Visiting Oslo on a Pass Review | Is the Oslo Pass Worth It?

Is Oslo Pass worth buying in 2023? A review of the city card opening doors for free transportation and free museum access, as well as discounted meals and shopping in Oslo.  


Oslo is so beautiful! Still, a rather expensive city to visit, explore and fully enjoy.

Thankfully, magical fjords sightseeing, delicious Norwegian food and art spaces can all come with a discount when using Oslo Pass. Acting as an all-in-one complete sightseeing solution for Oslo visitors, the card easily replaces individual museum or transportation passes and discount tickets.

Oslo Pass does com with an upfront cost, but it claims substantial savings for the active tourists.

I had the opportunity to give Oslo Pass a try during November, together with my husband. We love winter trips! Therefore, Oslo was a great destination despite the cold weather. We were there for 4 full days, from Friday to Monday. But the 4 days in Oslo passed so fast that it seemed more like a weekend getaway.

Considering that on Mondays most museums are closed, we used the Oslo pass at the beginning of our trip. More specifically, from Friday to Sunday. And kept a bunch of free things to do and see in Oslo (without a pass) for a Monday morning.

Oslo Pass Discounts Sightseeing

In order to give you an insight and help you plan your trip to Oslo based on the city card, I tried to point out below its most important aspects. But not without drawing a parallel with my personal experience of exploring the capital of Norway using the 72-hour Oslo pass option.

You will find in my Oslo Pass review below replies to all your questions about prices, where to get the Oslo Pass and what’s included. But most important, you will get an idea if the Oslo Pass is worth it, the consistency of the discounts. Plus some tips and tricks on how to maximize the benefits of the card.

🎟️ I bought a digital Oslo Pass through phone app. The pass was not offered for free, this is not a paid article and it is based entirely on my 3-day experience in Oslo.

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission from that website at no extra cost to you. Learn more: Disclosure policy.

The Oslo Pass is a paid-in-advance, city exploration card for the Norwegian capital. And it bears the promise of making travel to Oslo, one of the insanely expensive cities in the world, more affordable.

Oslo pass city discounts

Oslo Street, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

Like many other city passes, it can be an essential tool for weekend getaways or city breaks in Oslo.

It gives you free admission to about 30 of the top visitor attractions in the capital of Norway, museums and activities and access to free public transport. And, of course, various discounts on sightseeing tours, traditional cuisine or shopping.

Nowadays, this Oslo city card can come as physical or digital. I bought the digital version. But if your internet connection is limited during your stay, I would honestly recommend buying a printed one.

How much does the Oslo Pass cost?

Basically, Oslo Pass price varies depending on the timeframe: 24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours.

Accordingly, the more days you spend in Oslo, the more profitable the pass is. Considering the entrance to a museum is ~€13 / $14, a Norwegian beer is around ~€10 / $11 and a steak starts around ~€30 / $34, the Oslo pass is not so highly priced. Also compared to other city cards in Europe, it is less expensive.

OSLO PASS COST FOR 2023 24h 48h 72h
Adult NOK495 | €47 | $51 NOK720 | €69 | $74 NOK895 | €86 | $91
Child (ages 6 - 17) NOK265 NOK360 NOK450
Senior (over 67) NOK395 NOK570 NOK720
Students (up to 30) 20% discount
Currency parity is subject to change

Was the Oslo Pass worth it for us?

The budget for our whole 4-day trip to Oslo, as a couple, except the airplane tickets, was €1170 (€550 central hotel, including breakfast; €170 Oslo passes; €450: restaurants & bars, one extra paid museum, Christmas market, gifts and souvenirs). Meaning a budget of about $1260.

Taking that into consideration, the passes represented more than 10% of our budget.

We bought two Oslo Passes for a 72-hour period:

  • 🏛️ visited 14 attractions,
  • 🎯 applied 2 discounts,
  • 🚍 fully used urban transport in the city center and Bygdøy island (Ferries were closed for the season),
  • 💰 In total, €172 was paid and the passes saved us, as a couple, €160.

What is included in the Oslo Pass?

