Are you thinking about going from Bergen to Balestrand? It takes between 3 and 5 hours, depending on how you travel. Here is a list of all the ways.
The Norled express boat from Bergen to Balestrand runs all year. It leaves Bergen daily at 4:30 p.m. (2:15 p.m. on Saturdays). In the summertime there is an extra daily boat that leaves at 8:00 a.m. It takes about 4 hours to get to Balestrand. We wrote a blog post with more details about the express boat. You can buy tickets online or at Strandkaiterminalen in Bergen, where the boats leave from.
Wondering how to get from Balestrand back to Bergen? The express boat leaves daily at 7:50 a.m. all year round, except for Sundays. (On Sundays it runs at 11:30 a.m. in summer and 4:25 p.m. in winter.) In summer there is also an extra boat that runs daily at 4:55 in the afternoon. Below are the winter and summer timetables:
How much does it cost? When traveling together you get a discount, and the cost is 555 kr for adults and 241 kr for children. If you are traveling alone, a one-way adult ticket costs 740 kr for adults and 370 kr for children. Seniors and students always cost 370 kr.
There are two main driving routes from Bergen to Balestrand, one along the fjord, the other through the mountains. Both take 3–4 hours, depending on ferries. The fjordside route follows the E39 out of Berten to the Lavik–Oppedal ferry before continuing along the Sognefjord to Balestrand on Rv55. The mountain route follows the E16 out of Bergen, through Voss. In Vinje you get on the Rv13, and follow it to the Vangsnes–Hella–Dragsvik ferry. From Dragsvik you follow Rv55 to Balestrand. Note that the mountain pass Vikafjellet closes sometimes in the winter. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has a webcam on the pass, and you can check their website to see if it is closed.
There are no direct public buses from Bergen to Balestrand. The best connections are via Vadheim, but it’s also possible to take a longer route via Sogndal. The public bus timetables are confusing, so it’s best to use the Entur route planner. We’ve already filled in Balestrand harbor, the main bus stop in Balestrand. You can fill in Bergen busstasjon, the bus station, or Bergen lufthavn, the airport.
There are two small airports close to Balestrand, Sogndal lufthamn and Bringeland lufthamn. They’re both about 90 minutes away by car. There are busses to the center of Sogndal and Førde that connect to each flight, and you can double-check these on the route planner above. Taking the plane is the fastest option: Direct flights to each airport take only about 30 minutes, but many connections land at other airports before continuing, and these can take several hours. You can buy the tickets from Widerøe.
By train and boat
You can also take the train from Bergen to Flåm via Myrdal, and then take the express boat from Flåm to Balestrand. This is the way the Sognefjord in a Nutshell tour goes. You can book train tickets through Vy, and express boat tickets through Norled.