Molde is a town in Møre og Romsdal situated at the north shore of the Molde Fjord where it enjoys one of the best locations in Norway. It is one of the towns along the coastal road E39. The town is often referred to as the 'City of Roses.'
Molde was from the start a main cruise port in the western fjords of Norway, kaiser Wilhelm II visited Molde every year and the kaiser called the pleasant small town "Nice of the North". Today the town is most interesting because of its superb location on a south slope overlooking the great Moldefjord/Romsdalsfjord and the Romsdal alps around Åndalsnes. This view, the "Molde Panorama", includes as much as 222 alpine summits, many of these reach more than 1000 meters above sea level. The wide Moldefjord/Romsdalsfjord with its many islands and surrounded by alpine summits and little bays and smaller fjords is Norwegian landscape on a grand scale.
During the Norwegian campaign (april 1940) Molde was heavy shelled and most of the town burned down. The King, cabinet, the general staff, foreign diplomats and Norway's gold holdings escaped via Molde during the German invasion. The events at Molde were among the most dramatic during the invasion. The town was rebuilt in a less exciting style, the Church is one of the few notable buildings from the reconstruction.
Molde is one of the three main towns and the administrative centre of the county. It hosts one of the top football teams in the country, a fact that the local people are very proud of. The town also one of the major industry towns in the area. Traditionally this was due to timber and textile related industry, but now it is dominated by maritime and petroleum-based activity. Norway's logistics education hub is also situated here.
Molde Airport, Årø (5 km east of the city centre), serves the town. There are several daily arrivals from the biggest cities in Norway. SAS, Norwegian and Krohn Air have flights to the airport.
Kristiansund airport is about 1 hour drive, while Ålesund airport is somewhat further (including ferry crossing)
The closest railway station is situated in Åndalsnes (60 km south east of Molde) which is the end-station of the scenic Rauma railway. Åndalsnes can be reached by bus from Molde. The railway connects the area to Dombås and from there: Oslo and Trondheim.
Both the north-going and south-going coastal express boats (Hurtigruten) call at Molde every day.
A ferry operated by Fjord1, from Vestnes ferry dock, crosses the Romsdal Fjord from early morning to far into the night, usually every half hour. This ferry is part of road E39. The ferry docks in Molde city centre and is frequently used by passengers without car. The ferry is an excellent way to arrive in Molde as it runs slowly along the city centre to the dock giving a good view of the town.
Express boats (Hurtigbåten) from Vestnes also cross the fjord and lead to the city centre.
Most of the attractions in the town centre are reachable by foot. There are also rentable bicycles, and a taxi central located centrally at the bus terminal. There are good bus connections to, from and around Molde.
For additional information regarding public transportation in the area, contact the public transport information at Trafikanten Møre og Romsdal or on the phone number +47 177.
- Varden - the Molde panorama (Accessible by road or by the nature trail from the centre of Molde. 10 minutes by car and 1 hour by foot.). The road and restaurant is open approx. May – October.. From the Varden viewpoint (407 m.a.s.) there is a good view of the town of Molde, the fjord and islands and the famous Molde panorama with it's 222 partially snow-clad peaks. On clear days you can see as far as the fishing village of Ona and the dreaded waters of the Hustadvika bay. At the top you will find the Vardestua restaurant, where you can enjoy a good meal in a good atmosphere. There are marked trails which leads you into the Moldemarka countryside.
- 1 The Romsdal Museum. One of the largest and most comprehensive folk museums in Norway, established in 1912. More than 50 old buildings originating from all over the region have been moved here to form typical country courtyards of farm buildings, including open hearth houses, sheds, outhouses, smokehouses and a small chapel. The Town Street with Mali’s Café shows typical Molde town houses from the pre-war period. At Holmarka the museum has a stable which houses the museum’s horse, hens, sheep and rabbits. Folk dancing displays by the children’s folk dance group, Leikarringen, in connection with 40-50 cruise ship visits every summer. During the Molde International Jazz Festival, the Romsdal Museum is used as the open-air stage for the big outdoor concerts. Since 2015 the museum holds a separate department dedicated to german artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) that spent his exile in Norway.
- The Fisheries Museum on Hjertøya, ☎ . The Fisheries Museum is in the form of a small fishing village with old houses, fishermen’s shacks, cod-liver oil factory, engineering workshop and schoolroom. It portrays local coastal culture, working life and living conditions from around 1850. Large collection of boats and maritime equipment. The Hjertøya island is a great recreational area where you can hire rowing boats, fish or swim in the sea. Free Schwitters exhibition in the barn. A café and kiosk are available at the weekend. In the summer the Hjertøy Boat has regular departures from the quay by the market square in Molde. Separate prices.
