Oslo to Bergen: Europe’s Most Breathtaking Train Journey?

Some of the world’s train journeys are more than just a form of transport. With these beauties, the actual ride is half the fun.

The Bergensbanen from Bergen to Oslo is one of Europe's most spectactular train trips
Pic: Tore Sætre (CC)

And guess what? The train ride from Oslo to Bergen is one of those great journeys.

Is the train from Oslo to Bergen scenic?

In a word, yes! Often described as Europe’s most beautiful train journey, this epic trip takes you through some of Scandinavia’s most beautiful landscapes and is a must-do for anyone making the trip from Oslo to Bergen.

Really, why bother flying when the train ride is this pretty – not to mention environmentally friendly?

You’ll be able to stretch your legs, grab a coffee from the dining car and generally feel pretty smug about not flying.

The ride from Oslo to Bergen: what to expect

Known as Bergensbanen, or the Bergen Line in English, the train route stretches across southern Norway for a total of 496km (308 miles).

The line was built at the end of the 19th century and is still Northern Europe’s highest mainline railway line – it crosses the craggy Hardangervidda plateau at a height of 1,237 m (4,058 ft) above sea level.

The Bergensbanen leaves the Central Station in Oslo four times a day (at 8.25am, 12.03pm, 4.25pm and 11.03pm).

Like all trains in Norway, services covering the Oslo–Bergen route have everything you need to stay comfy onboard, including decent seating, plenty of toilets, a café/restaurant and free onboard wifi.

How long is the train journey from Oslo to Bergen?

This epic train ride takes between six hours and a half to seven and a half hours. 

That might seem like a long ride, compared with the 55-minute flight between the two cities, but the scenery makes it worth your while.

What is there to see between Bergen and Oslo?

As the train pulls out of Oslo, the first beautiful views begin to emerge over the Drammensfjord. The railway then follows the picturesque Drammenselva river upstream along Tyrifjorden and on to Hønefoss.

The picturesque Bergensbanen is an epic train ride in Norway.
Pic: Tore Sætre (CC)

From Hønefoss onwards the buildings begin to thin out, offering untouched landscapes with only the occasional traditional red cabin visible in the distance. 

The tracks continue up and down mountainsides and through numerous tunnels – more than 180 of them in total.

Every twist and turn of the journey offers breathtaking panoramas as the train glides past national parks, waterfalls and beautiful lakes, rivers and fjords.

Is the Oslo Pass worth buying?

Read this guide to see how much you could save during your trip!

What’s the highest station between Oslo and Bergen?

The highest point above sea level is Finse station, a town so remote that no public roads connect it to the rest of Norway, making it only accessible via train.

Finse Station is the highest along Norway's epic Bergensbanen train line
Pic: Espen Franck-Nielsen (CC)

What are the stops between Oslo and Bergen?

There are a total of 22 stops along the way, with the journey eventually coming to an end at Bergen Station, right in the heart of the city.

The train stops en route at Arna, Vaksdall, Dale, Voss, Mjølfjell, Upsete, Myrdal, Hallingskeid, Finse, Haugastøl, Ustaoset, Geilo, Ål, Gol, Nesbyen, Flåm, Hønefoss, Vikersund, Hokksund, Drammen, Asker and Sandvika.

The between Flåm and Bergen is especially beautifully – so much so that we wrote a whole post about it!

Is Bergen, Norway worth visiting?

Bergen is certainly visiting, not only as a jumping-off point for some of Norway’s most spectacular fjords, but as a destination in its own right.

Within walking distance of the station, you’ll find the iconic Bryggen, Bergen’s wharf, as well as a fish market and other famous historic sites within the city, including the ancient Bergenhus Fortress.

For more ideas on what to see and do when you get to Bergen, have a look at our guide of 25 free things to do there.

Is there a train from Oslo to the fjords?

Once you’re in Bergen, there’s easy access to Norway’s two largest fjords, including the Hardangerfjord to the south and the Sognefjord to the north. 

Alternatively, you could get off at one of the earlier stops such as Mrydal or Voss. Myrdal is the junction with the epic Flåm Railway, one of the world’s steepest railways, which winds down to the tip of the Aurlandsfjord.

For more on this spectacular trip, read our ultimate guide to the train ride to Flåm.

Voss is Norway’s extreme sports centre, where adrenaline junkies can get their kicks with such sports as para-gliding, base jumping and white-river rafting. For more on Voss, see our guide to extreme sports in Norway.

What’s the best time of year to take the train to Bergen?

Good news: the train journey between Oslo and Bergen runs all year. And each season in Norway has its own pros and cons, so it’s hard to determine which is ‘best’.

Winter is a dramatic time to do the epic Oslo to Bergen train trip
Pic: Kabelleger (CC)

The spring and summer months bring colourful landscapes with fields of flowers and rolling green hills and mountains. In autumn, you get the beautiful hues of yellow and orange that light up the fjords.

