If you’ve already made the trip to Copenhagen, there’s not much stopping you from heading even further north, all the way up to Oslo, Norway.
With enough spare time and money, it’s definitely worth trying to squeeze both of these amazing Scandinavian capitals into one trip.
While the journey can be time consuming, the Copenhagen to Oslo route is surprisingly easy – and it can be ridiculously beautiful, depending on how you go about it.
Here are the main options:
Why make the trip?
Oslo is a gorgeous coastal city known for its green spaces and lively arts scene – and there’s some breathtakingly beautiful nature on the city’s doorstep. Travelling to Oslo isn’t really feasible as a day trip from Copenhagen; it’s best if you have at least a few days set aside for the trip.
There’s around 600km between the two cities – quite a distance, even by Scandinavian standards –and there’s no simple bridge connecting the two cities like with Copenhagen and Malmö, so if you’re travelling overland you’ll have to go the long way round.
There are five different transportation options to choose from when it comes to travelling between Copenhagen and Oslo. The cost and the amount of time you spend travelling will depend on which one you go for.
Is the Oslo Pass worth buying?
Read this guide to see how much you could save during your trip!
If you’re on a tight budget, taking the bus between Copenhagen and Oslo is a solid option. There’s a direct route between the two cities, starting at Ingerslevsgade in Copenhagen and ending up at Oslo’s bus terminal Gallerian, right in the city centre.
For a one-way trip, the bus usually costs between 190–300 DKK (though you can pay up to 560 DKK if you’re booking last-minute at peak time) and takes between eight and nine hours.
Both companies offer day and night options (if you’re really on a budget you might consider sleeping on the bus, instead of paying for another night at a hostel).
Since both companies use dynamic pricing, fares will depend on how many tickets each company has sold on each service – sometimes Netbuss has lower fares, sometimes Flixbus. Check both websites for the cheapest option at the time you want to travel and, as always, book as far as possible in advance for the lowest fares.
On the Netbuss website, remember that Copenhagen will probably be spelled the Swedish way (Köpenhamn) when you try to book your ticket. Flixbus has the option to translate and pay for your ticket in pounds sterling, but if you’re already in Denmark and want to pay in local currency, Copenhagen will be spelt the Danish way (København).
Alternatively, you can ride this hop-on hop-off bus which goes around the Classic Copenhagen Route.
The train ride between Copenhagen and Oslo is broken into two parts and takes about eight and a half hours in total, with one stop in Gothenburg, Sweden, along the way.
While the train ride is a comfortable, scenic and reliable journey, its more expensive than taking the bus or driving. You can book the journey in two legs on the ACP Rail website (you can also buy Interrail/Eurrail passes there if you’re planning a longer trip around Scandinavia).
First, book a ticket from Copenhagen to Gothenburg (around four hours). Then buy a ticket for the second leg of the journey, from Gothenburg to Oslo (also around four hours). You can of course overnight in Gothenburg if you prefer, continuing on to Oslo the next morning – this guide has some ideas for unusual things to do there.
If you’re not in a hurry and can book in advance, there’s a cheaper, less direct, train option, which involves three changes – in Lund, in Linköping and Katrineholm – and takes ten hours, 20 minutes. It can be booked at a through-fare on the ACP Rail website and costs around 340 DKK.
The Copenhagen to Oslo ferry
DFDS Seaways operates a direct overnight ferry most days of the week between Copenhagen and Oslo. The experience of being aboard the ferry as it crosses the Kattegat Sea and then the Skagerrak Strait is pretty cool, but bear in mind that it does take a whopping 17 hours.
Prices depend on the type of cabin you choose and also the season during which you are traveling, but this option is usually a little cheaper than flying, especially if you factor saving a night’s accommodation. Fares for a bunk in the cheapest inside cabin, booked in advance, start at around 560 DKK per person.
Copenhagen to Oslo mini-cruise
If you’re just looking for a short trip to Oslo, DFDs Seaways also offers mini-cruises at certain times of the year, which include return overnight crossings and give you six and a half hours in Oslo – enough time for a whistle-stop tour of the city.
Check out our Oslo guide to find out what you can see and do in Oslo in six hours. Low season advance fares for the return trip including the cheapest cabin start from an astonishingly low 290 DKK.
Flying is definitely the fastest way to travel between Copenhagen and Oslo, with a flight time of only about one hour. SAS runs the most flights daily between the two cities, though Norwegian tends to be cheaper, with fares usually around 450–550 DKK each way.
Again, due to dynamic pricing, low season advance no-luggage fares can be found from as low as 250 DKK – though you’ll pay nearer 1000 DKK if you book close to the departure date and want to travel at peak times.
Driving between Copenhagen and Oslo
You can always rent a car and drive between Copenhagen and Oslo. This option is faster than the ferry, bus and train and offers you the leisure of going at your own pace and stopping along the way to marvel at your beautiful surroundings.
It’s also just great to have a car in Oslo once you get there – especially if you want to try head out of the city and explore more of Norway once you’re there. Check out our guides to exploring the Oslofjord and ski spots near Oslo.
The fastest route by car is a 600km drive, taking six to seven hours with a few tolls along the way. Head over the Öresund bridge into Sweden (details here) and keep going north on the E20 until you reach Gothenburg. Then, take the E6 towards Oslo.
Ferry and car option
A second option is for those who have a lot of time and really want to take in the sights. From Copenhagen it’s a 480 km, five-hour drive to Fredrikshavn in northern Denmark, following the E20 west/E45 north. When you reach the port you can take your car on the Stena Line ferry bound for Oslo, a journey of around ten hours.
The ferry leaves at around 8.45am most morning from Fredrikshavn Port, crossing the Skagerrak Strait and heading up into the fjords with heavenly views of the Norwegian coast, arriving in Oslo at around 6.30pm.
There’s also a weekly overnight crossing leaving Fredrikshavn at 6.30pm and arriving in Oslo at 7.30am the following morning.
The one-way cost for two people and a car starts from around €66 during the week and about €88 at the weekends with the no-frills ‘economy’ option.
Find a cheap rental car
To book a rental car before your trip starts and to pick it up when you arrive, use the form below. It’ll search loads of local providers to find you the best deal.
What about passport checks between Sweden, Denmark and Norway?
Depending on how you decide travel, the journey between Copenhagen and Oslo may take you over the Denmark-Sweden border and the Sweden-Norway border.
While passport checks between Sweden and Denmark are patchy, the Swedish police do still make ID check on vehicles and people entering Sweden, so always have your passport on you when travelling between countries (or at least a valid ID if you are a resident of a Nordic state).
Border security isn’t a huge concern between Sweden and non-EU Norway, but again always keep your passport on you, just in case the transport authorities decide to do a random check.
And, of course, UK residents should keep abreast of the latest passport situation via the Foreign Office website, once the UK leaves the EU.
Can you take a train from Copenhagen to Oslo?
The simple answer is yes, but there’s no direct train. The journey take about eight-and-a-half hours and involves a change of trains in Gothenburg.
How far is it from Copenhagen to Oslo?
It’s about 600km. The scenic six-to-seven-hour drive crosses three countries and one of Europe’s most iconic toll bridges.
How long is the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo?
The overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo takes around 17 hours.