The lodge used by German artist Kurt Schwitters is on Hjertøya.
- The Jazz Boy (Jazzgutten). On the lower market square, with the fjord and the mountains as a backdrop, is the bronze statue “Jazzgutten”, a young jazz player with his saxophone. The sculpture by Nina Due, was a gift from the people to commemorate the town’s 250th anniversary in 1992.
- The green corridor. The green corridor runs from the sea at Reknes to the Chateau (baroque villa), continuing through the Reknes Park up to the ”Pavilion” at the Rekneshaugen viewpoint. The nature trail then passes through the Romsdal Museum and proceeds to Varden (407 m.a.s.), from where you can enjoy a marvellous view of the town, the fjord and the Molde panorama.
- Molde Cathedral. The cathedral, which was consecrated in 1957, is a double-nave long church in the Gothic style. A 50 metre high freestanding bell tower culminates in a copper-clad pyramid. The interior of the church contains some lovely stained glass and is richly decorated with Christian symbols and signs. It is the third church to be built on the site. The two first ones was destroyed in fires, but an old wooden cross and Axel Ender’s famous “Easter Morning” altarpiece were rescued from the flames.
- The Rose Maiden (Rosepiken). At the Town Hall Square in the “Town of Roses” you can find the bronze statue “Rosepiken”, surrounded by a dancing fountain. The sculpture was a gift to Molde in 1971 from Gotlib Moe. It was sculpted by Ragnhild Butenschøn. Molde Town Hall was completed in 1966 and is the result of an architectural competition won by the architects Cappelen and Rodahl. The roof of the town hall boasts one of the town’s most beautiful rose gardens.
- The rose garden at the Town Hall. Molde Town Hall was completed in 1966 and is the result of an architectural competition won by the architects Cappelen and Rodahl. The roof of the town hall boasts one of the town’s most beautiful rose gardens.
- Aker Stadium. One of Norway’s most modern football stadiums, seating 11 200. The stadium is situated on the waterfront to the west of the town centre and is designed by the Molde architect Kjell Kosberg. It has a granite and glass frontage. The stadium was paid for by Kjell Inge Røkke and Bjørn Rune Gjelsten and cost 212 million Norwegian kroner in 1998.
- Molde Cruise Ship Harbour. Molde has long been a port of call for cruise ships, and the town was one of the main attractions when the first cruise ship with paying passengers visited Norway in 1882. Every summer, 40-50 cruise ships call at Molde Harbour.
- The Royal Birch and the Peace Grove. The place where King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav sought shelter from German bombers in April 1940 when they were being hunted by the German occupying forces. The Peace Grove next to the Royal Birch was founded by Knut Ødegård, president of the Bjørnson Festival in 1997. It symbolises the continuing struggle for freedom, peace and human dignity both today and in the future.
- Moldemarka hiking area. The area to the north of Molde, Moldemarka, is a great walking/skiing area all year round with its network of paths, walking trails and skiing tracks. Several of the forest roads take you into wilderness areas where there are information boards with maps at many of the starting points, as well as signposts along the trails. In winter there are approx. 10 km of prepared skiing tracks and a good 7 km of these are floodlit. Outside the skiing season, the “classic” walk is the Gamle Vardeveg road from the Romsdal Museum via the Storlihytta cabin to Varden (407 m.a.s.). It takes about one hour to reach the top, where in summer you can buy refreshments at the Vardestua restaurant. The eastern part of Moldemarka is easily accessible from the car park at Jensgurulia in Nordbyen. To the west, is the Meekdalen valley and the Kringstadsetra summer pasture farm, while further inland you can walk up to Frænavarden (588 m.a.s.) and Valltua (586 m.a.s.). There are many breathtaking views. Walking maps for Molde and Fræna can be bought in bookshops and at the tourist office.
The fairytale world of Skaret. Skaret is located only ten minutes by car from Molde on RV64. The area is an excellent starting point for those who want to experience nature, culture and handwork traditions. At Skaret you will find old buildings, Norwegian food traditions, handwork, candle factory and activities. In short, the whole place is an adventure. Here, everything is served, from simple home fare to local specialities and abounding feast tables in romantic, rustic surroundings. You will find authentic, handcrafted items including rose-painted artefacts, ceramics, woven articles, clothing, knitware, silverware and plenty of local farm food in the sales exhibits. Skaret also offers an incredible selection of decorative candles from Løiten Lys, the largest producer of handmade candles in Norway. The candlemaking workshop ranges over 3 floors and is one of the most unusual shops in the district. Here you can see how candles are made, tinted and creatively decorated. At Skaret you can visit horses, goats, wild sheep and rabbits throughout the summer. Pony-riding and horse-drawn carriage/sleigh ride can be booked all year. There is also a children’s playground, and an open-air pool which is open during the Norwegian school holiday. The area is an excellent starting point for experiencing the countryside, including nature trails, walking trails, running trails and many fishing lakes.
