Norway, also known as the Land of Midnight Sun, is famous for its stunning fjords, magnificent mountains, and alluring skies. As such, you can find Norwegian fjords all over the country from the southern coast to the northern Arctic belt, but a handful of them truly stand out above the rest. The western parts of Norway boast the most beautiful fjords in the world, which is why you might be eager to get from Bergen to Flam for your trip!
Flåm is where you can find one of the best fjords in Norway (in my opinion), and also where I grew up!
A lot of tourists visit Norway for 3 reasons: to ride the world’s most beautiful train ride, witness the magic of Northern lights (Aurora Borealis), and sail/ cruise through the remarkable fjords. Did you know that 2 of these can be covered just by visiting Flam? The Flåmsbana train journey and the UNESCO recognised Nærøyfjord! Flåm is the getaway to the most beautiful areas in Norway and a great starting point to explore the fjords.
Side note: it *is* possible to see the Northern Lights in Flåm as well, but this is quite rare.
One of the most frequent questions that I get asked about Norway relates to ‘how to get from Bergen to Flam’. I grew up in Aurland (just 10 minutes from Flam) and currently live in Bergen. Hence, I think I am quite well suited to answer this question! As I have myself travelled from Bergen to Flam more times than I can count and by using different modes of transport, I think I will be able to do justice to this query.
To be honest, the best mode of transport between Bergen and Flåm is highly subjective. It depends on what kind of scenery you are looking for and what amount of time you have in hand. Below, I have listed down all the ways to get from Bergen to Flam (and Flam to Bergen). Each has its own pros and cons; thus, you will have to weigh in everything before deciding how you want to get to Flam.
Another read: How to get from Oslo to Flåm
How to get from Bergen to Flam
Looking for the simple answer? There are 5 different ways to get from Bergen to Flam. Yes, you read that right! After telling you that the distance between Bergen and Flam is only 170 kilometres, I can understand that this is a little surprising.
Since Flam is a highly frequented place, more and more travel options have popped up, with an increasing number of tourists year after year. Though I have highlighted all the ways to get from Bergen to Flam below, the same options apply if you want to travel in reverse as well (except the tours). For your convenience, I have also mentioned all the official websites where you can make your bookings to travel from Bergen to Flam!
Read more: My complete guide to the fjord villages
Bergen to Flam by train
Total journey time: 3.5 hours
Where to book: Vy website
If you are looking for the most scenic way to get from Bergen to Flam, I recommend travelling via train without a blink of an eye. The train is not only the easiest mode of transport to book but is also equipped with comfortable seating, clean restrooms, and large passenger windows. The only catch is, you have to switch trains at Myrdal, before continuing on to Flåm down the Flåm valley.
The first leg of the journey is from Bergen to Myrdal, the mountain station. This train ride is around 2 hours long. It is from Myrdal that you catch the famed Flamsbana Railway all the way to Flam. The Flam Railway ride time is about 1 hour.
The train tickets from Bergen to Flam sell out really fast, especially during the peak travel season (summer, mainly from mid-June to early August). So, it will be best if you make your bookings 2-3 months before your arrival (the website linked above usually release tickets around 3 months in advance). You can book your tickets from Norway’s largest (and main) train company, Vy.
A note on Vy: Formerly known as Norges Statsbaner (NSB), NSB and Nettbuss have now joined hands to become one company, named Vy. This means you can book both train and bus tickets on the same website.
As mentioned above, part of the train journey from Bergen to Flam is on the Flam Railway, where you will see the changing landscapes, cascading waterfalls, green pastures, and colourful wooden houses along the Flåm Valley, all from the comfort of your train window. Flamsbana is the world’s steepest train ride and takes you from high mountains down to the fjords. It is Norway’s #1 tourist attraction with good reason, and one of the top things to do in Flåm.
Believe me, after having experienced this marvellous journey; you will forget the hassle of switching trains at Myrdal (Myrdal is a very small station, so to be honest, it isn’t much hassle at all).
Along the Flåm Railway you will find Vatnahalsen Hotel. Head this way to read my review.
Bergen to Flam by bus
Getting from Bergen to Flam (or Flåm to Bergen) by bus is the second most scenic mode of transport after the train ride. The bus has comfortable seats, excellent wi-fi, charging points, and (of course) seatbelts – note that these are mandatory to wear, and will keep you nice and safely in your seat.
You don’t even have to make any bus switches between Bergen and Flåm, which might make this a better option over the train. Especially if you have already booked return tickets with the Flåm Railway during your stay in Flåm.
All you have to do is sit back, relax, and admire the scenery passing by. The buses have big glass windows from where you can watch the changing landscapes.
