Six days on the Bergen and Flåm railways

Six days on the Bergen and Flåm railways

Easily the best train journey I have ever taken in my life.

Norway has been on my travel list since we moved to Sweden in 2020, especially since Oslo is only a 5 hour train journey away from Stockholm! So so glad we finally got the chance to do it on our babymoon, as this is likely the last longer trip we’ll be taking for a little while!

I can highly recommend train journeys for the pregnant traveler (or any traveler for that matter, this was so scenic!). Johan estimates the longest I can walk at the moment (in the middle of second trimester, supposedly the prime time of the pregnancy!) is 4km, so a holiday that is mostly sitting on trains all day was ideal. We noticed (probably for the same reason) there were also a lot of older travelers on board with us, so just be aware of that as well, some patience may be needed 😅

But all the trains we took were so comfortable, spacious, clean toilets, you can get up and walk around. The longer journeys had a bistro. Beautiful views. I was even able to sleep on Johan for the last train back to Stockholm! So so much better than plane travel (hate planes!).

Anyway, below is a summary of the entire trip:

Day 1🚆SJ train Uppsala - Stockholm (40 minutes)
Day 1🚆SJ train Stockholm - Oslo (5 hours)
Day 2🚆Vy train Oslo - Myrdal (4.5 hours)
Day 2🚆Vy train Myrdal - Flåm (1 hour)
Day 3🥾 Sightseeing in Flåm and Gudvangen
Day 4🛥️ Flåm - Gudvangen by electric fjord cruise
Day 4🚍 Gudvangen - Voss by bus (Skyss)
Day 4🚆Vy train Voss - Bergen (1.5 hours)
Day 5🥾 Sightseeing in Bergen
Day 6🚆Vy train Bergen - Oslo (7 hours)
Day 6🚆SJ train Oslo - Stockholm (5 hours)
Day 6🚆SJ train Stockholm - Uppsala (40 minutes)

In hindsight, it would’ve been good to add one more day to the trip and spend the night in Oslo on Day 6, then go back to Uppsala the day after. But unfortunately Johan had to teach so as they say in Japanese, shou=ga naka-tta (it couldn’t be helped).

We booked the tour through Norway in a Nutshell. You could also organise it yourself and that would likely be cheaper, but we’ve been so busy getting ready for the baby and with our new summer house lately that I decided to just splurge on a shortcut. It’s a self-guided tour, and the information we got through them was all really good. We just organised our own accommodation because the ones they offered did not run cheap.

We traveled at the end of March and were very lucky with the weather. The only thing was I was hoping to see spring flowers but no such luck yet. I thought since Oslo and Bergen are further south than Uppsala and towards the warm sea, maybe we’d get lucky. We had the first snowdrops in Uppsala just before we left. The only thing I didn’t factor in was the effect of altitude 😅 Most of the train journey is in the mountains and there was still snow and frozen waterfalls for a lot of it! I was actually able to wear the spring dresses I brought though, albeit with leggings, thermal undershirts and a massive coat (temperatures were between 7 and 10 degrees).

See above how optimistically dressed we are in front of the frozen waterfall at Kjosfossen. The Flåm train makes a stop here for people to get off and take photos. At first I didn’t get what the big deal was about a massive rock face—took a while to realise it was actually a waterfall!🤣

We’ll just have to do the same trip again another time — May or June would be best I think. I’ve written a summary of all the best bits and tips below for future reference!


We had very little time in Oslo, so I’d like to come back again, but one thing I can recommend is the restaurant Helt Vilt! They specialise in wild meat, and I had a delicious Arctic Moose burger with brunost and cloudberry dressing, as well as the best rhubarb and apple soda I’ve had in my life! Brunost means “brown cheese”. It’s not actually cheese but a by-product of it — caramelised whey, very nice. Norwegians have it on waffles for breakfast (we had that in Bergen later).

Bergen railway (Oslo - Myrdal)

The most impressive thing about the Bergen railway is the sheer variety of landscapes. It’s crazy how quickly the differences in altitude make such massive changes to the environment, and how the weather on one side of a mountain can be so completely different to the weather on the other side. The fjord landscapes in Norway really are something else.

Sitting on the left side of the train (in the direction of travel) from Oslo to Myrdal, and the right from Voss to Bergen is overall most scenic I think, but it’s best to just book seats near the bistro because sometimes the scenery on the other side will be better. If you go to the bistro you can get great views from the windows on both sides. I actually spent most of the time here. And the food in the bistro is very good too.

Below is the scenery leaving Oslo…

It gets colder and colder fairly quickly as the train climbs higher into the mountains…

It sometimes stops for a while in larger towns.

The craziest stop by far is Finse. It’s 1222m above sea level, only accessible by train or snowmobile (no roads in or out) and it’s where they filmed the scenes of the snow planet (Hoth) in Star Wars. You can see why.

You also get to see the hotel where Harrison Ford stayed during the filming! In truth Harrison Ford is the only part I actually like about Star Wars so I was most excited for this bit.

At Myrdal we got off and switched over to the Flåm railway.

