One of the highlights of our travel through Norway was the 7-hour long heart-stirring journey by train from Oslo to Bergen on a scenic Bergen Railway (Bergensbanen).
Norwegian fjords, gushing waterfalls, tranquil lakes, colorful wooden houses, lush green meadows with snow-covered mountains in the background, and enchanting wilderness as far as the eye can see.
No adjectives or superlatives would suffice to make you grasp the beauty of it. You gotta take this trip to know what it is like.
I’d just say, Bergen railway from Oslo to Bergen is a perfect introduction to Western Norway. Not to mention, Western Norway has some of the most breathtaking fjords in the world.
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Best Way to Travel from Oslo to Bergen
Oslo, being the largest city and the capital of Norway remains the kick-off destination followed by Bergen, the gateway to fjords for Norwegian odyssey among travelers around the world.
There are three options to travel between Oslo and Bergen. You can fly or drive or take a train.
Of course, flying is faster but it doesn’t have the charm of a train or road journey. Holidays aren’t for rushing but slowing down, enjoying, and appreciating the beauty around us. Don’t you agree?
So, If you really want to appreciate the beauty that’s Western Norway, do yourself a favor and book a train from Oslo to Bergen or Bergen to Oslo.
Oslo to Bergen road trip is equally entrancing with a plus point that you can stop wherever and whenever you want and admire the wilderness up close. But, driving from Oslo to Bergen or the other way around in winter is a bit tedious due to tough driving conditions and scarce daylight.
And, Bergen Railway is good to ride in any kind of season or weather. It offers you a different view in a different season. That’s its métier.
If you want to enjoy both sides of the journey, you can follow our Norway itinerary that includes a train journey from Oslo to Bergen and a road journey from Bergen to Oslo.
I’ll write a separate post about driving from Bergen to Oslo pretty soon. For now, let’s talk about Bergen Railway or Bergen Line (Norwegian: Bergensbanen).
Bergen Railway – Train from Oslo to Bergan
Traversing the Hardangervidda plateau at 4,058 feet or 1,237 meters above sea level, the Bergen Railway is the highest railway line in Northern Europe.
Built between 1875 and 1909, the train covers a total of 496 kilometers (308 miles) connecting Norway’s two major cities – Oslo and Bergen
Also, it’s described as one of the most beautiful train rides in Europe.
Bergen Railway Route
The train leaves from Oslo Central Station (Oslo S) and stops at 20 charming tiny fjord villages before it reaches Bergen.
Oslo S – Asker – Drammen – Hokksund – Vikersund – Hønefoss – Flå – Nesbyen – Gol – Ål – Geilo – Ustaoset – Haugastøl – Finse – Hallingskeid – Myrdal – Upsete – Mjolfjel – Voss – Dale – Vaksdal – Arna nye – Bergen
You can get down at Myrdal to change to the historic Flåmsbana or Flåm Line or Flåm Railway that runs between Myrdal and Flåm in Aurland, a region known for its fjords.
Or else can continue to Bergen as the Flåm Line can be experienced from Flåm too. You can book a return journey (Flåm–Myrdal–Flåm) that takes about 2 hours when you visit Flåm after exploring Bergen.
We wanted to drive from Flåm to Myrdal but stopped at this roadsign where a local told us that we can’t go any further from here as there’s no road that leads to Myrdal.
The scenic Flåmsbana is the only way to witness the jaw-dropping views between Flåm and Myrdal.
While in Flam, make sure to visit Undredal, a Charming Fjord Village in Aurland, Norway
Or you can book Norway in Nutshell tour that encompasses both Bergensbanen and Flåmsbana including a fjord cruise on Nærøyfjord and a bus journey to Voss featuring the hairpin bends of Stalheimskleiva – a complete package in itself.
The tour can be taken from Bergen to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen or also as a roundtrip from Bergen.
Oslo to Bergen Train – How it Looks Like?
The train is spacious, comfortable, and sparkingly clean equipped with all the modern amenities.
The train has a variety of carriages to fit each and every kind of traveler.
You can choose between Standard Coach (Regular Cabin), Family Coach, No Pets Allowed Coach, or Komfort Coach.
