WHEN TO GO
Oslo shines brightest in summer (June to August), when the high temperatures average 71 degrees F and the city is bathed in almost constant daylight—ideal conditions for sightseeing. Winter (November to April) can be cold (with highs in the 30s) and dark but great for skiing—there's plenty of snow on the nearby slopes.
HOW TO GET THERE
The beautiful Oslo Airport Gardermoen is located about 29 miles north of the city (Edvard Munchs veg, Gardermoen; 47-64-81-20-00; www.osl.no). Sandefjord Airport Torp is about 68 miles to the south, near Skien and Tonsberg (130 Torpveien; 47-33-42-70-00; www.torp.no). Cab rides from the airports to the city vary according to time of day, number of passengers, and destination, but a standard fare to the city center can cost upwards of $113 for the 50–minute trip from Gardermoen and $312 for the hour and 45–minute ride from Sandefjord (www.oslotaxi.no/upload/Priser%20og%20takster/Oversettelse%20Airport%20Taxi.pdf). For a quicker and cheaper ride from Gardermoen, try Flytoget, the airport express train. The trip takes about 20 minutes to Nationaltheatret or Oslo Central Station and costs $28; trains leave every ten minutes (47-81-50-07-77; www.flytoget.no). The Torp Express bus from Sandefjord leaves every half hour, costs $26, and takes approximately an hour and 45 minutes.
Continental Airlines flies direct (about 7 1/2 hours) from New York to Oslo (800-231-0856; www.continental.com). Connecting flights are available on Brussels Airlines, British Airways, and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)/United; with one connection, the trip takes approximately 11 hours from New York City. From Chicago, Newark, and Seattle, SAS flies to Oslo daily via a connection in Copenhagen (800-221-2350; www.flysas.com).
The best way to appreciate the city and take in the 19th-century architecture is on foot. The public transportation system—subways, buses, and trolleys (or trikken)—runs from 5:30 am until after midnight. On weekends, certain routes offer night service. Tickets for destinations within the city include a one-hour free transfer, but you'll often save money by purchasing a dags kort, or day card, for unlimited travel.
The Oslo Card (available from tourist offices, hotels, and newsagents) enables you to travel by public transportation within four different zones, including some ferry and boat routes, and also grants free entry to most museums (www.visitoslo.com/en/the-oslo-pass.49104.en.html).
Oslo Tourist Office
5 Fridtjof Nansens plass
Tel: 47 24 14 77 00
Fax: 47 22 42 92 22
Open Mondays through Fridays 9 am to 4 pm January through March and October through December; Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 5 pm April, May, and September; Mondays through Sundays 9 am to 7 pm June through August.
Oslo Central Station
Open Mondays through Fridays from 7 am to 8 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8 am to 6 pm (October to April) or 8 am to 8 pm (May to September).