The laid-back city of Harstad is a gateway to the enchanting Vesteralen Archipelago and the Lofoten Islands. Hiking, cycling and sea kayaking are just some of the outdoor activities on offer in Harstad. The charming town centre is brimming with cafes, bars and bistros where you can enjoy traditional Norwegian cuisine.
Things to do in Harstad
Easy access to rugged mountains and pristine seascapes makes Harstad outdoor enthusiasts. Renting a kayak is a great way to explore the archipelago from the water. The Midnight Sun ensures there’s plenty of daylight while winter snowfall transforms Harstad into a hub for skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing. There’s also a chance to spot the mesmerising Northern Lights dancing in the sky.
The Trondenes Historical Centre charts the fascinating history and culture of Harstad and the surrounding islands. Exhibits cover a variety of topics, including Viking warships, medieval farming and the role Harstad played in World War II.
Built for the German Navy in World War II, Adolfkanonen is one of the largest land-based guns in the world. Guided tours take you behind the scenes of the military zone where the gun is stored and get you up close with the enormous weapon.
Trondenes Kirke dates back to the 1100s and was built for Norwegian King, Eystein I. It’s one of the best-preserved medieval stone churches in Norway and features a simple white façade and red tile roof. Step inside to admire a trio of elaborate altars.
Getting around Harstad
Harstad is located on the island of Hinnøya, a four-hour drive from Tromso. The city is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Bicycles and e-bikes are a fun and eco-friendly way to get around, while rental cars offer the freedom to explore Harstad at your own pace. Ferries run between Tromso and Harstad in three hours, calling at Finnsnes on the way.