Travelling over Hardangervidda when going from Oslo to Bergen (or Bergen to Oslo) is the best option if you want a scenic route that will also save you some time compared to the other routes. The main attraction of this route is the beautiful nature on Hardangervidda, but there’s also a lot of other cool stuff to see along the way. Let’s take a look at the best attractions between Oslo and Bergen when crossing Hardangervidda!
This article will include some of the best stops on the Hardangervidda route between Oslo and Bergen, and all of them are just short stops from the main route. So if you want to experience something new, just stretch your legs, or let the children have some fun, stop at one of the attractions in this article and enjoy yourself.
The entire trip without any stops is just over 7 hours long, but there is a lot of fun to be had if you take the time to make a few stops. You could even rent a room to stay the night on the Hardanger plateau (or on the edges of the national park to be exact), giving you plenty of time to make stops and just enjoy the beautiful nature.
This list assumes that you are driving the fastest route across Hardangervidda: Oslo – Gol – Geilo – Eidfjord – Voss – Bergen.
When driving over the plateau itself, most of your views are going to be like on the photo below, and there are plenty of places to stop for a short hike if you feel like exploring the unique nature.
Anyway, let’s get to some of the best attractions you can see along the main route on Rv7 between Oslo and Bergen!
Vøringsfossen is likely one of the most well-known waterfalls in Norway, and it makes for a majestic view! The drop is almost 200 meters long, and there are viewpoints where you can see the incredible nature up close without any risk of getting too close. You will drive just 50 meters away from the waterfall, so it’s a nice place to stop and stretch your legs after a few hours in the car.
There’s a small kiosk and a hotel close by if you want to get something to eat while enjoying the beautiful waterfall. There is a walkway where you can get a good view, but please don’t try to hike outside the walkway yourself – the stones can be slippery, and there are unfortunately some people who end up falling down.
That said, if you stay on the walkway, seeing the waterfall is completely safe, even with children, so don’t be afraid to stop by. There’s even a trail that takes you down to the foot of the waterfall.
Where to find Vøringsfossen: Just off the main road (Rv7), close to Eidfjord. You will not be able to miss it if you pay attention to signs.
2) Norsk Natursenter Hardanger
Norsk Natursenter Hardanger is a type of museum located on the west end of Hardangervidda. This is a top-modern museum where you can learn a lot about Norwegian geology, nature and climate, and you get to see many of the unique animals and features of Hardangervidda up close.
The Norsk Natursenter Hardanger is a great stop for anyone who are interested in learning something about the nature, or if you are travelling with curious children. The museum is aimed towards being interesting and fun for children as well, so it’s not one of those old, boring museums where children can’t touch or play with anything.
There’s also a restaurant on the premise of the Norsk Natursenter Hardanger, which can be a great place to have dinner or a meal after crossing the Hardanger plateau.
Where to find Norsk Natursenter Hardanger: Just off the main road on Rv7, close to Eidfjord. It’s at the bottom of the long drive down from the plateau. It’s also very close to Vøringfossen.
Bjørneparken can be translated to “bear park”, but it’s more than that – it’s a middle sized zoo with many large carnivores such as wolves, lynx and two amur leopards. And there are of course several brown bears in the park!
If you travel with children, stopping at Bjørneparken to let them see some of the amazing animals up close can be a great way to make the long trip more interesting. The cost to entry is pretty steep, but you can easily spend 3 – 4 hours there, and the children will absolutely love it.
Want to see zoo animals while visiting Norway? Make sure to check out out article about the best zoos in Norway!
Just like most zoos, there are play areas for the children in Bjørneparken, so they will have a lot of fun even if they don’t care too much about the animals themselves. The park is open during weekend during the spring and autumn, and every day during summer.
Where to find Bjørneparken: Bjørneparken is located in a small town call Flå, which is about 2 hours away from Oslo.
4) Hardangerbrua / Hardanger bridge
Hardangerbrua is a huge bridge that crosses the entire Hardanger fjord, and spans over 1.3 kilometres in total. It’s a sight to behold, and if you are travelling from Oslo to Bergen (or the other way around), you will get to cross this amazing bridge.
You should be aware that you will not be allowed to stop either on the bridge itself or in the tunnel leading up to it. So keep driving and enjoy the sight while keeping your eyes on the road. It’s possible to drive on some older roads alongside the bridge to get a better look at the bridge itself, which is fairly popular for tourists.
PS. if you are more than one driver, make sure to get the other person to drive when you are about to cross the bride, giving you the freedom to enjoy the spectacular sight as a passenger.
Where to find Hardangerbrua: The Hardanger bridge connects Eidfjord with the other side of the Hardanger fjord, and you will have to cross it when travelling between Oslo and Bergen.
5) Go for a hike on Geilo
Geilo is a small town located in the region called Hallingdal. This will either be the last town you see before going up to drive over the Hardangervidda plateau when travelling to Bergen, or the first town you see after descending when travelling towards Oslo.
You will find Geilo to be filled to the brim with cabin tourists that are spending the weekend there for skiing during the winter, but it’s pretty relaxed at summer. If you want to stretch your legs before beginning the long drive over Hardangervidda, then Geilo is a great place to do it – either on foot or by skis. There are plenty of hiking trails for both families, couples and people who want to go on longer hikes.
Also keep in mind that Geilo is a great place to stop for a meal either before or after crossing the plateau. There are many restaurants there, and you will have a much bigger selection of food to buy compared to when you come to smaller towns higher up in the mountains.
Where to find hiking trail in Geilo: Geilo’s tourist website has a lot of great hiking trails.
6) See Gol nye stavkirke
Gol nye stavkirke is a replica of the old stave church called Gol stavkirke. The original was moved to Oslo to be part of a museum, but Gol wanted to have it as well. This ended up with Gol nye stavkirke, a replica of the original Gol stave church.
If you want to see a stave church up close, stopping at Gol stave church on your way between Bergen and Oslo is a great choice. While it’s just a replica, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell if you didn’t know.
The replica stave church is part of a family park called Gordarike, a park dedicated to the middle ages. This is perfect if you are interested in vikings and viking culture, and there is a museum and some more middle age buildings in the park.
Interested in seeing stave churches? Check out our guide to stave churches close to Oslo.
PS. the church in the photo below is the original, not the replica you can see in Gol. But they should be exactly the same.
Where to find Gol nye stavkirke: Gol nye stavkirke is easily seen from the road when passing by Gol (which you will be driving by), so just stop and enjoy the sight, or follow the signs to Gordarike to enter the family park and get close to the stave church.
Gardnoskrateret is a meteorite crater that is easily accessible from Rv7, and just a short trip from the main road. The crater itself is huge, so you won’t actually be able to see the crater as a whole, but there are guided tours along it during the summer months.
If you are interested in geology, then this is a great place to stop. The tour takes around 20 minutes, so it’s a nice place to stop if you want to stretch your legs while learning about the solar system and geology, all while being surrounded by beautiful, Norwegian nature.
Where to find Gardnoskrateret: Gardnoskrateret is located between Nesbyen and Gol in Hallingdal, about two and a half hour away from Oslo.