Oslo is an amazing city to visit, and a surprising one too, but it’s well known for being expensive (in relative terms!). Therefore, to save costs, we looked into the Oslo Pass, which covers public transport and entry costs to a number of attractions across the city. Do we think it’s worth it? Well it all depends on what you want to see.
How much does an Oslo Pass cost?
Firstly let’s take a look at the cost. You can buy three types of Oslo Pass depending on how long you’re in the city or plan to go sightseeing. Each pass lasts either 24, 48 or 72 hours from the moment you activate it, which should be just before you first use it, so you’re able to use it for the maximum amount of time.
Prices are (correct at time of writing):
24hrs: 395NOK for adults, 210 for kids (£36/19)
48hrs: 595NOK for adults, 295 for kids (£54/27)
72hrs: 745NOK for adults, 370 for kids (£68/£34)
There are also discounts for seniors, students and school groups.
Where can you go with an Oslo Pass?
An Oslo Pass covers public transport costs on the metro, trams, buses and ferries within the city’s Zones 1 and 2, which can be pretty useful if you want to travel about a lot, although much of the city is walkable (if you’re fully-abled). It also offers free access to the city’s outdoor swimming pools.
Where you’re likely to save the most though is entry into the city’s many attractions and museums, which you can find out more about in my post The Best of Oslo in 3 Days (shameless plug!).
The pass offers free access to 30 of the city’s museums and attractions – below is a list of some of main attractions and their usual entry costs for adults/children in NOK.
Viking Ship museum 100/Free
Fram Museum 120/50
Kon-Tiki museum 120/50
Munch Museum 120/Free
National Gallery 100/Free
Historical Museum 100/Free
Labour Museum Free
Armed Forces Museum Free
Jewish Museum 50/40
Museum of Cultural History 130/0
Maritime museum 120/50
How do you use the Oslo Pass?
As soon as you active the Oslo pass your allotted time starts to count down, which you can keep an eye on via the app (see below). So it’s best not to activate your pass until you reach your first destination or take your first trip on the public transport system.
If you really want to make the most out of the pass, then it’s also worth planning out an itinerary and trying to work out which are the most expensive attractions you want to visit and using the pass then, or planning a route where you can fit in as many attractions as possible.
We took both of these into account when we used our 24-hour passes, and timed it so we’d have from 11am-11am to enter the museums we wanted to visit. At 11am on the first day we boarded the Bygdoy ferry, where we spent the day visiting the peninsula’s three main museums. Then the following morning we timed it so that we’d arrive at the Nobel Peace Center just before 11, so we were able to use the pass one final time to go into the museum before it ran out.
Where can you buy an Oslo Pass?
A physical Oslo Pass can be purchased at several spots across the city. The main site however, is the Oslo Visitor Centre, which can be found right next to the Central Station, just inside the Østbanehallen food court. You can also buy them at many of Oslo’s biggest hotels, shops and restaurants. A full list is available online.
However, for anyone using a smartphone I’d recommend purchasing a digital pass, which you can buy and manage via the Oslo Pass App. This app is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices. It’s pretty nifty, especially with the countdown, and very easy to use – staff simply scan the pass on your phone when you enter.
Is it worth buying an Oslo Pass?
I personally don’t think it’s worth purchasing an Oslo Pass unless you’re a visitor that really likes to pack in as much as possible – or you wish to see three Oslo’s best museums: the Viking Ship, Fram and Kon-Tiki museums, which can be found on Bygdoy peninsular.
The city’s museums all offer a lot to see, meaning that even if you ‘rushed’ your way around each attraction you’d – at best – fit in three in a day. We did this with our 24-hour passes, and although it was great, we finished the day absolutely knackered. I really can’t imagine that you could keep up that pace for two or three days solid! Furthermore, if you’re travelling with kids, a lot of attractions offer free entry to children, meaning the pass isn’t that great value for money.
However, the exception is if you wish to go over to the Bygdoy peninsular for the day. With the added cost of the ferry (60/30NOK return) I do think it can be worth purchasing a 24-hour pass on this occasion. Plus, if you time it right, like we did, you can sneak in one final extra attraction the following morning.
In the end, it all depends on what you want to see during your time in Oslo. I recommend taking the time to work out what you want to see and do before you go, and do some number crunching to find out if you’ll benefit from buying an Oslo Pass.
To find out more about the Oslo Pass, visit www.visitoslo.com/oslopass.
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Thanks to Visit Oslo for providing us with 2 x 24-hour passes during our stay in the city.