In this article, we will look at how to get to Oslo by train, bus, air, boat or your own car. We’ll also explain how you can travel from Oslo to other Scandinavian cities, such as Gothenburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Oslo has one main airport: Gardermoen, though the airports Rygge (Moss), and Torp (Sandefjord) are also often used to serve the city (especially for discount airliners). Gardermoen (OSL) is by far the most central and convenient airport to fly into for connecting to the city. Thanks to the airport express train (Flytoget), which runs every ten minutes, it is easy to get to the downtown area. The other airports are often referred to as Oslo, as flights usually just ask for a city destination name, but if you’re flying to Moss, or Sandefjord, be aware that you will have to arrange additional transport to get to your destination (as they’re far from Oslo). Some travelers are surprised when they land in “Oslo”, upon figuring out that they’re actually in some city two hours away. Don’t be one of those people, just read below!
From Rygge to the city center
- Train R20. Usually once every hour. There is a free bus between the train station and the airport, corresponding with the train. There are good discounts for children, seniors and students!
- Bus: ‘Rygge ekspressen’. This bus runs directly from the airport to the Oslo bus terminal. The trip takes roughly one hour in normal traffic.
- If you have to go between Rygge and Gardermoen, i.e. for a connecting flight, the Flybussekspressen service will take you airport to airport.
From Torp to the city center
- For this trip you can take the train between Sandefjord and Oslo. There is a free shuttle between the airport and the train station, corresponding with the train schedule. The train ride is about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- There is also the Torp Express bus service, which takes you from Torp to Oslo. It takes approximately two hours. Usually, there will be a bus whenever there is an international flight scheduled to land.
Travling to Oslo by rail – An experience in itself
For those of you that prefer overland travel, good news, the city is well connected to other major cities by both bus and railway. Oslo central Station (Oslo S) at the end of Karl Johans Gate and is where the long-distance trains arrive and depart. The Bergen railway, which connects Oslo and Bergen (therefore the name) is an experience in itself, as it takes you over Hardangervidda and the mountainous areas west of Oslo. A typical itinerary to get from Oslo to ‘The Fjords’, is to take the Bergen Railway to Voss, and from there do the Norway in a Nutshell trip (including the Flåm Railway). Trains are operated by the Norwegian State Railway (NSB.no). You can even get out of the country from here. There are two main international connections: three daily departures to Gothenburg from Oslo S, and four to Stockholm. For Copenhagen or beyond (for those of you that are doing Eurail or Interrail), you’ll have to change trains in Gothenburg.
Bus services between Oslo and other cities
Several long-distance bus services operate between Oslo and: Stavanger, Trondheim, Kristiansand and major Swedish cities.
- Lavprisekspressen: Oslo-Kristiansand-Stavanger-Kristiansand-Oslo and Oslo-Trondheim-Oslo.
- SweBus: Oslo-Stockholm and Oslo-Copenhagen, among others.
- Nor-Way: Oslo-Bergen and many more (one of the largest networks in Norway).
Taxis in Norway are really expensive, and not something I recommend unless you can’t avoid them. A ticket from Torp to Oslo could set you back around 2000 NOK ($325 USD)! Most taxi companies have a starting price of 80-90 NOK, and double that on weekends and late at night.
Driving your own car
The two international roads E6 (Malmö and Gotehenburg) and E18 (St.Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm) meet in Oslo. You will have to pay a road tax to enter the city center. You do not stop at the toll booths: a camera will take a shot of your license plate, and they’ll bill you through mail, as is the custom in Norway. The main north-south road in Norway is E6, taking you to Trondheim and Kirkenes. E16 will take you west to Bergen. E18 south-west through Telemark and to Kristiansand.
Oslo is connected to several European cities by car ferry:
- Color Line to Copenhagen, Denmark and Kiel, Germany
- Stena Line to Frederikshavn, Denmark
(Feature image: Henning Klokkerasen) Morten Jensen,