Bud and the Atlantic Road. Within an hours driving from Molde, you can visit the idyllic fishing village of Bud and the famous Atlantic Road, voted the worlds nicest road by ”The Guardian”. The road zigzags across bridges and rock-fills from island to island right out at the ocean’s edge. It is easy to park your car in one of the many lay-bys and walk a few metres to the smooth coastal rocks and some excellent fishing spots. A stone’s throw or two to the west, the shipping lane crosses the notorious waters of the Hustadvika bay, concealing innumerable wrecks. Many people take a trip out here when the autumn storms start to rage. It is quite a sight when the big waves break beside (and sometimes across) the road! The road workers experienced 12 hurricanes during the construction of the Atlantic Road before it was opened in 1989. Around 1900 as many as 120 people lived on these windswept islands. In 2006 the Atlantic Road was voted Norwegian Structure of the Century.
The Trollstigen Road. Trollstigen, “The Troll Ladder”, is the most visited tourist road in Norway, and is located approximately 65 km outside of Molde. The road twists through 11 hairpin bends as it climbs the steep mountain sides up to Stigrøra (858 m.a.s.). In some places it is cut into the mountain, in others it is built on top of stone walls. An impressive bridge in natural stone carries it across the Stigfossen waterfall. There are several ways to experience this splendour on foot. Try the old Kløvstien path over Trollstigen, which has existed for several hundred years, or the route from Trollstigen over to the Trolltindene peaks. The road is closed during winter and is usually opened at the end of May.
Island hopping on two wheels. This cycling tour starts in Molde and proceeds westwards to the island municipalities of Midsund, Sandøy and Aukra. Between the many islands you can relax on ferries or express boats. The tour continues on the mainland to the fishing village of Bud, across small islands and skerries along the Atlantic Road, and ends with the ferry trip from Averøy to Kristiansund. Take the “Hurtigruten” (express coastal service) back to Molde or northwards to Trondheim. Some parts of the cycling tour take you across flat islands right at the ocean’s edge, with views of the high mountains on the mainland. There is very little traffic on many stretches, but a complete range of services. En route there are also lots of lovely detours you can take if you want to see more of the area. The route, which totals 200 km, is cycled in stages with overnight stops along the way. Along the route you will pass a multitude of campsites, cabins, seahouses and attractive places to eat. Cycle guide with detailed maps, tour descriptions and interesting detours is available at the tourist office in Molde.
Guided mountain trips. Trollstigen and Trollveggen are attractions most people want to visit. Sign up for a guided mountain trip and experience both at the same time! Guided half day- and day trips are arranged in Åndalsnes on scheduled days during the summer season. All of these trips offer you great nature experiences and fantastic viewpoints. The guide speaks Norwegian, English and German, and is a local who knows the area well. His knowledge of different fields ensures a safe day filled with experiences in the Romsdal mountains. For information, contact Åndalsnes Tourist Office.
Roundtrips with Hurtigruten. Daily trips from Molde at 08.00 with bus via Trollstigen, the strawberry village Valldal and the Eagle Road to Geiranger. Enter Hurtigruten and experience the waterfalls ”The seven sisters” and the Geirangerfjord which is one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. A short stay in the Art Nouveau town Ålesund before arrival in the “Town of Roses”, Molde, at 21.30. Many other great daytrips are also offered in the period June - September.
Fjord Magic. Experience the best of Norway in one day - fjords, waterfalls and mountains: Molde-Åndalsnes-Geiranger-Hellesylt-Norangsdalen-Hjørundfjorden-Ålesund-Molde. Daily trips in the summer season. An experience-rich trip by catamaran, bus and ferry.
Activities and sports
Out of town
- Diving at Hustadvika. With its multitude of wrecks and its rich animal- and plant life, the Hustadvika bay is a diver’s paradise. Underwater visibility of 40 to 60 metres is not unusual in the winter, and there is good visibility during the rest of the year too. Diving equipment hire, organised guided boat trips, diving courses and air fills, are offered at the Atlantic Road.