A Standard Coach is an affordable yet comfortable option. The seats look fairly comfy and roomy. It, in no way, looked 2nd class to me but then trains in Scandinavia or for that matter Europe are known for being amazingly well-maintained.
Family Coach, specially designed for families with young children has separate kids play area so they remain entertained and don’t get bored or cranky during a 7-hour long journey. It also offers an option to heat food and milk-bottles for kids.
The play area has books, TV, toys, and a loft area with ladders for kids to climb up and down so parents can sit back and savor the views.
A family coach comes with fold-down changing tables in the restroom.
As pets are allowed on the train so passengers have been given an option to book a pet-free carriage.
Komfort Coach costs an additional 100 NOK for it offers the added comfort with free newspaper, coffee, and tea. A coffee machine is installed in the cabin for you to make a cup of coffee or tea for yourself.
The journey is quite comfortable no matter whichever cabin you choose. The seats are half-recliners with footrest and enough space to stretch the legs.
Vy Sleeper Coach has the individual as well as shared compartments with comfortable sleeping berths, quilts, and pillows that are ideal for overnight travel.
Other Facilities and Services on Bergen Railway
All the seats have a multi-function table and power outlets or sockets for passengers to charge their laptops, cameras, or mobile phones. Make sure to carry a Universal Travel Adapter.
Free WiFi is available onboard that works reasonably well. You wouldn’t want to use your mobile phone or laptop with those epic views outside your window.
My face and camera were glued to the window for the whole time. Though there were people who had their heads in laptops, mobile phones, and books as views pass by. I assumed they were locals for whom this journey is a routine thingy.
The train is wheel-chair accessible.
The train also has a dining car with a great cafe (Vy Kafé). You can sit by the window in the cafe and enjoy the fresh and hot refreshments marveling at Norwegian landscapes or can take out to your seat.
We ordered the honey waffles, pizza, special kids menu, and coffee.
The food was fresh and tasty though the prices are a bit higher than they should be.
The luggage racks with ample space above the seating can be used for smaller luggage while bigger luggage can be placed at the large storage compartments at the entrance of the coach.
A maximum of 3 pieces of luggage weighing about 30 kg per person is allowed to bring into the train.
Washrooms – Special Mention 😉
I’m extremely picky when it comes to washrooms.
As much as I so want to, I don’t travel on the trains in India just because of the reason how filthy the toilets are.
I was happy to see the way restrooms were well-maintained in Bergen Railway – Immaculate and sparkingly clean.
The Views and Scenery – The Reason We Boarded Bergen Railway
A journey on the Bergen Line promises some of the most beautiful Norwegian landscapes while passing through about 182 tunnels.
The Finse Tunnel remains the journey’s highest point at 1,237 meters (4,058 ft).
The views are to die for.
The train crosses the wilds and uninhabited lands dotted with tiny villages and countless waterfalls, sparkling lakes, and meandering rivers, dramatic fjords, deep valleys, lush meadows, and snow-capped mountains.
As the train left the suburbs of Oslo, the high-rise buildings faded to give way to farmlands sprinkled with rustic vibrant houses here and there.
The Alpine conditions pulled off and the landscape got wilder and wilder after Drammen.
The clear and bright blue sky transformed into grey winter sky and lush meadows gave way to snow-clad mountains.
The train gently started to climb into the mountains until it reached the highest mountain plateau in Europe, Hardangervidda.
In the month of July, we could see the snow-covered mountains.
Looking at these rustic cabins, I wondered how do people live here.
Interestingly, most of the stations or stops on the Bergen Line are roadless.
The train started to descend into the valleys dotted with lush green meadows, gentle rivers, and canyons before reaching Bergen.
At certain places, steamy clouds enveloped the hills.
And then at some places, the rain blurred the views.
This dramatic contrast in a landscape or terrain in one season is mind-blowing.
You’d be bewildered as to where to look so you don’t miss the awe-inspiring views.
There were many seats vacant in our coach that gave me an opportunity to swap seats and capture the views from both sides.
Both sides have fairly thrilling views but I’ve read sitting on the left side while traveling from Oslo to Bergen (and the other way around from Bergen to Oslo) present best scenery plus views of Finse, the highest railway station on Bergen Line.
