Escape the summer crowds with this weeklong winter-themed itinerary that highlights both southern and northern Norway. After a night in Oslo—Europe's fastest-growing capital—you'll take one of the steepest trains in the world to Flåm for snow-covered fjords. You'll then train to Bergen, a UNESCO-listed waterfront city with vibrant restaurants before flying north to picturesque Tromsø. This is where you'll finish the trip, with two nights in the Arctic wilderness dogsledding and searching for the Northern Lights.

Highlights

  • Explore Oslo's up-and-coming neighborhoods like Aker Brygge & "Løkka"
  • Take one of the steepest trains in the world through central Norway
  • Sail through the peaceful, wintry fjords with fewer tourists to contend with
  • Walk the hilly, cobblestoned streets of Bergen, loaded with cozy cafés and restaurants
  • Stay at a modern resort in Norway's Arctic located on a scenic peninsula

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Explore Oslo's hidden gems with a local expert Oslo
Day 3 Train to Flåm - Fjord Winter cruise - Train to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Bergen City Tour Bergen
Day 5 Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Malangen Peninsula Tromsø
Day 6 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion Tromsø
Day 7 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

Winter shoppers in Norway's capital
Winter shoppers in Norway's capital

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—filled with charm and character—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: 

  • Take a half-day and wander around Aker Brygge, an area on the Oslofjord made up of beautiful, modern buildings where you can find bars and abundant nightlife. It acts as a sort of courtyard for the city of Oslo and brings together both tourists and locals alike to enjoy the great food, atmosphere, and entertainment.
  • 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.
  • Visit the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where 200 larger than life sculptures are placed throughout this green lung in the middle of the city. 

For dinner, explore the city's historic core buzzing with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather, with several options that offer outdoor seating during summer months.

Day 2: Explore Oslo's hidden gems with a local expert

Frithjof Fure
Frithjof Fure

After breakfast, get ready to meet your local expert. He/she will show you Oslo from a local's perspective. Get the trip tailored to your interest or surrender into the hands of your local expert and be surprised! Taste the real Oslo from a walk in Damstredet and its beautiful small street with wooden houses from the 1800's to the urban Grünerløkka via the vibrant food court Mathallen. A walk along the Akerselva River should not be missed as it is a central part of the history of Oslo!  

Make sure to get recommendations of your interests from your expert and indulge in the local expertise.

The opportunities for experiencing culture in this amazing city are endless! Oslo is located between the water and evergreen forests — and though it's the capital of Norway, it only takes 30 minutes to travel from one end to the other by metro. Oslo is known for its museums, some of which celebrate the famous works of Edvard Munch or the stunning ships of the Viking Era, while others celebrate niche interests such as music and ski history. 

The city also has a popular café culture, with locals and visitors enjoying some of the best coffee in the world. In warmer weather, there's nothing like sitting outside on the patio with coffee and a pastry or sandwich on freshly baked Norwegian bread. On chilly days, stepping into one of Oslo's local cafes will make you feel cozy and warm. 

Enjoy Oslo!

Day 3: Train to Flåm - Fjord Winter cruise - Train to Bergen

Take advantage of fewer tourists during the winter months
Take advantage of fewer tourists during the winter months

This morning, you'll catch an early train in Oslo which begins a lovely journey to the west coast passing one valley after the next. Once you get to Myrdal, you will change trains and jump on the quaint, old-timey Flåm Railway, considered one of the steepest railways in the world with amazing views of the Norwegian mountains. The train will stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall for passengers to disembark and take pictures. From small villages to remote countryside, the views from your window will be nothing short of spectacular. At its highest point, the tracks will take you 4009 feet (1222 meters) above sea level! 

When you arrive in Flåm, there will be some free time to explore this charming village situated on the Aurlandsfjord. Have lunch at one of the local restaurants, like Ægir microbrewery for authentic Viking culture in a historic wooden structure. 

After relaxing in Flåm, you will join a fjord cruise that sails through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, surrounded by steep mountains and snow-covered peaks. When you disembark at Gudvangen, take the bus to Voss and then connect to the train for Bergen.

When you arrive in Bergen, you'll take a short walk to your hotel from the train station. Once you're settled, you can head for the city's lively restaurants and nightlife options thanks in part to a young student population.

Day 4: Bergen City Tour

Bergen is magical after a snowfall
Bergen is magical after a snowfall

After breakfast, explore on your own or meet up with a guide for a local tour of Bergen—the second largest city in Norway, with about 300,000 residents. Rich in culture and seafaring history, this walkable city boasts a vast selection of cultural and outdoorsy activities.

Be sure to take 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, and take a leisurely stroll back down the path while discovering hidden troll sculptures along the way.

Check out the Bryggen area of downtown to view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s (a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site), along with Bergen's best historical sites and museums. For a rest, stop in one of the charming local cafés and bakeries.

Bergen has more to offer travelers who want a truly local experience. Here are a few suggested day tours and activities that can be arranged with local guides:

  • Boat to Mostraumen: This day-trip departs from Bergen's port and takes you through a deep fjord to Modalen, which is one of the smallest municipalities in Norway with about 380 residents! You will sail along Osterfjorden and pass steep mountains and spectacular waterfalls. 
  • Mt. Ulriken Zip Line: This fun zip line adventure through hilly forests is located close to the city center.

Day 5: Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Malangen Peninsula

Aerial view of Tromsø in Northern Norway
Aerial view of Tromsø in Northern Norway

After breakfast at your hotel in Bergen, you'll transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Tromsø, the largest city in Northern Norway, nicknamed "Gateway to the Arctic". 

Upon arrival at Tromsø, a driver will transfer you to the Malangen Resort outside of the city. This picturesque seaside setting is located on Malangen Peninsula surrounded by mountains and fjords. It is also one of the leading Northern Lights locations in the region.

The resort's onsite restaurant features Arctic cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Once you're settled, head down for dinner and then get a restful night's sleep in your modern accommodations.

Day 6: Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion

The elusive but very beautiful aurora borealis
The elusive but very beautiful aurora borealis

Take advantage of being able to sleep in this morning, and then enjoy a nice, leisurely breakfast at the resort. If you're feeling active, head outside and take a peninsula stroll in the fresh Arctic air.  

Later in the morning, you'll meet an eager team of Huskies who will be waiting to take you into the wilderness. But first, you'll suit up and start with a lesson on how to manage your own dog team (guides and gear are provided). In fact, you'll drive in pairs with a chance to switch drivers at the halfway point so everyone learns the ropes. 

After dog sledding, there will be some free time to relax and have dinner before the "Northern Lights Watch". This excursion starts with a briefing about this natural phenomenon and the current conditions* before your group sets off for basecamp. This area is strategically located behind the resort in a location that experiences less cloud activity and better chances for sightings. Rather than running around in a mini-bus, this experience provides comfort and relaxation around an inside fire with snacks and hot beverages. 

*The tour provider will check the latest weather update in the early evening. If the likeliness of clear skies is low, the guide will inform you about the situation at pickup time and you can decide to have your money refunded. If you choose to take your chances, the guide will do his/her best to succeed, but there is no guarantee.

Day 7: Depart Norway

Time to say farewell to Norway!
Time to say farewell to Norway!

After breakfast, head to the airport and catch your departing flight. Although it's time to say goodbye to Norway, the memories from your trip will surely stay with you forever!