Free guided walks in the area are available. They focus on the history of the fortress. Special guided tours for groups (also in English). The museums offer guided tours of their exhibitions.
The Norwegian Naval Museum focuses on naval history from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages and right up to the present day.
The National Museum of Photography (Preus museum) shows photography from the earliest technical and scientific experiments to the contemporary photographic art of today.
The Local History Centre (Lokalhistorisk senter) contains the town museum and local historical archives and it has exhibitions about everyday life in the near past.
Light and sound art
«Lysning» ('Glade') by Hedda Leivestad and Lotte Konow Lund is a recreation of an original bandstand. The installation is a new arena that conveys a sense of history and aims to provide the public with a visual art experience. «Batteri sonique» by Lars Petter Hagen. This artwork was made by composer Lars Petter Hagen, it consists of an 'underwater sound cannon'. The sound cannon emits peace-inducing music that is intended to get enemy submarines to stop attacking and come up to the surface.
Galleries, studios and workshops
There are several artists' studios and workshops at Karljohansvern and some of them are open to the public by arrangement. There are workshops, sales outlets and a café at Garsjetorget. Galleri Verftsporten has several permanent art and craft exhibitions in addition to guest exhibitors.
Restaurants and accommodation
At Karljohansvern, there are several places that offer food and refreshments and accommodation in several different categories and standards.
Salutes are fired on the birthdays of the King and Queen, and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, on VE Day, Constitution Day and Union Dissolution Day at 12.00 (13.00 on Sundays).
Dates of ordinary salutes:
- 21 February - the King's birthday
- 8 May – VE Day,
- 17 May – Constitution Day
- 7 June – Union Dissolution Day
- 4 July - the Queen's birthday
- 20 July - the Crown Prince's birthday, 19 August - the Crown Princess's birthday.
The fortress trail
Walk at your own pace and learn about the nature, unique architecture and history of the fortress through the centuries. The map of the trail provides information about historical events and famous people, and what everyday life was like within the fortress's thick walls. The map also contains information about the design of the fortress, and explanations of what, to most of us, are unfamiliar words and expressions used about buildings, weapons and other things that were part of fortress life.
Tips for things you can do yourself
Large areas of the fortress are open parkland that you can use for recreation purposes. Visitors can enjoy a picnic, play ball games or just go for a walk in these areas. As long as you show due consideration for the historical surroundings, the only limit is your imagination.