Finse is a village on the mountain plateau of Hardangervidda between the western and eastern part of Norway. It is the highest situated railway station in Norway, 1222 metres above sea level.
The Oslo-Bergen railway is operated by the Norwegian State Railways . If you buy your ticket online well in advance, fares may be as low as kr. 199 for a one-way ticket. For an additional fee of kr. 75 you may upgrade your ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, with slightly better seats, free coffee and tea, power supply and a more quiet spot in the train.
Usually there is a special wheelchair-accessible on the trains between Oslo and Bergen. A reservation is recommended. The train staff will assist you to get the wheelchair on board.
Alternatively, access Finse from Haugastøl by bike in the summer on Rallarvegen (Navvies' Road), the trip is approximately 27 km of steadily climbing (difference in altitude is 234 metres), or by ski in the winter.
The common way to get around in Finse is by foot on mostly non-paved ways, but in many months of the year you can get around by cross-country skis. In the few summer weeks a number of cyclists are around there too.
- Hardangerjøkulen. With its 73 square kilometres, Norway's 6th largest mainland glacier is a popular target for those with decent skiing skills. It features some of the most stunning nature to be seen in Norway, with a view that can not be described by words. In addition, this is where all the exterior shots for the snow Planet Hoth were shot for the film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Make sure that you are fit and prepared for the journey, ask locals for more information.
- Rallarmuseet (Navvies Museum) (by the train station), ☎ , fax: +47 56 52 68 36, e-mail: email@example.com. A museum over the planning and construction of the Oslo-Bergen railway and the many cultural monuments along it, plus a "Battle Against Snow" snow-clearance feature.
- Finsejazz. Weekend-long jazz festival at Hotel Finse 1222 each year in the end of January. Weather conditions makes it nearly impossible to leave the hotel at this time of the year.
Restaurants at Finse Hotel and Fineshytta are open for non-residents too, details see below.
- Camping: For the best experience, camping under the open sky or in a tent is recommended. According to the Norwegian right to access, you may stay for up to two nights in one spot in uncultivated land if you keep away from houses and other buildings and out of the way of other people, provided that you leave no trace. If you move far away from people, you can stay for as long as you want, but that means for Finse: Camping is only allowed on the south shore of the Finsevatn, you have to cross the small dam for it. However, Finse is known for weather changes, and it can be both stormy and arctically cold! If there is fine weather: Don't forget the repellant - there are millions of moskitos...
- Hotel Finse 1222, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A decent hotel with 44 rooms and 128 beds, sauna, Turkish steam bath, restaurant, and a disco. Open seasonally, January to June and July to October. "Finse 1222" is the location of the novel "1222", written by the norwegian author Anne Holt.
- Finsehytta, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A two-storey wooden lodge with 200 beds. There is enough place for everyone - Finsyhytta has a lot of mattresses available for much more guests then 200. Fine food, great view over Finsevatn, beer from the own brewery Finse 1223 Microbryggeri in the cellar.
Follow the Rallarvegen by foot or bike to Fagernut Rallarcafe (about 10 km) and further to Hallingskeid (+ 10 km, small train station) and then to Myrdal (+ 15 km). Or take the train, which is running directly into the Finse tunnel after leaving the train station, to Hallingskeid, Myrdal or Voss, you will have a few great views after the trains leaves the tunnel at Hallingskeid. Leave the train at Myrdal and change to the Flåm railway, which takes you down from 800 m Noh in about 50 min to the Aurlandsfjord.
- Check the ABC4Trip page on Finse with some Star Wars re-enactment photos!