Stockholm to Oslo: the cheapest and fastest options

Travelling between Stockholm in Sweden and Oslo in Norway is pretty straightforward. The two capital cities lie just 326 miles apart, and although you’re crossing a country border, it’s an easy journey.

The route from Stockholm to Olso passes pretty Lake Vanern, Sweden's largest lake

In fact, it’s quicker to travel between the two cities than it is to get from Oslo to Norway’s second city, Bergen, or from Stockholm to some of Sweden’s northern cities. 

But what’s the best way to do this trip? Which is the quickest route? And which is the cheapest?

We’ll round up some of the different options for making the trip – and reveal which we think is the best.

All the info is relevant for both directions, so will still be useful whether you’re heading from Stockholm to Oslo to from Oslo to Stockholm. 

By bus
By train
By plane
By bike
By car
Breaking the journey
What is the best option?

By bus from Stockholm to Oslo

FlixBus offers a comfortable and cheap way of getting from Stockholm to Oslo. These busesleave daily from Stockholm’s central bus station, the Cityterminal at Klarabergsviadukten 72, at about 8am each morning. 

Flixbus runs regular buses from Stockholm and Oslo
MichaSpa (CC)

Buses arrive at Oslo bus station at Busterminalen Galleriet, Schweigaards gate 12 at about 3.30pm. Fares start at 239 SEK (US$22)

 Vy bus4you runs three buses daily along the same route, leaving at 7.40am, 12.35pm and 3.15pm. Fares start at around 448 SEK (US$47).

Both companies’ buses are comfortable with wifi and toilets, and include take-on luggage plus a hold suitcase in their basic fare.

With FlixBus, the advertised journey time is 7 hours 25 minutes, while Vy bus4you takes 7 hours, 45 minutes, so Flixbus is marginally quicker. 

If you can book ahead and travel off peak, the basic fare with Flixbus is also considerably cheaper, though it has fewer daily departures, so it’s really matter of which bus leaves at the most convenient time for you.

Both Flixbus and Vy bus4you run along the same route, but Vy bus4you also offers longer bus trips that include a change in Gothenburg.

Journey time: 7 hours 25 min to 7 hours 45 min

Approximate cost: 239–448 SEK one-way

By train 

Travelling by direct high-speed train is the quickest overland way to get from Stockholm to Oslo. And it’s also comfortable, with free wifi and a buffet car that serves hot drinks, beer, wine and snacks.

There are direct trains between Stockholm and Oslo

So you can just sit back and watch the lakes and forest roll by outside!

Five daily direct trains run from Stockholm to Oslo, with the fastest taking just over five hours. The first train leaves at about 6am, so you can be in Oslo for coffee at 11.10am.

The last train of the day leaves at 6.10pm and arrives in Oslo at about 11.30pm.

Fares start from 298 SEK (US$31) for a second class non-refundable ticket. So if you can book in advance on a specific fare, the train won’t cost you a whole lot more than the coach. 

If you book last-minute on a popular train, however, you can end up paying a whopping 1132 SEK (US$118).

Trains are run by Sweden’s SJ train company (tickets here) and leave from Stockholm’s Central Station, at Centralplan 15, arriving in Oslo’s Central Station at Jernbanetorget 1.

There are also indirect trains that involve changing in Gothenburg onto either another another train or a bus, but these take much longer and are usually no cheaper, so frankly not worth doing, unless you particularly want to go via Gothenburg.

Journey time: 5 hours 7 min to 5 hours 47 min

Approximate cost: 298–1132 SEK one-way

The quick option: flying

Flight time between Stockholm’s Arlanda airport and Oslo’s  Gardermoen is about an hour, making it the quickest option. 

However, you’ll also have to factor in getting to the airport checking in and going through security, which can be a lengthy procedure. For more on this, see out guide to Getting from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport to the city.  

Also bear in mind that both airports are outside of the city, whereas the train stations are very central.

Between them, Norwegian and SAS have about 10 flights a day between Oslo and Stockholm, with fares starting about 690 SEK (US$68) if you can book in advance and travel at a quiet time.