And in winter the snowy mountain peaks make for dramatic white wonderland views. We guarantee that whatever time of year you embark on this train journey you’ll be in for a scenic ride.  

How much does it cost to travel by train from Oslo to Bergen?

Fares fluctuate depending on the demand for any given time or day, and how far in advance you book.

The scenery is spectacular along Norway's epic Oslo to Bergen train trip

If you’re lucky you can get a one-way ticket for around 300 NOK (30 USD) in low season.

This low rate, however, is a restricted ticket with no changes or refunds allowed, and you’ll have to book way in advance.

If you have any doubts about your plans or need more flexibility, your ticket will cost more.

Fully flexible fares for the Oslo–Bergen trip can go up to around 1200 NOK (120 USD) if you’re travelling at weekends or on public holidays. 

If you’re travelling with a family or in a group, there is also the option of buying a compartment ticket, where you book the entire train compartment.

If there are six of you, the person price works out cheaper than buying a single fare, and you get your own private carriage.

Check the timetable for your dates here, and be flexible with your departure time if you want the best chance of a good deal.

Is there a night train from Oslo to Bergen?

Yes, the night train from Oslo to Bergen leaves Oslo at 11.03pm and arrives in Bergen at 6.44 the next morning. It has the longest journey time, but is also the cheapest train and saves you the cost of a night’s accommodation in pricey Norway.

The downside is that you’ll make the journey in the dark so you’ll miss out on all the scenic beauty of the trip.

How to book the Oslo to Bergen train

We normally recommend the Omio website, where you can reserve tickets in advance and book space for bikes, if you need to.

Tickets are available 90 days before departure, and generally the further in advance you book the cheaper the fare and the better the availability.

Do you need seat reservations for the Oslo to Bergen train?

Yes, you need a reserved seat for the Oslo to Bergen train and they are included in all tickets. 

If you’re travelling on the night train, you have the option of paying extra for a flat bed, or more still for a two-bed sleeping compartment with blankets, sheets, pillows and towels.

Can you take luggage on the Oslo to Bergen train?

Yes, one of the advantages of travelling by train is that there is plenty of space for luggage. You can take up to three pieces of luggage weighing up to 30 kilos, provided you can carry it yourself – and that includes skis and snowboards.

However, you’ll need to buy a special ticket and reserve space for sledges, toboggans and bikes.

Is there a high-speed train from Oslo to Bergen?

No, the fastest journey time for the Oslo to Bergen route is six hours, 35 minutes, so if you’re in a hurry, you’ll need to fly (see below). 

Where should I sit on a train from Oslo to Bergen?

The views are spectacular whichever side of the train you sit on, but connoisseurs suggest that the left side of the train from Oslo to Bergen has the edge.

Is this the most scenic train ride in Norway?

Well, it’s certainly up there in a country that has some pretty spectacular train journeys! 

Other scenic Norwegian train trips include the Oslo to Stavanger route, which runs past forests, mountains, lake and picturesque villages, and, of course, the iconic Flåm railway

Is the train ride from Oslo to Bergen worth it?

Most definitely yes. The journey may be slow but the scenery is spectacular, so you should just sit back and enjoy the ride as part of your holiday.

And you have the bonus of knowing that you’re travelling on the greenest form of transport too.

Alternatives to taking the train to Bergen

If the train is sold out or you’re looking for an alternative way from Oslo to Bergen, there are other options.

By bus

Travelling by bus from Oslo to Bergen also allows you to take in the beautiful scenery, though there are no direct buses.

The Nor-Way express bus runs the full route, but you’ll need to change buses in either Seljestad vektstasjon or Fagernes skysstasjon. The full journey takes between 9 hours 15 minutes and 10 hours and tickets start at 404 NOK.

By plane

There are several daily direct flights between Oslo Gardemoen Airport and Bergen Airport on SAS and Norwegian. Fares start at around around 600 NOK with a flight time of approximately 1 hour.

By car

If you’d prefer to take the scenic journey at your own pace, stopping off along the many fjords on the way, then it’s a good idea to rent a car.

Scandinavian company rent-a-wreck specialises in cheap used hire cars, or try one of the international rental companies such as Sixt, Avis, Hertz and Thrifty. You can compare prices and find a good deal on rental cars here.

For more on car rental in Norway, take a look at our guide to renting a car in Norway.

See also:
The spectacular train ride from Bergen to Flam
Visiting Bergen on a budget
50 free things to do in Oslo
Is the Oslo Pass worth buying?

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Verlin Anderson
Verlin Anderson
1 year ago

We lived in Minnesota; in 1980 I took my 70 year old mother to visit our many Norwegian relatives. We first stopped at Drangedal, Norway, spent three days visiting, relatives in Wraalstad,Tordal,Vralstad,Norway. Than off to Bergen, Norway. Our ancestors sailed from Bergen, to Quebec, Canada, than trudged to a small homestead near Burgen Minnesota,US. I’m 79 years old and hope to take it next year. A very beautiful train ride. My Swedish/American wife passed last fall.