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Hamar is a city in Innlandet (historically Hedmark), Norway, facing the impressive Mjøsa lake. Hamar is the hub in the Oppland-Hedmark area and is surrounded by the fertile Hedmark flatlands.

The city, which has a population of 31,000, was first established in the middle of the 11th century, but destroyed by a Swedish army in 1567. In 1849 the city was re-established, and is now the largest city in the Norwegian interior (i.e. the counties not connected to the ocean). During the 1994 Winter Olympics three of the sporting events were held in Hamar: Figure skating, short track speed skating and speed skating.

Get in

The city of Hamar from air. Roads and railway form the south runs across the river mouth which is also a wetland nature reserve. Lake Mjøse left hand. Vikingskipet speed skating rink on the shore.

By car


Take the E6 national highway north from Oslo. Takes approximately 1.5 hours. From Oslo Airport it takes an hour.

By plane


Oslo Airport, Gardermoen

For more information on facilities at and around Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, see the Oslo Airport, Gardermoen article.

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen (OSL IATA) is Norway's largest airport, located in Gardermoen, 90 km south of Hamar. Direct flights are available from 107 airports, including 24 airports in Norway. The largest airlines in Norway, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian Air Shuttle, operate direct flights from many U.S., European and Norwegian destinations to Oslo Airport, as well as large domestic networks. Flights by about 30 other airlines make this airport easy to reach from most of the world. There is free wifi at the airport. Password is sent in an sms (a number from any country would do).

To travel between the city and the airport:

  • Vy operates trains via Hamar to Lillehammer or Trondheim. The trip takes 55 minutes, and trains depart every hour during weekdays. Tickets cost 160 kr.

By train


All trains between Oslo-Trondheim, Oslo-Røros and Skien-Lillehammer stop in Hamar. 1 hour 15 min from Oslo, about 1 hour from Gardermoen Airport. From Lillehammer a trip takes 45 min, and from Elverum 25 min.

  • 1 Hamar railway station (Hamar stasjon). Hamar Station (Q94466) on Wikidata Hamar Station on Wikipedia

Get around


By bus


There are five bus lines in the city, going from the suburbs and through the city centre. The cost is 33 kr for a single ticket if you buy on the bus.

By taxi


Taxis are expensive. The minimum charge in Hamar is at least 97 kr, increasing to 141 kr late at weekend nights. The phone number for Hedmark Taxi is 03650.


Domkirkeruinene (cathedral ruins with protective building)
Interior of Vang church at Ridabu.
The settler church at the Norwegian Emigrant Museum
  • 1 Vikingskipet (The Viking ship, Hamar Olympic Hall), Åkersvikveien 1. The Viking Ship, officially known as Hamar olympiahall (Hamar Olympic Hall), is a modern speed skating arena, and was built for the 1994 Olympic Winter Games. It name comes form its appearance: an upside-down Viking ship. It regularly hosts major speed skating events, such as world championships. Also known for hosting The Gathering each Easter, a computer gathering mainly for young people which has had over 5,000 participants. Each spring and fall, the Vikingship also hosts a very popular 3-day long market for second-hand/ antique goods. The Viking Ship is near Åkersvika, a nature reserve, known for its rich bird life. At the parking lot there is a "bird tower", where you can get a good view of the bay. 30 kr. Vikingskipet (Q1782828) on Wikidata Vikingskipet on Wikipedia
  • 2 Domkirkeodden, Strandvegen 100, 2315 (from city centre follow signs for museums), +47 62 54 27 00. A must-see. Medieval cathedral and folk museum along Lake Myøsa. The ruins of the cathedral are encased in a glass house. Lovely walks and beaches by the lake. The open air museum is free and open year round, all the time. The opening hours of the museum vary according to season. There's a nice cafe there as well. Concerts and theater productions are often held in the glass house, but be sure to bring a blanket with you in the evenings- even in the summer, it gets cold there after the sun sets! The Medieval Festival usually takes place here over a long weekend in June.
  • 3 Railway Museum (Jernbanemuseet), Strandveien 163 (follow the signs for museums (Museene) from the city centre, then follow the signs marked Jernbanemuseet; you can also walk along the lake, past Domkirkeodden (about 3 km); or city bus 1 from the train station/city centre), +47 62 51 31 60. Vary according to season. Documents the history of the Norwegian railway system. Lots of child-friendly exhibits. Also has its own library.
  • 4 The Norwegian Emigrant Museum (Norsk utvandrermuseum), Åkershagan, +47 62 57 48 50. Tu-F 09:00-15:30. Museum showing emigration from Norway, with a collection of six buildings (amongst them a church built in 1896 in Minnesota). 50 kr.
  • 5 The Kirsten Flagstad Museum, Kirkegata 11 (Located right next to Hamar's main church.), +47 62 54 27 00. Museum dedicated to Norway's most famous opera singer, Kirsten Flagstad. 60 kr.
  • 6 Vang church at Ridabu (Vang kirke). Vang church at Ridabu just outside the centre is one of Norway's biggest church buildings, seating about 1,000 persons - bigger than Hamar cathedral downtown and nicknamed Hedmark cathedral. It is a popular concert venue known for its light interior and wide octagonal centre space. Until Hamar cathedral was built in 1866 this was the parish church of Hamar. Vang church stands prominently on a small hill just east of road E6. The basic design is octagonal as was popular in Norway at the time (1810) and the centre space is more than 500 square meters without any supporting columns for the roof. Huge but hidden beams span the 25 meters in each direction. One visitor at the time noted that the church is perfectly symmetrical and all details are designed according to mathematical principles. Vang church was designed and built by Abraham Pihl, the local priest and well-known polyhistor. Pihl was royal astronomer in the kingdom of Denmark (including Norway), mechanical engineer, optician, farmer and watchmaker. The famous german geologist Leopold von Buch visited Pihl and was impressed by Pihl's technical and scientific knowledge, and noted that Pihl was the most unusal and remarkable men in Norway. free. Vang Church (Q14438054) on Wikidata Vang Church (Hamar) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Hamar cathedral (Hamar domkirke). Hamar cathedral is white, masonry structure with a german-romanesque design by the german architect Heinrich Ernst Schirmer. The exterior is modest except for a prominent entrance portal. Hamar's first cathedral has been a ruin since 1567 when Swedish troops sacked the town. Hamar officially became a city in 1849 and a diocese in 1864, and the cathedral was built in 1866 for the new diocese. Hamar Cathedral (Q1572653) on Wikidata Hamar Cathedral on Wikipedia


