Hovedøya is the island closest to the city centre, with beautiful forests, beaches and cultural heritage. You get to Hovedøya by taking ferry line no. 92 or 93 from Vippetangen in the city centre. Line 92 takes you directly to Hovedøya in 5 minutes, whereas no. 93 takes you on a little tour between the islands before you arrive at Hovedøya. There is a guest harbour on the east side of the island.
The best places for swimming are found on the west side of the island, where there are two beaches. In the middle of the island there is a big field for ball games and other activities. Hovedøya is also great for hiking. Parts of the island is a nature reserve, and flowers, trees, animals etc. are protected.
North on the island you can visit the ruins of a Cistercian monastery from 1147. You can also see two cannon batteries from 1808 and two gunpowder depots from when the island belonged to the Norwegian army. One of the military buildings, Lavetthuset, is now used for exhibitions.
You are not allowed to camp or light a fire at Hovedøya! Grills can only be used on gravel or sand, or at designated barbecue spots (found on the beach by the big grass field).