Located on the west coast of the Oslofjord, Holmestrand is an important industrial town in south-east Norway. Once known for its ironworks, it’s now an active manufacturer of aluminium products and boasts one of the country’s most fascinating metal museums. Beautiful beaches stretch along the surrounding coast while the 632-metre-high mountain of Skibergfjellet rises above Holmestrand.
Things to do
The Holmestrand Museum is a must-see, set in a traditional patrician’s house dating back to 1756. Learn about life for the Holst family in the 1840s as you wander through the recreated living room and kitchen, then browse the maritime artefacts detailing Holmestrand’s shipbuilding heritage.
One of Holmestrand’s most popular attractions is the Aluminium Museum, which explores Norway’s metal processing industry. Occupying a former aluminium factory, it features state-of-the-art exhibits where you can learn about the properties of the metal and its application in the modern world. Holmestrand is particularly renowned for its aluminium cookware and there’s an impressive collection on display at the museum.
A short drive north-west from Holmestrand takes you to Eidsfos Verk, a historic ironworks that was established in 1697 on an isthmus between the Eikeren and Bergsvannet lakes. Many of its original buildings have been preserved and serve as a museum where products manufactured at the ironworks are exhibited. You can browse the displays of vintage cast-iron ovens, freight wagons and agricultural equipment, together with everyday pots and pans.
Holmestrand is around an hour’s drive from Oslo and 1.5 hours from Oslo Airport. Regular trains connect from the Norwegian capital to the Holmestrand railway station and buses travel through the city. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of accessing the surrounding sights.