A road trip in Norway is a thing of beauty. We experienced driving from Bergen to Oslo and were filled with awe. So, I thought of documenting our magical journey for other travelers to perfectly plan this road trip.
I’m a sucker for great train journeys and great road journeys and great plane journeys and….alrighty… great journeys at large 🙂
This is why I mix up all modes of transportation in a single journey or trip for an all-inclusive experience.
I had heard a lot about Oslo to Bergen train and how it’s one of the most scenic train journeys in Norway.
We booked the much-talked-about journey from Oslo to Bergen by train on the scenic Bergen Railway thusly.
Meanwhile, my curiosity was piqued and I thought how wonderful it would be to experience the same route by car.
I mean, a road journey or self-drive from Oslo to Bergen would let you take in the super gorgeous Norwegian scenery up close unlike the train journey.
You can stop wherever and whenever you want. You can click as many pictures as you want. You can spend as much time as you want at one particular location that you liked the most. Isn’t it?
That’s how I ended up planning a return journey from Bergen to Oslo by road.
Now that I’ve experienced both the train from Oslo to Bergen and a drive from Bergen to Oslo, I can pretty much answer all your queries about how to get from Oslo to Bergen or the other way around.
Why Take a Road Trip in Norway?
Norway is untamed, wild, and beautiful. It’s insanely gorgeous be it any time of the day.
Nature never leaves you here I mean even cities and urban areas are lush. The country for sure is a nature lover’s dream.
Road tripping across Norway is the perfect way to experience its wild and rugged beauty.
We witnessed hundreds and thousands of fjords, glaciers, and lakes while we traveled across Norway.
There’s more water than you can ever cruise by boat. No wonder that 99% of all power production in Norway comes from hydropower.
Norwegian road trip in summer is all the more magical because of 24-hour daylight (Midnight sun) gives you more time to explore.
Driving from Bergen to Oslo
The drive from Bergen to Oslo lets you experience the striking mountain passes and out-of-this-world (literally) fjord countryside.
The drive takes about 7 to 9 hours depending upon the route you follow.
There are quite a number of routes to choose from while traveling from Bergen to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen, each more beautiful than the next.
I researched all the possible routes and felt at sea about which one to take. There are endless detours that lead you to one or the other gorgeous locations but you can’t have the best of both worlds or maybe you can 😉
Anyhow, after exhausting research I realized that essentially there are two main routes – E16 and E134 with umpteen number of deviations like Rv7, Fv50, Rv52, Rv51, Rv55 and many other.
I have tried to explain the routes based on my personal research while planning a road trip from Bergen to Oslo.
Whichever route you choose to drive, make sure to take out time (add an extra hour or so to your journey time) for beautiful attractions on the way.
#1 Route RV7 via Hardangervidda
Bergen – Voss – Eidfjord – Geilo – Gol – Oslo
The shortest among all and the most driven route from Bergen to Oslo and vice versa, it takes a little over 7 hours.
On this route, you get an opportunity to drive through parts designated as a National Tourist Route.
You can take a slight detour to Norheimsund from Granvin to see Steinsdalsfossen Waterfall. It’ll add another hour to your entire trip duration but that’s totally worth it.
What’s so unique about Steinsdalsfossen? Well, there’s a wooden walkway just behind the waterfall that lets you feel the waterfall up close without getting wet.
Another detour from Granvin (about 35 km) takes you to Øystese village where you can see an old suspension bridge dating back to 1937, Fyksesund Bridge.
The Hardangervidda Route offers gorgeously stunning vistas that make you stop your car over and over before you coax yourself into reaching your final destination on time.
With a 182 meters fall, Vøringsfossen Waterfall falling beautifully into a steep and narrow valley of Måbødalen is a sight to behold.
The view, however, requires an easy hike from the parking.
Alternatively, You can drive up to the Hotel Fossil (a slight detour from Rv7) to get the 360-degree view of Måbødalen Valley and Vøringsfossen waterfall.
Hardanger bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges crosses the Hardangerfjord. With a separate lane for pedestrians and bikers, it definitely becomes an impressive site to marvel at the views of Hardangerfjord and mountains.
You’ll pass a nature area of Hallingdal popular among ski and hike lovers.
