Norway in a Nutshell DIY (Travel Tips 2024) | Guide to Lofoten

COMPLETE GUIDE TO NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL

Are you planning Norway in a Nutshell tour, wondering how to book it, what are the best places to visit, what kind of activities you should do, and if it is worth it? 

 

If you’re looking for aunforgettable way to explore Norway’s stunning natural beauty, Norway in a Nutshell tour is a great option. This self-guided tour allows you to see some of Norway’s most iconic sights by train, boat, and bus. Here’s a guide to what you can expect on Norway in a Nutshell tour, as well as tips for planning your trip.

 

ABOUT US AND NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL

This page is primarily about planning your trip to Lofoten. However, plan to do the Norway in a Nutshell before heading to Lofoten, therefore we decided to write this article to help you plan an epic trip to Norway!

So in this Norway in a Nutshell Guide, I will share tips for doing the original tour vs booking it on your own. In addition I will talk about all the stops along the way and the activities you can add to your itinerary. I hope this article will answer all the question that you have about planning Norway in a Nutshell tour ❤️

1. WHAT IS NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL

Norway in a Nutshell (sometimes shortened online to NIN) is a self-guided tour package that takes you through some of western Norway’s most scenic parts. It combines various modes of public transport, including trains, buses, and boats.

 

Norway in a Nutshell starts from either Oslo or Bergen, depending on your preference. It’s a flexible tour package that lets you choose your starting point, transportation mode, and activities depending on your interests and schedule.

 

The tour usually takes one day, starting and ending in Bergen or Oslo. However, many people take more time to explore the different stops along the way and break up the journey over several days.

The typical Norway in a Nutshell tour includes the following stops and modes of transportation:

✅ Train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal (Bergen Railway = Bergensbana)
✅ Flåm Railway from Myrdal to Flåm (Flåm Railway = Flåmsbana)
✅ Fjord cruise from Flåm to Gudvangen
✅ Bus from Gudvangen to Voss
✅ Train from Voss to Bergen or Oslo (Bergen Railway = Bergensbana)

WHY IS NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL SO POPULAR?  
It allows you to see many of Norway’s iconic sights in a short amount of time. In just one day, you can see the fjords, the famous Flåm Railway, and the cities of Oslo and Bergen. The tour’s flexible itinerary lets you customize the trip by adding extra stops & activities or skipping certain parts. Lastly, it has really well done marketing!

Bergen Line

Train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal

Flåm Line

Train from Myrdal to Flåm

Boat Trip

Ferry Between Flåm And Gudvangen

Bus Journey

Bus trip between Gudvangen and Voss

Norway In A Nutshell Is NOT A Guided Tour!

Norway in a Nutshell isn’t a guided tour, a common misconception. Instead, it is a collection of different transports and attractions that other travel companies put together in a package

The most convenient way to book Norway in a Nutshell tour is through the Norway in Nutshell official website.

Norway in a Nutshell was originally created in 1982 by company called Fjord Tours. Fjord Tours is one of Norway’s largest tours and activities providers. They offer various packages, including the Norway in a Nutshell tour and other sightseeing and adventure tours throughout the country.

2. Norway In A Nutshell Options

✅ Oslo to Bergen One Way 

✅ Bergen to Oslo One Way 

✅ Bergen to Bergen Round 

✅ Other Options Starting from Voss, Flåm, or Geilo

OSLO TO BERGEN ONE WAY TRIP

The typical tour from Oslo to Bergen includes:

1️⃣ A train journey from Oslo to Myrdal on Bergen Railway (8:25 – 13:04)

2️⃣ Local train from Myrdal to Flåm on the Flåm Railway (13:13 – 14:11)

3️⃣ Ferry trip from Flåm to Gudvangen (15:00 – 17:00)

4️⃣ Bus journey from Gudvangen to Voss (17:25 – 18:20)

5️⃣ Train trip from Voss to Bergen (19:13 – 20:40)

It is a pretty long day that you will spend sitting in a train/bus/ferry. There won’t be much time left for any exploration. I highly recommend dividing the trip into more days.

NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL IN WINTER  
If you plan to do Norway in a Nutshell in winter, you also need to consider the limited daylight hours. For example, in December, the sun rises around 10 am and sets at around 3 pm. Therefore, you may need to adjust your itinerary to make the most of the daylight hours. Add an overnight stay in Flåm.

BERGEN TO OSLO ONE WAY TRIP

If you plan a trip from Bergen to Oslo, the segments of the journey are the same, just in the opposite order:

1️⃣ Train from Bergen to Voss (8:29 – 9:43)

2️⃣ Bus from Voss to Gudvangen (10:10 – 11:30)

3️⃣ Ferry from Gudvangen to Flåm (12:00 – 14:00)

4️⃣ Local train from Flåm to Myrdal (16:00 – 16:55)

5️⃣ Train from Myrdal to Oslo (17:40 – 22:27)

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I will repeat what I wrote in the previous paragraph. It will be a long day on public transport if you choose to do Norway in a Nutshell tour in just one day. Therefore, add an extra day or two to your itinerary and stay overnight in Flåm.

You’ll have more time to explore the charming villages and take plenty of photos to capture your unforgettable adventure.

 

BERGEN TO BERGEN ROUNDTRIP

When arranging the Bergen to Bergen version of the Norway in a Nutshell tour, you will be able to choose from two options. Both options cost the same, and there is not much difference between them. Option B gives you a bit more time in Flåm. 

OPTION A

1️⃣ Train from Bergen to Voss (8:29 – 9:43)

2️⃣ Bus from Voss to Gudvangen (10:10 – 11:30)

3️⃣ Ferry from Gudvangen to Flåm (12:00 – 14:00)

4️⃣ Local train from Flåm to Myrdal (16:00 – 16:55)

5️⃣ Train from Myrdal to Bergen (17:04 – 19:06)

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OPTION B

1️⃣ Train from Bergen to Myrdal (8:29 – 10:36)

2️⃣ Train from Myrdal to Flåm (10:41 – 11:39)

3️⃣ Ferry from Flåm to Gudvangen (15:00 – 17:00)

4️⃣ Bus from Gudvangen to Voss (17:25 – 18:55)

5️⃣ Train from Voss to Bergen (19:13 – 20:40)

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OTHER OPTIONS STARTING IN VOSS, FLÅM OR GEILO

Depending on your preference, you can also start your journey from Voss, Geilo, or Flåm. However, note that the booking system of Norway in a Nutshell only allows for round trips, so you’ll have to return to the location where you started.

If you prefer more flexibility and want to customize your itinerary, you can book the segments of Norway in a Nutshell tour with the respective transport providers. (Vy for trains, Skyss for buses, and Norled or Norway’s best for the ferry).

2. How To Plan And Book Norway In A Nutshell

Whether to book Norway in a Nutshell on your own or with a tour package depends on your preferences, travel style, and budget.

Booking the tour package via the official webpage is more convenient, especially if you are short on time or prefer to have everything taken care of for you. However, this option is more expensive and may give you less flexibility in choosing your itinerary.

When you book the transport alone, you will save a couple of hundred NOK. However, this option requires more research and planning on your part. 

Don´t worry, though; this article will walk you through the process step by step.

BOOKING NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL

VIA THE OFFICIAL WEBPAGE

You can plan and book your Norway in a Nutshell itinerary quickly and conveniently online. Here are some steps to follow:

1️⃣ Start by visiting official Norway in a Nutshell website. From there, you can select your starting point (usually Oslo or Bergen) and choose from various tour options.

2️⃣ Choose your tour package based on your preferences and budget. Different tour packages are available, ranging from a basic one-way ticket to a round-trip ticket with additional stops and activities. You can also add extra activities, accommodations, and transportation to your itinerary.

3️⃣ Once you have selected your tour package, you can book it online through the website. 

4️⃣ After booking your tour package, you will receive a confirmation email with all the necessary information, including your itinerary, transportation details, and accommodation reservations (if applicable). 

5️⃣ If you have any questions or need assistance, Norway in a Nutshell customer service team is available to help.

