Can someone address the best & most reasonably priced way to get from Oslo Airport to the Thon Opera Hotel near the train station? The next morning we have an 8 a.m. train from Oslo to Myrdal. How early do we need to go to the station? Is there security we must pass thru' similar to airport security? Thanks in advance for your help!
There are both Flytoget (20-25 minutes) and cheaper local trains (40 minutes) between Oslo airport and train station. Tickets are easy to buy there (see also p.228 of Rick's Scandinavia book). As in most of Europe, trains have no required check-in or security check procedure. You will get the lay of the land at the train station the day before. If you need to activate a railpass, then do it on your arrival day.
As Laura said, the local NSB is cheaper and almost as quick. It does make local stops but gets you to the same place - Oslo S. My recollection is that the trains have staffed ticket counters and the Norwegians are flunt in English. American credit cards accepted.
The SAS Flybussen is also an option and I believe that they also have a ticket counter. Drivers also sell tickets. Return tickets are cheaper than two one way fares. Busses have under floor luggage spaces, handy if you are carrying ski and gear bags.
Re your next day 8:00 train. No security checks. Platform number will be shown 15 or 20 minutes ahead depending on number of train. Get to the Oslo S at 7:45 and you will have plenty of time to find your track number and get to your car. You would even have time to visit the state Monopoly to pick up some Aquavit.
Thanks so much, Laura and Edgar! Really appreciate your quick responses. This was my first time using the forum so did not know what to expect.
I mostly agree with what has been written.
I prefer to take the regular train between the airport and Oslo Sentral (S). During the day there are two trains per hour (one or two extra per hour during rush hours) that run between Gardermoen (airport) and Oslo S. These trains take 23 minutes, with all making only one stop in Lillestrøm (one of the trains used to make more stops, but it's been changed). These trains cost a flat 90 kroner, and include validity on public transport within Oslo (the ticket will be valid for 150 minutes from beginning to end), which you probably won't need because you're staying so close to Oslo S.
The main advantage of the airport express train (Flytoget) is NOT that it is faster, but that there are more frequent departures (every 10 minutes during normal hours, 20 minutes very late and very early). Half of the express trains run non-stop to Oslo S (19 minutes), while the other half make one stop in Lillestrøm (22 minutes). To save up to 4 minutes of travel time, you get the honor of paying nearly double (170 kroner).
The Norwegian Railways (NSB) has a ticket counter at the airport (https://www.nsb.no/en/our-destinations/stations/gardermoen-osl?id=0220). They have ticket machines but they only accept credit cards with the security chip. I don't remember if they take cash/coins, but it's likely they do.
The bottom line is this: You need to gauge how important it is to you to arrive in Oslo ASAP after landing. If you have very limited time or don't need to worry about the extra 80 kroner, take the express train. For me, there will always be something satisfying about saving 80 kroner, even if it takes me an extra 15 or 20 minutes, no matter how much money I have.
Best of luck!