Back in the day, Røros was an important mining town in Norway. Founded in 1644, the authentic wooden buildings today help maintain this historic city’s unique character and traditional Norwegian charm. In 1980, Røros earned a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage List and in 2013, it became recognized as a Sustainable Destination in Norway. Every December, the town puts on a spectacular Christmas market and the streets transform into a winter wonderland with a magical atmosphere. This year, I decided to make the 10-hour roundtrip journey by train from Oslo to experience Røros at Christmas for myself.
I arrived in Røros a couple of hours before the official opening of the Christmas market, so I used the time to explore the town. Walking the streets of Røros is straight out of a fairytale. The colorful buildings, the old white church, and the remains from the mining days make for a very quaint town. The cafes are lively, the streets are decorated, and the locals get around by kick sled all winter long. I was lucky that the weather was just around freezing because Røros is known to be cold, with a record low of -50.6°C! Suddenly I heard the Christmas parade in the distance and I knew it was time for the festivities to begin.
Leading the parade was Santa Claus himself, with a reindeer by his side and a sleigh full of children in tow. It didn’t take long before the whole town had gathered in Bergmannsgata to follow the parade to the snow stage, where both speakers and singers offered a warm welcome to all those in attendance. The annual Christmas market is very special to Røros and the community sees it as a chance to share the town’s traditions with others. It was clear to everyone that the locals are very proud of the place they call home.
Once Christmas in Røros was officially underway, the crowds flocked to the market stalls. Trade, art, and craftsmanship are embedded in the Røros culture, which was evident in the things the vendors were selling. As one of the leading regions for locally produced food in Norway, Røros also prides itself on its selection of fresh produce and natural ingredients – from reindeer meat to gingerbread cookies. After glancing at all the crafts and sampling some goodies, it was sadly time to board the train back to Oslo. It was a long day of travel for a short visit, but the experience was well worth the journey!
Will I be seeing you at next year’s Christmas market in Røros?