Did you Know? Finse was a filming location for the Star Wars movie in 1979.
Bergen Railway Station
Just at a shouting distance from the famous Bryggen in the heart of Bergen, the Bergen Railway Station is small yet charming.
It’s right next to the Bybanen (Bergen Light Rail) tram stop known as Nonneseter ( just one stop away from Byparken, a city park in the center of Bergen) and Bergen bus station.
Most of the good hotels in Bergen are within walking distance from the Bergen train station. You can just walk or take a taxi.
Bergen station has plenty of cafes and kiosks for snacking while awaiting the train plus a luggage storage facility.
When to Take the Oslo to Bergen Train Journey?
Well, any season is a perfect time to take this trip. The landscape and scenery change completely with the changing season, each one more gorgeous than the next.
Autumn brings magical and colorful foliage.
Winter ushers snowy wonderland.
Spring presents verdant hills and valleys.
And, summer means bright sunshine, blue skies, and shimmering lakes.
I’d love to take this train journey once every season to see the way the scenery transforms with the season.
How to Book Oslo to Bergen Train Tickets?
You can buy your tickets online at Vygruppen’s (Vy) official website or app. Vygruppen was formerly known as the Norwegian State Railways (NSB).
You can also get a ticket from the vending machines installed at Oslo S or Bergen train stations or ticket office at least one day before your date of journey.
Alternatively, you can also book with Rail Europe (Eurail) but the cost of the ticket is way higher. It costs somewhere around 1100+ NOK for a standard ticket.
How Much Does a Ticket Cost? – Oslo to Bergen Train Price
The ticket costs anywhere between 300 NOK to 1000 NOK per adult depending upon the train timings or slots, class, and the season you choose to travel.
Kids under 4 years of age travel free.
The senior citizens and children aged 6 to 17 years get a 50% discount on the fare while students and military members get 25% and 90% discount on the actual ticket price provided they show their valid ID proof.
Pets under 40 cm travel for free while pets over 40 cm get a 50% discount on the adult ticket fare.
You can bring a bike on the train by paying half the price while strollers are allowed on the train for free though you are needed to book a space for both in advance.
Also, you get them cheaper if you book ahead in time. The tickets can be bought up to 90 days in advance.
They have an option to book refundable (ordinary) or non-refundable (mini price or minipris) tickets. Needless to say, you pay more for a non-refundable ticket.
Oslo Bergen Train Timetable
There are 4 regular daily departures (runs all days all year) between Oslo and Bergen and the train takes anywhere between 6 hours 30 minutes to 7 hours 30 minutes.
Four trains run from Oslo S to Bergen leaving at 8:25, 12:03, 15:43, and 23:25. At the same time, four trains run from Bergen to Oslo S departing at 7:57, 11:57, 15:57, and 22:59.
As observed, the night train takes more time than day trains.
Also, an overnight train is much cheaper than the day trains because well, quite practical as you don’t get to take in the larger-than-life show that nature puts up out of the window.
The train journeys like this reinforce the fact that the journey is much more beautiful than the destination.
Good to Know: Norway’s slow TV made a tv-show – Bergensbanen minute by minute – train journey across Southern Norway that showcases this 7-hour long journey from Osle to Bergen on Bergen Railway. It doesn’t really do justice to the breathtaking train ride it is. You can watch it here.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Book well ahead in time as it fills up quickly, especially during the summer.
- Don’t forget to print your tickets. Or keep your booking code handy.
- Take the journey in daylight hours to witness the scenery the train is known for.
Have you ever experienced the beauty of Bergen Railway? How did you like it? We’d love to hear from you.
Added this train journey to your itinerary and loved it? Share it with the world. Pretty please?
Happy travels ♡
Scandinavia and Nordic travel guides and itineraries on our blog:
- Undredal – a Fjord Village in Aurland, Norway
- Oslo, Norway
- Finnish Lapland in Summer
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Dragør, Denmark
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- Lake Balaton, Hungary
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- 5 Coolest Things to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia
- The Blue Cave in Croatia
- The Island of Vis in Croatia
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- Bratislava, Slovakia
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- Salzburg, Austria
- Driving the Epic Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse
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