This Nordic adventure covers several key highlights in a short amount of time, starting in Europe's fastest growing capital. Next, hike in Norway's mountainous interior before taking the scenic Flåm Railway towards the western coast. Finish with a ferry ride through Norway's longest and deepest fjord (Sognefjord) to get to Bergen—a colorful waterfront city surrounded by seven mountains.

Highlights

    • Walk or bike along Oslo's new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park
    • Take an afternoon hike in Geilo and choose from several trails 
    • Check out the Aurlandsfjord from a sleek open-air lookout 
    • Enjoy optimal views while traveling by train and ferry 
    • Explore Bergen's hidden streets with a local guide

Overview

Balancing urban experiences with outdoor adventures and jaw-dropping landscapes, this classic itinerary covers important gems — perfect for Norwegian first-timers who want to make the most of their journey. A large portion of the trip takes you through mountains and fjords by train and ferry. In between Oslo and Bergen, you'll visit villages like Geilo, Flåm, and Aurland along the Aurlandslfjord, a branch going north off the Sognefjord — one of more than a thousand fjords along the coast.

Spectacular vistas aside, this trip includes plenty of cool Scandinavian culture in Norway's two largest cities bookending both sides of the itinerary. You'll start off with free time to explore Oslo's museums, modern architecture, and New Nordic cuisine. Meanwhile, your last day will be based in Norway's historic Hanseatic wharf city, which stays young and fun with a large student population.

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Train to Geilo - Hiking Geilo
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Transfer to Aurland Aurland
Day 4 Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 5 City Tour - Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Culture buffs have plenty to see in Oslo's city center
Culture buffs have plenty to see in Oslo's city center

Welcome to Oslo! Norway's rapidly growing capital is still considered a small city, helped by the fact that it's surrounded by mountains and sea. Not only is the city center made for walking, but outlying neighborhoods are easily accessible by public transportation, so jump on a tram, train, or bus and explore all of what Oslo has to offer.

Suggested activities include: 

  • Spend the afternoon visiting the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Open-Air Folk Museum by way of public transportation. Both museums are in the same area, so they pair well together! 
  • Walk along the Havnepromenaden (harbor promenade) -- a new five-and-a-half-mile waterfront park, which combines sightseeing, history, art, architecture, and a little bit of adventure.
  • Wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars, restaurants, and nightlife. 
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. The sculptures depict the ups and downs of life and the raw emotions of human beings. 

Day 2: Train to Geilo - Hiking

Look for waterfalls on hiking trails in this area of Norway
Look for waterfalls on hiking trails in this area of Norway

After an early breakfast at your hotel, take a train out of the city and towards the beautiful mountain village of Geilo. 

Located along the scenic Bergen Railway, Geilo enjoys close proximity to two of the country's best national parks: Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda. This stunning area offers magnificent mountain scenery and activities for all ages. 

Hiking season starts at the end of June and lasts until snow falls (usually October). There are several trails for every age and fitness level — some that are very easy (less than two miles) and some that are more difficult (up to 10 miles and more), so lace up your boots and pack a picnic. For an easy activity, take a spin on the summer chairlift with panoramic views of the region.

Restaurants in Geilo worth mentioning include Hallingstuene's wine bar for Norwegian food, Dr. Holms Hotel for family dining options, and Ro Kro — a longstanding café with outdoor seating. 

Day 3: Train to Flåm - Transfer to Aurland

Aurlandsfjord can be seen from Stegastein Viewpoint
Aurlandsfjord can be seen from Stegastein Viewpoint

After breakfast, you'll have some free time to spend in Geilo before taking the train to Myrdal. From here, you'll switch to the world-renowned Flåm Railway, which is even more scenic than the Bergen Railway, as it passes through steep fjord landscapes and waterfalls. 

When your train arrives in Flåm, you'll be transferred to the peaceful town of Aurland, north along the Aurlandsfjorden. If there's time, you may want to visit Stegastein Viewpoint -- an open-air lookout designed by a renowned Norwegian architect with stunning fjord views. Finish the day with dinner at one of the area's restaurants, like Duehuset Pub with an outdoor terrace and fjord views. 

Day 4: Ferry to Bergen

Bergen's historic and colorful waterfront
Bergen's historic and colorful waterfront

Today, you'll be dropped off at the port to travel to Bergen by ferry (about four hours) along the Sognefjord—Norway's longest and deepest fjord.  Your afternoon ferry arrives in the evening with enough time to check out the city scene. 

Bergen's cobblestoned center (one of the oldest ports in Europe) is rich in culture and seafaring history. This walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities, not to mention lively restaurants and nightlife thanks in part to a young student population.

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 (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Day 5: City Tour - Depart Bergen

Bergen's walkable city center
Bergen's walkable city center

This morning, you'll meet up with a local for a custom private tour of the city. Your guide, who was born and raised in Bergen, will find the right tour for you based on your interests. Here are a few walk ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:

Hidden Streets & Local Gems (3 hours): This walk starts from the city center and continues uphill toward one of Bergen's seven mountainsides through quaint neighborhoods along narrow streets. You'll walk up the Skredderdalen trail, and then to a hidden viewpoint behind Fløyvarden that only locals know about. After enjoying the magnificent vistas, you'll have the option to walk down to Fløyen for more views, or take an alternative way down which is called “tippe tue”.

Walk Through History (3 hours): This walk starts from the city center and travels through narrow streets up to the mountainside known as Sandviksbatteriet with spectacular 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 history and culture.

In the afternoon, it's time to say farewell to Norway! Enjoy your last moments in this beautiful city with lunch, a neighborhood stroll, and/or souvenir shopping before you head to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Norway's Cities, Mountains & Fjords - 5 Days
Map of Norway's Cities, Mountains & Fjords - 5 Days