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DISCOVER NORWAY

Five stunning train trips to take in Norway this summer 

Norway is home to some of the world's most picturesque train journeys, and what better time to take them than when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. 

Pictured is a view from the Flåm line.
These are some of the top train trips in Norway. Pictured is a view from the stunning Flåm railway. Photo by Rudolfo Spott on Unsplash

Some of the best Norway has to offer can be seen sitting down from the comfort of train seats. Much of the country’s rail system is draped around stunning scenery, giving passengers close-up views not possible when flying or driving. 

Such is the beauty of the country’s railway lines, it’s no surprise that a number of different routes are featured on lists of the world’s most scenic train journeys. 

With summer on the horizon, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best to take a trip on this summer. 

The Bergen Line

One of the busiest and most popular of Norway’s railway lines, the Bergenbannen acts as a greatest hits of Norway’s landscape. The line which connects Oslo in the east to Bergen in the west makes its way through mountains, valleys, fields, fjords and forests. 

The first leg of the trip from Oslo to Geilo passes through mountain scenery before ascending to Finse and passing along the Hardangerjøkulen glacier. 

There is also plenty of connections to other great train journeys. A popular transfer is to Myrdal station, where you can take the iconic Flåm Line. 

Film buffs and Sci-Fi nerds alike may want to make the pilgrimage to Finsewhich was the filming location for the ice planet of Hoth in Star Wars.

 
 
 
 
 
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Vy is the rail operator which runs trains on the line. You can book tickets for the seven-hour journey here

Word to the wise, tickets for this train can cost a lot if you leave it late- so be sure to book in advance.

The Flåm Line

Famous for the green locomotives which operate on the line, the Flåm Line is the perfect trip for those who like to keep things short and sweet as it is just over an hour long. 

One of the steepest railway lines in the world, around 500,000 passengers take the hour-long train ride from Myrdal to the village of Flåm, located on the interior of the Aurlandsfjord, each year. 

For those with a keener interest in trains, the Flåm Line is also a technical marvel. For starters, there is an elevation change of 866 metres on the journey. Secondly, two locomotives are required to get passengers to their location- one at the front and one at the back. And for those who like to dive into details, each carriage has its own specialised braking system.  

If you prefer nature to the mechanics, there is plenty for you. The journey takes you along mountainsides and passes the Kjosfossen waterfall. The train stops at the waterfall so people can enjoy the views, get some fresh air, and take pictures.

 
 
 
 
 
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Compared to other trains on this less, the interior of the carriages is a lot more retro and a lot less modern, which will add to the charm for many travellers. You can book tickets here

Rauma Line

High peaks, jagged rocks and windswept plateaus are all things the Rauma Line has in abundance. The 114-kilometre-long journey is stunning all year round. The trip will see you cut through the Romsdal valley, speed past the river with which the line shares its name, and cross the impressive Kylling Bridge. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Until recently, this train was more of a hidden gem than the more famous Flåm and Bergen lines. 

This line doesn’t have as many departures as some others on this list, so it’s better to book in advance and plan the trip accordingly. 

Like the Flåmsbana, the journey is brisk at 1 hour and 40 minutes. Tickets are booked with SJ Nord.

The Norland Line

Nearly as impressive in length as it is in scenery, the Nordland Line connects central Norway with Bodø in the north. 

Even though the 11-hour trip will take you to Hell (the town), the journey should be a fantastic experience overall. 

Summer is the best time of year to make the journey as due to the long days and midnight sun, once you cross the Arctic Circle, very little of the landscape will be lost to darkness. 

However, there are only two departures per day, and one of them is a night train. However, the night train may be better in the winter due to the prospect of being able to spy the northern lights. 

The Nordland Line boasts the title of being the only train in Norway to cross in and out of the Arctic Circle.

 

Trains start in the forests and farmland of Trondelag before crossing the Saltfjellet mountain range and meandering along the Arctic coast. 

 The Røros Line

Norway’s most historical line, opening in 1877, connects Hamar in southeast Norway with Støren. The line is easily accessible from both Oslo and Trondheim.

The scenery will feel more rugged and remote than other train lines, but the train will also pass through the forests of Østerdalen, and passengers may be able to spot moose, bears and lynxes. 

History lovers can disembark at the UNESCO-listed mining town of Røros. SJ Nord operates the route. 

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DISCOVER NORWAY

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Norway is home to four new Michelin-starred restaurants following the recent publication of the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022. These are all the Norwegian restaurants to receive a star in the Michelin Guide. 

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Four new Norwegian restaurants received Michelin stars when the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022 was published this week. 

Scandinavia’s cooking elite gathered in Stavanger on Monday to award this year’s stars and individual honours for chefs in the Nordics. 

Three of the new stars awarded were given to restaurants in Oslo, while the other star was given to an eatery in Bergen, taking the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city on Norway’s west coast to two. 

One of the newcomers, Hot Shop, named after the former sex shop the building used to house, is located on Københavngata street in east Oslo. The canteen-style bistro serves tasting menus based on seasonal, local ingredients, which the Michelin Guide describes as “elegant, vibrant and technically adept, with delicate touches and real depth of flavour”. 

Schlägergården in Lilleaker, on the eastern outskirts of Oslo, was also awarded its first star. However, it was the fourth time restaurant manager Bjørn Svensson had received a star for one of his restaurants. The restaurant is in a converted 18th-century farmhouse with a set menu consisting of local produce, some foraged, grown, or preserved by the eatery’s staff. 

Michelin describes the food there as “pure, expertly crafted dishes which have bold, emotive flavours”.

Located right on the border of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo is Hyde, the third restaurant in the capital to receive its first Michelin star this year. The guide credits the service and “laid-back, lively atmosphere” as major pulls for the restaurants.

Over on Norway’s west coast, Lysverket in Bergen was awarded a Michelin star. The eatery serves up creative, modern takes on Norwegian dishes accompanied by craft cocktails. The restaurant is housed in an art museum with the menus showcasing “intelligently crafted, balanced dishes”. 

The other restaurant in Oslo, boasting a glowing review from the Michelin guide, was Maaemo, which retained its three Michelin star status. The new Nordic cuisine behemoth focused on organic and biodynamic produce is located in the heart of Oslo on Dronning Eufamas gate street.

A few other chefs and restaurants received accolades at this year’s presentation. Heidi Bjerkan took home two awards, the first for excellent service at her sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant Credo. One of her other restaurants, Jossa Mat og Drikke, won a green star, given to eatery’s that excel in sustainable operations. 

A Norwegian, Jimmy Øien, scooped the award for the best young chef. Øien is the chef at Rest located on Kirkegat in Central Oslo and holds a green star for sustainable practices. The menu heavily emphasises using imperfect produce, which other places may otherwise discard. 

Several restaurants also retained their status. Renaa, with its kitchen located in the heart of the restaurant, has two Michelin stars and is commended by the guide for the quality of its Norwegian seafood dishes and the bread it produces at a nearby bakery. 

The 2022 guide also includes Kontrast (Oslo), Statholdergaarden (Oslo) , Under (Lindesnes), the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, Sabi Omakase (Stavanger), Bare (Bergen), FAGN (Trondheim), Credo (Trondheim) and Speilsalen (Trondheim), which all have one Michelin star.

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