NORWAY: The charming seaside town of Sandefjord

There is no doubt that Sandefjord is a wonderful holiday destination for locals and international tourists alike. The town’s productive whaling industry and Viking history made it one of the richest cities in Norway. Old and modern residential areas occupy the city center, providing a beautiful architectural contrast.  With Vesterøya and Østerøya peninsulas forming an approximately 150km coastline of sandy beaches and smooth, sloping rocks bordering the Sandefjordsfjord and Mefjord, there is no wonder people flock in this charming town especially in summer!

Jernbanealleen, Sandefjord
Spring blooms in Sandefjord

But it wasn’t summer when I first visited Sandefjord with my husband. Carl, together with two of his colleagues, attended the Yggdrasil Conference earlier this month, and I got to tag along. 😉 Yggdrasil is an annual conference on digital user experiences, interaction design and technology. We decided to go to Sandefjord a day earlier so we could get to spend some time together and sightsee before he became fully occupied with the conference.

Although the cold breeze kept blowing around, the sun shone without reservation. Therefore, we still managed to get a good glimpse of the city. Right after we got off the train, we were welcomed by this nice short alley lined with modern yet stylish apartments. They kind of reminded me of Spain. Most of the commercial establishments were closed, as it was Sunday, and there were many people with their children having a fun time in the public park called Badeparken. I saw monuments, but not bathing spots, though.


We stayed in Scandic Park Sandefjord, a very nice hotel ideally situated right next to the harbour. Loved the breakfast selection there!

Scandic Park Sandefjord
Scandic Park Sandefjord, whale bones facing the marina
Scandic Park Sandefjord
Scandic Park Sandefjord, view from our room

After dropping off our bags, we headed for a trip around the city center and to the popular Midtåsen, former home to one of Norway’s wealthiest, shipowner Anders Jahre. More about Midtåsen in the next entry. For now, let’s enjoy what the city proper has to offer.

Here’s how Sandefjord looks like in early spring:

Privatbanken i Sandefjord’s old building, dating from 1912
Art nouveau in Sandefjord
Sandefjord church built in 1903
Sandefjord church built in 1903
Spring blooms in Sandefjord
Sandefjord’s graveyard
Spring blooms in Sandefjord

I had to explore the rest of the city proper on my own the following day, while husband was in the conference. It was very, very cold but I couldn’t miss the chance to see more of the city. So I went out of the hotel and headed towards the lovely Sandefjord Miljømarina, where a majestic swan followed me along the boardwalk. I guess it hadn’t gotten any meal yet at that time. Too bad I also had nothing with me!

Sandefjord marina


Sandefjord marina
Sandefjord marina, with the Scandic Sandefjord hotel in the background
Sandefjord marina

A famous landmark in town is the Whaling Monument, a memorial to whaling created by Knut Steen in the 1950s. It’s located in the middle of a roundabout, so it’s not easy to miss!

The Whaling Monument
The Hvaltorvet shopping mall
A monument on Torggata dedicated to Postmester Ole Hansen
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Chr. Hvidts Plass

There you have it.. Lovely photos, right? And that’s Sandefjord in early spring. Of course, we also visited Midtåsen and the I took a tour to the Hvalfangstmuseum, but more about that in the next entries. Cheers to charming Sandefjord!


Sandefjord Marina

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