Drammen, Viken, Exploring Norway

Drammen – Exploring Norway

Drammen is a town on the shores of the river Drammenselva, at the spot where the river flows into the fjord Drammensfjorden. This is in southern Norway, a short distance to the southwest of the capital Oslo. The town and its around 111.000 inhabitants were formerly a part of Buskerud County, which today makes up a part of the large Viken County.

The town and its three areas of Bragernes, Tangen, and Strømsø, have actually expanded past the borders of its municipality and are today also partly in the municipalities of Lier, Øvre Eiker, Asker, and Holmestrand.

A Short History of Drammen

The fjord Drammenfjorden with its natural harbor has for centuries been home to shipping. The two settlements of Bragernes and Strømsø, located on either side of the river Drammenelva received their town rights in 1715. It would take almost a century until 1811 before the two towns were merged into what is today Drammen.

Industry and transport have played an important role in the development of Drammen. The town was for a long time an important export harbor for timber and other forestry products. Industrialization during the second half of the 19th century also meant the establishment of several manufacturing companies in the town.

Drammen continued to develop its transport sector in the early 20th century as a junction for the railway network. A few of the former smaller railways have since been decommissioned, but Drammen is still an important junction for southern Norway.

Things to Do and See

There is plenty to explore on both sides of the river. This is after all a fairly large town with restaurants, cafés, and shops, so finding city life is not difficult. In addition, nature is never far away and the road tunnel up the mountainside is special in its own way.

Bragernes Torg

Bragernes is the area north of the river and Bragernes Torg is the main square. Here you will find the fountain Sankt Hallvards Brønn as well as several shops and restaurants.

Drammen Museum

Drammen Museum of Art and Cultural History is the local museum and is housed in the manor house of Marienlyst Gård. The museum’s collections include historical objects from Buskerud County and its exhibitions center around the history and culture of the area.

Bragernes Church

Bragernes Church was completed in 1871. It replaced a former church that had burned down in 1866. Its 64-meter-high tower is visible from far away. The church is a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway.

Spiralen Drammen

The Drammen Spiral is a road tunnel on the outskirts of Drammen. The tunnel itself is 1.650 meters long, but it is not the length that makes this tunnel special. This tunnel goes upwards in a spiral that after those 1.650 meters has completed six circles. The Spiral eventually emerges at 180 meters above the town.

Holmennokken

Holmennokken is a part of the island Holmen, which is in the middle of the river Drammenselva, close to where the river flows into the fjord. It is a green area known for its sandy beach. It is reachable via the bridge Holmenbrua. The rest of the island Holmen is an industrial and harbor area.

Drammenselva

Drammenselva is the river that flows through Drammen. It has its origins at Lake Tyrifjorden before it 301 kilometers later reaches the fjord Drammensfjorden. The river is known for the fishing of salmon and sea trout.

Drammensfjorden

Drammensfjorden is the fjord that connects Drammen with the larger fjord Oslofjorden and eventually the sea of Skagerak. It is at its northernmost point that you will find the town of Drammen. Drammensfjorden is 30 kilometers long and is quite narrow at many spots.

Sports in Drammen

Team sports in Drammen focus on football, handball, and bandy. There are also individual sports, including gymnastics in Drammen Turnforening.

Strømsgodset Toppfotball & Marienlyst Stadion

Strømsgodset Toppfotball is the local football club. The team plays in the top-tier league in Norway, the Eliteserien. Strømsgodset Toppfotball has become Norwegian champions twice since the founding of the team in 1907. The first title was in 1970, followed by a second in 2013.

Strømsgodset Toppfotball plays their home games at Marienlyst Stadion. It is a football arena with space for 8.935 spectators. Other teams playing here are SB Drafn and Drammen FK.

Drammen Bandy & Marienlyst Kunstisbane

Drammen Bandy is the local bandy team that was founded in 1997 after a merger between several local teams. They currently play in the top-tier league in Norway, the Eliteserien. Also, the bandy team plays at Marienlyst, at the ice skating field with a capacity of around 1.000 spectators.

Drammen HK & Drammenhallen

Drammen HK is the local handball team. The team was founded in 1992 and is playing in the top-tier league for handball in Norway, the Eliteserien. Drammen HK has become Norwegian champions twice, first in 1996 and then again in 2007. They play their home games at Drammenhallen which has a capacity of around 4.000 spectators.

Glassverket IF & Drammenhallen

Glassverket IF is the local women’s handball team that is currently playing in the second-tier women’s handball league in Norway, the 1. divisjon. As with the men’s team, the women also play at Drammenhallen.

How to Get to Drammen

  • Flights: Oslo Airport (OSL) is 93 kilometers to the east. It offers both domestic and international flights.
  • Car: Drammen is located at the intersection of Road E18 and Road E134, a short distance to the west of Oslo.
  • Train: The railway connects Drammen with several parts of Norway. There are trains to Bergen, Lillehammer, Kongsberg, and Oslo to mention a few.

The driving distance from 5 major Norwegian cities, according to Google Maps:

  • Oslo – 45 kilometers (40 min)
  • Bergen – 443 kilometers (6 h 56 min)
  • Trondheim – 537 kilometers (7 h 10 min)
  • Narvik – 1430 kilometers (20 h 13 min)
  • Kirkenes – 1878 kilometers (24 h)

Find out more about other destinations in Norway by visiting our page Exploring Norway

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