The most efficient way to see the best of Norway in one week is to combine the modern capital Oslo, historical trading port Bergen, and the western fjords into your itinerary—and you can see it all by rail and ferry.

Most travelers without their own transport follow the self-guided Norway in a Nutshell itineraries from Fjord Tours. Although these packages offer convenience and good value, they are often crowded during the high season and can feel rushed. Use the one-day pre-set itinerary as a base for your own plan, but extend the trip to take in extra sights along the way, spend more time in two of Norway’s most vibrant cities, and most importantly relax rather than rush through the fjords.

Monolith at Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo

The Vigeland Sculpture Park features hundreds of stone, bronze, and wrought-iron sculptures. Photo © David Nikel.

Day 1: Oslo

Spend the morning admiring the life’s work of Gustav Vigeland at the Vigeland Sculpture Park before museum hopping in the afternoon. The Bygdøy peninsula is home to the maritime-themed Viking Ship Museum, Fram Museum, and the Kon-Tiki Museum. Alternatively, check out Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream at the vast National Gallery downtown. Stay in one of the emerging budget hotel brands close to Oslo Central Station in preparation for an early start.

train on the track in Norway

The Flåm Railway regularly tops the charts of the world’s most beautiful railroads. Photo © David Nikel.

Day 2: A Railway Enthusiast’s Dream

Take two of the world’s best-known railroad journeys in the same day. Travel on the Bergen Line from Oslo to Myrdal before taking the remarkable Flåm Railway, which twists and turns its way from mountain plateau to fjord level through the lush Flåm valley in less than one hour. Learn how the railroad was built at the Flåm village museum, before enjoying a delicious meal of local food and matching craft beer at the Viking-themed Flåmsbrygga brewpub, run by local craft brewery Ægir. Stay overnight in a cabin overlooking the fjord.

a ship sails through Naeroyfjord in Norway

Take a cruise through the narrow Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Photo © tupungato/iStock.

Day 3: Cruise the Nærøyfjord

Enjoy a light lunch from the on-board café on the two-hour cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen, which takes you past picturesque fjordside villages and along the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord. Return to Flåm on the same ferry, or save time and money and return on the bus. Rent a kayak for the afternoon for a much more intimate experience with the fjords, or take a hike along the railroad. Stay a second night in Flåm.

aerial view of Bergen in Norway

The town of Bergen makes a great base for exploring Norway’s natural features. Photo © David Nikel.

Day 4: Bergen

Take the fast ferry to Bergen to ride the length of the epic Sognefjord, one of the world’s longest and deepest fjords. Alternatively, return to Myrdal on the Flåm Railway to travel to Bergen along the remainder of the Bergen Line. Orient yourself with a ride up the Fløibanen Funicular. Enjoy the view with a snack or meal in the hilltop restaurant, or take a hike along one of the myriad marked trails. Stay the night in Bergen and enjoy an evening stroll along the historic Bryggen wharf.

a crisp blue river runs through Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park

Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park is easily accessible and set around the mighty Dovre mountain range. Photo © Alby DeTweede/iStock.

Optional Days 5-7: Trondheim

Extend your journey by returning to Oslo and taking the Dovre Line railway to Trondheim. Watch out for mainland Europe’s only musk oxen in the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park. Explore the history of Norway, including an archaeological museum and the Crown Regalia at Nidaros Cathedral, before taking a stroll along the cobbled streets and sidewalk cafés of Trondheim’s Bakklandet neighborhood. Spend the night in Trondheim and return to Oslo via the morning train to Røros, which allows you four hours to enjoy lunch in a traditional setting and explore the unique former copper mining town.

Explore Norway’s majestic fjords and mountains and visit its beautiful and historical cities with this week-long best of Norway travel itinerary.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Norway.