Drammen is a hidden gem in Norway. This city, located at the mouth of the Drammen River, has a rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural scenery.
Drammen is the perfect place to explore the best of Norway, from heritage and art to cuisine and festivals. In this article, we will show you 15 of the best things to do in Drammen that will make your visit unforgettable.
Whether you are into history, nature, or entertainment, you will find something to love in Drammen. Let’s discover all that this charming city has to offer.
15 Best Things To Do in Drammen
1. Drammen’s Museum
Drammen’s Museum is not just one building, but a collection of historical sites and parks scattered around the city.
You can start your visit at Marienlyst Manor House, a beautiful building from around 1770 that now hosts the museum’s permanent art and design collection. Admire the exquisite Nøstetangen glassware, baroque silver items, 18th century Drammen creamware, textiles, and more. The manor house itself is a work of art, with its well-kept interiors and charming garden.
Next, head over to the open-air Halling Yard, where you can see five restored buildings from the 1700s and 1800s that reflect the local history. Walk around the traditional Norwegian farmstead and appreciate how people used to live in past centuries.
Don’t miss the interesting exhibitions and events that the Drammen’s Museum organizes throughout the year at its different venues. Annual favorites include the spring exhibition “What Looks Good is a Joy Forever”, the contemporary art show “Living Landscape” in the summer, and the “Annual Exhibition” in the fall highlighting regional artists.
Pro tip: Buy a combo ticket to see all of the museum’s sites. Gulskogen Manor and the Japanese Garden at Åssiden are also part of Drammen’s Museum.
2. Ypsilon Bridge
Take in spectacular views of the Drammen River and cityscape by walking across the iconic Ypsilon Bridge.
This pedestrian and cyclist cable-stayed bridge has an ingenious Y shape design, with one end on the Grønland side and two ends on the Bragernes side.
The bridge connects the University of Southeast Norway campus with the city’s central park. It was designed by renowned architects Arne Eggen and opened in 2008.
Don’t miss the chance to see Drammen’s most famous bridge up close! Stop in the middle to take photos and enjoy the scenery around you.
At night, the bridge lights up with a colorful glow that creates a fairy tale atmosphere. Seeing the Ypsilon Bridge should be on every visitor’s Drammen bucket list.
Pro tip: Come during the annual Bridge Festival, when the bridge becomes an open stage for concerts and events.
3. Drammen Padel
For some active fun, spend an afternoon playing padel at Norway’s largest padel center.
Tours & Things to do hand-picked by our insiders
Drammen Padel has 13 courts for the fast-growing sport that combines tennis and squash. Book a court in advance or just drop by to join other players. It’s easy for beginners to pick up and very addictive!
Test out your skills on the different court surfaces, from artificial grass to granite sand. Challenge a partner or opponent to a friendly game. Rent equipment or bring your own padel racquet and balls.
Recharge with a snack and drink on the center court balcony, which has panoramic views. Drammen Padel also hosts tournaments and events for birthdays, corporate outings, bachelor parties, and more.
With fun for all ages and levels, it’s no wonder padel is taking Norway by storm. Play a game or two during your Drammen visit!
Pro tip: Take advantage of discounts on weekdays and non-peak hours. Friday and Saturday evenings tend to be very busy.
4. Drammen Water Park
Make a splash at Norway’s largest indoor/outdoor water park facility located right in Drammen city center.
Drammen Water Park features several pools, including an Olympic-size lap pool, wave pool, children’s play pool, diving area, 52-meter water slide, and more wet fun.
The outdoor area opens in summer with additional pools, water playground equipment, relaxing hot tubs, and a 80-meter long water coaster slide.
Little ones can safely splash around in the kids’ area while teens and adults enjoy the bigger slides and attractions. There’s something at Drammen Water Park to entertain visitors of all ages.
Grab a snack at the poolside café or shop for swim gear at the store. Lockers, towels, and wetsuits are also available to rent. With all these amenities, you’ll want to spend the whole day here.
Pro tip: Purchase discounted family and multi-visit passes to save money, especially if you are spending several days in Drammen.
5. Gulskogen Manor
Step back in time with a visit to the magnificent 18th century estate Gulskogen Manor.
The main manor house was built in 1804 in the elegant Louis XVI style. Inside, you’ll discover rooms filled with original furnishings that belonged to generations of the aristocratic Arbo family.
One famous resident was the renowned painter Peter Nicolai Arbo, who spent his early childhood at Gulskogen. See some of his early sketches and paintings on display.
After touring the manor, relax with a stroll through the romantic English-style landscape garden. Follow winding paths past ponds, fountains, flower beds, thickets and more to reveal delightful surprises. Peacocks, goats, and sheep may cross your way too.
Before leaving, pause for a tasty lunch or coffee break at the manor’s café situated in a historical wooden storehouse overlooking the gardens.
Pro tip: Ask about weekly guided tours in English to learn more details about the estate’s architecture, occupants, and possessions from expert guides.
6. Spiralen Lookout
For awe-inspiring city vistas, take a drive, bike ride or hike up Spiralen – Drammen’s famous corkscrew road tunnel.
