Visiting the Heddal Stave Church from Oslo

The Norwegian capital is full of fun cultural attractions to entertain visitors of all ages, but the adventurer in all of us means that we want to explore pastures new every now and then. Of course, the western Fjords and the Northern Lights are an option, but much closer to home is the fairytale Heddal Stave Church, which is actually the most tourist popular daytrip from Oslo. But how exactly can you reach Norway’s most famous church?

Trains at Oslo S
Trains at Oslo S

Travelling from Oslo ‘S’ Station to Notodden by train is an easy and relatively cheap way to make it to the fascinating Heddal Stave Church. The journey is scheduled to take just under 2 hours, and you can expect 5 stops along the way. There are around 5-6 departures daily from Oslo S, although one of these is a night train, which is completely unsuitable for tourists unless you have accommodation already sorted at your destination. The best train to catch is the 07.25hrs departure, which is scheduled to pull up at Nordagatu by 09.25hrs. Be aware that trains effectively bypass Notodden and continue southwards to Nordagatu, at which point you must change on to a regional train and head north again on another line back up to Notodden Station (20 minutes, with one stop on the way). From Notodden Station, a simple taxi ride will get you to the church in less than 10 minutes.

Nordagatu Station, waiting for the local trains
Changing trains at Nordagatu
Local trains heading for the rural setting of Notodden
Local trains heading for the rural setting of Notodden

The fast train from Oslo ‘S’ to Nordagatu will set you back around £25 each way (special tickets/combo tickets may be available, so ask at your hotel before heading out), and the regional train ticket from Nordagatu to Notodden will cost around £3 each way. Norway is not the cheapest country in the world for taxi fares (this is Europe, after all!), and £13 is a decent estimate for the journey from Notodden to the Heddal Stave Church itself (although you can split the cost of this between each person in the taxi).

heddalstavechurch

There can be no doubt that a trip to Heddal Stave Church should be on the itinerary of all visitors to Oslo. While it is true that there is not much else to do here apart from marvel at the church exterior, it is actually precisely this that makes it such a popular getaway from the capital. Heddal Stave Church is certainly one of the ‘hidden gems’ of Norway, and seeing as it is so close to Oslo (and so easy to get to!), there is no excuse to miss this enchanting place!

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