Norway: Oslo, Bergen & Flåm // September 2017
In September 2017 Jim and I took a trip to Norway. It was a short but epic trip and I wrote about it on my old blog but given I’ve started again over here, I’ve condensed it down (I’ve realised I wrote A LOT on the old blog!) to share on this sparkly new blog.
A little heads up before you read this post: if you’re looking for a glamorous guide to travelling around Norway then this is not the post for you! As soon as we started looking at things to do and places to stay we realised that this was going to be an expensive trip. Given we already had 5 other trips planned for the year we knew we had to try keep costs down where we could. We also realised that we were going to absolutely love it and would definitely be back again so there was no need to cram everything into 1 trip.
We flew with British Airways from Heathrow to Oslo and spent the first day and night there. From Oslo we hired a car and drove to Bergen (about 300 miles away). From Bergen we drove to Flåm where we spent 2 nights. We took the the Flåm Railway up into the hills to see some of the most breathtaking scenery we’ve ever seen. From Flåm we drove back to Oslo where we spent our final night before enjoying a full day exploring the city and then flew back in the evening.
Where we Stayed
In Oslo we stayed at a Comfort Express hotel in the city centre. There’s a few of them around and they offer self service check in, compact but comfortable rooms and a great location for exploring the city so for under £100 a night you can’t go wrong.
Bergen is expensive at the best of times but when you accidentally coincide your trip with the Cycling World Championships then its even more expensive. We managed to book a tiny studio apartment within walking distance of Bryggen (the old town area of Bergen) which was perfect for our 1 night stay in the town.
Flåm was just as expensive as Bergen but with a lot less choice of accommodation nearby. The only option within our budget was clamping in a teepee style tent next to the fjord. Thankfully it didn’t rain whilst we were there and the tent had a proper double bed (complete with electric blanket!) so we were more than happy with a tent in the middle of a field vs a fancy hotel…
What we Did
We spent a lot of the weekend driving from place to place, stopping off at any lay-by that had an impressive view. We’d love to go back and spend a bit less time on the roads and a bit more time exploring some of the places we drove past. I’d love to walk to to Pulpit Rock in Trolltunga (where everyone takes that classic picture on a ledge above a fjord) but it takes around 5hours to do the walk in total and we just couldn’t fit it in.
Whilst in Oslo and Bergen we spent most of the time walking around, stopping for coffees and cinnamon buns or a beer. In both cities everything is within walking distance of one another and in Oslo the museums are a short bus ride away if that tickles your fancy.
In Oslo I would recommend spending time by the Opera House, taking a walk around the Royal Palace and having a bite to eat at Kunsthall food market. There’s a good shopping area too but most of the shops are ones we have back home too.
Jim loves a good train journey so there was no question as to whether we’d go on the Flåm railway. If you’re going to Bergen then i would absolutely recommend the 3 hour drive to do this train journey as the views are just as incredible as some of the views from the actual train journey.
I’ll end this entry here with a handful of the photos I took whilst on the train, I have about 200 more that I could bore you with but I’ll spare you that! I hope in the next few years I’ll get to write another post on exploring Norway as I can’t wait to go again.