Getting Around in Oslo
Getting around in Oslo is usually smooth and easy for expats – that is, unless a snowstorm causes delays. The city's train system is very efficient and covers most of the country, as do various bus, tram and ferry lines.
Public transport in Oslo
Oslo has excellent public transport and the options are varied. There are reliable bus, metro and tram services that run regularly and take commuters anywhere they need to go in the greater metropolitan area.
Public transport in Oslo is costly, but there are good and reasonable options for long-term usage that cover several forms of transportation.
Public transit passes
Expats can purchase a monthly, day, or 10-trip pass for the trikk (tram), T-bane (subway) and bus, which is cheaper and easier than paying per ride, especially if using public transport on a regular basis. Passes are also interchangeable between types of transport, including local trains. Tickets can be bought at kiosks, on buses and at train stations.
Commuters should ensure they have a ticket when getting onto public transport. Most tram drivers cannot sell tickets and it is common to have checks by plain clothed ticket-control agents. If someone is caught without one, they will receive a hefty fine.
Buses, trams and trains
Buses and trams depart every five, 10 or 15 minutes depending on the time of day and route. Outside of normal hours, they leave every 20 or 30 minutes within the city limits.
Longer-distance trains and buses have their own schedules. Transportation schedules are easy to find online and all train information can be found at the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) website.
Since Oslo is located on the coast, ferries are sometimes the fastest or only form of transport to islands, the Nesodden Peninsula and to cities such as Drøbbak. Daily ferries to Denmark, Sweden and Germany leave the two main ports in the Oslo harbour and are popular ways to get away for a weekend break.
Drosje (taxis) are a common form of transport in Oslo, especially for people who’ve had something to drink. Taxis can be found at stands around the city, but finding one at closing time or flagging one down on the road can be difficult. Taxi rides can be paid for in cash or by card, but passengers should let the driver know in advance. Fares are steep and go up after hours, while leaving a tip is up to the passenger's discretion.
Driving in Oslo
Expats can drive in Norway with their home country licence for up to a year before they will need to exchange it for a Norwegian licence. When driving in Oslo, expats should always give way to trams and pedestrians. Traffic is likely to be calm, as most Norwegians are law abiding and very conscious of Norway's strict traffic laws. Nevertheless, Oslo is an old city with narrow streets and its network of one-way streets may be confusing for newcomers. The high price of petrol and the decent public transport mean that having a car in Oslo is not strictly necessary.