Getting to Norway

Intro

Arriving by plane will be most people’s preferred choice. Although traveling with your bike can be a logistical operation and thus we have dedicated a separate page to this very subject. For those living in a neighbouring Scandinavian or Northern (mainland) European country the ferry maybe a more practical option. If you’re travelling by motorised vehicle you’ll need to set up an ‘autopass’ account to ensure hassle free charges on toll roads and ferries. Lastly there are trains from Sweden to Norway which connect with the rest of Europe. Unfortunately the Swedes have a funny rule of not allowing bikes on their trains. You can, however, travel with a bike box. You’ll find more about this and other transport options below.

Plane

Oslo Gardermoen airport is the county’s main hub and has direct flights from most major European cities. It also has direct flights to the Middle East, North America, and a handful of Asian destinations. Torp Sandefjord which is a two hours bus ride from Oslo is Norway’s budget airline airport and is used by the likes of Ryanair and Wizz Air. Bergen’s new airport is slowly becoming a great alternative and is now reaching more of Europe directly. In the north, Tromsø is the main airport and has some direct European flights but the majority will require a transfer to Oslo or Bergen. 

Other international airports include Trondheim, Stavanger, Kristiansand, and Ålesund. If you’re planning a long journey around Norway perhaps consider flying into one Airport and departing from another. Arriving in Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim, or Tromsø and flying out of Oslo works well for many long-distance cycle routes. If Oslo is the most convenient to fly to but your planned route starts many miles away then sometimes combining the train network is a cheaper option than a flight transfer. Research both options.

For those wanting to start their journey at Nordkapp flying into Alta (via Oslo connection) and taking the bus to the top is probably the most economical solution. You can also fly to Honningvåg and cycle 30km to the top but this domestic flight might be very expensive. There are over 50 domestic airports in Norway and it’s very easy to reach other remote parts of the country with domestic flights. You will find more about this on the ‘getting around’ page.

Departure hall Oslo Gardermoen airport.

An airport is usually your first impressions of a country. Norway puts on one hell of a welcome!

Oslo Gardermoen Airport is one of the world's most beautiful. It's modern, clean, stylish and incredible inefficient.

Airport Transfer with bike

Local Trains: All trains departing airports for the local city (Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim) allow bikes or boxes onboard and you don’t have to book in advance. Buying train tickets can be done using the Entur appYou can purchase a bike ticket onboard with the conductor. Note on busy trains there is no guarantee of space and in a worst-case scenario you wait for the next train (not common or likely to happen). 

Flytoget: Oslo airport has an express train called ‘Flytoget’ and all bikes go for free and have an excellent separate compartment at the front or back of the train. Note, the cost of a ticket is more than a local train.

Airport Express Bus (Flybuss): All major airports but especially ones that don’t have a train connection will offer an airport bus connection (usually costing 100-200kr one way). You can buy a ticket at a machine in the airport, with the app, or with the driver using your card. Your bike can fit in the undercarriage but if you’re part of a riding group (3 or more) the driver may reject you due to space limitations. 

Local Bus: They usually stop close to the airport. If you’re willing to drag your bike and luggage to find the bus stop. You will find these buses are cheaper and have an area on board for bikes, prams, wheelchairs, etc. To buy a ticket you must download the local bus app. Bike’s are usually classed as one child fare extra. 

Cycle: If the weather is nice and you’re not jet lagged riding from the airport is a nice option for some people. Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim have cycle routes signposted in places. Some airports such as Ålesund are located on an island and require travel through an unauthorized sea tunnel meaning a bus is your only option.

Taxi: There is usually plenty of taxis available at major airports and booking one is very easy. You will probably want an estate or ‘maxitaxi’ (minibus style with room for bikes). This can be a good option if you’re in a group and can share the cost. Taxi from Oslo Airport to the city center (vice-versa) starts at 799kr. 

Lastly: some airports are literally right in the town. For example, Bodø in the north is a stone’s throw from the center and the really small domestic airports may have no or limited public transport connections thus assembling your bike and riding away is the best option.

Waiting for the Airport express bus with a bike box (Ålesund town centre).

Bike Box on the flytorget.

