Sarpsborg is the tenth largest city in Norway with 54,000 inhabitants in the municipality and another 202,000 in twelve neighbouring municipalities that all are within half an hour's drive. Situated in Østfold county in Norway it is the largest city alongside the E6 motorway between Oslo (1 hour north of Sarpsborg) and Gothenburg (2 hours south of Sarpsborg).
Downtown Sarpsborg is within 15 minutes from both an international airport serving 14 countries, alpine skiing slopes and the start of the 200 km-long archipelago from Sarpsborg to Gothenburg. In the city centre is a large park and the largest waterfall in Europe. Sarpsborg is a very industrial city with several paper mills and other factories.
In 1567 the King of Denmark relocated Sarpsborg 14 km further down the river. That place is now a separate city called Fredrikstad, and Sarpsborg has grown together with Fredrikstad to form the fifth largest urban area in Norway, with 105,000 inhabitants in a contiguous built-up area surrounding both sides of the Glomma, Norway's longest river.
Sarpsborg is served by the Norwegian State Railway. From Oslo the travel time is 1hr 20 min, while it is 2hr 20 min from Gothenburg. The trains from Oslo depart every hour from 06:02 to 00:02 and stop in Ski, Moss, Rygge, Råde and Fredrikstad on the way to Sarpsborg and Halden. Three daily trains are prolonged to Gothenburg, connecting Trollhättan, Vänersborg and Ed in Dalsland with Sarpsborg. Departure time from Gothenburg is 07:00, 13:00 and 18:00. Around 550 passengers a day use the train station in Sarpsborg. There is a reduced service on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.
Sarpsborg is served by the Timekspressen. This bus line to Moss and Oslo departs from Oslo every hour from 07:05 to 21:05, plus 23:15. All departures continue to Halden after Sarpsborg, except the 07:05, 09:05, 13:05 and 17:05 departures from Oslo that, instead, continue to Nordby Shoppingcenter (one of Scandinavia's largest malls) and Strömstad in Sweden. Travel time by Timekspressen is 1.5 hr from Sarpsborg to Oslo, and 1 hr 5 min from Sarpsborg to Strömstad with reduced service on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. While the Timekspressen goes from the city centre, the Nettbuss Express line from Oslo to Gothenburg and Copenhagen only stops at Quality Hotel Sarpsborg by the E6, 3 km north of the city centre. Nettbuss Express operates 3 times a day, more frequently some days of the week. Swebus Express from Oslo to Copenhagen also serve Quality Hotel, but only on the 2PM and 9PM departures from Copenhagen on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Daily at 7AM from Oslo, and 11PM on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Nettbuss and Swebus also stops in Moss, Tanum and Uddevalla before Gothenburg, and in Halmstad (only Swebus), Helsingborg, Malmö and Copenhagen Airport (Terminal 2) before Copenhagen. The most popular bus line in Sarpsborg is Glommaringen with up to 8 departures to Fredrikstad every hour, and around 2,800 daily passengers. It is also daily bus connection between Sarpsborg and the smaller towns Askim and Mysen in northern Østfold.
The nearest airport is Moss Airport Rygge only 15 minutes away, but this airport is small and the only daily route is to London (Stansted). There are routes to a total of 17 countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and Norway (Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger). Getting from Rygge to Sarpsborg is easiest by taxi. The Fredrikstad og Sarpsborg Taxisentral has fixed price from Rygge to downtown Sarpsborg, 390 NOK. Another alternative is a shuttle bus to Rygge train station and the train to Sarpsborg. The total price is just below 100 NOK.
Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport (CPH) is the only airport with a direct bus line to Sarpsborg. But with only 3 daily routes and almost 7 hours travel time, it is a poor alternative. More usual is to travel to Oslo's Gardermoen Airport, Torp Airport or Gothenburg's Landvetter Airport and take a train or bus to downtown, and find a bus or train to Sarpsborg there. Doing this the travel time from the airports to Sarpsborg usually will be between 2 and 3 hours.