- Surfing at Hustadvika. Wind surfers dreaming of large waves and plenty of wind can realise their dreams at Hustadvika, which is renowned for its "wild nature”. Here, days where the sea is calm are rare.
- 2 Trollkyrkja (Troll's Church), Fræna (road 64). Three limestone/marble caves with underground rivers and waterfalls. 400 meter elevation gain to entrance. The area is rich in marble and limestone. Free.
- Sea rafting. Sea rafting trip in a rubber boat, wearing a survival suit, among the innumerable small islands and skerries. High speed and thrills combined with an experience of coastal scenery at close quarters. The trip provides opportunities for forays ashore, barbecues, bathing and seashore discovery expeditions.
- Sea angling. The island municipalities of Aukra, Midsund and Sandøy are excellent starting points for sea angling trips on boats that are built for the open sea. With a strong, short rod, long line and heavy jigs you can catch cod, wolf fish, cusk, ling, saithe, halibut and various kinds of shark. On the landward side of the islands and in the fjords it is possible to fish from ordinary pleasure craft. Along the whole coast there are many good spots for angling from shore with rods, line and lures.
- Hunting and fishing. Fishing in fresh water is reserved for owner, permission from owner necessary. It is permitted to use most types of fishing equipment in the mountains. Many people use otter boards for fishing in mountain lakes, but most prefer to use a rod. The tackle should be light, with a line that is preferably not much thicker than 0.25 mm and small hooks. Small spinners and spoons also work well. Some mountain lakes are ideal for fly-fishing. The best salmon rivers are Aura in Eikesdalen, Batnfjordselva in Batnfjorden, Eira in Eresfjorden, Hustadelva at Hustad, Malmeelva in Malmefjorden, Moaelva in Sylteosen, Måna in Måndalen, Oselva in Kleiveosen, Rauma in Romsdalen, Tressa in Tresfjorden and Visa in Vistdalen. Sea trout migrate up the Oselva river, and freshwater trout can be fished in the Visa, Moaelva and Hustadelva rivers. Lesja is a unique area for those interested in hunting or fishing. There are over 300 mountain lakes, many of them teeming with fish. A state fishing licence is required and can be purchased at any post office. Fishing permits can be bought locally near the rivers. Annual hunting season for wild reindeer, moose and small game, especially grouse.
- Horses and riding. Vestnes has one of the largest Icelandic pony herds in Norway, and there are several enterprises with holiday- and activity offers. Icelandic pony-riding holidays lasting several daya are available, as well as hour long- and day trips.
- Eikrem Golf Course. By Henden Farm, 5 km east of Molde town centre, you will find Eikrem Golf Course with a panoramic view over the fjord and the mountains. Full 9-hole course, par 72, 5470 m. Driving range, putting green, three par-3 practice holes, PGA-pro, pro shop and club- and buggy hire. Open May–October.
- Åndalsnes Golf Course. This hilly 9-hole course lies in beautiful surroundings at Setnesmoen near Åndalsnes. Not many are aware that this was where golf started in Norway. The English salmon lords held golf tournaments in Åndalsnes as early as 1905, on the site of the current golf course. Open May-Oct.
- Ski and snowboard. Bjorli is renowned for its long winters with guaranteed snow. Bjorli has expanded its lift capacity with a 6-seat express chairlift. Beside the chairlift, there are three ski lifts and two children's’ lifts. The mountain also features a 3,5 km green slope. The centre has a total of 20 km of downhill runs, with a total altitude difference of 650 m. Bjorli is a centre that suits everyone: Families with small children, carving enthusiasts and those who want to go off-piste. Bjorli also has approx. 90 km of prepared and marked cross-country tracks in both mountain- and woodland terrain.
- Both skiing centres has a halfpipe, children’s slide, sledging slope, ski school, ski workshop, skiers’ café and ski hire. Cross-country and Telemark enthusiasts can buy skiing maps with marked suggestions at tourist information offices.
- Other skiing centres in the region:
- Rauma Skisenter (Skorgedalen=
- Ørskogfjell Skisenter
- Mountain hiking . There are countless opportunities for mountain walking in Molde and Romsdal, both short walks suitable for families and more demanding summit hikes for more experienced walkers. Check out the municipalities’ web sites for suggestions.
