It’s nature that put Norway on the map: snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and elongated fjords. The spectacular journey from Oslo to Bergen encapsulates them all, but don’t rule out spending a couple of days in the cities at either end.
Oslo is a city that masquerades as anything but. The hectic buzz, sprawling skyscrapers, and hordes of scurrying people that define most metropolises are largely absent from the streets of Norway’s capital.
Situated at the end of a fjord, and surrounded by islands, forests and hills, Oslo emits a small-town vibe (it’s home to approximately 600,000 people), whilst hosting world-class museums, pristine sculpture parks, and pioneering restaurants.
Visit a museum
Grab a 10-minute ferry from the harbor to Bygdøy and take your pick from the museums on offer. Norsk Folkemuseum boasts an open-air display of 155 buildings, which gives you an insight into how people in Norway have lived from 1500 to the present day.
Housing the world’s most famous polar ship, The Fram Museum details of polar exploration, and the Viking Ship Museum allows you to get up close to two wonderfully preserved wooden Viking ships that date back to the 9th century.
Go to the opera or ballet
The Norwegian Opera and Ballet House may have only opened, but it’s fast making a name for itself – and not just for its quirky design. In less than a decade, it has attracted internationally renowned opera and ballet performers, as well as given space to home-grown talent – a combination that guarantees variety. If ballet and opera aren’t your things, then it’s still worth checking out the building and taking a stroll on its angled roof.
Take a train ride
Clear some space on your camera; the Bergen Railway, from Oslo to Bergen, is thought to be one of the world’s most scenic train rides. The journey is divided into five stages (three trains, a ferry, and a bus) and takes roughly 12 hours to complete in one go, or you can take your time and split it up over several days to really see nature at its rawest. The Norwegian Tourist Board offers the complete journey for 1320 NOK.