When I talk about Norway – always too often, I know! – and I mention to people who want to confine themselves in the South (a mistake, according to me) not to miss the train Oslo-Bergen, the reaction is usually a half-hearted “Okay” and they go far. I am not able almost never to explain at first shot that during those six hours by train people live the essence of Norway.
From Oslo to Bergen by train
First of all let’s start saying trains in Norway aren’t like ours. They are very cleaned, really on time and many times have very quick Wi-Fi on board: not this one because it goes through really deserted areas…but you think the bad functioning is signalled on the national railway website!
Already this few characteristics shall be enough to destroy the initial mistrust when we talk about trains.
This route is wonderful for many reasons. First of all because it will make you reach Bergen, a too tourist destination by now which has lost a lot about his distinctiveness but that’s a real shame to miss, even if we have only few days in our hands in Norway.
Navigation among fjords
Here you can spend a few days exploring Brygge, navigating among the fjords with Weller (heartily advised) and above all take just from here the Hurtigruten, the postal of fjords: it leaves every night.
Since I visited Norway many times, in many seasons and by different means of transport, I certainly can say the Hurtigruten is definitely the best and the most wonderful way.
When people tell you Norway is beautiful by car, by train, even by plane (which is wonderful, too) you immediately ask them if they have travelled by Hurtigruten, the complete route, from south to north. Who did it will advise it to you!
It doesn’t exist any better way in the world to enter the fjords, sight whales, cross narrow way-through and then in winter admire from the deck the northern lights: the top of the tops.
A little tip: did you know that to save a lot of money it will be enough to go to the boarding directly without booking and buy the passage? Of course you will be willing to run the risk to delay your departure one day or two, to change the ship previously chosen on the website, or to get round this inconveniences travelling during the low season.
The postal is still used today by Norwegians to move during the winter season and the amounts are not certainly the ones sold here in Italy.
Purchase of train tickets
But let’s get back to our journey by train from Oslo to Bergen. We leave really on time from Oslo, given seats and we go through the first hills around the town. The tickets can be purchased directly at the station at the ticket machine with an operator next to it – authorized! – helping and making the operations easy.
They are a bit more expensive and also pay attention during the peak season since it’s easy the seats could be sold out: in Norway we don’t travel as in our commuter trains!
Don’t you believe it? Look at our video to see the sight of this journey by train from Oslo to Bergen!
You can buy the tickets directly on the Norwegian railway website: it is translated into English and it’s working perfectly and it’s easy to use. In short, nothing to do with Trenitalia! Monitor the website regularly because you can often find some offers allowing you to save even 50% of the amount.
From Oslo we move towards Drammen, then we go northwards and then westwards to Bergen.
A journey within the journey
We go through mountains, villages, towns, along roads, lakes and streams where sometimes is still possible to see the fluctuation of the logs on the water. Once cut, they are shifted by this way, floating on the rivers.
Then we arrive to the high mountains. The train from Oslo to Bergen go through one of the highest plateaux of Europe. The landscape become charming and surreal in every season.
Sometimes you can be swallowed up in the fog and don’t understand even where you are. The temperature will fall down remarkably. At the stations you will be allowed to get off in a flash only few seconds, just the time to take some photos.
What season? All
A beautiful winter day is certainly the best way to go through these glaciers inside tunnels dig through the mountain to allow using the stations during the cold iced months when the snow and the bad weather lord it.
Imagine that really many years ago when I did this route for the first time, in the smallest and highest villages didn’t exist nor roads or hotels but only little Spartan shelters.
Tourists were welcomed at the station, maybe during a snowstorm, with the quad taking them to their accommodations through beaten paths.
Obviously tourism realized very quickly that these areas are trekking paradises and paradises of many and ideal sports to sight mountain animals. Today these places have got all comforts.
In summer the mountain landscapes are unique and you certainly wont to get off and stop here even a few days. But everybody knows…time is never enough when we are travelling.
To plan the journey and the excursions
On the Norwegian railway website you’ll find also lots of useful tips to plan your excursions: for example, with a short deviation you can reach Flam and have a tour by the short little train, or glaciers, panoramic cycle ways and ski resort with ski pass at discount prices.
To notice also the possibility to buy a ticket combined with a short route with the Hurtigruten. At the moment, the offer is really interesting.
Arrival in Bergen and night train
Even before you can realize it the journey ends. Bergen station is a few thousands metres from the town centre, so it’s perfect to move on foot towards your hotel.
Still a little tip before to finish. If you are going to come back to Oslo, you know that it exists even the night train. It leaves at 11pm about from Bergen and it arrives in Oslo early in the morning.
The seats are comfortable and will allow you to save a night at the hotel, besides to optimize time, which is always shorter when you are travelling.
But, please, opt for the night train only if you have already done the route by day. The ticket for the night cost less, but you definitely cannot miss the landscapes the train offers from Oslo to Bergen!