This five-day jaunt covers a great deal of Nordic ground, visiting the country's two largest cities and its longest and deepest fjord. Start off in Europe's fastest growing capital before taking a scenic train and ferry to the fjord-side village of Balestrand. Continue north to Fjærland for glacier views and an award-winning museum before getting on another boat -- this time to Bergen, a historic wharf city and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend your last day with a local guide who will show you the best of Bergen and its seven surrounding mountains.

Highlights

  • Head for Oslo's new harbor promenade and wander the canals around Aker Brygge
  • Take a relaxing ride on the Flåm Railway and have lunch in the charming village
  • Take in the views with several boat rides through scenic fjords 
  • Wander around Bryggen's historic wharf dating back to the 1700s
  • Tour lesser-known parts of Bergen with a local (choose between a walk or nearby hike) 

Overview

With overnights in three separate locations, this itinerary is ideal for those who want to make the most of their five days with a mix of urban experiences and jaw-dropping landscapes.

A large portion of the trip takes you to villages near the Sognefjord, Norway's longest and deepest fjord, one of a thousand along the coast. In fact, the entire west coast of Norway is a maze of waterways, cliffsides, and mile-long views. In between Oslo and Bergen, you'll visit Flåm, Balestrand, and Fjærland along the Fjærlandsfjord, a branch going north off the Sognefjord.

Spectacular vistas aside, this trip includes plenty of cool Scandinavian culture in Norway's two largest cities. You'll have free time to explore Oslo's museums, modern architecture, and New Nordic cuisine, while your last two nights will be based in Norway's Hanseatic wharf city, which stays young and fresh with a large student population. Any amount of time in Norway won't seem like enough, but five days is a great start. 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive to Oslo Oslo
Day 2 Train to Flåm -> Ferry to Balestrand Balestrand
Day 3 Fjordcruise to Fjærland -> Ferry to Bergen Bergen
Day 4 Explore Bergen with a Local Bergen
Day 5 Depart Bergen  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive to Oslo

Check out Oslo's up-and-coming neighborhoods. 

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. The sculptures depict the ups and downs of life and the raw emotions of human beings. Bring your camera!

Day 2: Train to Flåm -> Ferry to Balestrand

Take a scenic train to the village of Flåm for lunch.

After an early breakfast, catch 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. 

When you get to the picturesque village of Flåm, sit back and have lunch at a café. Enjoy the serene nature or go for a stroll through town before you catch your mid-afternoon ferry ride (approximately two hours) to the picturesque harbor town of Balestrand through a portion of the Sognefjord -- Norway's longest and deepest fjord. As the mountains come closer and higher, keep an eye out for eagles and seals. 

You'll arrive with enough time to have dinner in this fjord-side town, known for its 19th-century architecture. Some great local restaurants include Vikingertreff, Pilgrim, and Ciderhuset.

Day 3: Fjordcruise to Fjærland -> Ferry to Bergen

Learn about Norway's glaciers on this Fjærlandsfjord day-trip.

With several boat rides today, you'll have plenty of chances to gawk at the stunning views surrounding this part of Norway.

The day will start with breakfast in Balestrand before you take a fjord cruise north through the Fjærlandsfjord (a branch of the Sognefjord) to the village of Fjærland. Keep an eye out for Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier in continental Europe.

A good place to start is by visiting Fjærland's village center, called Mundal. This is where you can explore the Norwegian Booktown, which consists of several second-hand bookshops, some that are combined with cafés, art galleries, and souvenir shops located in old farmhouses and sheds.

Also not to miss is the Norwegian Glacier Museum, an award-winning architectural marvel situated at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. This hands-on museum is the leading center in Norway for knowledge regarding glaciers and climate change.

If you're feeling more active, there is a connecting bus to Jostedalsbreen National Park where you can take part in one of several glacier hikes. 

In the early afternoon, you'll return to Balestrand by boat and connect to your afternoon ferry (about four hours) to Bergen. This trip takes you through more of the Sognefjord, arriving in the evening with enough time to check out the city's vibrant bar and restaurant scene. 

Day 4: Explore Bergen with a Local

Get a better panoramic view of Bergen with a local tour.

After breakfast, meet up with a local for a custom private tour of Bergen. 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 or hike ideas that past travelers have enjoyed:

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.

Hike Mt. Sandviken (2.5 hours): This hike heads to Mt. Sandviken, one of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, including a visit to Stoltzekliven -- a local favorite 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! 

