Practical Life in Oslo

Transport in Oslo

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Public transportation in Norway is surprisingly underdeveloped compared to many other European countries. This is due to the low population density, narrow shape and long coastlines. That said, in Oslo there is a system of buses, trams, trains, metro and boats controlled by

Ruter (Tel: 40 00 67 00). Ruter works closely with the NSB (Norwegian State Railways), ensuring that within the city limits, the local train network is included in the same fare system.

Trafikanten offers information for public transport in Oslo. The office is located outside Oslo Central Station, by the foot of the clock tower. They offer free maps, information and tickets. Their website also offers timetables, maps and search engines for all city transport in Oslo and nearby counties. The Oslo Tourist Information Center is in the same office, at the rear counters.

A single ticket will take travellers on all forms of transport and is valid for one hour of free travel. Tickets can be purchased bought at Trafikanten near Oslo S, any Narvesen, 7-Eleven or Deli de Luca kiosk. Th independent kiosks, machines at metro stations and some tram stops.

    Age groups:
  • Children under the age of 4 ride for free (including trolley)
  • Children = ages 4-15
  • Youth = up to age 20
  • Adult = 21-66
  • Senior = ages 67+

Single tickets (come with a free transfer/return within 1 hour):
Adult (pre-bought): 26 NOK
Child/Senior (pre-bought): 13 NOK
Adult (bought from driver): 40 NOK
child/senior (bought from driver): 20 NOK

Flexi Card(8 coupons -equivalent to 8 single tickets):
Adult: 190 NOK
Child/Senior: 95 NOK

30-day ticket
Adult (Without photo): 570 NOK
Child/Youth/Senior (Without photo): 285 NOK

NOTE: Tickets and cards without photo can be used by different people, but only by one traveler at a time

7 day pass
Adult: 210 NOK
Child/Youth/Senior: 105 NOK

24 hour pass
Adult: 70 NOK
Child/Senior: 35 NOK

Student card:
1 month (with photo + Norwegian student card and semester card): 340

On regional trains, there is an option of a Minipris ticket which costs NOK 199. This is good no matter length of the journey, as long as there are Minipris seats still available. Tickets can be purchased on the NSB internet site and from ticket machines. Tickets must be bought at least one day before the date of travel.

Public transport is free with the Oslo Pass on local trains within zone 4, with Ruter AS and NSB (Norwegian State Railways).

WARNING: If you are caught traveling without a ticket (and validated before entering the subway platform or boarding the rear door of the bus or tram), the fine is 750-900 NOK.
Beware that travelling west on line 2 causes you to cross the city limits into Bafarum and a ticket for Oslo only is not valid. This happens past the station Ekraveien.


Despite its modest public transportation as a whole, it has one of the largest metro systems in Europe. It is known as the Tunnelbane or just T-bane in Norwegian.

In total, the system is comprised of six, color coated lines that merge into a single tunnel from Majorstuen through Jernbanetorget (also known as Oslo Sentralstasjon) to Tafayen. A loop line runs from northern Oslo to the centre and back and is called Ringen.

There are 104 stations which can be located by the blue sign with white logo with a "T" within a circle. When entering the stations, note there are separate entrances and separate platforms for trains going west and trains going east. Validate paper tickets before entering the platform. Electronic tickets should theoretically beep the ticket upon entry.

Each line departs every 15 minutes, or 30 minutes in the late evening or weekend mornings. Trains run from about 5:00 (6:00 on weekends), to 1:00 in the morning. In addition, the east side of line 5 has an enhanced service weekdays between 7:00 and 19:00.

Metro Map:

Tram and Bus

The Oslo Bus Terminal is located next to the Oslo S Train Station on the eastern edge of the city centre. It connects the many trams and buses that work in tandem with the subway system. Trams, buses and subway use the same tickets.

