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Ideas for day train trips from Oslo in May

I'm visiting Norway in mid-May, landing in Oslo on the first night. The next morning I'll be taking the train to Bergen and staying for 3 nights. (I've booked non-refundable tickets so I cannot extend my time in Bergen.) After, I'll return to Oslo and be there for 6 nights. I feel like 6 nights will be too much Oslo, but I don't think I have it in me to take another long train trip.

What are some shorter day train trips I could take from Oslo? I was thinking Lillehammer might be a good choice, but what else am I not considering?? I would prefer to take a train because I do not have a driver's license.

I will be in Norway for May 17th, the National Norwegian Holiday – what city is best to be in for that day? Oslo?

Thank you for your help in advance!

Posted by
21334 posts

Are you doing a trip into a fjord while you're in Bergen? Especially if not, you could spend a night or two in fjord country on the way back from Bergen. That seems like a good use of one or two nights since you have extras. I think I could amuse myself for six nights in Oslo, but I like to spend a lot of time walking through different neighborhoods, and I enjoy museums, and few others have suggested spending that much time there.

I have notes put together for a trip to Scandinavia that didn't happen in 2020. They say the town of Frederikstad is pretty. It has a nice waterfront and an historic fort. It's a popular weekend getaway for folks living in Oslo. The train takes about an hour.

Another possibility would be some sort of boat trip on the Oslo Fjord, though it isn't as dramatic as the ones farther west. The fjord town of Drobak is said to be nice. Boats go there, but sporadically, so bus would probably be better. The information I have is that Bus 541 or 542 would get you there in about an hour; and there are two buses per hour, departing from behind Sentralstasjon. Tickets are cheaper if you don't buy them from the driver, but my notes are silent on precisely where one should buy them.

Finally, this is from my notes on Lillehammer. I haven't been there, so this could be very wrong:

Worthwhile only for excellent Maihaugen Open-Air Folk Museum. Norwegian Olympics Museum has sparse English and is just a back-up rainy-day activity. City does have “two happy, old, woody pedestrian zones (Gagata and Storgata)”. Gudbrandsdal Valley not as scenic as fjord area to west. Fun eateries in town center (try Elvegata on both sides of Gagata) are better food sources than at Maihaugen.

Good luck with your trip. Norway's so expensive that it's smart to plan ahead so you can use your time efficiently. I'm usually a wing-it traveler, but I won't be doing much of that in Norway.

Posted by
5793 posts

Six days in Oslo would be a lot of relaxation time. If your goal is to maximize seeing and doing, three full days (four nights) would be enough time in Oslo. Consider the 72 hour "Oslo Card": https://www.visitoslo.com/en/activities-and-attractions/oslo-pass/

We have not experienced May 17 in Norway but understand it s a big celebration. Oslo would be the place to experience May 17 with Karl Johansgate the place to be. However, expect a lot of closures because the Norwegians will be celebrating. Plan on May 17 before of after your 3-day Oslo Card.

In place of the Bergan line train Oslo to Bergen, have you looked into/considered the Norway in a Nutshell multimode tour with an overnight stop midway? Joy is the journey and not neccesarily just the destination. https://www.norwaynutshell.com/original-tour/

For other ideas look though the Norwegian TI website: https://www.visitnorway.com/

Posted by
3375 posts

Fredrikstad is a good suggestion. Halden can also be an option.