The Train from Oslo to Bergen: Europe’s Most Beautiful Rail Journey
At one point in history, trains were the most fashionable way to travel. Ladies and gentleman donned stylish threads to board iron horses. Dining cars buzzed with excitement, intriguing gossip and the clinking of Champagne flutes.
Today, trains are commonplace. We ride Amtrak home to see our family during the holidays. Metro-North connects the Big Apple to its nearby suburbs in New York and Connecticut. Just because locomotives have lost a bit of novelty doesn't diminish the well-established appeal of a scenic expedition (hey, it beats dealing with TSA). Even familiarity can't dull the shine of some truly splendid routes around the world. Such is the case with the train from Oslo to Bergen. More than just a link between Norway's principle cities, it's an incredibly special experience filled with larger-than-life natural wonders and jaw-dropping vantage points.
Where the train from Oslo to Bergen takes you
The Bergensbanen departs Oslo Central Station several times a day. On the voyage—which averages seven hours—the high-altitude railway line roars across the Hardangervidda plateau, passing landscapes more breathtaking than you can imagine. It barrels through green valleys, sparkling lakes, dense forests, snow-capped mountains, gushing waterfalls, winding rivers, dramatic fjords and a total of 180 tunnels before rolling into its terminus. To say that the train from Oslo to Bergen has the power to make you focus on the journey and forget about the destination isn't overselling it, not by a long shot.
When to take the trip
BTW there's no wrong season to take the 308-mile trip. Fall means colorful leaves and epic leaf peeping. Winter brings snowy scenes that would leave Jack Frost speechless. Spring casts a verdant spell upon the countryside. And just thinking about the summer sun reflecting off the glacial lakes is triggering our wanderlust.
How to book tickets
You can buy tickets up to 90 days in advance on the Vy website. In terms of seat selection, both sides of the train offers eye-popping vistas. If you want the best jealousy-inducing Instagram potential, it's advisable to reserve a spot on the left (south facing). A one-way ticket costs somewhere in the ballpark of $43—depending on the class and when you book. To us, that seems like a very fair price to pay for passage on Europe's most beautiful rail journey.