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    Car hire in Oslo - Exploring the Norwegian Capital

    Surrounded by hills and mountains, Oslo (the capital of Norway) sits uniquely at the top of the Oslofjord, giving it a green and airy appearance. Visitors are urged to explore the harbour-front area which offers some wonderful views and is home to many local shops, bars and restaurants or take a stroll through the city and visit the famous Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building. If you venture further from the city centre, you can visit the Kon Tiki museum dedicated to Thor Heyerdahl, a world-renowned scientist. Alternatively, why not pay a visit to the sculpture park of Vigeland displaying over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. On your return to the inner city, pay a visit to Norway Designs which hosts a variety of exhibitions during the year and gives you a unique opportunity to view many of the country's most innovative styles.

    Once back in the city, you can hop into your car hire and drive to Drobak just 30 minutes to the south-west, where you can experience the city's picturesque 18th- and 19th-century streets and numerous wooden houses. Drobak also hosts Norway's permanent Christmas display, made even more special by the issue of a unique Santa Claus stamp. From here you can also take the ferry to Oscarsborg Fortress where the entrance is free of charge. Another option is a trip to Fredrikstad to visit one of the well-preserved Nordic fortresses harbouring buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. From Oslo you can also enjoy the best of Norway with extended road-trips to Bergen (west of the capital) and Trondheim to the north.

    Auto Europe offers convenient pick-up locations throughout Oslo, including Oslo Gardemoen and Torp Sandefjord Airport, as well as the central train station, and always at the most affordable prices. Use our simple and very secure booking engine today to find and compare rates for your car hire in Oslo in three very easy steps. Should you need any assistance with your booking or have questions regarding our car hire conditions, then please feel free to contact our experienced rental agents who can be reached by calling +44 123 3225 114. Alternatively you can consult our car hire reviews in Oslo page to gain an insight into what previous clients have experienced while booking a car rental through us in the city of Oslo.

    How is the traffic in Oslo?

    Traffic is generally calm and light with most drivers well disciplined and law-abiding. Inside Oslo and around the inner city, traffic jams might occur during the rush-hour. Please be aware that trams have absolute right of way and don’t even yield to pedestrians.

    Norwegian roads are amongst the safest in the world as the local driving rules are strictly enforced. The give-way rule is universal; all drivers must yield to traffic approaching from the right-hand side if signs do not indicate otherwise. Headlights are mandatory 24 hours a day, all year round. In general, the Norwegian speed limit is 49 miles per hour, except for built-up areas or town centres where it is 31 miles per hour unless otherwise stated. It can be as low as 18 miles per hour in residential areas and as high as 68 miles per hour on specific dual-carriageways and motorways. Of course, certain conditions may warrant much lower speeds, for instance in low visibility or on slippery roads. More information on driving regulations in Norway can be found in our informative guide.

    When driving in Oslo you will pass one or more toll booths, and please note that it is more expensive to pass through them during rush-hour (6.30–9am and 3–5pm). Tolls are more expensive with a diesel vehicle, cheaper with electric cars and free with hydrogen-driven cars, while regular prices apply to gasoline and hybrid vehicles. The toll areas in Oslo are divided into three sections; in the outermost section you are only charged for entering the city and in the two inner sections you'll have to pay every time you pass the toll booth. Oslo's toll areas are automatic and you do not need to stop when passing through them. When you rent a car, suppliers usually provide the vehicle with a toll device set at a flat rate and will charge you for the tolls when you drop off the vehicle. When collecting your vehicle in Oslo, please check if the car is equipped with this toll device and ask about the payment conditions. If you want more detailed information about tolls, then please feel free to call our reservation agents any time.

    Where can I park my car hire in Oslo?

    Parking can prove to be difficult when you rent a car in Oslo, unless you can leave your vehicle in a hotel car park. Usually on-street parking is managed by the municipality and car parks are privately run and in the city centre you have to pay from 9am-8pm Monday to Saturday. Outside of those hours it is usually free, but please consult the local parking signs. In the streets outside the city centre you will find both free zones and pay zones, so please take heed of those. Payment must be made as soon as you park and pay stations will accept most credit cards as well as Norwegian currency. It is possible to use the Bil I Oslo (Car in Oslo) app for easier payments if you don't need a receipt. Most public parking spaces have a maximum parking duration which is displayed on the traffic signs.

    Oslo Airports

    Oslo was previously served by three airports - Gardemoen, Torp and Rygge. However, Rygge Airport was closed in 2016 for repairs and remains closed. Auto Europe can offer you the best rates for your car rental in Oslo at Lufthavn and Torp Sandefjord airports.

    Oslo Lufthavn Airport

    Open 24 hours a day, Oslo Lufthavn Airport is the official airport for the city of Oslo. It is located in Gardermoen, 30 miles north of the city. From here, you can travel both internationally and domestically. From the airport, you can take the Airport Express train (20 minutes between the airport and Oslo city centre) or Airport Express coaches to Oslo. You will find the car hire desks located in the arrivals area near the domestic baggage hall after you have landed.

