Incredible Guide to Aurland, Norway: Tips, Must-do’s + More

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

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Written by Lisa from Fjords & Beaches

Flåm and the Nærøyfjord in Aurland have been one of Norway’s most visited places in the past years, and I was lucky enough to be born and raised in the area.

There are so many things to do in Aurland, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site is only one of them.

Get inspiration from this incredible Guide to Aurland, Norway, view across fjord with high, rocky cliffs lining a long and winding body of water with snow-capped mountains in the distance

Almost 1 million people visit Aurland every year, for the beautiful fjords, the tourist attractions in Flam and the scenic hikes in the Norwegian countryside.

I would love to show you the stunning villages where I was born and raised – right in the heart of the Norway Fjords!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

Where is Aurland Norway?

One of the questions I get asked the most (other than “do you tip in Norway?”) is where is Aurland Norway?

Aurland is part of the county of Vestland, in thedistrict of Sogn in southern Norway. It’s close to some major Norwegian holiday destinations, including Olso and Bergen.

Oslo is just 192 miles away (with only 20 miles left to go once you enter Aurland to Flam), and Aurland to Bergen is even less distance at a little over 100 miles.

Balestrand is even closer than Bergen, but here’s a fun fact: even though Aurland to Balestrand is only 74 miles, it takes just as long (sometimes even longer) to make the journey because of the terrain!

Where to Stay on a Budget in Aurland Norway

In the Flåm/Aurland area, there are several hotels, hostels and camping grounds – something to fit all budgets!

There’s not a shortage of hotels in Aurland Norway, so you will find lots of options – but I’ll let you in on where my heart belongs.

The Vangsgaarden Inn is an Aurland fjord hotel, and is owned and managed by a local family living on site.

It is a beautiful hotel and Pub/Restaurant, with only 17 rooms and 6 cabins (right on the fjord, they sell out incredibly fast!).

Some of the buildings on the property are from the 1700s, and breakfast is actually served in one of them! If you are looking for that specific Norwegian charm, this is the place for you.

Prices start from 1150 NOK per night (for a double room including breakfast), which really isn’t too bad when you are visiting one of the world’s most expensive countries.

Where to Eat in Aurland Norway

Located only an 8-minute drive from the centre of Aurland village (or 15 minutes by boat along the fjord) you will find Flam Marina & Apartments, right in the middle of the bay of Flam.

This is one of the places to visit in Flam! They serve up a mean nachos for your hangover days, a ‘grown-up’ milkshake for your weekends (including vodka and Kahlua – my all time favourite).

If you are looking for an amazing meal, try their homemade burgers or maybe something from their selection of local meats from Haugen Farm.

Prices vary, nachos cost 85 NOK and burgers are 160 NOK. When considering what to do in Flam, make sure you come here – the best view in Flam is included in the price!

🚗 Travelling Europe by car? For the best prices on car hire in Europe, opt for Europcar.

Try out these amazing things to do in Aurland Norway, yellow wooden house sitting on side of deep valley covered in trees and green grass with misty hills leading off into the distance under a cloudy grey sky
The views and landscapes in and around Aurland are stunning!

Things to Do in Aurland Norway

The Sognefjord area is extremely popular among tourists, and there are hundreds (sometimes thousands) of travellers passing through each day.

I always make sure to bring my visiting friends to the Stegastein Viewpoint.

This Aurland viewpoint is a panoramic viewing platform 650 metres above sea level giving you stunning views (and Instagram photos) of the Sognefjord.

You can see as far as Flåm on one side, and all the way to ‘Beitelen’ (the mountain marking the beginning of the UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the other from this Aurland lookout.

It is definitely worth a visit and is available either by booking a tour, going by taxi or driving yourself. A few people also walk here on their own (or back from Flam to Aurland), but that takes a while.

You may want to stay in a Flam hostel if you choose to visit Flam from Aurland on foot.

I’ll also let you in on a local secret! If you enjoy an active holiday, I always advise travellers to try some Aurland hiking up to the Prest mountain top.

The trail starts about 1km further up the mountain from Stegastein and takes about 3 hours from start to finish (breaks included).

Like most Aurland hikes, this hike is rather steep in some places, but I promise you that when you get to the top you will have forgotten all about it!

The views are absolutely breathtaking, just make sure you don’t forget to put your name in the mountain top book you’ll find at the top!

(Rule #1 for hiking in Norway: If your name isn’t in the book, you were never there).

👡 PACKING TIP: Looking for the best shoes for travelling? I highly recommend getting a pair of Chaco’s They are my favourite!

Enjoy the best things to do in Flåm Norway, two people sitting on metal roadside barrier looking out across stunning fjord with tall rocky sides covered in green and brown foliage under a cloudy sky

What Not to Do in Aurland Norway

Although visiting Aurland is a Norway must do, there are also a few must NOT do’s that go along with it.

