Time and time again, the journey from Bergen to Oslo via train comes up in lists of Europe’s best and most scenic train trips. The line, which travels up through the mountains, takes about 7 hours and takes you across one of Europe’s highest mountain plateaus and is a journey I’ve wanted to take for a while.
Like everything in Norway, trains can be expensive so the key is to buy tickets in advance to secure the best fare – the minipris. We constantly checked the Norwegian railways’ website (NSB) to see when tickets for our dates were available, and bought them as soon as they were.
The train features a variety of seating options including standard class, a family-friendly carriage (complete with children’s play area) and the top level Komfort class. As it was only an extra 90 NOK each (about £8.50) more to go for the more upmarket option we went for this as it seemed worth it for such a long journey.
The entire train has free Wifi and there’s a dining car for use for all passengers, but the main benefits of Komfort class are larger seats with space for them to recline back, plug sockets and complementary tea and coffee throughout your journey.
The dining car serves a variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks and more substantial options – a menu is provided at your seat – and you can either eat in the dining car or take it back to your seat. The only exception to this is alcohol which has to be consumed within the dining car.
And the journey itself? It’s simply stunning.
Leaving Bergen, you are in a tunnel for a considerable distance but it then opens up to reveal the spectacular scenery. Lakes, rivers, forested areas and picturesque villages are all visible from the train. About halfway through the journey, there’s a short break (about 10 minutes) at one of the stations and you’re more than welcome to get off and stretch your legs and absorb some of the fresh mountain air. A nice touch for those doing the entire leg in a single journey; although we actually stopped off halfway through and spent the night at Finse 1222, a historic hotel next to the train line in the hamlet of Finse.
Arriving into Oslo, you start to reach more towns and built-up areas before the final leg takes you into Norway’s capital and suddenly, you’re in the heart of a European city before you know it. A memorable journey and a fantastic opportunity to see a significant chunk of Norway in one simple trip.