A Guide to Norway’s Must-Do Train Rides

Norway is a country with some of the most scenic train rides in the world, and it can be hard to choose just which one is the “best” for you.

Here are four of the most popular and highly recommended long distance train rides & I give you some helpful hints for train travel in Norway.

–> Need help planning your journey to Norway & Scandinavia? Contact me for help with tour planning.

Travel with Train in Norway

Traveling by train in Norway is a great way to see the country’s beauty and explore its many attractions. Here’s a few things that can help you have a smooth train experience:

A Norwegian on a train in Norway
Always happy as a clam on a train

Plan your journey 

Before you set off on your trip, I advice you to plan your route and purchase your train tickets in advance. Advance tickets is especially important in the summer, and you can save money by booking early.

You can book your train tickets online through the Norwegian Rail Company (VY) website or through third-party booking sites like Rail Europe.

The VY website is available in English, making it easy for non-Norwegian speakers to use. Besides, it’s also where you most likely will get the best price. NOTE! Not all foreign cards are accepted on VY, but they do accept PayPal as a backup.

Choose the right ticket

VY offers several types of tickets to suit different travel needs.

Non-flexible ticket

    • Has a set travel date and time
    • Allocated seat
    • Non-refundable

Flexible ticket

    • Allows you to change your travel dates or times without incurring any fees
    • Seat reservation included
    • Plus seats available
    • Non-refundable

Fully flexible ticket

    •  Same as flexible tickets, but is also fully refundable

On some journeys you can choose to pay extra for “Plus”  or “Extra comfort”. This can give you:

    • Extra space and comfort
    • Practical work tables and power outlet
    • Free freshly ground coffee and tea

Other options such as a pet-free compartment, family car and compartments with 6 seats might be available. Some train departures offer sleeper cars going overnight.

Helpful hints and tips

Trains in Norway run on time, and they won’t wait for latecomers. However, you don’t have to arrive too early at the station. There is no scanning of bags or security checks to go through. Usually I show up about 15-20 min before my departure time.

Further, before boarding the train, make sure to check the train number and destination on the platform. If you have an assigned seat look for the right car so that you don’t have to walk through the entire train.

Luggage compartment train in Norway
Most trains have plenty of space for carry on luggage

On longer rides there will be a snack bar on the train. However, they can have limited selection and be quite pricey, so you might want to buy some food in advance from a supermarket.

Don’t be shy about walking around inside the train. On long journeys it’s important to stretch your legs and get the blood circulation going.

The 4 BEST Train Rides in Norway

Here is an overview of the four most popular and highly recommended long distance train rides in Norway. 

–> Need help planning your trip to Norway & Scandinavia? Read more here.

Bergensbanen - The Bergen Line

The Bergen Line is a 496 km (308 miles) long railway that runs between Bergen and Oslo. The journey takes about seven hours and offers stunning views of Norway’s mountainous terrain and valleys. The train passes through Hardangervidda, Europe’s highest mountain plateau, and is therefor the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe.

For a fjord cruise detour and a 2 in 1 train ride, you can hop off at the station Myrdal and ride the Flåmsbanen down to Flåm. What’s more, the Flåm Railway is considered one of the steepest railways in the world. It’s a stunning train ride offering amazing views of powerful waterfalls and deep valleys. 

From Flåm take a fjord cruise on the majestic Sognefjord. Ride a bus to Voss, and hop back on the Bergensbanen train. This journey is also known as Norway in a Nutshell. Read more about it here.

The Bergen Line is great for the traveler who wants a comfortable way to travel between Oslo and Bergen, and who might want to include a fjord cruise.

Sleeper car is available.

Raumabanen - The Rauma Line

The Rauma Line is a 114 km (71 miles)  long railway that runs between Dombås and Åndalsnes. The journey takes about 1.5 hours and offers stunning views of the Romsdalen valley, Trollveggen (Europe’s highest vertical rock face), and the Rauma River.

