Narvik is a city in northern Norway. The town of Narvik has a population of about 14,000, while the entire municipality has a population of about 18,000. The city is located along the southern shore of the Ofot Fjord, and is the centre of the Ofoten district.
The modern city was founded in 1902. It grew up as an important ice-free port for Swedish iron ore exports. Before the port and the iron-ore railway was constructed there were only a few farms on the penninsula. During the first attempt to establish a port and railway the place was called Victoriahamn (Victoria port), after the visit by crown princess Victoria of the joint kingdom of Sweden and Norway. When the iron ore railway (known as Ofotbanen in Norway) was finally built 1898 to 1902 there was an intense activity in Narvik and particularly in the mountains. Thousands of navvies poured in and created a temporary city at Rombaksbotn. The railway construction from Narvik through the wild mountains until the plateau on the Swedish side was a notable engineering achievement. The railway was electrified as early as 1923. Control of the iron ore fields at Kiruna and the port of Narvik was a key motive for German attack in 1940 and the allied intervention.
During and after the German invasion of Norway, Narvik was the scene of fierce battles between allied (British, French and Polish supporting Norwegian army) and German forces, and the war museum commemorates the events of 1940. The Battle of Narvik was the first real engagement between allied and German troops after months of phony war. The Battle of Narvik was a key event in the early phases of the war. The town was totally destroyed in the process and the fjord was full of shipwrecks. Today, the city offers several outdoor activities; in particular, alpine skiing is possible in the mountains around Narvik.
There are two airports useful for tourists to Narvik.
- The larger Harstad/Narvik airport, which also serves the town Harstad. There are several direct flights daily from Oslo. Flights are also available from Trondheim, Bodø and Tromsø as well as other mid-sized Norwegian cities. Also used by charter flights. The drawback is that this airport is located 75 km from Narvik, airport express buses makes the journey in about 75 minutes costing NOK 210 one-way and NOK 315 return.
- Narvik Airport situated just two kilometers outside of town, in Framnes. Currently only route offered is by Widerøe to and from the regional hub of Bodø. It has a very short runway so it can be used only for small planes for short flights.
Narvik is the terminus of Malmbanan ("Iron Ore Railway", in Norway known as Ofotbanen) railway from northern Sweden. Mainly used for shipping enormous amounts of iron ore from mines in Lapland it also offers passenger services. A journey along Malmbanan gives spectacular views over large mountains of Narvik and the vast emptiness of Lapland. Swedish state railway company SJ has two daily services; one early morning and another at around 10 AM from Luleå (7 h) via Boden (6½ h), Gällivare (4½ h) and Kiruna (2:45 h). The morning service has sleeper carriages attached all the way from Stockholm, depatures from Stockholm are daily at 6 PM. Prices vary according to demand, booked early (bookings open 90 days before departure) tickets for the over-night trains can be as low as SEK 450 and SEK 195 for day trains.
Narvik lacks connections to the rest of the Norwegian rail network, which ends in Bodø, 150 km southwards. It's however possible to book connecting rail and bus tickets from southern Norway via NSB.
There are bus lines with Cominor from Fauske as well as many other nearby towns by bus. Many routes are very scenic. The bus station is located on the west side of the inner city, near the AMFI shopping center. In connection with the night train arrival and departure they also stop at the station on the other side of the city.
Narvik is a compact city which is easy to navigate. Tourist info office is on the main street, and the railway station is easy to find as well. www.destinationnarvik.no and its links will help you to find most of what you are looking for about Narvik.
If flying in from Oslo Gardemoen to Harstad/Narvik/Evenes airport west of Narvik, a one-hour bus transit is available right to the town centre.
Narvik has a local bus service with routes to neighborhoods outside the centre, including Ankenes, Framnes, and Beisfjord. Tickets for short journeys are NOK 31, NOK 16 for children (under 16) and seniors (67 years and over). Most lines run Monday to Saturday, while a few major routes (in particular Ankenes) have very limited service Sunday afternoons as well. Schedules are available online (in Norwegian); the paper schedule for the Ofoten region can also be downloaded.
- War Memorial Museum (Nordland Røde Kors Krigsminnemuseum), Torgsvingen 15, ☎ +47 76-944426, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibitions about the Narvik Campaign in the Second World War.
- Narvik church. Large stone church was built in 1925 by the architect Olaf Nordhagen.
- Take the cable car to the top of Fagernesfjellet. Or better yet, climb it in the middle of the night during summer. There is a fantastic path the winds up the mountain that overlooks the city and one can reach the same destination as the cable car.
- Ski at Narvikfjellet. The ski station is located so that you can contemplate the fjords as you ski down the slopes.
- Voss Klatrepark. Fun climbing park through treetops, open all year round.
There are shops and kiosks on the main street, plus there are two large shopping centres. One near the railway station and the other in the centre of the town.
The tourist office at the train station offers free wifi internet access if you have your own laptop computer.
- Linken Restaurant Og Bar, Kongensgate 64 (At Quality Hotel Grand Royal), ☎ +47 76-977075.
- Malmen/Telegrafen, Dronningens gate 47, ☎ +47 76-960055.
- Tøtta Bar, Kongensgate 33 (On the eighteenth floor of Rica Hotel Narvik), ☎ +47 76-961400. Mon-Fri 11AM-1AM, Sat-Sun 11AM-02AM. Great bar to start off the evening with drinks and perhaps a light meal while taking in the dramatic mountainous landscape.
For a town of its size Narvik offers a large selection of hotel, both more high-end and cheaper alternatives.
- Quality Hotel Grand Royal, Kongensgate 64, ☎ +47 76-977000, fax: +47 76-977007, e-mail: email@example.com. Largest hotel in town with over 600 beds, much-used and well-suited for larger conferences.
- Scandic Narvik, Kongensgate 33, ☎ +47 76-961400, fax: +47 76-961401, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Newest hotel to open in Narvik, this 18-story high rise offers great views over the town and surrounding mountains. Offers stylish interior design as well as a skybar.
- Best Western Narvik Hotell, Skistuavn. 8, ☎ +47 76 96 48 00, e-mail: email@example.com. 40 rooms
- The Express Bus (Northbound) goes to Finnsnes and Tromsø with connections to Alta and the Northcapp. The Southbound to Fauske (railway) and Bodø (bus, railway and airport)
- Southbound bus to Fauske/Bodø daily
- There are two bus departures daily from Narvik to Svolvær in Lofoten
- There is an Airport Express Bus to Harstad/Narvik/Evenes Airport (EVE) that connects with flights to Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL).
- Kiruna and Luleå in Sweden, connected by road and Malmbanan (Iron Ore Railway)
|Routes through Narvik|
|Kirkenes ← Bardufoss ←||N S||→ Fauske → Trondheim|
|Lofoten ← Svolvær ←||W E||→ Abisko → Luleå|