Norway Rail Passes and Train Tips

By Rick Steves

Are rail passes a good value for Norway?

Rail passes are usually a great value in Norway, often saving money over otherwise-expensive tickets while allowing you to hop trains at your convenience (though on some longer-distance reservations are either required or strongly recommended).

How do I see whether a rail pass makes sense for my trip in particular?

Train, Bus & Boat Fares: Scandinavia

Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. For first-class fares, add 50 percent.

Use this map to add up approximate pay-as-you-go fares for your itinerary, and compare that cost to the price of a rail pass for the number of days you expect to spend on the train. Dotted lines show ferry routes, some of which are discounted if you have a rail pass. Dashed lines show bus connections, which aren't covered by rail passes.

Also, follow the links below for:

More tips for figuring out whether a pass makes sense for your trip
The basics on choosing among rail passes
More tips on how to save money by fine-tuning your rail pass
Advice on deciding between first and second class
Fare-estimate maps outside Scandinavia
Answers to frequently asked rail-pass questions

What are my options for rail passes that cover Norway?

Norway Eurail Pass

Scandinavia Eurail Pass (4 countries)

Eurail Global Pass (33 countries) → read more about this pass

Rail Europe shopping cart: Have an order underway? Review and complete it here.

Do I need to make seat reservations on Norwegian trains?

Aside from the popular Norway in a Nutshell trip, you'll need seat reservations ($5–20) for many long rides and express trains, as indicated in online train schedules. Some reservations aren't available outside Europe, but they don't generally sell out terribly far in advance. Private and shared sleepers on night trains are both available with second-class rail passes.

What do rail passes cover in Norway?

Nearly all trains within Norway, though no pass covers the entire cost of the Norway in a Nutshell route, described next. Passes also grant free or discounted travel on a few less-popular bus and ferry routes.

What about the Norway in a Nutshell trip?

This scenic rail-bus-boat-rail route is a popular way to see the Sognefjord. Any rail pass that covers Norway covers the Oslo–Bergen train line (paid seat reservation required, reserve at least a week ahead for summer departures from Oslo) and gives you a 30 percent discount on the private Myrdal–Flåm train. Local tourist information offices and train stations sell all-in-one package tickets, or you can pay as you go for the Myrdal–Flåm supplement (which reserves a specific departure time but not a seat assignment) and bus and ferry rides. To reserve the rail section of the trip from the US, call Norwegian State Railways at +47 81 50 08 88 (press 9 for English) or Fjord Tours at +47 81 56 82 22.

Any tips for buying other point-to-point train tickets in Norway?

If a rail pass doesn't pencil out for your trip, you may be able to shave off the cost of your train tickets with some of these tips:

  • Children (age 6–17) travels generally ride for half the adult fare (kids under 6 are free, but still need a ticket).
  • Seniors (67 and older) can travel for half-price on most trains within Norway; no card needed.

See our general tips for buying point-to-point tickets.

What if I need help with my Rail Europe order?

All orders for passes and tickets are fulfilled by Rail Europe (not by Rick Steves' Europe). For customer-service questions, contact them online (or call 800 622 8600, but expect long waits and periods of unavailability at the call desk) — and keep in mind that refund options are fairly limited.