Journey time: 1 hour

Approximate cost: 690–2000 SEK

The scenic route: by bike

There’s no official long-distance cycle route between Stockholm and Oslo and cycling along the busy E18 is not allowed – nor would it be advisable or enjoyable!

Cycling from Stockholm to Oslo takes at least a week

However, it is possible to wend your way along smaller roads and cycle paths, though this does increase the distance considerably.

Camping wild is allowed in Sweden and Norway – see our Camping in Sweden and Camping in Norway guides for all the details.

So if you’re happy to take your time, camp en-route beside lakes and in woods, then cycling can be an enjoyable way of getting between the two cities.

Experienced cyclists can probably do the trip in a week, though you may want to take longer and enjoy the scenery and landscapes en route.

Note, you will need longer in winter as the days are shorter: in summer, you can still cycle until 9 or 10pm in the daylight.

There are no official guides for the journey, but there are a few helpful blogs that give information about the route and where to camp – we like this one.

Journey time: At least a week

By car

Driving from Stockholm to Oslo is pretty straightforward. You simply follow one road (the E18) all the way!

Driving from Stockholm to Oslo takes about 7 hours non-stop

It also gives you the flexibility to stop en-route whenever you like.

However, it’s not a particularly scenic trip, passing through fairly flat, nondescript countryside, though there are big sections of pine forest along the way, plus plenty of pretty lakes.

The journey time is about seven hours non-stop, but you’ll definitely want to factor in a few rest breaks.

The upside is that there are plenty of pleasant places to stop en-route, so you may even want to stay overnight and make the journey part of your holiday.

Journey time: 7 hours 30min to 9 hours

Breaking the journey

Probably your best bet for a first port-of-call is Örebro, some two hours, fifteen minutes into the journey.

You can stop off for a stroll round Örebro’s 14th-century castle, and explore the historic, red, wooden houses that date from 17th century in city’s old town of Wadköping.

Örebro is a good place to stop-off on the journey from Stockholm to Oslo

If you want to stay the night here, the comfortable Elite Stora Hotellet Örebro is centrally located with great views over the river Svarta and the castle.

An hour further on, the lakeside town of Kristinehamn is also a good place to have a break. It’s a pretty town on the shores of Sweden’s largest lake, Lake Vänern, and has a lively arts scene, including the world’s largest sculpture by Picasso.

And if you want to spend the night here, we like the boutique-style Sockerslottet Hotell in a stylishly converted baptist church in the centre of town. Some of the rooms still have the original stained glass windows, while others look onto the street.

Another thirty minutes further on, but still on the shores of Lake Vänern, Karlstad is another good stopping-off point.

It’s an attractive town to wander around with a large market square and grand neoclassical buildings. If you’ve got time, the best way to explore is on a boat trip round the city’s waterways and islands.

And if you’re staying the night, we think the Elite Stadshotellet Karlstad is a great choice. In a smart 19th-century building right on the waterfront, it’s in a great location and has a roof-top pool and sun terrace looking over the river.

What is the best way to get from Stockholm to Oslo? 

So, what is the best form of transport between these two capital cities? 

We’ve complied a useful table of the pros and cons of all the different ways to get from Stockholm to Oslo.

By busCheapLonger journey time
By trainCheap, quick and relaxingNone!
By carFlexible, cheapLonger journey time
By planeQuickBad for the environment and pricey
By bikeHealthy, fun and cheapYou need at least a week!

In our opinion, the train is the best option. It’s quicker and more comfortable than the bus, and doesn’t cost much more if you can book tickets in advance.

It’s cheaper than flying and certainly better for the environment. It’s greener than driving – and more relaxing – though if there are four of you and you want the flexibility of stopping off en-route, driving can be a cheaper option.

Overall trains are the greenest way of getting between Oslo and Stockholm – apart from cycling, of course – and they’re quick, convenient and comfortable.

So, we think the train wins hands-down! You can book tickets in advance on the Omio website.

See also:
Getting from Stockholm to Copenhagen
Getting the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki
Getting from Copenhagaen to Oslo

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