International flights arrive at Oslo Airport - Gardermoen (OSL), located in Gardermoen, about 30 miles east of downtown Oslo. OSL is Norway`s largest airport, with direct routes to more than 140 domestic and international destinations, as well as over 80 charter destinations.
If you have not booked a private transfer with us then you have a few options. Arriving by plane you can travel to and from the city center by bus, train, taxi or car. The Flytoget Express Train is the fastest way to downtown Oslo and will take you to the city center in about 20 minutes. A one-way ticket costs about $32 per person. Trains run from 5:35 am to 12:35 am every 10-20 minutes. A cheaper way to get to the city center is to take the regional train that connects the airport with Oslo S (the main railway station). The cost is about $10 and the journey takes approximately 25 minutes to the city center. There is also a frequent bus service that departs OSL about every 15 - 30 minutes throughout the day that will take you to downtown Oslo. The bus service is maintained by SAS (www.flybussen.no), whose buses deliver passengers to the Central Railway station and to most of the SAS hotels within Oslo. The bus will cost about $27 per person. A taxi is a convenient option but can be expensive with the cost running about $120 - $150 for up to four passengers plus luggage. If you need a larger vehicle to accommodate more passengers the cost will increase to about $180 - $200 one way.How do I get from the train station to my hotel?
All long distance trains arrive and depart from Oslo S - Oslo Central Station (the main railway station) the largest station within the entire Norwegian railway system. The station has three main buildings all interconnected. The main station, Flytogterminalen (towards the sea front) and Ostbanehallen (with entrance towards Karl Johans gate).Trains from the Continent, Sweden, and Denmark arrive at Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget is located at the eastern side of the city center by the end of the main pedestrian street Karl Johans gate. Getting to your hotel from the train station is easy with many public transportation options. Taxis stands are located outside the station. The major express buses are located next door and trams to all major parts of Oslo are also located at the station.How do I get around the city using public transportation?
Public transportation is convenient with all the public transport in Oslo and the surrounding county Akershus as part of the same ticket and price system, operated by Ruter. Ruter`s tickets are valid for buses, trams (street cars), subways, ferries (not the Bygdoy ferry) and local trains. Buses and electric trains take passengers to the suburbs; from mid-April to October, ferries to Bygdoy depart from the harbor in front of the Oslo Radhuset (City Hall).
Oslo`s bus and tram lines run through the city and extend into the suburbs. There is no central local bus station, but most buses converge at Jernbanetorget in front of Oslo S. Most buses and trams stop at Wessels Plass, next to the Parliament, or at Stortorvet, the main marketplace. Service frequency drops at night, but on weekends the night buses N12, N14 and N18 follow the tram routes until around 4am. Tickets for trips in zone 1 (most of the city center) cost about NOK50 ($6.00) if bought onboard, a day pass costs about NOK90 ($11.00).
The Subway (Tunnelbanen or T-banen) is the underground system that extends further from the city center than most city-bus lines. All lines pass through the Nationaltheatret, Stortinget and Jernbanetorget (for Oslo S) stations. Tickets for trips in zone 1 (most of the city center) cost about NOK32 ($4.00) if bought in advance, or NOK50 ($6.00) if bought onboard.
The Ferry boats depart from Radhusbrygg (City Hall) and will take you to the islands of the inner Oslo Fjord. In the summer, ferries operate early morning until late at night, frequency of departures drop in the winter months. Tickets for public transportation in Oslo are valid on the ferries. Tickets are not sold on the islands and must be purchased in advance.
The Ferry to the Bygdoy peninsula operates between March and October and also departs from Radhusbrygg (City Hall). Stops include Dronningen (Norwegian Museum of Cultural History/Folk Museum, Viking Ship Museum and Oscarshall) and Bygdoynes (Kon-Tiki, Fram and Norwegian Maritime Museum). Regular public transportation tickets are not valid on the ferries to Bygdoy. Tickets can be purchased at the Radhusbrygg (City Hall) and cost about NOK40 ($5.00) one way, or about NOK60 ($7.00) return. Note: Tickets will be more expensive if purchased on board.How can I call/hail a taxi?
Taxis stands are located at Oslo S, shopping centers and city squares. Taxis can also be hailed on the street provided they are more than 300 ft from a taxi stand. Or taxis can be reserved in advance (tel. 81-50-01-76), but keep in mind that the meter starts running at the point of dispatch. Taxis are available when the roof light is on. Be aware that hiring a taxi is very expensive, tariffs start around NOK30 ($6.00) for a hailed taxi and more if you summons in advance. Also, regular fares increase in the evening between 5pm - 10pm costing around NOK110 ($22), or between 10pm - 4am costing around NOK210 ($42). All taxis have meters and do accept major credit cards.I will have a car in Oslo, where can I park?
It is not recommended to drive in the city because parking is limited in the city and public transportation is so efficient and affordable. It is best to park your car in the many city parking lots or at your hotel if parking is available, and then retrieve it when you`re ready to discover the suburbs or countryside. Parking in the city center is available at multistory car lots and fees in public parking lots costs between NOK230 ($27) - NOK270 ($32) per 24 hour period.How do I get around by bike?
Oslo`s public bike service can be a very scenic way to get around the city in the warmer months. Oslo Citybike is a network of bikes that cyclists can use for up to three hours at a time from bicycle stands around the city. All you need to do is pick up an access card from the tourist office, the costs is around NOK85 ($10).Is Oslo a walking city?
In the city you`ll find walking is a great way to get around in the warmer months with many attractions within walking distance of each other.Is Oslo a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?
