvaer museums

One thought on “12 Best Things to Do in Henningsvær, Norway (2024 Guide)

  1. Stan Ryan says:

    I know that Henningsvær is a thriving commercial fishing port but are there any sport fishing opportunities?

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