Arriving from south use Exit 5 or Exit 6 on the European Route E6 motorway. Exit 5 passes Sarpsfossen, the largest waterfall in Europe on the way into the city centre. Exit 6 passes Amfi Borg, a large shopping mall with over 70 stores. Arriving from north use Exit 7, where the Quality Hotel Sarpsborg is situated. Above 20,000 vehicles a day use the E6 through Sarpsborg. By car the travel time from Sarpsborg is 15 minutes to Fredrikstad, 20 minutes to Moss and Halden and 30 minutes to Askim, Mysen and Strömstad. Sarpsborg is a popular transit station for tourists going further north in Norway, because it is half-way between Denmark and the most spectacular fjords and mountains of Norway, around 6 hours from both Copenhagen and Sognefjorden.
- Sarpsfossen, the largest waterfalls in Europe. Both Rhine Falls and Dettifoss claim to be the largest and most powerfull waterfall in Europe, but while those waterfalls have between 200 and 500 m³/s of average water flow, Sarpsfossen have 577 m³/s. During spring flooding the amount of water through Sarpsfossen occasionally even surpasses the size of Niagara Falls, the largest water falls in North America. Just above Sarpsfossen is a road bridge with a view point. There are also view points on the east side of the falls. Sarpsfossen is only a 10 minute walk from the city centre and train station.
- Kulåsparken, Norway's largest city park (a tenth of Central Park in size), starting at the city plaza and ending at Borregaard Manor, venue of the negotiations between Israeli peace prize winner Shimon Peres and Palestinian leaders, leading up to the Oslo Accords. The events at the manor is to be presented in a 2017 Broadway play. The park also hosted a concert with Bryan Adams in 2012, and is home to Norway's most famous blogger Caroline Berg Eriksen. The park have six tennis courts, including the court where Dragos Madaras won the Sarpsborg Grand Prix the year he broke into the Swedish Tennis Top 10. The park is also hosting a yearly music festival in September, centered around a amphitheatre with a 6,000 spectator capacity. The park is also home to the the parliament building and regional government headquarters of the Østfold region. By the downtown entrance to the park is the Sarpsborg town hall and Festiviteten, ranked as Sarpsborg's best restaurant at TripAdvisor. A kindergarten is being built in the eastern end of the park, just across the street from the headquarters of Borregaard, the world's largest biorefinery with over 1 000 employees world wide.
- Hafslund Manor, farm, park and conference center. Home of the climate conferences CC8 and CC9, with several former head of states participating. 
- Storedal Kultursenter , experience center for blind persons
- Borgarsyssel Museum, Østfold's county museum with 36 historical buildings
- Høysand, large beach near Exit 4 from the E6, with several mini golf courses, kiosks, camping and a sunday flea market
- Golf courses Borregaard (9-hole), Skjeberg (18-hole) and Øya (18-hole, pay-and-play)
- Østfold Golfsenter, the largest indoor golf centre in Scandinavia
- Superland , activity centre at Quality Hotel & Resort Sarpsborg with a indoor water park, climbing, skating track and several other activities
- Eventyrfabrikken , indoor amusement park for children
- Kjerringåsen Alpinsenter , skiing centre with 4 slopes and lighted cross-country courses
- Inspiria , science center focused on energy and environmental issues in landmark building
- Sandesund, harbour area of the city with one of Europe's largest waves for river surfing
- Ågårdselva, a wild, narrow tributary of Norway's largest river Glomma, famous for salmon fishing
- Shopping mall Amfi Borg (70 stores, Exit 6 from the E6)
- Shopping mall Storbyen (70 stores, downtown)
- Shopping mall Stopp Tune (30 stores, alongside E6 just between Exit 6 and 7)
- Pedestrian street St. Marie gate (30 stores, including shops in crossing streets)
Sarpsborg has around 15 restaurants, and a similar numbers of pizza places (mostly take-away).
Most restaurant are situated in or near the pedestrian street in downtown Sarpsborg.
In addition to this the city also have a lot of fast food places, including two McDonald's restaurants.
