Norway in a Nutshell Oslo to Bergen – the Journey

The Norway in a Nutshell Oslo to Bergen tour might be one of the most famous rail and fjord tours in Norway. You experience stunning natural beauty, with mountains and fjords, an exciting and breathtaking journey. It will take you through UNESCO protected landscape, mountains, and fjords areas. If you are heading to Norway for the first time, this is a must-do tour.

The main parts of the trip are the Bergen railway, the scenic Flam railway, and a fjord cruise in the breathtaking fjord area.


The Original Norway in a Nutshell Tour

There are few different versions of the Norway in a Nutshell tour.  Sognefjord in a Nutshell, Hardangerfjord in a Nutshell, and a couple of other ones. It’s most common to travel Oslo to Bergen, or in the opposite direction. What you will experience in between the capital of Norway, and the second-largest city in the country, are breathtaking nature that will create memories for a lifetime.


With the Original Norway in a Nutshell tour you get to experience the following:

  • Bergen Railway
  • Flåm Railway
  • Fjord cruise on Aurlandsfjord and Nearoyfjord
  • Bus trip from Gudvangen to Voss

When you travel from Oslo to Bergen, this is your journey:

  • Oslo – Myrdal, (via Geilo and Finse) with the Bergen Railway
  • Myrdal – Flåm, with the scenic classic Flåm Railway
  • Flåm – Gudvangen, via the Aurlands fjord and Naeroyfjord with a fjord cruise
  • Gudvangen – Voss, via bus
  • Voss – Bergen, with the Bergen Railway


Oslo – Myrdal

This is an amazing journey that you can do all year round, 365 days a year. Expect to leave Oslo in the morning and arrive Myrdal around lunch. Here you will change the train and get on the famous Flåm Railway. This 20 kilometer long wild and steep train ride, has been mentioned in Lonely Planet Traveler as the best train journey in the world.

Myrdal – Flåm with the Flåm Railway

Norway in a Nutshell
Norway in a Nutshell

During the hour-long train ride, you will see waterfalls, mountainsides, go through 20 tunnels, and count numerous sheep. After a memorable train ride, you will arrive in Flåm.

Flåm is a great place to take a break and spend the night. Places like Flåms Brygga and Fretheim Hotel offers comfortable accommodation for the night.

The following day you can continue your journey in the morning or later in the afternoon. If you book a later departure, you will have time to do some fun activates. Flåm offers Kayak tours, fjord safari in smaller RIB boats, or a trip to Stegastein Viewpoint.

Flåm – Gudvangen

Continue your journey from Flåm to Gudvangen, on a beautiful fjord cruise via Aurlands fjord and Naeroyfjord. A stop in Gudvangen, and you can explore Viking history at the Njardarheimr Viking village. The Viking Village makes for a fun day for the whole family.

Gudvangen – Bergen via Voss

From Gudvangen, you travel by bus to Voss. Voss is another beautiful place to spend the night. Here you can experience, Voss Gondola, the largest gondola in northern Europe. Also, adventures like indoor skydiving, ziplining, rafting, and guided hikes in breathtaking surroundings.

The total Norway in a Nutshell journey from Oslo to Bergen is doable in a day, but as suggested above, spending a night or more to break up the trip and do some fun things on the way is highly recommend.


Sognefjord in a Nutshell

If you travel in the summer, I would suggest that you do the Sognefjord in a Nutshell. Sognefjord, also called the King of the fjords, is a unique nature experience.

There are a few reasons for suggesting the Sognefjord in Nutshell during summer;

  • Travel on Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, the Sognefjord
  • Some say that this is one of the most beautiful places in the world
  • You get the opportunity to visit the small town, a true gem, Balestrand, and spend the night here
  • Do a fjord cruise from Balestrand to Bergen, which means more time on the fjords than the original nutshell tour

With Sognefjord in a Nutshell you get to experience amazing beauty, traveling on;

Traveling from Oslo to Bergen, this will be your journey:

  • Oslo – Myrdal, (via Geilo and Finse) with the Bergen Railway
  • Myrdal – Flåm, with the scenic classic Flåm Railway
  • Flåm – Balestrand – Bergen, on a fjord cruise


Oslo – Flåm with Bergen and Flåm Railway

Sognefjord in a Nutshell, will have the same start to the journey as the original nutshell tour. You will depart Oslo in the morning, and arrive Myrdal around lunch. From Myrdal continue on the spectacular Flåm Railway arriving in Flåm about an hour later.

Flåm – Balestrand

From Flåm, you will take a fjord cruise to Balestrand. This boat journey will take you about an hour and a half, and you arrive in Balestrand late afternoon if you do all this in one day.

The Sognefjord in a Nutshell, can be done in a day arriving Bergen in the evening. It is definitely worth it to break up the trip and spend a night or two in beautiful Balestrand.

The historic hotel, Kviknes Hote in Balestrand, located right by the fjord, offers a rich history and walls decorated with art from visiting artists. Book a room in the historic part of the hotel, with a fjord view, and you will wake up to breathtaking scenery in the morning.

In Balestrand, you can enjoy hiking tours, kayak tours, visit the cider house for some cider tasting, or do a fjord safari, RIB boat tour, to explore more of the fjords. The smaller boats used on the safari tours will get you closer to nature, amazing waterfalls, and wildlife. If you like adventure, a glacier hike on Jostedalsbreen makes for a unique experience.

Balestrand – Bergen with Fjord Cruise

From Balestrand, you continue your fjord cruise all the way to Bergen, a boat trip that will take you almost 4 hours. You will finish your Sognefjord in a Nutshell journey in Bergen. A harbor town with about 270,000 people, surrounded by mountains and fjords. Norway’s second-largest city, is worth spending some time in. Visit the old wharf Bryggen, and take the funicular up Mount Floyen for a spectacular view. Mount Floyen is also a great place for hiking. If music is your thing, composer Edvard Greig’s house is open for visits. Bergen is also a hub for the Hurtigruten cruise that will take you up through Norway’s west coast.


So, what do you think, will you be doing the Nutshell tour in the summer or winter? Will you be doing the Sognefjord in a Nutshell or the original Norway in a Nutshell? Will you do the Norway in a Nutshell Oslo to Bergen or the opposite direction Bergen to Oslo? Either way, you can’t go wrong. The natural beauty in Norway will create memories for a lifetime. I want to hear from you, feel free to share your own Norway experiences, in the comment section below.

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Written by 

Born and raised in Sweden, now living in the US, Veronica has a passion for Scandinavian travel. As a former product design specialist with a Scandinavian tour operator, she has extensive knowledge of tour planning and the Scandinavian countries.

2 thoughts on “Norway in a Nutshell Oslo to Bergen – the Journey

  1. Thanks for the information. very useful.
    I want to know more on Norway in a Nutshell and Sognefjord in a Nutshell tours. what are the cost on them and from where to buy the tkts.
    Also between Naeroyfjord and Sognefjord, what you recommend. We plan to travel in May.

    1. Hi Farida,

      The best place to get your tickets is with Norwegian Fjord Tours directly. They have a great booking feature where you can book train, activities and accommodation on the website. The cost will depend on when you go, and what you want to see and do. If you do Sognefjord in a Nutshell, you can do some fun excursions from Balestrand. I would also recommend that you spend a night here. Let me know what you decide to do. Have fun!

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