Oslo to Bergen - Europe's Epic Express Train Journeys

The journey by train from Oslo to Bergen is one of the more obvious inclusions on this list of Epic Express Train Journeys, but we couldn't leave it out, as it is undeniably fabulous!

It is also a journey to be made sooner rather later, as more shelters are to be built along some of the most scenic sections of the route, in order to protect more of the railway line from snow falls.

However, what will be preserved are the two key factors that make this journey so memorable, the more than four hours of sustained, continuous travel through beautiful landscapes and the elevation.
The height matters as much of the journey is above the tree line, so on some of the most spectacular parts of the trip, there is no lineside vegetation to get in the way of the views.

As the trains leave Oslo behind, the first highlight of the journey comes after Vikersund, when between there and Ask the train skirts the shores of Tyrifjorden – which can be seen from the right.

There are fabulous views from both sides of the train, but if you're only going to be making this journey once, then being sat on the left, when facing the direction of travel, has the edge - if you make the entire trip in good weather.

That is something to keep in mind, as you will be fortunate indeed to make the entire 6hr 30mins (plus) journey in sunshine

As will be seen from the misty morning above, the weather conditions can vary hugely during the course of the journey -  on our first trip we encountered mist, rain, sunshine and snow!

Between Honnefoss and Al the best of the views switch to the left, as the train travels along side the Hallingdalselva (Hallingdal River) .

Soon after on the left, the train will pass the beautiful lake named, Kroderen.

Oslo to Bergen by train

Then on departure from Al. the train begins to ascend, with spectacular views between there and Hol down to the right over the Strandfjorden.

What truly gives this route its wow factor is the epic journey across the Hardangervidda plateau, the highest altitude travelled by European main line trains.
Oslo to Bergen by train
The trains traverse the plateau between Geilo and Myrdal with views stretching for huge distances across a landscape studded with lakes, so time your journey so that you’ll be travelling between these stations in daylight.

As can be seen from these images captured in mid-May, what contributes to this journey's wow factor is the lack of trees and vegetation as you traverse the plateau, the only things that get in the way of the views are the snow shelters that protect the trains from the worst of the weather.

Don’t expect the high peaks that can be seen from Alpine routes, this route’s sense of awe comes from scale and a sense of other-worldliness – particularly when the numerous lakes that the train passes are frozen over, as they are for most of the year.

Initially between Geilo and Finse, the best of the views are on the left.
Oslo to Bergen by train
Oslo to Bergen by train

Though as the train approaches Myrdal, the best of the views switch over to the right from where the frozen lake below can be seen.
Oslo to Bergen by train
However, arguably the most spectacular part of the journey comes after departure from Myrdal as the train begins to descend to Voss, where the pick of the views are once again on the left.

As will be seen below, this part of the journey has the best views of distant mountains and has a more Alpine aura.

The train will descend, so that as it approaches Voss, it will share a spectacular high sided valley with the river that can be seen below.
Oslo to Bergen by train

Between Myrdal and Voss on The Bergen Line

The cascading river will be on the left in a steep sided valley, but the bright sunshine made this impossible to photograph when ShowMeTheJourney made this train ride.

The must-see views aren’t over once the train departs from Voss, despite the railway line being back at sea level, because some of the best views of a fjord that can be seen from a train occur as the train heads to Bergen.

Oslo to Bergen by train
Initially, shortly after departure from Dale station, the views are on the left as the train passes by Stanghelle.

Then minutes later the full majesty of the Sørfjorden can be seen on the right and for most of the journey between there and Bergen, the railway runs along its shore and goes by the spectacular Osterøy Bridge.

Though you will need to have some luck on your side to see these views, Bergen has more rainy days than any other town in Europe!
Oslo to Bergen by train

The train journey between Bergen in Myrdal is included in the Norway In A Nutshell itinerary, which usually involves travelling east from Bergen to Myrdal on the Bergen Line.
If you will taking this tour, try to take a seat on the left when boarding in Bergen, but then at Dale station, try to move over to the right hand side of the train.

For all the practical information you need to know about making this incredible journey from Oslo to Bergen - including details of the tickets, trains and stations...

click on the journeys listed below to access our unique guides: