Oslofjord is a fjord in Scandinavia, leading to Oslo, the capital of Norway. Oslofjord is 120 km long, and over 40 percent of the 5 million Norwegian population live less than a 45 minute drive from the fjord. Packed with idyllic archipelagos, beaches and middle-sized cities, the Oslofjord is The Greece of Scandinavia and perfect for night clubbing and island hopping in the summer months.
Oslofjord is served by three airports: Gardermoen, Torp and Rygge. For inter-continental departures it would work OK to travel by land transportation from Stockholm and Copenhagen as well.
How-to-get from the plane to the fjord:
From Stockholm you reach the Oslofjord easiest in the summer by high-speed trains, making the trip across Sweden to Strömstad in only 5 hours. From there you have ferry connections to both Sandefjord in the Western Oslofjord, Fredrikstad in the Eastern Oslofjord, as well as the archipelagos of Koster and Hvaler with their underwater national parks.
From Copenhagen there is a direct bus service from Copenhagen Airport to Sarpsborg a few times every day, called Nettbuss Express and using 7 hours.
Arriving by plane to Norway, it would be wise to use Torp or Rygge, served by Ryanair flights to over 20 European countries and situated only kilometres from the shoreline. If you land at the larger Gardermoen airport, change to the Inter City-train bound for Skien or the express bus to Fredrikstad.
Arriving by boat you get a good view of the Oslofjord if you take the daily cruise ship from Kiel in Germany (20 hours) or Danish Copenhagen (17 hours) and Fredrerikshavn (9 hours). There are also faster connections from Hirtshals in Denmark to Langesund and Larvik in the outer part of Oslofjord.
Oslofjord-in-a-nutshell: A quick trip full of impressions take you around the fjord using bus, train and ferries - it is actually possible to do the whole trip in a day, but more recommended is to use two or three days to complete such a round trip. Anyway: Start off by taking the Timekspressen line 6 from Oslo Bus Terminal at 8.00am. If it is a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday leave the bus in Fredrikstad and find the Sagasund ferry, which departs for Strömstad at 11.00am. If it is a Friday you might as well stay at the bus all the way to end destination Skjærhalden. Here you have an hour before the Hvaler Fjord Cruise departs at noon. At 1.00pm both the Sagasund ferry and the Hvaler Fjord Cruise arrives in Swedish town of Strömstad. Then take a look at this fishing village turned into shopping eldorado because of the much lower prices than in Norway. On weekdays it is a 2.25pm ferry to Koster, you should really consider this to see the spectacular islands with 300 inhabitants but no cars. The last ferry back to mainland Sweden usually departs between 6 and 7 pm off-season. If you want to make the full nutshell trip in one day, stay in Strömstad or take the ferry between 4 and 5 pm back to Strömstad. Ferries for Sandefjord departs at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 8.00pm. If you go for the last ferry and want to make it back to Oslo for the night, make sure to have a taxi ready to take you the 1,5 km-ride from the ferry terminal to Sandefjord station, as it will be only around 10 minutes from you arrive Sandefjord before the final Oslo train departs at 10.38 pm (weekdays only). If you make it, you have completed the marvellous Oslofjord-in-a-nutshell-trip in a day. If it is a Saturday, or you are not in a rush, stress down and use three or four days to complete the round trip, to make sure you have time enough to see all the attractions along the trip. Both Fredrikstad, Strömstad, Koster and Sandefjord have a variety of accomodation opportunities.
The Oslofjord could be considered as one of the best places in the world to enjoy a top class meal. Regular food is considered over-priced compared to the rest of Europe. That means the price difference up to top-class restaurants is smaller. To top that 3 out of only 14 world chef champions in the Bocuse d'Or competition have their restaurants in Oslofjord:
Statholdergaarden, Rådhusgaten 11 (on the corner of Kirkegaten), 0151 Oslo, ☎ 22 41 88 00 (email@example.com, fax: 22 41 22 24), . M-Sa 6PM-12AM. Arguably one of Oslo's finest seatings. Set in a beautiful 1800-century mansion, the combination of very friendly staff and extraordinary dishes makes it well worth its Michelin star. Leaded by 1993 world chef champion Bent Stiansen.Expensive. edit
ORO bar & grill, Tordenskiolds gate 6A, 0160 Oslo, ☎ 23 01 02 40 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Leaded by Terje Ness, world chef champion in 1999. Currently listed in the Bib Gourmand guide due to its fine dining experience at an affordable price. ORO have many regular diners and the atmosphere is informal and both relaxed and dynamic. Also a hot spot for after dinner drinks.edit
Brygga 11, Brygga 11, ☎ 955 59 191, . 1200-2230. Seafood restaurant, serving local delicacies by the waterfront in outer Oslofjord's food capital Sandefjord. Leaded by Norway's latest world chef champion, Geir Skeie, who was crowned in 2009. Seasonal restaurant open for the summer from April 26th to August 30th.edit
