We only spent two days (one night) in Flåm. Given this short time and the fact that I had everything, most importantly our accommodation, the scenic Flåm Railway trip in and our fjord cruise out, booked in advance I had little or no cause to go to the Visitor Center. I had also pre-planned a couple of easy walks and, surprisingly for me, set aside a few hours of doing nothing. There was also the railway museum which I had noted as a must see.
Accordingly the only reason I went to the Visitor Center was that I had half an hour to fill while a load of washing dried at out nearby lodgings. Naturally I could have spent the time in the pub but, fear not, there was time for that later.
The Ticket and Visitor Center is smack bang in the middle of the small village, right at the rail head and where you alight the train or any form of sea transport you take into Flåm. All visiting buses park in the large car park to the rear of the centre. You simply cannot miss it.
While my first image may give you the impression that the centre is massive, it is not and this building also houses a large souvenir shop, an ice-cream kiosk and various offices.
The Center is generally very busy, and is particularly so when cruise ships, other boats and buses arrive – less so the train. You must, if at all possible, go there before the hordes arrive or after they depart. Obviously there is little you can do if you are part of the hordes – and I use that term most affectionately, if you are! On my second day I watched, from a safe distance, a stampede to the Center when a large cruise ship arrived, the second one of the morning. I can only presume that train tickets and local sightseeing trips cost less in the village than they do if pre-purchased aboard the cruise ship – though don’t take my word for that.
The Center is divided into two parts.
The first and smaller part is a standard tourist information centre which dispenses details and brochures and makes bookings for everything other than the Flåm Railway. In addition to information on Flåm, this part of the Center also covers other regional fjordland villages. This is the section to go to for fjord cruises and local bus tour bookings. If you haven’t already got one, do pick up a local walking map here. I come back to walking in another review.
The other part of the Center provides information on, and sells tickets for, the Flåm Railway – a scenic trip between Flåm and Mydral and the primary reason why most people will be in Flåm in the first place. Prior to queuing up here for train tickets do ensure you are in the correct queue – single tickets in one line, return tickets in another, information in another, etc.
Between the Flåm Railway section and the general information section is an ice-cream kiosk. This is the only part of the Center I actually fully engaged with and can thus personally vouch for. Verdict – highly commendable – based on the ice cream we enjoyed while waiting for our boat to Gudvangen.
From 1 May to 30 September – 08:00 – 20:00 with extended hours until 22:00 between 20 June and 20 August. Between October and April the Center is open daily with undefined “limited opening hours.”