What is there to do in Åndalsnes, Norway? So, so much! Åndalsnes, the mountaineering capital, is located in one of our favorite areas in the region, the extraordinarily beautiful Rauma. Surrounded by the incredibly dramatic mountains of the Romsdalen valley, including the famous Trollveggen, it’s no wonder Åndalsnes was given the moniker, and attracts visitors from all over the globe. Welcome to troll country!
The Tindesenter is a unique visitors center focused on Norwegian mountaineering history and mountain adventure sports. Located in the heart of Åndalsnes, the center is a really fun place to visit for adults and families alike. The Tindesenter houses a mountaineering museum, a climbing wall (Norway’s tallest!), and a unique film experience under it’s architecturally distinct and beautiful building.
The film, which gives a great history of climbers in this region interspersed with local folklore and animation, is shown on a giant screen designed to mimic a rock face – So cool! The center also has a café and restaurant offering great local cuisine with views over the gorgeous scenery outside.
Pro tip – if you’re looking to pick up some souvenirs while in Norway, the gift shop here is where it’s at: unique and quality gifts with an aesthetically pleasing vibe and different from the standard gift shop fare you’ll find throughout Norway’s tourist areas. Whether you explore the region on your own or with a guide, we recommend starting your journey here. It really helps set the tone for exploring the area by introducing you to the famous peaks and sharing interesting local folklore.
For more info on hours and tickets, check the Tindesenter website.
We also offer excursions from Åndalsnes that include a screening of the TIndesenters film, “Troll Folk” to start the tour, before heading out and exploring the region.
Trollstigen, or the Troll Road, is a serpentine road that winds its way along a mountainside in Rauma municipality. It is one of Norway’s most visited tourist highways and historically was an important route connecting Valldal (hello, delicious strawberries!) to Åndalsnes.
The road consists of 11-hairpin turns, each one of them named – often after those involved in the construction of this engineering feat. As you climb up the harrowing path to 858m above sea-level the mighty mountain peaks, the “King” “Queen”, and “Bishop” cheer you on as they watch over you. Cross the mighty Stigfossen waterfall and marvel at your beautiful surroundings.
There are several platforms and viewpoints that offer a great vantage point to see the road in its entirety or to snap some dramatic photos. Trollstigen is also part of the National Scenic Route, Geiranger-Trollstigen that stretches from Trollstigen all the way down to the Geirangerfjord; a great road-trip adventure through some stunning Norwegian countryside.
Trollveggen, also known as the Troll Wall, is part of the mountain massif Trolltindene (Troll Peaks) in the stunning Romsdalen valley. The mighty wall is Europe’s tallest vertical rock face boasting an impressive 1100m in height from the valley floor.
A popular and prestigious spot for climbers, and at one time base jumpers (base jumping from the troll wall has been illegal since 1986), the wall is a spectacular sight to see. The jagged peaks of the ridge evoke images of troll heads playfully looking over the valley below.
If you’ve done some research on what to see in Norway, chances are you’ve come across a certain well-known tour that includes a trip on the flåm railway. While we don’t argue that flåm is a beautiful place, we will however argue that Rauma’s train trip is actually more beautiful. In fact, parts of the movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, were filmed on the Raumabanen.
The Rauma train takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in Norway from deep-blue fjords to wild mountains, and rushing rivers. If you’re concerned that all the beauty will just pass you by, don’t be. The train moves slowly through the most spectacular scenery and you will enjoy picture stops along the way at Trollveggen and Kylling bridge.
For those who like to live like the locals when they travel, then lace up your hiking shoes. Norwegians love to venture out into nature and who can blame them when their backyards consist of dramatically beautiful landscapes? The Romsdalseggen Ridge hike was named one of the world’s most scenic hikes by Lonely Planet (2011).
Not far from Åndalsnes, the view from the hike includes many of the region’s well-known mountains (including the mighty Troll Wall) and panoramic views over the valley below. While at times a steep climb, the view is well worth it. Busses depart from the TIndesenter and take you to the trail head.
Åndalsnes (and its surroundings) with its troll folklore, hiking culture, and stunningly beautiful surroundings makes it a must-see destination for anyone visiting western Norway. There are so many opportunities for adventure for every type of traveler passing through this special place.
Norway Excursions tours departing from Åndalsnes can be found here.