If you’ve been researching a trip to Oslo, you’ve probably seen something about the Oslo Pass. The pass is an all-in-one discount card that gives you free entry to most major museums in the city, as well as free transportation in Oslo and the surrounding region.
The pass will cost you a fair amount upfront, but it promises to save you much more in the long run. So how can you be sure if the Oslo Pass is the right option for you and your travel plans? We ran the numbers and created this simple guide to help you decide.
So, what exactly is the Oslo Pass?
Aimed at tourists, the Oslo Pass is a special card that lets you enter many museums and attractions in Oslo for free. It also lets you use the public transport network for free, and gives you money off at local attractions and restaurants.
The pass is good for 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours, depending on which version you buy. Once you first start using the pass, just write the date and time on it and it will be considered ‘active’. You have to show the pass every time you enter a museum or are asked to show a ticket on public transport, so make sure you get the date and time right!
What’s included with the pass?
The Oslo Pass includes free admission to over 30 museums, ranging from the big-ticket attractions like the Norwegian Folk Museum and the Viking Ship Museum to lesser-known sights such as… er…. the Oslo Reptile Museum.
Additionally, the pass offers you free access to several guided walking tours of Oslo. The 72-hour version of the pass also lets you join the hop-on, hop-off city cruise, which takes passengers out in the Oslofjord.
Other perks include discounts on activities such as zip-lining through the tree tops at the Oslo Summer Park or experiencing a hair-raising ski jump at the Holmenkollen Ski simulator – although most discounts are only up to 20% off the usual rates.
Discounts also extend to various restaurants around the city, from the American-inspired Hard Rock Café to the historic Café Christiania, which offers classic Norwegian cuisine. The complete list of sites covered by the Oslo Pass can be found here.
The pass also includes free use of all forms of public transportation in zones 1 and 2, which covers pretty much every attraction you’d want to see in the city as well as travel to and from many of Oslo’s surrounding suburbs.
Keep in mind, though, that both Gardermoen and Torp airports lie outside of these zones, so transport to and from the airports is not covered by the pass.
How much does the Oslo Pass cost, and where do I get it?
There are three different versions of the pass for adults, children (4-15), and seniors (67+), each with validity periods of 24, 48, or 72 hours.
|Adult||Child (age 4–15)||Senior (67+)|
|24-hour Oslo Pass||395||210||315|
|48-hour Oslo Pass||595||295||475|
|72-hour Oslo Pass||745||370||595|
Costs (in Norwegian kroner) are correct at the time of publication.
The easiest and cheapest option is to buy online in advance. Alternatively, passes can be purchased on arrival at a few different points around the city, including the Oslo Visitor Center at the Central Train Station, the Ruter service points at Aker Brygge and Oslo Airport (Gardermoen), and some hostels and hotels in the city center.
An electronic pass can also be purchased on the Oslo Pass app, available for both Android and iPhone.
Now, the million-dollar question: is the Oslo Pass worth buying?
Given the relatively low value of the discounts on offer, the main benefit of the Oslo Pass is the free entry to the city’s many museums. And, if you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing, then the Oslo Pass is definitely worth buying.
This is especially true if you’ll be visiting some of the museums on the Bygdøy peninsula, like the Maritime Museum. Here, having the Oslo Pass is definitely a smart choice and will save you cash. Each of the four maritime-themed museums on the peninsular costs around 100 NOK to enter, and the Folk Museum (with its famous stave church) costs 150 NOK.
All of these museums are interesting and worth checking out, but some of the smaller ones can be enjoyably explored in just 30-45 minutes. If you take public transport round trip to and from the peninsula, and then poke your head into all five museums for even a few minutes, you will have easily covered the cost of the both the 24 and 48-hour passes.
The Oslo Pass also includes free use of the Museum Ferry, an express boat service that runs regularly between the Bygdøy peninsula and the harbour in front of City Hall. Without the pass, this alone would cost you around 60 NOK each way.
So for museums and attractions the museum is almost always worth it, but there’s no need to buy the pass if you’re just planning a few short trips on public transport. The free use of public transit might appear to be an attractive benefit, but a standalone 24-hour public transport ticket is only around 90 NOK in zone 1, which includes all of Oslo.
This ticket allows unlimited travel on all forms of public transportation in the city, including the boats to the nearby islands in Oslofjord, and is less than a quarter of the price of a 24-hour Oslo Pass. By using the Ruter Ticket app on your phone, it’s also easy to buy.
Keep in mind that Oslo is a comparatively small capital city which can easily be explored on foot, and most attractions are in the central part of town, so you may not need to use public transport much at all.
Three days in Oslo: would you save cash?
The list below compares prices for transport and regular adult tickets at several Oslo museums to the cost of a three-day adult Oslo Pass. This list is for a fairly busy trip, and includes visits to 9 of Oslo’s most popular attractions and 6 trips on public transport.
|The DIY option||Oslo Pass|
|Entry to Astrup Fearnley Museum||120||n/a|
|Entry to Munch Museum||100||n/a|
|Entry to Norway’s Resistance Museum||60||n/a|
|Entry to National Gallery (for The Scream)||100*||n/a|
|Entry to Folk Museum||130||n/a|
|Entry to Viking Ship Museum||100||n/a|
|Joint entry to Kon Tiki/Fram/Maritime Museum||270||n/a|
|6 x trips on public transport||198||n/a|
Costs (in Norwegian kroner) are for one adult and assume a three-day trip to Oslo. All prices correct at time of publication. *Except Thursdays, when admission is free for everyone.
If you managed to cover all of these Oslo attractions in three days, you’d spend more than 1000 NOK. But if you bought the 72-hour pass, you’d only spend 745 NOK – that’s a nice tidy saving of more than 300 NOK, giving you lots more cash for yummy Norwegian beer.
The Oslo Pass: our verdict
If you plan on having a fun-packed trip, then the Oslo Pass is definitely going to give you good value – especially if you’ll be doing the rounds at the museums. You can buy it online and pick it up on arrival from the Oslo Visitor Center (at the main train station).
But if you’re only planning to visit a couple of museums, and will otherwise spend your time out enjoying the vibe of the city, then the pass probably won’t save you much money.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to enjoy Oslo on a budget, be sure to check out our list of 40 free things to do in Oslo.