It’s not a secret, that Flam (or Flåm in Norwegian) is one of the most popular fjord destinations in Norway. It’s a part of famous Norway in a Nutshell tour and a common stop for cruise ships. This doesn’t mean, that you won’t find interesting and unique things to do in Flam. In this article, I share with you all the top things to do in Flam and the area.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN FLAM, AURLAND, AND NÆRØYFJORD
At any time of the year, there is a lot to do in Flam and around. Whether you travel to Norway in the winter and you want to discover the magic of Norway in a Nutshell in winter, or you visit Norway in the summer to try some great outdoor adventures, you will find plenty of activities in Flam all year round.
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WHAT TO DO IN FLAM ALL YEAR ROUND
1. Take a Flam fjord cruise in Naeroyfjord
One of the most popular activities is to take a Flam fjord cruise. Flam to Gundvangen ferry (and the return one) goes through beautiful and dramatic Nærøyfjord. The Naeroyfjord is one of the most spectacular fjords in Norway. The narrow valley cuts into the tall mountains, towering up to 1800 meters above sea level. The numerous waterfalls and colorful villages are dotting the landscape and look great from the water. In winter the views are even more breathtaking when the mountains are covered with snow.
We preferred to view the fjord from the peacefulness of our fjord-hanging cabin and from the hike in the mountains, but trying the cruise in winter might be even better than in the summer – as there won’t be many people around.
The Naeroyfjord cruise doesn’t take cars on board, but there is a shuttle bus between Aurland, Flam, and Gundvangen, that can take you back to where you started. The ferry journey takes 2-3 hours and the bus takes 20 minutes. Keep in mind, that even in the wintertime, the ferry can get booked up quite quickly, so it’s better to book it in advance.
Tip: Take something warm if you want to stay outside on the deck (recommended!). The weather in Norway can change quickly.
If you’re interested in the organized tours including Naeroyfjord cruise, Flam Railway, and more, I recommend Get Your Guide tours below:
Read more: Norway winter travel – the best road trip itinerary to experience a winter wonderland
2. Take a scenic Flam Railway train (Flåmsbana)
The Flam Railway has been named one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and is also one of the steepest. As you can imagine, it’s a big tourist attraction in the area. The train takes you from Flåm, located at sea level, to Myrdal, located at 867 meters, and back. You can’t get from Flam to Myrdal by driving, as there is no road, so taking a train, cycling or walking is the only way.
This train journey is the top Flam attraction and brings many tourists to the region. The round trip lasts for 2 hours, but you can also go only one way and return on foot or a bike (in the summertime) on the way back. For an easier trip, opt to travel from Flam to Myrdal by train, which climbs the biggest ascent, and come back yourself, going mainly downhill.
When traveling from Flam, the right side of the train generally has the best views. One of the trains stops before getting to Myrdal’s powerful Kjosfossen waterfall. Also, as this is one of the most popular things to do in Flam or in Norway in general, expect many tourists, especially in the summer. Or try it off-season, in winter, spring, or autumn.
You can book the tour through GetYourGuide, which includes also the ferry trip. Alternatively, you can book it as separate legs through the Norwegian railway site.
3. Visit Flam Railway Museum
For those interested in railway history, you can also visit The Flam Railway Museum, located in the old station building. It’s free to all visitors and has a display of photos, videos, and old train cars, describing the building of the world’s steepest train route.
4. Pass through the longest tunnel in the world
Lærdal Tunnel measures 24.51 kilometers and it’s the longest road tunnel in the world. The journey through it is rather dull, but it’s always something different, at least when you do it for the first time 😉 You would need to pass through it if you drive through the mountains to get to Aurland or Flåm. The journey itself is amazing!
5. Admire the view from the Stegastein viewpoint
The viewing platform, hanging 650 meters above Aurlandsfjord, makes a big impression. Stegastein viewpoint sticks out 30 meters from the mountain and provides great views to the fjord and Aurland below. The road leading to it, is the beginning of the Snow road, hair-pinning above the water. If you do a winter road trip in Norway, it’s easy to get there from Aurland by car.
6. Visit Undredal village
Populated by 100 people and 500 goats, Undredal is famous for its delicious goat cheese. In the local shop in town, you can find different varieties of cheese, including famous Norwegian brown cheese. It’s a perfect place to buy some of the best Norwegian souvenirs for your friends and family. Cheese production is very important for the local economy and the Undredal farms produce up to 10 900 kg of cheese per year. In the center of town, you can even find a monument of Undredal’s goat.
We bought some young matured goat cheese and goat sausage. The seller in the shop let us try different types. One of them was Gamalost, traditional Norwegian cheese made from soured cow’s milk and then cured for weeks. I wasn’t a fan.
Undredal is also home to the smallest stave church in Northern Europe. The church was closed when we arrived, but it was very tiny. You probably don’t need the big one for just 100 people in the village, as I believe the goats can wait outside 😉
I’ve heard, that the village can get very crowded in the high season, with several tour buses. I would not like to experience that. The place is very small and its charm lies in the peace and quietness of the area. I’d strongly recommend visiting it off-season for a more authentic experience.
7. Explore Viking Valley in Gudvagen
Viking Valley, Gudvangen located in the heart of the unique UNESCO-listed Norwegian fjord landscape, is the setting for the town of Njardarheimr. It brings to life the real history and culture of the Viking Age.
