City of Horten (Vestfold)

The city of Horten is included to the region Vestfold and to the county Horten

Presentation of the destination

Introduction to Horten

Horten is a seaside town in Norway with a population of 24,671 people.  It is located on the Oslofjord, which is an inlet with a number of cities on it, including the capital Oslo.  The name of Horten came from an old farm in the area that dated back to 1552 and had the name of “Hortan.”  Near to the town of Horten is the first national park founded in Norway, the Borrehaugene, which is an important archaeological center that shows the Viking power in the area during the Viking Age and Horten itself has a rich Viking history.  Temperatures in Horten reach highs of 20.5-21°C (69-70°F) in the summer months.  Lows in winter drop to -4°C (24-25°F).  Norwegian is the official language in Norway but various regional languages are also recognized.  The majority of the population of Norway is ethnic Norwegians at 86% of the population.  Norway is in the time zone UTC +1 except for during the summer months of Daylight Savings Time when the time is UTC +2.  The currency used in the country is the Norwegian krone.

Points of interests / things to see

Borre National Park

Borre National Park is found outside of Horten.  In Norway, its name is Borrehaugene, which means “grave-mounds.”  The national park is both a natural and a historical place and it covers an area of 45 acres (182,000m2).  It is important in Norwegian history because the site contains the largest number of Viking Age burial mounds.  Today there are seven big burial mounds and one cairn, which is a man-made pile of stones, which can be seen in addition to 25 smaller cairns.  Unfortunately, some mounds and cairns have been destroyed in recent times.  Excavations and studies have shown that the oldest graves on the site date to the 7th century.    It is thought that the site was used for burials up to around the year 1000, which is when the area was Christianized.  Some of the burial mounds were of boat graves and one find was of a boat burial from the 9th century that used a boat roughly 17-20m (50-60ft) long.  Nearby, in the Borre Township, various Viking Age fields have been uncovered by archaeologists.  It is thought that the fertile soils and the climate in the area allowed for intensive population growth in the area during the Viking Age, explaining why this area appears to have been a power center for the Vikings.   Many of the artifacts that have been uncovered from the Borre National Park are now on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.

Karljohansvern Fortress

The Karljohansvern Fortress is a fortress that today is home to three museums in Horten.  The Karljohansvern Fortress area is an attraction in itself for its natural beauty, recreational areas, beaches, woods and the picturesque Horten canal.  The Horten canal serves to separate the Karljohansvern Fortress from the mainland area.  One of the museums at the fortress is the Preus Museum-National Museum of Photography.  The Museum of Photography features exhibitions on photography from the different aspects of art, culture and technology.  There are various international exhibits on display at the museum as well.  It is housed in a building that was once used by the Norwegian Navy as a storehouse that was originally built in the 1860s and later remodeled to be made into a museum in 2001.  The Naval Museum is considered to be the oldest naval museum in the world since it was founded in 1853.  The Naval Museum is also in an old storehouse at the fortress and has a number of objects related to navy history in war and peace, and from various parts of the world.  The museum’s collection comprises of items from the Royal Norwegian Navy as well as objects used by the Allies and by the Germans during the Second World War.  Visitors can also enter into a real submarine that is now outside of the museum.  The third museum is the Local History Centre which showcases the history of the area with a focus on daily lives of different parts of the community, such as schools and workshops, the dentist, doctor, grocer, etc.  It is housed in a building that was previously an isolation hospital. Opening times: Photography Museum Tuesday-Sunday 12:00-17:00.  Naval Museum Daily May to September 12:00-16:00; October-April only open on Sundays 12:00-16:00.  Local History Centre Saturday and Sunday 12:00-16:00.

Gamle Horten Gård

The Gamle Horten Gård or the Horten Old Farm is the farm that was established in the area from whence Horten got its name centuries ago.  The farm is located on Karljohansvern, which is near Horten but separated from the mainland by a canal.  Right around the farm are walking paths to explore as well as the sea located in very close proximity.  Today the farm has earned the nickname “the cradle of Horten” because of the use of its name as the name of the town as well.  The buildings that stand on the farm today were built between the years of 1780 and 1860.  The farm was acquired by the Naval Ministry in 1819 because the whole of Karljohansvern used to be property of and in use by the Norwegian Royal Navy.  Before it had become property of the Navy, the farm had served not only as a farm but also as a posting station and an inn.  Today it is no longer part of the navy and many of the different buildings of the old farm have been sold off individually and now are private housing.  Today what visitors can see that remains of the Gamle Horten Gård are the stables, equerry’s residence, the officer’s billing area as well as the officer’s mess.


Åsgårdstrand is a town also located in the Vestfold region of Norway and it is found 10km (6 mi) to the south of Horten.  Åsgårdstrand is officially labeled as a tourist town which permits the shop owners in the touristy areas to stay open all year long.  Åsgårdstrand first blossomed as a town when it was a center of trade starting in 1650.  It was primarily used as an export harbor for lumber that was being sent to the Netherlands.  However, once trade by ship declined, the town’s economy stalled.  Starting in the 1880s, Åsgårdstrand became an important locale for painters and artists from all over the world.  Some of the most famous painters to have lived in or visited Åsgårdstrand include Christian Krogh and Edvard Munch.  It was such a big draw for artists due to the special lighting in the town.  In the 1920s the town became a popular site for summer tourists including such important guests as the Dutch royal family and other rich and famous people from Oslo and other areas.  Today the town still sees a large number of tourists each summer and the number of visitors to the town is much higher than the resident population of Åsgårdstrand.  Today in town there are two art galleries and a number of bakeries, pubs, bars and restaurants.