Other Oslo restaurants with Michelin Guide stars and Bib Gourmand listings:
Maaemo, Schweigaards gate 15B, . Nordic cuisine restaurant serving organic, local food. Jumped straight to two stars Michelin Guide Rouge at the earliest opportunity after opening, as the first Nordic restaurant to do so. Book as early as possible. Situated very close to Oslo central station.edit
Ylajali, St. Olavs plass 2, 0165 Oslo, ☎ 22 20 64 86 (email@example.com), . Closed Sundays and Mondays. Ylajali received its Michelin star in 2014. Named after a character in a Knut Hamsun novel, Ylajali has no menu for the guests to choose from. Instead, the restaurant tries to focus on the meal as a complete and comprehensive experience, dividing it up as if a book into a prolog, four chapters, and an epilog. The six-course meal based on seasonal produce and other top-notch ingredients is priced at NOK 1295, with an additional NOK 1095 for the optional wine menu especially designed to fit the meal.edit
Fauna, Solligata 2, 0254 Oslo, ☎ 416 74 543 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Restaurant Fauna received its Michelin star less than a year after opening in the summer of 2013, and is a less formal place than other restaurants in its class. Dress in jeans and a t-shirt, and you won't be turned away here. The prices are relaxed too. A five-course set menu will set you back NOK 750. The matching wine/drinks menu is NOK 695, with optional add-ons to both food and drinks menu priced at NOK 150. To ensure complete freedom for the chefs in developing the food and the menu, no particular style or direction has been chosen for Fauna's cuisine.edit
Restaurant Eik, Kr. Augusts gate. The least upmarket of the central gourmet offerings, Eik consintently get rave reviews and doles out a fine five-course gourmet menu for around NOK 400 from its location near tram stop Tullinløkka. A less expensive fine dining alternative, mentioned in the Michelin Bib Gourmand List.edit
Please note that many of the finest Oslo restaurants are closed during July, as most customers have evacuated Oslo for cottages and summer houses further south in the Oslofjord. Many of them in the island of Tjøme, which hosts the only Norwegian restaurant mentioned in Les Grandes Tables du Monde:
Engø Gård, Gamle Engø vei 25, 3145 Tjøme, ☎ 33 39 00 48 (email@example.com). A stay at Engø Gård is an unparalleled experience. In the middle of the forest at the island of Tjøme is a hotel and a restaurant set amid historical buildings. The restaurant serves fixed menus with 3 to 7 courses, with a new menu every month. Focuses on local food from Vestfold county. The nearest train station is Tønsberg.edit
Below is a list of TripAdvisor-leading restaurants in each of the counties surrounding the Oslofjord, excluding restaurants in municipalities without a shoreline to the fjord:
Hos Thea, Gabelsgate 11, Oslo, . A small place near tram station Skillebekk. Outstanding food, top service and a small seasonal menu.edit
Værtshuset Bærums Verk, Vertshusveien 10, 1353 Bærums Verk, ☎ 67 80 02 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Norway's oldest restaurant, built in 1640. In the idyllic village Bærums Verk, situated between Oslo and Drammen. Værtshuset is a classic and timeless place, a real guest house with a unique atmosphere. The food is mainly Norwegian gourmet, made on-site from the best seasonal ingredients. Værtshuset has several chambre séparées for private parties, that can accommodate up to 50 persons.edit
Soi Saam, Griffenfelds gate 3, 3045 Drammen, ☎ 451 61 455 (+47 451 61 455), . Authentic Thai food cooked by trained Thai chefs, served by skilled staff. Situated near Drammen station, on the south side of river Drammen.edit
Pandas, Møllegaten 3, Tønsberg, ☎ 33 33 12 00, . In a strait near Tønsberg's massive harbour pedestrian street is one of the best sushi places in the whole Oslofjord. A wide selection of sushi, maki, fotumaki, nigiri and sashimi. Served with home-made soya sauce. Also offering soups and spring rolls.edit
Pohlmanns Matbar, Storgata 136, 3915 Porsgrunn, ☎ 35555620 (email@example.com), . Just a few blocks away from Porsgrunn train station is the place ranked at TripAdvisor as the best restaurant in the industrialized Grenland region. Offers over 50 beers, and a ever-changing dinner of the day.edit
Curtisen, Fredriksten Fortress, Halden, ☎ 959 98 184 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Located on the grounds of Fredriksten Fortress, Curtisen offers fine dining in atmospheric surroundings. In the inner parts of the fortress is the small restaurant (46 seats) with a fantastic kitchen on historic ground. Book in advance.edit
Heat, Ångbåtskajen 6, 45230 Strömstad, ☎ +4652660065 (email@example.com), . Situated at the harbour where boats to Fredrikstad, Hvaler and Koster depart, Heat is the highest-rated year-round restaurant in Strömstad. Claim to serve the best of the Japanese and Thai kitchen, with a twist. The perfect get-away if you are tired of Norwegian dining and wine prices.edit
