Home DestinationsEurope Complete Guide to the Flam Railway, Norway

Complete Guide to the Flam Railway, Norway

by Sam
Scenery on the Flam to Myrdal train ride in Norway

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The Flam Railway, known in Norwegian as the Flamsbana, takes you on a picturesque train journey in South Norway, from the fjord-side village of Flam to Myrdal, or vice versa. Covering around 20 kilometres, the journey provides stunning views of magnificent mountains, rushing waterfalls, beautiful valleys and more! Named as the most beautiful train journey in the world, the breathtaking scenery makes the Flam railway simply unmissable if you’re in this part of Norway. For us, the scenic journey was unquestionably one of the highlights of our entire trip – so it definitely lives up to the hype! Find out everything you need to know before you visit with this guide to the Flam Railway, covering how to book your tickets, get the best seats, which side to sit for the best views and more!

Wondering where else to visit near Flam? Check out this One Week Norway Fjords itinerary for ideas!

Flam Railway Information

Flam Railway length – 20.2 kilometres/12.6 miles.

Flam Railway journey time – A one-way journey on the Flamsbana lasts approximately 1 hour, but this does vary depending on the season and departure time. All journeys include a 5-10 minute stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall.

Flam Railway highest elevation – 866 metres above sea level at Myrdal station. 

Cost to build – Approximately 20 million NOK. 

Construction time – 20 years.

The Flam Railway, Norway

Flam Railway Pricing

Tickets for a round trip on the Flam Railway cost 630 NOK between 1st May and 30th September, which is considered peak season in Flam. Alternatively, tickets cost just 480 NOK if you take the first or last departure of the day.

The first departure is at 7.30am and is scheduled to arrive back in Flam at 9.20am, and the last departure leaves at 6.40pm and is scheduled to arrive back at 8.55pm. These trains are cheaper as they are generally less busy, but they follow exactly the same route and still also stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall.

Outside of peak season tickets for the Flam Railway cost 490 NOK, but as of October 2020 the price will increase to 500 NOK. 

Click here to book your tickets for the train online!

View of a waterfall on the Flam Railway

Hiking and Biking in the Flam Valley

If you want to take the chance to hike or bike in the Flam Valley then you can take a one-way train from Flam to Myrdal and then hike or bike on the way back. 

A one-way train journey on the Flam Railway costs 330 NOK, but if you’re taking a bike you will also have to pay an additional 130 NOK for bike storage. As of October 2020 the one-way ticket fare will be 370 NOK. 

Click here to book a one-way train ticket so you can go hiking or biking in the Flam Valley!

It’s also possible to hike or bike up to Myrdal from Flam and then take the train back, but we’d recommend doing it the opposite way so that you don’t have to hike or bike uphill! On top of that, if you end up being slower than you thought you might end up missing your train and have to pay again for a later one.

Bike rental can be arranged in Flam or Myrdal, with prices starting at around 370-400 NOK for the day. We recommend arranging your bike rental through Cafe Rallaren in Myrdal as it saves you having to pay to take the bike up on the train. 

Click here to arrange bike hire on Cafe Rallaren’s website!

Mountain scenery on the Flam Railway

Flam Railway Timetable

The timetable for the Flam Railway varies depending on the season, with as many as 10 round trip departures each day between May and September. Between November and March there are only 4 round trips a day, and during April and October there are 6 round trips a day.

Departure times for the Flam Railway vary depending on the season and the number of services a day. For the most up-to-date information we recommend clicking here to see the timetable on Visit Flam’s website!

What do you see on the Flam Railway?

The Flam Railway route is blessed with spectacular scenery over the course of its 20 kilometres. From the moment you depart Flam you can see dense forest, numerous waterfalls and towering mountains.

You are also able to see the beautiful Flamselvi river Рa glacial river which empties into Aurlandsfjord once it reaches Flam. The river, which is known locally as Mold̴ni, is visible at various points throughout the journey.

As you begin to ascend you’ll be treated to brilliant views of the Flam valley so make sure to have your camera at the ready. There are many waterfalls in the valley and so many of them are unnamed, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful to look at!

Lake Reinungavatnet as seen from the Flam Railway, Norway

One of the highlights of a trip on the Flam Railway is the chance to visit the Kjosfossen waterfall, which is only accessible by train. The train will stop for around 5-10 minutes at Kjosfossen station, which has a viewing platform directly next to the waterfall.

At this point you’re able to get off the train and get up close to the waterfall so that you can get the best views, as well as some lovely photos! Kjosfossen waterfall is extremely powerful and impressive, with a total fall of 225 metres.

During the busier months there is normally a short performance by a Kjosfossen waterfall dancer dressed as a Huldra – a seductive forest creature from Scandanavian folklore. Shortly after you arrive music will begin to play and the dancer will appear in front of the waterfall.

We personally thought this distracted from the beauty of the waterfall and would have preferred to enjoy the nature without the dancer, but each to their own.

After stopping at the waterfall it isn’t long until you reach Myrdal station, but before you do you will pass the lovely Lake Reinungavatnet. Once you have reached the station you can simply stay on the train if you have a return ticket as it doesn’t wait too long at the station before departing back to Flam.

If you are doing a round trip then you may want to sit on the other side on the way back down so that you can see the views from both sides. Find out which side we recommend to sit by reading the section below!

