The system in the city is vast and consists of many different forms of travel. As well as having one of the largest metro systems in Europe, the city also has excellent bus, tram, train and even boat services to help people get around the city.
Unlike several other major European cities, the whole system works using the same tickets and fares. This allows anyone coming to the city to easily switch between different modes of transport. The journeys are quite expensive, so being able to use all forms of public transportation can help you get your money’s worth.
The most basic ticket type is the single ticket which sells for 27 kroner – which is just under $5. Unlike many other ticketing systems, the ticket does not buy a single journey, but one hour of travel. Be aware, budget travelers, that buying the ticket before you get on the transport system will save you money as the charge when on board is 40 kroner.
If you are planning to spend more than a few days in the city then you will probably want to purchase a weekly ticket that will save you a significant amount in the long term. For seven days, this will cost 210 kroner - $38. If you are under twenty, you'll only pay half price. Tickets are available at many grocery shops as well as at the stations.
The Norwegians are very trusting that people will honestly purchase tickets as there are no staff checking whether tickets are validated on the metro, the bus or the tram. That said, there are occasionally ticket inspectors and if you are caught without a ticket or one that has not been validated then you will face a hefty fine.
When you first arrive in the city, it is a good idea to go to Oslo Central Station, the main hub for transportation in the city. Here you will find the public transport information center - this will sell all types of tickets and hand out free maps to help you navigate around the city. You could also print the maps from their website before you arrive if you are short of time in Oslo.
Metro stations are easily identified around the city as they are blue and white in color, circular and with a T in the center (because the metro is known as the 'T-Bane'). The metro is very modern and there are six lines, all of which are easy to navigate.
Trams can be used easily, and when combined with the metro it is possible to reach almost any part of the city. As mentioned, the same tickets are valid and you will find the trams will come every ten minutes (twenty at night). If you cannot get to where you want to go by metro or tram, there will be a bus route that will cover the additional distance.
Oslo is a large city and has significant outskirts. If you do want to get out into these, it would be best to take the train. Compared with the modern metro system, the train system can seem rather run down and does have some issues running on time in the winter months. Once again, tickets will be valid, just make sure that you get them validated – the fines on the trains are even steeper than on the metro, tram or bus.
Parts of Oslo are islands, and there are boat journeys that will take you to them. Many of the city's museums are located away from the mainland so you will likely want to make the trip. Be warned that in winter the journeys are not very frequent so be sure not to get stranded on the island.
Oslo is a modern European city with an impressive and well-organised transport system. If you buy tickets wisely, you will find it a fast and affordable way to tour the city.