DFDS Seaways ferry "Queen of Scandinavia"  Photo courtesy of DFDS.

R I P... The DFDS ferry to Norway was sadly withdrawn for good in September 2008, ending over 120 years of direct ferry links between the UK & Norway... Photo courtesy of DFDS


UK to Norway without flying...

The last ferry between the UK & Norway (DFDS from Newcastle to Bergen) was sadly withdrawn in September 2008, but there's no need to fly to Norway.  It's easy to travel from London to Norway by train, taking Eurostar and comfortable onward trains to Hamburg, staying there overnight, taking an onward train to Copenhagen next morning then the luxurious overnight cruise ferry to Oslo.  The Hamburg to Copenhagen trains go onto a train ferry for the 50-minute crossing between Puttgarden and Rødby, one of the few places in the world where trains go onto ships, a fascinating experience.  Or take a train to Kiel in Germany then the luxurious Color Line ferry to Oslo.

Train times, fares & tickets...

On this page you'll find a step-by-step guide to planning, booking & making a journey from the UK to Norway by train, with train times, approximate fares, and the best way to buy tickets.

  London to Oslo by train all the way

  London to Oslo via Copenhagen-Oslo cruise ferry

  London to Oslo via Color Line cruise ferry Kiel-Oslo

  London to Kristiansand & Stavanger via Hirtshals

  Trains in Norway:  Oslo to Bergen, Stavanger, etc.

  How to buy Norwegian train tickets

  Hurtigruten coastal ferry Bergen-Trondheim-Kirkenes

  Trains from Norway to other European cities

  Trains to Oslo from other European cities

  Useful country information - dial code, currency, etc

  Hotels & accommodation in Oslo, Bergen & Norway

  The Norway in a Nutshell tour by train, Oslo>Bergen>Flam>Oslo

  General European train travel information

  Luggage   Taking a bike   Taking a dog

Interactive map:  London to Norway & Scandinavia by train & ferry...

...click on a route for times, fares & how to buy tickets.

Train travel in Norway Copenhagen-Oslo train or ferry Key - Finland via ferry from Germany Key - via Harwich-Hoek Key - via Eurostar Via the Harwich-Hoek ferry Train travel in Sweden Train travel in Finland Travemunde to Helsinki by ferry Helsinki-St Petersburg by train Ferries to Tallinn Stockholm-Riga by ferry Stockholm-Helsinki by ferry London-Norway via Hirtshals London-Copenhagen by train

Useful country information

Train operator in Norway:

Vy (rebranded from NSB, Norges Statsbaner in 2019) www.vy.no.

Ferries to Norway:

www.dfds.co.uk (Copenhagen-Oslo). UK-Norway ferry withdrawn in 2008.

Norwegian coastal steamers:

Hurtigruten Line sails along the Norwegian coast to the far North.


Beginner's guide to European railpasses  Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:



£1 = approx 10 Krone.   Currency converter

Tourist information:

www.visitnorway.com     Recommended guidebooks

Hotels in Norway:

Find a hotel in Norway.  Hostels:  www.hostelworld.com

Page last updated:

7 May 2019. Train times valid 9 Dec 2018 to 14 Dec 2019.

London to Oslo by train

  A Copenhagen to Hamburg EuroCity train on board the train ferry between Rodby & Puttgarten.

Train on a ferry!  This is a Hamburg to Copenhagen EuroCity train on board the Puttgarden to Rødby ferry.  This is one of the few remaining routes in Europe where trains go onto ferries, the other major route being mainland Italy to Sicily.  The Rødby- Puttgarden crossing takes about 50 minutes, and you must leave the train and go up into the ferry whilst it is at sea.  See photos, tips & information for the Hamburg-Copenhagen journey Photo courtesy of Tom Simpson.

In this option you travel from London to Oslo by train all the way, with an overnight stop in Brussels & Copenhagen in the outward direction, and just one overnight stop at Hamburg in the inwards direction.  The Cologne to Copenhagen sleeper train was sadly discontinued in November 2014.

