Our guide to Oslo S station explains what to look out for when arriving and departing by train, and how to access the city centre and airport.
At Oslo S (Oslo Sentral) train station, the impressively cavernous departure hall in the main station building contributes to the airport-like atmosphere.
Another aspect of the station that resembles an airport is the multiple levels within the station building.
The departure concourse (main station building) sits above the trains and the station is also on an upper level to some of its surrounding streets.
The transit between trains and street can therefore involve multiple changes of level, though escalators and lifts are always available, as alternatives to the stairs.
The Flytoget airport train services have a separate concourse, at a lower level, to the south side of the main concourse.
The main information desk at Oslo S is also located on this south side concourse; and this concourse also houses multiple food/drink outlets and shops.
At Oslo S railway station there will only main exit from the spor/track/platform that your train will have arrived at.
If your train has arrived from Goteborg, Trondheim or Lillehammer, then this exit will be at the front of the train.
If your train has come from Bergen or Stavanger, it will be at the rear.
You will have to ascend to an upper level to exit the spor/track/platform, but there are either escalators OR moving walkways available; depending on which platform/track your train has arrived at.
The moving walkways only give access to the main concourse, but the escalators ALSO give access to multiple exits; including a short cut to the south side exit.
Heading directly to this south side exits from those escalators* is a good option, if:
(1) you will be walking to a final destination that’s to the south of the station, or,
(2) your hotel is in the area around Prinsens Gate.
To access this South Side exit don't use the second escalator that you'll come to, instead go left.
There is an exit from this level on to the square (the Chr. Frederiks Plass) that is to the south side of Oslo S station
*This short cut isn't available from the platforms that are linked to the concourse by moving walkways.
Ascend into the main station building if you will be:
The main entrance to the Metro is to the right of the main concourse and opposite it is a supermarket.
If you’re on a budget then stocking up on food/drink here to take to your hotel/hostel is a good option.
Try not to arrive too early for your train, aside from the food/drink outlets, Oslo S has few areas in which to sit and wait for a departure.
Head to the main concourse and keep an eye on the departure board, or if you’re in a cafe/snack bar, sit where you can see the departure monitors.
Trains are listed on the departure screens in order of departure, but the spor/track/platform that the long distance 'Regiontog' trains will be departing from, won’t be confirmed until the train is ready for boarding; around 15 mins before departure.
You can then descend to the appropriate spor/track/platform by escalator or moving walkway.
If you’re taking a long distance (Regiontog) train, when you arrive on the spor/platform, the train conductor will be waiting and can answer any questions, and direct you to the coaches in which any reservations are located.
Oslo Sentral train station, aka Oslo S. station doesn't quite live up to its name, as it's located on the eastern edge of the city centre.
The Bussterminalen which the long distance buses depart from can be reached on foot from Oslo S train station.
It's well signposted, you'll exit from the north side of the main concourse, with the metro entrance on the left and the supermarket on the right.
The route is an enclosed walk way above street level, but the transit will take 5 - 8 mins.
If you're heading into Oslo from the north and east and your train terminates at Oslo S, then the best option for accessing Nationaltheatret is to transfer to the frequent local trains on from Oslo Sentral.
Do this and it will save you the bother of having to transfer and descend to the Metro at Oslo S.
Though the express trains from Bergen and Stavanger pass through Nationaltheatret station and don’t call there.
So, if you’re heading to the area around Nationaltheatret to/from these locations, the easiest and fastest journey is to change trains at Drammen station.
Tram line 12 (direction Majorstuen) links Oslo S to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, leave the tram at the 'Vigelandsparken' stop
All of the Metro T-Bahnen trains heading west from Oslo S station make their first call at Stortinget station.
This station is closer to the heart of the city, by the National Parliament Building, than any tram stop.
It may seem an indulgence to take the Metro for a one-stop hop, it's a 12-20 min walk to the parliament building along the street named Karl Johans Gate - but if you're arriving in the city for the first time, then taking the Metro is the less confusing option.
Also worth knowing is that the metro station at Oslo S station is named 'Jernbanestorget'
There are two options for travelling between Oslo and the Airport by train;
(1) Flytoget Airport Express trains
(2) regular trains operated by Vy - the national rail operator.
You also don’t have to use Oslo S station, both the Flytoget and Vy trains also operate between the airport and Nationaltheatret Station, which is located at the opposite (western) edge of the city centre to Oslo S.
When heading to the airport from central Oslo look for trains that are heading to ‘Oslo Lufthavn’.
On some timetables the airport station is ‘Oslo Lufthavn Gardermoen’.
**4 x trains per hour operate between Nationaltheatret station and Oslo Lufthavn station
When the 6 x trains per hour service is operating. two of the trains commence the journey at Oslo S station.
So if you’re heading off from Oslo S these trains, which commence their journeys at the main station, have easier boarding.
In contrast to taking the Flytoget trains, the regular trains are:
When travelling from Oslo look for trains that are calling at Oslo Lufthavn, but are terminating (usually) at Eidsvoll or Lillehammer.
The Vy trains are generally busier than the Fltytoget trains, particularly the trains heading to/from Lillehammer.
So seats aren't guaranteed, particularly when heading to the airport on Monday - Saturday between 16:00 and 18:00
However, tickets are generally (much) cheaper, also rail passes are not valid on the Flytoget trains, but they are valid on these alternative trains.
There are also direct Vy trains between Oslo Lufthavn and Trondheim.
The efforts you will have made to reach Oslo by train will be rewarded by the plethora of attractions that the Norwegian capital can offer
Things To Do (Visit Norway)
Top 10 Attractions (Visit Oslo)
More than 30 Suggestions (Lonely Planet)
10 Must See Sights (Luxe Adventure Traveller)
To Do, To Eat, To Drink (The Independent)
40 Free Things To Do (Routes North)
Looking for rooms near to Oslo S station for less than the equivalent of under €70 per night can be virtually impossible, so if you're on a budget it can be worth using the city’s tram network to access more distant options, with easy access to and from the station.
Hotels within 5 mins walk of Oslo S (Oslo Central Station):
Comfort Grand Central Hotel
Comfort Xpress Central Station (personally recommended)
Saga Posh Hostel (10 min walk from Oslo S station)
Highly rated Hotels with direct and easy public transport links to Oslo S Station:
HTL Grensen (take tram lines 17 or 18 from the stop in front of the station two stops to Tinghuset, direction Rikshospitalet)
Villa Marie (take tram line 19 from the stop on Kirkeristen six stops to Rosenberg; direction Majorstuen
Frogner House Apartments (multiple locations across Oslo)
Thon Europa Hotel (take tram lines 17 or 18 from the stop in front of the station three stops to Tullinløkka, direction Rikshospitalet)
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.