Norway has a few different operators running trains in the country. This does not make much of a difference to travellers using Interrail, you might just get a train with a different colour paint than expected. The only exception is the Flåmsbanen, the railway between Myrdal and Flåm. Interrail is not valid here, but if you show your pass you can get a 30% discount.
Timetables and reservations
Trains in Norway are relatively infrequent, but all routes between major cities generally have a day train every two hours and a sleeper train every night. Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim have regular commuter trains operating from the city centre to nearby towns.
Reservations are mandatory on three routes: Oslo – Bergen, Oslo – Trondheim and Trondheim – Bodø. These trains are usually completely full. If you’re travelling for a short distance, you can sit in the café car with a coffee, this will be cheaper than reservations. Reservations are not mandatory but highly recommended on all other long distance services. This is in contrast to what the Interrail website says, but has been confirmed with Entur (the Norwegian government railway agency). Reservations are also mandatory on the Intercity to Stockholm when travelling into Sweden, but not for domestic journeys.
How to make reservations
Reservations can be made online this way, or over the Phone with Entur, or at stations in Norway. Tickets sell out in advance in summer though, so the latter is not recommended if you are travelling during the summer season. Entur can be reached on the phone on weekdays between 7:00 and 23:00, Saturdays between 8:00 and 21:00 and Sundays between 9:00 and 23:00. Opening times may vary during holidays.
Their phone number is +47 61 27 90 88. You will get a menu, press 1 for domestic Norwegian trains and then 9 for English.
You can also make reservations using the chat feature of their website – you’ll be sent a link for payment: more information
The reservation fee for 2nd class Passes is 50 NOK (approximately €5) per seat in the standard area or 200/300NOK (approximately €20/€30) for a seat in the Komfort, Pluss or Premium area (depending on the train company). The fee for a private cabin is 1000 NOK (approximately €100), it doesn’t matter if you are travelling alone or with someone else. You will always get a private room for the same price. If you have a first class pass, reservations for normal seats are free.
Reservations for the Narvik – Sweden trains can be bought online via SJ.se
Interrail travellers get 50% off bus tickets between Åndalsnes and Molde. Tickets are sold on the bus.
Bring a student card if you have one, you can get a 50% discount on bus services in the north of Norway, for example between Bodø and Narvik, or Narvik and Tromsø.
On Saturdays, the ferries around Tromsø are greatly discounted, you can use the ferry between Harstad and Tromsø to get a cheap but scenic boat journey through the fjords.
If you are heading to the Lofoten islands the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes is free to use for foot passengers.