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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.