City Bus

Bus lines runt throughout the city, with several ring lines also in operation. Most lines converge at Jernbanetorget. The most useful bus lines for visitors are buses 30, 31, 32, 34, 37 and 54, as they pass by Jernbanetorget and are in areas without trams or metros. Buses 20 and 21 provide central ring-line service, while buses 23 and 24 cover the highway ring road .

On weekends and late at night there is less service. Most lines are open 5:00 to 24:00, with some lines open until 1:00. A map of the weekend night lines can be found here.


The tram system is known as Oslotrikken. Like the bus network, the central tram terminal is at Jernbanetorget. The tram lines depart every 10 minutes during the day, and every 20 minutes at night and early morning (30 min at weekend mornings). The main lines supplement areas without subway access and has a daily rider ship of 110,000.

The color coded lines often run along a dingle stretch in central areas creating an almost continuous flow of trams, called "Rullende fortau" (rolling sidewalk). The lines are known as 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, and 19. A map of the system can be found here.

Long Distance Bus

The biggest operators of international buses are Swedish companies Swebus Express and GoByBus. There are services to and from Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen several times a day. Eurolines and others also operate buses.

Domestic service is offered by Nor-Way Bussekspress, Lavprisekspressen, and Timekspressen.


Oslo Central Station (often referred to as "Oslo S" for Oslo Sentralstasjon) is the centre of the railway system. The station is actually located on the eastern edge of the city centre. (The major express buses go to the bus station next door to the train station. )

The Norwegian National Rail Administration is responsible for rail travel (except for the Airport Express Train) and operated by Norges Statsbaner (NSB). The network consists of 4,114 kilometres (2,556 mi) of standard gauge lines, of which 242 kilometres (150 mi) is double track and 64 kilometres (40 mi) high-speed rail (210 km/h). Service is fairly frequent, though lines further from city centres can be less reliable. During winter there are also issues with snow and blizzards causing delays and cancellations.


There are several picturesque rail lines including the Bergen Railway, the Dovre Railway, and the Rauma Railway. Parts of the Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", were filmed on the Rauma Railway.

Other Major Routes:
Three daily services to Gothenburg (Sweden) (4 hour duration)
Four daily trains in the direction of Stockholm (Sweden) (6 hour duration)
For Copenhagen (Denmark) and other distant destinations, travelers must change trains in Gothenburg

Trafikanten by the Central Station can provide information about time tables for Oslo and the surrounding areas.


Tickets are usually on sale 3 months before departure. The sooner they are purchased, the cheaper they are.

Both Norwegian and Swedish pre-booked train tickets can be picked up at ticket machines in Oslo Central Station. Single tickets and Flexi Cards can be purchased from the driver.

Train: Norges Statsbaner


Oslo Airport Gardermoen
Located 45 km north of Oslo, this is the largest international airport in Norway and second largest in Scandinavia. It serviced 18,1 million passengers in 2009. Known as the "most punctual airport", it takes less than 2 hours to reach all the major cities in Northern Europe.

Sandefjord Airport, Torp
In Vestfold county, about one and a half hours away from Oslo. It serves both as regional airport for Vestfold and Telemark, and as a low-cost airport for Eastern Norway.

Moss Airport, Rygge
The airport is planned to serve as a regional airport for Afeastfold as well as an international airport for low cost airlines and as a secondary airport for Oslo.

Transport to and from the Airport

By Train

Airport Express Train: - Departure from Oslo S (Central Station) every 10 minutes. Duration to the airport is 19 minutes. A one-way ticket costs NOK 160. Tel: +47 815 00 777 or +47 815 00 777

Norwegian State Railways (NSB)- All NSB Regional trains operating Skien-Oslo-Lillehammer-Trondheim go via Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The price is NOK 82. Tel : 815 00 888

By bus

Airport Express Bus (SAS transport Service) - departs every 20 minutes all days. Starting from the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel via the Oslo Bus Terminal, Clarion Royal Christiania Hotel, Helsfyr and Furuset. Duration: 40 min. Tel: +47 815 00 176

