The guide to Norwegian train tickets, and how to buy them online, covers the basics of what you can expect to encounter when making bookings in usual circumstances.
The aim is to provide context for the tickets and journey options you should typically encounter when making a booking either online or at the station.
SMTJ has striven to ensure that the advice we present is as accurate as possible, but a guide such as this cannot cover every combination of journey options.
Vy is the relatively new national rail operator in Norway, it's replaced NSB, and it's worth booking in advance online on its website, if you will be travelling by long distance express trains in Norway.
Not only will you save money, you can also ensure you have window seat(s) to make the most of the wonderful journeys.
Vy releases limited numbers discounted ‘Minipris’ tickets for journeys by long distance 'Regiontog' trains; and the cheapest tickets inevitably sell out in advance.
The Vy ticket booking website is comparatively easy to use, but like all ticket booking sites it has its unique characteristics, hence the info below
Eleven things worth knowing when booking tickets on the Vy website:
(1) Tickets become available to book online 12-13 weeks ahead.
(2) Limited numbers of discounted ‘Minipris’ tickets are made available for long distance journeys by 'Regiontog' trains; so the cheapest tickets inevitably sell out in advance.
(3) So when looking up journeys by 'Regiontog' trains, the ‘lowest price’ tickets will be the ‘Minipris’ tickets.
However, a sliding scale of prices is applied to the ‘Minipris’ tickets, meaning that if you can be flexible re; your travel dates and departure/arrival times, it’s worth searching through departures to find the cheapest fares.
(4) The booking site has an easy to use edit functionality that switches the date of travel for the journey that you are looking up.
What can be confusing when booking on a desktop PC, is that when you have selected your train, you then need to click the ‘proceed’ button to buy a ticket; and this ‘proceed’ button will be in the bottom right corner of the page
(5) If you're booking a journey by Regiontog trains, when you click ‘proceed’ you then have the option of upgrading to Vy ‘Komfort’; ‘Komfort’ is the Norwegian equivalent of 1st class.
(6) No matter what class you want to travel in, the other big plus of booking online is that you get to choose your seat(s).
Seats will automatically be assigned when booking tickets for Regiontog trains online; so seat reservations are complimentary when travelling by these trains.
If you pick a seat(s) on the easy to use seating plan, you can ensure you have a window seat(s) which is highly useful as every route taken by Regiontog trains has scenic highlights.
(7) Between June and September advance booking is highly recommended on trains between Oslo and Bergen via Myrdal.
‘Komfort’ seats, in particular, can sell out weeks in advance on the most popular trains on this route.
(8) Children aged 0-3 travel free.
Children aged 4-15 travel at half-rate.
However, one child aged 4-15 can travel free with an adult travelling with an ordinary ticket.
(9) Half rate is also charged for those aged 67 and over.
(10) Tickets for journeys to/from Sweden on the Oslo - Stockholm route cannot be booked on the Vy website, instead book them with the Swedish national rail operator, SJ - see the link below.
(11) Tickets are required for bikes on trains; and they're comparatively expensive these bike tickets tyypically cost 50% of the adult rate.
(A fixed fee of NOK195 applies to the Oslo - Bergen route in the summer months.)
Seven Things Worth Knowing About Using Rail Passes in Norway:
(1) If you won't be travelling on the Oslo-Bergen route (see below), reservations aren’t compulsory for rail pass users, but be aware that all those travelling with journey tickets will have had their seats assigned.
When boarding it won't be obvious which seats are available; so it's best to hang back and either ask the conductor which sets are available, or board trains at the last minute when the ticket holders have taken their seats.
(2) So if you want to be sure of a window seat, reserving a seat prior to boarding is highly recommended;- but you can't book these rail pass reservations online.
The trick is to take the same steps as you would if buying a ticket on the NSB website; and then when you're given the option of choosing your seat(s) note down the numbers of the window seats.
You can then request these specific seats when booking reservations by telephone, or at a station.
(3) Although the Oslo <> Bergen route is an exception because rail pass reservations are mandatory on this route.
However, the window seats on the daytime trains can sell out weeks in advance, so if you want to be sure that you can make the most of the stunning journey, don't wait until arriving in Bergen or Oslo to make the reservation.
(4) Reservations can be arranged at stations, but we recommend booking before arriving in Norway; you need to call Vy's international booking service on +4761051910.
(5) An unusual feature is that if you have a 2nd class pass, you can opt to make a reservation in ‘Komfort’ class by paying a fee for the upgrade.
(6) However, if you have a 1st class pass and call to request Komfort Class seats, make it clear on the call that you have a 1st class pass.
If you have a 1st class rail pass, you won't be charged a rail pass reservation fee when travelling in Komfort class on any journey by Regiontog train.
(7) The only pan-Scandinavian rail pass that is still available is the Eurail Scandinavian Pass; so if you don't meet the criteria for Eurail passes, for example being a citizen of a European country makes you ineligible, you cannot purchase a pan-Scandinavian rail pass
I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.
This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.