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Considering Norway In A Nutshell? Read This First.

(An example of the view from the railway)

If you’re planning a trip to Norway, you’ve probably heard of the “must do” Norway In a Nutshell tour.  If you’re like me, however, you might be confused as to what this tour really is and how to book it.  The online resources are confusing, the booking options are confusing, and all the names of Norwegian destinations along the way complicate the process even more.  Since I just finished the tour, I wanted to share what I learned and hopefully help demystify the tour for others.

What is the Norway In A Nutshell tour?

Some marketing genius named the series of transportation methods that bring someone from Oslo to Bergen (or Bergen to Oslo) “Norway In a Nutshell” because of all the beautiful scenery you see along the way.  They dubbed it a “tour”, but it’s NOT a standard tour.  It’s just different modes of transportation that you take over the course of 12 hours to bring you from one place to another.  You can do it all in a day or you can spread out the transportation over several days.  You can also do it as a roundtrip from Oslo back to Oslo as an example, but you’ll be taking a night train back to Oslo from Bergen.

What is the route?

I took it from Oslo to Bergen so this is based on that route:

1. Oslo – Myrdal: Four hour train ride and the only segment where you’ll have seat reservations.  Get seats on the left side of the train if possible.

(Myrdal train station)

2. Myrdal – Flam: 45 min train ride that might be the most scenic ride of your life.  There are sites on both sides of the train, but I think the right side has slightly better sites.  As a note, when you board this train from Myrdal, the front of the train is in the direction that your last train ride just came from.  Also, if you want to get good photos, find a seat that has a window that is either open or can be opened (seats in the front and back of car).

(This is the inside of the scenic Flam Railway)

3. Flam – Gundvangen: 2 hour ferry ride through the best part of the Sognefjord. Everyone will try to grab seats out on the second floor deck, but you’re actually facing the back of the boat if you do that.  It will also be really crowded.  My recommendation is to climb up to the third level and sit on the right side of the boat.  There are less people there so you can easily walk to the front of the boat (next to the captain’s cabin) for prime photo ops.  I got seats under the canopy there which saved us when it started raining.

(The mountains on either side of the fjord loom sky high)

(Cute little towns like the one above dot the fjords)

4. Gundvangen – Voss: 45 min bus ride with cool switchbacks and two big waterfalls to check out.  While there’s one waterfall on either side of the bus, I suggest grabbing a seat closer to the driver and on the right side for the better view of the waterfall and switchbacks.

(The view continues even after the fjord boat ride. This was taken on the bus ride to Voss.)

5. Voss – Bergen: 1 hour train ride.  There aren’t really any sites to see at this point (certainly not any that will top what you’ve already seen) and you’ll likely be really tired so just grab a seat and relax.

Why is this a “must do” activity?

It’s an easy way to see Norway’s famous natural beauty in a day: deep lush fjords, waterfalls, tiny villages, towering canyons.  It’s an especially good option for those who want to just see it and be done with it or those who don’t have tons of time in Norway.

If I make stops along the way, where should I stop?

After passing by the many villages and towns and seeing what is on offer, my recommendation is to stop in Myrdal.  If you go from Oslo to Bergen (which is what I did), Myrdal is your first stop after taking the train from Oslo. Coming from Oslo, the first half of the train ride is pretty boring but it gets better as you get closer to Myrdal.  I’d recommend overnighting in Myrdal and going on some hikes or bike rides into the valley towards Flam.  There are stunning lush valleys dotted with houses and surrounded by towering waterfalls.  Most “Nutshellers” take the famous 45min train ride from Myrdal to Flam and see this scenery on board, but it’s hard to take photos and really appreciate what is around you from the train, which is why I’d suggest overnighting in Myrdal and exploring on your own.  Once you’ve had enough, you can then take the 45 min train ride to Flam and see any sites you missed.  Alternatively, you could also stop in Flam instead of Myrdal and explore the area between the two cities as well.  The benefit of being in Flam is that you could also take boat rides to other towns along the fjord before you board your boat ride to Gundvangen.

Where do I purchase tickets?

You can buy tickets online at Norway In a Nutshell from Fjord Tours (their website looks splashy but once you dig in and try to buy, it’s not very user friendly) or you can buy them at the train station directly.  Unless you’re going in high season (June-August) and there’s a risk that seats will be sold out, I’d recommend buying the tickets at the train station.  The tickets you buy online from Fjord Tours aren’t refundable if you have to change your dates so I wouldn’t buy from them unless you have to reserve early.

Are there other tours I can take besides Norway In a Nutshell?

If you go to their website you’ll see that there are other tours besides Norway In a Nutshell, which actually confused me even more when I was doing research.  Remember, though, that it is all just a series of transportation modes you take so yes, there are other “tours” you can take to explore other parts of the country.  Note, however, that other tours might require more time to do than just one day.

What if I don’t want to go on one segment of the tour?  Do I have to use all the transportation modes included?

As mentioned earlier, you can break up the original Norway In a Nutshell tour over several days.  You can also buy each segment individually instead of as a Nutshell package if you want to add detours along the way.  My recommendation is to use the segments already included in Norway In a Nutshell as a guide and then modify it as you wish with point-to-point tickets.  For instance, I wish I had allocated more time to this “tour” and had stayed overnight in Myrdal or Flam.  I also wish I had added a day to explore the other fjordside towns along the Songnefjord (easy to do since you just purchase boat tickets in Flam).  It might be hard to do all the research from their website, but you can email the folks at Fjord Tours.  They were prompt in answering my questions.