Flybussekspressen - Routes from Bekkestua, Fredrikstad, Majorstuen, Gjafavik and Ski. Tel: +47 815 44 444

Bus 344 from Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel via Central Station, Helsfyr and Furuset departs 3 times per hour. Duration: 50 min.
Bus 332 once per hour from Galleri Oslo via Gjerdrum.
Bus 355 twice per hour from Lillestrafa¸m to Gardermoen during rush hours only.
Tel: +47 815 00 176

By Taxi

Most companies have a fixed rate from Oslo Airport to the city centre. On average, this should be about NOK 610 before 5 pm and NOK 720 after. The price varies depending on the time of day, number of passengers and where in Oslo you are traveling to/from.


Taxis are safe, efficient, but expensive way to traverse the city. The cars are usually new Volvos or Mercedes and can be flagged down or ordered by phoning a taxi company (for an extra charge). You should feel safe with any cab you step into as taxi-crime towards customers is almost non-existent.

The minimum charge with most companies is at least 80NOK and a weekend night fee of 160 NOK. A fee per kilometre is NOK 10.20 per kilometre for the first 10 kilometres and NOK 12.80 thereafter. A small price structure sticker should be placed on the window of the car. If you are unsure about any charges, ask the driver or call the company and ask. Or if there is an issue after the ride, ask for a receipt which will help you identify the car later.

Visa and Mastercard are universally accepted. Drivers sometimes wish to validate your card before the trip starts. They may keep your card on top of the meter which is perfectly acceptable.

Tipping is not mandatory, and at most people round the bill up to the nearest NOK 10. It is adequate to pay the exact amount by card anyway.

Tipping cab drivers is usual if you travel for more than 200 kr, but you will get no reaction from the driver should you choose not to tip, so this may be a new experience to American and English tourists.

Some companies have a higher rate for holidays (Helligdagstakst), or even the night before. Some companies may also charge extra for luggage.

Taxi Companies


This seafaring nation can be easily enjoyed and traversed by ferries, boats, and cruises.

With a regular public transportation ticket or the Oslo Pass, a ride on any of the public ferries is included.

Public ferries run daily to and from the islands within Oslo's harbor basin. There are also daily ferry connections to Kiel, Germany (Line 26), Copenhagen and , Denmark(Line 27), Frederikshavn, DenmarkLine 28) and Nesodden. During the summer, this may mean long lines as it is a very enjoyable way to travel. Geiranger, Hellesylt, Gudvangen, Kaupanger and Lauvvik, and Lysebotn are among the most popular routes with the longest lines.
Routes change along with season, so check the schedule at

In addition, there are high-speed boats from Larvik (2hrs south of Oslo on E18, or easily reachable by hourly NSB train) or Kristiansand (4 1/2 hours south of Oslo on E18, or reachable on five daily trains or near-hourly buses) to Hirtshals (Denmark). They both take 3 1/2 hours to reach Denmark.

There are also scenic tours around the Oslo Fjord. Schedules, tickets, and information can be found at 3; Tel: 47-23-35-68-90). Boats leave from the dock opposite the Oslo City Hall. A two hour ride costs 230 kroner.



Driving in Norway can give the visitor an entirely different look at the country. The Norwegian highway and road system covers about 56,430 miles of roadway. As Oslo is Norway's capital and biggest city, it is an important intersection within Scandinavia. Driving is also still one of the easiest ways to navigate the city.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration is responsible for the planning, construction and operation of the national and county road networks, vehicle inspection and requirements, driver training and licensing.


To drive in Norway you need to be minimum driving age is 17. An international driving permit or IDP is not required. A valid driving license from your home country is sufficient, and must be carried whenever you are driving.

    It is also advisable to carry:
  • Passport
  • Proof of insurance (including third party fire and liability insurance)
  • Vehicle ownership papers which can be requested at border stops or Rental Agreement


Seatbelts are mandatory. Children under 4 years old must use a safety/child's seat.