Gol Stave Church, located in Gordarike Family Park is a replica of the original Gol Stave Church in Hallingdal built in the 11th century. You can see the original Gol stavkirke at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo.
You must spend some time at Bear Park in Flå if you’re traveling with kids.
Gardnos Meteorite Crater in Nesbyen is another attraction along this route. You can take a guided tour to explore the park.
If you’ve time on your hand, I’d suggest you take a detour to visit Hardangervidda National Park, the largest national park in Norway.
#2 Route E16 via Filefjell
Bergen – Voss – Gudvangen – Flam – Borgund – Fagerness – Oslo
This route takes about 8 hours. Lærdal tunnel, the longest tunnel in the world is the unique feature of this route.
In fact, this route also takes you through Norway’s second-longest tunnel, Gudvangen tunnel.
The route offers some of the most visited and thus, most crowded (especially in the summer) places like Flam, Aurland, and Gudvangen.
Take a slight detour from E16 to drive one of Northern Europe’s steepest roads, Stalheimskleiva Road.
Starting from Nærøydalen valley, a 1.5 km long stretch of road with 13 hairpin bends snakes its way up the mountainside passing two gushing waterfalls on either side (Sivlefossen and Stalheimsfossen) to reach the top of the village of Stalheim.
Gudvangen, a tiny and charming Viking village has limitless beauty. Located by the Nærøyfjord, it has quite many attractions in and around.
You can visit the Viking town of Njardarheim, or gawk at Kjelfossen waterfall or just sit and relax at one of the cafes or restaurants at Gudvangen Fjordtell by the fjord.
If you haven’t explored Flam, spend a day here to enjoy its world-famous attractions – Ride the world’s steepest rail trips with Flam Railway to Myrdal or take a fjord cruise to marvel at the beauty of Sognefjord, Nærøyfjord, and Aurlandsfjord or take a trip to Undredal located in Aurlandsfjord.
About 25 meters, Lærdalstunellen (Lærdal tunnel) is not only the longest tunnel in Norway but in the entire world, making it an attraction in itself.
Driving such a long route through a tunnel can be monotonous and scary (it was for me at least). The tunnel is thoughtfully lit with blue and yellow lights to keep you awake and active during the drive.
Borgund Stave Church in the municipality of Lærdal is Norway’s best-preserved medieval stave church. It’s a museum now and well worth a stop.
A slight detour before Laerdal tunnel takes you to this amazing viewpoint with insanely gorgeous views across the Aurlandsfjord, Stegastein viewpoint. You have to do this any which way. We visited here during our stay in Flam.
Einangsteinen (Einang Stone), a runestone is another attraction along the E16 just before the Fagerness.
#3 Route E134 via Haukeli
Bergen – Odda – Haukeli – Drammen – Oslo
This route takes a little over 8 hours and presents a chance to witness the second-longest fjord after Sognefjord, Hardangerfjord.
You can also stop by at Heddal Stave Church on the way.
There are a few detours from the E134 that lets you see some of the beautiful attractions in Norway – Rosendal Barony, Langfoss waterfall, Gaustatoppen, and Rjukan.
If the Trolltunga hike is on your mind, this route is for you. You can book a stay at Tyssedal or Odda.
Note: This route includes ferries.
#4 Route Fv50 via Aurland – Hol
This again is a bit of deviation from E16. Just after crossing the river Aurlandselvi, you take a roundabout, rather than taking 2nd exit to Laedar Tunnel, you take the 1st exit to Havsdalsvegen
This route takes around 8 hours 10 minutes.
Bergen – Voss – Gudvangen – Flåm – Aurland – Hol – Gol – Oslo
Some of the most famous and beautiful fjords in Norway – Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord, and Aurladsfjord ceaselessly accompany you en route.
We traveled through so many long tunnels in Norway that I lost the count. This route alone passes through 8 to 9 long tunnels.
Check out the Vassbygdvatnet lake near to Aurland.
#5 Route Rv52 via Hemsedal
You drive the E16 route a little further from Borgund and then at a roundabout take the 1st exit onto Hamsedalsvegen to get on Rv52.
Bergen – Voss – Gudvangen – Flam – Borgund – Hemsedal – Flå – Oslo
This route takes around 7 hours.
