Experience the magic of a Norwegian winter with this diverse 8-day itinerary. After a night in the thriving capital of Oslo, you'll take one of the steepest trains in the world to Flåm's snow-covered fjords. Journey west to Bergen, where you’ll explore its UNESCO-listed waterfront and vibrant restaurants before flying north to picturesque Tromsø. Finish the trip with two nights in the Arctic wilderness, dogsledding through snowy forests 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 peaceful, wintry fjords with few tourists
  • Walk the hilly, cobblestone streets of Bergen
  • Stay at a sleek, modern resort in Norway's Arctic far north

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 Wintercruise - Train to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 5 Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Malangen Peninsula Tromsø
Day 6 Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion Tromsø
Day 7 Explore Tromsø in Winter Tromsø
Day 8 Depart Norway  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oslo

The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo.
The Akrobaten pedestrian bridge in downtown Oslo.

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. Jump on a tram, train, or bus and discover all that Oslo has to offer.

Take a half-day 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 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. Afterward, stroll 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.

For dinner, head to the city's historic core, which buzzes with restaurants and cafés that stay cozy in cold weather and offer outdoor seating during the warmer months.

Day 2: 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 history 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 3: Train to Flåm - Fjord Wintercruise - 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 toward’s Norway’s west coast, passing one scenic valley after the next. At Myrdal, change trains and jump on the quaint, old-timey Flåm Railway, 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 4,009 feet (1,222 meters) above sea level.

Arrive in Flåm and take some time to explore this charming village situated on the Aurlandsfjord. Have lunch at one of the local restaurants—try the Ægir microbrewery for authentic Viking culture in a historic wooden structure. Afterward, head to the waterfront to join a fjord cruise that sails through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, surrounded by steep mountains and snow-covered peaks. Disembark at Gudvangen, then take the bus to Voss and connect to the train for Bergen. Arrive in Bergen for the evening, where you can settle into your accommodations and set out to explore the city's lively restaurants and nightlife options.

Day 4: Explore Bergen with a Local

Bergen's hilly, cobblestone streets ooze with charm.
Bergen's hilly, cobblestone streets ooze with charm.

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.)

Day 5: Flight to Tromsø - Transfer to Malangen Peninsula

An aerial view of Tromsø in northern Norway.
An aerial view of Tromsø in northern Norway.

After breakfast at your hotel in Bergen, transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Tromsø, the largest city in northern Norway, and the country's "Gateway to the Arctic." 

Upon arrival at Tromsø, a driver will transfer you to the Malangen Resort outside of the city. Located on a picturesque peninsula surrounded by mountains and fjords, it's one of the best spots in the region to see the elusive northern lights. The resort's onsite restaurant features exquisite Arctic cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Once you're settled in, head down for dinner and then get a restful night's sleep in the serene quiet of the far north.

Day 6: Dogsledding & Northern Lights Excursion

The elusive aurora borealis.
The elusive aurora borealis.

Take advantage of being able to sleep in this morning, and then enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the resort. If you're feeling energetic, start the day with a peninsula stroll in the fresh Arctic air.  

Later in the morning, you'll meet an eager team of huskies waiting to take you into the wilderness. Start by suiting up and learning how to manage your own dog team (guides and gear are provided.) You'll drive in pairs with a chance to switch drivers at the halfway point, so everyone learns the ropes. 

After dog sledding, you’ll have 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. The 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, you’ll sit back in comfort and relax around a fire with snacks and hot drinks. 

*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: Explore Tromsø in Winter

Tromsø's colorful waterfront.
Tromsø's colorful waterfront.

After breakfast, the day is free to explore Tromsø at your own speed. With a large university, animated restaurants and nightlife, art galleries and museums, and nearby ski resorts, Tromsø is a notoriously lively city. It also prides itself on having more pubs per capita than any other Norwegian town.

If you'd prefer an arranged excursion with a knowledgable guide, take a walking tour of Tromsø. Explore the largest city in the north—street by street—and take in its rich culture and beautiful architecture, including its colorful 18th-century wooden houses. View relics and buildings from the medieval era, and learn about the city’s extensive fishing culture, which was established when trade in Norway was at its peak. End your day with a tour of the stunning Arctic Cathedral.

Day 8: 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 stay with you forever.

Map

Map of Oslo, Bergen & Tromsø Winter Adventure - 8 Days
Map of Oslo, Bergen & Tromsø Winter Adventure - 8 Days