1. Experience the midnight sun
and the northern lights
Hammerfest is the ideal city to experience the northern lights in the winter and the midnight sun in the summer. From the 16th of May to the 29th of July you have the chance to experience the sun that never sets, the midnight sun. In summer it never gets dark! But in the autumn it gradually gets darker and darker, and from September the first northern lights can be visable. From the 22nd of November to the 20th of January the sun never rises above the horizon in Hammerfest. We call it the polar night. During that time it's almost dark all day, but around noon you can experience "the blue hour," before the northern lights takes over the show.
2. Viewpoint hikes
Hammerfest is north of the tree line, with an open and airy landscape. That means that you don't have to walk particularly high to get a good view. The most popular hikes close to the city center are the mountains Tyven and Storfjellet. At the picture you see two hikers walking down from Storfjellet, (look at the city view!) and in the horizon you see the tower at Tyven. These hikes are both recommended, especially if you want a good view over the midnight sun during summer. At both peaks, you will find price awarded (architecture) hiking cabins, open to the public. There are dirt roads leading to both peaks, but to Tyven you can take a short cut and walk the Tyventrappa steps instead.
Mid winter these hikes are not recommended. Path descriptions can be found at https://ut.no/
3. The Museum of Reconstruction (WWII)
The museum of Reconstruction deals with the events of World War 2, the forced evacuation, the destruction and the reconstruction of Finnmark afterwards. You will get a feeling about how Hammerfest and Finnmark suffered from the war, and also learn about the people who refused to be evacuated, and hid in caves over the winter instead. You can visit barracks and houses from the reconstruction and learn about the challenges of those times. This history belongs to parts of Troms and all of Finnmark, and explains the architecture that you see around the county today. You can not miss this when you are in Hammerfest!
4. The Polar Bear Society
The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society was established in 1963 as an exclusive club where only people who have visited the northernmost city in the world, Hammerfest, can get a membership. Even Elvis Presley has been denied a membership, because he had to physically visit the club. The club offers an exhibition where you can learn about the history about arctic species, hunting and gathering, and trade. It is free entrance.
Hammerfest has a buzzing nightlife with 6 nightlife places downtown. In the weekend these place gets filled up by locals and travelers, and you'll get a chance to feel the amazing atmosphere the city has to to offer. Here you'll find something for everyone. We have everything from pubs, nightclub, a live music stage, and cocktail bar. All bars are in walking distance from each other, located in the middle of the city and along the harbor.
6. Explore the local culture
Explore the local offers in Hammerfest! There are many cafees, different restaurants, niche shops, bowling and a cinema located in the amazing Arctic Cultural Center. Get the pulse of the city by going to a local cafe on a saturday for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake, while listening to the locals talking about the latest news in Hammerfest.
7. Salen viewpoint
Salen offers an amazing view over Hammerfest, Fuglenes and Melkøya - the gas plant. In wintertime the Arctic Cultural Center is lighted up as well! You will find a viewpoint with binoculars and information. This is the perfect place to experience the midnight sun and northern lights. You can get here by hiking up the zig-zag road from the city center, which takes about 15 minutes. You can also go by car. Several hiking paths begins at Salen, such as "Gammelveien" to Rypefjord.
8. Explore Forsøl
Forsøl is a charming little village 15 minutes from Hammerfest. The place got two beaches, Ytre-Forsøl and Kirkegårdsbukta. Ytre-Forsøl in the picture above is an oasis hidden behind a hill, but with a short walking distance from the road. Kirkegårdsbukta is also a beautiful beach where you can park your car and walk down a small path to get there. Here you can also bring a wheelchair and stroller. On both beaches archaeologists have found house foundations and traces from the early stone age, iron age and middle ages. You can read about this on information boards along the beaches. In the winter this is a great place to see the northern lights because of the little light pollution.
Hammerfest has a lot of skiing options in the winter. We have an alpine slope with a lift, steep hill and opportunities for jumps and freestyle-skiing. Right by the slope is "lysløypa" which is a skiing trail perfect for practicing skiing. If you would like to go skiing in amazing nature there are several trails going to mountain tops and cabins you can visit. Some cabins are Rødekorshytta, Glimmervannshytta, Montenegrohytta and Svartfjellet. In all the places you will find an open cabin you can go inside. The spring is the best time to go skiing in Hammerfest - when the sun has come back. You can find trip descriptions at https://ut.no/
10. The Meridian Column
The Meridian Column is the northernmost point on the measurements of the earth. The measuring was done from 1816 until 1852 initiated by Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve. The Column was raised in 1854 and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. The Meridian Column stands on Fuglenes i Hammerfest, with the address Industrigata 5.