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Norway in Five Days?

We're flying in to Oslo as the first stop in our three week European tour. We're planning about five days in Norway before flying on to Paris. What are the best sights to see in five days? Will we have time to travel to Bergen? We don't expect to be able to go all over the place, but we were hoping to be able to get out of Oslo a bit.

Edited to add: We're a family of four - DH and I in our mid-40's, kids are 16 and 18. We're fit and can put in full days of sightseeing.

Posted by
5788 posts

Assuming that this is your first trip to Norway you could spend at least two full days exploring Oslo. The Norway in a Nutshell combination train, boat bus tour from Oslo to Myrdal, Flam to fjord, Aurlandsfjord ferry, bus to Voss then train to Bergen can be a one or two day route. At least a full day in Bergen. That makes five days in Norway a squeeze. Fly from Bergen.

https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/norway
▲▲▲ Norway in a Nutshell A combination train, bus, and ferry trip to and through Norway's most spectacularly beautiful fjords — the Sognefjord and Nærøyfjord — passing pristine waterfalls, verdant forests, and take-your-breath-away scenery.
▲▲ Oslo Norway's sharp capital city, with its historic and walkable core, mural-lined City Hall, sculptures at Vigeland Park, and inspiring Nobel Peace Center, while the nearby Bygdøy district hosts museums dedicated to ships (Viking, Fram, and Kon-Tiki), the Holocaust, and traditional folk life. Holmenkollen Ski Museum and jump.
▲▲ Bergen Salty port town and medieval capital of Norway, with lively fish market, colorful Hanseatic quarter (Bryggen), and a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen with great views.

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/norway-guidebook

Posted by
5788 posts

From prior post:
https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/norway/oslo
Here are my to see of Rick's list:
▲▲▲ City Hall Oslo's artsy 20th-century government building, lined with huge, vibrant, municipal-themed murals, best visited with included tour.
▲▲▲ National Gallery Norway's cultural and natural essence, captured on canvas.
▲▲▲ Frogner Park Sprawling park with works by Norway's greatest sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, and the studio where he created them (now a museum).
▲▲▲ Norwegian Folk Museum Norway condensed into 150 historic buildings in a large open-air park.
▲▲ Norwegian Resistance Museum Gripping look at Norway's tumultuous WWII experience.
▲▲ Viking Ship Museum An impressive trio of ninth-century Viking ships, with exhibits on the people who built them.
▲▲ Fram Museum Captivating exhibit on the Arctic exploration ship.
▲▲ Kon-Tiki Museum Adventures of primitive Kon-Tiki and Ra II ships built by Thor Heyerdahl.
▲▲ Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Ski Museum Dizzying vista and a schuss through skiing history. (I would have this a 3 star item. Tram T1 ride to Holmenkollen is scenic).
▲ Akershus Fortress Complex and Tours Historic military base and fortified old center, with guided tours, a ho-hum castle interior, and a couple of museums (including the excellent Norwegian Resistance Museum, listed above).
If you had an extra day or two the Nutshell would be the highlight of a Norway visit.
24 hour Oislo Card may be worthwhile.
Bus 30 goes from the Oslo S area to the Bygdoy peninsula with the Folk Museum, Viking Ship, Kon Toki and Fram museums. The Fram is one of my highlight featuring the Nobel Peace Prize Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen. Take the boat back to the City Hall.

Posted by
36 posts

Edgar,
Thanks for the information - I'll definitely look into all of the places you listed. Yes, this will be our first trip to Norway. Our last European trip with the kids was ten years ago, and we did Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France. So Northern Europe is new to us! We're currently considering the night train from Oslo to Bergen, both to cut down on a night in a hotel and to use the travel time for something useful - sleeping!

Posted by
3336 posts

All of the suggestions in the above post are great!
3 nights in Oslo is just enough time, then take the train to Bergen, and then spend two or three nights there.
The daytime train from Oslo to Bergen is only about 6 1/2 hours...the night train is just a little over 7 hours. Hardly worth it for sleeping. The train ride is STUNNINGLY beautiful and I can't imagine sleeping through that! We took the train this past summer and really loved it.
We left Oslo in the morning and were in Bergen by early afternoon, walked around, had dinner, and then saw the sights the next day. We focused on the sights in town and the lookout up the funicular. We could have easily spent a second day seeing things outside of town as well but didn't have the time.
The airport from Bergen is small but convenient. There is an easy bus that runs from Bergen straight to the airport. There are several places right around the wharf and several other places in town where they stop to pick up. It's called the Flybussen. Cheaper than a taxi and it gets you to the airport in 20 - 30 minutes.

Posted by
36 posts

Thanks for mentioning flying out of Bergen. I looked at the SAS website, and it looks like flying out of Bergen is only $10pp more than flying out of Oslo. Since it will save us both the time and money of taking a return train to Oslo, we'd actually come out ahead!