Most travelers that visit Norway start with the capital, and commonly, people choose Oslo to Bergen by train – The Bergen Line. The Bergensbanen, or Bergen Line, would be considered a world wonder in any other country. This route connects Norway’s two most important cities.
Technically, you could drive from Oslo to Bergen. You’ll need a rental car and be ready to go 288 miles, which will take at least 7 hours. Once you start heading through the terrain, it can be treacherous. If you travel to Norway in the winter, you will also have darkness to deal with. It’s pitch black by 5 p.m. I would not recommend that you drive from Oslo to Bergen. The thought of it gives me flashbacks to driving in Iceland.
You can also fly from Oslo to Bergen. Flying takes an hour and costs approximately $100. Or, you can take the train from Oslo to Bergen.
Having researched the three options, I read several reviews stating that Oslo to Bergen by train is Europe’s most beautiful train ride. This alone enticed me to take the train. My goal? To see the remote areas and why this journey is so famous.
About The Oslo to Bergen Train – The Bergen Line (Bergensbanen)
Over 308 miles, the Bergensbanen crosses some of Europe’s most inhospitable terrain in six and a half hours. Considering that it climbs to 1200 meters, building the railway between 1875 and 1909 was not easy. Winter storms are difficult to navigate. As such, more than 180 tunnels had to be carved out of the gneiss, and funding for what appeared to be an impossible project had to be secured. We should be grateful to the engineers and navvies who worked on the project to find a solution.
If you want to experience Norway best, take a train ride. The Oslo to Bergen train trip, which takes about 7 hours, offers you one-of-a-kind views of Norway along the way. Most know that the Oslo-Bergen Railway offers scenic beauty; villages, fjords, rivers, and the picturesque Norwegian countryside are just some things you can see as you travel.
NSB, the Norwegian National Railways, operates well-equipped, safe, and comfortable trains between cities. The trains depart from the center of Oslo (Oslo S Station) and arrive in the heart of Bergen (at Bergen Central Station), making it easy to reach both stations using public transportation and to navigate the city once you arrive.
There is no better way to see the beauty of Europe than on a journey along the Bergen Line. On its way to Europe’s most extensive high mountain plateau, the Hardangervidda plateau, the road crosses the Hardangervidda National Park.
What Is Bergen Norway Famous For?
Bergen, Norway, is famous for a variety of things. Some of the most notable things the city is renowned for:
- Fjords: Bergen is on the west coast of Norway, surrounded by stunning fjords, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations for those seeking natural beauty.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: Bergen’s historic harbor, known as Bryggen, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular attraction in the city.
- Cultural Heritage Rich cultural heritage, with several museums, galleries, and theaters showcasing its history and traditions.
- Music Scene: Bergen has a thriving music scene and is home to several music festivals throughout the year, including the Bergen International Festival.
- Cuisine: Seafood cuisine, with various restaurants serving fresh, local fish dishes.
- Rain: Bergen also has rainy weather, earning it the nickname “The City of Rain.” However, despite the rain, the city’s natural beauty still attracts many visitors yearly.
Oslo to Bergen Train Logistics
If you are planning to take the Bergen Line (Bergensbanen), here’s what you need to know:
- One way costs around $46 per person, but we booked way ahead.
- Buy your tickets online in advance.
- Save some money and skip the NSB Komfort upgrade. It’s about $11 per person extra, and you are paying for tea, coffee, and newspapers.
- Make sure you print your tickets or have your booking code, or you’ll buy new tickets.
- You will join the train in the city center at Oslo S (Oslo Central Station).
- It’s a 7-hour train ride but the most comfortable one ever.
- There are multiple luggage compartments in each cabin.
- You don’t need any cash; they accept credit cards.
- Be mindful of the daylight hours. For example, if traveling in winter, you don’t want to depart any later than noon. It would be pointless without daylight.
How Do I Get Tickets?
The primary train operator in Norway, Vy, offers tickets for purchase up to 90 days in advance. It is wise to book tickets in advance, especially during holidays and busy periods. You can also buy tickets at Oslo S (Central Station) or Bergen Station.
Ticket Booking and Prices
Passengers can book their Oslo to Bergen train tickets through the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) website or mobile app. The booking process is simple, and passengers can choose their preferred travel date and time and their seating class.
The prices for the Oslo to Bergen train vary on the time of year and how far in advance you buy tickets. Generally, the earlier the booking, the cheaper the fare. Passengers can choose between the standard class and the more luxurious Komfort class, which offers wider seats and more legroom.
It is worth noting that discounts are available for children, students, and seniors, with some offering up to 50% off the regular fare. Additionally, NSB offers a “Minipris” fare, a discounted fare for passengers who book early and are flexible with travel dates.
Passengers can also purchase a “Norway in a Nutshell” ticket, including the Oslo to Bergen train journey, and other scenic routes and attractions in Norway. This ticket is popular for tourists who want to see the best of Norway’s natural beauty.
Oslo Central Station
The journey starts at the Oslo Central Station in the city’s heart. The station is easily accessible by public transport and offers a range of facilities such as shops, restaurants, and luggage storage. The train departs from platform 4, so passengers need to arrive at the station at least 15 minutes before departure.
Finse Station is located at an altitude of 1,222 meters above sea level and is the highest station on the Oslo to Bergen train route. The station is in the middle of the Hardangervidda National Park and offers stunning views of the mountains and glaciers. Passengers must bring warm clothing as the temperature can drop significantly at this altitude.
