The white town by the lake


The well-known ballad singer from Norway, Alf Prøysen, claimed in one of his songs that “everyone has a cousin from Gjøvik”. Perhaps you should pay a visit to see why – Gjøvik is truly a home from home.

The town has a wonderful location where the Hunnselva river runs out into Mjøsa lake. Gjøvik is know as a former host of the Winter Olympics and for brands such as Hunton hardboard and the world’s largest producers of fish hooks. Even those who prefer to source their fish from the supermarket have heard of a Mustad hook.

Gjøvik has been referred to as the “white town on Mjøsa” but is now a much more colourful place to visit. The town centre encircles the beautiful and peaceful gardens in Fahlstrøms square. The gardens at Gjøvik’s centre are reflected in the rolling fields, green forests and calm waters of the Mjøsa that surround the town. The swan featured on the town's coat of arms is perhaps an illusion to the wonderful paddle steamer that sails the lake during the summer and retires to its protective glass shelter during the winter. Skibladner is the oldest ship in Norway to be operational, and the world’s oldest paddle steamer still providing a scheduled service.

In truth, Alf Prøysen was taking a dig at the Norwegian character in his song about having a cousin from Gjøvik, but once you have visited the town, you will find yourself wishing it was true. With a cousin from Gjøvik, you would be able to visit this beautiful town more often.