These two Nordic capitals are tourist favourites. Here is a guide on getting from Copenhagen to Oslo with options for all budgets and travel styles!
Copenhagen To Oslo By Train
Train travel is very popular in Europe, and for good reason. It is quick, cost-effective, and a whole new way to experience the journey. If you are hesitant about going old-school for your trip to Norway consider this:
The train is the most popular option among Danes. There are multiple departures every day, including bank holidays, and the seats fill up quite nicely. You know an option is good when locals prefer it.
The Train Game Plan
There aren’t any direct Copenhagen to Oslo trains but there are plenty of connection options for you. The fastest (but often not the cheapest) train combination is taking:
- The hourly Öresund Link train to Gothenburg
- A Norwegian train from Gothenburg to Oslo Central Station
This way the journey takes you roughly 8.5 hours.
Another way to go is Copenhagen to Halmstad, Halmstad to Gothenburg, and Gothenburg to Oslo. This will take longer (a little over 12 hours) and is not available on all days. If it is, though, it tends to be at least 30 to 40 percent cheaper.
The double connection will make you more vulnerable to missing your train due to delays. Thankfully, Nordic trains are some of the most reliable in the world. There are rarely (if ever) any organisation problems. No delays, no overbooking, no unexpected changes of route.
How Much Is The Train From Copenhagen to Oslo?
The fares are flexible, much like with planes. Your cheapest option will be to book at least two to three weeks in advance and have some wiggle room for your dates. As I mentioned, not all connection options are available every day.
Ideally, I would book my train before making the hotel or Airbnb reservations. This way you get more choice and you can adjust your travel plans accordingly. Even if you are not a budget traveller per se, exploring Scandinavia can get expensive really quick and you want to try and get the most bang for your buck.
On weekdays, and if you are willing to sacrifice some time and do more than one connection, the Copenhagen to Oslo train can cost less than 200 SEK (around 20 euros). Bear in mind that this is pretty much the lowest it goes. Usually, the early booking sets you back around 400 SEK (or 40 euros) and if you are very particular about your departure date and hour (and you book later on) it can go up to 1000 and over (100+ euros, that is).
Approach booking your tickets like you would booking flights. The earlier and the more flexible you are, the cheaper.
How Would Your Train Ride Look Like?
If you go for the Copenhagen-Gothenburg-Oslo option, here is how the journey will go:
- The train to Gothenburg leaves from the Copenhagen Central Station, also known as Koebenhavn H (this is what it will say on the booking). The station is not connected to the Metro system yet, but it is in the centre. Get a bus or a cab if you have a lot of luggage. In all other cases, just walk. It’s quick and free.
- Although high-speed trains to Sweden now require border controls and identity checks before you even board the train, the Öresund is a regional train. You would stop at the border of Sweden instead.
- The passport control station is Kastrup. It usually doesn’t take long but I would allow for 15-30 minute delay when planning my connection. In light of the recent migrant crisis, border control has been getting stricter.
- The train arrives to the central station at Gothenburg. Your connection to Oslo leaves from the same station.
- There is no passport check or any sort of border control between Sweden and Norway. You can’t even tell that you change countries, and if it’s a night train you might sleep right through it.
- You arrive at the Oslo central station.
Some Tips For Your Train From Copenhagen To Oslo
If you have any experience travelling in Scandinavia whatsoever you would know that trains are clean and quick here. There are plenty of signs in English and the locals are happy to give you directions. It is any traveler’s dream. Still, there are a few things you could do to make your ride even smoother.
For your luggage, pick a bag that would fit in the overhead compartment. You are allowed to take as many and as large bags as you want as long as you are keeping the aisles free. While the trains are rarely overbooked and in theory, you could leave your baggage on the seat next to you, a lightweight backpack that fits overhead would be a smart choice. Keep your valuables, especially your passport in a separate purse on you at all times. You would be surprised how often people forget their bags on trains, and you need the passport for border control anyway.
Never leave the booking to the last minute. The seats fill up quite quickly and not just the cheap ones. Booking in the last two or three days before your trip will significantly limit your options.
Double check your passport validity and your visa situation.
Depending on where you come from, you could be subject to stricter border control.
Scandinavians are very friendly to foreigners, but the migrant crisis has made them extra vigilant. Just make sure everything is in check before you get there. It would be much harder to fix once you are outside your home country (and on an overnight train in the middle of Scandinavia).
Copenhagen To Oslo By Ferry
Ferries are a lot of fun, plus this particular one feels more like a cruise.
The ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo sails every night, leaving at around 16:30 and arriving around 9:45. It is not cheap, but it can be classified as affordable luxury. If you are travelling in summer you would still have some light hours to enjoy the view from the sea. In winter, night falls early and it might already be dusk when you are leaving.
In terms of cabin options, you have:
- Standard cabins with 2, 3 or 4 bunk beds and an en-suite bathroom, shower, and WC.
- Sea view cabins for 1 to 5 people, also with bunk beds and en-suite bathrooms.
- Premium class (Commodore) cabins that range from standard, deluxe, and owners’ suite. These have real double or twin beds with the option of a sofa bed for an extra person. They have flat-screen TV, seating area, and a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. All of the Premium cabins are sea view and almost all give you access to an exclusive lounge area with drinks, snacks and quick Wi-Fi.
As you have probably guessed, the Premium class can get pretty expensive but some of the standard cabins are surprisingly affordable.
You can book them for around 100 euro, provided you buy the tickets in advance. The cheaper cabins sell out the fastest. Pay with a debit card if you can, as credit cards get an additional 5 euro surcharge. Alternatively, make sure you use a travel credit card that gives you bonus points for that category (they’ll be worth more than the 5 euros in most cases).
Another budgeting tip for the ferry is to pre-book your meals.
You are not allowed to bring food or drinks on the ferry, and if you don’t want to starve you would have to buy their food anyway. There are four restaurants on board – the Breakfast Restaurant, the Explorers Steakhouse, the Marco Polo Restaurant, and the 7 Seas buffet. The buffet is your most affordable option—the Marco Polo is the fancy place to bring your girlfriend.
You can also book shuttle transfers for a reduced price but you should always double check the price. You could find a better deal if you shop around a bit. If you are in a rush, though, the shuttle is affordable and very convenient.
Copenhagen To Oslo Flights
Flying might not be as exciting as train travel, or as beautiful and luxurious as a mini-cruise, but you can’t beat 1:10 hour to get there.
It is the quickest option, hands down, and it’s also surprisingly cheap. Norwegian Air usually has a plane every single day. It leaves 7:10 from Copenhagen and arrives at 8:20. Depending on when you book, they could be anywhere between 100 and 300 euro. City Jet also have flights on some days.
There are also multiple connection options for flights. These get pricier, but they can be more comfortable.
Booking Your Trip From Copenhagen To Oslo
When booking your trip the number one cause of confusion is…that Copenhagen is spelled ‘Köbenhavn H’. Just to be clear, this is the central train station. The airport station is ‘Copenhagen Airport’ but it has less train options.
The Copenhagen to Oslo ferry is available on here. They are a British company so you shouldn’t have any language problems with their website.
For planes, I usually like to use Skyscanner or a similar flight search engine and then buy the tickets directly from the company. One trick I think helps is to buy from the airline website through the incognito window.
Whichever travel option you choose, I hope you have a fun Copenhagen to Oslo trip—and a blast during your travel in Scandinavia. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
PS: If you need lodging in either city, click the links below.