For those of you traveling to Oslo for the first time, here are some potentially useful tips:
Getting from the airport: The closes airport to Oslo is Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL). You have a several options to get into town, the quickest is the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) which takes around 20 minutes to Oslo Central Station (Oslo S). The direction to this train is clearly marked and you will get good help with purchasing tickets (180 NOK). For the more adventurous, you should go for the public train company NSB. The trains run from the same area as the express train, takes around 25 minutes for half the price (93 NOK). Remember to buy a ticket before you go down to the platform (ticket machines are available in English). By Taxi/car the same route takes 40 minutes or more, depending on traffic.
The smaller airport of Torp (TRP) is sometimes marketed as being in Oslo, but is in reality a couple of hours away by bus.
Currency: Norway uses Norwegian Kroner (NOK). At the moment (January), the exchange rate is 7.7 NOK per USD.
Getting around Oslo: Oslo has a quite compact city center, with a very good public transportation system including a subway (T-banen), a tram (trikken) and buses. A 24-hour ticket is valid on all public transportation within the city, and costs 90 NOK. A full week ticket is 240 NOK (single ticket 33 NOK). You can plan your routes using Ruter.no or Google maps. Getting around by car in the city center is cumbersome due to one-way roads and pedestrian zones. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it, all Norwegians speak English, and are happy to help if you ask for it.
Things to see:
- The Oslo opera house, this is close to the central station
- The Viking ship museum, this is a 10 minutes bus ride out to a peninsula (Bygdøy) where you can also find other museums: the Fram Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum (featuring a Stave Church from 1200 AD). We're planning a joint trip to the Viking ship museum one of the days.
- The islands in the fjord. There are public transportation boats (included in the normal public transportation ticket system) that takes you out to the islands. These are nice to explore, and has some interesting history. Hovedøya ("Main Island") is only 1 minute away by boat and has ruins of a 1200 AD monastery.
- Vigelandsparken is a large sculpture park in the west of the city.
- Egebergparken is another sculpture park featuring more modern works of art. This is situated on the hill south of the city, with a nice view.
- Holmenkollen ski jump, with nice views of the city - this is close to our venue.
Climate: Norway has relatively warm summers and cold winters compared to other areas at the same latitude (59.9). The temperatures in June will probably vary between 12 and 20 degrees Celsius (54-68 degrees Fahrenheit). Be aware that the sun will be up very early in the morning.
Where to stay: Every area in Oslo is safe to stay, but the area close to the central station is perhaps not the prettiest. There are a lot of convenient hotels close to the main road "Karl Johan's gate" stretching from the central station to the royal palace in the west. A very "hip" place to stay is Grünerløkka, a 15-minute walk north of the central station. This is a vibrant part of the city with lots independent shops, cafés and bars. If you want something less pricey, it's possible to get a hotel or an AirBnB a little outside the center of town. There will most likely be a subway or a bus close by that will take you to town in less than 15 minutes.