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To Flam or Not to Flam?

We are planning to take the train from Oslo to Bergen during our visit to Norway. Right now, we have two nights scheduled in Bergen. We have a free night prior to these two nights. Should we a) stop in Flam, b) add a night to Oslo (right now we only have one scheduled as it seems Oslo is not everyone's most favorite Scandinavian city), or c) add the night to Bergen?

I had initially planned to take the train from Myrdal to Flam and stay one night there, but it does look like there is a cruise with about 4,000 passengers scheduled to dock that day. So, if we decide not to stay in Flam, should we take the train there at all, or just continue on to Bergen?

Thanks for your advice!!

Posted by
989 posts

Once the cruise ship departs Flam won't be so crowded and the evening could be nice. Maybe you can find out the ship's departure time? Also, bear in mind that most cruise goers don't travel very far from the ship. So if you wanted to rent bikes or hike you could get away from any crowds. In fact, most of the cruise ship goers will probably be getting on the Flamsbana to Myrdal. You could also take a Naeroeyfjord tour from Flam. But you should book that in advance since it's popular. Another plan would be arrive in Flam and ferry over to Balestrand for the night. It would be quieter. Village is quite small but there's lovely walks and hikes. From Balestrand you ferry to Bergen along the Sognefjord. Adding a night in Oslo is not unreasonable. It's worth a full day, which is what two nights gets you.

Posted by
2594 posts

Oslo is a nice city with 4 wonderful museums-you could do all of them in one day, perhaps.
Flam is right on the fjord, so more natural beauty. The Flamsbana train from Flam to Myrdal ( or the other way) is drop dead stunning scenery ( if you have good weather). We loved Flam.

Posted by
6429 posts

We did Flam while on a cruise and it was worth a visit or at least the nearby places that we did. The fjord at Geiranger was amazing.
I can't see doing more than two nights at Bergen. Also, Alesund was great.

Posted by
5818 posts

I'm one who enjoys Oslo. Two nights, one full day would be my minimum for a first time Oslo visit with my arrive day being just walking around the central city enjoying the ambiance. You would likely want the train departing Oslo S at about 8:30 AM to Myrdal. Flam is a very small village, Add the night to Oslo.

Posted by
1732 posts

I did the NIN from Bergen to Oslo, stopping for an overnight in Flam. There was a gigantic cruise ship there in the evening, but it was gone by the morning. It didn't actually seem that crowded - most folks were doing the train trip or the ferry, and all stayed on board the ship at night. It was very peaceful and we took the earliest (least crowded) train up to Myrdal in the morning. We had an apartment at Hotel Flam Marina - spectacular views.

Posted by
12553 posts

If you are not familiar with Norway in a Nutshell, you should be. It can be done in one day but I suggest two. I did it with a stop in Flam overnight. The train between Myrdal and Flam is amazing as is the cruise between Flam and Gudvangen (sp?). If all you do is take the train from Oslo to Bergen then you are missing out on an amazing journey.

Too bad you only gave this trip four nights. I liked Oslo and I'm going back in May.

Posted by
5 posts

We were in Norway in July 2019. We spent 2 nights in Oslo then went on the nutshell tour to Bergen which is so worth it. You get in to Bergen about 9:30 pm but it was still very light out so we saw a lot that night. We slept there and then the next day took a 3 hour fast ferry which was very scenic to Balestrand and spent two nights there. That was amazing with hiking and kayaking! We got back to Bergen around noon and spent one night. We saw everything in Bergen in that first night after the nutshell and when we returned after Balestrand. We slept that night and flew to Copenhagen from there around 6 pm. I suggest adding another night in Oslo if you're not doing the nutshell tour. Oslo is amazing and lots to see.