Trip Advisor Certificate
- Festiviteten, Sandesundsveien 2, ☎ +47 69 13 30 00. Fine dining on the corner of the city park. Median main course: 295 NOK. edit
- Sarpen, St. Marie gate 101, ☎ +47 450 64 500. Specialized in lunch and coffee, turns into a pre-party bar in weekends. edit
- Libanon Palace, St. Marie gate 70, ☎ +47 409 92 232. One of the newest restaurants, introducing the concept of middle east meze. edit
A la carte
- Østfoldstuene, Bjørnstadveien 20, ☎ +47 69 10 15 00. Hotel restaurant at Quality Hotel by Exit 7 from the E6. edit
- Henry's, Per Gyntveien 16 B, ☎ +47 69 14 90 53. 8 AM-10 PM. Typical suburb restaurant serving mostly Norwegian food. edit
- China Plaza, St. Marie gate 93, ☎ +47 69 15 04 22, . 1PM-10 PM. Established in 1993, and since then famous for smiling service and good food from both Chinese, Korean and Thai cuisine. Out door garden and playroom for children. Main courses: 150-250 NOK. edit
- Lykkens Mathus, St. Marie gate 49, ☎ +47 69 15 25 52. Serving Asian food, near Sarpsfossen. edit
- Tui Wok, Klokkergårdveien 32, ☎ +47 69 12 70 50 ([email protected], fax: +47 69 12 70 51), . 11 AM-10 PM. Situated close to Exit 6 from the E6, at a food court that also have a snack bar, a pizza restaurant and Mc Donald's. Main courses: 60-125 NOK. edit
- Big Horn, St. Marie gate 103, ☎ +47 69 12 22 00 ([email protected], fax: +47 69 12 22 01), . Chain restaurant with steaks served with bernaise sauce, corn and different sorts of potato. Main courses: 210-560 NOK. edit
- Dickens, St. Marie gate 109, ☎ +47 69 15 28 92. Longest running restaurant in Sarpsborg, famous for large beefs. edit
Sarpsborg's night life is dominated by the pubs. Serving is allowed until 1.30 PM in Sarpsborg, and all places must be closed at 2 AM. In the weekends the drinking places are allowed to serve until 2 AM, and in the summer months even until 2.30 AM. Before these strict regulations was introduced, Sarpsborg had 4 bars, but now Oppe & Nede is the only one left. Norway's second largest brewery group is from Sarpsborg. Be sure to taste the Borg pilsner during your stay.
- Olsen's Pub, St. Marie gate 109. Longest-running pub in the pedestrian street. Directly attached to neighbour steakhouse Dickens. edit
- Oppe & Nede, St. Marie gate 82. Normally very crowded. Only open in the weekends. edit
- Neptune Pub, Jernbanegata 14. Placed in a basement near most of the city restaurants and the cinema. edit
- Edvart's Pub, Pellygata 78. The place you should go if you want to meet locals rather early in the day. Often live-music during weekends. edit
- Gamle Sarp, Sandesundsveien 1. Hotel pub at the Rica hotel near the city square. edit
- Olavs, Orebekkveien 5. Suburban pub in Greåker, along the road to Fredrikstad. edit
- Kontoret, Glengsgata 21. Pub with over 20 different beer brands. edit
- Førtito, St. Nikolas gate 16. Bar combined with shuffle boards, pool tables and bowling lanes. Impressive selection of different beers. edit
- Vertshuset, Tunebakken 17. Sarpsborg's underground scene, with concerts almost every Thursday. Situated across the railway path bridge from the food court by E6's Exit 6. edit
- Quality Hotel & Resort Sarpsborg, Bjørnstadveien 20, ☎ +47 69 10 15 00, . edit
- Rica Saga Hotel, Sarpsborg, Sandesundsveien 1, ☎ +47 69 12 42 00, . edit
- Sarpsborg Vandrerhjem Tuneheimen, Tuneveien 44, ☎ +47 69 14 50 01, . edit
Sarpsborg makes a good base for exploring the Oslofjord archipelago as well as the Swedish West Coast and Bohuslän region.
For day trips from Sarpsborg, the followings are popular:
- Tusenfryd — Norway's biggest amusement park, only 40 min from Sarpsborg by car.
- Halden — neighbouring city 20 min to the south, with a remarkable fortress above the city centre.
- Fredrikstad — Sarpsborg's twin city 15 min west, by the outlet of Glomma, with a fortified Old Town.
- Strömstad — Sweden's western-most city. Only 30 min away. Fishing village grown into shopping eldorado.
- Hvaler — archipelago with over 800 islands - of which the 4 largest are reached by car. 30-45 min away.