Do you recommend this “tour”?

Overall, it’s a good way to get your fjord fix in a short amount of time.  The problem with the “tour”, however, is that you’re with a ton of people going from train ride to train ride to boat ride to bus ride to train ride.  It’s like you’re being herded like cattle!  You’re also literally spending the day waiting to catch the next transportation option so you don’t really have time for a proper meal or to see the towns you stop in.

I highly urge anyone who is going to go on it to spend an extra day or two along the route so that: 1) you can explore the towns on your own, and 2) you can avoid the crowds of Nutshellers by taking trains/boats/busses that are at off-times from when the Nutshellers take them.  It will take a bit more planning and due diligence on your own since you can’t just purchase the pre-packaged tour, but it will be worth it to get to go at your own pace.  I wish I had done that because it would have made the experience richer.

To sum up, the “tour” as a day trip from Oslo to Bergen is just OK because there were too many people there so I can’t fully recommend it as a package (keep in mind I went in June).  The sites on the Flam railway and the boat ride through the Songnefjord, however, are definite “must do’s” so if you tailor your own trip, make sure to include these two… and make sure you’re taking the railway and boat ride when the Nutshellers aren’t!  Based on my experience, the Nutshellers from Oslo grabbed the Flam railway that departed between 1pm and 2pm.  They also took the boat ride that departs between 2pm and 3:30pm.  I’m not sure which rides they’d take if they started their trip in Bergen instead so it’d be best to double check everything when you buy your tickets from the ticket agent.

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Shannon - August 12, 2013 - 12:38 am

Thank you so much! This has really demystified the NiN for me. I’m trying to plan our trip to Norway and it is a lot more confusing than I expected…

JustWanderlust - August 12, 2013 - 9:44 am

Hi Shannon! I’m glad it helped. Good luck with the rest of your trip planning!

Dominique - August 13, 2013 - 9:41 am

I’ve done the Norway in a Nutshell tour and agree it was so confusing to figure how to book and what exactly was included! But the fjords are breathtaking!

Anita - September 23, 2013 - 5:54 am

This is exactly what I was looking for, I am planning to go to Norway next year. And this will help me.

JustWanderlust - September 23, 2013 - 10:36 pm

Anita – hope you have a great trip next year!

Ned - March 18, 2014 - 11:47 am

THANK YOU for putting this together! I wish I had come across your site sooner because it has been painful trying to figure out the value of Norway in a Nutshell and whether or not to spread our Oslo to Bergen journey over two days. Finally I have a sense of clarity!

JustWanderlust - March 18, 2014 - 12:21 pm

Hi Ned – I’m so glad you found it helpful! I was in the same boat as you so I’m glad you were able to make use of what I learned. I hope you enjoy Norway!

Kipin Alexander - April 22, 2014 - 7:41 pm

Awesome article! I just scored last min tix for 400 a pop into Oslo so working on a last min trip 🙂 If I don’t book the full trip, should I plan on booking anything but my first ticket from Norway in advance? Or can I buy them all as I go along. The prospect of buying them all up front is daunting.

JustWanderlust - April 23, 2014 - 1:13 pm

Hi Kipin – I booked the whole thing as one package but if you’ve got flexibility you should book each leg separately so that you can enjoy the sites/stops. I recommend emailing the Fjord tours people to find out the best way to do that – if they don’t offer it, then you can always go to the Oslo train station and talk to the people there. As long as you’re not there in high season, it likely won’t sell out.

Jordan - May 1, 2014 - 6:51 am

This was immensely helpful. I’m going next week and already bought a rail pass for the entire country. But I hear I still need to reserve seats on parts if the nutshell even though I have a pass. Do you think I can just do this at the train station in Oslo the day before?

JustWanderlust - May 1, 2014 - 9:48 am

Hi Jordan – I think you get to reserve seats for the first leg of the trip (at least, if you’re a Nutsheller you do; not sure how the country rail passes work). Either way, you can make reservations at the train station. Have fun!

Pam - May 20, 2014 - 10:49 am

I’m going to Norway in July 2014. I can’t seem to locate on the NIN website where I can take the train Oslo-Myrdal-Flam on one day and then the boat/bus Flam – Bergen the next day (departing Flam on the 9:00am boat). Does NIN allow such booking? If not, do you know what websites I should use to book the individual legs?

JustWanderlust - May 20, 2014 - 3:36 pm

Pam – when you’re booking from the NIN website, you can select that you want a “multiple day” trip and then indicate that you want the “one way” route from Oslo to Bergen. As you go through the booking process, you should be able to indicate the stop which you want to overnight in (in your case, it sounds like Flam is where you’ll overnight). You can also book activities or hotels in Flam from the website or skip those options. If you have more questions on the NIN site, contact them directly – they were quick to respond when I had questions as I booked. Alternatively, you can go to the Oslo train station and book point-to-point tickets yourself (if you can’t buy the ferry tickets at the train station, you can look into getting them in Flam) or try https://www.nsb.no/en, which is the site for the Norway railway. Good luck! Enjoy Norway!

Pwee - June 14, 2014 - 2:41 am

Thank you for your article; informative and helpful.
We are going to Norway in August. Is it best to go with NIN with transport and hotel bookings, or is it a lot cheaper if I book the transportation and hotel on my own?
Help, please!

