What to See on the Road from Oslo, Norway to Karlstadt, Sweden
Many visitors avoid traveling by car due to gas prices, but for those willing to accept the time and cost, there are a few good stops where they can get out and stretch their legs and find history, nature, and beauty--here's where to visit.
- Picking a Hotel for Oslo, Norway and Karlstadt, Sweden
- Finding Out About What to Do and How to Travel from Oslo, Norway to Karlstadt, Sweden
- Best Places to See Sights Along the Road Along Our Route
- Cute Church Picnic Spot near Vormsund, Norway
- World War II Museum and Fort at Kongsvinger
- Artisan Shops at the Border Crossing near Magnor, Norway
- Nature Reserve
As first time visitors to Scandanavia, my husband and I decided to explore some of the countryside, especially the mountains which get spring and summer birds. We didn’t really know what we would find, especially since most of the travel guides lacked any information about smaller towns. The mountains have rocky outcroppings with alpine plants and lots of mixed, farmed, forest amongst farmland and quite scenic. We traveled in the first weeks of May and the weather was lovely, in fact, we planned for much colder weather and were quite comfortable in just a light shirt.
Picking a Hotel for Oslo, Norway and Karlstadt, Sweden
The Clarion hotel downtown Oslo, Norway was suggested by Frommer’s Travel Guide. We loved the hotel but hated the parking garage that charged us way more than advertised and just before leaving, the clerk tried to stick us with a bill for another 700 Kroner because my husband covered the payment receipt while we were loading our baggage. We found many of our hotels in Scandinavia by visiting the VisitNorway, VisitDenmark, and VisitSweden websites. The first hotel my husband arranged was a Choice hotel, of which we are members and earn points so after that, he always checked the ChoiceHotels website, too. We are also members of Best Western so he picked up a catalog for Europe and some of our hotels were picked from there. Best Western often gives us free nights after we stay a couple nights, and we often like their service. The Clarion in Karlstadt, Sweden was a bit downscale but equally comfortable from the Oslo, Norway hotel, but much nicer.
Karlstadt, Sweden is a lovely town with many walks along the river, wildlife, tasty food to eat and beer.
Finding Out About What to Do and How to Travel from Oslo, Norway to Karlstadt, Sweden
For planning purposes, the Michelin Roadmap for Scandinavia was a life saver. When we got to Denmark, though, we stopped at a gas station and found the Skandinavien Atlas. Neither shows any of the wildlife reserves, these are often signed on the roads and we found they had bird viewing and hiking trails in scenic spots, but since you can’t plan ahead, you have to take them as you find them. We learned that a large green asterisk on the maps showed places of interest to tourist and were quite a mixed bag from historic places, church ruins, museums, rest stops, picnic tables, water closets, and other fascinating finds. Often there was a sign to the place from the round and sometimes listed the number of kilometers to reach the site. Some of these are also shown on the maps using symbols on the map legend.
Best Places to See Sights Along the Road Along Our Route
We took the E6 from Oslo, Norway north until Highway 2 split off, then took Highway 2 to the Norway Sweden border, where the highway is then called Highway 61. Highway 61 meets up with the E18 which runs right through the center of Karlstadt, Sweden and then on to Stockholm.
Cute Church Picnic Spot near Vormsund, Norway
Vormsund, Norway is a tiny town most noted by travelers as a good place to pay the no-toll booth toll that is assessed on the road. Car license plates are photographed as they go through and if the owner has a tag it is paid, otherwise a bill is sent, unless the driver stops at a local gas station and pays the fee. It also has a historic church that is found by turning at the new church and the sign, and traveling a short distance uphill along a well-maintained gravel road. At the top, the view is wonderful with sites of the lake for 180 degrees and farmland the rest of the area. Birds sing, picnic tables, old graves on the site and a historical tag explaining the many changes the church went through add to the appeal.
Allow 45 minutes minimum.
World War II Museum and Fort at Kongsvinger
Kongsvinger, Norway was our choice for a lunch stop but turned into a great place to see an old fortress from the 1100’s in use through World War II. A museum on the site showcases the armed services from the Vikings through World War II, World War II Resistance efforts against the Nazis and in helping refugees escape into Sweden.
Allow 2 hours minimum.
Artisan Shops at the Border Crossing near Magnor, Norway
Magnor, Norway was our choice to spend the last of our Norwegian Kroners and we skipped a popular glass works (Sweden has another one across the border in Eda) and actually found lunch at a café at the Motet. The 110 Kroner 6 oz (approx.) steak with fries, salad and béarnaise sauce was a real deal after Oslo, Norway prices and quite tender and mostly cooked the way we requested.
Allow 30 minutes minimum.
In an attempt to find something starred we took the road from Amotfors to Sulfik, Sweden and instead found a nature reserve off highway 172 between Sulvik and Arvitka, Sweden near Jessefers. Arvitka was recommended to us by one of the staff members at the Clarion hotel in Oslo, because it has a road that goes entirely around a little lake. The nature reserve is good for a three or four hour stop, with two trails, one uphill to burial cairns and one across to an ancient and modern gard station and other historic artifacts (we didn’t take it). The woodlands were blooming with edelweiss and evening primrose and when we reached the burial cairns, there were lovely views of the lakes and farmlands and a resort.