Fjords Near Oslo: How To Get From Oslo To The Norwegian Fjords

Norway is well-known for its idyllic fjords that are surrounded by majestic mountains, making quite a dramatic and beautiful landscape. While some people assume that these fjords are all over Norway, the reality is that most of these are found in the western part of Norway. Seeing one of these fjords for yourself when visiting cities like Oslo or Trondheim will require a pretty long trip.

We will be looking closer at the fjords nearest Oslo in the article, and taking a closer look at how you can get to the fjords and how long it takes to get there.

Technically the Oslo fjord is the fjord nearest Oslo, but this is not what most of us think of as a “real” Norwegian fjord. The closest scenic Norwegian fjord to Oslo is Sognefjorden, a four and a half hour drive from Oslo, or Hardangerfjorden, a five hour drive from Oslo.

Stegastein view point
Stegastein view point provides a great view down to Sognefjorden. Photo published with permission.

Both Hardangerfjorden and Sognefjorden are considered to be one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway, and both of these are great options if you want to see these beautiful fjords with your own eyes.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can get to Hardangerfjorden and Sognefjorden, and which towns you should stop at.

How to get to Hardangerfjorden from Oslo

There are several different spots where you get a nice view of Hardangerfjorden that are close to Oslo, and we’ll be looking at two of the best options below.

See Hardangerfjorden at Eidfjord

The shortest trip to Hardangerfjorden would be to travel to Eidfjord. This is where the very end of Hardangerfjorden, so it will be the first time you see the fjord when travelling across the mountain plateau that separates the western and eastern part of Norway.

The total travel time from Oslo to Eidfjord is around 5 hours. You will come across plenty of unique natural sights and attractions along the way, so you will probably want to plan for some stops while crossing the Hardangervidda plateau.

Eidfjord itself is a cozy little town, and you can stay there for a night if you want to go hiking in the surrounding area the next morning.

How to get to Eidfjord by car: To get to Eidfjord, drive Rv7 towards Geilo, then cross Hardangervidda. It will be signs that point towards Bergen and Eidfjord along the way. You pretty much stay on Rv7 the entire trip, so it’s very easy to get there. That said, this is a very scenic route that will take you trough Hallingdal and across Hardangervidda, with a lot of beautiful nature along the way.

How to get to Eidfjord by bus: Eidfjord does not have a direct bus line, so this is not the best place to travel to if you don’t have a rental car. There are other options for seeing the fjords that are much easier to get to from Oslo by bus.

Hardangerbrua / Hardanger bridge. Photo published with permission.

Enjoy Hardangerfjorden at Odda

Another option for seeing Hardangerfjorden is to travel to Odda. The total travel time from Oslo to Odda is around 5 hours and 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on how fast you drive. The great thing about this small town is that it’s much easier to get here by public transport than to get to Eidfjord, so it’s a great option if you want to ride the bus.

Odda is a great place to go to if you want to see some of the most beautiful places in Norway. It’s the starting point for the Trolltunga hike, and it’s very close to Buarbreen, a glacier arm that is part of Folgefonna. It’s much more popular than Eidfjord, but it’s far from the most beautiful town in Norway.

How to get to Odda by car: Drive on E18 until you get to Drammen, then follow E134 until get to Skare. From there follow road 13 until you get to Odda.

How to get to Odda by bus: Odda is also a stop for buses who travels between Bergen and Oslo, so just jump on one of these buses and depart at Odda to get to the fjords by public transport. One of the companies that sell bus rides between Oslo and Bergen that stops at Odda is Nor-Way buses.

Hardangerfjorden. Photo published with permission.

How to get from Oslo to Sognefjorden

Sognefjorden is another of the major fjords in Norway, and the town closest to Oslo where you can see Sognefjorden is Lærdal. This is a pretty small town that is popular among tourists, and it’s a nice place to stop by to look at the fjords.

I advise anyone who travel to Lærdal by car to also visit Stegastein view point, as seen in the photo at the top of this article. This is only 30 minutes away from Lærdal, and provides one of the best views over Sognefjorden.