JustWanderlust - June 15, 2014 - 9:28 pm

Hi Pwee – You might be able to find better deals if you book the transport and hotel separately since you can pick exactly which accommodations you want. My recommendation, however, is to check out what NIN offers as a hotel/transport package and then price it out yourself by going to the hotel websites to be sure. Good luck! Have fun in Norway!

Suresh - July 27, 2014 - 7:12 pm

Thanks for posting.
We are planning to do this tour as a family in Aug ’14
We have reservations (assigned seats) for the 1st and last legs -to Myrdal and to Bergen
I’m just concerned that the regional train and the boat/bus may get too crowded and we may not have a place to sit in the unreserved areas. Is that true? Do we have to stand in line ahead of time to board?


Philip - July 28, 2014 - 6:03 am

Thank you for posting this; it was really insightful.
I am actually planning my trip to Norway in a few weeks. I want to take your advice to just purchase tickets at the stations, but do not want to risk sold-out trains, especially since I will be going mid-August. I was wondering, let’s say I buy the package through Norway in a Nutshell, can I still take trains that are at off-times but still on the same day as the ones scheduled by NiN?
By the way, thank you so much for addressing all of your readers’ comments and questions. I feel bad to add one more to the list, but I did email NiN but did not get a response back from them. I appreciate your help!

JustWanderlust - July 28, 2014 - 9:28 am

Suresh- yes, it might be crowded. There isn’t a formal line but you should try to wait (or hover) close to the ferry and the train tracks so that your family can board first. People board fast so if you’re not one of the first to board it may be hard to get seats together. Good luck!

JustWanderlust - July 28, 2014 - 9:38 am

Philip – I don’t think you can take other trains/ferries but I recommend calling the NiN office to make sure. If you can’t reach them, it may be safer just to assume you can’t take any other train/ferry than the one you’re ticketed for. Alternatively, with some additional planning you could purchase point to point tickets individually and then get the times you’d like. That would allow you to avoid the NiN crowd. Hope this helps! Have a good trip!

Sheri - July 31, 2014 - 2:47 pm

Great Post! Please define “Right Side”, “Left Side” of train or bus! In America the driver’s side is the “Left side”, is this consistent?

JustWanderlust - August 1, 2014 - 11:20 am

Sheri – the left or right side of a train or bus is based on wherever the “front” of the train or bus is facing. So, if you face the same direction as the train/bus, your “left” is the train’s “left” and your “right” is the train’s “right”.

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Mrel - September 27, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Thanks for the great info! I’m getting on the train in the morning and this has really helped make this process a bit easier! I panicked at first because I picked up my tickets and the ones for the boat and bus weren’t there, but then realized it lists all the stops on the first print out. I’m very new to traveling on my own through this part of the world — we don’t have this type of rail system in the states so every experience is an adventure!

Richele - November 1, 2014 - 6:03 pm

Thanks so much – this is a very valuable read! I am hoping to visit Norway this winter around New Years. My main goal is to see the Northern Lights, but I would like to see some other parts of the country too, if possible. This route seemed like a good way to do that. I am wondering if (despite being there in June) you happen to know anything about traveling this route in the winter? I am nervous about accessibility, among other things.

Thanks again!

JustWanderlust - November 11, 2014 - 8:28 am

Hi Richele – I don’t know about the route in winter since I went in summer but it does run in winter. Try emailing Norway in a Nutshell for specifics/concerns.

Norway bound - February 28, 2015 - 6:19 pm

Dear jeff,

We are going in June this year. We are debating renting car vs eurail pass. Do you think the flexibility of car is worth the hassle of finding parking and such? We are 10 people with 4 little ones. .

JustWanderlust - March 3, 2015 - 7:49 am

If you’re not going to be in a major city, I don’t think you’ll have issues finding parking.

Jen - April 13, 2015 - 1:11 pm

Thank you so much for this detailed description of NIN. We are considering going on the exact same one-way tour and then fly from Bergen to Stockholm. Given that we have three children (14, 8, 5), and we are going to need to take luggage with us to Bergen, how doable is this tour? Looks like with the changes in the train rides, boat ride, bus ride, having luggage and three children (mainly the two younger ones) may be a bit of a hassle? Do they even have luggage space on the boat ride?

Thanks very much for any more information you can provide!

JustWanderlust - April 15, 2015 - 6:41 am

Jen- we had bags with us when we did the tour so I wouldn’t worry about luggage space. If you can fit all the luggage on the racks in the trains, you should be fine. You know your kids best but as long as they are able to sit and enjoy the day of rides/scenery it should be doable.

Melody Smith - May 10, 2015 - 8:07 pm

Very well written piece! We are more independent explorers so we may break up the trip over a few days to get more out of it. Just wanted to make sure the price of the “transportour” is really worth it. (We are both from Miami, USA, one of the flattest places on earth, so I’m sure the view is stunning nonetheless).

Sheryl - May 11, 2015 - 7:03 pm

Your article was a great find, thanks for the info. my husband and I are travelling through Norway in August and looking at NIN. I will take on board all your information. Did you travel down to The pilput rock, We have no time restraints so want to make sure we cover as much as possible. Will now contact NIN and as it appears I can stretch things out will see what they can advise. Love it when peolpe like yourself take the time to share experiences. Thanks heaps

JustWanderlust - May 11, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Hi Sheryl! Thanks for the note! I didn’t go to Pulpit because I was short on time. You’re lucky you have no time constraints! Norway is beautiful.

