When visiting Norway, the popular Norway in a Nutshell tour provides the perfect way to see much of the country’s stunning scenery in a single day! Travel from one side of Norway to the other by train, bus and boat, enjoying spectacular Scandinavian sights along the way.
Norway is a verdant land of mountains, waterfalls, islands, and fjords. Bergen, on the west coast, is a delightful harbor town with quaint shops and mountain troll folklore to enjoy. Oslo, in the east, boasts urban luxuries from international cuisine to hot stone massages. Both are well worth a visit, but how to best traverse from Point A to Point B? Norway in a Nutshell – a unique, fully customizable tour – is the answer! Take a one-way cross-country journey or try a round-trip adventure. Either way, you’ll enjoy Norway’s breathtaking countryside in a fun and interesting way.
Norway in a Nutshell
Earlier this month, my friend and I visited Norway for the first time. I wanted to visit the coastal town of Bergen and my friend was looking forward to shopping in big city Oslo. We both hoped to see as much of the countryside between the two cities as possible. Norway in a Nutshell was the perfect solution. This year-round tour passes by some of the most beautiful scenery in Fjord, Norway. We couldn’t wait to travel along Northern Europe’s highest railway, Bergen Railway, Flåm Railway, the narrow Nærøyfjord, and the steep Stalheimskleiva road!
A Sample Norway in a Nutsell Itinerary
My friend and I chose this one-way Bergen to Oslo Norway in a Nutshell route:
- 08:43 – Train departure from Bergen Railway station (local train, no seat rerservation)
- 09:56 – Arrival at Voss Railway station
- 10:10 – Bus departure from Voss to Gudvangen, passing through farmland, the Stalheimskleiva hairpin bends, and panoramic views through the Nærøy valley
- 11:20 – Arrival at Gudvangen
- 11:45 – Fjord cruise departure from Gudvangen to Flåm on the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord
- 13:15 – Arrival in Flåm, for nearly three hours to enjoy lunch and shopping
- 16:05 – Train departure from Flåm on the Flåm Railway
- 17:03 – Arrival in Myrdal to change trains
- 17:54 – Train departure from Myrdal to Oslo by the Bergen Railway (regional train, reserved seat, dining car)
- 22:35 – Arrival at Oslo Central Train Station
It was a lot of ground to cover in one day, but the jaw-dropping scenery made the time fly by!
Dealing with Luggage
Before our trip, I was concerned that bringing luggage along would be a hassle. But I needn’t have worried. Changing transportation with suitcase in tow was never a big inconvenience. And there was plenty of storage space for my small roller bag on each train, bus and boat. The only time my luggage was a bother was during the three-hour layover in Flåm. Here, we spent a lot of time in small, crowded shops. If you are stressed about dealing with your bags, you can look into paying for a porter service. This service will pick up your luggage from your hotel in Bergen and deliver it to your hotel in Oslo.
Coping with Transportation Delays
On the very first leg of our Norway in a Nutshell tour, we experienced a 15-minute train delay. I was nervous that this would make us miss our bus at the next stop. But, rail delays are common and the bus waited for all of the late passengers before leaving. Bus drivers deal with hundreds of Norway in a Nutshell travelers every day, so they are prepared for slight schedule changes.
The Cost of Norway in a Nutshell
The price of your Norway in a Nutshell tour will depend on the travel options you select. You can start your journey in Oslo, Bergen, Voss, or Flåm. The tour can be completed in one day, or over the course of several days. Prices start at $166 USD.
Traveling with Kids in Tow
Here are a few things to consider before booking a Norway in a Nutshell tour for your family:
- Children under four years old can travel for free, but will still need reservations.
- If you go from Bergen to Oslo in one day (or the reverse), you will be traveling for nearly 14 hours. By the end of our day, we had taken two taxis, three trains, one boat, and one bus. If you will be traveling with children, you might want to schedule an overnight break or two in the middle of your journey.
- There may be some rushing involved. We practically flew down the street from the train station in Voss to catch our bus. Imagine running down the street with a suitcase, and dealing with a child and their bag. It could be a wee bit stressful.
- There are no bathrooms on the bus and that leg of the trip is an hour long.
- Not every mode of transportation offers food for sale, so pack snacks.
What to Know Before You Go
Norway in a Nutshell is an incredible experience that serves up breathtaking views around every twist and turn. Train rides pass quickly and the stops break up the tour, making for an enjoyable day! Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your travels to the fullest:
- There are no bad sides of the trains or bus as photo ops are plentiful. However, we enjoyed sitting on the left side of the train from Bergen and the right side of the bus from Voss.
- Snacks were sparse on early legs of our trip. But, we ate a hot dog lunch on the fjord cruise, a bakery treat and tea in Flåm, a waffle snack at the train station café in Myrdal, and dinner on the train to Oslo.
- On the train from Myrdal to Oslo, be on the lookout for Finse, a mountain village that has no roads. It is only accessible by Finse Station, the highest station in the entire Norwegian railway system. This neat village was used to portray the ice planet Hoth in the The Empire Strikes Back.
Plan Your Next Trip to Norway
For more information on Norway in a Nutshell, be sure to visit the Fjord Tours website and explore sample itineraries. You may also be interested in reading more about Norway’s Ålesund and Sunnmøre region, Trondheim, and where to stay with kids in Oslo.