Bike on a local train heading to Oslo central.

Train

Only Sweden connects Norway by train

  • Stockholm – Oslo 5.5 hrs
  • Gothenburg – Oslo 3.5hrs
  • Åre (Mid Sweden) – Trondheim 2.5hr
  • Kiruna (Northern Sweden) – Narvik (Northern Norway) 2.75hrs

From Copenhagen, you can take a train to Gothenburg via Malmo and then connect to Oslo.

As I mentioned above, Sweden’s no-bike rule on trains causes a lot of inconvenience for those coming from Europe. The Gothenburg – Oslo train does allow a bike (use the VY app) but Malmø to Gothenburg does not. If traveling from the UK, France, Holland, Belgium, or Germany taking a train to Copenhagen or other Danish port towns which have ferry links to Norway is a good option. You can find out more in the ferry section below. Taking bikes on Danish trains is well established and set up and shouldn’t be a problem if this is a good option for you.

UPDATE (24.5.23):

If you take the Öresundståg (which leaves from Copenhagen), you can actually take your bike all the way to Gothenburg by train. There is a train every hour or so (during day time).

https://www.oresundstag.se/en/

(Tickets for the Öresundståg are most conveniently bought with the Skånetrafiken App. You’ll need a bike ticket add-on to go over the bridge from Copenhagen to Malmö, but as of writing this, for the rest of the trip to Gothenburg, you can take the bike without additional costs). 

Thanks to Rikkert for this update.

My favorite train website Seat61 has a really detailed overview of traveling by train from Europe to Oslo.

The Scandinavian Train network.

Sleeper cabin on a Norwegian train.

Boat

Several boat services connect Norway with mainland Europe. It’s very easy to take your bike onboard and for many, this is a great way to reach Norway. In addition, there are usually discounts for seniors, students, and children. Some ferries will require you to book a cabin which can be quite costly for single travelers. Other ferries, especially in Northern Denmark, have a seat-only option that brings the price down dramatically.

Denmark: 

Sweden:

  • Strömstad–Sandefjord – 2 hours 30 minutes. Operated by Color Line four daily departures and Fjord Line two daily departures.

Germany:

  • Kiel–Oslo – 20 hours. Operated by Color Line, daily departures.

Holland: 

  • Eemshaven–Kristiansand – 18 hours. Operated by Holland Norway Lines. 3 roundtrips a week
  • UK: Unfortunately there are no longer any ferries from Newcastle to Bergen but there is a plan to reinstate this line from the spring of 2026.

Your own boat: there are guest marinas with facilities all along the coastal towns.

A busy bike departure in Oslo from Frederikshavn, Denmark

Seaside Seating - Reclining Seat (Frederikshavn - Oslo). A lot cheaper than a cabin.

The boat from Halmstad in Sweden to Grenaa in Denmark

Bus

It’s difficult to travel by bus with your bike. Sweden’s no bike rule means you will need to ensure it is in a bike box. And this does not guarantee it will be accepted in the undercarriage. The driver will have the final say based on the space available. 

Sweden & Denmark: There are buses from Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen with VY buses: https://www.vybuss.com/#!/

Finland: departing from Rovaniemi, you can go all the way to the North Cape, as well as Tromsø and Vadsø in the summer: https://www.matkahuolto.fi/passengers

 

Oslo Bus Terminal waiting for the Gothenburg bus

You can pay for extra leg room and a wider seat

The VY express is a modern and comfortable fleet of buses connecting Norway and Sweden

Car/Campervan

Sweden: The main E6 motorway runs through Malmö, Helsingborg, and Gothenburg in Sweden, before crossing the border at Svinesund in the south-east of Norway.

There are of course other border crossings with Sweden but for most people, the southern border is where the majority of foreign traffic enters from.

Finland: The E8 motorway runs through Turku, Vaasa, and Oulu in Finland before crossing the border at Kilpisjärvi.

Road Toll Charges: There are many toll roads in Norway, especially entering cities. This makes traveling around Norway by car expensive and it is best you register your car with auto-pass before arriving. This will ensure you are not overcharged. https://www.autopass.no/en/user/foreign-vehicles/

 

Further info

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