The Real Norwegian Towns That Inspired Frozen
After watching Frozen and the upcoming Frozen 2, every child (and a lot of adults for that matter) will desperately wish they could visit the enchanting world of the Disney film. Even though you can’t simply just stumble into Arendelle and join Anna and Elsa on their daring adventures, but you can get pretty close when you book a tour to Norway.
Most of the places depicted in Frozen are based on actual Norwegian destinations. These towns contain all the magic of a fairytale, so when you visit them, you’ll feel like you’re entering the world of your favorite ice queen.
Thanks to Bergen’s UNESCO Heritage Site status, it is widely considered one of the most beautiful towns in the world. Fittingly, it was the main inspiration behind the magical kingdom of Arendelle in Frozen.
Although the name of the kingdom is derived from a different Norwegian town, Arendal, the architecture and landscape of the kingdom are taken from Bergen, with a few other elements added from other Norwegian towns.
Specifically, the wharf of Bryggen includes a series of incredible shops and restaurants that are extremely colorful and provide a modern take on the historical roots of Norwegian architecture. Their influence can be seen throughout the kingdom of Arendelle, before it was frozen over, of course.
Although the majority of the kingdom of Arendelle was inspired by Bergen, there are a couple structures throughout the kingdom that are reminiscent of locations in other parts of Norway. For example, the castle where Elsa and Anna grew up is inspired by the Akershus Fortress in Oslo.
This half a century-old castle has a distinct style and design (such as the recognizable patterns of wood and brick on the outside of the castle) that are readily visible in the Frozen movies. The likeness is so uncanny, you may find yourself forgetting that Anna and Elsa don’t actually live there.
Norsk Folkemuseum, located in Oslo, also served as the inspiration for some elements in the Frozen movies. The actual building of the Norsk Folkemuseum is not included in the movie. Rather, the replicas of traditional garments that are displayed inside are worn by various characters throughout the movies.
While the exterior of the Arendelle castle was mostly inspired by the Akershus Fortress, in order to see the place that influenced the inside of the castle, you have to travel to the city of Trondheim. Here, you’ll come across the royal residence of Stiftsgården.
This impressive 18th-century building is one of the largest wooden structures in Scandinavia. You will almost definitely feel the incredible urge to break into song as soon as you step through the ornate front doors.
Part of what makes Arendelle so gorgeous is that it is located at the base of a fjord. However, it is not just any fjord. The fjord that frames Arendelle was, in fact, inspired by Nærøyfjord. This is one of the branches of Norway's longest fjord, Sognefjord. It contains a flowing river that twists through a valley surrounded by gorgeous towering mountains. In fact, the fjord is so beautiful that it was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Some specific similarities can be spotted in wide shots of the Arendelle kingdom throughout the Frozen movies. The scene where it is most prominently featured, is when Sven and Kristoff attempt to cross the frozen fjord and Sven saves Kristoff from falling through the ice.
When it comes to Norwegian locations that influenced the Frozen movies, the town of Røros is unique because Disney adapted some of its elements for the movies, but there is no specific town or location in the films that significantly resembles Røros.
This is because the town was the main inspiration for the crystals and magic powers possessed by Elsa. Due to the intense but gorgeous winter weather of this Norwegian town, it allowed the creators of Frozen to envision a magical ability that harnessed its brutal natural force.
Experience the Frozen Universe in Norway
Together, these real Norwegian locations served as the inspiration behind the world-renowned Frozen films. With locations spread all across the country, there's a lot of real-life inspiration to encounter. With Fjords Tours you experience these locations with transport, experiences and accommodation covered. With us, you get to live the fairytale - all on one ticket!