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Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana): Norway’s Most Scenic Train Journey

    The Flåm Railway or Flåmsbana is one of the main attractions in Southern Norway and is one of the most beautiful train journeys in Europe, even though it is just 20km long. This railway crosses a scenic landscape from Myrdal, on the high plateaus crossed by the Bergensbanen (the train from Oslo to Bergen), to the picturesque village of Flåm on the Sognefjord.

    The Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) passes through lovely valleys, rugged mountains, and scenic tunnels and bridges, offering unparalleled views of waterfalls, tiny villages, and the stunning Flåm Fjord. Even though Flåmsbana is now purely a tourist attraction, it’s definitely worth a visit to explore the stunning surroundings, filled with hiking trails and opportunities for kayaking, cycling and leisurely fjord cruises.

    What you will find in this guide to the Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana):

    Discovering Flåmsbana: Things You Should Know Before You Go

    The Flåm Railway or Flåmsbana is considered to be one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, as well as being one of Norway’s top attractions. According to National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Flåmsbana is one of the best train journeys in Europe – a huge list of accolades for a railway line that’s only just 20 kilometers long.

    What makes it so special is, first and foremost, its location: it is not just the railway, a splendid journey through the scenic mountain landscapes of Southern Norway, but everything around it, starting with the beautiful Sognefjord, where the town of Flåm is located, up to the fairytale station of Myrdal, which connects the Flåmsbana with another scenic railway, the one from Oslo to Bergen.

    The Flåm Railway is a picturesque mountain railway, connecting the tiny village of Myrdal in the dramatic highlands of Southern Norway at nearly 1000 meters above sea level with the sea-level town of Flåm on the stunning Sognefjord, the second largest fjord in the world and one of the most beautiful in Norway, and the nearby Nærøyfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    The scenic route winds its way through a scenic valley squeezed between towering mountains and mind-blowing landscapes. The trains travel at an average speed of 20 km/h and cover the entire route in about 45 minutes, overcoming gradients of nearly 6%. The old-fashioned green trains of Flåmsbana make a few stops along the way, especially at the route’s main attractions: waterfalls and viewpoints. In fact, the railway has a purely tourist purpose.

    The history of the Flåm Railway is closely linked to that of the Bergensbanen, the railway between Oslo and Bergen. The ambitious project included some short branch lines that connected the main line to the major fjords of Southern Norway. In 1909, a connection from Bergen and Oslo to the Sognefjord and the Flåm valley began to be planned.

    It was decided to build the Flåm Railway as a branch of the main line, connecting Myrdal station with the village of Flåm, with the aim of facilitating the transport of people, mail and goods from Oslo and Bergen to the Sognefjord. Work began in 1923 and proved to be a significant engineering challenge due to the difficult weather conditions and harsh mountainous terrain.

    It took 20 years to complete the Flåm Railway. The work had required 20 tunnels dug into the hard rock and only two of these could be excavated with the aid of machines. The remaining 18 tunnels were dug by hand: workers drilled holes up to 4.5 meters through the rock, filled them with dynamite and blasted, and so on until the end.

    Inaugurated in 1940, the Flåmsbana was initially steam powered, but already in 1944 the line was electrified. Popularity came in the 1970s when the Oslo to Flåm railway became one of the most popular InterRail routes in Norway. Until the early 1990s a ferry service from Flåm continued to the village of Gudvangen, and from here it was possible to reach other cities on the coast, including Bergen. After the construction of the 11.4-km-long Gudvanga Tunnel in 1991 the ferry service was discontinued, and fjord cruises are now exclusively a tourist’s delight.

    The Flåmsbana was in danger of being closed due to the low number of passengers, but the Norwegian railway company (NSB) made a visionary decision to transform it into a tourist railway. Today Flåmsbana is one of Norway’s top attractions and, although its tickets are a bit expensive, it has become the third-most visited tourist attraction in Norway.

    Traveling on the Flåm Railway: What to Expect

    The Flåm Railway is a tourist train, but the Norwegian Railways have done their best to keep its charm intact. The Flåmsbana is operated by the famous old-fashioned green trains. The carriages have wooden interiors, with comfortable seats upholstered in red leather, just like in the mid-1900s.

    The romantic journey passes through one of Southern Norway’s most picturesque valleys, skirting rivers and waterfalls, climbing the mountains to the village of Myrdal. You will pass through coniferous forests and tiny villages, in summer and spring the colors of the vegetation and the warm sun will offer sensational views. Traveling in winter you will have the magic of a snowy landscape, while in autumn it will be a riot of colors ranging from dark green, to orange, red and brown, the best season for photography enthusiasts.

    The Flåmsbana stops at 10 stations and the journey takes just under an hour. The route is exactly the same in both directions. For those going from Oslo to Flåm, get off at Myrdal and from there take the green train of Flåmsbana.

