Train traveling through Norway: a 10-day itinerary
October 25, 2018
Traveling through the beautiful country Norway can be done in so many ways. If you live in Europa, nearby Norway, you can decide to take your own car and to drive around the country. You can also drive through the country with a rental car, with which you’re booking a flight. There also is a boat, called the Hurtigruten, with which you can go all the way from south to north along the coastline of Norway.
Another beautiful way of exploring Norway, is taking the train. It’s very easy, because all the train stations are located very centrally and the schedules and signs on the stations are very clear. Furthermore, you come across places which aren’t reachable by car. From the train, you can enjoy the magnificent views every single minute of the ride.
I’ve done a train trip through the south of Norway at the end of May this year and I really enjoyed it. I’ve seen several places and had an amazing time is this beautiful country. In this article I would like to tell you how I’ve had planned my travel schedule during 10 days and maybe this will give you some inspiration for your own trip to Norway. Enjoy!
Day one: arrival in Oslo
We travelled from Amsterdam to Oslo in less than two hours, where we arrived around 14.00. From the airport you can easily reach the city centre by train. Oslo has an Airport Express Train which goes straight to the city centre and which takes only half an hour. This Express Train goes around every 10 minutes, so enough possibilities! A one-way only ticket costs 380 NOK (€ 40,-) per person. It’s not that cheap, but what is in Norway?
Arrived in the city centre of Oslo, we went straight to our hotel for the first two nights: Hotel Citybox. Here we dropped our luggage and after some rest, we decided to go into the centre. The hotel is located in the middle of the city centre, so that’s perfect! We walked through Karl Johans Gate and ate something at one of the many restaurants. Before we knew, it was the end of the day. A day where we got a good first impression from the beautiful city Oslo.
Day two: spending a day in Oslo
This day we had the whole day we could spend in Oslo, and that’s also what we did! We started our walk again through the Karl Johans Gate, from where we straight walked towards the Royal Palace, which you can find at the end of the Karl Johans Gate. The Royal Palace, together with its Palace Park and the Palace Square, it makes the location a very beautiful place to walk around an to have a relaxing day.
After walking around the Royal Palace, we decided to walk to the Vigelandsparken, which is located a little outside of the city centre. From a lot of people I know, I’ve heard that the Vigelandsparken are definitely worth a visit, and they were right! From the Royal Palace it was approximately one hour of walking, but you can also easily take the tram or bus to get here. The Vigelandsparken is a large park where you can find more than 200 scuptures, created by Gustav Vigeland. The most well-known sculpture of the park will probably be The Angry Boy; which you can find on the bridge. The park is very impressive to walk through!
Before we went to the Vigelandsparken, we made a quick stop at the Vigeland Museum, just next to the Vigelandsparken and part of the creations of Gustav Vigeland.
After the Vigelandsparken, we went back to the centre, where we ate something and shopped a little bit. We went back to our hotel to rest a little bit and after we decided to eat something and to walk around a little along the waterfront. We came across the Opera House and Akershus.
Unfortunately, the time we had in Oslo was way too short (we also had some time at the end of the trip, but still too short) to see everything the city has to offer. If you’d like to read some more about Oslo, I have written an city guide which you can find by clicking here.
Day three: from Oslo to Flåm and from Flåm to Balestrand
This day was a day full of traveling. In the morning, our train was leaving from Oslo to Myrdal, which took around five hours. This is a beautiful train ride, while you see the city changing in beautiful nature and slowly you’re travelling through the mountains and through the snow. Such a change in this little piece of train traveling. I loved every second of it! When we arrived in Myrdal, we went further to Flåm with the Flåm Railway. This train trip has been described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and that’s definitely true! The train runs from the high mountains of Myrdal to the end of the Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord. Doing the train journey in an old train unit makes it even more an unique experience!
The train trip from Myrdal to Flåm takes around two hours, so we arrived in Flåm somewhere in the afternoon. It’s very important to take something to eat or drink with you in the train, so you can have lunch during your journey through the mountains and fjord. From Flåm it was still 1,5 hours of travelling by boat to reach our destination for the evening and night: Balestrand. At the end of the day we arrived at the Kviknes Hotel, located in the little town Balestand, which is surrounded by the Sognefjord. The surroundings are just magnificent and you cannot miss to visit this place during your trip through the South of Norway. I have to admit, we have made quite some pictures in Balestrand, haha! It was definitely the most beautiful place I’ve seen during my trip (although there wasn’t too much to do). In the evening we ate something in the hotel and after we went to bed, looking forward to more!
Day four: from Balestrand to Bergen
One night is enough to stay at Balestrand, so in the morning we went further to the second largest city of Norway: Bergen. From Balestrand to Bergen we went by boat. It was the same boat company as we travelled with the day before. Would you like to read more about the boat company who goes through the Sognefjord? By clicking here you can find some more information.
From Balestrand to Bergen it’s still around four hours travelling by boat, so in the afternoon we arrived in Bergen. We first went to our hotel, named Best Western Plus Hotell Hordaheimen. This hotel is located just a 10-minute walk from the port where we arrived and it’s also nearby the city centre. We decided to take some rest and after we went for dinner to the city centre and walked around the city a little. We walked across Bryggen, the old Hanseatic Wharf and across some other streets. We got a great first image of Bergen and looked forward to the next day, where we had the time to spend the whole day in Bergen.