The journey ends at the Bergen Station, which is located in the city center. The station offers a range of facilities such as shops, restaurants, and luggage storage. From here, passengers can easily explore the city and its attractions, such as the Bryggen Wharf, the Fish Market, and the Fløibanen Funicular.
Overall, the Oslo to Bergen train route is a must-see for anyone visiting Norway. The stunning scenery and comfortable journey make it an unforgettable experience.
The Cabins On The Oslo to Bergen Train
I had read that it was worth splurging on the premium cabin (NSB Komfort). We upgraded but ended up in the wrong seats. Unbeknownst to us, the same seat numbering applies to all cabins. We did not realize this until the conductor told us we were in the wrong cabin.
You would never know because the economy section is immaculate! We looked at the premium cabin. Sure, the seats are slightly more prominent, but these cabins are almost always full. We would have had to share a quad – no, thanks! Lucky for us, the conductor suggested we move to the rear cabin with open quads and no sprogs! Speaking of sprogs, there is a sprog cabin. Yep, you read that right. The sprog cabin has a playroom and a TV!
Seats On The Bergen Line
The seats are beyond comfortable and recline almost halfway back — plenty of leg space and tons of overhead storage for luggage. All seats have power outlets; you need a power adapter and are all set. The quad seating has a table, and all seats have a footrest. The seats also have comfy headrests.
The New PlusNight Lie-flat Seats
You will enjoy privacy from your fellow passengers due to your single seat’s angled position and a wraparound seat shell. Lay your seat completely flat when you’re ready to turn in after reading a book or watching a movie.
- Every seat features an exclusive privacy pod, a small table, a reading lamp, and a USB charger.
- Seats are the following dimensions when laid completely flat: length 203 cm. The width at the shoulder is 65 cm, and the chair is 81 cm at its widest.
- A free night-time amenity pack, including a simple blanket, earplugs, and eye mask, is available in your carriage.
Bathrooms On The Oslo to Bergen Train
I don’t even know where to start with this one. You all know I have a thing for bathrooms! I was in shock over how modern, roomy, and, most importantly, clean the bathrooms were—ventilated with built-in hand dryers.
They have purse hooks and all like something from the future. The bathroom on the train was better than the average public restroom in the US. Something that made me belly laugh was that a young Indian family reacted similarly. They said, “Wow, it’s so clean.” Unless you’ve ridden a train in India, you won’t get the humor in that. Comparing the two would be like comparing apples and oranges.
The Café On The Bergen Line
The train has a fantastic café. You can dine in or take out. The café has a full menu. You can order a cooked meal or pick up a sandwich. There are also fresh baked goods, fruit, and many drinks choices. You can also order beer or wine, which you must consume inside the café.
Travel Duration and Frequency Of The Oslo to Bergen Train
The train ride from Oslo to Bergen takes approximately 7 hours. The distance between the two cities is around 308 miles (496 kilometers). The train journey offers scenic views of the Norwegian countryside, including fjords, mountains, and valleys.
The frequency of trains between Oslo and Bergen varies depending on the season. There are up to 5 trains per day in the summer months, while there may be fewer trains in the winter. Make sure y check the schedule to plan the trip accordingly.
Vy, the Norwegian state-owned railway company, operates the train service between Oslo and Bergen. The trains are modern and comfortable, equipped with Wi-Fi, power outlets, and a restaurant car. First-class tickets offer additional benefits such as larger seats and complimentary meals.
The Scenery During The Oslo to Bergen Train Ride
While beautiful, I don’t know if we needed seven hours of it. I also can’t say it was a must. Overall, I was more impressed with the train than the scenery.
I did see the fjords and all the lone homes dotting the landscape. And I don’t have a frame of reference to compare to. Perhaps I would have had a different take if I had experienced more train rides throughout Europe.
The Oslo to Bergen train journey is one of the most scenic routes in the world. The train ride takes passengers through some of Norway’s most stunning landscapes, including mountains, fjords, and valleys.
One of the journey’s highlights is the Flåm Railway, a branch line connecting the mainline railway with the village of Flåm. The Flåm Railway is one of the steepest railway lines in the world, and it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Another journey highlight is the Hardangervidda plateau, Europe’s most extensive mountain plateau. The plateau is home to diverse wildlife, including reindeer, arctic foxes, and wolverines. The train ride through the plateau offers passengers a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Norway up close.
The journey also takes passengers through the Naeroyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fjord is famous for its narrow passages, cliffs, and cascading waterfalls. The train ride through the fjord offers passengers a unique perspective of the fjord’s natural beauty.
Where To Stay In Bergen
Bergen has tons of options for accommodations. I stayed at the Magic Hotel Korskirken. I chose this hotel because it was 2 minutes away from the water, included breakfast, had excellent reviews, and had space-like beds! Yes, space is like in a scene from Startrek.
I would stay here again in a heartbeat. You navigate the charming cobbled streets to get to this gem and walk through the square with the Ludvig Holberg Statue. Once inside, you enter via a shared doorway to a grocery store. At first, I thought this was odd, but it was a bonus. We had everything we could need and then some. Imagine waking up needing aspirin: boom, run downstairs, and you are all set.
Other Hotels In Bergen
FAQs About The Oslo to Bergen Train
Things To Do In Bergen
The train journey from Oslo to Bergen is a convenient and enjoyable way to travel between the two cities, offering breathtaking views of Norway’s natural beauty.
I would have regretted it if we had not taken the train. It appealed to me on many levels, the experience being the main lure. Overall, I enjoyed the ride and loved the train. If all public transportation were like this, I would never drive again. Would I do it again? No, but that’s easy to say now that I have done it. Do I regret doing it? No!
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