There are some bits of knowledge one must learn for themselves, but as a sharer of travel tips here is how to get around in Oslo, Norway:
1. Bus Tickets – Use Ruter. Depending on the stay choose between a 24 hour, seven day or month bus pass. Load a pass onto a traveler’s card at Oslo Central Station or head to a nearby 7-11. The travel card is 50NOK (about $6USD). The kiosks at bus stops won’t accept non-Norwegian credit cards so, it’s super important to obtain a bus pass as soon as possible. The card is reloadable and does not expire, therefore, keep a hold of the card for future use.
To activate the travel pass, scan the travel card as bus is boarded. It will be a scanner immediately to the left or right. If the pass is not activated, risk a hefty fine should tickets be checked.
Public transport is included in the Oslo pass. Just watch, the Oslo pass is only redeemable for up to three days of travel. Depending in the visit length it may be more economical to only use the Ruter pass. Do the math, a week pass is 240NOK ($28USD). A single ticket is 33NOK ($4 USD). Ride the bus at least once a day and the fare pays for itself.
2. Wear Sturdy Shoes
Oslo is incredibly pleasant, especially on foot. The terraced streets provide a perfect up-hill/down-hill work out. Do be aware of the cobblestones and prepare for proper footwear.
3. The Oslo Pass – Purchase the Oslo pass to gain access to free museum passes, public transport and discounted tours. Choose 24, 48, or 72 hour passes. To name a few museums included: Viking Ship Museum, Kon-Tiki Museum, Munch Museum and more. This pass is excellent for someone who is in town for a few days. In town longer? It may be wise to skip the pass and see the city at your leisure.
Scandinavians love their bikes. Who can blame them? Bikes are eco-friendly, cheap (compared to a car), and pedals the rider to their location in a timely manner.
5. Coffee, coffee, coffee
Coffee seems to be the prima social stomping ground. There are noticeably more cafes than bars. Be sure to stop in and pull up a stool – if there is one around. Pick up the phrase “Kan jeg få en stor kaffe?”. Coffee shops are often open all day and are jam packed – all day. Be sure to ask for cream and sugar or end up drinking it black. My favorite.
Note: Don’t panic, it’s perfectly normal for parents to leave their babies outside as they grab some magic bean juice.
6. Pedal to the Metal
The cheapest way to navigate Oslo may be walking, but, if time is an issue pick out a city bike. For a fee, ride a bike anywhere for forty-five minutes. The rider doesn’t have to return the bike to the same parking station. Either return them if the journey is over or add more time to keep on biking. Oslo is bike friendly, as is Scandinavia.
7. Useful Apps – Available for most Smart Phones
Flytoget – an app to buy train tickets to and from locations (including the airport) departing from Oslo Sentrum. This app is handy since it also shows the train schedule.
Oslo Bysykkel – shows locations and number of bikes available to rent. For a fee, rent a bike and tour around Oslo for forty-five minutes. There are options to return or extend the rental.
RuterBillet – the bus app. This app, if your card works, can be used to purchase tickets and passes.
Your Cobweb Clearer, Kate