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Itinerary check please: Oslo to Bergen

Hubby and I will be in Norway September 6 - 13. I have been reading all of the posts about Norway in a Nutshell, but have decided to schedule the trains, boats and busses myself. I just want to make sure this works.

September 8: train to Flam, via Myrdal.
September 8: spend the night in Flam
September 9: Flam Railway trip in the morning; Boat from Flam to Gudvangen;
Bus from Gudvangen to Bergen

Spend 4 nights in Bergen

I have read that you can also take the bus from Gudvangen to Voss, then train to Bergen. Is this better than train all the way to Bergen?

Will this work? Anything I should add?

Thanks again for your input.

Posted by
6282 posts

Any reason for the Flåmsbana trip in the morning on the 9th?

But it certainly looks like it will work. I'd suggest train from Voss to Bergen. The train is more comfortable and probably a bit faster.

Posted by
548 posts

Badger - no special reason. Now that you mention it, makes more sense to do it when we get to Flam.
Thank you

Posted by
14905 posts

From Myrdal to Flam, you take the Flam Railway.

There is no train from Gudvangen to Voss. It's by bus.

Posted by
548 posts

Thanks Frank, I was just looking at that before I saw your reply.

We’re now considering doing it all in one day. Is it a mistake - totally exhausting?

The hotel I wanted to stay at in Flam isn’t available on the date I wanted.

Posted by
1643 posts

There's a bus from Gudvangen to Voss and then a train to Bergen, as you said. (We did this trip in reverse.)

Posted by
14905 posts

It's a very tiring one day trip but it can be done.

I stayed one night at the Fretheim Hotel in Flam. Excellent buffet dinner. A few minutes walk to the train and ferry.

As BB noted, it bus to Voss then train to Bergen.

Posted by
8116 posts

We took the Norway in a Nutshell ending in Bergen via high speed boat. It was an all day trip but very much worth it.

And when we got to Bergen, we found the most beautiful young adults we've ever seen.

Posted by
27004 posts

Setting aside the lodging-availability situation (more later), if you spend the night of September 8 in Flam, you will already have taken the Flamsbana; that's how you cover the last bit of the trip to Flam (from Myrdal). So on September 9 you'd begin the day with the boat from Flam to Gudvangen, then take the bus from Gudvangen to Voss and finally the regular train from Voss to Bergen.

Honestly, I didn't even know there was bus service from Voss to Bergen, but the Nor-Way Bussekspress website shows buses at 4:20 PM and 5:20 PM, so taking a bus would be possible if you prefer it to a train. You'd need to change in Voss.

Lodging in the fjord area is very tight, and it's probably worst in Flam, if only because Flam is such a convenient place to stay without a car. Flam-the-town isn't especially attractive, but the setting is great, albeit often marred by the presence of a monster cruise ship. Unless you book more than six months in advance, it's common in Flam to have to settle for what's available rather than being able to get a room at a place you read about and would prefer. That's just the way it is. Booking.com shows several rooms available in Flam, at various properties. I'd suggest grabbing one immediately--being sure there's a very good cancelation policy--and then thinking about whether you want to do the entire Nutshell route in one day. Such rooms as exist could disappear at any moment. You can also go to the individual hotel's websites to see whether you can beat the rates shown on booking.com.

I spent a couple of nights in Flam (in a private room with bath at the hostel, which was very plain but inexpensive and clean), so I can't tell you how exhausting the Nutshell route would be if done in a single day. I know Rick recommends the very early (6:20 AM? something like that) departure from Oslo in that case, and there's no way I was willing to subject myself to that on vacation if I didn't absolutely have to. The Nutshell transportation schedules fit together very nicely, and I haven't read of any issues along the way, but the Flam-Gudvangen boats don't run frequently, and it's my nature to be cautious about such things.
I didn't want to risk not making it to Bergen the night I was due to arrive. Hotels in Norway are too expensive to pay for a room you're not using.

Based on what I've read, I wouldn't recommend the express boat from Flam to Bergen. It doesn't go into the Naeroyfjord, which is much narrower than the main Sognefjord and therefore more beautiful. Travel literature indicates the latter part of the express-boat trip finds the fjord so wide it's more like traveling on a river.

Posted by
548 posts

Thanks acraven! Just snagged a room in Flam. Do you have favorite hotels in Oslo or Bergen?

Posted by
27004 posts

I'm a low-end traveler, so I doubt that you'd choose the Cochs Pensjonat in Oslo. It's a screaming bargain, but wouldn't be to most people's taste.

I later stayed at the CityBox near the train station, at Prinsens gate 6. It's one of those low-service places with small rooms, etc., but the location is pretty convenient.

I also stayed at the CityBox in Bergen at Nygardsgaten 31.

I don't remember the breakfast situation; I opt out when I can. There are several fairly priced (by Scandinavian standards) chains in Norway, like Thon, Clarion and Scandic. The breakfast spreads are usually impressive.

Posted by
1643 posts

We aren't low end travellers, but are usually sort of mid-range.

We stayed at the Grand Hotel Terminus, right by the train station in Bergen. It was lovely. The rooms were small but well-appointed, and the breakfast was sumptuous. Mind you, this location made sense for us, since we were catching the train to Voss very early the next morning, because we were travelling in the opposite direction as you. Bergen isn't big, though, so we were able to walk to the funicular and to Pingvinen (Rick-recommended restaurant/pub in Bergen). Keep in mind that Bergen gets a lot of rain. A lot. And we experienced that while we were there. So, if you are spending a few days there, you might want to be closer to the harbour and sights.

In Oslo, we stayed at Frogner House apartment-hotel. It was gorgeous and quite luxurious, for a studio apartment. It wasn't in the "main" tourist area, but it was quick and easy to get there by transit. It was in an area with a lot of embassies. I think Frogner House has apartments in more than one location, though. https://frognerhouse.no/locations/frogner/?lang=en

Posted by
548 posts

Thanks for all of the help, We’re really looking forward to our first visit to Norway!

Posted by
49 posts

I ended up booking our Oslo-Flam tickets by phone with an exceptionally polite rep from the VY train company He strongly suggested taking the 6:25 train from Oslo, in order to have 38 minutes instead of 9 to make the transfer. He was able to assign our seats for the first leg as well (great window seats) then send us the link to pay for the tickets. Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
548 posts

Thanks Sheila. What number did you call to ask about tickets?