Tønsberg is a municipality located 23 km (14 mi) from Horten.  Tønsberg also lies along the shores of the Oslofjord and the municipality’s population is about 41,485 people.  Tønsberg’s claim to fame is that it is regarded as the oldest town in Norway.  The first time that Tønsberg is mentioned in historical writings was in the year 1130 which claimed that Tønsberg was founded before 871 and the Battle of Hafrsfjord.  There is slight dispute about the exact year of the battle and it is possible it didn’t occur until around 900.  However the town accepts the date of 871 and archaeological evidence from the site shows that the date of 871 may very well be correct.  Initially the king would reside at a farm called Haugar which today is considered to be the birthplace of the town of Tønsberg.  The main tourist attraction highlight is the tower called Slottsfjellet which was built at the end of the 19th century to commemorate the Tønsberg Fortress that had stood there and of which only a few remains exist today.  Other sights in the city include the Haugar Art Museum, Sem Church which is the Vestfold’s oldest stone church that was built before the year 1100, the Tønsberg Cathedral, the ruins of  St. Olav’s church and monastery and the Foynegården which is a merchant’s yard.

Horten Bilmuseum

The Horten Bilmuseum, or the Horten Automobile Museum, is a museum located in Horten dedicated to transportation in Norway and the world.  The main focus of the museum’s collection features forty-five historical and classical automobiles.  These automobiles all come from between the time period of 1900-1970.  There is also a special display on model railways at the museum and it boasts the largest model railways display in all of Norway. Address: Sollistrandsveien 12 Email address: Phone number: +47 33 04 26 01 Opening times: Summer- open daily.  Middle of August to Middle of June, only open on Sundays. Entrance fees: Adults NOK 65, Children and Seniors NOK 45

The Horten Woods

The Horten Woods is an area near to the Karljohansvern Fortress.  It is a wooded area that today is used primarily for recreational activities especially hiking or excursions for school groups or the locals.  The Horten Woods as well as the Karljohansvern Fortress make up part of what is known as the coastal walkway which is a walkway connecting the towns of Åsgårdstrand and Horten.  In total, the coastal walkway and surrounding nature areas take up 20 hectares (50 acres) of space.  The forest is a mix of various pines and deciduous trees including one oak tree that is 1000 years old.


Larvik is a municipality that lies 53 km (33 mi) to the south of Horten.  Larvik offers ferry services to Denmark.  The city was founded in the year 1671 by the man Ulrik Fredrik Gyldenløve who then became the first count of Laurvig.  His castle can still be visited today as well as the Treschow estate which previously belonged to Norway’s richest woman, Mille-Marie Treschow.  There are a number of museums throughout the town run by the organization Larvik Museum Society.  There are also a few old manor houses that are open to visitors including the manor house that was built by Ulrik Fredrik Gyldenløve for his third wedding.  It was built of wood and the interiors, from the 1730s, are well-preserved.


Staven is another town in the Vestfold region that lies 61 km (38 mi) south of Horten.  Historically, Stavern was the sight of an important naval base for Norway called Frediksvern which was used from 1677 to 2002.  The first mention of the town comes from documents from the 11th and 12th centuries.  At that point it was referred to as a good fishing harbor and the town was probably used as a harbor ever since ancient times.  During the 17th and 18th centuries the town also served as an important port for traffic between Norway, Denmark and Sweden.  It became a popular place with artists during the 20th century.  Today the town is a huge attraction in the summer and many visitors flock to its camping sites, harbors and town center.

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Vacation rentals in Horten (Vestfold)

Weather in Horten

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Time in horten

Local time

Local time and timezone in horten

Horten time
UTC +2:00 (Europe/Oslo)
Summer time UTC +2:00
Winter time UTC +3:00


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Surrounding towns

  • Moss ~13.3 km
  • Horten ~1 m
  • Holmestrand ~19.3 km
  • Tofte ~97.1 km
  • Revetal ~20.4 km
  • Sem ~21.4 km
  • Ramnes ~28.5 km
  • Hølen ~29.3 km
  • Åsgårdstrand ~10.1 km
  • Dilling ~17.6 km

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How to get there ?


If arriving by plane to Norway, there are direct flights from the United States to Norway or from some European cities directly to Norway, particularly London, Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris or Copenhagen.  Majority of the flights into the country fly into Oslo (website: but there are 50 airports located throughout the country so it is possible to reach many different cities by plane.  Oslo is located 94 km (58 mi) from Horten.  The nearest airport to Horten is the Moss Airport in Rygge (Oslo) (  Rygge Airport offers budget Ryanair flights to various destinations in Europe.  The website BookNorway has information on flights to Norway as well as flights within the country ( Public transportation is extremely efficient in Norway and provides a great service for getting around the country.  Railways connect majority of the country although in the very far north, north of the city of Bodø, there are only bus and boat connections.  Service with all forms of public transport are usually less frequent on Saturdays except for during peak tourist season.  Trains are operated through Norwegian State Railways (website: Majority of bus routes throughout the country are operated by the company Nor-way Bussekspress (website: The city of Horten is located on a peninsula which means many forms of public transportation pass by the west of the city and through the municipality of Horten as opposed to through the city.  There are two main train stations in Horten, Skippum Station and Holmestrand Station which are on the Vestfoldbanen train line.  There is also a ferry service the runs across the Oslofjord that connects Horten and Moss.

Horten city hall

City hall address
Horten Kommune
Apotekergata 12, 3187 Horten, Norway
City hall phone number
+47 33 03 97 83
City hall location
Web site

Horten twins towns, sister cities

Discover the horten's international relations with partnership cities and friendship cities.

Hotels in Horten (Vestfold)