From airport to Oslo and Frogner Park

By Lorenz Rychner
This item appears on page 15 of the September 2016 issue.

While traveling from Boston to Warsaw, May 23-24, 2016, I had a 7-hour 15-minute stopover in Oslo/Gardermoen, Norway, during which I visited Frogner Park to see the Vigeland sculptures.

Bronze tiger in front of the old Oslo Central train station

The Oslo Airport in Gardermoen is modern and well laid out. Providing good ground transport options, a train station connects the airport with the city of Oslo to the south and also with points to the north.

Departing from adjoining platforms, two trains take you into central Oslo. The state-run NSB train goes to the Oslo S (Sentral) Station in 23 minutes and travels beyond Oslo on the Norwegian train network. The other is the Airport Express Train, Flytoget, which runs only between the Gardermoen airport and two Oslo destinations, arriving at Oslo S in 19 minutes.

I find it curious that the express is quicker by only four minutes but is double the price of the NSB train. The express costs NOK180 (near $22) and the NSB train, NOK82. Seniors enjoy a 50% discount on both trains; I paid the equivalent of $5 each way. 

There is also a bus, Flybussen (, which costs NOK180 (NOK100 for seniors) and takes 40 minutes to reach downtown Oslo.

Gustav Vigeland sculpture in Frogner Park, Oslo.

Oslo’s Sentral Station is hypermodern, an extension of the old station building, which is still intact and now houses shops and an array of restaurants. The visitors’ center is also there, on the lower level, near the front exit to the plaza and streets.

With your back to the old train station, looking out onto the vast plaza with the sculpture of the lumbering tiger, slightly to your right you’ll see a brown brick building with a tower and the logo “Ruter #.” If you’re not familiar with the transport system or the automatic ticket dispensers, you’ll be glad to know that this is where you can buy tram tickets from an attendant.

Do as I did and buy two tram tickets for NOK31 each, one for the trip to Frogner Plass (tram stop at Frogner Park) and one for the return.

Tram 12, which takes you to the Vigeland sculpture park, does not leave from outside the train station, but it is only a short walk away. As you exit the ticket office described above, walk to your right (northeast), and after about 50 yards look left and you’ll see the Oslo Cathedral across a square. 

Head for the cathedral, and in a moment you’ll be walking along Kirkeristen Street, which flanks the cathedral’s southeastern corner. Turn right into a street called Storgata and wait at the tram stop on the northern side (for trams coming toward the cathedral). You never have to wait more than 10 minutes. Signage at the stop as well as inside the tram is excellent.

As you board tram No. 12, tap your ticket against a device facing you, which ends the validity of that ticket. However, you need to hold onto it in case a conductor shows up. (Use the other ticket on the return trip.) The tram ride takes about 20 minutes. Wait for the voice announcement and electronic signage for “Frogner Plass.” 

Get off the tram, cross over to and enter the park and keep going. Soon you’ll be on the main concourse leading to the sculptures.

Upon entering the park, you’ll walk past a big white building on the left behind which are public toilets. 

Within the park, you may see a statue dedicated to, no, not the sculptor, Gustav Vigeland, but Abe Lincoln!

The sculpture park is huge and most impressive and often crowded, but the sculptures are all elevated and easy to see.


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