Haugesund is famous for its coast and the abundance of herring, which has positioned the modern town as Norway's biggest trading city due to the exports of this forage fish.
To embrace the coastal culture of Haugesund, walk down to the charming harbor of Smedasundet – a lively spot ideal to kick off your sightseeing day in the Viking town.
Where everything happens
Located between the Festiviteten Haugesund Theater and Concert Hall and the Haugesund Art Gallery, Smedasundet is the heart of the town and a favorite hangout for the locals.
The harbor is within two bridges across the sea connecting two islands to residential and work areas.
Wander down the strait to appreciate the theatrical spectacle, enveloped with many types of impressive boats that decorate the marina, especially in summer. It certainly deserves your snapshot.
Alternatively, simply sit on the dock of the bay and watch the time roll away!
Explore the food and shops
The harbor is the perfect place to start or end your exploration of the city, with plentiful shopping areas to browse in the vicinity, as well as cool cafes and restaurants.
Drop by Sebastian food and drinks for delicious and juicy burgers or by the Big Horn Steak House for a portion of steak and fries. Both overlook the marina and make them perfect places to grab a bite while you enjoy the views. Try the local seafood, as well as the famous herring at Naustet Spiseri or grab a coffee at MM café bar.
For pure entertainment, choose from a night out dancing at Copacabana night club or challenge your friends to a Laser tag competition.
Transporting to other places in Norway
Whether you are coming from or going to explore the areas of Stavanger and Bergen, this is where the catamaran fast service stops. Ask for rental boat services if you wish to go on a tour or rent a boat for the day.
Elsewhere, take a traditional ride on a wooden boat from end-to-end of the Smedasundet sound and passing by the islets of Risøy, Hasseløy, and Vibrandsøy.
A place for festivals
During the first week of July enjoy the Skude Festival, where boat aficionados bring their darlings to the harbor. You'll find vintage boats, old wooden boats, modern boats, sailing boats, tall ships, and more. It is paradise for boat lovers. In addition, browse also through the market stalls exhibiting handcrafts of the sea, ship models, old engines and art.
In the month of August, the harbor lightens up with the Silda Jazz festival. Expect concerts, musicians from all over the world, a market along the waterside, an art exhibitor, and lots of festivalgoers soaking up the summer vibes.
The Norwegian Film Festival takes place in mid-August, offering a variety of Norwegian movies. There's also concerts, art exhibitions, and the Amanda Award Show – the awards look to promote the creation of more Norwegian films and short films.
Elsewhere, look out for the Havnedagene boat festival, the Etne market offering cultural experiences for the whole family and the Vikedal Roots music festival.