One thing that’s for sure is that Oslo Pass includes the most searched for attractions in the capital. The pass takes you from art to maritime museums, through castles, parks and islands, while facilitating the transport between all these locations.


🎟️  Free admission to 30 attractions in Oslo


30 free Oslo museums and sights, more or less, depending on the day or time of the year.  That is why, while planning your trip to Oslo, don’t forget to carefully check the opening hours and availability.

The free attractions list includes mostly museums connected to Norwegian art, maritime history and Viking legacy. The best of the best Norway had to offer.

I would start with Vigeland. Vigeland is the most famous Norwegian sculptor, who gave his life work to the city of Oslo. His statues are completely naked and, therefore, timeless. Nonetheless, frozen in their emotions, feelings, gestures, expressing human nature beyond a certain era.

In brief, his former house, present on the city pass free attractions list, gives a deeper insight on the way the sculptor lived and his creative process. A visit to Vigeland museum is a must!

Oslo Pass Attractions Vigeland Museum
Oslo Pass Attractions - Munch Museum

Vigeland Museum & Munch Museum in Oslo, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

Nonetheless, you should not miss the Scream of Munch. Even if it is iconic, I’ve never associated this painting with Norway.

But it is an awkward feeling watching it like that, placed on a dark wall. Most compelling evidence of anxiety that controls and surrounds, a silent scream  penetrating the nature. And if you think about it, the first version EVER of The Scream, the 1895 one, is just a pastel on a cardboard….

And last, but not least, one my favorites, the Kon-Tiki Museum.

It is the remaining proof of one of the craziest 20th century expeditions: a raft of balsa wood belonging to the Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl. He used this improvised raft to cross the Pacific Ocean, from Peru to Polynesia, in 1947. He wanted to prove a theory according to which Native South Americans were early inhabitants of Polynesia. Unquestionably, it is really worth and fun exploring it, as well as many other museums from the list below.

.
Oslo Pass museums list:
Akershus Castle Armed Forces Museum Astrup Fearnley Museet
Fram Museum Kon-Tiki Museum Oslo Transport Museum
ROSESLOTTET MUNCH Museum Museum of Oslo
Holocaust Museum Jewish Museum Viking Ships museum -2026
Nobel Peace Center Norwegian Museum of Cultural History - Norsk Folkemuseum The Vigeland Museum
Natural History Museum Nordic Bible Museum Norway's Resistance Museum
Norwegian Maritime Museum Norwegian museum of Science & Technology Oslo Reptile Park
The Historical Museum Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower Popsenteret
Ekebergparken Sculpture Park National Museum Labour Museum
Kunstnernes Hus International Museum of Children's Art Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

The lovely places that I would always go back to, included in the Oslo Pass:

  • 🏠 the house and workshop of Gustav Vigeland;
  • 😱the impressive building hosting The Scream by Edvard Munch. And The Scream itself;
  • 🚢 the Kon Tiki Museum, memories of an unbelievable expedition.

🚶‍♂️ Sightseeing Discounts | Free Oslo Walking Tours


There are available four free Oslo themed tours that let you explore a different face of the city:

  • A first one guides you though the amazing central area and offers insights on the must-see attractions (Nobel Peace Center, The Cathedral, Karl Johan gate and more).
  • A second tour takes you on Akerselva river banks and unravels the history of industrialization (parks and natural trails).
  • A third tour of Oslo is about the rapid urban development and shows you the old and the new architecture (the Barcode area is impressive).
  • Last but not least, a tour of the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park.

Otherwise, these guided tours would cost 200 NOK (~€19 | $20) /tour.

🎟️ Oslo Pass included series of free guided tours are organized by Oslo Guidebureau – Oslo City walks.


🏷️  Special Discounts: Oslo Restaurants, Shows & Shops


To be honest, I used very little the discounts part, as I was more keen on visiting the museums. But up to 30% discounts are available for various activities like guided city tours or fjord sightseeing cruises, for various themed parks or cultural institutions, for a series of restaurants, and from time to time, for shops.