Su - May 16, 2015 - 9:20 am

Thank you so much for taking time to share this. I am planning to take this early June next month. Am wondering, what time did you actually reach Bergen? Seeing all the rides add up to about 8.5hours and you mentioned it’s about 12hours journey in total, so there are about 45mins between the different legs? Can you afford to miss just one of the segments’ timing and play catch up?

JustWanderlust - May 18, 2015 - 9:21 pm

Hi Su – I can’t remember when I arrived in Bergen, but it was close to the evening time. You’re correct, though – there isn’t much time between legs… and barely enough time to find lunch and use the restroom! I’m not sure what happens if you miss a leg, but I wouldn’t risk it. If you don’t think you can stick to the schedule, consider buying point to point tickets instead.

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Raj - May 24, 2015 - 12:15 am


Stumbled upon your blog while I was researching to do a Family trip to Bergen and Flam in Aug 2015. The information you have provided is very useful. I have the following queries though. Any tips would be welcome.

1. We have an Infant(less than 2 years old). Is it possible to board the Train and the Boat with a Baby Stroller or does it have to be folded up to get in? I do understand that with the Stroller it decreases our chances of getting the vantage seats that you have so meticulously pointed out in your post.

2. Iam also into photography. Do you think it will be worthwhile to bring along my tripod for the landscape shots? (I can book only a day tour because of my other constraints). I want to save myself the effort of lugging the tripod if its not worth it, particularly when Iam with my family.

3. Sognefjord in a Nutshell and Norway in a Nutshell tours seem to package in the Fjord Pass, which gives discount on Hotel deals(for free!). Since I have already booked my accommodation, is it possible to buy the tickets without the Fjord Pass, as I see no value buying this tour with the Pass. Also if I buy the Bergen to Flam Train trip from the NSB website and the Flam to Bergen Express Boat trip separately, I seem to get a saving of about 100 Pounds(for a family of three).

4. It is only possible to buy online the Boat trip from Flam to Bergen which leaves at 3.30pm. I have tried thousand times and could not figure out how to buy a Boat trip from Flam to Gudvangen(or for that matter Gudvangen to Flam) and explore additional options.

5. Does the express boat from Flam to Bergen(which Iam able to book online) follow a more commuter route rather than a Touristy route followed by the Boat trips which are part of the package? I can see no difference here.

Michael - May 25, 2015 - 3:17 pm

Great post. I am going in summer and am trying to do a DIY NIN tour. For anyone else booking, I’d recommend also reading this 2015 post which has updated pricing etc. It was very useful. http://travelmore.co/do-it-yourself-norway-in-a-nutshell-tour/

JustWanderlust - May 30, 2015 - 1:46 pm

Hi Raj – 1) You can probably board the train with the stroller but you probably need to fold it up for the boat unless you want to sit inside. Either way, it shouldn’t be a problem to bring a stroller. 2) I wouldn’t bring the tripod. You won’t really have much time to set it up and take shots in between the rides, nor is there enough time at the stops to really get any good photos in that would merit the hassle of lugging around the tripod. 3) I am not sure about the Fjord Pass. I’d recommend you contact the Fjord Tours directly. 4) I just did a search and found this site where you can book tickets from Flam to Gundvagen: https://booking.visitflam.com/en/to-do/a640354/n%C3%A6r%C3%B8yfjord-regular-boatservice/showdetails 5) Unfortunately, I don’t know much about the Flam to Bergan boat since I took a train from Voss to get to Bergan. I hope the other questions I answered helped, though! Enjoy your trip!

nieda - July 7, 2015 - 2:21 am

Thanks heaps.this is very helpful since i’m in the midst of preparing my Scandinavian trip.did you go to Tromso in Norway?

JustWanderlust - July 7, 2015 - 8:10 am

Hi Nieda – I did not go to Tromso, but I wish I had!

David - August 11, 2015 - 6:01 pm

Just back from a wonderful two week trip to Scandinavia which included ‘Norway in a Nutshell’. Thank you for the very helpful notes, and especially your suggestions about where to sit on the trains and ferry.

JustWanderlust - August 12, 2015 - 7:42 am

David- appreciate the quick note and feedback! I hope you had a great trip.

Christine - September 10, 2015 - 6:29 pm

Hello I really enjoyed reading for comments on NIN and those of other travellers. Living the other side of the world in the driest state on the driest continent South Australia we are really looking forward to our trip to Norway, Moscow and London. We will leave Adelaide Boxing Day 2015 in shorts, then look forward to some serious snow and endless water.

We are booked on a day trip Oslo to Bergen prior to a Hurtigruten cruise, and just wondering how we get on with our suitcases on and off the train, ferry and bus. Is there room for international size suitcases and the extras we are allowed to carry.

The countdown is on and everything is crossed that we can experience the Nordlys.

Thank you looking forward to your reply

JustWanderlust - September 10, 2015 - 8:42 pm

Hi Christine – you will be able to bring your luggage. I wouldn’t bring tons of luggage, however, just because it will be a hassle to lug around all day, but international suitcases should be fine. Enjoy your adventure!