How to get to Lærdal by car: To get to Lærdal, follow Rv7 from Oslo until you get to Gol. Now follow the signs towards Lærdal on the road 52. At a certain point you will come to E16, and follow this towards Lærdal. The trip takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes in total.

How to get to Lærdal by bus: There are lots of buses who travel to Lærdal, and both Vy and Nor-Way buses have daily departures from Oslo.

Sognefjorden. Photo published with permission.

From Lærdal, the drive to Sogndal is pretty short (about an hour), and extremely scenic. Sogndal will not only have several inns and a hotel where you can stay, but it’s generally a bigger city with lots of shopping options and places to get a good meal.

Get from Oslo to the fjords by plane

If you want to ride an airplane from Oslo to get to see the fjords, the easiest option is to catch a plane to Sogndal. This is is the very center of the fjord region, and is a great place to go to if you want to experience the Sognefjord.

The plane ride itself is just under one hour, but you might not really save all that much time when you factor in that you have to get from Oslo to Gardermoen, then wait a while on the airport.

That said, if you don’t want to rent a car, but still want to experience the fjords, then flying to Sogndal is a great way to do so.

The other option for flying a plane to see the fjords is to take the plane from Oslo to Bergen, then catch a bus from Bergen to the fjords (which are fairly close by since the fjords start in the area around Bergen). Just travel to Gardermoen, book a ticket to Flesland airport in Bergen, then ride Bybanen from Flesland to Bergen city center, and ride a bus from there.

You have hundreds of different options when it comes to travel to the fjords from Bergen, so feel free to pick any you like. Just find a nice town on Google Maps, then use a bus or train to get to it.

Get from Oslo to the fjords by train

It’s actually very easy to see the fjords from the train, and you will need to book a train ticket to ride Bergensbanen. The first stop where you get to see the fjords are Vossvangen (usually just called Voss in everyday language). From there on towards Bergen, you get to ride along the fjords and have a great view of fjords all the way until you get to Bergen.

The train ride from Oslo to Vossvangen takes around 5 hours and 30 minutes in total, but it’s filled to the brim with pristine Norwegian nature along the way.

7 thoughts on “Fjords Near Oslo: How To Get From Oslo To The Norwegian Fjords”

  1. What hotel to you recommend to stay at near Sognefjord? We will be driving from Oslo in August for 3 nights. Do you recommend a boat trip, if so which one?

    • Hi, Donna.

      It’s a bit difficult to recommend specific hotels since Sognefjorden is huge. I would probably recommend to spend the first night at a hotel in either Lærdal or Kaupanger (f you’re going north) or Flåm (if you want to drive on the south side of the fjord), then drive further towards the west the next morning. Most hotels along the fjord tend to be pretty crowded with tourists in early August, but more spacious later in the month.

      I have spent a few nights in hotels in this region, but none of the hotels have really stood out to me. Most are just fine, but nothing spectacular. At the same time, I haven’t really had a bad experience with hotels in this region, so I don’t have any recommendations for hotels to stay away from either. I would just browse a bit to find one that suits your needs.

      Best regards

  2. Hi Nicklas! Great article we are so excited to see your country in June 2024!
    We want to use the public buses and do a half day fjording it (lol) then have late afternoon/evening in Oslo.
    We only have a day! Is this possible?

    • Hi, Jason.

      This is not really possible when using public buses. The buses from Oslo to either Lærdal or Odda leaves rather late in the day, making it very difficult to get back to Oslo again the same day. Keep in mind that the drive is 6 – 7 hours each way! That’s 14 hours of bus travel in a day..

      Your only real option is to experience the Oslo fjord. It’s nowhere as magnificent as the fjords of western Norway though. Or rent a car and prepare for the long drive. You can probably manage it if you drive from Oslo at around 5 or 6 AM.

      Best regards

      • Awesome advice! We just booked and we will be in Norway two days before our cruise ship leaves. However we don’t have the flight schedule yet. Flying into Oslo so now we are thinking about using the train. Probably to the closest town that you suggest. Thank you so much, we can’t wait to see your country 🇳🇴🇳🇴🇳🇴🇳🇴


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