Bergensbanen – the best way to get from Oslo to Bergen
In general, we approach train rides as one of the ways to get from point A to point B, often a necessary evil we have to deal with. But once in a while, we can have a chance to get into a ride that is a treat in itself – and not just a means of transportation we want to forget as soon as possible.
Best train ride in Europe?
According to the Smithsonian, the Bergensbanen (Bergen ride) is one of the eight most beautiful train routes in the world! The route leads across Hardangervidda mountain plateau, the largest protected wilderness area in Europe. Lonely Planet suggests even that it might be Europe’s best train ride!
When I went to visit my friend in western Norway, I didn’t fly into Bergen but found a cheap flight to Oslo. First I thought it was a bad decision, wasting time on travel between two cities… but then I found an article on the Oslo – Bergen ride and I was truly happy I got this flight!
Seven hours of pure Norwegian nature
The ride takes about seven hours. I must admit: I didn’t want to go to use the bathroom because I was worried I would miss another spectacular view! I was just jumping from left to the right side of the train (there were empty seats, good for me) to get the best views. At times the train rode so close to rivers that it seemed it flew over them.
I really loved that they showed not only the names of stations – but also the elevation. The highest stop was in Finse – at 1222 m – quite an impressive mark!
Bergensbanen and Flåmsbana – engineering marvels
The route itself is over 300 miles and climbs to 1200 m (4000 ft.) and many tunnels dig out from the hard rock. It takes about seven hours to reach Bergen from Oslo. Some tourists choose to stop and switch to the famous Flåmsbana (Flåm Railway), widely considered an engineering marvel.
The ticket might be a bit expensive – but if you buy in advance you might catch the “minipris” offer much cheaper. I was lucky to buy a ticket for Nkr 299. Check here to buy your tickets online.
Just pure Norwegian beauty
There is really no sense of me talking too much about it. The whole ride felt like watching nature documentary 🙂 Seven hours of live nature watching! Pure bliss.
Just look at the photos, taken with a really crappy old compact camera (sorry about that, since then I upgraded to this awesome thing), but still showing the amazing landscapes. I wish I didn’t feel shy about taking out my huge DSLR back then! Now I have a very good compact camera, but I think even the low-quality photos show the absolute beauty of the ride.
I took the train around the 1st of May. In Oslo, there was a really warm temperature – above 25*C, but as you can see – there was still a lot of snow in many parts higher up the mountains.
Have you taken this train ride? What did you think about it?
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