The train route is known for its steep inclines and tight turns, which adds to the excitement of the journey. The line features two horseshoe curves and has a 655 metres (2,149 ft) elevation drop. It is also known as one of the most scenic train rides in the world.

Raumabanen Train Line in Norway
Kabelleger / David Gubler, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

During the journey, passengers can enjoy a comfortable ride in modern and spacious carriages with large windows to take in the breathtaking scenery. There are also food and beverage services available on board.

Overall, I’ll recommend the Rauma Line train ride  for travelers who want to explore the beauty of western Norway’s natural landscapes and enjoy a scenic rail journey through one of the Norway’s most stunning regions.

–> Need help planning your trip to Norway? Read more and contact me here.

Dovrebanen - The Dovre Line

Dovrebanen Train Line
Davil Gubler, GFDL , via Wikimedia Commons

The Dovre Line runs between Oslo and Trondheim, passing through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. The journey takes around 7 hours, covering a distance of approximately 550 kilometers (341 miles).

The Dovre Line offers stunning views of the Gudbrandsdalen valley, and one of the highlights of the journey is crossing the Dovrefjell mountain range, which is home to the iconic musk oxen and reindeer herds.

The train is comfortable and modern, with free Wi-Fi (not super reliable), and comfortable seats. There is also a dining car on board where you can enjoy a variety of meals and refreshments during the journey.

The Dovre Line is also a popular for visiting towns such as Lillehammer, which hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics. You can potentially hop off, spend the night in Lillehammer, and hop on the train again the next day (a ticket for each day will be needed)

For a mountain experience, you can also consider getting off at Hjerkinn, and do some hiking in the Dovre National Park.

What I like about The Dovre Line is that it allows travelers to see parts of the country that are difficult to access by car or bus, also it takes you between two of my favorite cities in Norway: Oslo & Trondheim.

Tips: If you’d like to combine with a train ride on the Rauma Line, you can take the Dovre Line to Dombås and change train there.

Sleeper car is available.

Inside a modern train in Norway

Nordlandsbanen - The Nordland Line

The Nordlandsbanen runs from Trondheim to Bodø, and covering a distance of approximately 729 kilometers (453 miles) this is the longest ride of the four mentioned in this article. Actually, its the longest railway line in all of Norway.

It is known for its breathtaking views of Norway’s rugged landscapes and natural beauty up north. However, one of the highlights of the Nordlandsbanen train ride is crossing the Arctic Circle. Passengers can also see the spectacular Saltfjellet mountain range and the Svartisen Glacier, the second-largest glacier in Norway.

As all trains in Norway, this train is also comfortable and modern with free Wi-Fi, café car and comfortable seats. 

I’d say that the Nordlandsbanen train ride is a unique and unforgettable way to experience the natural beauty of Northern Norway, from the rugged mountains and glaciers to the charming villages and towns along the way. 

If you are looking to travel up north, and want to avoid a flight this is a great option. For connecting to the Lofoten Islands you can take a ferry from Bodø to Moskenes.

Sleeper car available.

Relax and have a meal in the cafe

Long Distance Trains in Norway

In conclusion, traveling by train in Norway is an excellent way to explore the country’s stunning landscapes from the comfort of modern and reliable trains.

Apart from being an enjoyable and scenic experience, it is also an eco-friendly choice for responsible tourism.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please share it with anyone who wants to learn more about trains in Norway.

God togtur! Have a nice train ride!

Pål

–> Need help planning your trip to Norway? Read more and contact me here.

–> Book tickets with VY or Rail Europe.

Things to do in Norway

Hei Hei! I’m Pål. Your travel guide to Norway.

Need a local guide in Oslo or advice on travel in Norway?

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norwaywithpal

norwaywithpal

Tour guide, travel writer & YouTuber. Passionate about sailing, hiking, history, food, art and travel.

https://www.norwaywithpal.com

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