SIGHTSEEING Discount Normal price
Fjord sightseeing 15% discount -
Norwegian evening on the fjord 15% discount -
OsloWay - e-scooter sightseeing tour 30% discount on guided tours -
RESTAURANTS Location Discount
The Scotsman (biggest pub in Oslo) Karl Johans gate 17 20% discount
Johnny Rockets (American Burgers) Storgata 31 & Vitaminveien 29 20% on food
Kaffistova (Old café, Norwegian food) Rosenkrantz’ gate 8 20% on food
Rorbua (Northern Norway cuisine) Aker Brygge, Stranden 71 20% on food
Den Glade Gris St. Olavs Gate 33 20% on food

One place where we had the opportunity to use the discounts of Oslo Pass was Den Glade Gris, a cute and tiny, rustic-style, Norwegian restaurant.

We entered there by chance and we were lucky enough to get a table without without reservation. Firstly, the food is extraordinary and drinks are quite affordable. Secondly, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. So, the Oslo Pass discount comes as a much appreciated bonus. Still, I advise to book in advance!

Den Glade Gris Pslo Pass discount Norwegian Cuisine Restaurant

Den Gladen Gris Restaurant in Oslo, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

Full price of a 3-course menu: 495 NOK | ~ €47 | $51; With pass: 20% discount. In the picture, their specialty: “Grilled pork knuckle, mashed potato, rustic vegetables & mustard sauce”.

CULTURE & FUN Discount
The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet 20% discount on guided tours and most items in the shop
Skimore Oslo - Ski resort 15% discount on ski rental & climbing pass
The Oslo Philharmonic 20% discount on tickets purchased at the Oslo Concert Hall Box Office
The Viking Planet 15% discount on admission
TusenFryd Amusement Park 20% discount on entrance ticket
Tregaarden's Christmas House - Shop 10% discount
Solve a Mystery Game 15% discount
Oslo Climbing Park 15% discount on climbing passes for drop-ins
FROGNERBADET Pool Free during weekdays

A second place to use Oslo Pass discounts was the Viking Planet. Not to be confused with Viking Ship Museum.

The Viking Planet is a fully-digitalized entertainment space, with a lot of information (maybe too much) about the Vikings and their heritage presented through VR, holograms or interactive displays. You can see the way they dressed, read about the fights, play games connected to their gods. A bit boring for me, but overall, it is an interesting experience.

I admit I fell asleep during the VR movie, but at least I woke up in time to take some nice Viking selfies before closing. (Price without Pass: 229 NOK |~ €22 | $23; With pass: 15% discount).


🚍  Unlimited free transport with Oslo Pass


The Oslo Pass gives access to unlimited travel by metro, bus, tram and local trains in the Oslo area, covering Zones 1 & 2 (Oslo, Lillestrøm, Nittedal, Asker, Ski, Nesodden and Drøbak).

And additionally, it covers the ferry boats that head to the islands inside Oslo fjord. Sadly, some ferry routes do not work in winter. The ferry heading to Bygdøy Island is included and it leaves from City Hall Pier 3 every 30 minutes startting 9:55 AM until 5:25 PM. A second ferry Ferry leaves from MUNCH to Bygdøy, every hour, from10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Pier-3-Oslo-Pass-Ferry-trip

Honnørbrygga Oslo, Pier Area, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

Without the pass, the price per 24 hours for urban transport is 117 NOK | €11 | $12 for 1 zone, and 192 NOK | €18 | $20 for 2 zones. The ferry ride is separate and costs 92 NOK / | €9 | $9 / day.

It is not working for regional routes such long-distance buses. Therefore, the trip from the airport and back is not covered by the Oslo Pass.

🎟️ To plan your journey, download Ruter’s app RuterReise, use the journey planner on Ruter’s website or visit Ruter’s customer service centre at Jernbanetorget. Route maps. Zone Maps.

Where can you get your pass?

Getting your Oslo pass is very accessible and time saving as there are multiple options to choose from.

One of the easiest ways is to buy your Oslo pass through their phone app (Android | Iphone).

