Is the Oslo Pass worth it?

The Oslo Pass offers free access to many of Oslo's finest museums, free public transport in zones 1 & 2, and a variety of other offers. Sounds like a good deal right? Well, buying the Oslo Pass is a hefty investment. If you love museums and plan to spend three days taking public transport from one end of Oslo to the other to visit them all, then yes, the Oslo Pass is worth it. If you have other ideas of fun, you should probably save your money.

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What is the Oslo Pass?

The Oslo Pass offers the following benefits:

  • Free entry to 30+ museums and attractions, including the National Gallery, the Munch Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum
  • Free travel on public transport in zones 1 & 2
  • Free entry to outdoor swimming pools
  • Free walking tours
  • Discounts at selected attractions, restaurants, shops, and tour services

The Oslo Pass is available in three time-based options:

24 hours: 395 NOK
48 hours: 595 NOK (~300 NOK/day)
72 hours: 745 NOK (~250 NOK/day)

If you are under 30 and can present a valid student card, you will get a 20% discount. Find child and senior rates on the official website.

Should I get the Oslo Pass?

Visit Oslo claims it is “the easiest and most inexpensive way to experience Oslo!”. I would disagree, but then I guess we have different ideas about how to get the most out of Oslo. If you’re coming with an itinerary jam-packed full of museums, then yes, it will probably save you money. Oslo’s best museums cost 100 - 130 NOK each, and a 24-hour transport pass for zone 1 where almost all of the museums are located is 90 NOK. That means you’ll need to hit two or three each day to make it worth it. If it all sounds like a lot of money, remember that most of the best sights in Oslo are free and very walkable.

Getting value out of the 24-hour Oslo Pass requires a big day of charging between museums, but the value improves significantly with the three-day pass. If you're going to be in Oslo for a week, the 72-hour Oslo Pass could form a nice chunk of your itinerary. If you're only in town for the weekend though, I think you should explore the city instead.

Oslo Visitor Centre, Østbanehallen.

Oslo Visitor Centre, Østbanehallen.

The benefits of the Oslo Pass are a little oversold in my opinion, and some of the museums highlighted in the official booklet are free even without the pass. This document provides a better overview of the savings you can expect at the different attractions.

If you are thinking of getting the Oslo Pass primarily for the free public transport, make sure to read the guide to Oslo’s public transport network first. Most people don’t need to travel out of Zone 1, where a single ticket costs 33 NOK and a 24-hour ticket is 90 NOK . Also, note that the train to the airport is not included.

The discounts provided by the card, which cover a few attractions, restaurants, souvenir shops and tour services, don’t add much value. 20% off something that is very expensive just makes it normal expensive. I wouldn’t recommend the listed restaurants and why go on a pricey boat cruise when you can take a public ferry?

How do I get an Oslo Pass?

If you are a museum junkie and can’t wait to discover Norwegian history, you can pick up an Oslo Pass in the following locations:

  • In the official Oslo Pass app for iOS and Android. The app works offline, but make sure you go online to validate it when you are ready to start using it. Then go online every morning so that the public transport control code is updated.
  • Oslo Visitor Centre in Østbanehallen next to the central train station. You can pre-order online, but you’ll still have to pick it up at the Visitor Centre.
  • Ruter customer service centres.
  • Hotel receptions, hostels and campgrounds.
  • Plus a few other random spots.