Discover lively cities and breathtaking scenery on this short 5-day journey through southern Norway. Start on the coast, where you’ll spend two nights exploring the cobbled streets and colorful waterfront districts of historic Bergen. Day three takes you deep into the fjords, where you’ll sail through the spectacular Sognefjord before hopping on the famous Flåm Railway for a steep, scenic ride through mountains and waterfalls. End your adventure in Oslo to celebrate the vibrant culture and cuisine of Europe’s fastest-growing city.

Highlights

  • Stroll through the colorful cobblestone streets of historic Bergen
  • Sail across Norway's longest, deepest fjord
  • Ride one of the world's steepest railways past mountains & waterfalls
  • Experience Oslo's modern architecture & thriving culinary scene

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Bergen Bergen
Day 2 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 3 Ferry to Flåm - Train to Oslo Oslo
Day 4 Explore Oslo's Hidden Gems with a Local Expert Oslo
Day 5 Depart Oslo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Bergen

Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront
Bergen's historic and photogenic waterfront.

Welcome to Bergen! One of the oldest ports in Europe, this cobblestone wharf city boasts a spectacular setting, surrounded by ocean, mountains, and fjords. Its easily walkable center offers a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities, not to mention a lively restaurant and nightlife scene thanks to its large student population.

If there's time, ride on the Fløibanen funicular (or hike the trail on foot) to the top of Mount Fløyen—one of Bergen's seven peaks—for the best views of the city. Take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way. 

Also, make sure to check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view the waterfront wooden houses that characterize the city. Dating back to the 1700s, the whole neighborhood is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When evening rolls around, head out to dinner and immerse yourself in the city's thriving downtown. Some local recommendations include:

  • BarBarista: a funky coffee shop, restaurant & music venue.
  • Bryggeloftet & Stuene: a traditional mountain lodge restaurant.
  • Zupperia: an eclectic European restaurant right on the Bryggen wharf.
  • Bare Vestland: a basement-level eatery specializing in Norwegian tapas.
  • Pygmalion Økocafe and Galleri: a healthy, organic restaurant located in a historic space with a fireplace and art gallery for art exhibitions and live music.
  • Matbørsen: three restaurants in one serving international cuisine in the gorgeous, airy space of the former Bergen Stock Exchange, built in 1862.

Day 2: Explore Bergen with a Local

Historic neighborhoods to explore with the help of a local.
Historic neighborhoods to explore with the help of a local.

Today you’ll meet up with a local resident for a custom private tour of Bergen. Your guide, who was born and raised in the city, will help choose the right activity based on your interests. Some suggestions include:

Walk Through History (3 hours): Start from the city center and travel through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as “Sandviksbatteriet” with panoramic views over the city. From here, the trail takes you to a small, hidden cabin rich in World War II history. During the walk, your local guide will offer local stories of Bergen's past and culture.

Explore Bergen's Parks & Architecture (3 hours): This leisurely walking tour visits notable exteriors and city parks, starting with Saint Johannes, the largest church in Bergen. From there, walk through the botanic garden and onwards to the beautiful green spaces of Nygårdsparken. Wander the city's narrow streets lined with traditional Bryggen houses and eventually visit the waterfront Nordnes park. Your guide will share stories of life in Bergen, as well as offer lesser-known activity and restaurant recommendations not frequented by tourists.

Hike Mount Sandviken (2.5 hours): Climb Mount Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, and visit Stoltzekliven—a favorite local spot consisting of 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. This trail is home to the steepest race in the world and features spectacular views from the top.

Evening Segway Tour (2 hours): This fun guided excursion travels all over Bergen on two-wheeled motorized personal vehicles. You'll visit several key stops, including the top of Mount Fløyen, for a gorgeous view of the sunset.

The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. Consider picking up a 24-Hour Bergen Card, which offers free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions.)

Plan your trip to Norway
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 3: Ferry to Flåm - Train to Oslo

The picture-perfect village of Flåm sits at the edge of Norway's Sognefjord.
The picture-perfect village of Flåm sits at the edge of Norway's Sognefjord.

After an early breakfast at your hotel, take a scenic journey by boat and train to Oslo, starting with a five-hour ferry ride to Flåm by way of the Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord. 

When you reach the picturesque village of Flåm, sit back and have lunch at a café or the local microbrewery. Enjoy the serene nature or go for a stroll through town before catching a ride on the Flåm Railway, regarded as one of the most beautiful train rides in the world. The journey is steep in places and passes through waterfalls and stunning landscapes, so keep your camera close. After changing trains in Myrdal, enjoy the changing scenery as you travel inland towards the capital.

Day 4: Explore Oslo's Hidden Gems with a Local Expert

Oslo's National Opera House.
Oslo's National Opera House.

Today you'll embark on an excursion to get to know the real Oslo in the most authentic way possible: with a local expert guide. And there's quite a bit to see in a relatively small space (it takes a mere 30 minutes to travel from one end of Oslo to the other by metro.) The city is known for its rich history and museums, some of which celebrate the macabre works of the Norwegian expressionist painter Edvard Munch. Others recount fascinating maritime culture in the form of stunning Viking-era ships, while a few highlight music and even ski history. Your guide will tailor the experience to your preferences and interests, or you can defer to their expertise as they lead you around the city on an impromptu adventure. Some popular choices include:

Oslo Hidden Gems: Visit the sites mentioned above as well as strolling the cobbled streets of Damstredet, in central Oslo. This historic road is lined with well-preserved wooden houses dating back to the late 1700s/early 1800s. Walk along the iconic Akerselva River, then visit Grünerløkka, a bohemian enclave that abounds with street art, funky cafes (which offer some of the best coffee in the world), dance clubs, and independent fashion boutiques. It's also the location of the Mathallen Food Hall, where you can savor the flavors of Norway and abroad at its more than 30 eateries. Here you'll find everything from paella and Southeast Asian street food to Norwegian cheeses and cured meats. 

Akerselva River Walk
(4-5 hours): On this tour, you'll take the tram to the Akerselva River, a vital waterway that offers an abundance of local history. Start with the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology (on the north side of the river) and then head south to the Labour Museum (part of the Oslo City Museum) while your guide shares stories about Oslo's history. The river is 5 miles (8 km) long and passes waterfalls, swimming areas, forested areas, and wildlife, so bring your camera!

Holmenkollen Ski Jump (2-3 hours): If you have less time to spare, this tour heads for a popular area called Holmenkollen, where a wooded range of hills can be reached by light rail from the city center in about 35 minutes. Open year-round, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower presents over 4,000 years of snow sports, polar exploration, and an exhibition on snowboarding and modern skiing. Head for the observation deck for panoramic views of Oslo, and then walk down to the ski jump while your guide shares stories about local trolls, legends, and castles.

Day 5: Depart Oslo

Colorful wooden houses in central Oslo's historic Damstredet neighborhood.
Colorful wooden houses in central Oslo's historic Damstredet neighborhood.

It's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last few hours walking around Oslo's character-filled neighborhoods, relaxing in a café, or visiting local boutiques for some last-minute souvenirs before heading to the airport for your flight home.

Map

Map of Explore Bergen, Oslo & the Fjords - 5 Days
Map of Explore Bergen, Oslo & the Fjords - 5 Days