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BOOKING NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL 

ON YOUR OWN

If you prefer to book your Norway in a Nutshell itinerary on your own, it is possible to do so by planning and booking your transportation and accommodations separately. Here is how you do it:

1️⃣ Decide where you want to start. Most Norway in a Nutshell tours start in Oslo or Bergen, but you can also do just the “inner circle” between Voss-Gudvangen-Flåm-Myrdal. 

2️⃣ Choose your transportation options. Norway in a Nutshell tour typically includes a train on Bergen Railway and Flåm Railway, a bus between Gudvangen and Voss, and a boat ride between Flåm and Gudvangen. You’ll need to book tickets for these modes of transportation separately. I will thoroughly walk you through all the steps later in the article.

3️⃣ Decide on your route and stops. Norway in a Nutshell tour includes several scenic stops, including Flam, Gudvangen, or Voss. I recommend adding at least one overnight stop to your trip instead of doing Norway in a Nutshell in one day. 

4️⃣ Book your accommodations. If you plan to stay overnight during your Norway in a Nutshell tour, you must book accommodations separately. You can use online booking platforms like Booking.com or Airbnb to find and book accommodations in the areas you plan to visit. Remember to book your accommodation early. The villages along the way are small, and the capacity sells out quickly during the summer. 

5️⃣ Plan your activities. Norway in a Nutshell tour includes several additional activities, such as hiking, kayaking, cycling, rafting, or Flåm zipline. You can plan and book activities based on your interests and preferences.

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3. The Sections Of Norway In A Nutshell And How To Book Them On Your Own

A. BERGEN RAILWAY

The Bergen Line, also known as Bergensbanen, is a scenic railway journey connecting Bergen and Oslo. The train ride spans over 300 miles and takes approximately 7 hours, showcasing some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Norway.

The journey passes through the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, winding valleys, and several picturesque towns and villages. The train also goes through Europe’s highest-altitude railway station, Finse, which sits 1,222 meters above sea level.

The Bergen Line is renowned for its stunning scenery and is considered one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.

HOW TO BOOK THE BERGEN RAILWAY

When booking the Norway in a Nutshell tour between Oslo and Bergen, you must book two sections of the Bergen railway. One part will be from Oslo to Myrdal, where you will change to the Flåm railway, and the other will be from Voss to Bergen. 

You can book the train tickets for these sections individually through Vy.

Vy is a Norwegian transportation company owned by the Norwegian government that offers train and bus services. It was formerly known as NSB (Norges Statsbaner). They operates regional and long-distance trains throughout Norway, including the train sections on Norway in a Nutshell tour. 

Vy typically release train tickets for sale 90 days before the departure date.

TIP:  
Download the Vy app on Google Play or Apple Store, and buy the ticket in the app.

B. FLÅM RAILWAY

Flåmsbanen is a branch line of the Bergen Line. The Flåm Line starts at the Myrdal station on the Bergen Line and takes passengers on an hour-long journey down to the picturesque village of Flåm, situated on the Aurlandsfjord. The 20-km-long train ride is one of Norway’s most popular tourist attractions and is regularly voted one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys.

 

Aside frоm thе magnificent window views thе rоаd оffеrs, thе Flåm rаilwаy itsеlf саn оnly bе dеsсribеd аs thе wоndеr of engineering. It is one of the world’s steepest standard gauge railway lines, where 80% of the journey operates on a gradient of 5.5%. 

On a 20 km stretch, the train passes through 20 tunnels, where 18 had to be carved out by hand during the railway construction.

 

HOW TO BOOK THE FLÅM RAILWAY

The Flåm Railway is a top-rated attraction, especially during the summer, so booking your tickets well in advance is essential. Train tickets can be purchased as part of Norway in a Nutshell package or through Vy.

TIP:  
If you’re traveling from Flåm to Myrdal, sit on the train’s right side. Note that you can not reserve the seats on Flåm Railway in advance.

