This Is One of the Most Scenic Train Rides in Europe — Here's What It's Like on Board

A destination in itself, the high-speed train from Oslo to Bergen lets you take the scenic route through Norway’s beautiful landscapes.

Aerial view of Bergen from Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

For travelers hoping to visit Norway, figuring out how to navigate the vast and breathtaking country can be a challenge. Enter: train travel. This winter, my fiancé and I boarded a Vy train in Oslo and began our journey along the iconic Bergen Railway (also known as the Bergensbanen), which consistently ranks among the most scenic train rides in the continent and is renowned as the highest railway in northern Europe, clocking in at 4,058 feet elevation. After researching our trip ad nauseam, it was clear this journey was something we couldn’t miss. Luckily, it fit perfectly into our schedule since we needed a way to get from Oslo to Bergen and didn’t want to waste a minute of our trip. As we sped through the Norwegian countryside by rail, I was captivated by views of glistening fjords, snowcapped mountains, and picturesque small towns.

Author looking out of train window on Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

As practical as it is scenic, Vy’s 6.5-hour high-speed train from Oslo to Bergen offers travelers the perfect way to traverse the country without missing a beat. As an added bonus, Vy trains (and train travel in general) are a more sustainable option for getting from point A to point B when compared to flying or driving.

Vy’s rewards program, Green Journey, even offers travelers an overview to see how their trip is helping the environment. Vy powers their trains through the use of renewable energy and prides themselves on their commitment to sustainable tourism. We loved the sustainability angle of getting around this way (which was unsurprising, as most things in Scandinavia seem to take environmental accountability into consideration), and the journey provided a respite from plane travel after having just made the long trip over from the U.S.

Oslo Norway skyline on water seen from Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

For a few dollars more than the price of a basic seat, we upgraded to Plus seating, which placed us in a quieter, more comfortable carriage that also included free coffee and tea. Our seats reclined and power outlets kept us fully charged and comfortable throughout the ride. For around $45 total per ticket, upgrading to Plus was worth it, as the other carriages seemed to be more crowded. I also noticed a designated family carriage with a play area for children — ideal for parents wanting to entertain their little ones on the all-day excursion.

While this train ride was convenient, affordable, scenic, and sustainable, as someone who suffers from motion sickness, be warned: The train is fast and may not be best for those with a weak stomach. While seated, it’s easy to relax and be distracted by the gorgeous scenery. But if you plan to get up and move around, I recommend taking something for motion sickness ahead of time to prepare for the winding and swaying while the train barrels along at high speeds. 

A waffle, hotdog and chocolate, the food on Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

If you can handle the journey from your carriage, the cafe on board is another delightful highlight. It offers a host of delicious hot and cold local dishes, from sandwiches and wraps to meatballs and gravy. We loved sampling the local cuisine, including Norwegian hot dogs (not quite the same as the American variety) and traditional heart-shaped waffles served with jam and brunost, a sweet and tasty brown cheese. 

Inside Bergen train station for a Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

Two trains at train station, a Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

As we began to approach Bergen, the landscape became noticeably more striking, offering gorgeous alpine vistas and awe-inspiring scenery; we even spotted reindeer along the way. This was no surprise, as Bergen is celebrated as one of the country’s primary gateways to the fjords, and the dramatic landscape worked to heighten the anticipation for the next leg of our trip. Having left Oslo at 8:30 a.m., we arrived in Bergen at 3 p.m., still able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon while having already had a day’s worth of breathtaking views and experiences.

For us, it was the perfect solution. After arriving in Oslo from the U.S. the day before, the last thing we wanted to do was waste precious hours of our trip waiting around at the airport for a flight to Bergen. This type of travel allowed us to sightsee our way through the entire western half of Norway while still reaching our next destination in a timely manner — and I can’t recommend it enough. 

Snowy landscape of a town seen from Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

Fjord seen from Scandinavian railway through Norway in winter

Sophie Mendel

For those looking to hop on board the train travel trend, Vy’s Oslo to Bergen rail journey is a great way to see Scandinavia as it’s meant to be experienced: sustainably and with magnificent views along the way.

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