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Ringerike is a district in Buskerud in the central lowlands of Eastern Norway. It's a popular tourist destination for day trips with Hadeland Glassverk as the biggest attraction. Visitors also come for recreation, bicycling and walking along marked routes in the woods, or skiing in winter. Hønefoss is the main town and a transport hub between eastern Norway and western Norway, between the eastern lowlands and inner valleys of Hallingdal and Valdres.


Tyrifjorden lake
Halvdan's burial mound at the Stein plain, 19th century painting.

Ringerike is a municipality and a traditional district (landscape) in lower Buskerud county. The traditional district includes Hole municipality. It sits on the northern shores of the wide Tyrifjorden lake. Tyrifjorden lake (major lakes are often known as fjord in east Norway) is the hub for a wide river system from Valdres/Jotunheimen, Hardangervidda and Hallingdal to Drammen. Hønefoss sits at the confluence of two major rivers (as well as a smaller river), one of them forms a lovely waterfall in the city centre. Rivers flow slowly in large bends, meanders, through the rich agricultural landscape. River deltas and meanders create wetlands partly protected as nature reserves for birds.

Tyrifjorden is one of Norway's major lakes. With a depth of 288 meters it is the second biggest by volume and one of the deepest in Norway. The lake surface is only 60 meters above sea level and most the volume is in fact below sea level. Tyrifjorden's outflow forms Drammenselva river, one of the largest rivers in Norway. Tyrifjorden has a diverse wildlife and has a complex shape. Steinsfjorden branch is relatively shallow with many birds, 14 types of fish (including pike) and noble crayfish. Steinsfjorden has several islands. Storøya island sits at the mouth of Steinsfjorden and is the biggest island in Tyrifjorden. Storøya belonged to the bishop of Hamar in the middle ages and there are remains of buildings from before the black plague.

Central Ringerike sits just west of the uplands of the Oslo forest (Nordmarka), the Oslo forest rises above the delightful lowlands as a long, steep forested ridge in the east. Road E16 runs across this ridge and offers fine panorama of Ringerike and uplands beyond. Hikers can enjoy the panorama from the edge of Krokskogen/Nordmarka. There are also panoramapoints available by car along Steinsfjorden.

The area has a rich history, as can for instance be seen in the large number of burial mounds at Veien near Hønefoss. Halvdanshaugen (Halvdan's burial mound) on the plain near Stein (next to road E16) is one of Norway's largest. The burial mound is assumed to be for Halvdan the Black, a Viking-age king or chief of a smaller area of East Norway.


  • Hønefoss - is the centre of Ringerike. It is a busy and charming town less than an hour's drive from Oslo. It is located north of lake Tyrifjorden, where the river Begna forms the waterfall of Hønefossen, giving the town its name. The area is rich with history and has been a natural link on the route between east and west from early times. Hønefoss has a range of cultural activities, especially in summertime with several musical shows.

Get in[edit]

Hønefoss is a transport hub for travel between Bergen, Hallingdal and Valdres and Oslo and other East Norway cities on the other.

By air
  • Oslo Airport (OSL IATA) (Gardermoen) is 66 im from Hønefoss. From Oslo Airport there is the Airport Express bus to Hønefoss, named Askeladden Reiser.
  • Torp airport at Sandefjord.
By train

The Bergen railway line meets the rails of East Norway at Hønefoss. Regular trains from Oslo via Drammen. About two hours travel time from Oslo. The train station is located just outside Hønefoss centre, within walking distance from the town centre. Just follow the foot-path downhill.

Road E16 Bergen-Valdres-Oslo airport-Gävle (Sweden) runs through Hønefoss and Ringerik, with a branch to Oslo
By car
  • Distance from Oslo (road E16) and Drammen (road 350) is about 50 km. The roads from east, south and west meet just outside Hønefoss. Ringerike is situated along route E16, 53 km from Oslo. From Bergen it is the last natural stop before Oslo, easy to spot along E16 (424 km). Road E16 Bergen-Oslo airport-Gävle (Sweden) runs through Hønefoss and Ringerik, with a branch to Oslo. Oslo and Ringerike are separated by high hills and road E16 runs through a small pass with a fine panorama.
  • Road 7 runs between Hønefoss and Eidfjord via Hallingdal and Hardangervidda. This is the shortest route to/from Bergen.
By bys
  • With express bus from Oslo's bus terminal, it takes 1 hour and 15 min. to Hønefoss. Timekspressen has 26 departures daily, 15 departures on Saturdays and Sundays. For time table search for buses, see [1]
  • Askeladden reiser has a regular transport from Hønefoss to Oslo airport Gardermoen eight times every day from 05:30 in the morning to the last return from the airport at 10:45 in the evening, except for Saturdays. Check the schedule under the link "Gardermobussen". [2] [formerly dead link]