C. FERRY BETWEEN GUDVANGEN AND FLÅM

One of the highlights of Norway in a Nutshell tour is the opportunity to experience two of Norway’s most stunning fjords: the Nærøyfjord and the Aurlandsfjord.

Several companies offer transport between Flåm and Gudvangen or Flåm and Bergen.

The Nærøyfjord is one of the narrowest Norway’s fjords, with a width of only 250 meters at its narrowest point. It stretches for 17 kilometers from the town of Gudvangen to the village of Bakka. 

The Aurlandsfjord is a broader and more open fjord that stretches 29 kilometers from the village of Flåm to Aurland.

Ferry Between Flåm And Gudvangen By Norway’s Best

Norway’s Best, formerly known as Visit Flåm, is the leading company for boat cruises in the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. 

They provide an environmentally friendly way to explore the UNESCO-listed fjords on board their electrical vessels. These boats operate silently, with no emissions, providing a truly eco-friendly way to enjoy the beauty of the fjords.

➡️ The boat trips are running all year round.

➡️ The cruises take about 2 hours, and the one-way trip starts at NOK 540, depending on the season.

➡️ Taking bikes or kayaks on board is also possible for an additional fee.

Norled Ferry Between Flåm And Bergen

The Norled ferry between Flåm and Bergen is a popular route from April 1 to October 31, offering travelers the chance to experience the stunning scenery of the Sognefjord.

The trip between Bergen and Flåm takes approximately 5.5 hours, giving you plenty of time to relax and take in the scenery as the ferry crisscrosses the fjord and then weaves its way past the tiny islands close to Bergen. 

➡️ The ferry departs daily from Bergen Strandkaien terminal at 08:00 and arrives at Flåm at 13:30.

➡️ The return journey departs Flåm at 15:00 and arrives in Bergen at 20:15.

➡️ You can buy the tickets online, and the price for an adult is NOK 1015.

Fjord Cruise Between Flåm And Gudvangen With Lustrabaatane

Lustrabaatene is another Norwegian company that operates boat tours between Flåm and Gudvangen. Lustrabaatene, smaller than the electric vessels, tend to have fewer tourists on board as they are not included in Norway in Nutshell package tours.

➡️ Lustrabaatene operates several daily boat tours during the high season (June 1 – August 31) and less frequently during the off-season (April 24 – May 31 & September 1 – October 15.) 

➡️ A one-way trip for an adult costs 450 NOK, and a round trip costs 800 NOK. 

D. BUS RIDE GUDVANGEN-VOSS

The bus ride between Gudvangen and Voss is an essential part of Norway in a Nutshell tour. It takes you from the fjord village of Gudvangen, where you disembark from the boat to the town of Voss, where you can catch a train back to Bergen or continue to Oslo. 

The journey takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and travels through breathtaking landscapes.

 

NOTE:  
Stalheimskleiva road was once a crucial part of Norway in a Nutshell experience.  Stalheimskleiva was famous for being one of the steepest roads in Norway and provided a thrilling bus trip with stunning views.

Unfortunately, in the summer of 2020, the road was damaged due to a landslide, and since then, it has remained closed to motorized traffic.

As a result, it is no longer part of Norway in a Nutshell tour. However, visitors can still enjoy the scenic view from Stalheim Hotel.

HOW TO BOOK THE BUS BETWEEN GUDVANGEN & VOSS

During peak travel season, the buses can get crowded, so booking your tickets in advance is best to ensure a seat. The tickets for the Gudvangen-Voss bus can be purchased through the bus company, Skyss.

TIP:  
Download the Skyss app on Google Play or Apple Store, and buy the ticket in the app. Choose the stations “Gudvangen kai” & “Voss stasjon.”

4. Highlights Of The Norway In A Nutshell Tour

Flåm: A Charming Village In The Heart Of Fjord Norway

Flåm is a small village located in the innermost part of the Aurlandsfjord that has become very popular with tourists in recent years, particularly with the growth of cruise ship tourism. 

The village is in the heart of the Norwegian fjords and is surrounded by steep mountains, cascading waterfalls, and lush valleys. 