8. Try Flam Zipline
If you feel like trying some adventure activities, the zipline in Flam might be for you. It’s the longest zipline in Scandinavia with a span of 1,381 metres. The zipline starts at Vatnahalsenand ends up in Kårdalen, in the upper part of the Flåm Valley.
9. Try RIB Boat Safari
If you like adventure and boat trips faster than the ones on the cruise ship, try going on a RIB boat safari. These tiny rubber boats take you with fast speed to many corners of the fjord allowing for seeing a lot of places in a short amount of time.
10. Relax in the sauna
After a hike or a boat trip, relax in a spectacularly located sauna in Flam. Fjord Sauna has a wonderful view and offers a place where you can enjoy a steaming sauna and afterward take a refreshing bath in the Aurlandsfjord.
Read more: 10 perfect ideas for mountain lovers for every budget.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN FLAM IN THE SUMMER
11. Go for a bike trip and do some cycling
One of the most popular biking routes in this part of Norway runs from Finse to Flam. Rallarvegen, the service road built for the construction of the Bergenline, is now a popular cycling track. The route passes through some spectacular mountain areas, but it’s relatively easy to cycle. It can be broken down into stages with camping or staying in the cabins in between.
12. Go for a walk or a hike
One of the best things to do in Flam is to go hiking in the mountains around. There are waterfalls, fjords, green pastures, and wonderful views. You can try a hike to Brekkefossen waterfall, which is a nice hike from Flam. The hike is around 5km as a round trip and takes around 1.5 hours.
or one of Norway’s classic hikes through the Aurlandsdalen Valley. Around the area, you can find many of amazing hikes of Norway, with different difficulties. I can especially recommend Bakkanosi and Prest, which are supposed to provide wonderful views.
13. Have a picnic
Stop by the fjord, on one of many picnic benches and have lunch with a view.
14. Kayak on the fjord
What is a better way of experiencing a fjord landscape than from the water? If you don’t like cruises, try fjord kayaking instead.
15. Go on a SUP board on the fjord.
Last summer, I fell in love with SUP boards and it was my dream to try them on a fjord. When I finally did it on Nærøyfjord, it quickly became my favorite thing to do in the Flam area! I can highly recommend it, especially in the calm and quiet fjord waters. Buy your own SUP board (it’s inflatable), or rent one.
16. Have coffee in a train cafe
If taking a train to Flam, visiting a train museum, and riding on Flamsbana wasn’t enough to fulfill your hunger for train adventure – you can also have a coffee and a cake in a train cafe.
17. Take a scenic drive
Aurlandsfjellet is one of the 18 Norwegian Scenic Routes. It connects Aurland with Lærdalsøyrican and is a perfect road for driving in the summer when the snow melts. This 47km scenic route will take you through the mountains and next to the fjord.
THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN FLAM IN WINTER
18. Hike the Snow road
Aurlandsfjellet is also called a “snow road”, because of the amount of snow falling there in winter. It can be driven in the summer. In winter, however, the Snow Road is a perfect place for winter hiking or cross-country skiing.
Going off the road into the hills will lead you to the wonderful landscape and open a view of the fjords below. You can hike with snowshoes or your own equipment. Remember to always have a map and a compass with you in the mountains. If you are not experienced in winter hiking, you can take an organized tour.
19. Go cross-country skiing
The activity that is so popular all over Norway, is also an interesting thing to do in Flam in winter.
20. Go snowmobiling
Some companies offer snowmobiling in Norway, not only far in the Arctic, like Svalbard, but also in the areas more south.
21. Take a winter trip to Bergen or to Oslo
Visit Bergen in winter with a beautiful train trip that takes only 3 hours. If you want to see the other direction of the train line and watch other stunning views, go towards Oslo, where you can find tons of things to do in Oslo in winter. The journey to the capital from Flam takes 5,5, hours.
22. Ski at Voss Resort
Voss ski resort is located only a one-hour drive from Flam. It has 11 lifts and 24 varied slopes, offering great opportunities for skiing.
Best hotels in Flam, Norway – where to stay in Flam and Aurland
The hotels in Flam get booked very quickly, especially in the high season. You can try one of these highly recommended Flam accommodations, but be sure to book quickly:
$ Brekke Gard Hostel – budget option for hotel in Flam. The hostel is located 1 km from Flåm Station and the Aurlandfjord shore. Prices for a bed start from 240 NOK. Book your stay or check the best prices in Brekke Gard Hostel here.
$$$ Flåm Marina – This Flam hotel is located just by the Flam Marina, offering stylish rooms and amazing views of Sognefjord. Book your stay or check the best prices in Flåm Marina here.
If you want to go out of Flam and have a little bit more peace and quiet, I can recommend staying by the fjord in Aurland.
I stayed in accommodation in Aurland in the Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri, and I loved it. It’s probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed in Norway. The hotel is the oldest building in Aurland, located by the shores of Aurlandsfjord, offering stunning views of the mountains from your window and the terrace. You can either stay in the main building or rent one of the cabins by the water. Book your stay or check the best prices in Vangsgaarden Gjestgiveri here.
Read more about Norway:
Tips on how to travel to Norway on a budget
Norway in a Nutshell in Winter
Best Norwegian gifts and souvenirs to bring back from your trip
The most interesting things to do in Bergen (indoors and outdoors)
Norway winter clothing – what to pack for Norway in winter
Have you ever been to Flam? Do you know of any other interesting things to do in Flam to add to this list? Let me know in the comments.
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Published: 2020, Updated: 2023