Oslo to Bergen, Norway by Train through the mountains and Boat through the fjords
we're heading to the far western shores of Norway to visit the charming seaside town of Bergen which is located on a picturesque harbour lined with historic buildings and surrounded by seven mountains we're showing you a quick preview of the city here with the historic waterfront and lively outdoor market scenes including a trip up the mountain top by funicular for a spectacular view over the city to get there we're going to take a boat ride and scenic train journey from Oslo across the country over the mountains to Bergen there are several different ways to travel to Bergen of course there's an International Airport so you can fly here in just a few hours from anywhere in Europe but the train and boat ride from Oslo is an excellent option that many savvy travelers choose because taking that ride can be just as enjoyable as being at the destination coming right up will show you fine details of that trip across Norway by train and boat the map shows the route will be taking starting out in Oslo the capital of Norway and then across the mountains on a beautiful ride to flam where we catch the boat and travel through the song of yard to Bergen on the west coast most travelers to Bergen are also visiting Oslo the capital of Norway as we've been doing in that case you can take one of the most spectacular train rides in all of Europe it's easy to board the train you just get on with your carry-on luggage in this case and find your seat settle in kick back and let the journey begin heading cross-country through some fascinating mountain terrain passing lakes and rivers and waterfalls this special trip is called Norway in a nutshell because it shows you a big cross-section of the country in just one day it's always a pleasure to travel by train especially with this kind of scenery gliding by you don't have to worry about driving or getting stuck in traffic you're not crammed in like on a tour bus you can walk around in the tree mean kick back and read a book or take a nap have a conversation visit the snack bar the scenery keeps getting more spectacular as you climb through the central regions of Norway seeming a little bit like Switzerland with tall mountains in the distance and glaciers with lakes where the water is clear blue color this visual feast is like a natural painting with trees and bushes along the edge of the water lovely grasses and shrubs and just wonderful colorful elements of nature outside our windows you'll see a few mountain cabins lots of snow and people riding their bicycles on the mountain road most of the other travelers on board the train are tourists from all different parts of the world so it's kind of a nice opportunity to have a little conversation or at least attempt some conversation despite language barriers you can always communicate I've taken about 500 train trips in my travels through Europe including quite a bit in the Swiss Alps which are really spectacular but nothing somehow quite compares with this scenery out the window these alpine meadows with glaciers and raging rivers what a combination the entire route from Oslo to Bergen covers a distance of about 300 miles it's the highest standard gauge railway in northern Europe crossing the plateau at 4,000 feet above sea level we are travelling in July and there's still plenty of snow the first short section of rail opened on the bergen end in 1883 as narrow gauge and by 1909 the route extended all the way to Oslo typical of the European long-distance trains there's a dining car on board so you can just queue up wait your turn get a coffee have a drink or a complete meal it's like a coffee shop on wheels the train can be a friendly setting for meeting Scandinavians and you'll find that most of them speak some English nobody's in a rush at this point so it's an opportune place to meet the locals and have a chat you'll change trains Midway at the junction of with Myrtle and board the flam railway which is one of the most scenic rides in Europe the mere doll Junction is a busy place but there's no real town here to see you're just on the platform to wait for your next train there is also local trains from here down into Bergen but we're going down down down down the mountain down to flam that's a waterfront village where we catch our boat it's a busy train so you do need to make reservations during the high season from May through September and everybody gets a good view the flam railway fortunately stops now and then to let passengers get off the train to enjoy the view the most spectacular sight is a rolling gushing waterfall a terrific photo opportunity but wipe the water off your lens it's like being out in the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls or in a heavy rainstorm with a big spray coming at you you've got about ten minutes to take in the sight snap your pictures the only reason the train stops here is to show you the view so take advantage some people just sit in the train but it's a lot better to get out and experience it yes you might get a little wet but no harm it's all part of the fun and you'll soon dry off no doubt there's something special about waterfalls and this one is very convenient because we're halfway through the journey 30 minutes down hop out take a break jump back on 30 more minutes to the bottom at this point we've reached 2,000 foot elevation and it's very comfortable platform you could walk around on it very safe with the railing and then you try and figure out what car you were on and get back in your seat and then we continue the second half of the journey down which gets even more spectacular with beautiful mountain scenery many hairpin turns flam railway is the steepest standard gauge train in Europe where almost 80% of the journey has a gradient of over five percent because of the sharp angle and picturesque nature the flam