What’s So Special About Røros, Norway?


Røros had been at the top of my list of places to go in Norway for years before I visited. And after finally visiting Røros I now find myself recommending it to everyone! I first visited Røros in May, and then more recently in January.

You might have heard of Røros as one of Norway’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s an old copper mining town founded in 1644, and now one of the oldest towns of wooden houses in Europe.

Røros is also now a center for handcrafts and known as the “local food capital of Norway,” a title which does seem to be deserved judging from the organic Røros milk, butter, and other products I’m always seeing on offer in supermarkets in Norway. Like if I didn’t know anything about Røros I’d probably at least recognize the name from having worked in a supermarket.

But I had heard of Røros before, because I work in travel, but also because my mother is a big fan! She has always said it’s her favorite place in Norway, so I’m not sure why it took me so long to visit.

winter in Røros Norway

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Getting to Røros

Røros is about a two hour drive from Trondheim and five hours from Oslo. But the great thing about Røros is that it’s also on the train line. You can check the train schedule here. If I hadn’t been on a longer road trip both times I visited, I would have taken the train, as you don’t need a car to get around Røros, plus the train station is right downtown.

When I returned to Røros in the winter I drove up from Oslo, spending a night in Gudbrandsdalen, famous for Gudbrandsdalsost, the original brown cheese dating back to 1863. And I have to mention the lovely cabin I stayed at there because it was not only the perfect stopover on the way to Røros from Oslo, but I think it’s one of my favorite pet friendly places I’ve stayed in Norway! They even have a sauna. You can book the cabin here.

Gudbrandsdalen cabin

Gudbrandsdalen cabin

Things to do in Røros

Now, I’ve always thought of Røros as more of a winter destination, as pretty much every photo I had seen of the town before visiting featured a horse drawn sleigh on snowy streets, but when I first visited I was happy to find that Røros is lovely in May as well. Though I will admit that Røros is extra special in the winter blanketed in snow.

Røros in winter

Downtown Røros is quite small and walkable, and wow what a beautiful walk it is.

The main attraction is probably the main shopping street Kjerkgata, which you might recognize from Netflix! Home for Christmas was filmed here.

And while walking up Kjerkgata I could see how the town must be extra magical during Christmas. Being inland Røros gets lots of snow in the winter (in fact there was even still some snow on the ground in late May), and even in the spring the little shops reminded me of the holidays.

visit røros, norway

When I returned in mid-January I was delighted to see many Christmas decorations still up on the main street. Now I really want to go back in December!

Røros main street in winter

Christmas in Røros Norway

I was also so pleased to see how many people still use spark sleds to get around town. I have fond memories of riding a spark around town as a little kid in Telemark.

spark sled Røros Norway

Røros library in winter

After Kjerkgata you can head over to the Røros Museum to see more of Røros’s oldest buildings. They’ve set up some QR codes outside that you can scan for more information about the town and its mining history, which made a great addition to my little Røros walking tour. You can also visit the museum’s main building Smelthytta, built on the ruins of Røros Copper Work’s last smelter, which burned down in 1975.

visit roros, norway

snow in Røros

roros, norway

Røros in January

January in Røros, Norway

Røros has so many cosy little bakeries and restaurants. On my January visit I had my dog Alfie with me so I couldn’t stop in any of them, but during my May visit I had lunch at Trygstad Bakeri, which I loved. I had a shrimp salad that I’m still dreaming about. Seriously, I’m not generally a salad lover but this one was so good, you should definitely get it if you come to Røros. Or at least stop into the bakery, as it’s a really cosy spot with a nice outdoor space in the back.

shrimp salad trygstad bakeri røros, norway trygstad bakeri røros norge

Where to stay in Røros

My favorite place to stay in Røros was definitely my accommodation during my May visit. I stayed at Ålbyggården, which I initially had hesitated to book because it seemed a bit expensive. But oh my goodness, I’m so glad I went ahead and splurged because it was definitely worth it. I would have loved to stay here again on my January trip, but they don’t allow pets (I stayed here instead).

Ålbyggården is an old barn that has been renovated into the most beautiful holiday home, complete with a fireplace, kitchen, and even piano. I loved all of the special Røros touches, from the carefully chosen home decor to the handcrafted ceramic sink made by the property manager who also happens to work as a potter.

The bathroom was also super fancy, which is always how I judge the quality of a hotel stay. Oh and it’s right downtown on the main street, next to the famous church. Check current rates and availability at Ålbyggården here.

Ålbyggården Røros Norway albyggarden roros, norway hotel Ålbyggården Røros Norge

I only spent two nights in Røros on each visit and though of course I could have happily stayed longer, I did feel like two days was a good amount of time to get a feel for the town. I know a lot of people also visit Røros as a day trip from Trondheim, but I would try to spend at least one night here so you have time to enjoy the town.

And if you’re wondering if Røros is worth adding to your itinerary, I would say that it’s a wonderful look into  Norway’s inland culture. I certainly found it interesting to learn about a town built on an industry other than fishing. The building style is also quite different from the homes you’ll see on the Norwegian coast, so a stop in Røros would add a new dimension to your experience of Norway and Norwegian culture.

The drive out here (or the ride along the train line) is also a beautiful journey in itself. And if you’re a foodie you’ll have a lot of local products to sample here.

And then after Røros I made the long drive out to the coast to Kristiansund, which quite surprised me!

Røros at night

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