    From Myrdal the train begins its descent towards the fjord, passing through forests and some mountain villages until it skirts the Reinungvatnet Lake. From here you enter the first tunnel and at the exit you can see the beautiful Kjosfossen waterfall, where the train makes a short photo stop.

    You will continue descending along the canyon to Berekvam, the station where the trains that go up wait for the connection with the trains that go down, as the railway is single track. From here the railway runs along the mountainside to Flåm, offering beautiful views of the 29-kilometer long Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch off of the main Sognefjord.

    Traveling on the Flåm Railway: Things to Do & See


    Flåm is a pretty town overlooking the Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch of the larger and more famous Sognefjord. Appreciated for its peaceful and pleasant atmosphere and beautiful landscapes, Flåm has over the years become a popular tourist destination in Norway. The town itself does not offer much to see, but it is a good starting point for exploring the surroundings. A few kilometers away you will be able to see one of the most beautiful branches of the Sognefjord, the Nærøyfjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    From Flåm you can easily reach the Stegastein viewpoint, from which you have a crazy view of the fjord and the mountains. To the east of the town stretch the dramatic Aurland plateaus, which can be explored by car in the summer: here you can see dozens of beautiful mountain lakes, such as the Aurlandsfjellet.

    Obviously the most famous attraction in Flåm is the Flåmsbana, to which a museum is also dedicated, but one of the must is undoubtedly also a nice cruise on the fjord: tours from Bergen to Flåm usually include the fjord cruise and the Flåmsbana ride.

    Although many tourists visit Flåm in the day, arriving by train, car or cruise ship, the best way to enjoy the trip is to stay at least one night in Flåm. This way you can better explore the surroundings: there are hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, cycle paths and opportunities for kayaking or canoeing on the fjord.

    There are a handful of good hotels in Flåm, such as the Flåmsbrygga Hotel, Fretheim Hotel and Flåm Marina, located a stone’s throw from Flåmsbana Station and the fjord. Those traveling on a budget will appreciate the budget accommodation at Flåm Camping & Cabins or the Flåm Ferdaminne apartments. However, especially if you travel in the months between May and September, it is advisable to book a few months in advance.

    If you are traveling with your own car then you might also want to check out the accommodation in the quaint villages nearby, such as Gudvangen Fjordtell, which also has an excellent restaurant serving delicious local seafood specialties, and Visit Undredal, located in the nearby picturesque village of Undredal.

    If you want to go to Flåm by car you could rent one in Bergen. Otherwise just north of the Sognefjord, on the opposite bank from Flåm, is the village of Sogndal, where there are also some car rentals. You can check availability and book your car on Rentalcars or Discovercars.

    Flåmsbana Museum

    The Flåmsbana Museum is located right next to the train station and is a small museum dedicated entirely to the Flåm Railway. Here you can discover its history and details of its construction, told with photos and illustrative panels (also in English). In the museum you will be able to see old machinery, wagons and carriages, including one of the legendary original El 9 locomotives, and tools used by railway workers.

    The museum is open every day from 13.00 to 15.00. Admission is free. Inside the museum there is also a small shop that sells railway-themed souvenirs: kids (and adults too) will be delighted!


    The Sognefjord is the second largest fjord in the world, over 200 km long and 1300 meters deep. It is surrounded by high mountains overlooking the calm waters of the fjord, and is divided into several branches, such as the famous Nærøyfjord, which is known as the narrowest fjord in the world. In fact, its name really means “narrow fjord”, and it is one of the most scenic in Norway, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005 and rated by the National Geographic Society as the world’s number one natural heritage site along with the Geirangerfjord.

    Other famous branches are the Aurlandsfjord, where the town of Flåm is located, and the Lustrafjord, which goes further inland to the northeast. On the Lustrafjord is the Urnes Stave Church (Urnes Stavkyrkje), the oldest wooden church in Norway. To get there you can take a ferry from the village of Solvorn, reachable by the F55 road from Sogndal (about 3 hours drive from Flåm).

    You can explore the fjord on a fjord cruise or, for outdoor enthusiasts, you can rent a kayak in Flåm or nearby villages. From the fjord you can see dozens of tiny villages and traditional old houses, waterfalls and breathtaking landscapes.


    Around Myrdal passes one of the most famous hiking routes in Norway, the Rallarvegen, also known as Rallar Road or The Navvy Road. This road was built as a construction road for the Bergensbanen, the Oslo-Bergen railway. Railway workers used it to transport construction materials and workers, and in some places it also runs alongside the Flåmsbana. Traverse beautiful landscapes, lakes and rivers, traversing some of the most remote and pristine areas of the highlands.