Hike Three of Seven Mountains (5-7 hours): On this longer hiking trip, you will have the opportunity to climb three of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen: Mt. Ulriken, Mt. Rundemannen, and Mt. Fløyen. Lunch will be served at a scenic spot along the trail along with the Norwegian treat “Kvikk Lunsj”, plus coffee or tea.

The rest of the day is yours to continue exploring the city on your own. You'll also be equipped with a 24-Hour Bergen Card allowing you free bus travel and free admittance to most museums (as well as other attractions), so take advantage!

Day 5: Depart Bergen

Bergen's walkable streets offer museums, restaurants, and shops.

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

Map

Map of Oslo to Bergen Fjord Adventure - 5 Days
Map of Oslo to Bergen Fjord Adventure - 5 Days

Recent Trip Reviews

Related trips planned by kimkim specialists

Oslo to bergen fjord adventure, Norway - Oct 4 - Oct 10, 2018

Traveler: Mark B. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

We are so pleased to have used this service when booking our trip. Ingrid and the team delivered an excellent program that perfectly suited our travel plans. It was a seamless process and took all of the guesswork out of the holiday. Very reasonable pricing as well. Thanks so much for all your help
And support.

Genevieve

Oslo to bergen fjord adventure - 5 days, Norway - Aug 22 - Aug 25, 2018

Traveler: Genevieve C. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

Hello! Thank you to Ingrid and Vilde from Ethical Travel for arranging everything to my taste and my budget. I also had a great time with Nikola from Gone Paddling in Balestrand and Flemmet, my walking tour guide in Bergen. I feel I had the chance to explore lots of things that Norway has to offer in few days . I definitely recommend visiting Balestrand, a unique gem on the fjord and their new museum of Travel and Tourism in Norway (Norsk Reiselivsmuseum ). Thank you for helping me realizing one of my traveling destination dream

5 days - bergen, fijords, oslo, Norway - Jul 29 - Aug 3, 2018

Traveler: Courtney K. - Local specialist: Emily Bakker

Overall, the trip was wonderful and we had a fantastic time! We can't wait to return to Norway to see more of that amazing country. Marrit (sp?) our guide was amazing and great at showing us the sites as well as reacting to changes on the fly. Even though some stormy weather kept us from doing the glacier hike we originally planned on, she identified several other options and shorter hikes we could do in the area to make the most of the day. The kayaking portion of the trip was magical... read more

Overall, the trip was wonderful and we had a fantastic time! We can't wait to return to Norway to see more of that amazing country. Marrit (sp?) our guide was amazing and great at showing us the sites as well as reacting to changes on the fly. Even though some stormy weather kept us from doing the glacier hike we originally planned on, she identified several other options and shorter hikes we could do in the area to make the most of the day. The kayaking portion of the trip was magical and it was amazing that we were the only boats out there. The only critiques of the trip are as follows:
1) Through no fault of the guide or our local specialist, the hotel that we got the kayaks from seemed pretty disorganized (they said they had 4 boats, they only had 3, the paddles were in a different spot, some boats were locked up and they didn't have access when we wanted to go out, they weren't very well maintained making them harder to steer, etc.). It would have been nicer if this had been more of a professional operation so we could spend more time on the water.
2) I realized at our last stop before heading to the train station that Emily hadn't sent us copies of the train tickets we needed to get to Oslo. Marrit contacted her and got a link to the tickets, but there was some trouble downloading it to access the actual tickets so when we got on the train there was some confusion proving that we had tickets and sitting in available seats. This was quite irksome, especially since if I hadn't realized that we didn't have tickets before we left Skjolden, we wouldn't have been able to board the train at all.

Please let me know if you have additional questions. Overall we really enjoyed our time in Norway and can't wait to return. When we do, we would absolutely use KimKim and Emily for assistance in planning our next adventure.

1 day | oslo with a local specialist | , Norway - Aug 2 - Aug 3, 2018

Traveler: Precious O. - Local specialist: Ingrid Thornes

My Oslo tour experience was a great one. Thank you very much Ingrid for booking this at such short notice. I really enjoyed the long walk along the river because it was beautiful and quiet especially in the middle of a very busy city.

My guide, Stig, was very helpful in explaining the history behind the tiger for example close to the train station. Stig also shared facts about other things we saw and was of tremendous help in showing us around other places we needed to visit before we left for home. You guys are the best! Thank you:)

Oslo to bergen fjord adventure - 5 days, Norway - Jul 23 - Jul 28, 2018

Traveler: Tomio M. - Local specialist: Linda Veråsdal

It was pretty good but I had to check some details. Flemmet at Bergen did a good job too. We had a good time in Norway over all. Thank you for the arrangement.