London ► Oslo

Oslo ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets online...

How to buy tickets by phone...

Have your train tickets, transfers & hotels professionally arranged...

What's the journey like?

(1)  London to Brussels by Eurostar.  More information.

e300 power car   Eurostar e300 1st class seats

A Eurostar e300 about to leave St Pancras...


Standard Premier/Business Premier seats. Larger photo.

(2)  Brussels to Cologne by ICE3.  More information.

High-speed ICE3 train at Frankfurt   ICE2 train, 2nd class

ICE3 from Brussels to Frankfurt, seen at Frankfurt...


ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class with leather seats.  Larger photo.


Lunch in an ICE3 bistro car...

(3)  Cologne to Hamburg by InterCity train.  More information

Amsterdam to Berlin InterCity train

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains like this one, a few are high-speed ICEs.  There's usually a bistro car serving food & drink.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...

1st class comparment on a Berlin to Amsterdam train   2nd class seats on a Berlin to Amsterdam train

1st class seats in traditional 6-seater compartments.  Some cars are open-plan.


2nd class seating is usually in open-plan saloons like this, although there are also cars with 2nd class 6-seat compartments.

(4)  Hamburg to Copenhagen by EuroCity train More information

Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are operated by Danish IC3 trains like this, shown in the timetable as EC for EuroCity See more photos, tips and information for the Hamburg to Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   Inside a Danish IC3 train...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...


Comfortable 2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

(5)  Copenhagen to Oslo by train...

Seats on an Oresund link train to Malmo & Gothenburg   An Oresund link train from Copenhagen to Gothenburg at Malmo

Copenhagen-Oslo by train:  Step 1, take an Öresund Train (Öresundtåg, above) from Copenhagen to Gothenburg, then a connecting Norwegian train to Oslo (pictured below).  The train crosses from Denmark to Sweden on the 1999-built Öresund Link tunnel & road/rail bridge...

The Norwegian train from Gothenburg to Oslo, arrived at Oslo Central   Komfort class (1st class) on the Norwegian Gothenburg to Oslo train

Arrival at Oslo...  Step 2, take a Norwegian train from Gothenburg to Oslo, seen here arrived at Oslo Sentral.  Photos courtesy of Ivor & Ines Morgan.


Vy Komfort class on the train to Oslo.

London to Oslo by train + ferry

In this option, you travel by train from London to Copenhagen, then use the luxurious DFDS overnight cruise ferry between Copenhagen & Oslo.  It's faster than the previous option using train all the way.

London ► Oslo

Oslo ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

How to buy tickets by phone...

What's the journey like?

London to Cologne by Eurostar & ICE Watch the video guide.

Cologne to Hamburg by InterCity train.

German InterCity train   InterCity 2nd class   InterCity 1st class (6-seat compartment type)

Most Cologne-Hamburg trains are InterCity trains, a few are high-speed ICEs.  Virtual tour of InterCity train...


InterCity 2nd class.  You'll also find a few compartment coaches on InterCity trains, and a bistro or restaurant car...


InterCity 1st class, often available in both open-plan saloons like this and in compartments.

Hamburg to Copenhagen by IC3 EuroCity train...

Hamburg-Copenhagen trains are operated by Danish IC3 trains like this, shown in the timetable as EC for EuroCity See more photos, tips & information for the Hamburg to Copenhagen journey.

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   Inside a Danish IC3 train...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...


Comfortable 2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

Copenhagen to Oslo by overnight DFDS cruise ferry.

The DFDS Copenhagen to Oslo ferry

The huge DFDS luxury overnight cruise ferry to Oslo, at its terminal in Copenhagen...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

The ferry is a floating hotel, with cabins, suites, restaurants, bars and entertainment.  The Pearl Seaways even features an outdoor jacuzzi but reportedly her sister ship Crown Seaways lacks this.  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Suite on the ferry   Suite on the ferry

Commodore Class suite with double bed on board the DFDS superferry to Oslo.  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Sunset at sea on the DFDS ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo

Sunset at sea on the voyage to Norway...  Courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Traveller's reports...