The combination of beautiful scenery, unique attractions like the Flåm Railway, and clever marketing has made Flåm a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

 

While the village is beautiful and has many things to see and do in the area, mass tourism has caused some problems. During the peak season, Flåm is often overcrowded with tourists, and many cruise ships can overwhelm the small village. 

 

TIP:  
Check this webpage to avoid the dates when there are huge cruise ships with several thousand passengers on board docking in the port. 

ACTIVITIES IN AND AROUND FLÅM

Flåm has some fantastic activities to offer! You can take a leisurely stroll around the village and check out the souvenir shops and cafes. For the more adventurous, you can kayak on the fjord or take a high-speed RIB boat tour (winter, summer). Finally, if you’re daring, you can try the famous Flåm Zipline, Scandinavia’s longest zipline spanning 1.381 meters.

 

If you’re interested in local history and culture, you can visit the Flåm Railway Museum. It tells the story of the construction of the railway and its impact on the local community. You can also visit the Ægir Brewery and Pub, where you can taste locally brewed beer and enjoy traditional Norwegian food.

 

There are several great hikes around Flåm that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and fjords.

➡️ The Presten hike is a challenging but rewarding trek that offers stunning panoramic views of the Aurlandsfjord and surrounding mountains. 

➡️ Another popular hike is the Aurlandsdalen Valley hike, which takes you through a stunning canyon with waterfalls and lush forests.

➡️ For a more relaxed hike, the Flåm Valley offers a range of options, from leisurely strolls to more challenging treks. 

 

Gudvangen: A Quaint Village In The Viking Valley

Gudvangen is a small village on the shores of the Nærøyfjorden, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. It is nestled between steep mountains and narrow valleys, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. 

VIKING VILLAGE NJARDARHEIMR

The Viking Village in Gudvangen is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in Viking history and culture. “Njardarheimr” is named after the northern god Njord and the entire concept is known as “Viking Valley .” The village is in a stunning natural setting, surrounded by steep mountains and narrow valleys, providing a breathtaking backdrop to the experience. 

It’s a living museum that recreates what life was like for Vikings over a thousand years ago, with people dressed in period costumes and engaged in activities such as blacksmithing, weaving, and woodcarving. 

 

You can walk around the village, watch demonstrations, and even try some of the crafts yourself. The best way to learn about the Viking era is to participate in “The Viking Experience,” a 45-minute tour included in the entrance fee, starting every 30 minutes during the summer season. 

The Viking Village is open daily all year round, but the opening hours vary depending on the season. 

The entrance ticket for adults costs NOK 235. You can purchase it through Norway’s best or at the entrance to the village.  

Voss: The Outdoor Capital Of Norway

Voss is known as the adventure capital of Norway and is a popular stop on Norway in a Nutshell tour. Located between the Hardangerfjord and the Sognefjord, Voss is surrounded by steep mountains, deep valleys, and beautiful waterfalls. 

 

The town offers many adrenaline-fueled activities, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, paragliding, and skydiving. 

In the summer and autumn, you can spend a lifetime exploring the various hikes in the nearby mountains. 

In winter, skiing is the biggest activity in Voss, as it is close to Voss Ski Resort and Myrkdalen Ski Resort.

Interesting fact:

Voss, with over 15,000 inhabitants, has produced several Olympic medalists. Voss has sent at least one participant to every Olympics since 1948, except for 1972.

White Water Rafting In Voss 

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure in Voss, white water rafting is an absolute must-try experience. The rivers in Voss offer some of Norway’s best whitewater rafting experiences with thrilling rapids and stunning scenery. Depending on the water level, you’ll be rafting on either Strandaelva or Raundalselva, both of which boast grades 3-4. 

 

The Strandaelva River is popular, with nine rapids and gorgeous sections to ride. However, if the water level is too low, usually during August-September, you’ll experience the Raundal River. This river runs through an isolated canyon, far away from the road, and is famous for its crystal-clear water. 

