Expats who move to Oslo often find themselves in the financial and cultural center of the nation, often regarded as the metropolitan heart of Norway. Sharing a close proximity to the forests and hills, you get to explore the best of two worlds in the region.
There is a vast range of public transportation in Oslo and it is generally convenient for the travellers to use them in order to get around.
Tourists regularly use the metro, tram and bus networks. One of the most convenient aspects of this transport system is that whatever the means of travel, they are operated by the same regulating company, Ruter. Thus the ticketing system and fare for public transportation in Oslo is the same throughout, making it efficient to travel on one of the many transport networks.
You can also explore the beauty of Oslo by means of the ferry service that commutes between the Oslofjord Islands and Vippetangen Quay on the mainland. The express boat Princessin that departs from the pier at Aker Brygge will take you on a trip around Haoya, Langara, Ildjernet and Drobak.
Let us now explore the system of public transportation in Oslo in greater detail.
Local trains in Oslo
NSB, the state railway company in Norway is in charge of operating the local trains. There are a number of commuter lines in operation with the one between Drammen and Oslo being the most popular of the lot. This route travels via places such as Asker, Lysaker and Skoyen. A note of warning: be careful while travelling on this service especially during the rush-hours as the trains tend to get overcrowded.
For leisure travellers and commuters alike, the T-Bane or Subway network in Oslo is the most popular means of travel. Six lines, each numbered from one to six, are in operation and cover almost the entire city. There is a shared tunnel running through the city center where all of the lines converge. So whether you take a train from Toyen, Gronland, Jernbanetorget, Stortinget, Nationaltheatret or Majorstuen stations, the T-Bane service will eventually take you through the city center. Lines four and six also form a central ring along the north of the city center with Storo/Nydalen serving as the junction point.
For the tourists, line one is the most popular means of transport to take them on to the National Ski Arena and Ski Jump at Holmenkollen. This line is also the easiest way to reach Nordmarka which is a popular hiking and skiing destination for the locals.
Trams in Oslo
The tram network- Trikken, as the Norwegians call it- is a slow and old transport system that takes you around the city of Oslo. Nevertheless, it serves as a critical link to a number of parts in the city. Among some of the popular tourist destinations that you can easily reach by tram are Grunerlokka, Aker Brygge, Bislett Stadion and the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Most of the attractions in the city center are also accessible on this old means of transport.
Public bus network in Oslo
There are two types of public buses that run in the city of Oslo. The local buses are marked in red and they criss-cross the city, providing travel links to all those regions that are not connected by any other means of public transportation. On the other hand, the regional buses are marked out in green color and they travel to further places in Norway with the Oslo bus station ideally being their place of origin.
Note that you can also take the green bus for travelling within the city limits, However, you will be required to enter through the front door, show your pass and let the driver know whether you wish to travel within the city limits or further beyond. For the red buses, there are no restrictions to be followed.
Passenger ferry service in Oslo
Even if you carry a Ruter ticket with you, it will be valid only a select number of passenger ferries and boats. These ferries normally serve the regions in Zone Number One, namely the islands of Langoyene, Gressholmen, Bleikoya, Nakholmen, Lindoya and Hovedoya. You will also find commuter ferries travelling from Oslo to Nessoden and numerous other towns that are further downstream of the Oslofjord. While all of the routes operate all year round there are some services such as the one on Line 94, operating between Langoyene and Oslo that is available only during summer months. The Norwegian Marine Service is in charge of operations for the ferry service.
Public Transportation is Oslo : Jernbanetorget, or the Central Station in Oslo is the region that experiences the highest volume of passenger traffic in the city. This is also the place that tourists must visit in order to gather further information on the various means of public transportation in Oslo and the special discounts on single and double journey ticket fares. The Trafikanten Central, housed under the big glass and metal clock tower near the railway station is the best place where you can source all of the required information. Be aware that since you are in a metropolis like any other, exercising your common sense is vital. Burglary and petty thefts are frequent occurrences on the public transport network in Oslo so take every possible precaution over the course of your travel.