Traveller Ian Dow reports on a ride on a Hamburg-Copenhagen EuroCity train, which goes onto a special train ferry to cross to Denmark:  "The ferry portion is from Puttgarden to Rødby. The ferry has already been loaded with cars and lorries, and the train is loaded last.  On our journey, the train stops at Puttgarden station and then moves on to the ferry terminal, it then slows but runs straight to the ferry, moving on board at fairly slow speed. It then stopped about half a metre from the front (in the front First class the Guard had held the door to the driver’s can open and we could see through). The train then edged slowly forward.  At the front of the ferry on the bulkhead doors is an auto-coupler and the train couples on to this to ensure it does not move during the journey. The train engines then stop, the doors open and you can get off, as there is a sort of platform step on the ferry. Once the train is docked, the ferry doors closed and we departed immediately.  The trip on the ferry is just 45 minutes, and you get off to use the ferry facilities, you can also inspect the train arrangements. The EuroCity train is designed to fit and when I was on it, there was less than a half metre at the back of the train between it and the ferry doors. The track runs through the centre of the ferry, with cars and lorries on either side. You had better make sure that you are back on board the train in time at the end of the ferry trip, as it does not hang about!  The ferry takes a little longer than a normal car ferry to line up at the destination, but once it has, the doors open, the track is locked in place, and the train engines start, and we are off, pretty fast.  We made a brief stop at the Rødby station, then continued to Copenhagen."

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London to Oslo via Kiel-Oslo ferry

OK, so this takes a bit longer, but with comfortable daytime trains, a night in a hotel in Kiel or Hamburg then a mini-cruise on a luxurious Colour line cruise ferry.  Well worth considering!

London ► Oslo

Oslo ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets...

What's the journey like?

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their 5 star suites, check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship & free access to the on-board spa.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...


More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

Mall on board the ferry to Norway

Shopping street in Oslo?  No, just the main mall on board the Color Line ship...

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to lovely scenery sailing up Oslo Fjord....


The Color Fantasy, arrived at Oslo Color Line terminal...


Transfer bus to Oslo Sentral...

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London to Norway via Hirtshals

You can of course travel by train to Oslo, then take a train from Oslo to Bergen (a very scenic route), or from Oslo to Kristiansand & Stavanger.  Click here for advice on booking onward trains within Norway.

But as you can see on the route map above, the most direct route is to head up to Hirtshals in northern Denmark and take a Color Line or Fjord Line ferry direct to Kristiansand, Stavanger or Bergen, by-passing Copenhagen, Sweden & Oslo.

London ► Kristiansand, Stavanger & Bergen

Bergen, Stavanger & Kristiansand ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets...

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Trains in Norway...

Train connections from Oslo to Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim & other Norwegian cities...

  How to buy Norwegian train tickets from Oslo to Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger...

How to buy Norwegian train tickets at www.vy.no...

The scenic Flåm Railway...

A scenic tourist line worth mentioning is the famous Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) from Myrdal (on the Oslo-Bergen line) 900m above sea level to Flåm on the Fjord below.  Train run daily all year round, 4 departures a day in winter, 10 or so in summer.  It can be done as a day trip from Oslo, as the Myrdal-Flåm journey itself only takes 40-50 minutes each way.  See www.visitflam.com/en/flamsbana, then see www.vy.no for connections from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal.

Sleeper trains from Oslo to Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim...

You can't beat a daytime journey on the scenic Oslo to Bergen line, but on the way back you can save time by travelling on the sleeper.  Unlike most other European sleeper trains where you can book individual berths in shared compartments, in Norway you pay a fixed supplement and get a whole 2-berth compartment to yourself, whether there are two of you or only one.  When you board, you must first check in at the cafe car to have your ticket checked and receive the plastic card-key to your sleeper compartment.

