Train holidays in Europe is on the rise. If you are one of those thinking about rail holidays, why not consider travelling by train in Norway? In a country with so much amazing nature, you are sure to have the best time. Of the many great train journeys in Norway, the Oslo to Bergen train is one of the very best.
There is something romantic about travelling by train, don’t you think? Over the last years, rail holidays in Europe have had a renaissance, and as more routes are launched, more and more people find back to this great way of travelling. It is relaxing, exciting and can be social.
Especially night trains in Europe is on the rise. In Norway, you can also take the night train, but for the train journey in this article, we highly recommend you to travel during day time. It would be sad to miss the spectacular nature along with the Oslo to Bergen train route.
In this post you will find information on how to book the Bergen to Oslo train, how much it costs and tips for a great combination making your holiday in Norway even better, so read on.
What is the Oslo – Bergen train?
This train line, also called the Bergen Line or Bergen Railway (Bergensbanen in Norwegian), is one of the main train lines in Norway, and of the single most popular ones. It’s a scenic 371-kilometre long railway line between Bergen and the town of Hønefoss, but the name mostly applies to the whole Oslo – Bergen train route. If one includes Oslo, the total distance of the journey is 493 kilometres.
The Bergen Railway opened between Bergen and Voss in 1883 and in 1909 the route could continue over the mountain to Oslo. It’s a single-track line, and the trains from Oslo to Bergen have been electrified since 1964. It is one of the highest railways in Europa.
On its way, the Oslo to Bergen train passes through around 200 tunnels, and along the route, there are in total 21 stops. The train has several daily departures in both directions and the total travel time is around 6,5 -7 hours.
TIP: Read our post from our Trans Siberian Railway Trip if you are curious how that can be done
The train will take you from the lowlands around Oslo, through beautiful valleys with traditional Norwegian architecture, over the stunning high mountain plateau Hardangervidda and through spectacular nature down towards Bergen. Don’t blame us if you want to take the train again. It is truly one of the best travel experiences one can have in Norway.
Best time to travel with the Oslo to Bergen train
No matter which season you choose to travel, you will anyway have a good time. Depending on what your personal wishes are, the train from Oslo to Bergen is great year-round. In the summer you will see the alpine mountain landscape, while the autumn offers stunning autumn foliage. A winter adventure is also great – and you will see snow for sure. Maybe more snow than you ever did.
You can also use the Oslo to Bergen train for only parts of the distance, meaning in the summer and autumn can get off along the route for hiking or cycling, and in the winter for skiing.
The summer months are the busiest, so avoid high summer if you prefer fewer people when you travel.
Where to stop along the Oslo to Bergen train – possible combinations
Many prefer to travel the whole journey in one go. But if you have the time, why not have one or more stops along the way. There’s so much to see and do, that it could keep you busy for weeks on end. We won’t try to keep you too busy, and under you can see suggestions for stops along the route.
Gol: A village in the traditional area of Hallingdal. Here you are only half an hour away from bustling Hemsedal, one of Norway’s best skiing areas, also perfect for nice hikes in the summer.
Geilo: This is maybe the most up-market ski resort town in Norway. Skiing might not be the best in Norway, but the slopes and parks have something for everyone. The centre of the town is 800 metres above sea level, and the place to see -and be seen is in the bar at Dr Holms hotel.
Finse: This tiny mountain village is located at 1222 metres, and the train station is the highest station, not only along the Oslo – Bergen train route but in the whole of Norway. Finse is very popular as starting point for cross country skiing and for hikes at the Hardagervidda plateau. One of Norway’s most popular cycling routes, the Rallervegen, passed through Finse.
Myrdal: Myrdal station is nothing special itself, but in addition to being a stop on the Bergen to Oslo train line, it’s also a junction and the starting point for Flamsbana ( Flåm) railway. That train route has been named the most beautiful train journey in the world. To make more out of your trip, you can take Flamsbana to the village of Flam (Flåm) and from there take a boat through the longest fjord in Norway to Bergen. Our post on Flamsbana will give you all the information you need for this detour.
Voss: This traditional area is a paradise for outdoor activities, and are famous for hosting the annual Ekstremsportveko (Extreme Sports Week). Stop here if you fancy any kind of outdoor or extreme sport.
How much does the Oslo – Bergen train cost?
In Norway, one of the most expensive countries in the world, nothing comes really cheap. That said, train travel in Norway can be surprisingly affordable. As of 2022, you can get tickets for as little as NOK 249 (€25/ $28). Normally the prices vary anything between NOK 359 (€36 /$40) to NOK 951 (€95/ $106) for the most popular departures in the morning. Tickets can be bought up to 90 days in advance, and due to the ticket price, we strongly recommend purchasing your ticket as early as possible.
Seat reservation is included in the price. However, if purchase the lowest fare, a seat will be assigned to you, and for the more pricey tickets, you can choose your seat. Also, tickets with the lowest fare can not be changed or refunded.
TIP: Read our posts on the Harz Mountain Railway or the Zittauer Schmalspurbahn in Germany if you would like a nostalgic journey with a historic steam train
Interrail tickets are valid on the train, and if you plan to visit only Norway, you can buy an Interrail One Country Pass.
There are two travel classes on the Oslo – Bergen train; standard second class and first class called Pluss, should you want more comfort. That said, the trains on this route are already very comfortable, so normally a second class ticket should be fine. WiFi is available for free along (almost) the whole route.
Bring your own food and drinks if you are travelling on a budget. there’s a café on the train, but it is not the cheapest place to eat.
How to book tickets for the Oslo to Bergen train
The booking process is pretty straightforward. The national railway company in Norway is called VY, and on their website, you can easily book your ticket. They also have an app that is easy to navigate.
If you want to stop on the way and spend some time at some destination along the route, you need to purchase separate tickets for each distance you want to travel. Be aware that the price can get a bit higher if you stop along the way. Normally it’s cheaper to buy a ticket for the whole journey.
Also for the combination with Flamsbana railway, you purchase your ticket from VY.
As said before, we strongly recommend you purchase your ticket in advance for the best price.
Where does the Oslo – Bergen train depart from
If you start your journey from the Oslo train station (Oslo S) you will find the train station located in the middle of the city centre, close to the opera house. From here you can walk all over Oslo.
The train station in Bergen (Bergen Stasjon) is also located close to the city, with most places in Bergen within walking distance.
TIP: Maybe you plan to explore more of the coast in Norway after Bergen? Make sure to read our post Puffins in Norway for the most magical experience a bit more upon the coast.
Both Bergen and Oslo have International airports with connections all over Europe (especially Oslo), so getting to Oslo or Bergen is easy. If the Oslo to Bergen train is a part of your longer train holidays in Europe, you can get to Oslo by train from Hamburg via Copenhagen in Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden.
Thank you for reading our post! We would love to hear about your experience from Bergensbanen in the comments!