Oslo Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Oslo, Ostlandet, Norway)
As Norway's capital, Oslo is a city of great importance and sees considerable annual growth. However, the city also enjoys a well-developed tourism infrastructure and much of life now resolves around the summer influx of visitors.
For many tourists, the Oslo Pass provides a useful way to travel around the city and allows you to use all forms of public transport for free, although not late at night. However, if you intend to sightsee, and then sightsee some more, the Oslo Card may be more suitable. Not only does this cover transport and free parking within council-operated car parks, but also allows free admission to museums and some sightseeing trips on boats, although you will need to use it extensively to enjoy the full benefits over such a short space of time.
Useful Contact Details
When visiting one of Oslo's tourist offices, next to the Town Hall and at the Central Station, look out for the handy Oslo Guide booklet, which proves indispensable for many tourists. Similarly, for the latest information about events, check out the monthly 'What's On in Oslo' magazine, or simply ask one of the staff for some advice on what to do to make the most of your Norway vacation.
Oslo Sentralstasjon (NSB Tourist Information)
Address: Jernbanetorget 1, Oslo, NO-0154, Norway, NO
Tel: +47 023 15 0000
Turistinformasjonen (Oslo Tourist Information Centre)
Address: Fridtjof Nansens Plass 5, Oslo, NO-0160, Norway, NO
Tel: +47 0815 30 555
Fax: +47 023 15 8811
Language and Dialect
Most locals in Oslo speak a form of Norwegian known as Bokmal, although Norway also has another language, Nynorsk, which is also spoken here to a much lesser extent. Some useful Norwegian phrases include:
- Hello - Goddag
- Goodbye - Morna
- Yes / No - Ja / Nei
- Do you speak English? - Snakkar du engelsk?
- How much is it? - Hvor mye koster det?
- What is your name? - Hav heter du?
- My name is... - Jeg heter...
- What time is it? - Hva er klokka?
- Do you have any guest rooms available? - Har du ledige rom?
Dos and Don'ts / Tourist Traps
- Aker Brugge - this bridge does offer excellent views of the city and the Akershus fortress, and whilst it is also a great place for people watching, the beer and other refreshments in this area will leave a big hole in your pocket, since they are extremely pricey
- Avoiding Street Sellers - many street sellers gather in central Oslo and around the Karl Johan Gate area. To avoid them, walk fairly quickly and at the sides of the road, rather than in the middle.
- Public Transport - never travel on Oslo's public transport network without first validating you ticket in the machine on board. Ticket inspectors are often prevalent and hard to spot, since many operate in plain clothes, and will always fine you heavily
- Shopping - make no mistake that Oslo is an expensive city and many shops sell extremely pricey gifts. Therefore, if possible, try to shop where the locals go, or somewhere recommended, such as an established department store
- Sightsee Outside of the City - if you have time, use the Bergen Railway to visit other nearby Norwegian cities and sights
- Taxis at Oslo Gardermoen Airport - the taxi journey between the airport and the city centre may be convenient, but it will be extremely expensive. Agree the fare first so that you are prepared for the cost, or alternatively, use the far more economical Flytoget express trains
- Using Public Toilets - unless you are absolutely desperate, try to avoid using the pricey public toilets, which often require the exact change. Instead, try using the toilets within a fast-food restaurant, such as those at a McDonald's outlet