Fjords, waterfalls, wooden cabins, fields covered in snow and desolate land. The train ride from Bergen to Oslo provides an impression of Southern Norway. We share all you need to know about one of best train rides in Europe!
The Oslo-Bergen railway is often cited as one of the worlds most beautiful train journeys.
After spending a few days in Bergen, it was time to start our Bergen to Oslo train trip. Why weren’t we flying home directly from Bergen? Apparently one of the best train rides in Europe. Not sure if you are aware that I’m a fan of travelling by train. After my Trans-Siberian Railway adventure last year, this almost 7-hour train ride from Bergen to Oslo was a baby ride.
Bergen Train Station
The Bergen train station is a small train station with just 4 tracks. Bergen is the starting point of this trip and it’s where most of the people will get on board of the train. There are storage facilities, an ATM and a few shops to buy coffee and a sandwich. The shops were even open on Sunday at 07:15 so even on early weekend days you will be able to get your caffeine shot! When we were there in May this year, the Bergen train station was being renovated. I could still see it’s a beautiful building. Pay some attention to the colourful painting in the central hall 🙂
Bergen – Oslo Train Time Schedule and Stops
The train from Bergen to Oslo runs every day, several times per day. There are 22 stops between Bergen and Oslo: Arna, Vaksdall, Dale, Voss, Mjølfjell, Upsete, Myrdal, Hallingskeid, Finse, Haugastøl, Ustaoset, Geilo, Ål, Gol, Nesbyen, Flå, Hønefoss, Vikersund, Hokksund, Drammen, Asker, Sandvika. Consider getting off at Myrdal to take the famous train to Flåm. Flåm is a popular (cruise) destination and is known for its waterfall and fjords.
For more information about time schedules, please check timetables at NSB.no. There are English language timetables available. Our train left on Sunday morning at Bergen station at 07:57 and arrived at Oslo at 14:45. There is no time to get off the train to stretch your legs or buy something. So do your exercises on the train, buy your food and drinks on the train or BYO.
Where to buy your Bergen – Oslo train tickets and what’s the price?
Tickets can be purchased online at NSB (Norges Statsbaner AS). We paid 449 NOK (€ 50) for the Bergen-Oslo route. This is a ‘Mini Pris’ deal, a non-refundable rate that is cheaper than the standard price. NSB claims Mini Pris’ its the lowest price and is based on the demand and availability. The tickets can (and must) be purchased via the NSB app, website or the machine at train stations at least one day prior to the date of your travels.
It’s best to book your ticket in advance. We booked our Bergen to Oslo train tickets mid-February and travelled mid-May. If I look at tickets next Sunday, the standard price is NOK 950 (€ 110) which is twice the price. So keep an eye on the price and book when you find yourself a Mini Pris deal.
So what’s the train from Bergen to Oslo like?
The train from Bergen to Oslo had 8 carriages, most of them standard class.
- Carriage 1: NSB Komfort. For 90 NOK (€ 9,90) extra you benefit from Wifi and free coffee. The quality of the Wifi depends on where you are. You can imagine that in the middle of nowhere reception is not that good.
- Carriage 2: Family Carriage. This carriage is designated for families with (young) kids. There is a special playground where kids can climb and play.
- Carriage 3 and 4 and 6, 7 and 8: Standard class. I spotted a sign of a dog on Carriage 8. You can bring your pet on the train for free if it’s a small one. If your dog is taller than 40 cm, you will pay 50% of an adult ticket. I hope the dog will get his own seat 🙂
- Carriage 5: Catering carriage called NSB Meny. You will receive a menu once the train rides. There are cold and warm beverages, breakfast, lunch and warm food.
Seating – what’s the best spot to sit on the train from Bergen to Oslo?