This unique 1.65 km winding tunnel ascends to a 180-meter summit for spectacular panoramas. Along the way, glimpse intriguing rock formations and Drammen’s neighborhoods.
At the top, soak up views stretching from the Drammen River to the distant fjord and forests. Check out the on-site café and exhibits about the tunnel’s construction inside Norway’s smallest museum. Well-marked hiking trails also start here.
Built in 1961, Spiralen remains an iconic landmark and feat of engineering. Experience its winding geometry firsthand during your stay. The amazing outlook is worth the ascent.
Pro tip: Drive carefully as the looping tunnel is narrow. Stop at one of the two lookout points along Spiralen’s route to admire views and let faster traffic pass.
7. Galleri Athene
Discover Drammen’s dynamic contemporary art scene with a visit to Galleri Athene – one of Norway’s largest private galleries.
Spread over five floors, the gallery’s bright open spaces spotlight diverse works by over 100 national and international talents. Painting, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, photography, and more are creatively displayed in the rotating exhibitions.
Chat with the friendly gallery team to get background stories and inspiration behind featured pieces. Don’t miss the top level showcasing artwork by the gallery’s 20 represented Nordic artists.
Before leaving, stop by the custom framing workshop and department to get specialized advice for your artwork needs. Galleri Athene offers an excellent introduction to Norwegian creativity and craftsmanship.
Pro tip: Coincide your visit with one of the gallery’s opening receptions to meet artists and other arts appreciators while enjoying complimentary refreshments.
8. Konnerud Hills Mines
Discover Drammen’s subterranean silver mining history firsthand by descending into centuries-old tunnels at Konnerud Mines.
The ore mines here actively produced silver, copper, and other metals from the 1500s until the early 1900s. Take a ride on the original mining train from the tunnel entrance to the depths below.
Once you reach the Draug level, a guide will lead you through gigantic excavated cave spaces supported by soaring pillars and arches. Learn how miners using hand tools managed to extract tons of precious ore. The dedicated engineers even constructed their own underground church and settlement.
Back above ground, see remnants of old smelting works and miners’ homes. Displays at the site’s museum reveal more aspects of centuries of mining activity that put Drammen on the map.
Pro tip: Dress warmly to deal with the year-round 8°C chill underground. Sturdy non-slip footwear is essential for the damp, sometimes muddy tunnel floors.
9. Strømsø Church
Marvel at beautiful Baroque architecture and decor at the historical Strømsø Church.
Built in 1667, the ochre-colored wooden church features a striking Greek cross floor plan with four arms of equal length. A gleaming copper roof tops the soaring bell tower.
Inside, admire intricately carved box pews, pulpit, and altar wall. Noteworthy artworks include an altarpiece painting by unknown Danish master, a modern baptismal font by sculptor Ole Nielsen Weierholt, and an abstract crucifix by Gustav Vigeland.
Strømsø Church remains an active parish church on Drammen’s biggest island. Attend a service or stop by when it’s open to sightsee. Guided tours may also be available to join.
This magnificent 350-year old sanctuary deserves a place on any Drammen area church architecture tour. Don’t miss it.
Pro tip: Look for graves of prominent locals like the Zwilgmeyer writing sisters in the surrounding church cemetery. Their children’s stories about Pelle Politibil (Pete the Police Car) are still popular today.
10. Skoger Old Church
Step back 800 years in time as you explore Skoger Old Church, one of Norway’s best preserved Romanesque stone churches.
Built around 1200, the church’s structure features simple lines and a classic rectangular nave, chancel, and tower design. Note the small round window high on the east gable – it recalls early medieval style.
Inside, impressive 13th century artifacts survive: a hand-carved baptismal font decorated with animal motifs and a tall wooden crucifix possibly carved by noted sculptor Lars Jensen Borg. Other medieval elements to notice are the bulge walls and elevated choir.
Sold in the 1700s, the decommissioned church sat neglected for decades before restoration efforts began. Today it serves as an atmospheric events venue and summer museum. Wandering through this enduring place of worship is an moving experience.
Don’t miss visiting this incredible 800 year-old church during your Drammen explorations.
Pro tip: Look for the runic inscription possibly dating from around 1150 etched onto one of the chime bells. You’ll need binoculars to see it high up in the tower room.
11. Gulskogen Manor
Get to know Drammen’s history and culture with a stroll through its bustling central square – Bragernes Torg.
Located in a strategic spot between the Drammen and Drammenselva rivers, the cobblestone plaza has been a gathering place for over 300 years.
Today locals and visitors alike congregate to shop, dine al fresco, attend events, or simply hang out. The Bragernes Square fountain with lion statues makes a nice picture backdrop. You’re sure to see musicians, performers, and other lively city happenings here.
Around the square stand significant sites like the Trinity Church with Drammen’s largest church bell, City Hall in the former main post office building, and remnants of old town fortification walls.
Ringed by restaurants, bars, boutiques, and cafés, Bragernes Square pulses as Drammen’s vibrant heart. Grab a bench or terrace table to immerse yourself in the urban buzz.