    Oslo Lufthavn Airport (OSL)
    Telephone: +47 915 06400
    Address: Edvard Munchs veg, 2061 Gardermoen, Norway
    Website: https://avinor.no/en/airport/oslo-airport/

    Torp Sandefjord Airport

    Torp Sandefjord airport is located in Vestfold County, about 80 miles south-west of Oslo. A drive from Torp Sandefjord Airport to Oslo will take just over an hour. Like all airports in Norway, there are plenty of travel options and the car hire reception desks can be found in a separate building located next to the outdoor car park. Signs indicate how to get there from the Arrivals Hall.

    Torp Sandefjord Airport (TRF)
    Telephone: +47 915 06400
    Address: Torpveien 130, 3241 Sandefjord, Norway
    Website: https://www.torp.no/en/frontpage/

    What to do in Oslo

    Oslo has a lot to offer but sometimes it can get a bit expensive, so for this reason the city sells the Oslo Pass tourist ticket which will give you free entry to most of the city's sights and museums, free travel on the public transport system throughout Oslo and its surrounding areas and discounts on sightseeing, restaurants and services. There is a paper version and a mobile version but both are valid for either 24, 48 or 72 hours. You can pre-order online or buy it directly through the Oslo Pass App. Below are some of the highlights of this lovely city;

    • Akershus Fortress: This 13th-century fortress was originally built to protect the city. Nearly all of the sieges it faced were conducted by Swedish forces and it managed to withstand every attack. The surviving building we see today is from the reign of King Christian IV, who moved to Oslo to the north of the fortress after a fire in 1624. He modernised the defences and built an Italian-style Renaissance palace in the heart of the fortress, which served as a prison during the 18th and 19th centuries.

    • Frogner Park and the Vigeland: Frogner Park is a Baroque garden and part of the Frogner Manor estate, becoming a public facility in 1896. Covering 45 hectares, it is the largest park in Oslo and one of the city’s the most popular tourist attractions due to the fact that it is free to enter all year round. The Vigeland has 212 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland and is located in the centre of Frogner Park. Among its sculptures, there is a 46-foot monolith of 121 people stacked on top of each other in addition to many other interesting themes.

    • Fram Museum: This popular museum pays tribute to the daring polar explorers of the 20th-century, namely Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. The centrepiece is the Fram, a wooden ship that was used by the explorers in both the Arctic and Antarctic expeditions between 1893 and 1912. Aboard the Fram you can experience how humans and their dogs battled to survive in the most hostile conditions. The Gjoa is another of the museum’s most important exhibits, which carried Roald Amundsen along the north-west Passage for three years up to 1906. Don't miss the Northern Lights show and the interactive exhibits like the polar simulator.

    • Holmenkollen National Ski Arena: Here you can enjoy the Ski Museum and Mjump Tower, shops, a café and a ski simulator. It was rebuilt in 2011 and inside the framework of the ski jump you’ll find a well-established ski museum with many interesting artefacts and 4,000 years of skiing heritage on display. Don't worry if you don’t enjoy skiing, the observation platform at the top of the tower provides you with a breathtaking panorama of Oslo.

    • Viking Ship Museum: Located in one of the more modern parts of the city, this large area of peripheral parkland contains many first-class tourist attractions, including several museums and a lavish triumphal arch. The centrepiece is the magnificent Musée du Cinquantenaire, a cultural treasure trove and one of the largest museums in Europe. Well-organised with a vast ethnographical collection, visitors can see many rare exhibits ranging from Native American to Indonesian, along with totem poles and genuine Balinese beds.

    • Botanical Garden: Home to the world's best-preserved Viking boat, a visit to this museum is a fantastic way to learn all about Norway’s history and heritage. It illustrates the discoveries made from the Gosksta, Oseberg and Tune ships along with a fascinating collection of small boats, sledges, a lovely cart, tools, textiles and household utensils.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Oslo

    You can’t really go wrong if you decide to book a car hire in Oslo and discover its surrounding areas by heading out on the road. All across this stunning country you will find breathtaking landscapes and nature. A day-trip is a great way to discover other parts of the country, along with neighbouring Sweden. Plan your journey with our best day-trip suggestions from Oslo;

    Lillehammer

    Best known for hosting the 1994 Winter Olympics, today Lillehammar is one of Norway’s most popular ski resorts. You can see the old Olympic Games facilities like the Lysgardsbakkene Ski Jump, Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track, and learn more about the 1994 Winter Games at the Norwegian Olympic Museum. Another highlight is the Maihaugen open-air museum where you can visit traditional Norwegian homes, some of which date back to the 13th century. Located just 120 miles from Oslo via the E6 road, it is always worth a visit in summer as well as winter.