line is now almost exclusively tourist service and has become the third most visited tourist attraction in Norway carrying about 600,000 passengers annually the train journey runs through fantastic nature pass deep mountains breathtaking waterfalls with twenty tunnels in one bridge and offers so many of you points that many people feel like traveling at multiple times National Geographic Traveler magazine has named the flam railway as one of the top ten train journeys in Europe and Lonely Planet named it as the best train journey in the world in 2014 toward the bottom the line passes a spectacular waterfall with a 460 foot drop one of the most exciting attractions of the trip maximum speed downhill is the leisurely 19 miles an hour and uphill it's 25 miles an hour this train ride downhill takes one hour but the sights are so spellbinding it seems like ten minutes it's the only branch line heading out from that main Oslo Bergen route towards the bottom of the journey the valley widens and changes character becoming flatter and with more vegetation and some houses the little hamlet of flam is located on the Arlen's fjord a branch of the Sanya fjord with 400 permanent residents it's almost entirely a tourist area featuring among other things a little hotel and a cruise ship port and you can have lunch while waiting for the boat it's a very pleasant little village it's been called heaven on earth and of course there's a gift shop there's an information counter and there's a ticket office where you can buy train tickets or boat tickets after about one hour the boat starts boarding to begin the ride to Bergen you'll see lots of great scenery during the boat ride with the mountains towering high above on both sides of this chasm the best views are during the first two hours when the mountains are steepest and the few it is narrows so be sure to spend time by a window or even better out on a deck initially the Sonia fjord is the largest and best-known fjord in Norway and one of the longest in the world it stretches 127 miles inland from the ocean to the small village of scull Djem in the municipality of lynnster sonia fjord is more than 3000 feet deep for about half of its length reaching a maximum depth of 4,300 feet the captain pulls right up to the big waterfall so we all get a good look cliffs surrounding the fjord rise almost cheer from the water up to heights of over 3,000 feet making this most dramatic landscape the average width is nearly three miles there's more than a dozen side fjords that branch off from the main body and we see several of them while cruising along beyond the inner end of Sanja fjord liza mountain range that rises over six thousand feet high and is covered by europe's largest glacier we also get a nice view of several picturesque villages along the shore always with the dramatic mountain backdrop there is a casual snack bar on the ship for a light meal like a hamburger and soda but not much else the viewers were dug out by giant glaciers that shaped the landscape through several ice ages this created a deep narrow and elongated body of water with steep land on three sides and all along Norway's west coast these inlets are often surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery as we see here frankly at five and a half hours this ride is pretty long so you might want to consider alternatives such as a shorter boat ride then take a bus to the main train line and continue on to Bergen by rail more quickly there is a very nice reward towards the end of the boat ride as you approach the city of Bergen travel through a vast archipelago of islands and channels linked together by bridges you'll see a lot of colorful houses of law the shore some boats tied up at docks probably some second homes that are vacation places for the locals as well as very large mansions up on the cliffs it's really quite a sight after several hours in the boat you'll get the first breathtaking glimpse of the town of Bergen located in the head of a long natural inlet enhanced by a picturesque harbour lined with historic buildings and many boats and surrounded by seven mountains you surely want to be out on deck in these closing dramatic moments of the long boat ride soaking up the view and getting your pictures the city wraps around the harbor with the especially exciting Bergen the old historic district on the north end in buildings that have been warehouses for fish but are now shops and restaurants it's a very easy exit from the boat because it's a pretty small vehicle and it docks right in the heart of downtown that gives us real easy access to walk to our hotel it's just a few blocks away be sure to look for the other movies we've made about Bergen and the rest of Scandinavia in our collection
We’re going to take you on one of the most spectacular train rides in all of Europe: starting in Oslo, we’re heading cross-country through fascinating mountain terrain, passing lakes and rivers and waterfalls, and then by boat through a vast fjord, finally we will be arriving later in the day at the ancient capital of Norway the town of Bergen. This special trip is called Norway in a Nutshell. Showing you a big cross-section of the country in just one day.
The scenery keeps getting more spectacular as we climb through the central regions of Norway, getting a little bit like Switzerland with tall mountains in the distance and glaciers, with lakes where the water is clear blue color.
We change trains mid-way at Myrdal and board the Flam railway which is one of the most scenic rides in Europe. It travels about four miles from the mountain tops down through seven lush valleys to the waters below in the Sognefjord, Norway’s largest fjord. There we catch a boat to Bergen through the Sognefjord. There’s lots of great scenery during the boat ride, with the mountains towering high above on both sides of this chasm.
See our other Bergen movies here: