The Oslo to Bergen railway is a great way to see the landscapes of Southern Norway. I’ve always believed that trains are a great way… Exploring Norway by train

Exploring Norway by Train

The Oslo to Bergen railway is a great way to see the stunning landscapes of southern Norway.
I’ve always believed that trains are a great way to explore a new country. This is even more apparent where the the landscapes are dramatic, as I experienced in Norway. Unlike driving, where the road (obviously) needs to be the main focus, a train journey allows you to sit back and watch as the landscape evolves before your eyes. I find that train journeys evoke excitement and long thought forgotten childhood memories: such as taking a trip down to London to see the Dippy the Diplodocus at the Natural History Museum with my Dad.

Oslo to Myrdal

Our morning began sleepily, with a 5:30am alarm. We grabbed a prepared snack from the hotel reception and strolled to through Oslo’s streets as the city was beginning to wake up. We boarded the 6:25am train, full of excitement for the journey ahead. The 5 hour journey to Myrdal breezed past. Either side of the train were views to die for; spectacular reflections in still lakes, mountains, gorges and waterfalls.
NSB, the train provider, offers a Komfort Plus carriage which is similar to First Class in England but waaaaaay cheaper (costing around £9 to upgrade). These carriages are quieter, have extra legroom and charging stations and, most importantly, complementary hot drinks. By the time we reached Myrdal some 5 hours later, I was bouncing from the extreme caffeine consumption. I used the NSB website to book the tickets (they also have an easy to use smartphone app which you can download).

Practical tip: the left-hand side of the train probably had the best views (you can select your seat when booking through the NSB website/app). 

Water, cabins and snowy mountains – a common sight in Norway

Myrdal to Flam

We arrived at Myrdal station shortly before midday. The station consists of a couple of platforms and a cabin high in the mountains. Sitting at an altitude of 900m and circled by snow capped peaks, it is an impressive setting! Wired from the complimentary coffee waited for famous Flamsbana train to arrive.

Myrdal Station

Flam Railway (the ‘Flamsbana’) slowly snakes its way down 20km of track from the mountainous terrain of Myrdal to fjord-side Flam. Flam railway is regarded as one of the most spectacular train journeys on the planet.

When they arrive at Flam, a lot of passengers continue straight on with their journeys. Either onto the ferries to explore the fjords or to continue their journeys onwards to Bergen or Oslo. We decided to hang out in Flam for a couple of days. This provided a much needed opportunity to unwind – read more about our stay in Flam, here.

Oslo to Myrdal

A couple of days later, we took our second trip on the Flamsbana, back up to Myrdal to continue onwards to Bergen. There is a small cafe at Myrdal station whilst you wait for the next train. I would recommend grabbing a hotdog as a cheap, hot food option.
The Myrdal-Bergen train was not as luxurious and complementary as the one from Oslo-Myrdal. It was a normal train with no free coffee (boo). That said, the views continued to be spectacular and an icy blue river often slalomed alongside the train.

The Norwegian landscape: Myrdal to Bergen

Bergen Station

We pulled in to Bergen with the late afternoon sun hanging low in the sky, casting long shadows across the cobbled streets. To read more about why I love Bergen (and you will too), click here.

The night train back to Oslo

If I booked the trip again, I would have flown into Oslo and then out of Bergen. As things were, we needed to get back to Oslo for our flight home. To avoid spending a full day sat on a train, we booked two tickets on the night train. We had a cosy (read: small) two person compartment, complete with bunkbeds.
Apart from Saturdays, the night train runs every night of the week. The train departs Bergen at 22:59 and arrives back in Oslo at 06:25. 
I was pretty excited as I’d never ridden a sleeper train before. The beds were quite thin but I slept well, after rocked to sleep by the rhythm of the train rolling down the tracks.

Have you explored Norway by train? If so, what did you think? Any other scenic train recommendations are also welcome!


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