municipality in Telemark county, Norway

Skien is a town in the county of Telemark with a population of 70,000.



Skien and Porsgrunn are twin cities along the mouth of Skien river. The Skien river is the outflow of the Telemark river system. The Skien river is also the end of the Telemark canal.

Skien is one of Norway's ancient cities and only one of six cities that has existed since the middle ages.

Get in


By train


From Oslo Central Station - 3 hours. Train often terminates at Larvik, and the last leg to Skien is then serviced by bus.

By plane


Get around

  • The canal from Skien passing up to upper Telemark. Smaller cruise ships will take you all the way during summer season. Highly recommended!
  • Ibsen's Venstøp. The house outside the city of Skien where Henrik Ibsen spent a few years of his childhood. The attic is said to be his inspiration to "Vildanden" (The wild duck).
  • Brekkeparken. Nice park with old historic buildings, and a museum.
  • Skagerak Arena. Hosting Odds Ballklubb, one of the greatest Norwegian football clubs and all-time winner of the Norwegian cup. It's also the arena for the longest goal scored with a header, performed by Jone Samuelsen during a Tippeliga match.
  • Skien fritidspark (Fritidsparken), Moflatveien 38. 3733 Skien, +47 35541000. One of the largest sports facilities in Norway, consisting of indoor and outdoor ice rinks, an artificial grass pitch, outdoor tennis courts, a full-size sports hall, a downhill/snowboard slope with a snow cannon system, cross country skiing, tracks in the woods for walking, a playground, beach-volleyball courts and beach-handball courts, a waterpark, an outdoor climbing park, a BMX track, a youth hostel and a hotel.

Skien has four shopping malls.

  • Handelsbyen Herkules (65 stores, 5 food places)
  • Arkaden Skien Storsenter (44 stores, 6 food places)
  • Lietorvet Senter (29 stores, 2 food places)
  • Klosterfoss (10 stores)

As with most medium sized Norwegian cities, there is no abundance of restaurants in Skien. There is decent Chinese cuisine available, as well as Greek, Italian and pizza restaurants. The area around "Langbryggene" has the highest density of eating and drinking establishments.



Stay safe


Though Skien is still relatively safe, statistically it has one of the highest crime rates in Norway. The chances of becoming a victim of one of these crimes are low as long as you refrain from provoking anyone, especially drunk people. There are no areas in Skien that need to be avoided; however, it is important to take certain safety measures while walking in the low-income areas of Gulset and Klyve. Also watch your back around midnight when walking through the city centre or the neighbourhood of Moflata, as those areas might have a few drunk people.


  • Thon Hotel Høyers. Kongensgate 6. This unique hotel dating back to 1853 is known for its style and atmosphere and is Telemark’s oldest hotel. If you enter Skien from the south side, you will find that it has a central location and easy access.

Go next

  • If you are tired of the congested "big city" life in Skien, go to the nearby cosy small town of Porsgrunn.
Routes through Skien
KristiansandRisør  W   E  LarvikOslo

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