Aurora Tracks See Northern Lights

How to Get from Oslo to Northern Lights NORWAY | Train, Plane, Bus & More

how to travel from oslo to northern lights norway 2

Unsure how to make your way from Oslo to northern lights destinations in Norway? In this article, we compare the many transportation modes that will get you out of Oslo and into the arctic wilderness.

Norway is known as being one of the most popular destinations for viewing the northern lights in the world. Every year, countless people make Oslo the base camp for their Arctic adventure. Oslo itself isn’t very good for hunting the aurora borealis, rather you will need to head into the northern regions of Norway for the best sights. But how do you get there?

Whether you are seeking the fastest or the most scenic routes imaginable, there are many different ways in which to travel from Oslo to view the elusive lights. In this article, we discuss your transport options from Oslo to northern lights hotspots in Norway, and how they compare.

Oslo to Northern Lights: Choosing Your Path

When it comes to planning your trip from Oslo to northern lights destinations in Norway, you have many different options to choose from.

Taking Flight: Fast and Easy Travel to Northern Norway

Direct Flights

The fastest way to reach the various destinations from Oslo is via a direct flight. There are flights from Oslo to Tromsø, Alta, as well as Kirkenes. Airlines that offer regular flights from Oslo to northern Norway cities include Norwegian Air and Scandinavian Airlines.

Oslo to Tromsø

Tromsø is often credited as the Gateway to the Arctic, and is one of the most popular destinations for northern lights chasers in the world. You can catch direct flights from Oslo to Tromsø on a daily basis, and the flights take roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes. With multiple flights every single day, you are bound to find a direct flight to Tromsø any time of year.

Oslo to Alta

Alta is known for its aurora observatory, and there are a number of local sites that are dedicated to promoting the northern lights. If you want to get to Alta quickly, you will find flights from Oslo that take only 2 hours. There are several flights every single day between the 2 cities.

Oslo to Kirkenes

This popular destination is located right next to the Russian border and offers a very unique northern light experience. Get up close and personal with reindeer and experience the Sami culture with ease, as there are multiple flights every day that take about 2 hours and 15 minutes each.

Connecting Flights

Of course, you may want to visit multiple destinations or even more remote areas within Norway. To view more of the country, and enjoy greater opportunities to capture a glimpse of the elusive lights, why not try a connecting flight instead?

travel to northern lights from oslo norway by train

Train Travel: A Scenic Route to the Northern Lights from Oslo

The Journey to Bodø

When it comes to the more scenic route, try taking the train instead. You can reach the beautiful Norwegian countryside through Norway’s extensive network of trains which give you access to some of the most popular destinations within the country.

Oslo to Trondheim

Start your journey by train in Oslo, and make your way to Trondheim. Soak in the sights and sounds of this historic city and its magnificent architecture as you take the 7-hour trek through the Norwegian countryside.

Trondheim to Bodø

Of course, once you have reached Trondheim you may also choose to go all the way to Bodø, which is considered by many to be the most scenic train route in the world. This particular leg of the journey takes you on a 10-hour trek deep into the Arctic Circle.

Beyond Bodø: Ferries and More

While the train is an amazing way to view the Norwegian countryside, there is so much more to see in and around the coastal regions of Norway, including the beautiful Lofoten Islands. You’ll find that many different ferries operate between Bodø and the islands, which provide one of the most beautiful Sea voyages imaginable.

Cruises for northern lights are also available in Norway, which is a spectacular way to travel if the idea of spending time on the water appeals to you.

Related Article: Northern Lights Cruises in Norway – Comparison Guide

bus services from oslo to northern lights norway

Bus & Car Tripping from Oslo to Northern Lights

Bus Travel

If you are on a budget and still want to see the Norwegian countryside then going by bus is the perfect option for you. Many different companies operate throughout Norway, and provide bus routes from Oslo to other remote destinations within the country.

Oslo to Tromsø by Bus

Instead of a plane or train, why not visit Tromsø by bus? Although there are many different transfers required to take the bus from Oslo to Tromsø, which results in the journey taking about 30 hours, you will nevertheless experience some of the most diverse vistas of the Norwegian countryside imaginable.

Car Rentals and Road Trips

Feel like driving yourself around Norway? Why not Rent a car and design your own road trip through the country. Explore Norway at your own pace and see all that the country has to offer you when you rent a car instead.

Oslo to Tromsø

It’s roughly 1600 km from Oslo to Tromsø, so you can expect to spend about 20 to 24 hours on the road to reach the Arctic. As you will not want to drive the entire distance in one sitting, look into breaking up the trip into several segments so you can visit cities like Trondheim and Bodø along the way.

E6 Highway

The East 6 Highway is one of the best options for driving from Oslo into the Arctic. It is the main route in Norway running to the north, and for many, it is the most straightforward option possible. This route will take you through several different picturesque towns along the way.

Considerations for Winter Driving

When it comes to driving across Norway during the winter, you will need to be prepared for possible challenging weather conditions. Winter tires are mandatory, so make sure that your rental car has a brand-new set before you drive it off the lot. You will also want to pay close attention to the local weather forecast, and make sure that the road conditions are safe. Before you leave on your journey, take the time to locate all of the rest stops and service stations along the way and make sure that you have plenty of emergency supplies for just-in-case scenarios.

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Transport Comparison

Overall Best Transport Options from Oslo to Northern Lights

For Speed and Convenience = Fly

If your goal is to just see the northern lights without any hassles, then flying from Oslo to northern lights destinations in Norway is the best option. You can fly directly from Oslo to northern lights famed destinations Tromsø, Alta, or Kirkenes in about 2 hours, which makes it one of the easiest ways to get around. However, keep in mind that flying can be more expensive and you will miss most of the scenic Norwegian countryside along the way.

For Scenic Beauty and Experience = Train

However, if you are looking for a truly immersive experience, then the train will provide you with an unforgettable vacation as you make your way into the Arctic Circle to view the northern lights. If there is enough time available, then you will definitely want to continue on to the Lofoten Islands by ferry to view the ghostly lights by sea.

For Flexibility and Exploration = Self Drive

For a truly flexible experience, renting a car and embarking on a road trip through the Norwegian countryside will provide you with the greatest amount of flexibility. If you are up to the long, cold drive through the winterscape, then you can plan to visit some of the most remote destinations the country has to offer. Of course renting a car will require a lot more preparation and caution, but it offers a truly unique and immersive way to experience the country.

Budget Considerations = Bus

When your budget plays the most important part in determining how you’re going to view the northern lights, then taking the bus is the best option for you. Granted, you will spend a lot more time on the bus, but you will see a lot more of the countryside as you make your way from Oslo to the north.

Final tips for chasing northern lights from Oslo…

Finding ways to see northern lights from Oslo, is more than just arranging the right transport. Importantly, you need to make sure that you plan your trip for the right time of year for aurora-hunting in Norway, that is, during the cool Winter months when the nights are long and dark. You will certainly want to avoid summer, as the daylight hours are too long.

The aurora-hunting season can be quite busy in Norway, so you also need to make sure that you plan your accommodations in advance. For inspiration, check out our guide to excellent northern lights hotels and resorts in Norway that offer various aurora-gazing facilities for guests from tours, to large open decks, and midnight alarm services.

Happy aurora chasing!

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