Are you visiting Norway soon and thinking about embarking on Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen? Well, if there’s only one thing that you absolutely must do while you’re in Norway, then that thing would be the Norway in a Nutshell excursion. Without any sliver of doubt.
Here’s the thing, if you’re traveling from Oslo to Bergen (or from Bergen to Oslo), there’s no better way to travel. Instead of taking the standard (and boring) direct flight or train from Oslo to Bergen, we opted to splurge a bit on a ticket to the real Norway, fjord Norway, with Norway in a Nutshell. A direct train or flight from Oslo to Bergen is expensive as it is, so when you consider the value of also seeing beautiful Norwegian towns, like Myrdal and Voss, and cruising through one of Norway’s most beautiful fjords, it’s actually worth the money, and then some, to make the trip from Oslo to Bergen with Norway in a Nutshell. This is a day that we’ll remember forever, and if we’d simply taken a flight from Point A to Point B, we’d have robbed ourselves of what was probably our best day in Norway. If we’d have missed out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience to see the boundless natural beauty that is Norway, there hardly would have been a reason to visit at all.
On the morning of our Norway in a Nutshell tour, we woke up bright and early, at about 7:00, and caught the train from Oslo Central Station, heading to Bergen on the Bergen Railway. This leg of the trip was about four hours long and it was the “ugliest” part of the tour. By this, I mean that as we continued on our journey to Bergen, the land became greener, the fjords higher, the mountain peaks snowier, and the water clearer; the further we traveled, the more beautiful the scenery became.
I should rephrase that statement, though, because the beginning of the ride was ugly by no means, it was gorgeous, however, the sweeping views of the tall snow-capped mountains and deep blue fjords to come were so unbelievably beautiful, that the beginning of the trip looked like a joke.
After traveling with Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen, I completely understand why this voyage is regarded as one of the most scenic train rides on the planet, and it should not be missed. Even if you have to scrounge your pockets and your bank accounts to come up with every last penny, you cannot skip this tour.
At about 13:00, we arrived in Myrdal and we changed trains for the Flåm Railway. This is where the landscape went from beautiful to mind-blowingly, insanely gorgeous. Did I use enough impressive adjectives? Well, the truth is, it’s hard to explain what I felt and what I saw as we chugged along the Flåm Railway; I would occasionally glimpse up and realize that the mountain peaks towering above me were out of sight, because they were just too tall and grand, and I was just too small. And then I’d gaze down below me to see the most precious Norwegian houses painted in reds, whites, and yellows atop green, lively grass, surrounded by water in all forms – streams, waterfalls, lakes, fjords – and little, old boats waiting to set sail.
Next, we arrived in Flåm, a darling town that I hope to revisit sometime during the summer to go camping, hiking, water rafting, and canyoning. Anyway, we had a bit of time before embarking on the next leg of the trip, the fjord cruise to Gudvangen, so we perused the little town and grabbed a bite to eat. When we boarded the boat, we quickly chose seats at the front of the boat, though the seats didn’t really matter. Who wants to sit sedentarily and only see what’s ahead, when you’re cruising through the Norwegian fjords?! No one! You want to look up, down, side to side, front, back, and anywhere else you can, to make sure that you take in as much of the surrounding beauty as possible. By far, this was the most spectacular part of the tour, cruising through the fjords on deep blue, freezing water, past little towns built atop vibrant, green meadows and between sky-high, snow-dusted mountains. It does not get better than this.
Next, we arrived in Gudvangen and boarded a bus that would take us to our last train of the day, riding on the Bergen Railway, to our final destination: Bergen. At this point, we were wiped out, totally depleted of any last drop of energy. It had already been a long day, and we still had a little while to go, but we didn’t dare nap, not in the midst of the kind of scenery that you cannot even imagine in your wildest dreams, the kind of scenery that we may never have the chance to see again.
From beginning to end, our journey with Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen stunned me. My jaw dropped an unthinkable amount of times in the presence of such unbelievably beautiful scenes that actually exist here, on our planet. Who knew such magnificence was possible? All I know is that our travel day with Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen exceeded any expectation I had for my trip to Norway in just one day, and the experience definitely beat out a quick flight or train ride from one destination to the next. There is no better way to see Norway than with Norway in a Nutshell, and as I stated before, if you can only do one thing in Norway, this would be that thing.
Norway in a Nutshell from Oslo to Bergen itinerary
(1630 NOK or about $208 USD)
- At 8:25 AM we departed from Oslo by train on the Bergen Railway
- At 12:59 PM we arrived in Myrdal
- At 13:27 PM we departed from Myrdal by train on the Flåm Railway
- At 14:25 PM we arrived in Flåm
- At 15:10 PM we departed from Flåm by boat for a fjord cruise
- At 17:20 PM we arrived in Gudvangen
- At 17:25 PM we departed from Gudvangen by bus
- At 18:20 PM we arrived in Voss
- At 19:40 PM we departed Voss by train on the Bergen Railway
- At 21:04 PM we arrived in Bergen
What to Pack for Norway
Norwegians tend to dress very well even in the winter. Keep in mind that the season of your visit to Norway will help determine what you need to pack. Winter gets VERY cold!
Of course, summer is warmer in Norway, and you can dress as you would in this part of Europe. But as expected the winter is very cold. Always bring a beautiful coat in winter!
Here are a few top tips of what to wear in Norway:
- Wool coat: During the colder months a beautiful wool coat is essential for style and practicality. You will fit in with the locals with this one. For the deeper parts of winter a down jacket is needed as an extra layer.
- Comfortable boots: As expected, you’ll walk a lot in Norway, so opt for a comfortable but stylish boot that you’ve worn in. You can’t go wrong with a smart Chelsea boot, like these. In the winter pair with good socks to keep extra warm. For hiking bring good hiking boots.
- Hat, scarf, and gloves: For the winter you absolutely need these to keep warm
- Camera: There are too many beautiful things to see in Norway, you’ll want to take plenty of photos.
- Sunscreen: Nothing spoils your trip (and your photos!) more than sunburn. Remember to prepare with a good, natural sunscreen, even in the winter the sun is strong here so stay protected.
- Reusable water bottle: Remember to keep hydrated during your adventures; it can’t all be wine and coffee all the time! Bring a reusable water bottle so you can keep topped up.
- Tote bag: For those souvenirs and treasures found on your travels
- Travel insurance: As with any trip, you should ALWAYS purchase travel insurance in case anything goes wrong. I’ve had my fair share of travel mishaps!
Quick Tips for Norway
- HOTEL: I use this website for scoring amazing deals on accommodation worldwide. Find amazing deals on Oslo accommodation here.
- HOSTELWORLD: If you’re traveling on a budget, this is the best website to score cheap hostel deals.
- VACATION RENTAL: I use this site for finding the perfect vacation rental for an unforgettable getaway.
- TRAVEL INSURANCE: Never go on a trip without travel insurance! It isn’t worth the risk if something goes wrong.
- GUIDED TOURS & EXCURSIONS: Many of the tours I recommend are hosted with Viator, which also works with local tour operators. Search them all here. I recommend picking up the Oslo Pass to make things a little more affordable.
- CHEAP FLIGHTS: Get great deals on flights using my favorite flight fare aggregator.
- TRAVEL GEAR: A collection of all of my must-have travel gear are all listed here. Most important to remember is comfortable shoes and a warm hat.
- CAR RENTAL: If you plan to explore a lot renting a car is a more efficient option to get to the harder to reach places. You can book car rental in advance here for the best deals.