Norway is a gorgeous country, with so much natural beauty: mountains, coastline and of course, the majestic fjords. Let me show you how to experience all three and more with this Norway itinerary for 7 days.
For many of us, Norway, like all of Scandinavia, is not a cheap place to travel in. So if you can’t spend weeks or months there, you might be wondering how to make the most of a short period of time.
I recently spent a week there and I’m pleased to say that you can do and see a lot in Norway in 7 days, including experiencing the stunning landscapes as well as relaxed cities. So, check out my 7-day Norway itinerary for ideas and practical details on how to spend a glorious week in the country of fjords.
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Why Visit Norway?
Norway has been on my travel wishlist for a long time, mainly for the fjords. I’m drawn to dramatic scenery, so it was no surprise that I loved the steep mountains and deep, calm waters of the fjords. For me, these were the highlight of my trip.
However, I discovered that the cities are pretty great too. Oslo, in particular, is a lovely, chilled-out city that sparkles in the sunlight. It is not a capital city I had heard much buzz about, but I really enjoyed my time there – so I’ve built some time in Olso into this Norway Itinerary.
As well as being beautiful, Norway is also a really easy place to explore, with plenty of transport options including roads, rail and water. My trip mainly involved rail travel, which I found to be easy, reliable and also very scenic. I’ve based this itinerary on rail routes, but included some info on driving as well.
Naturally, you can’t do and see everything in Norway in 7 days. This itinerary sticks to southern Norway, but I’ve built in a mix of spectacular landscapes and vibrant city life to give you a flavour of the best of Norway during your week there.
Norway 7-Day Itinerary – In Summary
This itinerary assumes you will spend 7 nights in Norway, over 8 days, with the first and last days being half days due to the need to travel. So it is 7 days, spread over 8 calendar days, if that makes sense.
This route is very similar to the ‘Norway In A Nutshell’ tours that you may well have seen advertised. However, you don’t need to pay the premium to do this as an organised tour. I got some quotes to do the Norway In A Nutshell tour and then worked out I could do the same route independently and I saved a bunch of money doing it that way rather than booking a tour.
Here’s the summary of this itinerary for 7 days in Norway:
- Day 1: Arrive in Oslo (stay 1 night)
- Day 2: Oslo to Flam (stay 3 nights) – for spectacular fjords, mountains and waterfalls
- Day 5: Flam to Bergen (stay 1 night) – for a taste of the legendary coastal city
- Day 6: Bergen to Oslo (stay 2 nights) – to explore the easy-going capital
- Day 8: Return home
Norway 7-Day Itinerary – In Detail
Now, I’ll expand on the itinerary, including how to get from place to place, things to do at each stop as well as where to eat and where to stay.
Day 1: Arrive In Oslo (Stay 1 Night)
If you arrive by plane, you can get a train from Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport to Oslo city centre – it is faster than a taxi (& much cheaper). You could get some cash at the airport, but you won’t need it for the train: you can pay by choosing your destination at the gate (you don’t even need to go to a ticket booth!) and tapping your payment card.
Things To Do In Oslo
You won’t have time to do many of these things on your first day, but I’ll include a list here for completeness – and you can come back to it on your return to Oslo at the end of the trip:
- Wander Aker Brygge quayside
- Explore the medieval Akershus Fortress
- Admire the sculpture at Frogner Park
- Picnic in the Royal Palace gardens
- Meander along the charming Karl Johans Gate
- Behold Edvard Munch’s The Scream at the National Museum
- Learn about Norways’s heritage at one of the many other museums, including the Viking Museum and the Folk Museum
- Watch the sunset from the roof of Oslo’s innovative Opera House
For more details and inspiration about Olso, check out my post on the 15 best things to do in Oslo.
Places To Eat In Olso
For lunch, try one of the many quayside restaurants along the harbour, including the popular Italian, Olivia.
For dinner, why not go old school and book a table at Engebret Cafe, the oldest restaurant in Oslo. I had reindeer steak and it was absolutely delightful.
For tasty snacks, grab something from the bakery chain Backstube, which has really top-notch buns.
Where To Stay In Oslo
I stayed in two hotels in Oslo – one at the start and the other at the end of my 7 days in Norway.