Cars drive on the right side of the road. Trams have right of way and should be passed on the right. Vehicles must drive with dipped headlights at all times, even in bright summer sunshine and this applies to those on moped's and motorcycles too.

The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.05.

Speed Limit

City Streets- 31mph/50kph
Open Roads 49mph/80kph
Highways 55mph/90kph


  • Detour- omkjonng
  • Entrance - innkjorsel
  • Exit - utkjorsel
  • Petrol Station- bensinstasjon
  • Unleaded Gasoline- blyfri bensin
  • Motor Oil - motorolje
  • Car rental company - bilutleie firma
  • Toll Road - avgiftsvei
  • Parking - parkering
  • Highway - motorvei
  • Expressway - motorvei

Roadside Assistance

In case of a breakdown, there are several things you can do and emergency services available.

You are required to carry a red warning triangle and a yellow fluorescent vest in your car in case of a breakdown or an accident. Emergency telephones can be found in tunnels and on mountain stretches of the motorway. If you require salvage or technical assistance with your vehicle you can call the following 24 hour numbers:
NAF: 810 00 505 (local rate)
Falken: 02 222 (freefone)
Viking: 06 000 (freefone)


Norwegian roads are of varying quality. Main European highways are indicated with an "E" in front of the number. Motorway signs are blue with a white background. Speed limit signs have a red circle with a white background and black numbers.

  • European route E6 runs through Oslo in the eastern suburbs on its way from Southern Sweden to Northern Norway. (meets E18 in Oslo)
  • European route E18 runs through downtown Oslo (including a tunnel under Akershus festning) on its way from Stavanger and Kristiansand to Stockholm. (meets E6 in Oslo)
  • European route E16 from Bergen doesn't go into Oslo proper, but ends on E18 at Sandvika a few kilometers west of Oslo.
  • European route E39 is the coastal main road from Kristiansand via Stavanger, Bergen and afaâ‚ Âlesund to TrondheimRoad 7 is an alternate route to Bergen (via Hardangervidda)
    Ring Roads connecting east and west:
  • Ring 3- outer ring- runs from the E6 junction in the east to E18 on the border to Bafarum municipality in the west.
  • Ring 2 runs from Gamlebyen in the east to E18 at Skafaâyen in the west.
  • Ring 1 is the downtown "through road".

Note: Some mountain passes are totally closed during winter (November-May).

    These roads are always closed during winter (vinterstengt):
  • Road 55 Sognefjell (Nov-May)
  • Road 51 Valdresflya (Dec-April)
  • Road 63 Geiranger (Nov-May)
  • Road 63 Trollstigen (Oct-May)
  • Road 13 Gaularfjell (Dec-May)
  • E69 Nordkapp (North Cape) (Oct-April)

Many roads are covered in asphalt which become rutted as studded winter tires cut into them. This can make driving unstable on the worst roads at high speed. This can be especially difficult on ice or snow. When driving downhill steep mountain roads it is best to use a low gear and let the engine control the speed.

Another danger are the many roaming moose or elk (elg) and red deer. Special "crossing points" are marked with warning signs. The elk, the most dangerous animal on the roads, is most active at full moon, after heavy snow fall and at dusk/dawn.

During blizzards on some roads you are only allowed to drive in a line behind a heavy snowplow, a method called kolonnekjafaâring. The authorities routinely issue road information on radio, TV and internet. You may also call 175 for last minute updates.


Norway has many toll roads and it is important to know where they are and how to pay. Since February 2008, coins are not accepted and the toll booths are non-stop, and will snap a photo of your license plate and send the bill to the car owners' house (Vehicles not registered in Norway are invoiced through Euro Parking Collection).

