Molde: Norway’s City of Roses

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Not only on a cruise, but also on a road trip through Norway, you shouldn’t miss this stopover: Molde. The relaxed fjord town, also known as the “City of Roses”, is located between Trolligsten and the Atlantic Road. It offers the perfect mix of nature experiences and cultural attractions.

Where is Molde?

Between fjord, mountain panorama and rose gardens: this is where the city of Molde is located. Not only is it the administrative centre of the Norwegian province of Møre og Romsdal and home to around 25 thousand inhabitants, it also has a lot to offer in terms of scenery. Molde is located on the northern shore of the Moldefjord, a branch of the Romsdalsfjord. It became known as Rosens by, which translates as “city of roses”, because roses grow here despite the northern location, which is due to the mild climate.

Molde lies between the harbours of Ålesund and Kristiansund on the route of the Hurtigruten ships travelling up the Norwegian west coast.

Molde harbour cruise ship
Cruise ships anchor in Molde harbour.

Molde: sights & activities

There is a good reason for a stopover in Molde: There are various sights and activities to experience in the Norwegian city.

Viewpoint on Varden mountain

Mountain panoramas are guaranteed in Molde, as there are not only two mountains in the city itself, but also around 222 peaks outside the city gates – the Romsdal Alps.

The 407 metre high Varden mountain offers an impressive view of the snow-covered peaks and the fjord landscape. The foot of Varden can be reached in just ten minutes by car from the city centre. Alternatively, a hike up to Varden is well worthwhile. If you start at the Romsdal Museum, the route is mostly on gravelled paths and takes around 2 hours. At the top, you will not only be rewarded with the view, but can also fortify yourself for the return journey in the restaurant there.

Molde mountain panorama
Mountain panorama in Molde

Romsdal Museum

The Romsdal Museum is not only a good starting point for hikes. Here you can learn about the history of the Norwegian region of Møre og Romsdal. The open-air museum comprises 35 reconstructed historical buildings and is just a 10-minute walk from the town centre.

The houses are surrounded by lovingly landscaped parks. You can explore the museum on your own or book a guided tour.

Cathedral church

Molde Cathedral, or Molde Domkirke in Norwegian, was built in 1957 as the fourth church on the same site, as all the previous ones had fallen victim to fires. It is the region’s Evangelical Lutheran Episcopal church. The free-standing bell tower with its pyramid roof stands out architecturally.

Rose gardens

Molde roses
Roses bloom everywhere in Molde in summer.

The rose gardens, which gave the city its nickname, are of course also worth seeing. Between June and August, roses bloom both in the city centre and in the city gardens.

Keep your eyes peeled: In Molde you can find the flowers on almost every corner, whether at the town hall, stadium or on the facades of houses.

Jazz festival

Every year, Molde hosts Europe’s oldest jazz festival, known as “Moldejazz”. Since 1961, around 120 concerts have taken place in one week in July, including some from other musical genres. It gets particularly crowded in Molde during this time, with up to 100,000 visitors expected each year.

Molde FK

Football fans might be familiar with Molde – the city is home to Molde FK, one of Norway’s best-known football clubs, which also regularly plays in international European competitions. With five championships (most recently in 2022) and six cup wins (most recently in 2023), the club is one of the most successful in Norway. Its best-known former player is Erling Haaland – the Manchester City star striker played here from 2017 to 2018 before moving abroad.

Molde FK plays its home games at the Aker Stadium, which has a capacity of 11,249 spectators. A visit to a match is certainly recommended for football fans and groundhoppers.

How to get to Molde

You can easily get to Molde on a cruise, for example with the Hurtigruten. But you can also make a stop in Molde on a road trip through Norway, as the Atlantic Road (Atlanterhavsveien in Norwegian) starts here. Voted the most beautiful motorway in the world, the road includes eight bridges and leads past islands and skerries.


Holiday homes in Molde

If you are looking for quiet accommodation all to yourself, a holiday home is the right choice. There are individual houses in Molde that are not located directly in the centre, but are surrounded by Norwegian nature. They are particularly suitable for families or larger groups.

Molde: Hotels and camping

There are a few hotels in Molde, the best known of which is probably the Scandic Hotel Rica Seilet.

Rica Seilet hotel
The modern Hotel Rica Seilet is the architectural highlight of Molde.

Due to its location on the fjord with a view of the Romsdal Alps and its architectural shape, which is reminiscent of a sailing ship, it is a popular photo motif. The hotel is the tallest building in the city, so you have a fantastic view from the restaurant on the top floor.

There are three other hotels in the centre of Molde. Kviltorp Camping is also not far from the city centre and is located directly on the Fannefjord. You can also rent cabins and lake houses here.

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