Highlights of Akershus, Norway - visitosloregion.com

Akershus

The county that surrounds Norway’s capital boasts several great cultural heritage sites, ranging from displays of old crafts to the home of the Norwegian Constitution. It is also ready to charm you with seaside towns, friendly beaches and other attractions along the Oslo fjord.

Inside Henie Onstad Art Centre, Akershus
Inside Henie Onstad Art Centre, Akershus
Photo: Visit Oslo Region/Didrick Stenersen

Where old crafts become attractions

Some of Akershus’ main attractions bring together tales of old crafts and beautiful scenery, making for truly memorable outings.

The village of Bærums Verk was founded 400 years ago to boost the Dano-Norwegian iron production. Recent restorations have turned old buildings and iron production facilities into a unique shopping commons. The village has remained a hub for traditional crafts, and you'll still find the workshops of blacksmiths, glass blowers and woodworkers along the main street.

At Fetsund Lenser, Norway’s only preserved timber floating facility, you can borrow a life jacket and explore the art of lumber navigation  right next to Northern Europe’s largest inland delta.

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A county rich in fjord-side gems

A visit to Akershus should include a day or two in Drøbak, a former fisherman's village where small wooden houses, century-old streets and whiffs of sea air encapsulates the essence of summer. The stately Oscarsborg Fortress, with exhibitions, subterranean tunnels, beaches and outdoor culture events, is only a short ferry ride away.

Among Akershus' fjord-side attractions you'll also find Henie Onstad Art Center, based on the art collection of figure skater and actress Sonja Henie and her husband Nils Onstad. Ever since its opening in 1968, the centre has contributed seminal exhibitions in modernism and contemporary art, as well as music and performance programmes.

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The birthplace of Norwegian independence

April of 1814, in the wake of the Napoleonic wars, Eidsvoll in Akershus hosted a national assembly where 112 delegates from all over Norway gathered for six weeks and wrote and ratified the Norwegian Constitution.

 

Eidsvoll 1814, detail
Eidsvoll 1814, detail
Photo: Visit Oslo Region/Didrick Stenersen

 

The house where the assembly took place, the Eidsvoll Building, now serves as a national monument and museum.

Visit to learn about the intense and dramatic weeks that laid the foundation for Norway’s independence, and other topics related to freedom and democracy.

Your perfect place for relaxation

In the Akershus town of Kolbotn lies the popular eatery Tårnhuset, run by Helene Jaren. She sees the restaurant as a place where you can come to relax and take a break from the stresses of everyday life – a description that fits well for Akershus at large.

Jaren's workplace is located a mere ten minutes by train from Oslo, but it offers plenty of countryside calmness and a varied selection of relaxing outdoor activities like golf and paddling.

And if you really want to max out on relaxation, you should visit Helene's favourite spot The Well: Scandinavia's largest spa and bathhouse.