Over the course of the Flam to Myrdal train journey you will pass over one bridge and through 20 tunnels. Some of the tunnels have gaps so that you can still partially enjoy the views along the way.

Kjosfossen waterfall - only accessible by the Flam to Myrdal train

Which side to sit for the best views on the Flam Railway?

If you want to get the best views on the Flam Railway then you should sit on the right hand side when departing from Flam. Alternatively, if you’re taking the train from Myrdal to Flam then you will want to sit on the left hand side.

Whichever side you do sit you will get nice views, but if you follow the advice above then you get better views for the majority of the ride. If you’re doing the round trip you may want to switch sides once you reach Myrdal, but we personally opted not to as we could tell the views were better from our side!

If you have a camera and want to get high quality photos then there are a few seats with windows that can open. Try to get one of these seats as otherwise it’s hard to get good pictures as the windows often provide unwanted glare and reflections in photos.

The seats with opening windows tend to be at the front and back of each carriage, although a few seemed to be broken during our trip so check before you sit down! 

Views of Flam Valley on the Myrdal to Flam train

Other tips for riding the Flam Railway

Arrive early for your train – As the main thing to do in the area, the trains can get very busy. During the peak season the Flam Railway will have lots of cruise ship passengers and other tourists on board.

To get the best seats arrive around 20-30 minutes before departure. That way you can make sure you sit on the side with the best views and get a seat with a window that opens if you wish!

Get off the train at Kjosfossen waterfall – Whether you’re getting the train from Flam to Myrdal or vice versa, you’ll make a 5-10 minute stop at the Kjosfossen waterfall. The train stewards make sure everyone is back on board before departing, so you have time to get off and enjoy this beautiful spot.

If you’re doing the round trip this means you’ll get to stop at the waterfall twice. We found that less people got off at the waterfall on the return train trip from Myrdal to Flam, so it’s worth getting off a second time if you want to see the waterfall without so many people around!

Book in advance – Book your tickets for the Flam Railway as soon as you know the dates of your trip! During peak season the trains can get very busy with passengers from cruise ships and other tourists, so it’s worth booking in advance to make sure you don’t miss out!

Visit all year round – The Flam railway runs all year round, so you can take this scenic train journey no matter when you visit. Depending on the time of year you visit the scenery will vary dramatically. 

It’s a particularly rewarding place to visit during winter, as you’ll have the chance to see Flam valley covered in snow. If it gets cold enough then the Kjosfossen waterfall can even freeze over, which is a truly spectacular sight if you’re lucky enough to see it!

Kjosfossen waterfall viewing platform on the Flam Railway

How to get to Flam, Norway

There are a number of different ways to get to Flam depending on your preference. One of the most popular ways to get to Flam is take a train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal, and then to take the Flam Railway down to the village. 

Another way to get from Bergen to Flam is to take the daily Norled express ferry, although this only runs between 1st May and 30th September. Tickets cost 905 NOK one-way, with the journey taking around 5 and a half hours. 

Click here to book a boat from Bergen to Flam!

If you would prefer, then it’s also possible to get to Flam by road. Renting a car is a great way to get around Norway, as it means you can stop and admire the spectacular scenery whenever you want! Car rental is surprisingly affordable considering how expensive Norway can be, so it’s definitely an option worth exploring!

Click here to find great deals on car rental in Norway!

If you want more information on how to get to Flam then click here for more detailed information on Visit Flam’s website!

Red cabins by the fjord in Flam, Norway

Where to stay in Flam, Norway

Mid-Range

Flam Marina

If you’re looking to rent an apartment then Flam Marina is a great place to stay! The property is perfectly located on the shore of the fjord and offers the choice of either a one bedroom or two bedroom apartment.

Prices start from $142 USD (1,305 NOK) per night, with free on site parking provided which is perfect if you’ve rented a car!

Click here to book a stay at the lovely Flam Marina on Booking.com or if you prefer to use Agoda then click here to view the property on their website!

Treat Yourself!

Fretheim Hotel

The Fretheim Hotel is a beautifully refurbished 1800s Manor House, making it one of the best places to stay in Flam. Rooms at the hotel are extremely comfortable and offer beautiful views of the surrounding area and mountains. 

As Flam is a small village, the hotel is just a short walk from both the railway station and the shore of the fjord. Prices start from $184 USD (1,690 NOK) per night, which includes breakfast!

Click here to view the amazing Fretheim Hotel on Booking.com or if Agoda is your preferred booking platform then click here to take a look at the property on their website!

Flamsbrygga Hotel

One of the best accommodation options in Flam is the lovely Flamsbrygga Hotel. Brilliantly located nearby to the shore of Aurlandsfjord, balconies at the hotel offer some fantastic views. 

The hotel is just a couple of minutes walk away from the Flam Railway station, which is perfect if you’re visiting to take the scenic train ride to Myrdal! Rooms at the property are cosy and luxurious to make for a relaxing stay. Prices start from $201 USD (1,850 NOK) per night, with breakfast included in the price!

Click here to take a look at the wonderful Flamsbrygga Hotel on Booking.com or if you prefer to book via Agoda then click here to view the property on their website!

Please note that some links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This money is used to support this website and cover the costs of keeping it online and free to access!

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