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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Norway.