Overlooking Norway’s largest lake, Hamar is an important railway town north of Oslo. It’s home to several fine museums and the glass-enveloped remains of a medieval cathedral, as well as impressive sporting venues that were built for the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Things to do in Hamar
Train enthusiasts shouldn’t miss a visit to the Norwegian Railway Museum, which occupies a park on the shores of Lake Mjøsa. Admire the old station buildings that have been relocated to the museum, together with several vintage locomotives and carriages. In the summer months, you can enjoy a ride on the Tertitten narrow-gauge train or the Knertitten miniature train that runs through the grounds.
Also not to miss in Hamar is the Anno Museum, which includes the remains of a medieval cathedral that was mentioned in Sigrid Undset’s trilogy “Kristin Lavransdatter”. It’s now protected beneath a striking glass shelter and surrounded by landscaped gardens that are planted with herbs used during the Middle Ages. The on-site folk museum features beautifully restored buildings dating back to the 16th to early 20th centuries that have been collected from across the Heldemarken region.
Fans of the Olympic Games can visit the Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre, which famously hosted the figure skating events featuring Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at the 1994 Winter Games. Also built for the games was the Vikingskipet (“The Viking Ship”), a multi-use indoor arena that’s designed for speed skating, track cycling and live music concerts.
Getting around Hamar
Hamar is a 1.5-hour drive from the centre of Oslo and one hour from Oslo Airport. It’s located on the railway line that connects the Norwegian capital to Trondheim and is served by several bus routes. The centre of Hamar is compact enough to explore on foot.