Flåm railway, Myrdal - Flåm

This is the most famous stretch of the journey. It’s crazily steep—the route takes you from 867m above sea level to 2m in just 20km. The other insane thing is that the majority of the tunnels on the route were dug out by hand (we found out at the railway museum at the bottom).

You want to sit on the left side of the train (in the direction of travel) for this trip, and note that the train moves in the opposite direction to the train from Oslo!

At the top station, you can see this crazy blue ice in the mountains!

The train also makes a stop at a famous waterfall, Kjosfossen, where you can get out and take pictures. I imagine it would be more spectacular in summer; it was frozen when we saw it, so at first I just thought it was more rocks.

As the train continues further down into the valley though there were a bunch of running waterfalls we could see as well.

I most enjoyed the views lower in the valley.

It’s a short trip compared to the Bergen railway, but very scenic and technologically among the most impressive parts of the track (particularly with all the tunnels), so I definitely wouldn’t skip it!


The train brings you to Flåm which is a very pretty Fjord village. We stayed two nights here.

There’s not a whole lot to do, but definitely check out the train museum! You can learn how they built the Flåm railway from scratch by hand! It took forever digging out the tunnels without dynamite or anything like that, and a lot of people died. I felt bad for the horses that had to work on the railway but never got to ride the train ☹️

The other thing to do is hiking, which I wasn’t really up to but we went for a flat walk just through the fjord and Johan made some pretty photos of me and these cute highland cows that we found!

There’s really only one place to eat in the town, but it happens to be a brewery and it’s very good! It’s called Ægir BryggeriPub. They’re connected to a hotel and if you stay there you can book a table at the pub. We didn’t stay with them because it was really expensive (maybe next time). This meant we couldn’t pre-book our table and if that’s the case for you too I recommend showing up early (like as soon as they open) for dinner otherwise you’ll have to wait for a seat. They’re very popular and (like I said) basically the only place to eat in town.

I had the carrot hummus with seasonal vegetables (mostly more carrots and beetroots because nothing else was growing yet😅), with some really good local goats cheese and pulled goat meat! Johan was much luckier though, he got to have the beer tasting set with sticky ribs 😡 Guess I’ll just have to come back when I can drink again.

We came back a second night just for dessert, the sticky toffee pudding with dates and homemade boozy sauce was the best! Johan also had some mead flavoured with cherries to go with his chocolate ganache (lucky!).

The other place I’d recommend for lunch and fika is the Flåm Bakeri—very good pastries and take-away sandwiches!

Then of course there are the famous fjord cruises. We did the one that goes to Gudvangen on an electric boat. It’s the best way to really appreciate the sheer size of the cliffs in the fjords.

It was misty again, but we did see a rainbow!

In Gudvangen you can get off and visit the Viking Village! (see below)


You can get here from Flåm by bus or scenic fjord cruise. The main thing to do is the Viking village, it was really fun and educational! They want to show people that Vikings were more than just vicious pillaging rapists (although they were that too). But when they were home in Norway apparently they were actually quite chill, civilised people. They had a proto-democracy. Slaves could work in their spare time to eventually buy back their freedom. And if you were a woman and your husband died (not hard to arrange with all the fighting and conquering the vikings did) you inherited all his political rights, so widows could actually become quite powerful.

I found the tour guide’s explanation of how the vikings dyed their clothes different colours interesting too. Purple and blue were the hardest colours to make. You had to get these special flowers from overseas and then heat it to precisely the right temperature (no more no less).

I was also amazed by how light the viking longboats are. I could shake the whole boat myself with one hand! They had a special technique for building them with overlapping boards that made them really strong and flexible so they were the best boats at that time in the world.

Bergen railway, Voss - Bergen

We got back on the Bergen railway again at Voss, and from Voss to Bergen it’s best to sit on the right side of the train (in the direction of travel). The fjords in this part of the trip are particularly beautiful.

On the way back to Oslo again coming home, there was an accident on the line between Bergen and Voss, so we had to do that part of the route the second time on a replacement bus. Annoying but it meant I got to make some nice pictures of the track itself as well.


We only had a day here and it was raining so we didn’t do everything, but we did manage to visit the old town which was small but very pretty. I found it a bit weird that the streets were all wooden instead of cobblestone though, seems impractical for such a wet place.

We had the most delicious meal of the whole trip at Bryggen Tracteursted in the old town.

Given the location it was mostly fish based (fish soup and a stockfish stew). It also included whale which I’d never had before but they’re traditionally hunted in Norway (nowadays the hunting is heavily controlled).

The whale was lightly smoked and tasted mainly like beef but with a slight aftertaste of the sea. It was very good but I actually enjoyed the lamb cured in aquavit that we also had there best. I want to try making it at home myself later.

And of course Johan got to enjoy some more beer tasting from local breweries 😡

I made do with soda again but at least they put it in a fancy glass for me this time 🤷‍♀️

For dessert we had the most delicious pudding with cloudberries (called fløterand) and some local cheeses.

I am sad we missed out on the Fløibanen funicular, we could’ve added one more train trip to our holiday!🚇 And you get some beautiful views over Bergen from the top. But it was raining unfortunately so there was no point. We’ll just have to come back again another time and stay longer!