I did this. As an EU citizen, I have access to Oslo phone network providers at the same rates as in my native country. And the connection was perfect at all times. I activated the pass the first morning when I got into the tram. And first attraction was Oslo Museum in Frogner Park.

This is completely digital pass and no physical pass will be given. But you should consider that the app might not always work (as it happens at the time when I am writing this) or you might not have access to the internet the whole time.

Therefore, another option is to pre-order online the physical card. In this way, you will be given a voucher, by email, and with that voucher you go and get your actual paper pass from Oslo Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre is the official tourist information point, located in Østbanehallen, right next to Oslo Central station, Jernbanetorget 1 (Google Maps Location) . Here, you can get your pass and receive a handbook, maps and everything you need for a perfect exploration of Oslo

A final option is to buy the pass at various selling points thorough out the city. Although I find this time consuming, especially considering the fact that some of the selling points are open just a few months per year. Finding the right one might take time.

But here you have the map of the selling points for Oslo Pass 2023.

Is Oslo Pass worth it?

Well, that depends on what you are thinking on using Oslo Pass for.

If you your holiday plans include at least 2-4 days in Oslo, lots of sightseeing, museum visits combined with island hopping by ferry, Oslo Pass is 100% worth. This is because it gives you access to many, many museums and tours, while making easier and wider the transport options.

If you are traveling in summer, it is even better. Because in winter, Oslo Museums have shorter opening hours.

But, if you are buying it for one day only or just for the bus & tram transport or the discounts, then the Oslo Pass is not worth much for a few reasons:

  • Discounts are consistent, but it would be really hard to cover even a 24h pass just with them. Hence, even harder to save anything.
  • Likewise, the urban transport is around €11 / day taken separately. And most attractions are grouped together, walking distance.

❄️ Short distances, but limited opening hours during winter season


Compared to the operating hours of most cultural attractions in Europe, Oslo winter timeframe is a bit different. For example, in Paris, museums like Louvre open at 09:00 am and close at 06:00 pm giving the visitors a lot of time to explore. While most museums in Oslo open, from September to April, at 11:00 am and close at 04:00 pm or 05.00 pm.

That being said, the timespan you have for visiting the cultural spots is rather limited. Unless you visit during summer time!

Luckily, distances between attractions are not so considerable, which can be helpful at times. Most of the attractions are in the pretty compact central area: Nobel Peace Center, Munch Museum, the Opera House and many others.

Another area with notable things to see is west of the city center, Frogner park with Oslo Museum and Vigeland House. Lower to the west there is Bygdøy Island , the home of the Norwegian maritime and polar exploration museums and the wonderful open air Folk Museum. East of the central area you can find parks and everything connected: the Botanical Garden, Ekeberg Park, Natural History Museum.

The distances in the central area can be covered with 5 to 15 minutes walks from one attraction to another. While getting from the center to Bygdøy Island, walking + tram, can take up to 30 minutes. If the ferry is available (it was closed for the season when I visited), crossing within the fjords takes from 10 to 20 minutes.

Grouping attractions based on the area you are visiting, and not on primary interests is probably the best solution, in order to get the best out of your pass.


🌊  One day on the Bygdøy Island covers up to 90% of a 3-day Oslo Pass


And by adding to Bygdøy Island the Munch Museum (open until 09:00 PM), you can cover even more of the 24h Oslo Pass value.

On the Bygdøy Island, there are 6 museums included in the Pass: Kon Tiki, Maritime Museum, Fram, Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, Viking ship museum (closed until 2026) and Holocaust Studies Center. I managed to visit only 4 out of the 6 on the island, in one day, but only this, single-day trip, with transport and admissions, as I previously mentioned, covered almost the whole value of my 3-day Oslo pass.

Later in the evening, we went to Munch by bus. Still, getting to Munch museum is easier and faster by ferry, if available.