Map of Ringerike
Kjerraten i Åsa (wheel house 5)
Hval church
  • 1 Hadeland Glassverk (Hadeland Glassworks) (at the south end of the Randsfjord). Hadeland Glassverk is Hadeland’s greatest draw – and one of Norway's most visited tourist attractions. At Hadeland Glassverk, founded in 1762, visitors can admire glass-blowers practicing their handicraft the same way as they did in the 1700s. The entire area is like a cosy village, with shops and activities for the whole family. Hadeland Glassverk (Q2194066) on Wikidata Hadeland Glassverk on Wikipedia
  • 2 Kistefos-Museet (Kistefos Museum), Samsmoveien 41 (Road 241 towards Jevnaker). The former Kistefos Wood Pulp Mill is today an industrial museum and the only intact Scandinavian wood pulp mill. Besides presenting an important chapter of Norwegian industrial history, the museum offers annual art exhibitions by both Norwegian and international artists. Unusual location in a small river gorge.
  • 3 Hringariki – Veien Kulturminnepark (Veien Cultural Heritage Park). Veien Kulturminnepark is one of Eastern Norway's oldest graveyards from 900 BC to 500 AD. You see a rebuilt house, built after a model of how we thought the houses were built around year 0-200.
  • 4 Ringerike's Museum. Ringerike's Museum is the regional museum for the municipalities of Hole and Ringerike in Buskerud county. Many exciting exhibitions and historical artefacts. You get a comprehensive insight in history and art history of the entire region. Also includes the county photo archive. Ringerikes Museum is important both locally and nationally. Ringerikes Museum (Q11997890) on Wikidata
  • Riddergaarden Riddergaarden is an old farm from 17.century situated down town Hønefoss. Here you can leave the noise from the city and enjoy the quietness. Open during summertime.
  • 5 Kjerraten i Åsa. Around 1807 Peder Anker built a transport system for timber upwards the river from Steinsfjorden to Storflåtan in Nordmarka with a height difference around 400 meters. You can also walk along the path of the old timber-transport system. Water power was used to pull timber upphill with a system of wheels and chains. A total of 12 steps or legs was needed, each steep included a water wheel. A daring and unusual piece of engineering at the time. The system was used until around 1850. Wheel house number 5 is reconstructed and can be visited.
  • 6 Halvdan’s Mound (Halvdanshaugen). It is claimed that one part of viking king Halvdan the Black is buried here. Halvdan’s mound is on the property of the farm Stein (do not walk into the field). On the farm you will also find ruins of a church from the middle ages (private property). Free.
  • The waterfall in the middle of Hønefoss is not very impressive if you have seen a waterfall before. It might smell a bit odd since the river flows through a paper mill not far from the city. But if you get the chance to see it on a sunny day when the dam is open it has its charm. There is also a park nearby, Nordre park ("The northern park"), where you can sit, relax and enjoy the view of the waterfall.
  • Panorama points
    • 1 Road E16 View of Ringerike and distant mountains from stop on main road
    • 2 Kongens utsikt (King's view) above Sundvollen. 1.5 km (1 mile) hike from Kleivstua hotel.
  • Churches
    • 7 Bønsnes church (Bønsnes kirke). Medieval masonry church, restored from decay in the 18th century. The church which is situated close to Tyrifjorden was built around the twelfth century. According to the saga, St. Olav grew up in this area.
    • 8 Hval church (Hval kirke), Hallingby. Octogonal design characteristic for Norway and the period. Wood construction, 1862
    • Nes church (also octogonal design)
    • 9 Norderhov church (Norderhov kirke) (Road E16). Medieval (1170) masonry church. Cruciform design, originally standard Norwegian single nave long church. Historically the most important church in Ringerike. Many ancient objects inside the church and on the graveyard.


Reconstruction of 2000 year old house at Veien
  • Tyrifjord Cruise [3]From May 1st to September 30th, you can charter a boat with skipper and crew for your arrangement. Food and beverages must be ordered prior to the arrangement. Our bar is fully licensed. Welcome on board for company outings, representations, weddings, anniversary parties, children’s parties (pirate cruise), and other arrangements. Enjoy a nice boating trip on Tyrifjorden and the river Storelva.

