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Arriving

By Plane -- Planes from all over the world fly into Oslo International Airport in Gardemoen (tel. 91-50-64-00), about 50km (31 miles) east of downtown Oslo, a 45-minute drive from the center. All domestic and international flights coming into Oslo arrive through this much-upgraded airport, including aircraft belonging to SAS, British Airways, and Icelandair.

There's frequent bus service, departing at intervals of between 15 and 30 minutes throughout the day, into downtown Oslo. Bus service is maintained by SAS (tel. 81-50-01-76; www.flybussen.no), whose buses deliver passengers to the Central Railway station and to most of the SAS hotels within Oslo. The cost is NOK130 ($26/£13) per person. There's also a high-speed railway service between Gardemoen and Oslo's main railway station, requiring a transit time of only 20 minutes, priced at NOK160 ($32/£16) per person each way. If you want to take a taxi, be prepared for a lethally high charge of around NOK600 to NOK700 ($120-$140/£60-£70) for up to four passengers plus luggage. If you need a "maxi-taxi," a minivan that's suitable for between 5 and 15 passengers plus luggage, you'll be assessed NOK900 ($180/£90).

By Train -- Trains from the Continent, Sweden, and Denmark arrive at Oslo Sentralstasjon, Jernbanetorget 1 (tel. 81-50-08-88 for train information), located at the beginning of Karl Johans Gate, in the center of the city. The station is open daily from 4:30am to 1am. From the Central Station, trains leave for Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Bodø, and all other rail links in Norway. You can also take trams to all major parts of Oslo. Lockers and a luggage office are available at the station, where you can exchange money, if needed.

High-Speed Link from Stockholm -- The first high-speed train between Stockholm and Oslo has reduced travel time to 4 hours and 50 minutes between these Scandinavian capitals. Depending on the day, there are two to three trains daily in each direction. This high-speed train now competes directly with air travel.

By Car -- If you're driving from mainland Europe, the fastest way to reach Oslo is to take the car ferry from Frederikshavn, Denmark. From Frederikshavn, car ferries run to several towns near Oslo and to Gothenburg, Sweden. You can also take a car ferry from Copenhagen to several points in western Sweden, or from Helsingør, Denmark, to Helsingborg, Sweden. Hwy. E6 runs the length of Sweden's western coast from Malmö through Helsingborg and Gothenburg, right up to Oslo. If you're driving from Stockholm to Oslo, take E3 west to Örebro, where it connects with E18 to Oslo. Once you near the outskirts of Oslo from any direction, follow the signs into the Sentrum.

By Ferry -- Ferries from Europe arrive at the Oslo port, a 15-minute walk (or a short taxi ride) from the center. From Denmark, Scandinavia's link with the Continent, ferries depart for Oslo from Copenhagen, Hirtshals, and Frederikshavn.

From Strømstad, Sweden, in the summer the daily crossing to Sandefjord, Norway, takes 2 1/2 hours; from Sandefjord, it's an easy drive or train ride north to Oslo.

Visitor Information

Assistance and information for visitors are available at the Tourist Information Office, Fridtjof Nansens Plass 5, N-0160 Oslo (www.visitoslo.com). Free maps, brochures, sightseeing tickets, and guide services are available. The office is open June to August daily 9am to 7pm, April to May and September Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and October to March Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. The information office at the Oslo Sentralstasjon (Central Station), Jernbanetorget 1, is open daily from May to September 8am to 8pm and October to April daily 8am to 6pm. The centralized phone number to call all the tourist offices in Oslo is tel. 81-53-05-55.

Getting Around

By Public Transportation -- Oslo has an efficient citywide network of buses, trams (streetcars), and subways. Buses and electric trains take passengers to the suburbs; from mid-April to October, ferries to Bygdøy depart from the harbor in front of the Oslo Rådhuset (City Hall).

Discount Passes -- The Oslo Pass can help you become acquainted with the city at a fraction of the usual price. It allows free travel on public transportation, free admission to museums and other top sights, discounts on sightseeing buses and boats, a rebate on your car rental, and special treats in restaurants. You can purchase the card at hotels, fine stores, and tourist information offices; from travel agents; and in the branches of Sparebanken Oslo Akershus. Adults pay NOK220 ($44/£22) for a 1-day card, NOK320 ($64/£32) for 2 days, and NOK410 ($82/£41) for 3 days. Children's cards cost NOK95 ($19/£9.50), NOK115 ($23/£12), and NOK150 ($30/£15).

By Bus, Tram & Subway -- Jernbanetorget is Oslo's major bus and tram terminal stop. Most buses and trams passing through the heart of town stop at Wessels Plass, next to the Parliament, or at Stortorvet, the main marketplace. Many also stop at the National Theater or University Square on Karl Johans Gate, as well as stopping through Oslo's suburbs.

The subway (T-banen) has four branch lines to the east. The Western Suburban route (including Holmenkollen) has four lines to the residential sections and recreation grounds west and north of the city. Subways and trains leave from near the National Theater on Karl Johans Gate.

For schedule and fare information, call Trafikanten (tel. 81-50-01-76; www.trafikanten.no). Automated machines cancel tickets. Drivers sell single-trip tickets for NOK30 ($6/£3); children travel for half-fare. An eight-coupon Flexi card costs NOK160 ($32/£16) and is half-price for children. Maxi cards can be used for unlimited transfers for 1 hour from the time the ticket is stamped.

By Taxi -- If you need a taxi, call tel. 23-23-23-23, available 24 hours a day. Reserve at least an hour in advance.

Hiring a taxi is very expensive in Oslo. Tariffs start at NOK30 ($6/£3) for hailed taxis in the streets or at NOK50 ($10/£5) if you summon one in advance. In addition to regular fares, there are lethal surcharges between 5 and 10pm costing NOK110 ($22/£11), or between 10pm and 4am costing NOK210 ($42/£21). All taxis have meters, and Norwegian cab drivers are generally honest. When a cab is available, its roof light goes on. Taxis can be hailed on the street, provided they're more than 91m (298 ft.) from a taxi rank. The most difficult time to hail a taxi is Monday to Friday 8:30 to 10am and 3 to 5pm, and Saturday 8:30 to 10am.

By Car -- Driving is not a practical way to get around Oslo because parking is limited. The efficient public transportation system makes a private car unnecessary. You can reach even the most isolated areas by public transportation.

Among the multistory parking lots in the city center, the best is Vestre Vika Bilpark, Dronning Mauds Gate (tel. 22-83-35-35). The cost of parking a car in a public garage is NOK50 ($10/£5) per hour or NOK178 ($36/£18) for 24 hours. Illegally parked cars are towed away. For car problems, call the NAF Alarm Center (tel. 22-34-14-00), available 24 hours a day.

By Ferry -- Beginning in mid-April, ferries depart for Bygdøy from Pier 3 in front of the Oslo Rådhuset. For schedules, call Båtservice (tel. 23-35-68-90). The ferry or bus to Bygdøy is a good choice because parking there is limited. Other ferries leave for various parts of the Oslofjord. Inquire at the Tourist Information Office, Fridtjof Nansens Plass 5, N-0160 Oslo (tel. 24-14-77-00).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.