Travel to Oslo: Cheap trains, buses and flights

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About Oslo

Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway, as well as the third largest city of Scandinavia. The name Oslo is derived from the words Ás, the Old Norse name for the Norse Godhead, and lo, meaning ‘pasture’, yielding roughly ‘the fields of the gods’.

Quick Guide to Oslo

Must Know: The best way to get around Oslo is by walking to see the sites.

Must See: The Munch Museum in Oslo is home to the famous ‘scream’ painting.

Must Do: Go to the Oslo Opera House, the only one where possible to see views from the roof.

Did You Know: Oslo has one of the smallest populations for a capital city.

How to Get to Oslo

Oslo Airport (OSL) is located at Gardermoen, just under 50 km north of Oslo. It is the largest airport in Norway, with direct routes to over 140 domestic and international destinations. The Gardermoen Line runs in a tunnel below the airport, where Gardermoen Station is located below the terminal. There's the "Flytoget," a frequent, fast (about 25 minutes),, or the NSB Federal Railways train which is less frequent, slower (about 40 minutes), but more affordable. For bus transfer, Flybussen depart every 20 minutes and take approximately 40 minutes.

Moss Airport Rygge is located around 70 kilometres southeast of Oslo. It is primarily an international, low-cost airport, offering direct routes to over 40 international destinations. You can take the R20 train from Oslo to Rygge station, which departs every hour. There's a free shuttle bus running between the train station and airport terminal. The Rygge-ekspressen bus service goes directly between Oslo Bus Terminal and Moss Airport Rygge, taking about 1 hour. The bus service corresponds with most international flights.

Oslo Central Station is at the centre of Norway's railway system, and serves as the gateway to the rest of the country, with all lines terminating here. It is located in the eastern part of the city centre, by the end of the main pedestrian street Karl Johans Gate. Jernbanetorget tube station is situated between Oslo S/Oslo Central Station and Oslo City. The bus terminal is situated in Galleri Oslo. Use the north entrance (towards Oslo City and Byporten shopping centre), cross the bridge and walk through toward Galleri Oslo. Taxis can also be found outside Flytogterminalen towards the seaside or outside the Byporten shopping centre.

Oslo Bus Terminal is the city's main bus station for long-distance coaches and local buses to Akershus. The biggest operators of international buses are Swebus Express and GoByBus, though Eurolines also runs services to Gothenburg and Stockholm. Nor-Way Bussekspress is the biggest provider of local buses to numerous Norwegian destinations such as Kristiansand, Bergen and Trondheim. The station is five minute walk to Jernbanetorget, which is served by city buses, metro and tram lines.

Getting Around Oslo

Oslo has a comprehensive and efficient public transport network of trains, buses, trams, ferries and underground (T-Bane), mostly operated by Oslo Sporveier. There are two main hubs for public transport inside the city centre: Oslo Central Station (Oslo S) / Jernbanetorget and Nationaltheatret (underground). The Oslo and Akershus public transport uses a zone system where the price for a trip is calculated based on how many zones you pass through.

Oslo is a great city for bicycling, with modest distances between major hubs and attractions. Many streets have separate bicycle paths on the roadway itself. The Markveien, Torggata, Rådhusgata, Ullevålsveien and Frognerstranda streets have been adapted specifically for bicycle traffic and a number of intersections also have separate traffic lights for cyclists.

You can find taxi ranks throughout the city, mainly near the shopping centre, city squares and outside Oslo S station. Taxis can be pretty expensive though and using public transport is generally more common.

Oslo is very pedestrian friendly and the main shopping street, Karl Johans gate, is a lovely traffic-free, tree-lined promenade. The harbour area is lovely to walk around and you can explore most of the city on foot - though better yet is hiring a bike.

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