    Today it is purely a hiking and cycling route, and goes from Haugastøl to Finse, for a total length of about 83 km. From here you can continue to Flåm, which takes an additional 50km. The route to Flåm starts from Finse (easily reachable by the Bergen-Oslo train) and goes towards Hallingskeid: it is 21 km, most of it uphill, and you reach an altitude of 1343 meters, the highest point of the route. From here you can see the Hardangerjøkul glacier. The route continues for another 15km to Vatnahalsen, near Myrdal, and is mostly flat. You will pass by the Kleivagjelet Canyon and the scenic Kleivabrua Bridge.

    From here you can continue to Voss, or go to Flåm. The trail to Flåm is 17km long and runs through the scenic valleys of Flåmsbana. You will be able to see the famous Myrdalsberget waterfall and visit some tiny mountain villages and farms. Near Kårdal you can visit the Rallarrosa Cheese Farm (Rallarrosa Stølsysteri – GPS: 60.75099, 7.10894), a beautiful summer mountain’s goat farm located not far from the arrival of the Flåm Zipline (which starts near Myrdal). It is a fabulous place, surrounded by nature, which sells excellent local dairy products: try the tasty Norwegian pancake “Svele”, with goat cheese. The hiking route is well signposted, but is only accessible in summer.

    The Rallarvegen is not to be confused with the Rallarveien of the Ofotbanen, located near Narvik, which was once the construction road of the Arctic Circle Train, and which today, similar to the Rallarvegen of the Bergensbanen, is a famous hiking route.

    Flåmsbana Timetables

    Flåmsbana is active all year round. In summer, the peak season, there are more trains in both directions.

    From Flåm to Myrdal

    From November to March there are four trains a day from Flåm to Myrdal:

    Flåm 09.00 – Myrdal 09.45
    Flåm 11.45 – Myrdal 12.30
    Flåm 14.35 – Myrdal 15.16
    Flåm 16.55 – Myrdal 17.36

    In April and October there are six trains a day from Flåm to Myrdal:

    Flåm 09.00 – Myrdal 09.45
    Flåm 10.15 – Myrdal 11.10
    Flåm 11.35 – Myrdal 12.31
    Flåm 12.50 – Myrdal 13.46
    Flåm 14.10 – Myrdal 15.09
    Flåm 16.55 – Myrdal 17.36

    From May to September there are ten trains a day from Flåm to Myrdal:

    Flåm 08.00 – Myrdal 08.42
    Flåm 09.00 – Myrdal 09.55
    Flåm 10.15 – Myrdal 11.10
    Flåm 11.35 – Myrdal 12.31
    Flåm 12.50 – Myrdal 13.46
    Flåm 14.10 – Myrdal 15.09
    Flåm 15.25 – Myrdal 16.22
    Flåm 16.40 – Myrdal 17.35
    Flåm 17.55 – Myrdal 18.52
    Flåm 19.25 – Myrdal 20.20

    From Myrdal to Flåm

    From November to March there are four trains a day from Myrdal to Flåm:

    Myrdal 10.15 – Flåm 11.05
    Myrdal 13.22 – Flåm 14.10
    Myrdal 15.41 – Flåm 16.29
    Myrdal 19.18 – Flåm 20.05

    In April and October there are six trains a day from Myrdal to Flåm:

    Myrdal 10.07 – Flåm 11.05
    Myrdal 11.28 – Flåm 12.26
    Myrdal 12.43 – Flåm 13.41
    Myrdal 13.58 – Flåm 15.01
    Myrdal 15.41 – Flåm 16.29
    Myrdal 19.18 – Flåm 20.05

    From May to September there are ten trains a day from Myrdal to Flåm:

    Myrdal 08.54 – Flåm 09.50
    Myrdal 10.07 – Flåm 11.05
    Myrdal 11.28 – Flåm 12.26
    Myrdal 12.43 – Flåm 13.41
    Myrdal 13.58 – Flåm 15.01
    Myrdal 15.21 – Flåm 16.18
    Myrdal 16.34 – Flåm 17.31
    Myrdal 17.49 – Flåm 18.47
    Myrdal 19.20 – Flåm 20.17
    Myrdal 20-32 – Flåm 21.22

    Timetables may be subject to change, so it is best to check them at the station.

    Flåmsbana Tickets

    The Flåm Railway requires a special ticket, which can be purchased online or at Flåm and Myrdal stations. The price of tickets varies according to the season. Interrail pass holders get a 30% discount on the regular one-way ticket.

    Flåmsbana Ticket Prices from January to April:

    • Normal: one way 370 NOK – return 500 NOK
    • Reduced: one way 185 NOK – return 250 NOK

    Flåmsbana Ticket Prices from May to September:

    • Normal: one way 430 NOK – return 630 NOK
    • Reduced: one way 215 NOK – return 314 NOK

    Flåmsbana Ticket Prices from October to December:

    • Normal: one way 370 NOK – return 500 NOK
    • Reduced: one way 185 NOK – return 250 NOK

    Prices are indicative and may be subject to seasonal changes or increases.