BAR Tjuvholmen, Bryggegangen 6, Oslo, ☎ 940 02 094 (firstname.lastname@example.org). M-W, Su: 5PM-1AM, Th-Sa: 5PM-3AM. As the capital of the richest country in the world, as well as a country famous for pretty girls, Oslo can be quite post. Where can it be better to have a glimpse into this glamourous world than at the middle of Tjuvholmen, the newest seaside development area of the city.edit
Goggen Sportspub, Bragernes Torg 9, Drammen, ☎ 32 89 92 10 (email@example.com). M,Tu: 3PM-1AM, W-F: 3PM-3.30AM, Sa: 1-PM-3.30AM, Su: 1PM-1AM. Sports pub in Oslofjord's leading soccer town, mainly showing soccer matches. Plays rock in the weekends, and is a place appealing to a variety of ages and types of people.edit
Harbour, Nedre Langgate 28C, Tønsberg, ☎ 417 28 200 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Tønsbergs has some of the most lively summertime day and nightlife in Norway, but is year-round considered the main nightlife city in the outer Oslofjord. Over 10,000 people have checked in at Harbour at Facebook.edit
Wrightegaarden, Tordenskjoldsgate 2, Langesund, (email@example.com). A combined restaurant and concert venue in the charming small city of Langesund, Wrightegaarden each summer presents the by far most impressive music line-up in the Oslofjord, with concerts several days a week.edit
Førtito, St. Nikolas gate 16. Bar in Sarpsborg that mixes shuffle boards, pool tables, bowling lanes and an impressive selection of different beers. Can be combined with a late night out in Fredrikstad or Halden, as it is only about 15 minutes away by the trains departing from the station just across the street.edit
Tiger Tiger, Storgata 4, Fredrikstad. Always a few years behind when it comes to trends and fashion, the eastern part of the Oslofjord can be a bit more relaxing and hipster-free. Representing the old school nightlife is definetely Fredrikstad and its largest party place Tiger Tiger, with a traditional night club design with a huge dance floor.edit
The Cod, Torskholmen, Strömstad, ☎ +46 526 615 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Compared to the Norwegian nightlife Swedish clubs have some advantages. They are often open later in the night. The drinks can be up to 50 % stronger than in Norway, and still cheaper. The Cod is the biggest night club nearest Norway, with several bars, black jack table and a balcony lounge where smoking is allowed. On top of all this Oslofjord exclusive features is a great view over view over Strömstads harbour area.edit
Oslofjord is a good base for exploring other parts of Scandinavia:
Swedish West Coast — Strömstad does not only mark the Eastern end of Oslofjord, it is also the start of the Swedish West Coast, a coast so long as a three-hour motorway drive down to the southern end in Halmstad. In the middle of the coast is the vibrant global city Gothenburg. While the coast between Strömstad and Gothenburg is easiest explored by car and famous for skerries, islands and small fishing villages like Fjällbacka and Smögen, is the southern part of the coast dominated by long beaches, straight coast lines and medium-sized cities like Varberg and Falkenberg. Halmstad is not only the southern end of the West coast, but also the start of Laholm Bay, a 40 km-long beach marking the border between West Sweden and the Copenhagen-Malmö region.
South Norway — Even though the Oslofjord is reckoned to end by Langesund, the archipelago coast continues with skerries and small islands for another 250 km, throughout the Agder counties that makes up the South Norway region. The coastline is famous for it's beautiful white-painted wood towns, and contains both larger cities like Kristiansand and Grimstad as well as smaller summer cities like Kragerø and Risør. Train is rarely used in this region, be ready to travel by bus or car.
The Norwegian Inland — From Oslo it is also an alternative to head for the forest, valleys and mountains of the inland. Ranging from west to east the five largest valleys of the Eastern Norway is Telemark (biggest inland city in this direction is Notodden, while the biggest skiing destination is Rjukan), Hallingdal (Hønefoss and Hemsedal), Valdres (Gjøvik and Beitostølen), Gudbrandsdalen (Lillehammer and Hafjell) and Østerdalen (Hamar and Trysil). Be aware of a lack of motorways in this direction, meaning speed will be around 70 km/h instead of 110 km/h southwards from Oslo and throughout the Oslofjord.
Svealand — Oslo is actually not more than 70 km from the start of the Swedish Svealand region, a common name for the parts of Sweden that actually consists of three distinct regions. The nearest to Oslo is Värmland, a forested region totally dominated by the university city of Karlstad, situated by the extremely huge Lake Vänern. Then follows Dalarna, a sparsely populated region with skiing traditions. The Eastern part of Svealand is called Mälardalen, a umbrella name for the counties at the two-hour-drive from Örebro in the west to Stockholm in the east. Above 80 percent of the 3,8-million Svealand population live in Mälardalen, even if it makes up way below half of the area in Svealand.