Lesser Known Stops Along Norway In A Nutshell Tour

Geilo: One Of Norway’s Best Ski Destinations

Geilo is a small town between the two national parks, Hallingskarvet and Hardangervidda, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. In the winter, Geilo transforms into a winter wonderland with fantastic skiing and snowboarding opportunities at the Geilo Ski Resort. 

 

Geilo is worth stopping at in the winter, especially if you enjoy skiing and other winter activities. The ski resort in Geilo offers a wide range of slopes for all skill levels. In addition, the surrounding mountains are perfect for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowkiting.

 You can also try dog sledding at the Hardangervidda mountain plateau, which is a truly unique and exciting experience. 

So if you’re traveling during winter, add Geilo to your Norway in a Nutshell itinerary.

>> Dog Sledding in Geilo

>> Stay overnight in Geilo

Haugastøl: One Of The Best Spots In The World For Snowkiting

Haugastøl is a small mountain village located on the Hardangervidda mountain plateau at 1000 meters above sea level. It is a popular destination for cross-country skiing, cycling, kiting, and hiking. It is also the starting point of the Rallarvegen cycling route.

Rallarvegen, which means “the navvy road,” was built between 1895 and 1902 to transport workers and materials during the construction of the Bergen railway line. 

Today, the road is a popular destination for cycling. It stretches 82 km from Haugastøl to Flåm and offers stunning views of the mountains and fjords. The route is car-free, mostly downhill, and suitable for bikers of all levels. 

There are several bike rental companies along the way. You can do the bicycle trip in a day. However, some people break it up and stay overnight in one of the mountain lodges along the way.

>> Rent bicycles to cycle Rallarvegen in Haugastøl 

>> Stay overnight at Haugastøl Mountain Lodge

Finse: A Taste Of Antarctica In The Heart Of Norway

Finse is a tiny village situated 1,222 meters above sea level in the heart of the Hardangervidda plateau. It is known for its stunning natural surroundings, including glaciers, alpine lakes, and snow-capped peaks, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

In addition to its natural beauty, Finse is famous for its role as a filming location for the classic movie “The Empire Strikes Back,” with the snowy terrain resembling the ice planet of Hoth.

Finse is a gateway to the Hardangervidda plateau. Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen spent several winters at Finse. He used the nearby Hardangervidda plateau as a training ground for himself and his dogs. In 1911, Amundsen led the first successful expedition to the South Pole, beating his rival Robert Falcon Scott. 

Today, visitors to Finse can hike and ski on the nearby plateau to experience the same harsh conditions that Amundsen trained in. There is no road connection to Finse. 

>> Rent bicycles to cycle Rallarvegen in Finse

>> Stay overnight in Finse

Interesting fact
Norway’s former minister of justice turned crime writer Anne Holt set her locked-room mystery novel 1222 at the hotel following a train derailment during a blizzard.

Myrdal: The Junction Between Bergen And Flåm Railways

Myrdal, located at 866 meters above sea level, is a remote mountain station that serves as a junction between the Bergen line and the Flåm Railway. There is no road connection to Myrdal.

Apart from catching the connecting train, there are a few other things to do in Myrdal.

Cafe Rallaren offers various services, including a cafe, bike rental, souvenir shop, and luggage storage. The cafe is open from April to October 30, while the bike rental is open from June 1 until September 30.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting activity in Myrdal, I highly recommend trying out the Flåm zipline! This thrilling experience will have you soaring high above the stunning Norwegian landscapes as you zip down from the mountain station to the valley below. Of course, it’s not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for a bit of an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect way to do it.

>> Rent bicycles to cycle Rallarvegen in Myrdal

>> Stay overnight in Vatnahalsen Hotell in Myrdal

8 Useful Tips Before You Book THE Norway In A Nutshell

#1 It gets crowded in the summer

If you plan to do Norway in a Nutshell tour, avoid the summer months, particularly July, as it can get pretty crowded. However, if you have the flexibility, I’d suggest visiting during the off-season. My favorite times for traveling in western Norway are the second half of May (for sightseeing and photography) and September/beginning of October (for hiking and photography.)