Hiking and skiing[edit]

  • Krokskogen (“The woods”) is the western part of the wide Oslo forest (Marka). The forest sits on a plateau rising abruptly above the Ringerike lowlands. There continuous forest and hiking paths from Krokskogen to Oslo.
  • Krokkleiva is a preserved road along which artists, kings and other people have travelled for ages. It is part of the old King’s Road to Bergen, which runs through Krokskogen to Bærums verk. Signs lead you to King’s View, one of Eastern Norway’s finest views. It was named after king Karl Johan’s visit there in the middle of the 19th century.
  • The Nidaros Path stretches through the entire municipality and most parts follow medieval roads. Some parts of the path follow the same route as the old King’s Road to Bergen. The path was finished and opened in 1995 during the 1000-year celebration of St. Olav, who was born in 995.
  • If you enjoy nature it is lot to see around Hønefoss. If you enjoy cross-country skiing or hikes, the forests around Ringkollen is a great place to go, both during winter and summer (although you may have a hard time skiing there in the summer). In winter Ringkollen also offers a hill for downhill skiing and snowboarding. For more advanced downhill skiing and snowboarding, Norefjell is a mountain with a skiing centre located 50 km northwest of Hønefoss. Buses goes to Ringkollen and Norefjell from the central station in Hønefoss, but not too often so plan ahead.


Ringerike has a rich network of foot, bicycle and skiing paths. In the woods of Krokskogen and Nordmarka, you find a unique bicycle terrain along winding small roads, and not the least along Kongevegen/Pilegrimsleden. Along the fjords there are also bicycling paths or roads with little traffic and you can bicycle through a nationally valuable culture landscape with beautiful fields, grazing cattle, and culture monuments such as burial grounds. Many of the culture monuments have information boards.


Ringerike is a popular recreation area all year round. It is an eldorado for those who enjoy fishing, especially trout and whitefish. In May/June we arrange the “gjeddefestival” (Pike Festival) and there is crayfishing in Tyrifjorden in August. Tyrifjorden, Sperillen tempt with small forest lakes where trout and perch are plentiful. You`ll also find some char. In between the culture landscape in Ringerike, there are many small lakes with good fishing. Here you can catch pike and several types of freshwater fish. Remember to buy the correct type of fishing permit. The beaches along Tyrifjorden and Sperillen are also popular places for the whole family during summer.


  • Tyrifjord Golfklubb
  • Ringerike Golfklubb (9 holes golf-course)


Ringerike is an agricultural area and is known for the Ringerike Potato and the special Ringerike Peas. In summertime you can buy fresh strawberries from the booths along the road and in the season you can buy crayfish from the Tyrifjord as well.

In the town of Hønefoss there are several different restaurants, from gourmet to nice family restaurants. In the garden of Brasserie Fengselet you can enjoy a nice meal away from the noise from the town, even though you are in the centre of town.

Sundvolden Hotel and Klækken Hotell in the countryside offers à la carte restaurants. Sundvolden Hotel can help you with everything from an intimate table for two under the maple trees in their park, to a celebratory dinner in the Guildhall with its large open fireplaces and metre-thick stone walls dating from the eleventh century. Klækken Hotell even has its own confectioner, so you must not miss out on their cakes.



Few regions have such a treasure of pleasant hotels and banquet venues as Ringerike.

Here the hosts, through generations, have left their mark on the places. The roads from east, south and west meet in Ringerike, and the region has been a natural stop-over place for may years.


  • [dead link] Comfort Hotel, Kongens gate 3, Hønefoss. Hotel in the town of Hønefoss
  • Grand Hotel Hønefoss, Stabells gate 8, +47 32122722. A smaller hotel in the town of Hønefoss
  • 1 Sundvollen hotell, Sundvollen (E16 near Steinsfjorden lake). Large hotel at the shores of the lake beneath the big hill. Inhouse spa. Well suited for conferences. Sundvolden Hotel (Q14821448) on Wikidata
  • 2 Kleivstua hotell, Dronningveien 500 (Dronningveien uphill from Sundvollen on E16). Kleivstua hotel sits on top of a steep hill tall hill overlooking the Ringerike district. Unusual hotel (several small farm houses) with excellent panorama in a very peacful surrounding.
  • Hønefoss Gjestehus, Ringeriksgata 20 (Next to the stadion), +47 32122903. A former hostel, now offers several OK rooms in a nice, quiet location right next to the river and Schjongslunden Park. 550kr for a double including breakfast. 195kr per extra person in room.
  • Klækken Hotell, Hadelandsveien 386, +47 32140000, fax: +47 32140001, .


If you prefer budget travelling, you can spend the night at a camp site by one of the lakes. Close to the main road E16, you find Utvika Camping[dead link]. Onsakervika Camping[dead link] close to Lake Tyrifjorden is also a nice place to stay for a few days, especially if you are travelling with children. Both of the camp sites have private beaches.


You can also hire a room on a farm in Ringerike, all of them in quiet and beautiful surroundings. Bjørke Farm[dead link] is easy to find when you drive along the main road E16.


Go next[edit]

Hønefoss and Ringerike has convenient connections further inland to valleys

In the opposite direction are nearby cities


Routes through Ringerike
BergenValdres  W  E  Sandvika/Oslo
EidfjordGeilo  W  E  Hønefoss
Hønefoss  W  E  Oslo AirportGävle

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