Get the most out of Flåm in a short time
"A plain between steep mountains". As its name suggests, the picturesque village of Flåm is blessed with a perfect location deep within the heart of fjord Norway.
You’ll find it at the innermost bank of the Aurlandsfjord, a scenic arm of Sognefjord (also known as the King of the Fjords).
The steep mountains that give the place its name, along with the cascading waterfalls and lush valleys, the iconic 1940s railway and the rich, local flavors, make this area a perfect one to explore. Even if you only have a few hours at hand.
There are indeed many things to do in Flåm. Here's how to make the most of your time in this beautiful village and its surrounding areas.
Credit: Sverre Hjørnevik | Visit Flam
Visit the Railway Museum
Duration: 30-40 minutes
What was it like, being an engineer in Norway in the 1920s, working on the world’s steepest railway that would enter the history books as a “feat of architecture”? A visit to the small but exciting Flåm Railway Museum will give you an insight on the lives of the hardworking people who built the legendary Flåm Railway from 1924-1940 — overcoming the many engineering challenges of the time.
Open all year round and with a free entrance, the Flåm Railway museum will take you on a journey through Norwegian history. You can even get a small piece of history back home with you, at the museum's souvenir shop!
As the museum is located right next to the train station, this is an ideal activity to do before or after actually boarding the Flåm Railway for a round trip.
Credit: Sverre Hjørnevik | Visit Flam
If you'd rather take it easy after your museum visit though, there are many other things to do in Flåm. You could head to one of the local bakeries, cafes and restaurants and enjoy Flåm's local cuisine: the highlights include berries, goat cheese from the fjord region, salmon and cure meats.
You can even visit the local brewery (after 14:00 / 2 p.m.). It has received several international awards for its handcrafted beers — plus, its indoor design will make you feel like you've been transported back to the good old Viking Age!
Go in one of the world’s most beautiful train rides
Duration: 2-3 hours
Remember that “feat of engineering” we mentioned earlier? Well, you can totally experience it for yourself, as the railway offers round trip tickets that will keep you happily engaged for 2+ hours. In fact, hopping on board the Flåm Railway (or Flåmsbana, as it is called in Norwegian) is one of the best ways to truly take in the amazing sights of the fjord and mountains around Flåm.
For starters, the train itself still maintains all its old-world charm and vintage design, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a ‘40s period movie set. But the ride is as charming as the design (if not more so): within the course of one hour, you will be transported from fjord level 867 meters (2844 ft) high up to the mountains of Myrdal, passing through 20 tunnels along the way!
The ride is very steep, yes. But it’s also slow enough for you to marvel at the spectacular scenery that surrounds you, from the verdant forests to the breathtaking waterfalls. The train even stops at some of these sights, so that you can take proper photos — it's no coincidence it has been called one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe...
When the train reaches the mountainous Myrdal, you can spend some time relaxing at the station’s cafe, nibbling on yummy pancakes and checking out the memorabilia selection. Then, it's time for your ride back down to Flåm, and trust us when we say that the view will be very different this time around!
Get on top of the world
Duration: 1-2 hours
Flåm offers more than one way for you to feel like you're on top of the world.
A short bus trip away, one of the most jaw-dropping viewing platforms in fjord Norway awaits: the Stegastein Viewpoint. Perched 650 m (2132 ft) above fjord level, the 30 x 3,3 m (100 x 10 ft) , viewing platform provides the perfect bird’s eye view of the fjord region.
The construction of this unique viewing platform, which was designed by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen in 2006, hides two surprises. For starters, it looks like it’s made from wood (which makes it blend harmoniously with the natural landscape around it) but it’s actually made from steel and dressed in solid pine — so it’s a lot sturdier than what you might have thought at first glance. It also ends rather abruptly in an almost invisible glass pane, making you feel like you’re literally floating over the fjord and that nothing is separating you from the elements.
Of course you’re perfectly safe — and you’ll be getting some amazing pictures out of this whole experience!
The bus trip to the Stegastein Viewpoint and back is around 2 hours, so you have enough time to take in the views and relax in one of Flåm’s cafes afterwards.