Cherie - December 31, 2015 - 3:05 pm

This was SO helpful! thank you! I, too, was getting so confused reading about NIN I gave up lol. But now, I’m reconsidering booking.
If I do spend a night in Flam or Sognefjord, does NIN help customize my transportation so I can do so? I would prefer that the timetable for the transportation is a bit flexible if I stay overnight.
Thank you again! I appreciate this post!

JustWanderlust - January 3, 2016 - 1:59 pm

Hi Cherie – If you chose to add extra nights, you can select that you want the NIN tour but with overnight stays. Then you can choose where you want to overnight and if you want to use one of their hotels or your own hotel. The system automatically schedules the transportation around where you do your overnights (to see this, make a booking and then on the page where you enter your customer information, you can click “see schedule” to see what the times look like for your transportation options; this is a tentative schedule since they said they’ll send you the final one, but it will give you an idea at least). If you want the option to further customize the schedule, however, you should contact them about that. Hope that is helpful!

Micheline Sciberras - January 19, 2016 - 6:16 am


I am planning a trip to Norway in August and am somewhat confused. I am interested in doing the Norway in a Nutshell tour but was wondering if I should take the tour or else just buy individual tickets (train from oslo to myrdal, myrdal to flam, fjord cruise from Flam and then train to Bergen) or is it best to take the tour? Would appreciate any help. Your comments were really helpful. Thanks.

JustWanderlust - January 19, 2016 - 7:22 am

Hi Micheline- the NIN tour is the same as point to point tickets so it’s easier if you just buy the NIN tour so they book all your tickets yourself. If, however, you want to spend more time in certain cities along the route, you should book the tickets yourself then because the NIN “tour” leaves little time for you to see the cities you stop in.

lenore - March 16, 2016 - 12:36 am

Fabulous site – so much helpful information. Planning to do NIN from Oslo, on our own, in July. A few questions:

(1) according to the visitflam site, you can take the Naeroyfjord cruise on a “classic” or a “premium” boat. Other than the length of the cruise (2-1/4 vs. 1-1/2 hours) any info on the differences? And, is this the same company/option offered on the Fjord Tours NIN site?

(2) we will have 6 days in Fjord country. So, in addition to the “official” stops on the NIN route, what are your recommendations for day trips and overnights? We do not plan to have a car and can’t bicycle !!

Thanks so much.

JustWanderlust - March 21, 2016 - 9:42 pm

Hi Lenore – Thanks for checking out the site. In all honesty, however, I only did the NIN that I described in the post so I am not sure of the answers to your couple of questions. Perhaps someone at Fjord Tours can help?

Abhinav - March 28, 2016 - 2:11 pm

Thanks for such an informative article. I’m planning to take the tour (Oslo-Bergen, overnight stay in Flam) in May last week. Will I be able to take any of the running cruises from Flam through the NIN ticket or are there only few accessible? I would like to take the cruise in day two first half.

Gary - April 8, 2016 - 11:49 pm

Thank you so much. Looking for something like this and just came across your site. Heading to Norway in December. So essentially NIN is a big tour group that brings you around.

Is there much to see and do in Bergen. I thought I would stay there for a night.

JustWanderlust - April 9, 2016 - 4:29 pm

Abhinav – I’m not sure. I would suggest calling NIN for the answer on that one. Sorry!

JustWanderlust - April 9, 2016 - 4:31 pm

Gary – Yes, Bergen is a nice town to walk around in. You can also go up to a viewpoint and look out on the town (there’s a cafe up there so you can plan for a meal up at the top) and hike back down to town. There is also a castle you can explore. I’m sure there’s more, but those are the two main things I remember from my trip. Either way, it’s a great town for a pitstop – and picturesque, too! Enjoy!

Diana - April 10, 2016 - 2:45 am

Thank you for this great article, it’s really helpful.
I’m also planning this trip and I thought staying in Gundvangen for 2 nights to explore the place, hiking and kayaking.
Do you recommend to make this stop on Flam or MyrdaL instead?

shelley - April 13, 2016 - 8:49 pm

We’re heading to Norway this summer, and plan to do this trip. Thanks for all the helpful advice! 🙂

John F Wolf - April 16, 2016 - 8:44 pm

If I plan NiN in reverse Bergin to Oslo can I expect a smaller crowd? In late June ? John

Michael - April 21, 2016 - 4:38 pm

Thank you so much for this information. I was just now able to book it and we saved $335 for our family of 4. Crazy haha. To anyone else trying to book their own DIY tour, TripAdvisor’s forum and this guy’s post were also really helpful with step by step instructions. http://travelmore.co/blogs/travel-blog/35303745-diy-norway-in-a-nutshell-tour-book-it-yourself-save

JustWanderlust - May 30, 2016 - 8:54 pm

Hi Diana – I would pick Flam, but if you can’t do Flam then Myrdal is a second pick!

Madalive - June 1, 2016 - 6:58 am

We just did the trip. We booked the trains online, the boat at the station in FLäm, and walked up to the bus at the vistor center in Gundvangen.

I really think that the Gundvangen – Voss bus trip can be skipped. I would just take the boat from Fläm to Bergen.

You may also want to check norwegian.com for cheap flights between Bergen and Oslo.

