The Norwegian Hammerfest prides itself in being the world's northernmost city, at least with a population of over 9000. That claim is disputed by other cities (including the Norwegian Honningsvåg in the municipality of Nordkapp). Hammerfest has been destroyed quite a few times: in 1809 by the British, in 1891 by a large city fire and at the end of World War II by the retreating Germans.
Hammerfest has almost 10,000 inhabitants.
Hammerfest is located in Finnmark County in the north of Norway, on Kvaløya Island which is connected with the mainland by the Kvalsund Bridge. The North Cape lies northeast of the city.
At the end of the last century, local economy suffered severely from the declining fishing activities and the disappearance of a large fish processing factory. At the turn of the century this changed with the arrival of a gas factory on Melkøya Island. This factory processes gas from the Snøhvit field in the Norwegian Sea.
Tourism also plays an important role: the city is an operating base for visits to the North Cape and Norway's northernmost glacier.
The city's airport, Hammerfest Airport, is situated just north of the center and is easily reachable by rental car via the Finnmarksveien, the main road through town. Because of reoccurring strong winds, the airport sometimes has to be closed for days; plans therefore exist to build a new airport 15 kilometers south of Hammersfest. The Alta Airport, at almost 140 (car) kilometers south of the city, is an alternative for Hammerfest Airport.
Hammerfest has good public bus transport with connections to surrounding places like Alta and Honningsvåg. There are also boat connections with other places along the coast (the famous Hurtigruten ferry for example moors in Hammerfest).
Hammerfest is a small and modern town and you'll find your way around easily. Finding a free parking place isn't a problem either. You do need to watch out for reindeer crossing town in summer months when they migrate inlands from the coast.
For a town of this size, Hammerfest has a considerable choice of accommodations, although budget travelers will have more trouble finding a suitable room. Many hotels are geared towards business travelers as many meetings and conferences are held in town.
For more information about Hammerfest, we recommend Google and the following sources: