By Andy Paolacci,
The Bergen Railway is the perfect way to explore much of the dramatic Norwegian landscape that bridges the venerable cities of Oslo and Bergen.
The Bergen Railway in a Nutshell
Described as the one of the most picturesque and breathtaking rail journeys in the entire world, the Bergen Railway traverses its way between Oslo and Bergen, and is nothing short of a sight to behold. Navigating through some of the most beautiful Norwegian forestlands, sweeping valleys and alpine settlements, the Bergen Railway – also known as the Bergensbanen – makes its way between the two biggest cities in Norway and is of the highest altitude in the world.
Travelling from Oslo, you will pass through the towns of Geilo and Finse – popular spots for those of you who want to tackle the best year-long ski resorts in Norway. The Bergen Railway should also be noted for its versatility; the views in the summer and the winter are contrasting but beautiful in their own unique way. The topography alters vastly, with both seasons certainly deserved of a viewing, and a visit.
Daily trains run between both cities, yet you’d want to take a train during the day, so that you don’t miss out on any of the spectacular scenery. The trip itself will last about 7-8 hours, so taking a morning train at 8 or 9 am will be perfect for viewing the picturesque landscape.
Also, a little cheeky tip for all of the tourists out there: the train has a habit of stopping at some really stunning parts of the trip, so get your cameras ready and take home with you a little piece of Norway.
The Flåm Railway
If you have sufficient time to explore a stunning component of Norway’s fjords, then the charming village of Flåm upon the Aurlandsfjord’s deepest wing makes for the perfect detour. The Aurlandsfjord is composed of a significant stretch of the Sognefjord – Norway’s longest, and most captivating – and is known for its ice-capped mountain peaks and steep rocky gorges.
You will observe much more than the aforementioned splendour on the Flåm Railway, however. Along the 20-kilometre journey, you will pass an abundant amount of waterfalls, each more dazzling than the last until more and more traditional Norwegian cabins come into view on your approach to Flåm.
To get to Flåm, you will need to take the Bergen Railway and transfer at Myrdal Train Station in Myrdal, Central Norway before boarding the Flåm Railway itself at the same station.
As mentioned earlier, the quaint, little deviation that is the Flåm Railway stretches 20 kilometres and takes about an hour (one way) between the villages of Myrdal and Flåm.