The unique attractions on the way include the ski center in Hemsedal epitheted as Alps of Scandinavia, Rjukan falls (Rjukandefossen), Hydnefossen falls, and Hydalen, a protected landscape region.
You pass Norway’s fifth-largest lake, Tyrifjorden or Lake Tyri on most of the routes from Bergen to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen.
Which Route Did We Take?
We explored Gudvangen, Filefjell, Borgund, Lærdal, and Odda during our time in Flam.
Thus, we chose to drive the Hardangervidda route and it was an utter delight.
Renting a Car in Bergen, Norway
You won’t need a car to get around Bergen. Buses, as well as Bybanen (Bergen Light Rail), are simple and easy to use to get to nearly anywhere in the city.
However, you’d need a car if you plan (which you must) to explore the fjords and mountains outside of Bergen, the Gateway to the fjords of Norway.
We rented a manual car (automatic versions are sparse and expensive) in Bergen and explored some famous and amazing sights outside of Bergen for a few days and then drove the scenic route to Oslo. The entire trip was hassle-free and fun as we didn’t have to think about the transportation thing.
Though, the downside is that it’s a one-way rental means you pick at one place and drop at another that ultimately increases the cost of the rental but the ease and comfort you get are priceless.
You’d need to show your driving license and passport with a valid visa to rent a car in Norway or anywhere in Europe for that matter. We have an ultimate guide to renting a car in Europe to help you with the process.
Visa for Norway? You’d require a Schengen Visa for your trip to Norway. Read our guide to Schengen Visa to know more.
Where to Stay Between Bergen and Oslo
There are many picturesque small towns to spend a night on the way to Oslo from Bergen.
There are a few options to stay in Undredal too.
We use and recommend Booking.com for all the accommodation needs while traveling.
Where to Eat Between Bergen and Oslo
The options along the route are sparse. You’d have to take a bit of detour from the highway, mostly. Voss, Gudvangen, Flam, Eidfjord, Geilo, and Gol have a few decent places to eat. Here are some of our recommendations:
- Ringheim Kafe in Voss
- Gudvangen Fjordtell restaurant
- Flam Bakery in Flam
- Restaurant Fjell and Fjord in Eidfjord
- Sofias Cafe & Bar in Geilo
- Kjersti’s Mat og Vinhus in Gol
We relished the Italian artisan ice-cream at DolceVidda Iskremeri in Eidfjord municipality and strongly recommend to have one if you’re driving the route Rv7.
Tips for Norway Road Trip
- Make sure to pack a first-aid kit.
- Fill your car with dry snacks and water bottles as there are not many options to eat while road-tripping from Oslo to Bergen or Bergen to Oslo and the ones you find on the way are ridiculously expensive. REMA 1000 is one of the cheapest supermarkets in Norway and is the best for all your food and water needs.
- How can you forget the camera! After all, you’re traveling in one of the most beautiful countries on earth.
- Keep your travel as well as car documents handy.
- All the routes from Bergen to Oslo have tolls. Lot many. More than you can imagine. And they are expensive. Your rental car comes with AutoPass that allows you to pass the toll roads effortlessly and pay the total amount later to your rental company.
- Know the parking as well as driving regulations in Norway before hitting the Norwegian roads. Read this guide to getting around Norway by car. I found it incredibly helpful.
Scandinavia and Nordic travel guides and itineraries on our blog:
- Train from Oslo to Bergen on a Scenic Bergen Railway
- Undredal – a Fjord Village in Aurland, Norway
- Oslo, Norway
- Finnish Lapland in Summer
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Dragør, Denmark
Europe travel guides and itineraries on our blog:
- Best Things to do in Budapest, Hungary
- Lake Balaton, Hungary
- 7 Best Places to Visit in Croatia
- 5 Coolest Things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- The Blue Cave in Croatia
- The Island of Vis in Croatia
- Best Things to do in Split, Croatia
- Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
- Zagreb, Croatia
- Top 5 Things to do in Montenegro
- Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia
- Lake Bled, Slovenia
- Kranj, Slovenia
- Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Bratislava, Slovakia
- Vienna, Austria
- Wachau Valley, Austria
- Hallstatt, Austria
- Salzburg, Austria
- Driving the Epic Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse
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