Oslo is considered a safe city, and the safest out of the four Scandinavian capitals. However, it is still a major city and as its status as a tourist destination has grown, so have the incidents of theft. It is recommended to always be careful and don`t carry your wallet visible for exposure especially in Aker Brygge and other crowded areas.Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The currency in Norway is called the Norwegian Kroner (NOK). Once you`re in Norway you`ll have to use the Kroner. You can exchange currency in the tourist information office, banks, or in an exchange bureau.
Tipping in Norway can vary but it is usual for Norwegians to leave a tip in restaurants and bars if they are happy with their service. A 10-20% tip is expected if the customer is satifsfied. It is uncommon to tip taxi drivers or hotel staff.I don`t speak Norwegian. Will many people speak English?
The country`s written and spoken language in Norway is Norwegian. Since Norwegians begin learning English at the age of six, Norwegians often speak fluent English and are more than happy to converse with you. However, we suggest you get a good guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you, excuse me and numbers 1-10.What are the best areas for shopping?
Oslo is said to be one of the most shopper-friendly cities in Scandinavia, with traffic free streets, plenty of department stores, shopping centers and markets. However, be aware that Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world - don`t expect bargains!
We recommend you walk along the Karl Johans gate, the most famous street in Oslo. Stretching from the Royal Palace to Oslo Central Station you will find some of the best shopping in the city here with hundreds of shops of all kinds and lots of street artists during the summer months.
Hegdehaugsveien, Bogstadveien and Majorstua, between the Royal Palace and the Vigeland Park is on the largest shopping districts in the city. Oslo is the city of designer labels and most of them are situated right in this area where you will find several posh charming boutiques. Gronland, popularly called Little Pakistan is where you will want to be if you`re looking for cheap fabrics, fancy jewelry, spice, fruit and vegetable markets. Along the wharf, next to the City Hall lies Aker Brygge. Here you will find many designer shops as well as cafes, restaurants, theatres, cinema and bars. Grunerlokka is another area that offers designer boutiques, small cafes and parks making this part of town certainly worth a visit.
VAT(Value Added Tax) - Norway requires about 25% tax on goods and services, but there are ways to avoid paying it. Many stores will mail goods home to you, which makes paying and recovering tax unnecessary. By shopping at participating retailers you can receive a 12 - 19% VAT refund when you spend about $50 or more at that location. Participating retailers display a Tax Free Shopping sign on the storefront.What is offered in the Oslo Pass?
The Osolo Pass can save you a bundle, allowing free travel on public transportation (within zones 1 and 2), free admission to many top sights and museums, discounts on sightseeing buses and boats, a rebate on your car rental, and special treats in restaurants. The card is available for 1 day and costs about NOK220 ($32); 2 days costs about NOK320 ($43.00); 3 days costs about NOK410 ($61). Children`s cards are also available.What is Nightlife like and where are the best areas to go?
Oslo`s nightlife is vibrant! The capital city may be small, but its nightlife still has something for everyone whether it`s a delicious cocktail, a chill-out lounge or a bit more wild. Norway has strict alcohol policy and regulations; hence the price-level of alcoholic beverages is high, as a result, the Norwegians tend to arrange the `vorspiel` (pre-parties) with friends before they go out, resulting in the clubs being deserted until midnight. Many bars and clubs stay open until 4am.
The city center is a bustling area and the most touristy, with the main street Karl Johan in the middle you can move around to many different clubs, restaurants and cafes. There is great music, cocktails and an overall ambiance that creates a perfect atmosphere for great nightlife here. The west-side of the city center, Majorstuen, Vika and Frogner, has a reputation as being the flashier, fashionable side of town where people go to see and be seen. The Grunerlokka district offers a more relaxed, carefree atmosphere with many of the cafes, pubs and bars a bit smaller giving a more intimate feel.
Oslo is also a popular destination for international performing artists in classical, pop, rock and jazz music. Autumn and winter are the seasons for cabaret, theater, and concerts. There are different cabarets and numerous theater stages throughout the city. And for movie lovers, Oslo has a lot to offer with one of the most extensive selections in Europe.What is the weather like?
The climate in Oslo is comparable to that of the mid-Atlantic United States; spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring is comfortable with temperatures ranging from 50-70F and summers can hit the upper 80`s, but the average temperature in July is 64F with 20 hours of sunlight each day. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 27F.What is the food like? What time do they usually eat?
Once offering more authentic traditional cuisines, Norway has experienced somewhat of a culinary revolution over the last few years. Oslo in particular is a lot like the rest of Europe, which means traditional food can be found but it`s not what people eat on a daily basis. Day to day eats are globally influenced and the best restaurants in the country aren`t necessarily inspired by Norwegian food traditions. But Norwegian ingredients and food traditions are still an important factor at many of the city`s restaurants. The culinary choices range from the traditional fare to innovative Norwegian gourmet with modern Norwegian cuisine still strongly influenced by its traditional background (seafood and meats). Some everyday more traditional dishes consist of farikal (lamb and cabbage stew, lapskaus (brown stew), kjottkaker (large, Norwegian meatballs), and steamed salmon or fish soup.
Eating out in Oslo is expensive and because of this the culture of a quick light bite has developed. A light lunch is normal, followed by a larger dinner. For a more traditional take on the light lunch, many food halls spread around town offer a little bit of everything. Restaurants typically are busiest from 6pm - 9pm for dinner hours.What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In an Emergency dial 113 for ambulance
Some of the larger hotels have arrangements with doctors in case a guest becomes ill, or there is Oslo Akuttetaten (Emergencies), Strorgata 40 (tel.22-93-22-93). For more routine medical assistance, you can contact the biggest hospital in Oslo, Ullaval, Kirkeveien 166 (tel. 22-11-80-80). To consult a private doctor, check the telephone directory or as your hotel for recommendations.