Norway’s largest city as well as its capital, Oslo is an easy place to get around, with an efficient network of trains, buses, metro, streetcars, and ferries throughout the metropolitan area. The city also has excellent transportation links for travel to destinations throughout Norway and beyond.
Oslo Airport Gardermoen
Oslo’s main international airport (OSL) is located at Gardermoen, 47 kilometers (29 miles) northeast of the city. The country’s largest airport, it offers direct flights to cities throughout Europe, as well as to the United States and Asia.
The fastest way from the airport into the city is by train. The Flytoget Airport Express departs every 10 minutes (every 20 minutes during late-night and early-morning) and takes 19-22 minutes to Oslo Central Station via Lillestrøm. The train also stops at Nationaltheatret in central Oslo, as well as several destinations between Oslo and Drammen. Fares from the airport to Oslo cost NOK 196 for adults. Children under 16 travel free in the company of an adult; youth, students, and seniors pay half-price.
All trains operated by Vy, the Norwegian State Railways (formerly NSB), along the route Skien-Oslo-Lillehammer-Trondheim stop at Oslo Airport, with more than 50 departures from the airport to the city center daily (every 10 to 20 minutes). The journey takes an average of 23 minutes and costs NOK 105 for adults, with discounts available for seniors, children, and youth.
Airport buses can also be a convenient option, depending on the final destination in Oslo. Flybussen runs between Gardermoen and Oslo, with stops in various parts of the city. The adult price is NOK 179 for tickets purchased in advance online or using the Flybussen Oslo mobile app, with reduced rates of NOK 99 available for seniors and students. Tickets are valid for any departure on the date selected when purchased online, or on the date of purchase when using a ticket machine; tickets purchased by mobile app may be activated up to 364 days from the date of purchase. There are also family tickets that allow up to four children to travel for free in the company of an adult paying the regular fare. A surcharge applies to any tickets purchased on board. Fare discounts are available on certain Flybussen routes to/from Oslo city center for holders of valid Ruter tickets or travelcards.
Other buses operate between Oslo Airport and various destinations in the greater Oslo area.
Sandefjord Airport Torp
Some budget airlines fly into Torp Airport near Sandefjord, 110 kilometers (68 miles) south of Oslo. The airport serves about two dozen destinations in Europe, as well as several domestic routes in Norway. The easiest way to get from Torp to Oslo city center is by train or express bus. All Vy trains on the Vestfold line (Sandefjord-Skien-Oslo) stop at Torp. Adult ticket prices start at NOK 249. There are departures every hour (every two hours on Sundays), and the journey takes 90 minutes.
The Torpekspressen bus runs from Torp to Oslo’s central bus station. Departure times are coordinated with flight arrivals, with buses departing a minimum of 35 minutes after the actual arrival time. The journey takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes, and ticket prices start at NOK 260 one-way; discounts are available for round-trip tickets and for seniors, students, and children. Fares are cheapest when purchased online at least one hour in advance, though on-board tickets are also available.
Long-Distance Trains, Buses, and Ferries
Norway’s largest railway station is Oslo Sentralstasjon (Oslo Central Station), located in the heart of downtown. Generally abbreviated to Oslo S, it has a variety of shops and restaurants, including a food court open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Vy (the state rail system) has frequent departures to destinations throughout Norway, as well as to Sweden and Denmark. Tickets can be purchased online, by mobile app, at staffed stations, through ticket vending machines, or at authorized Narvesen convenience stores. They can also be purchased on board, though a surcharge of NOK 40 will apply in most cases. Each month Vy releases discounted Minipris tickets to various destinations; these are subject to special terms and conditions and usually sell out quickly.
Long-distance buses also operate between Oslo and destinations across Norway, as well as to Sweden. Tickets can be purchased on board except for journeys within Norway, but not to Sweden. However, it’s always best to purchase tickets in advance, since prices are usually lower and seats are guaranteed. Tickets purchased online are usually the cheapest.
For travel to Denmark, the overnight DFDS cruise ferry runs daily from Oslo to Copenhagen, departing at 4:15 p.m. Stena Line runs ferries between Oslo and Frederikshavn in Denmark, while Color Line operates between Oslo and Kiel in Germany.
Commuter Trains, Metro, Buses, and Trams
Ruter operates local buses, metro, and streetcars in the Oslo metropolitan area. Single-journey tickets are priced according to the number of zones of travel (1-4). Oslo County is Zone 1. Single-journey tickets are valid for 60 minutes from the time they are first validated; for each additional zone, you get 30 additional minutes of validity. Transfers within the Ruter network are permitted as long as the ticket remains valid when you board. Ruter tickets are also valid on Vy trains within Oslo and Akershus County.
The regular adult fare for a single-zone, single-journey ticket is NOK 36, and from NOK 59 to 105 for multi-zone tickets. Discounts are available for seniors over age 67 and children under 6. It’s best to purchase tickets in advance, since there is an additional NOK 20 surcharge for purchase made on board. Tickets can be purchased in the following locations:
- ticket machines in metro and train stations, as well as at some larger bus interchanges
- Ruter’s Customer Service Center and service points
- Narvesen, 7-Eleven, Deli De Luca, and Mix convenience stores, and certain other shops
- by mobile using the RuterBillett app
There are also period tickets for 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, and 365 days. If you will be making multiple journeys, you may want to buy a Travelcard, which costs 50 NOK and can be loaded with pay-as-you-go credit or period tickets.
Be sure to validate your ticket for each journey. Inspections do occur, and if you are caught without a valid ticket, the fine is a hefty one (NOK 950 if paid on the spot; otherwise NOK 1150).
Ruter also operates year-round passenger ferries on the Oslo Fjord, departing from pier 4 opposite Oslo City Hall for destinations in the harbor including Hovedøya, Bleikøya, Gressholmen, Lindøya, and Nakkholmen. All Ruter tickets and Travelcards are valid on these ferries. Tickets purchased on board are subject to a surcharge and must be paid for with cash (no bills larger than NOK 200).
There are also ferries between City Hall Pier and the island of Bygdøy, where many of Oslo’s top museums are located. These run from mid-March through mid-October and are not part of the Ruter network, so separate tickets are required. Tickets are available at a kiosk on City Hall Pier 3 for NOK 50 one-way or NOK 75 round-trip (adult fares). Single tickets are also available on board for NOK 60. More information is available on the ferry operator’s website.
Travelers planning to make extensive use of public transportation while visiting numerous attractions may want to consider the Oslo Pass, which provides free unlimited travel on local buses, metro, trains, streetcars, and ferries (including the Bygdøy ferry) within zones 1 and 2, as well as free admission to most of the city’s museums, including the Viking Ship Museum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum), the Fram Museum, the Munch Museum, the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower, the Vigeland Museum, and many others. The pass also includes free and discounted sightseeing tours, as well as discounts at certain restaurants.
Costs are as follows:
- 24-hour pass: NOK 445 for adults, NOK 235 for children (ages 6-17), and NOK 355 for seniors (age 67 and up)
- 48-hour pass: NOK 655 for adults, NOK 325 for children, and NOK 520 for seniors
- 72-hour pass: NOK 820 for adults, NOK 410 for children, and NOK 655 for seniors
See the Oslo Pass website for further details.
Note: Prices are accurate as of June 2019.