ATTRACTIONS DIY 24-hour experience With 24-hour valid Oslo Pass
Up-front cost 0 NOK495 | €47 | $51
Combined ticket: Fram Polar Ship Museum,Tiki Museum,Maritime Museum NOK380 | €36 | $39 0
The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History NOK180 | €17 | $18 0
Bus to / inside Bygdøy NOK117 | €11 | $12 0
Ferry from Bygdøy to Munch NOK68 | €6.5 | $7 0
Munch Museum NOK160 | €15 | $16 0
TOTAL NOK905 | €86 | $92 NOK495 | €47 | $51

🎟️ One do-it-yourself day in Oslo (NOK905) has a similar cost with a 3-day Oslo Pass cost (NOK895).

Buying Oslo pass is really worth if:

  • 🖼️ you are planning a museum marathon;
  • 🎯 your intention is to use it as a combo of sightseeing, transport and discounts;
  • 🚀 there is less room left for too much flexibility;
  • 🏙️ at least 3 days are spent in the city.

Optimizing Oslo Pass Efficiency

In order to fully enjoy the experience as well as take full advantage of your free admisions and dscounts, there are a few tips & Tricks on increasing the performance / efficiency of Oslo Pass.


🌞 Choose to visit Oslo during summer


As I was telling you earlier, in summer the major museums in Oslo have longer opening times compared to winter season. And allow you to spend more time inside the attractions or visit more of them in one day. Added to that, some of the beautiful museums are completely closed during long winter days.

In summer, you can also take advantage of the ferries included in the Oslo Pass. Ferries to Bygdøy might not be available during winter. As it happened to me..


📌 Plan visits based on location


Oslo pass can be highly efficient if you visit a certain area in a day.

Or better said if you group your objectives depending on their location. For example, you can reserve one day for Bygdøy Island museums (map).

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is also a MUST-visit Oslo attraction. It is an open air museum with architectural examples from all over Norway and it takes quite a lot of time to explore. Even so, Kon-Tiki, Fram and Maritime Museums are smaller and allow less time spent inside.

Oslo Pass Museum
Fram Museum Polar exploration

Kon-Tiki & Fram Museum Boats, Oslo, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

A second day can be dedicated to Frogner Park and surroundings (Vigeland and Oslo city Museum) in the morning, plus Aker Brygge in the afternoon (Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Nobel Peace Center). And one the last day can be used to explore the eastern part of the city center and Barcode Area.


📌 Remember, NO fast track


Keep in mind, at all times, that you are not offered a fast track. Sometimes the cue for Oslo pass holders is marked. But in most cases, no. You still have to pass the ticket counter to scan your pass for free admission.

So, remember the pass will not always save you from the cues, if any. I visited museums during weekend and there were no big cues. At 90% of the attractions I visited, I spent less than 4-5  minutes to enter.


🍕 Pair Oslo discounts with free attractions visits


Try to choose restaurants for which the Oslo Pass offer discounts. This depends on the location of the museums you are visiting. If you’re visiting Astrup Fearnley Museum, you have Rorbua just around the corner. Johnny Rockets is next to Munch Museum. And so on.


📌 Postpone the 100% free Oslo attractions


Even if it’s on your way, leave the absolutely free stuff to do for a 4th day. Or visit before Oslo Pass museums open. And by absolutely free stuff I mean places and Oslo experiences where you don’t need the pass and there is no admission fee: Oslo City Hall, Opera House, Vigeland Sculpture Park (full list of free things to do in Oslo).

Oslo city hall interior

City Hall, Oslo, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

For example, if you plan to visit museums in Frogner Park, you can start early in the morning, around 9:00 am or 10:00 am, with the free stuff for which you don’t need the pass: Vigeland’s open-air installation. And at 11:00 am when the museums start operating, use the pass with City of Oslo Museum or Vigeland’s home, both just minutes away from the park.

Another example would be to go and visit The Opera house at sunrise before the other attractions open (for example Munch Museum opens at 10) or at sunset. Plus you will get the best out of the views of the fjord at that time.

If you plan to use your pass at the Nobel Prize Center (opening around 10), go first to Oslo City Hall, opening at 9 and free to visit without the pass.


