Norway at a Glance
Public Transportation in NorwayiStockphoto
Norway has an excellent public transportation network spreading all across the country.
Those who decide to explore Norway but do not want to take the car will be glad to hear that Norway has a comprehensive and reliable bus system for long-distance travels. Nor-Way Bussekspress runs the largest express bus network in Norway. They connect many major towns and cities and stretch all the way from Mandal in the south to Alta in the far north. Tickets for buses operated by Lavprisekspressen, on the other hand, are available online and considerably cheaper than those of Nor-Way Bussekspress. However, they only run on a very limited number of routes, like the one from Oslo to Bergen. Northern Norway also offers a train-bus (Togbuss) network.
Keep in mind that most local timetables and some of the long-distance bus schedules are not as extensive on the weekends and during the winter months – the latter being the case particularly in the north. At bigger bus stations and tourist offices you can pick up your free copy of the Rutehefte. which contains information on the different bus routes.
It is not necessary to make prior reservations when you book a seat on a bus. However, your chances of getting your hands on a good travel deal are higher if you get your ticket early on. Tickets are available at bus stations or in most buses as well as online. While fares are based on the distance you will travel, many companies offer discounts for students, children, seniors, and families.
If you prefer to travel by train, Norway offers several routes and connections of the Norwegian State Railways. The network is limited compared to that of the long-distance buses, but the service is excellent.
On most of Norway’s trains, you can choose between seats in the first and second class. Second-class carriages already offer lots of comfort with footrests. The first class costs 50% more and offers a little bit more space. However, in most cases it is not worth the higher price. All in all, taking the train does not come cheap in Norway. However, once you have figured out how the minipris system and the train pass work, train travel can become quite affordable.
Traveling by Air
There are about 50 different airports in Norway, and flights cover different routes between the north and the south. As Norway stretches across a significant distance, traveling by air can save lots of money and time. There are four airlines which operate on domestic routes:
Due to the high competition among the different airlines, travelers can easily get their hands on tickets which are about as expensive as the train fares. So make sure to shop around and save some money.