Oslo has an excellent public transportation system, allowing you to explore Norway’s capital by bus, subway, tram, and even by ferry. The latter commutes between Vippetangen Quay and the Oslofjord islands. Take the express boat Princessin if you plan a trip to Drøbak, Ildjernet, Langåra, and Håøya. It departs from Aker Brygge pier. However, most expats may prefer the traditional modes of transportation for their commute.
The bus and tram network spreads across the entire city of Oslo and well into its suburbs. Although there is no central bus station, Jernbanetorget station is probably the most crowded as this is where most lines meet. With Oslo’s trams and buses, you can easily explore the city and travel to the National Theater and to other popular sites.
Keep in mind that the public transport service is very limited at night. Fortunately for all night owls among you, there are the night bus lines which run until 04:00 on weekends and support the tram system. These services are commonly called Nattlinjer or Nattbuss. There is no special night fare in Oslo and the same fare applies as during the day. For more information, refer to Ruter.
It does not matter if you explore Oslo via metro, tram, bus, train, or boat. The fares are all the same, regardless of which mode of transportation you choose. The only exception to this rule is airport transportation, which has its own rates. Public transport tickets are usually not personalized, allowing you to loan them to your family members and friends.
You can choose between tickets for single trips and period tickets or passes. As a rule of thumb, you pay for a maximum of five zones when you purchase a single ticket and a maximum of three zones when buying a period ticket, regardless of how far you travel. If you buy a ticket on board of a train or bus, you have to pay a surcharge. Children between 4 and 15 and senior citizens above the age of 67 get a significant discount.
Oslo’s public transportation system includes 13 zones, eight of which belong to Oslo and Akershus, and five of which are a cooperation between Oslo and neighboring counties. As mentioned above, you pay for a maximum of five zones when purchasing a single ticket, and for a maximum of three zones when buying a period ticket. If your trip does not exceed this number of zones, you need to calculate your fare by counting the number of zones you’ll travel through, including those in which you get on and off. The Oslo zone (zone 1) makes up the large city zone. It includes the complete metro network as well as Fornebu, Stabekk, Bekkestua, and parts of Lørenskog.
Crime rates in Oslo are rather low compared to other major European cities. However, you should keep in mind that you are, after all, living in a big city and need to exercise a healthy amount of common sense. Petty theft and burglary are as common as in any other metropolis. Crime is mostly centered in inner city neighborhoods and high transit areas. Although violent crimes are rare, they have increased and receive a lot of media coverage. Rape cases have increased as well, particularly in eastern parts of the city.
Another safety issue was raised in 2011, in the form of terrorist attacks by a Norwegian right-wing extremist. Moreover, like other countries in the Schengen Area, Norway’s open borders may also allow terrorists and extremists from outside to enter the country. While you should be alert, there is no reason to be alarmed. The government does its best to assure the safety of every resident in Oslo.
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