🚍 Ruter is your friend


Plan your trip wit the help of Ruter, their main app and website for transportation services in and around Oslo. Choose and read beforehand. Most important are: tram 12, that takes you almost everywhere in the central area; bus 30 from city center (Wessels Plass or Nationaltheatret) to Bygdøy.

As hint, calculate 5-20 minutes of waiting for the bus (especially on the island area). And choose the bus instead of ferry if the weather is rainy or windy, for more comfort.

To plan your inland journey, you can download Ruter’s app RuterReise and use the journey planner on Ruter’s website . For some extra help, you can visit Ruter’s customer service centre at Jernbanetorget. Route maps.


📱  Digital is not always perfect


Oslo Pass is useful. It saves time when all the other apps that you might need, do not work.

On the 4th day of my trip, the pass had already expired. So I tried to buy a tram ticket on my phone. But Oslo transportation app did not accept my Visa card. Or my Revolut card. I tried for more than half an hour to pay. And it did not work! So I had to go and find a 7-Eleven store to buy a one-day transportation card. Almost 1.5 hours lost trying to get a ticket.

And, based on my experience, Oslo Pass is even more useful when it’s printed. Yes, you have to go and get it from the Visitor Centre, but it’s worth the trip. Because the app does not always function properly. Sometimes your connection might be bad. Or you might have limited connection. I know we live in a digital era, but trust the print!

Conclusions on Oslo Pass

If you carefully plan your itinerary in advance, Oslo Pass can save time and money in visiting museums and sightseeing. As it guides you to the most important attractions, and gives you the opportunity to experience the best the city has to offer.

Additionally, it motivates you to discover as much as you can of Oslo in a limited time. In the photo below, there is Oslo seen from the last floor of Munch Museum. Being open until 9:00 PM, we took advantage and put it last on our visiting list. And it was absolutely wonderful to see not only The Scream, but also the city of Oslo shining bright in the dark.

Oslo Panorama from Munch Museum

Oslo as seen from Munch Museum, Copyright © Cooltourismical.com

Unlimited access to Oslo transportation and ferries is a benefit only if you plan to visit more than the city center. Or if you’re museum hopping freak. Otherwise, the pass is not worth the money just for the transport. We visited Munch Museum that evening after visiting Bygdøy Island, two locations that are quite far from each other. We took the bus, but the ferry (which taken separately from the pass is not cheap at all) would have saved a lot of time.

Additionally, discounts are a few, but only eating or skiing or visiting a park in a day will not save you too much money, and will not even cover the 24h pass. And, maybe sometimes, you really want to try a restaurant on your own. Even us, while leaving hungry from Munch, we bumped into Vaaghals, a cozy traditional restaurant. And reading a lot of good things about it, I really wanted to try their food. And no one cared anymore about the discounts on the list.

The Oslo pass is worth the money as a combination of its features, but primarily for the free admission attractions.

Oslo Pass FAQ


😱 Oslo Pass, Munch Museum


Does Oslo pass include Munch Museum?

Yes, Oslo Pass does include the Munch Museum, which is a must-see landmark. But the tickets can’t be pre-ordered.


💳 Oslo Card vs Oslo Pass


Oslo Pass is the official tourist city card for the capital of Norway. While Oslo Card is an alternative to Oslo Pass. It is a bit more expensive than the official one. And compared to it includes mostly the same attractions, but does offer extra hop-on hop-off bus and boat tours. At the moment, Oslo Card services are interrupted. 


💸 How much is Oslo Pass?


2023 prices for Oslo pass are mentioned here.


🚍 Is public transport free in Oslo, Norway?


Oslo Pass is the official tourist city card for the capital of Norway. While Oslo Card is an alternative to Oslo Pass. It is a bit more expensive than the official one. And compared to it includes mostly the same attractions, but does offer extra hop-on hop-off bus and boat tours. At the moment, Oslo Card services are interrupted. 


💙 Is Oslo worth visiting?


Yes, definitely, Oslo is a city worth visiting! The Viking history, the modern architecture, cruising the fjords, getting into a floating sauna in the middle of the winter and some of the world’s most delicious dishes make Oslo a great choice even for a short trip.

Other Oslo Activities

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