Pro tip: Time your visit to catch Drammen’s biggest celebrations centered on the square like the Annual Beer Festival in August or the Christmas Market in December
12. Drammens Museum / Papirbredden
Discover how paper transformed Drammen’s fortunes at the excellent museums and preserved paper factories found in the Papirbredden district.
Start at the Norwegian Museum of Paper, an working paper mill active since 1872. Watch how traditional paper making methods turn logs into pulp using water power. Marvel at the churning machines, steam boilers, and drying processes that produced paper for over a century.
Across the river, Drammens Museum delves into local social and industry history using artifacts from its collection of over 200,000 items. Don’t miss the recreated cobblestone streetscapes that transport you straight back to the 1800s. Exhibits also spotlight Drammen’s contributions to Norwegian science, technology and medicine.
The museums located in restored brick factories perfectly capture Papirbredden area’s heritage as Norway’s first industrial zone. Understanding Drammen’s paper-making origins here is a must.
Pro tip: Buy a combo ticket for easy access to both museums. Weekday visits are less crowded.
13. Marienlyst Stadion
Cheer for Drammen’s beloved football team Strømsgodset at an exciting match in their home arena – Marienlyst Stadium.
Built in 1924, this venue packs in vocal local fans eager to loudly support Strømsgodset Toppfotball, currently ranked in Norway’s top national league.
With a capacity nearing 10,000 spectators, the atmospheres is thrilling during big rivalry games and tournaments. Sing along with the crowd, sample stadium food like waffles or hot dogs, and maybe you’ll get to see a dramatic goal or victory.
On non-game days, visit the Strømsgodset museum inside the stadium to discover more about the much-loved team’s history, trophies, and athlete legends since establishment in 1907. Their underdog successes continue to inspire the region.
Pro tip: Stop by the team fan shop for scarves, shirts and other commemorative items to wear showing your newfound Strømsgodset fandom.
14. Port of Drammen
Discover what makes Drammen Oslofjord’s most important harbor at Drammen Port, Norway’s largest inland freight port.
Strategically located where the Drammenselva River meets the Drammensfjord, the port has played a vital trade and transport role for over 1000 years.
Today you’ll see modern facilities handling 40% of Norway’s car imports, half of timber exports, and bustling container traffic. Over 3000 cargo ships dock annually!
Yet among the state-of-the-art port infrastructure exist remnants of the past like Swedenborgs Brygge – riverside warehouses for storing and loading timber since the 1700s. Look for historical zone storyboards explaining the port’s development.
For great views, take the ferry across the fjord to Omberg or walk out along Drammen Bridge promenade stretching 550 meters over the waters. Watching the nonstop maritime commerce makes for a scenic stroll.
Pro tip: Join a complimentary 90-minute guided walking tour offered Saturdays from June to mid-August to access restricted areas and learn insider port info.
15. Kjøsterudjuvet Gorge
Nature lovers shouldn’t miss hiking the breathtaking Kjøsterudjuvet Gorge – considered one of Norway’s most spectacular canyon trails.
This steep-walled ravine cuts 1.3 km long through remote forests just outside Drammen. Formed by glacial meltwaters over 10,000 year ago, the sheer rock canyon reaches over 60 meters tall yet spans only a few meters wide at points.
The hike involves streamside scrambling, climbing rock steps, and traversing narrow ledges with chains. Not for the fainthearted! But daring adventurers will be awed at the landscape surrounded by plunging waterfalls and vivid green vegetation.
Pack sturdy footwear, snacks, and water for this demanding yet truly rewarding trek. And don’t forget your camera – scenes around every bend are postcard-perfect. Just be careful not to slip.
Pro tip: Attempt when waters are low in summer. Spray and slippery stones make the gorge trail extremely tricky or impossible in late spring and fall.
Best Times To Visit Drammen
Drammen offers four distinct seasons that each have their own charm and attractions for visitors. Here’s an overview of the yearly highlights you can experience:
Spring (March – May) welcomes longer days, newly sprouting plants, and lively festivals like Drammen Living History weekend. Hike in bright green forests or stroll gardens before tourist crowds arrive. Weather shifts between winter chill and milder days – ideal for skiing too!
Summer (June – August) brings warmer temperatures, sunny skies, and waterfront fun. Top attractions like Drammen Badeland (waterpark), Spiralen lookout, and Marienlyst Stadium stay open extra hours. Festivals, open-air concerts, and food stalls energize the city. Don’t miss the bustling Drammen River Festival and celebrations surrounding Norway’s Constitution Day on May 17th.
Fall (September – November) offers beautiful autumn foliage scenery, fewer tourists, and seasonal events. Check out fresh art shows at galleries, sample new beers during Drammen Oktoberfest, or run in the Norway Half Marathon. As days get shorter, pack warm layers for crisp air. Head to Lier for Norway’s biggest cross-country ski race “Birkebeinerrittet” in October.
Winter (December – February) transforms Drammen into a winter wonderland of holiday markets, ski competitions, and snow sports. Browse handmade crafts at Jul I Drammen (Drammen Christmas Market), go sledding or downhill skiing at Konnerudkollen, try kick-sledding (sparkstøtting) like a local. The creative Wintertime Light Festival brightens dark evenings with light sculptures and installations throughout the city.