Flåm is a super cute village in Norway, nestled at the inner end of Aurlandsfjorden fjord, part of the larger Sognefjorden (the longest and deepest fjord in Norway). The village dates back to the late 15th century, with the oldest part of the village located near Flåm Church about 3 km inland, and is flanked by the Flåm River. We arrived to Flåm by train, taking the scenic and famous route called the Flåmsbana Railway (Flåm Line), which runs between Myrdal and Flåm, offering amazing views of the river valley and waterfalls. We enjoyed kayaking, hiking and exploring Flåm and the area around the fjord. Flåm was the third stop on our tour of Scandinavia through Sweden and Norway, which you can read more about here.
Top things to do in Flåm:
Running between Myrdal and Flåm, the Flåmsbana Railway is a 20km long journey with a maximum 1:18 gradient, passing through twenty tunnels. It offers great views of the area’s dramatic landscape and the lush river valley of the Flåm River. It is one of Norway’s top tourist attractions and we can see why!
Tips: Sit on the left side of the train heading to Flåm from Myrdal for the best views. (Also, if you take the train from Oslo to Myrdal, also try to sit on the left side for better views).
One of our favorite experiences on our trip in Norway, a kayaking trip is a must do when visiting the fjords. We went with Njord Kayaking located right at Flåm beach, on a 4-hour paddling and hiking trip called Old Kings Path. During the summer season, there may also be an opportunity to swim in a waterfall lagoon along the hike. The trip was a great mix of adventure and history - a memorable experience.
Flåmsbanamuseet (Flåmsbana Museum)
This small (and free) museum is situated adjacent to the train station in Flåm. It takes you through the history of the railway, including how it was built and the purposes it served. There are also a few old rail cars on display.
This waterfall is located along the Flåm valley and makes for a moderately difficult hike up to see the falls. Starting from town, walk to the train station then continue over the bridge along the road (adjacent to the Flåm Camping site). Once you reach the road junction, continue straight. You will wind through some homes until you see a sign for Brekkefossen on your right (after 1km or so). Go through the gate and continue up the path along the hill and waterfall.
Tips: About 3/4 of the way up, you will find a clearing you can walk out to. This rock formation juts out slightly from the hill and offers great panoramic views of both the waterfall, Flåm, and the fjord landscape. Great spot to stop and enjoy a packed lunch (plus there is a geocache located there!).
Fretheimshugane (Fretheim Cultural Park)
This park and garden is located right behind the Fretheim Hotel, and is an easy walk from town. The park contains different wildlife, such as horses and cows, and offers nice view over Flåm.
We rented an electric Twizy (2-seater) from eMobility Flåm to drive to a panoramic viewpoint called Stegastein and explore the oldest parts of the village (more on those below). The car was perfect for getting around since we did not have a rental car and the company was super easy and friendly to work with.
This viewpoint of the Aurlandsfjorden is absolutely breathtaking. There is a 30 meter long platform that juts over the side of the hill, providing unobstructed views (and a little exhilaration). The hairpin road up to the viewpoint also offers great views of the fjord over the hillside farms.
*Tips: Visit in the late morning for less crowds and good light on a sunny day. Make sure to admire (or visit) Otternes Farm, a historic and deserted 18th century village perched on the hill. *
On your way to Stegastein Viewpoint, stop at the quaint village called Aurlandsvangen. It is a nice spot to walk around and have lunch, while enjoying picturesque views of the fjord.
Tips: Stop into the village’s church called Vangen Kyrkje and also into the local baker & kafe, called Marianne Bakery & Cafe, for a local cinnamon bun.
Flåm Kirke (Flåm Church)
This cute village church was built in 1670 (the present day one, which was built over the demolished church). It is built in the traditional Stave Church style with wood, similar to the one that previously sat on the site. The inside is simple in design with exposed wood and painted walls and beams.
Flåm Shops & Market
The small “downtown” of Flåm is comprised of multiple gift shops, cafes, a bakery, an essentials supermarket, and a small street market that sets up tents most days of the week during the tourist season. You can find souvenirs, Nordic style clothing, fur, and much more!
Top places to eat in Flåm:
Located adjacent to (and owned by) the Flåmsbrygga Hotel, this microbrewery is an excellent pub and dining experience. The craft beers are really good; go for the beer flight to try 5. You also can't go wrong witht the food; we had the gravlax or chickpea burger. The design of the microbrewery exterior is based on a Viking style Stave Church and the interior is based on a traditional Viking drinking hall - it makes for a reall cool atmosphere!
This casual cafe is a nice spot to get lunch or a light dinner when in Flåm. We went for some pizza, which is served in a thin crust style. The restaurant is built in and around an old train wagon, which is a pretty unique feature!
Where to Stay in Flam
There are not a lot of options for places to stay in Flåm, but we were really happy with this hotel. It is located right near the water and most rooms have a balcony and views of Flåm or the fjord.
You can rent of these cute and cozy cabins along the water for your stay. They offer great views of the fjord and direct access to kayaks/ small boats on the water.