One of the oldest towns in Norway, Tonsberg will fascinate you with its ancient castles and Viking-era ruins. A wide selection of cosy cafes and waterfront seafood restaurants make Tonsberg a great base for exploring the coast. Journey south to discover the sandy beaches, rocky bays and picturesque islands of Færder National Park.
Things to do in Tønsberg
Perched on a hilltop, Tonsberg Castle commands sweeping views over the town and the harbour. In the 13th century, it was once one of the largest strongholds in Norway. Mighty Slottsfjellstårnet Tower soars 17 metres over the castle and gives you a bird’s eye view of the ruins. You can also wander around the remains of the medieval walls, keep, church and royal hall.
Tonsberg shot to fame in the early 1900s when a beautifully preserved Viking ship was unearthed in an ancient burial mound. While the “Oseberg” is showcased at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, you can also admire a full-size replica moored in the harbour.
Vestfold County Museum is set at the foot of the castle and charts the fascinating history and heritage of the town. Exhibits cover Viking raids, whaling, agriculture and other topics that have shaped Tonsberg over the centuries.
Head south to discover the cinematic coastal landscapes of Færder National Park. At just 30 minutes from the park, Tonsberg is a great launchpad for hiking, kayaking, fishing and island-hopping within the sanctuary. The striking World’s End Visitor Centre is perched on the tip of a rocky peninsula and a great introduction to the park.
Getting around Tønsberg
Tonsberg is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot while trains run between Tonsberg and Oslo in around one hour. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore at your own pace. Oslo Airport is a two-hour drive north.