We decided to reserve seats that face the riding direction on the left side of the train. We did quite some research before we booked and it appeared that there is no huge difference between the left or right side of the train. I would recommend paying € 9,90 if you need Wifi and coffee 🙂
You are allowed to bring 30 kilos of luggage with you with a maximum of 3 pieces. This is Norway so you are allowed to bring skis and snowboard on the train free of charge. Even in May, we saw locals entering the train after hitting the slopes. That is amazing right!?
There is a separate space for your bikes. Bringing your bike on the train is possible, it will cost you half of your personal ticket with a max of 204 NOK (€ 20,00). As a Dutchie, that fee is difficult to understand. It’s recommended to book your bike ticket beforehand.
Food and drinks
Although we brought our own fruit and crackers from the supermarket, there are enough options for you to survive the train ride if you don’t bring anything. The food and drink details:
- In the NSB Komfort carriage, you will find 3 cans of filter coffee and a machine to make a cappuccino or a latte.
- There is a large menu to choose from. NSB has had the support of the Norwegian chef Jostein Medhus to create a menu with local ingredients and flavours. There are gluten-free, lactose-free, vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. Haven’t tried any of the food myself so I can’t tell you ifit’s any good.
- Expect to pay 69 NOK (€ 7,50) for a ham cheese sandwich, 109 NOK (€ 11) for a noodle salad with vegetable, pizza with beef and local ham for NOK 81 (€ 9). There is a special kids menu with lower prices for a sandwich and a smoothie for NOK 26 (€ 3). Pastries are about NOK 35 (€ 4). You pay a little bit more to eat in the restaurant.
- And then he drinks: I guess you all are aware of the outrageous alcohol prices in Norway. Can’t control yourself? Half a bottle (it said 1/2 fl at the menu) of Chardonnay is NOK 259 (€28), the cheapest red wine option is NOK 109 (€ 11) for 1/4 fl of Merlot. All beers are 89 NOK (€ 10). Enjoy!
- The restaurant is open throughout the whole journey.
- There is a special, slightly simpler, night menu for passengers on the Bergen – Oslo night train.
The toilets on the train were very clean, there is soap to wash your hands. In the Family carriage are baby facilities.
It’s fascinating how desolated the land between the small villages is. I wonder what the inhabitants do for a living in those small towns, I guess it’s fishing or working in the wood industry. I have seen many cabins of which I have no idea how you can ever reach them. No paths, no roads. And there is still snow in May. Loads of snow.
Where to pay some extra attention?
Fjords, waterfalls and lakes
- When the train left Bergen I was overwhelmed by the beautiful lakes, fjords and tunnels. The water of the fjords seemed so clean and fresh.
- Near the lake of Evangervatnet (just after the tunnel) you will spot a beautiful waterfall as well as in the region of Mjølfjell. After those, I stopped making waterfall notes as there are so many to see!
- In Geilo, a town on 800-meter height, where we arrived a few minutes before 11:00, the landscape gets a little less impressive.
- You will spot the Stranda fjords (at about 11:05), just a bit of a shame the Hallingplast plastic factory ruins the view.
- Tyrifjorden is a huge lake where people seem to have their private beaches! Again, beautiful reflections of the wooden houses and trees.
- Between Nesbyen en Stavn (no stops) there are stunning lake reflections on your right.
- Between Myrdal and Finse are many stunning open fields, covered in snow. this would depend on the period when you travel.
- After Ustaoset there is less snow, landscapes are not yet green but yellow and brown.
- Hønefoss at 13:05: from here onwards more forest where you see the importance of logging, agricultural fields.
- Urban development takes over half an hour before Drammen until Oslo.
- There are quite a few wooden Nordic style train stations. I especially liked Dale and Voss. If you are as lucky as were, you may spot some locals in traditional clothing.
- At Gol you will meet the train to Bergen from Oslo at 11:45: halfway there!
- Keep your eyes open, at about 13:10 on your left you will see a beautiful tiny black church, the Ask Kapell in Ask, and a mini graveyard.
Have you been travelling on the train from Bergen to Oslo or Oslo to Bergen? Share your experience with us and let us know if we missed anything in this blog post! Happy travels ♡