Indie H - June 4, 2016 - 2:49 pm

Great post! Thank you. Has anyone here done the trip in reverse–Bergen to Oslo? if yes, any thoughts or downsides to this? Thanks.

cem - June 8, 2016 - 12:59 am

my wife and I are going to Norway next month and we re searching fjord tour. a round trip starting from Bergen and finishes at Bergen. this really helped. thanks a lot. but since the “tour” is not really cool maybe I look for other ones and take the risk 🙂

Susie W - June 11, 2016 - 12:57 pm

Great comment. We leave from Bergen railway station in the morning for a round trip one day tour. Wondered where we are supposed to eat during this 12 hours? Are there restaurants on the boat or in the train? Thanks so much!

JustWanderlust - June 11, 2016 - 8:28 pm

Hi Susie- there aren’t many food choices along the way. I just bought food in between stops at the train station or ferry station. It will feel a bit rushed. You can also bring some snacks with you just in case, too.

Clarence - June 13, 2016 - 8:54 pm

Your post is great! I love it!

If I have 2 options, one is experiencing the Flam railway from Bergen (NIN day trip) and the other one is taking the train from Oslo to Bergen but not including the Flam railway part, which one is more worth it? In other words, is the Oslo – Myrdal part worth it or just doing the NIN from Bergen is good enough? We don’t have many days to spend in Norway, I’m afraid.

We are travelling in December where the days are short, hence my question. I am actually more interested in Bergen than Oslo. So if the Oslo – Myrdal is not very scenic, I would prefer to fly straight to Bergen from Reykjavik.

JustWanderlust - June 13, 2016 - 9:33 pm

Hi Clarence- I’d recommend going from Bergen to Myrdal since the Flam to Myrdal route is the most scenic. Buy point to point tickets instead of a packaged deal if this option isn’t available.

Jo - July 27, 2016 - 9:00 pm

Hi there

Thanks for all your tips! The cover photo you have for this article, can you pls share where exactly it is? I can’t find anywhere online which shows me where it is exactly and how I can visit this exact spot.
I’m thinking maybe staying a night at Flam to visit this village?


JustWanderlust - August 7, 2016 - 8:22 pm

Hi Jo – I’m sorry, I can’t remember where that was! It must have been a photo I took along the “tour” from the train or bus so I didn’t stop there.

Mary - August 10, 2016 - 9:31 am

I hope I can ask you aquestion that is very important to me. We will be leaving for Norway in two weeks and we plan to take the fjord tours too. The problem is that I have early stages of Pulmonary Fibrosis and while it is stable, my doctors have cautioned me that it is important that I not catch pneumonia or chest cold. So, I am very concerned about whether the Fjord boat tours are encolsed vs. open air. Years ago when we went to a fjord tour in Alaska it was an open air boat and it was freezing cold. I can’t do that now, so I’d appreciate if you know and would respond if you do. Thanks for your assistance.

JustWanderlust - August 10, 2016 - 2:27 pm

Hi Mary- I remember the boat having an enclosed section.

vicky - August 14, 2016 - 5:29 am

thanx for so much of details. im panning to do norway in october for 9 days can u pls suggest me some best places to visit other than oslo and bergen. thanx again

JustWanderlust - August 20, 2016 - 1:22 pm

Hi Vicky – if I was able to spend more time in Norway, I would have headed past the arctic circle towards Tromso as well. Have you checked that out to see if it’s of interest?

Paulo Barbosa - September 12, 2016 - 6:46 am


I’ll gonna do this trip and I prefer di it indeoendently.

what’s the right decision: by one train ticket from Oslo to Bergen and stop several times during a week trip, or pick and go. bying the ticket in the intermediate railstations?~

regards from portugal

Maury - September 26, 2016 - 1:21 pm

Would you recommend this trip for someone that just have two full days after arrival in Oslo from the US? Or can I do it on my own? If so, how do I do it on my own from Oslo? Thank you

Rina - October 4, 2016 - 7:42 am


We would like to check if it is worthwhile to take Norway in A nutshell from Bergen to Oslo in early Decemeber.

Is there enough thing to see (taking into account of the short daylight) or we should just get train tickets to travel from Bergen to Oslo?

JustWanderlust - October 25, 2016 - 9:21 am

Hi Rina – that’s a good question. I’d recommend you ask the folks at Fjord Tours for their advice. I imagine, however, that if you start in Bergen the daylight will be there when you’re on the fjord (which is the highlight of the trip).

JustWanderlust - October 25, 2016 - 9:23 am

Maury- if you only have two full days you should spend it in Oslo. If you tried to squeeze in NIN you’d have zero time to enjoy anything because you’d be rushing all over.

Nadia - November 2, 2016 - 2:26 am

thank you! im trying to find some info about this and its not easy

Park Moonkyu - November 6, 2016 - 11:59 pm

Tqs so much for your quite detailed and comprehensive article. I am now planning to visit Norway in Winter (end of Dec. to early of January) with family since my kids are crazy about the movie “Frozen.” However, all the nutshell is quite difficult to arrange (yes, you are right they are not quite user friendly website)since I am not quite familiar with a route and name of the cities. Anyhow, is it okay book or arrange train or cruise after reach to each sites in December and January? And which Fjords are d best for Kids as shown as Frozen movie?