The bus route from Bergen to Flam is via several tunnels (over 30 of them, actually!), and you will see charming villages, mountain ranges, and incredible lakes while on the drive. You can book your bus tickets from Bergen to Flam with Nor-Way Bussekspress. They have one departure a day, and their booking interface is quite easy to understand.
You can also make the bus bookings with Nettbuss, which is now called Vy, as mentioned above. However, when you book your bus tickets with Vy, you actually travel from Bergen to Voss via a train (which is so weird and a little annoying), and then switch buses to travel onwards to Flam. So, make sure to book in advance with Nor-Way Bussekspress to avoid all the switching hassle.
Bergen to Flam by car
If you fancy driving from Bergen to Flam all by yourself, you can rent a car from the center or airport of Bergen, as there are several car rentals available at Bergen airport and the city centre. The car route is equally scenic as that of the bus (for obvious reasons), but in addition, you get the flexibility to stop anywhere in between, take your time along the windy roads, and even make detours to nearby areas.
Please note, however, that stopping along the road to take photos is not okay. Please make sure you are safely pulled over before you start snapping away. And only use your emergency lights in actual emergencies.
From Bergen airport or the city centre, start by following directions for Åsane or Arna and then get onto the E16 highway that will take you all the way to Flam (follow signs to Voss along E16). Voss is located about an hour before you reach Flåm, and this is also the last place before Flåm where you can visit the Norwegian Vinmonopolet. You know, the only place to buy bottles of wine.. So if you want to enjoy a glass of red from your hotel balcony in Flåm, make sure to stop in Voss along the way.
If you are self-driving anywhere in Norway, you need to stay up-to-date on the information about road conditions or road blocks due to landslides, tunnel closures, or other incidents. You can find all this information on the Norwegian Road Directory website. Bookmark this website before your trip and check the road conditions daily.
Fun fact: Checking the Vegvesen website is very common when driving in western Norway, as there are landslides, accidents and tunnel closures more often than you’d think. However, when I told my friend who lives in Kristiansand that we should check the website before our drive to Oslo, he laughed in my face. The roads in eastern Norway are much more straight-forward.
Also, it might be worth noting that we drive on the right side of the road in Norway, that wearing seat belts are mandatory, we give the right of the way to pedestrians, and that you should never exceed the speed limits on windy roads (or anywhere, really).
Bergen to Flam by boat
Total journey time: 5.5 to 6 hours
Where to book: Norled
What better way to see the fjords than travel on the fjords? The express boats from Bergen to Flam operate only in the summers, so if you are travelling in the high season, you can do just that.
This beautiful journey will take you out of the Bergen city center towards the coast, before heading back into the fjords. The journey takes you into the Sognefjord and then all the way up and across its smaller branch, the Aurlandsfjord. At the end of the Aurlandsfjord, you will find Flåm.
The journey from Bergen to Flam by boat is certainly longer than travelling by train, bus or car, but it is worthwhile if you have the time – it is quite a beautiful experience, and you get to see the entire Sognefjord along the way.
Currently, just one express boat service operates the boats from Bergen to Flam, named Norled (linked above). They have one departure daily from April to September, and then just one return. The boat starts from Bergen in the morning and returns from Flam in the afternoon. As always, book the tickets in advance to get a confirmed reservation – I’m sure you know by now, but the fjords can get busy.
Join a tour from Bergen
The final way to get from Norway’s second largest city to the fjords is to join one of the great tours available to travellers.
Many tour operators have packages from Bergen to see the fjords in Flam. Companies like GoFjords and FjordTours have tour packages that start from Bergen and take you to Flam, along with lots of sightseeing and activities on the route. If you feel that booking and planning the journey entirely by yourself is time-consuming and involves a lot of hassle, you can book one such tour with them. Although being a bit expensive, these tours are certainly a great way to see the fjords!
FjordTours’ Norway in a Nutshell is one such tour that takes you from Bergen to Myrdal by train, Myrdal to Flåm on the Flamsbana train, along the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord on the cruise from Flam to Gudvangen, and then back to Bergen in a bus. I strongly feel that booking this journey separately by yourself will save you a lot of money. The Norway in a Nutshell tour does exactly that, so why not just book it yourself (they do not run their own transportation)? Here’s my guide to booking the Norway in a Nutshell trip on your own (written on my other travel blog).
A few great tours from Bergen to Flåm (and back):
I hope I have given you some great tips that will help you select your mode of transport while travelling from Bergen to Flam with this guide. Honestly, there are so many amazing things waiting for you in Flam, and I hope you will have an amazing time. If you find this post useful, bookmark it to read again later.
Read next: Hikes not to miss in Flåm