- Extreme sport. It is emphatically not safe to take part in any of the following extreme sports if you don’t have the necessary experience and skills:
- Base jumping. The mountains of the Romsdalen and Eikesdalen valleys are some of the best places in the world for base jumping. Kalskråtinden, Gridsetskolten and Unionsveggen are popular exit points in Romsdalen. In Eikesdalen, there is Strandkolvet (Katthammaren), Aurstupet and Vikesaksa. In Julsundet, 10 km west of Molde, you can jump from Ravnfloget. Base jumping from the Trollveggen wall is prohibited. All base jumping in the region is at own risk.
- Mountaineering and peak climbing. In summer you can choose between climbing, abseiling and peak climbing. Romsdalshorn, Vengetind and Juratind are the most popular peaks for climbing. The ascent of the Litlefjellet mountain, continuing up the north wall of Romsdalshorn is the most usual, with climbing the last 300 metres. Contact the tourist information for further tour suggestions.
Tusten Skiheiser is a 10 minute drive from Molde town centre. The alpine skiing centre is built around 3 lifts, and offers up to 20 km of prepared pistes, 3 km of which are floodlit. The 15 slopes have varying degrees of difficulty, ranging from beginners to very difficult. The centre also has a 3,5 km2 ungroomed mountain area for off-piste.
- Moldejazz. 14–19 Jul 2014. This international jazz festival was established in 1961. Concerts from kr 150 to kr 680 (some concerts are free), Day pass: kr 785, Week pass kr 2975.
Storgata is Molde’s shopping street with shops and services of all kinds. Here you can find MoldeTorget, a shopping centre with 42 shops. From the centre it is just a short stroll to the town’s biggest shopping centre, Amfi Roseby, with 50 shops. There are souvenirs to be bought in some of the shops along the Storgata street, and local handcrafted items can be found in speciality shops. If you are looking for something special, farm food products of various kinds can be purchased at selected distributors and on market days in the centre.
The centre of Molde has a variety of tempting indoor and outdoor restaurants, cafés and coffee bars. Here are some of them:
- Burger King (fast food).
- Café MoldeTorget (café).
- China House Restaurant (Chinese).
- Dolly Dimples (pizza and more).
- Egon (restaurant).
- Fole Godt (bakery).
- Gimle (traditional).
- Kneipen (café).
- Milano Restaurant (Italian).
- Molde Fjordstuer (fish and more).
- Opus (café).
- Outzen (bakery).
- Peppes Pizza (pizza and more).
- Petrines Pizza (pizza and more).
- Quick Bite (fast food).
- Rød (café).
- Skippy's (fast food).
- Vardestua (café/restaurant).
- Vertshuset (restaurant).
- Vinsj (lunch).
- Sportspuben 1911, Storgata 1-7. Football pub
- BarAlex, Storgata 1-7 (At Quality Hotel Alexandra).
- Bare Blå, Rød and Mørkerød, Storgata 19.
- Dockside. Pub with outdoor area in the summer.
- Lille. Lounge
- Løkta (At Molde Fjordstuer).
- Kompagniet. Discothèque
- Storseilet Bar (14th floor of Rica Seilet Hotel). Bar
- Tangenten. Pianobar
- Vinsj. Bar
In the area around Molde you will find a wide selection of accommodation possibilities, from luxurious hotels to rustic seaside cottages, and a variety of cabins, holiday houses, "rorbuer" and camping sites. All hotels offer weekend prices all year and a breakfast included. In addition to private accommodation, there are six hotels and one camping site in the centre of Molde:
- 1 Kviltorp Camping, Fannestrandv. 142, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tent: kr 125, Cabin: kr 475-1900 (mandatory cleaning: kr 50-300, bed linen: kr 65).
- 2 Bjølstad Camping, Malmefjorden (Bus from Molde for kr 41), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tent: kr 100.
- 3 Molde Hostel (Molde Vandrerhjem), Raumavegen 2-4 (2 km west of the city centre), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open only in the summer months (approx. June–August). Dorm: kr 300, Double: kr 700-800.
- 4 Molde Library (Molde bibliotek), Gørvellplassen 1 (Can be found just of the main street in the culture centre known as "Plassen"). M–Th 10:00–19:00, F 10:00–16:00, Sa 10:00–15:00. Free usage of computers and Wi-Fi. Printing is also available for a fee.
Wireless Internet is also available in several restaurants and cafés.
You can use the lockers inside the bus station (Trafikkterminalen) for kr 20.
- Kristiansund - Northbound
- Ålesund - Southbound
- Åndalsnes - south and east, direction Lillehammer and Oslo
- Trondheim - short route via Sunndal and Oppdal
|Routes through Molde|
|END ← Trondheim ←||N S||→ Ålesund → Bergen|