To enter Oslo, drivers must pay a toll at one of 19 entry points around the ring road. It costs 25 NOK to enter at all times of day, seven days a week. In addition, when entering the city from the west, an additional tax of 12.50 NOK is charged on the municipal border at Lysaker to finance the construction of a new highway leading westwards.

Toll fees can also be paid when the bill is sent to the car owner's home, online, at a nearby petrol station (follow signs for KR-service), or by AutoPASS. The AutoPASS-system also offers drivers a 20 percent price reduction.

    How to register for the AutoPASS:
  • Register your credit card online, and pass through all toll stations marked AutoPASS without stopping.
  • When you pass a toll point the correct amount is automatically withdrawn from your pre-paid account.
  • You can register your credit card in advance or up to 14 days after your first toll point pass.


In the city center, street parking is paid from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 to 18:00; and Saturday from 9:00 to 15:00. Outside these hours, parking is free. In the streets outside the city center, there are both free-zones and pay-zones available.

Parking meters are categorized by color:
yellow meters permit 1 hour parking
gray meters permit 2 hours
brown meters permit 3 hours.

The Oslo Pass allows for free park for free at all municipal car parks. Make sure the car park has a public sign - a white P on a blue background. Private parking garages are not free with the Oslo Pass.
Write down your licence number, registration number, the date and the time on the parking ticket which comes with the Oslo Pass in pen. Place the ticket easily visible in the front window. Note: the parking rules and the maximum parking time allowed must be followed.

More information on parking can be found at

Car Rental

To rent a car in Norway you must be at least 19 years old (age may vary by car category) and have held your license for 1 year. Drivers under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge.

Domestic one-way rentals are available, although some routes do incur additional return fees. There are also fees for international one-way rentals. Not all vehicles are able to be taken out of the country.

Fire and third party liability insurance is mandatory and is included in all rentals. Third party liability offers US$110,000 to unlimited coverage in case of damage or injury to people or property outside of the rental car. Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and theft protection can be added as optional coverage.

Cars rented in Norway are restricted from entering the following countries: Albania, Bosnia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine and Yugoslavia.

Several large agencies include:

Bislet Car Rental- Oslo's largest independent rent-a-car company. Offers a 20 percent discount with the Oslo Pass.
Pilestredet 70, 0354 Oslo
Tel: 22 60 00 00

Auto Europe- A popular international car rental agency with reservations online.
Oslo Airport

Europa car- A popular international car rental agency with reservations online.
Haakon VII`S Gate 9, 0161 OSLO
TEl: +47 22831242


Outside of the winter when many paths are much too snowy and icy to bike, Oslo is a bike-friendly city. The distances between destinations are reasonable and rider scan move through the city quickly.

The Norwegian Cyclists' Association (Syklistenes Landsforening, Tel. +47 2247 3030) is located in Operapassasjen at Youngstorget. They can provide information, maps and cycling equipment and clothing.

Oslo is also exceptional in offering a public bike service. A keycard can be purchased at the tourist office (80 NOK/day). The bike can be used for up to three hours, and once returned, may be immediately checked back out. The service is closed for the winter (November to March).


Within Ring 2
Markveien, Torggata, and Frognerstranda are examples of streets and roads that have been adapted for cycle traffic. The route north along Akerselva River is worth mentioning as it is probably the finest car-free method of leaving the center of Oslo.

Cycling in the Forest

For longer, more difficult trips, Sognsvann Station is an excellent starting point. There is a diverse network of gravel roads to pick from.
There are also forest inns (Kikut and Rustadsaga) which offer coffee, pastries and other refreshments.
There are other trails off of Grorud, Ulsrud and Skullerud Station

Transporting your bike on Oslo's tram system costs the same amount as a child's ticket.


Greater Oslo is a useful map. It shows useful features such as pedestrian streets, tram lines, many hiking trails and cycling routes.
A free cycling map of Oslo is also available at tourist information offices or by visiting

City Map:
Road Map:

Update 17/08/2010


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