Bathing at Koigen during the summer.
  • 1 HamKam (Hamarkameratene), Arenavegen 2 (east side of lake). HamKam were promoted in 2021, so they now play soccer in Eliteserien, Norway's top tier. Let's see how long it lasts this time - HamKam are the perennial yoyo club, oscillating between the top and second tiers. Watch the emotions of the normally reserved Norwegians yoyo-ing along with them. Their home ground Briskeby Arena (capacity 7600) is 1 km northeast of city centre. The playing season is Mar-Nov. Hamarkameratene (Q1130961) on Wikidata Hamarkameratene on Wikipedia
  • 2 Ankerskogen swimming hall (Ankerskogen svømmehall), Ankerskogveien 7, 2319, +4746918000. M-F 10.00 - 21.00, Sa Su 10.00 - 17.00; early morning swimming: M W F 06.30 - 08.30. The main pool is one of Norway's largest, 25x50m. Part of this pool is roped off and has all sort of special floats for kids. There's also a specially heated pool for rehabilitation, a kiddie pool, and a hot tub (cost 10 kr per round), a shallow outdoor pool which is open in summertime. Also a 65-m slide which kids love. There are huge windows all around the pool, so in the winter you can swim while you watch the snow blowing outside. The changing rooms have saunas. You need a 10 kr coin to operate the lockers, or bring your own lock. Ankerskogen also has indoor tennis courts and a Nautilus gym. You'll also find a cafeteria here. The centre was due to be renovated starting in 2010, but they planned on staying open to the public the whole time. weekdays: adults 157 kr; student/youth/senior 130 kr; children 3-12 100 kr; children 0-2 53 kr (nappy suitable for bathing included). At weekends all tickets are 10 kr more expensive..
  • 3 Koigen. Beach area close to the city. Excellent for bathing during the summer. Also possible to use the beach volleyball court or the skate park.
  • 4 Skibladner. Skibladner is the world's oldest preserved paddle steamer, and sails on lake Mjøsa during the summer. Prices from 210 kr per person. Return fare: single fare + 100 kr. Skibladner (Q2292207) on Wikidata Skibladner on Wikipedia
  • 5 Gåsbu / Vangsåsa. A recreational area for the citizens. During the winter there are good possibilities for cross-country skiing. Check out for hike and trail routes.



Torggata, the pedestrian street in Hamar, got some shopping possibilities, with two small shopping malls connected to the street. Maxi Storsenter is the largest shopping mall, located a bit outside of the city. In 2014 a new mall will open closer to the city centre.

  • 1 Maxi Storsenter, Aslak Bolts gate 48. This is the largest shopping mall in Hamar, with 70 stores.
  • 2 CC Mart'n. Shopping mall with Hamar's only Vinmonopolet (wine and liquor store).
  • 3 Løiten Lys, Løten Brænderi. Norway's largest distributor of hand-made candles.


