My family and I traveled across Norway via the scenic Bergensbanen (Bergen line) railway.
The train offered meals, stunning views, and even a playroom for kids.
The seven-hour ride is heralded as one of the most scenic in the world and was worth the price.
In August, my husband and I visited Scandinavia with our two young children.
We started our trip in Norway's second-largest city, Bergen, and then traveled to Oslo via the scenic Bergensbanen (Bergen line) railway.
Traveling with kids is always an adventure of sorts, but this family-friendly train option was fun, affordable, and something we'd definitely do again.
Here's why the trip was worth it.
We paid less than $300 for all four tickets
Norway is known for being expensive, so I expected our in-country transportation to take a bite out of our travel budget. Fortunately, our cross-country train tickets ended up being more budget-friendly than anticipated.
For two adults and two children, we paid 3,015 Norwegian Kroner (or about $283).
Like most things in Scandinavia, there was a significant discount for children: my daughter's ticket was free because she was under age 6, and my son's ticket was half price because he was under age 17.
We could have traveled by plane between the two cities, but it would have been more expensive.
We were able to skip the stress of the airport
Airport travel is much more of a hassle with kids. Once we factored in the time spent we would have spent at the airport, it likely would have taken us the same amount of time to get to Oslo.
On the morning of our train ride, we simply walked over to the station and arrived at the platform about 30 minutes before boarding.
The best part was there were no long security lines or check-in procedures to deal with.
The family car was great for keeping the kids entertained
When we purchased our train tickets, we were prompted to select a car and seats. We chose the family car so we could take advantage of the children's play area.
Knowing we'd be around other families also took off some of the pressure of a long journey with little ones.
My 5- and 7-year-old kids loved the amenities of the family car and quickly befriended another child traveling on the train. The kids could jump, climb, and stretch their legs while my husband and I enjoyed the views.
The play area also had cartoons playing on a small screen and a selection of children's books.
For families with toddlers and babies, there was even an option to book a special seat that accommodates a large stroller or pram. And the changing table in the bathroom makes on-the-go diaper changes a bit easier.
We were allowed to bring our own food and drinks on the train, but there was also a café that served a variety of meals and snacks.
There were plenty of kid-friendly options like pizza and hot dogs, but if you're looking for something more elevated, they've got that, too.
I enjoyed a yogurt parfait topped with rhubarb jam and muesli and was tempted by the selection of wines and beers.
The incredible views made the 7-hour trip fly by
Although the train ride was longer than a flight, the views were unparalleled. The railway line, which was finished in 1909, crosses some of the most inhospitable terrain in Europe.
The whole family oohed and ahhed at the cascading waterfalls, mountain peaks, and scenic farms we saw through the windows.
One of the coolest parts of the trip was when we stopped in Finse, which at 1,222 meters (~4,009 feet) is the highest point on the Norwegian rail line.
There are no public roads in or out of Finse, so the train is the only mode of transportation for the village.
After about seven hours on the rails, we pulled into Oslo's central train station and bid farewell to the family car.
Disembarking at the train station meant a quick, five-minute walk to our hotel (instead of a 45-minute taxi ride if we had arrived by air).
The beautiful views, family-friendly atmosphere, and the convenience of train travel in Europe made this day one of the best of our 10-day trip.
Whether you're traveling with family or want to experience breathtaking views, the Bergen Line train is a fantastic option.
Read the original article on Business Insider