The first is a very comfortable 4-star hotel called the Hotel Bristol. It is located right in the centre of Oslo, making it easy to get to the main attractions in the city. It also has very nice rooms with L’Occitaine toiletries and a good breakfast buffet. The style is a little old-fashioned, but the facilities and services are all very up-to-date. There was free mineral water in the room, which was a nice touch that I appreciated.
The second hotel I stayed in was 3-star and a little cheaper. The Thon Astoria was also very centrally located, not far from Oslo S train station. I had a single room which was very compact but had everything I needed. And the breakfast buffet was also very good.
Day 2: Oslo To Flam (Stay 3 Nights)
I suggest hitting the rails and getting to Flam, or Flåm, as soon as you can – mainly because it may well be the highlight of your 7 days in Norway (or at least it was for me).
Getting To Flam
You can get to Flam easily by train. A fast train goes from Oslo S station to Myrdal, a remote stop high in the mountains. From here you can catch the famous Flam Railway (or Flåmsbana), which offers a scenic route through the Flam valley down to the town of Flam, which sits on the shore of the Aurlandsfjord.
It’s about 4 hours to Myrdal and another hour on the Flam Railway and you can book train tickets on the VY website, which can be used in English (note: Flam needs to be spelled the Norwegian way, ie Flåm).
I suggest getting an early train out of Oslo, around 8 am, and grabbing a bite to eat for lunch at Myrdal station, which has a cafe (I enjoyed their hot dogs).
The Flam Railway is famous for the lush scenery you will enjoy as the train descends steeply through the Flam Valley. However, I enjoyed the rural scenery on the train from Oslo to Myrdal also: we passed many lakes and forests along the way.
Read more on what to expect on the Flam Railway in this post about the experience and how to make the most of it: Ride The Flam Railway.
I didn’t drive in Norway, but if you prefer driving to train travel, the route to Flam is 313 km and will take 4.5 hours, according to GoogleMaps.
If you’re driving and don’t want to miss out on the Flam Railway, you could drive to Flam and then take a return ride on the railway up to Myrdal and back purely for the scenery.
Things To Do In Flam
Flam is a stunning place and there is plenty of natural beauty all around it to keep you enthralled. I wrote a whole post on 10 Beautiful Things To Do In Flam, so check that out. Top of that list (for me) is:
- A fjord cruise from Flam to Gudvangen
- Kayaking on the fjord
- RIB boat fjord safari
- Enjoy the view from Stegastein Viewpoint
Places To Eat In Flam
Choices are limited in Flam, as it’s such a small place. But for lunch, there’s a really delicious bakery that does freshly made (and generously filled) sandwiches on yummy doughy bread. They also do baked buns, which are also tasty.
For dinner, I ate in my hotel (see below), but people seemed to speak highly of Flam Marina Restaurant, which is on the waterside.
Where To Stay In Flam
Booking accommodation in Flam is something you should definitely do as far in advance as you can because it is a popular destination and it is not a very big town. I booked only a few weeks in advance and there was only one place I could find available. It was nice, though, so it worked out OK. But it was not cheap (though I’m not sure anywhere in Flam is, as it is in demand)!
Heimly Pensonjat is a 2/3-star guest house and I was able to book a single room on a half-board basis for £215/night – the most expensive place I stayed in Norway.
The negatives about this hotel are that the rooms are pretty basic: small, with no frills and no air conditioning.
The positives are that the food was good, especially for dinner – I had a delicious three-course meal both nights. And the views are amazing! The hotel is close to the shore of the fjord on the eastern end of town and it has views across the still water to the mountains beyond. The dining room has these views, but they are best enjoyed from the veranda, which has a small seating area. Some rooms also have views (these cost extra).
Day 5: Flam To Bergen (Stay 1 Night)
Getting To Bergen
You can get a train all the way from Flam to Bergen, changing at Myrdal. It’s about an hour from Flam to Myrdal, back on the Flåmsbana scenic railway, and then another two hours from Myrdal to Bergen on a normal train. The scenery along this route is also gorgeous: from Myrdal, you’ll start in the cold mountains and gradually descend through forests and past fast-flowing rivers and peaceful lakes until you reach Bergen, which is on a fjord, but has a coastal feel.
Again, you can book trains directly on VY.no, choosing English as your language.
I recommend departing around 9 or 10 am so that you arrive in Bergen for lunchtime.
Again, I didn’t drive this route, but if travelling by car (or campervan) is your preference, GoogleMaps says the route is 167 km and takes 2.5 hours.
