Not far from the border with Sweden and only 50 mi/80 km southeast of Oslo, Fredrikstad, Norway, was founded in 1567 by King Fredrik II by the river Glomma to serve as a fortress town against the Swedes. Although the new town is nothing remarkable, the original town still stands intact across the river, complete with 16th-century buildings and fortified walls. Amazingly enough, this small city of about 70,000, when seen from the air, forms the shape of a star. The museum there offers guided group tours around the old town. In the spring, an antiques market is held every Saturday in the old square.

The surrounding Hvaler National Park offers a beautiful and varied coastal landscape that includes many islands to explore.

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