Hamar seen from Gjøvik across Helgøya island and Mjøsa lake.


  • 1 Alle Tiders, Torggata 73 (in the centre of town on the pedestrian street, 5-minutes' walk from the train station), +47 625 30 145. M-Sa 10:00-12:00, Su 14:00-21:00. This cafe has the best cakes in all of Hamar. Great for lunch and light dinners. Outdoor seating overlooks the pedestrian street. Centrally-located.
  • 2 Larsen, Strandgata 53, +47 413 27 903. Cafe and vintage store combined.


  • 3 Kolonihagen, Storhamargata 2 (Located in Basarbygningen, built in 1896.), +47 919 000 90, . Tu-Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-02:00, Su 11:00-17:00, closed M. Eco-friendly gourmet. Popular, so reservations are a must, at least in the evening. Main courses 255-315 kr (Lunch 100-150 kr).
  • 4 [formerly dead link] Kunstbanken (Hedmark Art Center) (The Art Bank), Parkgate 21, 2317 (1 minute walk from the train station in the center of town), +47 625 42 260. Tu-F 11:00-18:00, Sa 12:00-17:00, closed Su and M. Sandwiches, cakes, coffees, and culture. The perfect place for lunch. Enjoy your meal and tour the museum afterwards
  • 5 Nagomi, Strandgata 21 (One minute walk from the railway station), +47 625 211 02. 11:00-22:00. Sushi restaurant and cocktail bar.
  • 6 Volume, Østre torg, . American inspired menu.
  • 7 Hot & Spicy, Torggata 21, +47 62 52 02 60. Chinese and thai.
  • 8 Hamarstua, +47 62 52 34 62.
  • 9 Royal India, Strandgata 37, +47 62 11 07 11. 15:00-23:00. Decent Indian food, but a bit pricey. Main courses 190-250 kr.


  • 1 Docile Kontor & Pub, Kirkegata 3 (in the church hill, near McDonalds). Shows football matches on multiple screens. Can play dart there..
  • 2 [dead link] Hamar Sportsbar (near Østre torg). Shows football matches on multiple screens. Possible to play dart and shuffle board.
  • 3 Casanova, Strandgata 71. One of the few places to go for people between 18 and 20. Young crowd.
  • 4 Irishman, Strandgata 31. Pub for a bit older crowd. The backyard is a good place to be during the summer.
  • 5 Nellie, Torggata 23. Formerly known as Dirty Nelly. Cozy place with occasional dancing.
  • 6 Sebs hotel, Grønnegata 34. Rock and metal pub.
  • 7 Heia Hamar (Svare Og Berg), Strandgata 71 (Stortorget.). Nightclub and a good place for dancing.
  • 8 Gregers, Grønnegata 70. Bar and concert scene.


  • 1 Seierstad Pensionat, Holsetgt 64 (from the Hamar exit on the E6: follow Vangsveien until the Statoil gas station (Ringgata); take a right and drive to the first set of lights; turn left and drive for about 300 m, the guesthouse will be on your right, or 15-20 minutes' walk from the train station; city buses will also get you there), +47 62 52 12 44. An inexpensive guesthouse in the residential area, but within easy walking distance of the city center. Family rooms available, lots of parking. Breakfast included. Simple but clean & friendly. Single: from 500 kr, Double: from 700 kr, Triple: 1050 kr. Student discounts available (1 night 450 kr, more than 1 night 400 kr, room-sharing 300 kr per person per night).
  • 2 First Hotel Victoria, Strandgata 21 (a minutes walk from the railway station), +47 62 02 55 00.
  • 3 Scandic Hotel, Vangsvegen 121, +47 21 61 40 00, .
  • 4 [dead link] Quality Hotel Astoria, Torggata 23, +47 62 70 70 00, .
  • 5 Rica Hotel Hamar, +47 62 35 01 00. Situated outside the city-centre, and close to the E6 highway.
  • 6 Hamar Hostel (Hamar Vandrerhjem Vikingskipet), Åkersvikavegen 24, +47 62 52 60 60, . This hostel, part of Hostelling International, is located near Vikingskipet, a fifteen-minute walk from the city centre.

Stay safe


Norway is a fairly safe country in general, and Hamar is no exception.

Go next

  • Lillehammer, another Olympic city located close to lake Mjøsa.
  • Trysil, Norway's largest ski resort.
  • Elverum, has one of Norway's most visited museums in Skogmuseet (the Forest museum).
Routes through Hamar
TrondheimLillehammer  N  S  EidsvollOslo

This city travel guide to Hamar is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.