Norwegian Fjords have long been on my bucket list. From envisioning myself hiking up the majestic mountain sides to cruising along the sun kissed water, I’d dreamt about this trip for years. Finally during the long weekend, the dream became reality!
If you’re like me, you spend hours researching and planning how to get there, where to stay, what to do, and the things to eat. I spent hours trying to figure out if the Norway in a Nutshell tour was worth it (for us it was!), where to fly into and what to do during our short time in Norway. So in hopes that you won’t have to spend hours researching, here’s a summary what my boyfriend and I did over four days in Norway.
Day 1: Norway in a Nutshell Part 1
- Leave from Bergen around 8:30AM
- Arrive in Flåm around 3PM
We opted for the earliest train in hopes of getting good seats. I’d recommend sitting on the left for the best views!
Day 2: Norway in a Nutshell Part 2 & Bergen City
- Leave Flåm around 9:30AM
- Arrive in Bergen around 2PM
We decided to take the Fjord Safari and spend the night in Flåm. I’m so glad we did! If you have the time, I highly recommend it.
Day 3: Bus from Bergen to Stavanger
- We booked with Kystbussen. The trip takes about 5 hours, including two short ferry rides.
- I’d recommend packing some drinks and snacks for the ride, but don’t worry if you don’t have time to grab some. The ferries have mini markets with drinks, snacks, and some even hot dogs.
Day 4: Hiking Preikestolen
- We left Stavanger after brunch. First taking the ferry to Tau and then the bus shuttle to the start of the hiking trail.
- The hike took about 2.5 hours up to Preikestolen and was much fast going back downhill.
Pro Tip: Make sure you bring enough water! Buy at least a 1L bottle at the grocery store before heading out of Stavanger. The water bottles at the restaurant at Preikestolen are small and much more expensive than in the city.
Day 5: Stavanger City & Fly Home
- Stavanger is not a big city and the highlights can easily be done in a day!
- We spent most of our time in Stavanger walking around Old Town and along the harbour to take in the views and eat delicious seafood.
Note: We flew into Bergen late the night before, so we could start our Norway in a Nutshell tour early on the first day.
Norway in a Nutshell: Is it worth it?
I spent a lot of time reading up on whether buying the Norway in a Nutshell tour was worth it before deciding to buy it.
Note: Norway in a Nutshell is NOT a traditional tour. No one will meet you at any point. It’s all self guided. You buy the tickets and the PDF receipt details where you need to be and when.
Was it worth it? For us, it definitely was! The only thing that I chose to book separately was the hotel night in Flåm because I use a separate Hotel Rewards program for travel, which wasn’t compatible with booking through Norway in a Nutshell.
Here’s my summary of pro’s vs con’s:
- You don’t have to spend time researching train, bus, and ferry times.
- The itinerary is sent to you via PDF to your email. No paper tickets!
- Every last detail is listed and described out for you, e.g. when you need to arrive to the activity, if you have time to do an activity, how much free time you have in between the trains, buses, and ferries, etc.
- The package tour is quite expensive; however, after looking at buying everything individually, the difference for our trip would have been around 100NOK. That small amount wasn’t going to make or break our trip, so booking everything together made it easier.
- You are spending a lot of time on transportation rather than doing activities; however, this is the case regardless of if you book via the Norway in a Nutshell, or book separately using the same timings.
All three of the hotels below were clean, easily accessible, and had good breakfast options. My only regret is that I wish we would have spent more time in Flåm to enjoy the beautiful views from the balcony of the hotel!
- Bergen: Hotel Scandic Ornen, Lars Hillesgate 18
- Flåm: Freithem Hotel, 5743 Flåm
- Stavanger: Comfort Hotel Square, Løkkeveien 41, 4008 Stavanger
Getting Around: Take public transportation!
We opted to save money and not rent a car. For the short time that we were there, we were able to get around easily using public transportation. Even the bus journey from Bergen to Stavanger was great! The bus has electrical outlets, WiFi, and a toilet. The ferry rides were good opportunities to get out and stretch your legs for some fresh air.
We did take a taxi from Bergen airport into the city instead of taking the tram because it was almost midnight when we landed. Long story short, spending an extra 25 minutes in the tram would have been the wiser move. Our taxi ride ended up being quite expensive (550NOK) and our taxi driver took a wrong turn, making the trip equally as long as what the tram ride would have been.