Bodø is one of the largest city in northern Norway, and a great place to stop if you want to experience amazing hiking trips and skiing trails, all while having the chance of seeing the northern lights at night. Many people consider this to be an underrated jewel of Norwegian destinations, so stopping by Bodø on your way to northern Norway or Lofoten islands is definitely worth it.
As you can probably guess, Bodø is far north in Norway, so getting there from the big cities like Oslo or Bergen is quite a journey. We will be looking closer at how exactly you can get to Bodø in this article, including options like a train ride, airplane and of course cars.
When getting to Bodø, your easiest option is to ride an airplane from any of the major cities in Norway. Bodø is a bit away from all other cities, so getting there by car or train will take 15+ hours from the southern cities like Bergen or Oslo. It’s possible to reach by train from Oslo, but there are no bus lines between Bodø and the major cities in Norway.
Getting to Bodø by airplane
Since Bodø is so far away from most other towns and cities, getting to it by plane is a lot quicker than any other option. Bodø has its own airport just outside the city, and there are airplanes from all the big cities like Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim or Stavanger daily.
The travel time from the cities in the southern part of Norway to Bodø is around 1h to 1h 30m. This makes getting to Bodø by airplane the quickest option, but tickets will usually be around 300 NOK to 1,000 NOK per person. While this might seem a bit expensive, I don’t personally think so. Getting there by car is likely to be just as expensive when you factor in the cost of petrol and toll booths, or even the fact that you will likely want a place to spend the night when driving to Bodø (since it’s a 15 – 20 hour drive).
Bodø airport is within walking distance of the city center if you travel with a backpack, and you can get to the city center in about 10 to 15 minutes by walking. However, there are also several buses that drives shuttle between the airport and the city, which can be a great option if you have luggage.
How to get from Oslo to Bodø
The easiest option of getting to Bodø is by far to travel by airplane. Just hit the train that runs from Oslo city center to Gardemoen (Oslo airport), then catch a plane to Bodø.
Another option is to ride a train all the way from Oslo to Bodø. This is a long trip that takes around 18 hours, but it’s a nice and scenic route that allows you to see a lot of Norwegian nature from the windows. The train route is actually pretty easy, and just book a train ticket all the way to Bodø. You will need to change trains in Trondheim.
You might think that there would be buses that goes between Oslo and Bodø, but there are no bus companies that operates on this route.
Oslo to Bodø by car
Car is always an option in Norway, but it’s a long drive from Oslo to Bodø. The route is actually pretty easy, since you can follow E6 from Oslo until you see the sign to get off towards Bodø. This will be in a town called Fauske, and you will have to follow Rv80 for about an hour to get to the city.
But despite being easy, be prepared for a 17 hour drive! You drive on a highway for most of the way, so it’s not really a very interesting route (especially between Oslo and Trondheim), but it gets the job done.
Most people who drive from Oslo to Bodø does so by spending the night at an inn or something like that a bit north of Trondheim, which is roughly the halfway point.
You should also be aware that you must pay around 400 NOK in toll booths along the way if you drive a regular engine with petrol or diesel.
How to get from Bergen to Bodø
Again, flying an airplane is the easiest and fastest option. Bergen airport Flesland is easy to reach by riding the Bybanen, and just catch one of the planes that are headed for Bodø.
To get from Bergen to Bodø by train, your options are pretty limited. You need a connecting train going from Oslo, so book a train ticket to either Oslo or Gjøvik (just pick the cheapest or fastest option), then change to the train bound for Trondheim. At Trondheim, change trains again to the train going to Bodø. While this sounds a bit difficult, just book a ticket from Bergen to Bodø, and the ticket will tell you when and how to change trains along the way.
There are no direct bus routes between Bergen and Bodø.
Get from Bergen to Bodø by car
The quickest route when trevelling from Bergen to Bodø by car is to follow E139 until you get to Stryn, the follow the Rv15 until you get to E6. Now follow E6 all the way to Fauske then ride Rv80 until Bodø. Total travel time is around 21 hours, so this is a pretty long trip. Also expect around 400 NOK in toll booths, and to pay for a ferry ride from Oppedal to Lavik during the E139 part of the trip.
There is also another option if you want a more scenic route. You can drive to Stryn as above, then follow E39 towards Molde, then to Kristiansund. This allows you to make a stop at these beautiful coastal cities, and you get to drive along the coast and fjords instead of in the inland. This allows you to not get stuck on highways.
This scenic route takes a bit longer, requires over 600 NOK in toll booths, and requires you to ride ferries at a few points, so it’s a bit of a hassle, but a nice option if you want to explore more parts of Norway during your travel to Bodø.
How to get from Trondheim to Bodø
Trondheim is much further to Bodø than either Bergen or Oslo is, and Trondheim is in fact the first stop on the Nordlandsbanen train track. This means that you can ride the train all the way from Trondheim to Bodø, so this is a great method to get to Bodø. That said, while it’s easy, it’s still a 10 – 11 hour train ride, so be prepared to get comfy on the train.
And as said for the other cities, flying an airplane is always an option. The airport outside Trondheim (called Værnes) has direct routes to Bodø, and the travel time is just short of one hour.
Trondheim to Bodø by car
Driving from Trondheim to Bodø is easy, and just follow E6 north until you get to Fauske. From Fauske, follow Rv80 until you get to Bodø. Easy peasy.
How to get from Tromsø to Bodø
Tromsø is the biggest city in northern Norway, but despite Bodø and Tromsø being the two biggest cities in northern Norway, they are still far away from each other. It’s still far enough to say that riding an airplane is still your best option, and it’s about a 50 minute plane ride.
There is no public transport between Tromsø and Bodø, so you have to rely on either catching an airplane or driving a car. The train track stops in Bodø, so there are no railroad tracks at all north of Bodø.
Tromsø to Bodø by car
To drive from Tromsø to Bodø, follow E8 south until you get to Nordkjosbotn. From there change to E6 and keep driving south. Now keep going on E6 until Fauske, and then it’s time to switch to Rv80 for an hour until you get to Bodø. Total car travel time from Tromsø to Bodø is around 9 hours.
The total toll booths on this road will be around 200 NOK for a regular car. So driving from Tromsø to Bodø is not that expensive or difficult, and will give you a nice view of northern Norway while driving.
Getting to Bodø by ferry
Bodø is a peninsula with the ocean on three sides of the city, making it ideal to arrive by ferry. While there are few public transport ferries along the coast of Norway, there are cruise lines that drop off passengers in Bodø.
The most well-known Norwegian cruise is Hurtigruten. This company runs cruise ships that travels up and down the Norwegian coast, and allows you to enter the cruise at one destination and depart at another. So you can get to Bodø from any of the big cities along the western coast by booking a cruise on Hurtigruten.
If you ride Hurtigruten from Bergen to Bodø, expect to spend 3 nights on the ship. This is an incredible experience, but it’s obviously a lot slower than any other type of transportation.
Tickets can be booked at Hurtigruten’s website. Expect to pay premium, and be prepared for between 2,500 – 5,000 NOK per adult in and off-season and even more in the high season.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.