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Finding Arendelle

The magical surroundings from Frozen are inspired by locations from the actual world – more precisely, Norway.

Arendelle is inspired by the name of the Norwegian city Arendal. Arendal is located in the idyllic south coast of Norway, surrounded by sea and archipelago. The southern Norwegian gem is a typical example of the Norwegian summer idyll with charming sailing boats bobbing along the harbor, enjoyable beaches, beautiful green areas and church sprouts looming over the landscape.

Arendal, Aust-Agder. Norway - February 2015. Pollen bay water in Norwegian city of Arendal. A thin layer of ice on water. Around the buildings Region Aust-Agder. North Sea Coast.

Pollen – maybe the best place in Arendal.

Arendal is no particulary big town, but in spite of that it is “the largest shopping center in the open air”, in addition to having a larger mall. After a long day of shopping it is perhaps time for a better meal. The port area Pollen is Arendal’s natural epicenter. Here you will find several restaurants suitable for visitors of all ages. This is also the perfect place eat shrimp and other seafood in the fresh ocean breeze, or enjoy the sunset in idyllic surroundings.

Arendal, like the rest of the Norwegian southern towns, is known for living in the summer and sleeping during the winter. However, it is a growing town which in recent years evolved to become an even bigger mecca for tourists and residents.  

Top 5 things to see and do


1. Merdø  Hot spot number one for the locals during summer season in Arendal is to take a ferry or a boat to the idyllic and car-free island Merdø. Bring a picnic basket and take a short hike among beautiful and quiet surroundings along southern wooden houses, narrow paths and sandy beaches. There is a museum open during the summer holiday with yours every hour from mid-day.


2. Canal Street

This is the one of Norway’s finest music festivals with one special trademark; The concerts are held in various and special arenas to create new musical encounters and magical moments. Canal Street has its roots from jazz and blues and will in 2016 be held for the 20th time.

3. Tromøya Tromøya is the largest island in the south of Norway and is located directly across the harbour from Arendal. Here you can find Hove climbing park which is open for drop-in every Sunday from Easter to the end of September, or booking for groups all year. Here you can move from tree to tree by zip-liner up to a 100 meter, balance on 9 meter logs and big ladders. There is also a separate trail for children.

4. Vitensenteret Sørlandet

Vitensenteret, in english the science centre, is a recreation and learning centre for children and youth. It is located on the waterfront in the center of Arendal. The centre is filles with exciting experiments and interactive installations which is fun and educational for young and old. Here you can run in the hamster wheel, test whether you can lift yourself, experimenting with turbines and much more.


View over Store Torongen and Lille Torongen.

5. Torongen fyr

The best view of the ocean and archipelago is from the two Torongen lighthouses. Lille Torungen lighthouse is located on a small island about 5.2 km outside Arendal. Store Torungen is another 1.4 km further out at sea.

Top 10 restaurants

1. Kitchen&Table Menu inspired by the multicultural Manhattan, both from the international and traditional cuisine.

2. Blom Restaurant Sophisticated dining experience, great culinary classics, exciting creations and expertly designed menus reflecting the freshest seasonal ingredients.

3. Symposium Traditional greek food, central location and plenty of outdoor seating.

4. Cafe Victor. Harbor and ocean view, a variety of dishes and good coffee (which is hard to find in Norway).

5. Solsiden Brassierie. Tapas restaurant at Pollen (the brew).

6. Gorr Go Mad Daily changing menu based on sesional produces.

7. No.1 Sportsbar. Showing sportsevents while serving traditional “sports bar” food like hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches etc.

8. Marco polo. Chinese food

9. Restaurant Steenhuset. Norwegian food.

10. Trommestadtunet. Norwegian food.


Strand Hotel Fevik

Top hotels in Arendal 

Beach hotel: Strand Hotel Fevik i Grimstad

Hotel on the waterfront of Arendal: Clarion Hotel Tyholmen

Hotels in the heart of Arendal: Thon Hotel and Arendal Maritime Hotel

Spa hotel: Arendal Herregaard Spa & Resort

Many people all over the world wants to see the astonishing fjords and phenomenal mountains portrayed in the movie. The landscape illustrated in Frozen has indeed put Norway on the list of the best family destinations. However, Arendal has not been the only inspiration. Bergen – the city of 7 mountains – in Norway’s western fjordland, is the specific inspiration for the setting of Arendelle. You can read more about Bergen in this article.