Things To Do In Bergen
I’ve only suggested one night in Bergen because there isn’t a big number of things to do here – or at least not a big number of exciting things to do. I read blog posts listing a huuuuge number of things to do in Bergen, but they were full of very niche appeal things in my opinion. I spent two days in Bergen, which felt like more than I needed and I personally think that it’s better to have more time in Flam, which has more natural beauty.
However, if you can’t get accommodation in Flam for three nights, you could adjust this itinerary to do 2 nights in Flam and 2 nights in Bergen.
It’s also worth adding that tour operators do offer day excursions to Flam from Bergen, so if it’s expensive or hard to find somewhere to stay in Flam, you could visit Flam on a day trip from Bergen instead.
In any case, in my opinion, the top things to do in Bergen are:
- Tale the Fløibanen funicular to Fløyen viewpoint
- Explore the old wooden warehouses at Bryggen
- Explore the narrow streets of the old town
- Eat a fresh seafood dinner
Places To Eat In Bergen
For lunch, consider Daily Pot, a very healthy place that does soup and salad bowls heavy on fresh veg. I had a protein salad bowl that was super-delicious and filling.
I enjoyed a fish dinner at Bryggeriet Restaurant, which has a view over the harbour. If you’re on a budget, you can also grab some street food from the stalls along Torget street.
If you are in the mood for an after-dinner drink, try the cocktail bar at the Bergen Børs Hotel. There’s a very fancy restaurant here too, which could be a nice option if you’re in a position to splurge on a tasting menu.
Where To Stay In Bergen
I stayed in the Thon Hotel Bristol, which is walkable from the train station and the harbour area of the city. My room was massive and the breakfast options here were really good, too.
Day 6: Bergen To Oslo (Stay 2 Nights)
Getting To Oslo
At 6-7 hours, this is the longest train leg of this trip, but it’s also direct: no changes. To be comfortable, I chose to do this in first class, or Plus, as it’s known on Norwegian trains. In Plus, there’s a huge amount of legroom and free coffee available in the carriage (from a machine, but still better than nothing).
And in any case, the gorgeous Norwegian scenery will keep you entertained all the way.
According to GoogleMaps, the journey from Bergen to Oslo is 464 km and 6.75 hours – but I’m sure you’d want to break the journey with stops along the way.
Things To Do In Oslo
Refer to the list of the best things to do in Oslo and pick up on the ones you didn’t manage to do the first day.
Where To Stay In Oslo
Again, I tried two hotels in Oslo:
- The Hotel Bristol which is a smart 4-star hotel in the city centre
- The Thon Astoria, a 3-star hotel near Oslo S.
Day 8: Return Home
On your final morning, make your way back to the airport – again, a train from Oslo S is a good option.
I was not feeling well when I left Norway and decided to get a taxi rather than drag my suitcase on and off trains – it took around 30 minutes and cost 1089NOK, which was over £90! Compare this to the train, which takes 22 minutes from Oslo S and costs 210NOK (£17.85). So, that’s why I suggest taking a train.
Route Map: Norway 7-Day Itinerary
Here’s a map showing the route for this 7-day Norway itinerary, plus some of the key places you might find helpful to know about in each place.
How To Use This Map: click the tab in the top left-hand corner of the map to view the layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each one. If you click the star next to the title of the map, it will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu, go to ‘Your Places’, then click Maps and you will see this map in your list.
Visiting Norway: Practical Details
How To Get To Norway
As I mentioned, Oslo’s airport is Gardermoen Airport, approx 35km north-east of the city, and connected by train. If you prefer to fly in or out of Bergen, there’s an international airport there too. I use Skyscanner to find flight deals.
I also found the Citymapper app to be a useful tool in helping me get from the airport to Oslo and around Oslo.
When To Visit Norway
I chose to visit Norway in summer because I am not keen on cold weather. The peak season runs from June to August. I went in early June, and I felt like I was in before the main rush – things like the Flåmsbana were not as busy as I had read it can get. The countryside was lush and green, but there was still snow on the mountaintops – it was wonderful!
The Last Word
I Hope This 7 Day Itinerary Has Inspired You To Visit Norway! During my week in Norway, I was blown away by the spectacular beauty of this calm country and would happily return for even more fjord scenery.
And for more inspiration, do check out my guide to Flam, which was definitely my favourite place in Norway.