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Hammerfest

Photo © adamvigs

Travel Guide Europe Norway Finnmark Hammerfest

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Introduction

Hammerfest is a city in northern Norway and was once the northernmost city in the world. Honigsvag, also in Norway, holds that title now. Hammerfest is one of the capitals of Sami (also known as Lapp or Lapplander) culture.

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Sights and Activities

  • The Museum of Reconstruction tells the tale of the destruction of Hammerfest and the north in 1944-45, and the reconstruction after the war.
  • The 1961 Church of Hammerfest is striking and modern, yet warm and welcoming. The grave chapel next door was the only WWII survivor in town.
  • St. Michael's Church is the local Roman Catholic church, donated by German soldiers after WWII.
  • The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Club is an exclusive club for anyone who's been to Hammerfest.

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Weather

In spite of the extreme northern location, there is no permafrost, as the mean annual temperature is approximately 2 °C (36 °F), about the same as Anchorage, Alaska which is located at a latitude of 61° North. Monthly averages range from -5 °C in January to 11 °C in July. Mean annual precipitation is 820 millimetres. The driest months are May, June, and July; with on average of 50 millimetres of rainfall each month. The wettest period is October through December. Hammerfest often experiences heavy snowfall in winter, and on some occasions, avalanches or risk of avalanches have forced some inhabitants to be evacuated from their exposed homes until the danger was over. During the summer, there is continuous daylight, while during winter, the sun does not rise above the horizon.

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Getting There

By air you fly to Hammerfest with the small aircraft of Widerøe [1] from Tromsø. Due to a lot of oil traffic, getting a cheap seat is difficult.

There are a couple of buses a day to Alta, from where you can get a cheap flight to Oslo with SAS Braathens or Norwegian.

There is also a catamaran to Alta most days of the week. The tour is highly scenic and recommended.

The famous Hurtigruten calls at Hammerfest. It's about five hours to Honningsvåg and Nordkapp, and 12 hours to Tromsø.

Hammerfest is connected to the main road network by Norwegian national road 94 which branches off from European route E6 at Skaidi in the neighbouring municipality of Kvalsund.

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Getting Around

Most of Hammerfest can easily be navigated on foot.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Most Norwegian households are connected to the Internet in some way (often broadband), making cybercafés hard to find outside major cities, due to a relatively small market. Most public libraries have free public access to the internet, but a limited number of computers and limited opening hours.

However, if you bring a laptop with a wireless connection you will find wireless internet zones just about everywhere (gas stations, city centres, cafés, shopping centres, hotels etc.), sometimes free, but be prepared to pay for it though. It is not unusual for hotels to have a terminal for guest use. Well over half of the camp grounds have wifi internet, but if it's crucial for you, best to ask before paying for your camping space.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international calling code for Norway is 47. Emergency numbers include Police at 112, Fire at 110 and Emergency Medical Services at 113.
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department. For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.

Cell phone Coverage generally is very good, except maybe some of the valleys, fjords and mountains. The company with the best coverage is Telenor. The other main operator is Netcom. These two deliver coverage to a multitude of other companies (Tele2 and Network Norway are two smaller companies that deliver coverage in the main cities, but utilize the othe two's net when outside).Prepaid sim card are available in all shops that sell phones and also petrol stations and kiosks. Prepaid has been in a slump in Norway after forced registration was effected, so prices are a bit higher for these than for subscriptions.

If you plan to do quite a bit of websurfing on the phone then Telenor's Prepaid (or "Kontant" in Norwegian) might be the ticket. You can surf as much as you wish, but the card doesn't get charges for more than 10 NOK per day (worth it if you use more than 2MB per day on the days you surf - though after 500MB the speed get's axed to 100kb/s).

Post

Red mailboxes are found easily and post offices are plentiful, with opening hours on most being 9:00am to 5:00pm, with usually shorter hours on Saturday. Stamps can usually only be found at post offices although some popular tourist venues might carry them. Norway's postal system, "Posten", has a good website with a lot of English information including up to date prices and also details about the opening hours of the nearest post office. The most commonly sent format for travellers are letters and cards up to 20 grams, check their website for current prices. If you want to send packages, you might also use international courier companies lik DHL, UPS or TNT.

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Accommodation in Hammerfest

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Hammerfest searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Hammerfest and areas nearby.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 9:01 on Oct 18, 17 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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