The Flåm area (port and train station) is extremely crowded with tourists and travellers. That makes it rather uncomfortable in the summer months.

Most tourists worry about getting enough time in Flåm, as they (wrongly) believe that it is where all the action is.

To be honest, while there are many tourist places in Flåm, most tours/attractions there involve leaving Flåm in one way or another. So I wouldn’t worry about how much time you will be spending there.

You will either go on the Nærøyfjord Fjord Cruise (leaving Flåm by boat) or take the Flåm Railway (leaving Flåm by train). You can also go to the Stegastein Viewpoint (leaving Flåm by bus or car).

My point is: do not worry to much about what to see in Flåm itself. This village is not the attraction or the point of visiting the fjords. Just enjoy the nature, look around and take it all in.

It doesn’t matter if you are in Flåm, Aurland or Gudvangen, as long as you can appreciate the majestic mountains and fjords of Norway!

Discover what to do in Aurland Norway, tree-covered rocky hillside with waterfall cascading down outcrop

Tips for Visiting Aurland Norway

If you are working out what to do in Norway during the summer months, try and be here for the first weekend of July.

This is when the Aurlandsmarknad (‘The Aurland Festival) takes place, which will add so much fun to your trip!

It is a short festival/market weekend with bands and music at night (the locals get CRAZY, trust me!), and market booths and entertainment during the daytime.

It is not something I would miss, and a must do in Norway for visitors – so put on your Aurland shoes and get involved!

One good thing to remember is that tipping in Norway is not compulsory.

However, tips are left if the customer is happy with the service, when in restaurants or bars (it’s not common to tip in an Aurland taxi). A 10-20% tip is expected if you’re satisfied.

When thinking about what else is a must do, Norway has something to help: the Fjord Pass gives you a discount on selected tourist boat routes with Fjord1.

If you prefer the locals to the tourists – visit the pub Duehuset in the centre of Aurland. It is where all the locals get together for a beer at the end of the week.

It is also where you will meet the most interesting people! Pro tip: buy us a drink and we’ll forget that you’re a tourist for the night!

📸 PRO TIP: My go-to camera for all my travels is the Sony A7iii – I highly recommend it!

Person with red sunglasses smiling at the viewer and holding a white cocktail in a pitcher glass with straws poking out

Author :  HI! A quick introduction is due since you’ve already read my top tips for visiting my home town! My name is Lisa, I am a 24 year old wanderluster from Aurland, Norway (you guessed it!). I love travelling, writing and sharing, so I figured out blogging was my ideal frontier. I started my blog when I moved to London to get my Law Degree, and decided to continue blogging as I crossed the ocean to spend a year working in Walt Disney World, Florida. Since then I have moved back to Norway, but I make sure to go on an adventure every day – if not international, then local! I would love for you to follow me on my journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is Flam Norway known for?

Flåm is connected to one of the most scenic train journeys in the world! Riding on the Flåmsbana Railway Line is one of the best things to do in Flåm Norway!

✅ How do I get to Aurland?

After riding on the Flåm Railway, you will need to take a bus or an Aurland ferry. If you’re arriving from Oslo, you can take short flights to Aurland but you will still need to take a ferry for the last part.

✅ Is Flam Norway worth visiting?

Is Norway worth visiting? Of course. But is Flåm worth visiting? Yes! You will not find many places more picturesque than Flåm in Norway, and the Aurland Festival is a great experience. Perhaps you could even try getting in an Aurland kayak!

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The Comments

  • Arusha
    May 29, 2017

    Loved your blog..thank you
    I’m from India.traveling to Norway staying in aurland for 2 days in June..would u recommend any good places to eat??

  • Alka Nagory
    November 17, 2017

    is it worth staying at aurland in winter @ 15th march. will the hike to Prest mountain be open that time?

  • Patti
    December 10, 2018

    Thanks for the information about Aurland! I am planning a 7 day trip to Norway for late May 2019 with my husband. We will have a car and enjoy scenery and being around the locals.My rough plan is flying into Oslo, drive to Lillehammer, Aurland, Bergen, then fly out from there. I would appreciate your thoughts on that and how long for each.

  • Kanika Bakshi
    August 7, 2019

    Very comprehensive post! I love how you have covered every aspect and tourist attraction of Norway and I have noticed so many people recently traveling to Norway and I’m loving all the photos. I would love to visit this place with my friends.

  • Lea
    August 5, 2022

    Thank you for the post. We are going to Aurland in two weeks, staying overnight. We will be travelling from Bergen to Aurland on the ferry. Do you have any other recommendations on what we can do there without a car? I think we are taking the ferry back at 15:40 from Aurland Kai, so we have a decent amount of time in Aurland.

  • Donny Horadam
    October 7, 2023

    Thank you for your information. We will be in Flam and Aurland in November. We are having trouble finding bus service from Aurland to Bergen on November 7,2023. Is there bus service between the two?
    Thank you,