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Why Norwegian trains are better for journeys with small children than planes

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Why Norwegian trains are better for journeys with small children than planes
There are many benefits to choosing a train journey through Norway over travelling to the airport. Photo by Jeremi Joseph on Unsplash

Travelling by plane with small children can be challenging, as they may find it uncomfortable to sit still for extended periods on a plane, especially if they cannot sleep or play. In Norway, taking the train is perhaps a superior alternative - and for a good reason.


Most parents are quite familiar with the challenges of travelling by plane with their kids.

Children can get frustrated by the discomfort and stress, get motion sickness, and experience ear pain – to mention just some of the more common issues.

However, due to their convenience (in terms of journey times compared to trains) they remain the most popular travel choice for long distance travels in Norway. 

It is no surprise, then, that travellers to Norway are often in for a pleasant surprise once they muster up the courage to embark on a family train trip.

From dedicated areas for kids to play and special places reserved for prams to facilities with changing tables – there are numerous upsides to skipping the trip to the airport and opting for a train ride instead (provided you have the extra time on your hands, of course).


Norway's children-friendly trains

Sitting still for long periods of time can be challenging for both adults and children.

However, when you're on board a train in Norway, it's often enough to look outside your window and be amazed by the country's numerous natural landscapes.

Furthermore, Norway's major railway route operators – Vy, Go-Ahead, and SJ Norge– all have train travel options aimed at making the trip more practical and enjoyable for the entire family.

Go Ahead Nordic offers family carriages with plenty of space for a pram and easily accessible toilets with changing tables. There is also a separate room with a TV and games at the front of the carriage. You can find out more about Go Ahead's family offer here

The train company SJ Norge has a designated area for prams that all those travelling with smaller children can use. Furthermore, while passengers have a variety of healthy food and drink options to choose from, there are no restrictions on parents bringing children's food and drink on board (this is also the case on Vy's lines).

If there is a café on board the train, SJ Norge staff can also help you heat up the children's food (as will Vy). Furthermore, the toilets in the family carriage are slightly larger and have changing tables. On some SJ Norge trips, parents are also able to pre-order food and then pick it up in the café when they get hungry. If you're interested in SJ Norge's family travel options, check out this site

Vy, formerly known as the Norwegian State Railways (NSB), has a separate family carriage on the Bergen Line (Bergensbanen), with a free-to-use playroom for the children and an associated section with seating for the whole family from which parents can keep an eye on the children.

Below you can see a tweet from a traveller who was impressed by the facilities on board. 

Two costumed performers also regularly appear in Vy's family carriage - Børdi the cuckoo and Bædi the goat. The duo make trips even more enjoyable for the little ones. Children can have fun, read or watch TV in the playroom, while parents can easily access everything they need - such as luggage, prams and changing tables – at the family carriage.

Note that you'll need to select the "family" option when booking your trip if you want access to the family carriage. More information and tips on Vy's family travel offer can be found here.


Why the night train is a good idea for a family trip

Night trains can be a great way for families to travel through Norway, as they offer a cost-effective, comfortable, and memorable experience.

Taking a night train can save time as it allows you to travel overnight, meaning that your family will arrive at your desired destination in the morning, filled with energy and ready to start the day.

Furthermore, they can often be cheaper than taking a plane, and they also eliminate the need for overnight accommodation, meals, and often high transportation costs to and from the airport.


It is also important to note that most night trains in Norway offer comfortable sleeping accommodations, a major upside for most families with young children who need a good night's sleep.

Last but not least, an overnight trip on the night train can be somewhat of an adventure of its own for the children, offering a memorable experience of going to bed in one city and waking up the next day in a completely new place.

Most railway operators in Norway have special (think discounted) ticket options for very small children on night trains if you book a sleeping compartment for children and adults. Make sure to check the ticket options on the website of your selected operator.


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