    TusenFryd Family Park

    Located just 15 miles from Oslo, this park is perfect for a change of pace. With more than 40 attractions, numerous games and plenty of live entertainment, lots of fun is guaranteed for the whole family. Rides range from gentle merry-go-rounds for the kids to something more frenetic like the dizzying SpinSpider carousel and the Speedmonster roller coaster. Some rides have a bit of Norwegian flavour to them, like the Ragnarok raft ride and Thor’s 4D Hammer experience. To mix things up, don’t miss the Burnout Stuntshow or the BadeFryd water park in summer.

    Karlstad, Sweden

    About two and a half hours from Oslo, just over the border in Sweden but a manageable day-trip from the Norwegian capital, lies the city of Karlstad. Proudly known as the sunniest place in Sweden, many locals go there to relax at Lake Vänern. Begin your visit at Stora Torget and take a walk through the city centre to admire its mix of classic and modern architecture. Along the way, take a look inside Karlstad Cathedral to see its ornate chandelier. Be sure to visit the Värmlands Museum where a comprehensive collection of fine art and culture can be seen, all housed inside a historic building inspired by the architecture of Chinese temples. You can also learn about Sweden's Cold War history with a trip to the Brigadmuseum.

    Fredrikstad

    This classic Oslo day-trip is a must for visitors to the city. Its impressive fortified Old Town - the Gamlebyen - is guarded by a total of five forts famous for being the only Norwegian fortifications still totally intact. This incredibly secure city was built on the banks of the Glomma estuary and surrounded by an impressive network of star-shaped moats. One of the most impressive facts about Gamlebyen is that its inhabitants have found a way to preserve and respect the city's historic importance while continuing to use the space, keeping the town alive without spoiling its old-world charm. Enjoy the historic ambience of shopping and dining along the cobblestone streets before heading to Fredrikstad Museum where there are exhibits and demonstrations on life in this fabulous fortress city.

    Drobak

    Just a short 50-minute trip from Oslo, there are few harbour towns in southern Norway quite as pretty as Drobak. Lying along the Oslofjord, what Drobak lacks in size it certainly makes up for in charm. The town is now dressed up as a year-round Christmas village which means that Christmas decorations can be seen in windows and there’s even a Santa Claus-themed post office. Drobak’s other big draw is that it’s just a short boat ride from the Oscarsborg fortress. Nestling on two islets, this World War II fortress delayed the German invasion in 1940 by sinking the heavy cruiser Blücher. On a visit there you’ll see the military batteries still stationed on the island, as well as all the natural beauty to be enjoyed on other parts of the islets.

    Kongsberg

    About an hour and a half’s drive from Oslo, Kongsberg is best-known internationally for its high-tech Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace Company. Tourists come here for the skiing at Kongsberg Skisenter and to see the King's Mines, once the source of the entire kingdom's silver. In operation from 1623 to 1958, the Kongsberg Silver Mines consist of more than 200 individual mines extending for several miles into the mountain. For those who don’t suffer from claustrophobia, it's possible to venture down into the Kongsberg Silver Mines during the summer months when tours are available but be warned, it gets chilly down there!

    How to get around Oslo

    Oslo's efficient public transport system includes buses, trams, subways, ferries and local trains. If you purchase an Oslo Pass for 24 hours, this will allow you free entry to over 30 museums, travel on the public transport system and free parking in the public car parks. Upon arrival at Oslo Airport (OSL), you can take the train, bus, taxi or rental car into the city centre. The T-bane metro system is also available downtown. Walking and biking are better options for shorter distances on warmer days.

    Trams and Buses

    Ruter is the name for both the tram and bus networks. It allows you to travel to the suburbs of Oslo and is the best way to get around the city without a car. Both systems are efficient and generally operate until midnight. If you don't have an Oslo Pass, you can buy a single ticket or a pass that's valid for 24 hours or seven days. Tickets are also valid on T-bane trains, ferries and long-distance NSB trains.

    Ferries

    Despite only being available from mid-March to mid-October, the ferry is one of the most convenient ways to get around, especially to and from Bygdoy. Ferries depart from the Oslo Opera House, Oslo City Hall and the Fram Museum. Tickets can be bought at the piers or on-board. All Oslo Pass cardholders can enjoy complimentary ferry rides.

    T-Bane System

    Part of the Ruter public transportation system, the T-bane network consists of five metro lines accessible to visitors that spread out as far as the suburbs. Stations are marked with large blue and white circular T logos. Most stations have separate entrances depending on which direction you want to travel. All fares are determined by single-journey travel zones.

    Taxis

    Taxis can be hailed on the street or booked over the phone. All taxis charge an initial fee in addition to the metered rate for each kilometre travelled. Uber is also widely available in Oslo.

    Can I hire a campervan in Oslo

    For a new way of travelling, why not rent a motorhome in Oslo? A campervan will grant you more freedom on your travels and get you closer to nature. Check out what we have on offer for RV rentals in Oslo and pick the one that best suits your requirements.

    Useful links

    Oslo Tourist Information