JustWanderlust - November 7, 2016 - 12:30 pm

Park – if you plan to do all of the Nutshell trip in one day then it’s better to book it as a package so you have all the tickets already. You can do separate tickets if you are planning to spend extra time in each stop, but I’d still recommend you buy tickets in advance if you have a plan you’re trying to stick to (there’s a chance the ferries/trains/busses operate with an infrequent schedule so it’d be better to reserve tickets if possible… unless you have the flexibility to stay overnight on a whim in case you miss the last train/ferry/bus). As for Frozen– sorry I can’t help you there since I’ve never seen the movie. 🙂 good luck!

avirup ghatak - February 19, 2017 - 6:02 am

I wish to take the norway in a nutshell tour from oslo to bergen but want to break it in 2 days, I think I would like to stay in Flam and explore the nearby regions then next day go to bergen. Do I need to pay extra for that or how do i buy the tickets then?

Alex - February 19, 2017 - 9:15 am

Hi! Great and useful post! Thanks to that post I have booked almost the entire NIN by myself, with one exception. I have already bought the Oslo-Myrdal tran, the Flamsbana and the cruise to Gudvangen, but then I have an issue. The local bus can not be bough online as you say but the train from Voss to Bergen can be bought via the NSB app. Should I buy the NSB ticket according to the NIN schedule, and trust that I will get there online or just buy everything on site? My fear is that buying the ticket to Bergen could slow me down and given the tight schedules that scares me a little. What do you suggest? I prefer to always buy in advance. Do you think that is plausible? The cost of the train from Voss to Bergen is the same as the bus from Voss to Bergen? I would really appreciate the suggestion. Cheers

JustWanderlust - February 21, 2017 - 4:45 pm

Hi Avirup – I don’t believe you’d have to pay extra because I don’t think you’re getting a discount when you book you NIN tickets as one package; you can double check this assumption since it’s been a few years since I did NIN so I’m going off of my research back then. All NIN is is just a convenient way to get all your transportation tickets in one transaction. On the Fjord Tours site (the site you’d be using to book NIN), you can select that you’re booking the NIN tour with an overnight stay. You can then choose that you want to spend extra time in Flam and pick the hotel you want, too. If you don’t want to book one of their hotels, you can also check the box at the bottom of the page that says “I want to book my own hotel”.

JustWanderlust - February 21, 2017 - 4:58 pm

Hi Alex – If I understand correctly, you’ve already booked tickets to Gudvangen and you COULD buy tickets from Voss to Bergen on NSB but you don’t know if you should. If you have flexibility in your schedule, it may be better just to wait until you’re in Gudvagen and you’re on the bus to Voss. That way, you’ll know what time you’ll likely arrive in Voss. Then buy your Voss-Bergen ticket at the Voss train station. It’s just a normal city to city train so I doubt it’d be sold out (esp if you’re not traveling in high season). I did a quick check and it looks like there’s a train every hour (the last one leaves after 10pm) from Voss to Bergen so just make sure you’re there early enough that if the next train were sold out, you could take the one after that. You could also wait until you’re in Norway and ask the ticket agents in Oslo what they recommend. Even if the Voss-Bergen route were popular, I highly doubt it’d be sold out months in advance so I’m sure you could ask for recommendations from the ticket agent when you’re there and buy the ticket a few days in advance, if that gives you peace of mind. By the way, there are no ticket agents at the Voss station. Tickets will be available from a ticket machine. Hope that helps!

David - February 22, 2017 - 4:10 pm

Hi, everybody. I am going to Norway on mid-March. ‘Cause a tight schedule I will take the NIN “tour” (I just compared the cost of each ticket individually and my savings would be…. $2…) So I decided to save all the trouble and book the official NIN.

If I would have a couple more days I would have taken Wanderlust advice and stayed a night on Myrdal or Flam, but I wanted to visit Alesund and Tromso.

Anyway, I have one question. The last segment, the train from Voss to Bergen, does somebody know if I would have to take the exact train that they put on the schedule (6:40 p. m.)? Or could I use the same ticket to take the 7:38 p. m. or even the 9:41 p.m.)

avirup ghatak - February 23, 2017 - 3:45 am

Thanks for your quick response I booked the tickets from Oslo to Flam and the ferry from Flam to Gudvangen on my own following the NIN timetable and will be reaching Bergen that night. Next 2 days I will be in Bergen only so any good activity advice or tips is really appreciable.

Day 1. Bergen locally and may be a hike from Mount Ulriken to Fløyen depending on the weather

Day 2.Round Trip to Hardangerfjord

Any suggestion is most welcome

Alex - March 8, 2017 - 6:07 am

Thx for the answer! I guess thats more careful to do. The train that I would be buying from Voss to Bergen is the one one that is stated in the NIN Tour, but yes, I will wait till I am in Oslo to ask the agents and find out what do they recommend. Thanks a lot!

Taylor Larson - March 9, 2017 - 1:30 pm

Hello! Thank you for all of this great information, I am thinking now taht we are going to stay in flam or somwhere near flam ebfore heading to the other legs of the ‘tour’…that being said, how would we get around are there car rental places in Flam?



JustWanderlust - April 18, 2017 - 4:16 pm

Hi Taylor – I’m not sure the best way to get around since I didn’t get to stay in Flam, but you should check out rome2rio.com to get an idea of your options. That’s a great site I’ve used to help me plan my trips.

iFly Australia - May 16, 2017 - 1:34 am

Last year I’ve seen a travel that showcase Norway during Christmas season I very amazed on how Norwegian celebrate Christmas. I’m looking forward visit and experience a Norwegian way of celebrating Christmas.