Day five: a day in Bergen
We started our full day in Bergen with taking the Fløibanen. Fløibanen is one of Norway’s best-known attractions and can be find in the heart of Bergen. It’s only a few minutes walking from the Fish Market and the Bryggen Wharf. For only a few euro’s, you can step in the “gondola”, which takes you to the top of Fløyen. At the top, you can have some amazing views over Bergen. Since the area is so green, there are also many outdoor activities possible around Fløyen. You can make some great hikes, but you can also go biking or canoeing. There is a restaurant and shop in the area, together with a large kids playground. Fløyen is an area, nice for all ages! I definitely found this one of the highlights of the city of Bergen.
After spending some time at Fløyen, we went back downwards to explore more of the city. We walked around the Fish Market and the Bergen Park, where we also sat down for a while and enjoyed the weather, together with the amazing views. Such a beautiful piece of Norway.
Later this day, we spend some time shopping in the main street of Bergen, where you can find a lot of international shops. We ate something at an Italian restaurant, where after we went back to our hotel.
Would you like to read some more about Bergen? I’ve written a city guide for this city!
Day six: from Bergen to Stavanger
Our last morning in Bergen started and in the beginning of the afternoon we had to take the ferry towards Stavanger. We decided to get some coffee in the city centre, at Espresso House. Here they have some amazing coffee! I’ve done some research, but unfortunately there are only shops of Espresso House in Scandinavia (and one in Hamburg). So the rest of the vacation, I enjoyed this coffee shop to the fullest! I just loved the coffee.
In the afternoon, we went by the ferry company Fjord Line to Stavanger. The Fjord Line is a line which goes from Bergen to Stavanger and then to Hirtshals and back again. You can take your car at this ferry and it’s also possible to stay the night on the boat, for when you have to go to Hirtshals. However, we arrived in Stavanger after some hours travelling by ferry. During the trip, we had some drinks, had some rest, something to eat and we enjoyed some music and series. We spent our time well and relaxing.
From the port of Stavanger, it’s still approximately half an hour driving by bus. After the ferry trip, there is a bus waiting for you where you can go with towards the city centre. You can either buy your tickets for the bus in advance or you buy them from the bus driver directly. In more busy times, it’s definitely recommended to buy your tickets in advance, since those travellers have right of way to go first into the bus. You can find more information about the bus tickets by clicking here.
After our arrival in Stavanger, it was around 20.00. That’s why we decided to check-in at the hotel and spend our night watching a movie in the hotel room. Our hotel was only a 10-minute walk from the train- and bus station, it was just on the other side of the park of Stavanger. We stayed two nights in the Thon Hotel Maritim.
Day seven: hiking the Preikestolen
Day seven was a day where we had a full day to spend in and around Stavanger. Stavanger isn’t that big, but it’s definitely the perfect starting point for hiking to the Preikestolen! So that’s also what we decided to do during this day. Located in the middle of the Lysefjord, you can find the famous Preikestolen. Everything about the hike to the Preikestolen and how to get there from Stavanger can be found in this extensive article which I wrote about my experience.
We started early in the morning and went back to the hotel at the end of the afternoon. Here we took a shower, freshened up and went to a sushi restaurant which was very good rated: Sushi San. This restaurant is located right next to the train- and bus station and next to the park. The good rate was true, I’ve had a delicious dinner and the sushi was just great! If you’re a sushi-lover, don’t forget to pay a visit to this restaurant.
The rest of the evening we decided to walk around the city a little bit, where we got to see more of the beautiful streets and architecture the city has to offer. It’s a city with a great atmosphere and there are many possibilities to have a nice evening. More about Stavanger you can read here.
Day eight: from Stavanger to Kristiansand
Early in the morning of day eight, we went by train from Stavanger to Kristiansand. It took some time, but in the afternoon we arrived in Kristiansand. We stayed one night in the Best Western Plus Hotel Norge, which was located at a walking distance of approximately 15 minutes from the train station of Kristiansand. We checked in and after we immediately went walking through the city, since we didn’t had much time here during our trip. We walked along the water front and ended up at the city centre, where we shopped a little bit and had dinner at one of the many restaurants. After dinner we walked around a little more and after we went back to the hotel.
It was too sad we didn’t had enough time in Kristiansand, because there are many sights located just outside the city centre. We couldn’t visit these sights during our visit. If you have enough time in Kristiansand, you can click here for some ideas!
Day nine: from Kristiansand to Oslo
In the morning, we went from Kristiansand to Oslo by train again; which took us around five hours travelling. In the afternoon, we arrived in Oslo. It was good to be back in this city! Even that I’m back home now, I’d love to pay a visit to this city again. I’ve the feeling that I haven’t seen it all yet during my time in Norway.
We checked in at the hotel where we stayed at during this one night: Best Western Karl Johan Hotell. This hotel is located in the middle of the city centre (at the Karl Johans Gate), so it’s a perfect starting point for a city trip to Oslo! We spend our afternoon and evening with having some rest, walk around the city a little bit and have dinner at a really nice Chinese restaurant, called Honsan Restaurant. It was a really nice and relaxing evening.
Day ten: flight back home
Our last day in this beautiful country! However, our flight was at the beginning of the evening, so we had some time left in Oslo. We decided to pay a visit to Aker Brygge and take a boat to Hovedøya; an island just in front of Oslo. From Aker Brygge you can travel to several little islands by boat. There are many possibilities and in my city guide of Oslo I have told more about it. Hovedøya is a beautiful, green island, where you can have a nice walk and enjoy the rest which you can find here.
After paying a visit to Aker Brygge and Hovedøya, it was time to pack our luggage and go back to the train station. Here we took again the Express Train towards the airport, from where we took our flight back home to the Netherlands. It was an amazing trip in a magnificent country!
Hopefully this article has given you some inspiration for your own trip to Norway. If you would like to check out the timetables of the train and the prices, you can take a look on the official website of NSB. Here you can find anything you need to know!