Please sign in to post.

Oslo to Bergen by train

Hi there

My wife and I are planning a trip to Norway in July and we're planning to see as much nature as possible. I've heard that the Norway in a nutshell tour is amazing and I would like to do roughly something similar but DIY instead of the tour itself. We're coming up from Gothenburg around roughly 12th of July and going to stay over in Oslo and then leave from there heading to Bergen.

My question is; we're looking at getting the Scandinavian rail pass, would this enable us to get off the train at Flam and spend the night there before continuing on to Bergen?

We also don't really want to take the train from Oslo to Bergen and then again back from Bergen to Oslo. We were thinking of doing something more like a circular route rather than backtracking the rail we already came on. Does anyone have any suggestions for us?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so very much!

Posted by
504 posts

This isn't a very direct answer to your questions, but I can share how we organized our trip to Norway. Maybe it will give you some ideas that you can adapt.

We flew into Tromso, which involved first flying into Oslo and then taking another plane. After a few days in Tromso, we took another short flight to Trondheim. From Trondheim, we took the Hurtigruten coastal steamer to Alesund, arriving at midnight. Exactly 24 hours later, we grabbed then next Hurtigruten and sailed to Bergen. From Bergen, we took the train to Oslo and went home from there. That was a two-week trip, with two or three days in each location, except for Alesund. We never did get to Telemark. It's a big country.

--Dav

Posted by
8976 posts

Norway in a nutshell isn't an organized tour, it just a series of transportation connections combined into one ticket. If you want to do it at a slower pace spread out over multiple days you simply purchase your tickets as you go. But the Oslo-Bergen train is very busy and advance reservations are essential. Rick's guidebook for the region has all the details on how to make detours off the NiN tour.

Posted by
87 posts

Another alternate loop you could do is Oslo-Bergen-Trondheim-Oslo (in either direction), with the Bergen-to-Trondheim leg on the Hurtigruten coastal ferry. If you go north from Bergen, I believe the ferry leaves at 8 pm and arrives in Trondheim at noon, two days later. If you go southbound from Trondheim, it leaves at 10 a.m. and arrives in Bergen at 2:30 the next day. The Hurtigruten route is very scenic! https://www.hurtigruten.us/practical-information/sailing-plan/?season=Summer

Posted by
898 posts

Hi -

I was going to suggest something similar to Dav, as I believe it's a good call. The trip via the Hurtigruten ships is delightful, fantastic scenery, and while you are there, the evenings will be very long - it may never get totally dark! So lots of opportunities to take it all in!.

To go north first and return in a southerly direction is a good idea and the railway trip from Bergen to Oslo is spectacular in its upper reaches. The Norway in a Nutshell tour may allow you to tailor it to allow you to stay over at Flam and connect.

I hope you enjoy Norway as much as we did.

Ian

Posted by
5775 posts

The Norwegian national train company's website is: https://www.nsb.no/en/frontpage
NSB is selling tickets only as far as July 7th as of today.

You will want to have booked tickets and seat reservations for your travel dates. Norway's Fellesferie summer holiday unofficially spans the three weeks starting with the second week of July. The Norwegian version of Time and Date indicates that the Fellesferie runs from: Week 28, 29 and 30 Monday 10 July - Friday 28 July 2017

http://www.lifeinnorway.net/living/the-big-july-shutdown/

...in Norway, they take things a step further. Across all industries,
the entire country shuts down, for the entire month of July!

So, where does everyone go? Many Norwegian families own a summer
house, some on the islands in the Oslofjord, some elsewhere in the
region and some much further north. Others go abroad, but it seems a
normal Norwegian July is spent holidaying within Norway.

I have not been in Norway during July to experience Fellesferien but have been in Norway during Easter Week. During Easter Week, many families take off for the mountains starting the Palm Sunday weekend and all the train seats are booked. Families are trying to get to their mountain hytte and the Oslo Bergen train was packed with families, their rucksacks filled with a week's provisions and luggage spaces filled with skis. Oslo started shutting down Ash Wednesday and the town was deserted on Easter Thursday.

The good news is that you may get low season Oslo hotel rates during the July Fellesferie.

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you so much for your replies. Worth every word and I'll have to spend some extra time reading and researching. I'm sure the Scandinavian rail pass would allow me to customize my rail journey form Bergen to Oslo in such a way that I wouldn't have to do the NiN booking directly right? I think we might rather do that so that we can break the journey.

Posted by
87 posts

It's definitely possible to make DIY reservations for the separate sections of the NIN journey. If you read the description and the map of the Scandinavia pass here https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/transportation/trains/norway-rail-passes#scan it describes how to break your Oslo-Bergen trip at Flam/Myrdal. Note that you do need to purchase a separate ticket for the Flam/Myrdal section ( called the Flamsbana train, and discounted with your rail pass, but not free). The RS Norway Snapshot book has detailed instructions for how to make your own reservations for the various sections of the NIN trip (the train, the Flamsbana, and the connecting boat cruise and buses).