Liz - July 2, 2017 - 7:23 pm

This was so helpful. Thanks so much.

Martha Novacek - July 9, 2017 - 9:14 am

Hi. Helpful article. My husband and i are traveling to Norway in the beginning of October. We fly in on monday the 9th at 1130am. And leave on a ferry to Copenhagen on thursday at about 430pm. Instead of doing the Norway in a nutshell in one day I want to do it on my own. I was thinking about getting out of oslo on monday a stay the night in myrdal or flam and then continue at a more leisurely fashion the next day. Someone mentioned that in October the fjord ferry leaves only once a day at 330pm? Not sure you know about this. I just want to see some beautiful scenery and the fjords mainly. I’m trying to keep my stress level to a minimum since i get easily tired and overwhelmed, so health wise I’m not at the best right now. If it’s too hectic to make it to Bergen and then back to Oslo in that time I’m ok to drop that and just soak in the scenery around flam and the fjords. Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Brian - October 22, 2017 - 11:54 am

Nutshell is a great way to see the fjords, especially for a first timer. We waited to book until we got to Bergen and the folks at the Tourist Information center were super helpful in helping us understand the various options, and even checked the weather forecast to get us the best chance of having the nicest weather ( no easy feat in October!) talking it over with a person was definitely easier than trying to sort it all out from the website. We opted for the tour that gave us 3 hours in Flåm, so we were able to see the museum and grab lunch. Even in the off season, the boat was pretty crowded, but there was plenty of room out on the deck to stand to get good pictures.

Nitul - February 18, 2018 - 7:49 am

Thanks for your detailed post & subsequent replies on this page. Very informative & helpful.

Am planning NiN in Jul. Am planning to book tickets on my own for trains, ferry & bus approx 90 days prior to travel date and only if it doesn’t work out go through tour agent. Do you think this is the right approach or considering high season its not worth it and i should go ahead & book through agent? Have been going through agency website and the options for the tour am getting now are not the best i would prefer.
Thanks so much

Tash - February 22, 2018 - 11:40 pm

Finally, clarity on what this Norway in a Nutshell actually means! Thank you 🙂

JustWanderlust - April 8, 2018 - 3:43 pm

Nitul – 90 days out sounds like plenty. If you’re flexible on the times you want to take for the ferry/train/bus, etc., booking on your own is the way to go.

Nitul - April 8, 2018 - 10:12 pm

Thank you for your inputs

Deborah Kerler - June 13, 2018 - 7:32 am

Is there a cruise to get from the bottom of the Flam Railroad all the way to Bergen?

Sandy Chua - July 2, 2018 - 10:44 pm

Hi. Thanks. This is exactly what I need! Like you suggested I wanted to have this “tour” done in 2 or 3 days from 3 to 5/6 Aug rather than rush through. I am travelling from Oslo to Bergen. I hope to to take 3pm 3 Aug train at Oslo.

1) How do I choose the date when purchasing the tour? Can I choose the Oslo to Bergen train timing?
2) Is there an economic place u could recommend to stay at Flam or Myrdal for lone traveller?
3) Is the tour price similar when buy online and at train station? Is tour available for sales at any train station?
4) Is the train ride from Bergen to Myrdal worth doing it? Would it be better to ride from Oslo directly to Myrdal instead so as to save time and money for other activities?
5) If I want to skip Bergen to Myrdal, does it mean that I can only buy my own individual train/cruise tickets? Is it advisable to buy individual train/cruise ticket on site? Or if need to buy online, how easy for foreigner without NorwayID to do purchasing?

Thanks so much that I found u!

Pam - August 17, 2018 - 11:25 am

We want to book the NIN, Bergen to Oslo, for a Sept. trip and stay a night in Flam. We noticed if we did the trip in one day, we would get into Oslo really late evening (would not work with an airbnb). If we stay in Flam, can we take an earlier train on day two to Oslo or are you locked into the later train?

JustWanderlust - August 24, 2018 - 9:25 pm

Pam – you should be able to book point-to-point tickets instead of booking an NIN ticket. Try looking into the point-to-point tickets and then you can pick whichever train you want (per the train schedule) to get into Oslo the next day.

Pam - August 25, 2018 - 5:50 am

Thank you for your response. I am leaving in a few days and did not want to chance a sell out so I booked NIN without a stay in Flam. We will get a 2nd night in Bergen instead. I looked at individual tickets but not a seasoned traveler, it looked complicated. I may send our luggage to the hotel, if able, ahead of time so as not to lug it on the one day trip. I also chose a hotel in Oslo so I could do that, rather than Airbnb.

An - November 1, 2018 - 3:02 am

Exactly the kind of information I need right now! Thank you so much for this incredibly helpful post!

Erin Poole - February 12, 2019 - 5:26 pm

I have a silly question. When you recommend sitting on a certain side of the train or bus does that mean the right side when you board or the right side when you’re seated?

JustWanderlust - April 27, 2019 - 7:02 pm

Erin – It’s the side of the train based on the direction the train is traveling in.

Robert - January 5, 2020 - 12:21 pm

Thanks for the great information! Looking forward to doing our own nutshell tour and avoided the packaged tour crowds.

hover 4 - May 24, 2020 - 11:45 am

Mannnn, wish I had read this earlier, would have saved me a ton of time.

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