#2 Dont be afraid to visit Winter

Norway in a Nutshell can be a great winter experience. The scenery with snow-capped mountains and frozen waterfalls is breathtaking, and the tour is much less crowded than in the summer. Some of the activities you can do in the winter include skiing (Geilo and Voss), dog sledding (Geilo), and snowshoeing (you can, for example, join a snowshoe trip to Stegastein viewpoint).

#3 Vy does not accept American cards

If you’re an American or Canadian traveler looking to purchase a Vy train ticket in Norway, remember that Vy doesn’t accept credit cards from the United States and Canada due to a missing security protocol required for safe payments in Europe. However, don’t worry; you can use PayPal! Just link your credit card to your PayPal account and use it to complete your Vy ticket purchase.

#4 Stalheimskleiva is closed for traffic

The bus trip through Stalheimskleiva was an iconic part of Norway in a Nutshell tour, offering a thrilling ride through 13 hairpin bends. However, following a landslide in 2020, the route has been changed, and the bus no longer goes through Stalheimskleiva. Instead, the buses now take a shorter and more direct route, which bypasses the famous switchback road.

While it may be disappointing for some to miss out on the experience of the old route, the new route still offers stunning views and a more comfortable ride.

It’s important to remember that information found in older travel blogs (even though the authors claim they have updated them) may not always be up-to-date.

So it’s always a good idea to double-check the information. (That includes this article too!)

#5 Consider Renting a Car

Renting a car could be a great option if you’re looking to save money on your Norway in a Nutshell trip, especially if you travel as a part of a larger group. Public transport in Norway can be expensive, and many cheaper accommodations are often located outside the main tourist areas with limited public transport connections. 

In addition to the cost savings, renting a car also gives you the flexibility to choose hiking trails that are not easily accessible by public transport, like our favorite Bakkanosi. You can also explore at your own pace and stop for photos or breaks whenever you want.

#6 Take your time

While it might be tempting to do Norway in a Nutshell tour in just one day, I highly advice against it.

In my opinion, attempting to see all of the Norway in a Nutshell tour in one day is just a costly transfer from point A to point B.

Instead, take your time and soak in the beautiful nature around you. Don’t rush from one place to the next, checking off destinations like a bucket list. Instead, rent a bike and ride along the Rallarvegen, kayak on the fjord, or take a leisurely walk through the Flåm Valley. Norway is all about connecting with nature and enjoying the journey. 

Trust me; you’ll have a much more memorable and enjoyable experience if you take the time to appreciate the stunning scenery.

#7 Choose The Window Seat

Which side is the best to sit on the train? From Bergen to Voss, the left-hand side provides the best views. Both sides of the train offer great views of scenic landscapes from Oslo to Myrdal, but I favor the left one. On the way from Myrdal to Flåm, try to get a seat on the left-hand side

#8 Rail Ninja is reselling tickets 

Rail Ninja is a third-party company reselling tickets for train lines operated by Vy. They do offer tickets for dates that are more than 90 days in the future. Vy customer service confirms that Rail Ninja sells tickets in advance and then attempts to buy them from Vy as soon as they are released for sale. If Rail Ninja cannot purchase the tickets from Vy, they will cancel and refund the ticket they sold to the customer. Beware that Rail Ninja adds a fee on top of the price in the Vy app. 

CONCLUSION: IS NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL WORTH IT?

Norway in a Nutshell tour is a legendary tour for many travelers. It has been one of the most popular and iconic ways to experience the natural beauty of Norway for several decades (since 1982). The tour is designed to be convenient and easy to navigate, with all transportation arrangements and activities pre-planned for you.

 

However, the tour package is just a combination of various modes of public transport. Moreover, the tour’s popularity means it is extremely crowded during peak tourist season, especially in popular destinations like Flåm and Bergen. Not to mention that it can be pretty expensive, especially when compared to traveling independently.

NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL FAQ

Norway in a Nutshell is the most frequently discussed topic in our Facebook group “Norway Tips for Travellers So here.” we put together the answers to the most commonly asked questions. I will add more questions and answers here as they appear in the group.  

