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Norway in a Nutshell Advice

Hi all -

I will be traveling in Norway in late June. I will be arriving in Oslo late on 6/30, spending the day in Oslo on 7/1, and departing Bergen the morning of 7/4. This leaves me with two flexible days (7/2 and 7/3).

My original plan was to spend a second day in Oslo on 7/2 and take an early evening train to Bergen that day to enjoy the natural beauty. I would then complete the Norway in a Nutshell route on 7/3 beginning from Bergen in the morning, ending in Bergen in the evening, before departing Bergen on the morning of 7/4.

I am now aware that perhaps other creative alternatives exist, too. Does my original plan seem to be ideal? I am in my 20's and have lots of energy for a long day of walking, travel, etc. Nothing tires me out! However, I'm wondering if you all recommend I shift to do the Norway in a Nutshell beginning in Oslo on 7/2 and ending in Bergen in the evening on 7/3 (or any other alternatives). My original plan made sense to me because I will be traveling alone and am concerned about where I would leave my luggage. I'm also concerned that one full day in Oslo would not be enough.

Please let me know if I was unclear in any way. I'm open to all ideas. Thank you in advance for your guidance! I really appreciate it!

EDIT: Also, is the Norway in a Nutshell tour one day? If not, where do you recommend I spend a night? And what do I do with my luggage while I'm on the tour, especially if I spend a night somewhere halfway along the route? Thank you!

Posted by
1682 posts

Depending on how much luggage you have, you can bring it with you (we did, but we travel light), or there are companies that will transfer your luggage for you.

But I do think you could easily fill more than one day in Oslo.

Posted by
6576 posts

Your original plan is of course perfectly possible, but the backtracking isn't really what I would recommend. Doing the "standard" Oslo-Myrdal-Flåm-Gudvangen-Voss-Bergen route might be easier unless you have abnormal amounts of luggage.

Posted by
27362 posts

I'd go with the straightforward option of the classic Norway-in-a-Nutshell route to avoid spending extra time repeating the train trip between Bergen and Voss. The whole thing can be done in a rather long day. That would allow you to spend 7/2 in Oslo and use the full day of 7/3 to get to Bergen. Your luggage would not be a concern, because the various transportation links only require you to walk a few feet, and you would not have enough extra time that day to do significant sightseeing at any of the stops.

From the transportation standpoint it is easy to split the Nutshell trip over multiple days. However, lodging in the area where you'd need to stay without a car would be challenging at this point. There are a few dorm beds available in Flam for the night of 7/2 listed on booking.com. They would probably work for you (use Google Maps to check walking distance from the dock), but they could get booked up at any point.

You could also see whether there's something you like better in Gudvangen or Voss, other places where you switch modes of transportation along on the Nutshell route.

One potential advantage of spending the night along the Nutshell route is that it would allow you to begin the trip from Oslo on the afternoon of 7/2 and get to Bergen reasonably early on 7/3, giving you a bit of time to see Bergen, which is lovely. This would even out your time in the two cities a bit,

Posted by
15574 posts

Your original plan would involve backtracking and that makes no sense.

Norway in a Nutshell is designed to be done in one long day. (I did it in two by spending the night in Flam.)

From Oslo to Myrdahl, it's a regular train where you keep your luggage with you.

At Myrdahl, you transfer to a smaller train for the trip to Flam. If I remember correctly, luggage was collected for this ride and you got it in Flam.

The next step is the ferry from Flam to Gudvangen. The ferry is docked a couple of hundred feet from the train station. There is an area on board the boat to store luggage.

From Gudvangen to Voss, it's a bus and your luggage is stored in the luggage hold.

From Voss to Bergen, it's back to the regular train and your luggage is stored with you.

If you do it in one day, you won't have much extra time for exploring. If in two days, you can leave your luggage at your accomodations while out and about.

Oslo deserves at least two days. With your schedule, I'd spend the 1st and 2nd in Oslo, do NIN on the 3rd and depart on the 4th. Unfortunately, you left no time to see Bergen.

Posted by
3 posts

Hi Frank,

Thanks so much for your reply. Two questions:

1) Is the Oslo to Bergen Vy train the exact same route as the Norway in a Nutshell experience? Would backtracking be repetitive or would it be a slightly different route, on which I'd view different scenery?

2) What do you think about spending all day 7/1 in Oslo, half day Oslo 7/2, begin NiN on 7/2, finish NiN first half of 7/3, spend second half of 7/3 in Bergen before departing on 7/4? Or is it best to just spend all day in Oslo on 7/2, and begin on 7/3? OR, if it's not backtracking, I could take the Vy to Bergen late on 7/2 and do NiN Bergen to Bergen 7/3?

Thank your for your time and I hope my questions make sense and aren't repetitive. I appreciate your help and your patience!

Posted by
15574 posts

The train from Oslo To Bergen is the same regardless of which one you take.

What Norway in a Nutshell does is take the portion from Myrdahl to Voss and replace it with a smaller, sightseeing train to Flam, ferry to Gudvangen and bus from Gudvangen to Voss. This is really the heart of Norway in a Nutshell.

By going to Bergen first and then doing NIN you would be backtracking between Bergen and Voss.

You really need to look at the times. To do the entire trip it will take around 11 hours.