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Norway Travel Guide

Norway — Transportation

Norway Taxis and Car Rental

Traveling by taxi is a safe and reliable way of getting around cities in Norway; however, it is relatively expensive. Considering the developed network, it may be worthwhile to use the public transportation system which includes metro, trams and rail. If you do travel by taxi use a licensed operator, which you will be able to identify by the white sign on the roof. The car may be any make and model, but is typically a standard sedan. To book a cab in Oslo you can call OsloTaxi (+11-47-2323).

Driving in Norway can be a good way to get around if you are prepared to navigate the long distances between cities. It must be taken into consideration that driving conditions can be dangerous since snow and ice are common. The government recommends that all drivers have advanced hazard training before driving in the Norwegian winter, although this is not mandatory. Many roads are closed by the authorities during winter, so always check your route before setting off. Driving is often slower than going by rail since the speed limit in Norway is relatively low, only 50 miles per hour on freeways. Gas is also expensive, as is the cost of renting a car, but you can get one through Avis (+11-47-6725-5510), Budget (+11-47-2201-7610) or Hertz (+11-47-2210-0000).

Norway Water Taxis and Ferries

Along the western coast there is a network of fast catamaran boats called Hurtigbat which connect cities and islands between Stavanger and Tromso which are impassable by roads and bridges. Some journeys take only ten minutes, while others are longer and may require transfers. Ferries can be a pleasurable and leisurely way to get from place to place, although those short on time may wish to consider other transportation options. None of the boats requires a reservation so you can approach the quay and board the next departure, although you may have to wait for a while. During the day, ferries usually leave every thirty minutes, although after midnight services can be less frequent, like every two hours or cease altogether until the morning. A popular way of getting up and down the coast is by taking the famous passenger ferry called Hurtigruten. This route travels all the way from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, making several stops along the way. The total journey takes six days, and many tourists choose to traverse the entire distance, although in doing so you are required to stay in a cabin, which adds to the cost. Deck seats are available for shorter hops for a more reasonable price.

Norway Trains and Buses

Norway has a decent rail network for the size of the country. Train travel is often a tourist attraction in itself since all the routes are extremely scenic and a practical way of getting around the country. Lines run west from Oslo to Bergen and Stavanger, and as far north as Bodo in the Arctic Circle via Trondheim. The longest route takes over eighteen hours, and requires traveling through the night in sleeper cars that require a reservation. The journey between Oslo and Bergen takes six to seven hours, while the Oslo to Stavanger trip takes seven to eight hours. There are usually four departures per day for each leg. Admire the beautiful mountain passes as you fly by bridges passing alpine streams and cut through pine forests. All of the trains are extremely comfortable and provide top of the line service that allows you to really unwind.

Altogether there are about 1,200 train stations in Norway, with a high speed line between the international airport and Oslo S terminus in the capital. There are no air routes for destinations within 150 miles of Oslo so traveling by train is the best option for public transportation. Depending how much train travel you intend on doing, you may wish to consider purchasing a Norwegian Rail Pass which grants unlimited rides for a period of time. Local trains around Oslo depart every 30 minutes at peak times.

Oslo has a light rail metro, an underground urban rail system, and a street level tram, which are all great ways to get around the city. The underground trains are known as T-bane, which you can connect with the trams at many stations.

Visitors may also opt to use the extensive bus network for long distance travel. There are several companies offering services that connect the major cities, some with express routes. Bus travel take slightly longer than the train, but the seats are modern and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi and refreshments provided. Some routes to less populated areas may not run during the wintertime due to mountain passes being closed so always check ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

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