The seating on the various modes of transportation in Norway in a Nutshell tour is typically unassigned. Therefore, you cannot choose your specific seat when booking the tour. At least not when you book it through the official webpage. If you want a window seat on a train, you must arrive early and queue up. 

When you book Norway in a Nutshell on your own, you can choose the seat while booking the section on the Bergen Railway (Bergen to Voss, Bergen to Myrdal, or Oslo to Myrdal). However, choosing a seat on the Flåm Railway is not possible. 

There is no senior/student discount when you book Norway in a Nutshell package via the official webpage.

If you book your tickets through Vy, you won’t get any discount on the Flåm Railway either.

However, seniors above 67 years and students will get a discount on the Bergen Railway (the stretch between Oslo – Myrdal and Voss – Bergen).

If you plan to do Norway in a Nutshell tour during the peak season (June to August), I recommend booking as soon as Vy releases the tickets.

It is most commonly 90 days before the departure.

However, if you’re traveling during the shoulder or off-season, you may have more flexibility and could book closer to your travel date. But just to be safe, booking in advance is always better if you can.

No food is served on the train during Norway in a Nutshell tour. However, there is an onboard café on the Bergen Line train. The café offers a variety of snacks, drinks, and light meals.

There are also some opportunities to purchase food and drinks along the way, especially during the stops in Flåm and Voss.

Picture of Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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7 Responses

  1. Hello there and thank you very much for all this great information which really helps to plan an upcoming first trip to Norway from Australia.

    I wonder if you are able to provide advice on travel from Flam to Bergen in late May 2024?
    We will be staying in Flam overnight on Monday May 20, 2024, and looking to travel to Bergen the following day on Tuesday 21 May, 2024

    We are trying to decide between the Flam – Gudvangen – Voss – Bergen ( NIN) option which has the 2 hour cruise through Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord – and then the bus and train connections via Voss through to Bergen vs tyhe Norled ferry Flam – Bergen. I have read that the Nærøyfjord is beautiful and narrow in parts.
    We are not overly keen on Gudvangen Viking village etc,

    The other option is the Norled Ferry Between Flåm And Bergen which travels through the Sognefjord and is much longer at 5.5 hours. I am thinking the may suit us best as we will have baggage ( so its easier than the connections) and the 3pm departure allows us the morning and early afternoon during which we are considering the Zipline/Bike trip from Myrdal back down to Flam before departing. My understanding is that you can fit this tour in and be back in plenty of time for a 3pm departure.

    We would really value your thoughts and advice – which cruise is better?

    1. Hi Stephen. I find it a bit hard to decide 🙂

      First of all, I would choose the Norled Ferry between Flam and Bergen over the bus from Gudvangen and the train from Voss.

      However, I really liked the fjord cruise between Flåm and Gudvangen. The first part of the cruise is the same route as the Norled ferry, but Norled will not enter the Nærøyfjord, which I think was really beautiful.

      However, if you are short on time, then I would go for the train ride, zipline, bike and Norled ferry.

      Cheers,
      Radka

  2. Thank you for this information! It was fantastic and I appreciate it so much! 😊

  3. Hi everyone!

    Thank you for all the great advice on this page. I’m trying to book my DIY NiN trip from Bergen to Oslo but I’m worried about timings…..

    10/9
    Bergen-Voss Vy train 10.30-11.48 (earlier trains are replaced by buses that day.
    Voss-Gudvangen bus 13.15-14.10 (there don’t seem to be any buses beetween 11.48 & 13.15?)
    Gudvangen-Flam ferry 14.05-16.05 (could get the 17.30-19.30 if necessary)
    O/n in Flam

    11/9
    Flam-Oslo 12.00-19.05

    As you can see the bus arrives in Gudvangen at 14.10 but the ferry leaves at 14.05! Am I getting this wrong somewhere or will these actually meet up? Don’t really want to be getting into Flam too late as travelling with kids.

    Thank you for any advice!

  4. Hi, we have one night in flam before going to Bergen. Is it advisable to do flam – gudvagen- voss – bergen or flam- gidvagen- flam and then again take flam bergen ferry

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