Oslo to Bergen sleeper train

The sleeper train from Oslo to Bergen...  Photos courtesy of Tom Gigon

Cafe car on the train to Bergen   Sleeping-car corridor   2-bed sleeper on the Oslo to Bergen sleeper train

Cafe car...


Sleeper corridor...


2-berth sleeper...

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Hurtigruten coastal ferries

From Bergen to the Arctic Circle:  www.hurtigruten.com...

Bergen - Trondheim - Bodo - Tromso - Kirkenes

Every day, an express coastal steamer service called Hurtigruten (www.hurtigruten.com, the word hurtigruten simply means express route) sails from Bergen on an all-points trip north to Kirkenes in the Arctic Circle close to the Russian border, a 6-night one-way voyage or a 11 or 12-night round trip.  It's an essential transport service for the communities along the route which also offers cruises for visitors wanting an unrivalled boat ride along the beautiful Norwegian Fjords up to the land of the Midnight Sun.  For details and online booking, see www.hurtigruten.com.  For more information on the service and its history, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurtigruten.

A Hurtigruten ferry   Cabin on a Hurtigruten ferry

The M.S. Richard With...


Standard outside cabin...

Seating area in a Hurtigruten deluxe cabin   A Hurtigruten ferry

Seating area of a suite...


The M.S. Nordnorge

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Norway in a Nutshell tour

Oslo - Bergen - Flam - Oslo over 5 days...

The popular 'Norway in a Nutshell' circular tour takes you from Oslo to Bergen to Flam and back to Oslo over 5 days.  Train-based tour specialist Railbookers can sort this for you with train reservations & hotels.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk.

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, www.railbookers.com.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, www.railbookers.com.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, www.railbookers.com.au.

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.

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European Rail Timetable & map

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online with worldwide shipping at either www.stanfords.co.uk or www.europeanrailtimetable.euMore information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

A Traveller's Railway Map of Europe covers the whole of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  On the back are detailed maps of Switzerland, Benelux & Germany, plus city plans showing stations in major cities.  Scenic & high-speed routes highlighted.  Buy it online for £14.50 + postage worldwide (UK addresses £2.80) at www.stanfords.co.uk/Continents/Europe-A-Travellers-Railway-Map_9789077899090.htm or (in the Netherlands) for €13 + €5.50 postage from www.treinreiswinkel.nl.

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Make sure you take a good guidebook.  For independent travel, I think this means either the Lonely Planet or the Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks provide the same excellent level of practical information and cultural and historical background.  You won't regret buying one!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Lonely Planet Norway - buy online at Amazon.co.uk   Click to buy - Lonely Planet Scandinavia   Rough Guide to Scandinavia - buy online at Amazon

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Hotels in Oslo, Bergen & Norway


Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It's been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I recommend it to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel for less.

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

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Travel insurance & health card



Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel without proper travel insurance from a reliable insurer with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover loss of cash & belongings (up to a limit), and trip cancellation.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year - I have an annual policy myself.  However, don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, Seat61 gets a little commission if you buy through these links, and feedback from using insurance for rail & ferry travel is always welcome.

In the UK, use www.confused.com to compare prices & policy features across major insurance companies.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get an EU health card, it's free...

If you're a UK citizen travelling in Europe, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card, which entitles you to free or reduced rate health care if you become ill or get injured in many European countries, under a reciprocal arrangement with the NHS.  This replaced the old E111 forms as from January 2006.  The EHIC card is available from ww.nhs.uk.  It doesn't remove the need for travel insurance, though.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for travel with no currency exchange loading & low/no ATM fees

Taking out an extra credit card costs nothing, but if you keep it in a different part of your luggage you won't be left stranded if your wallet gets stolen.  In addition, some credit cards are better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use them myself.


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