Most overland passenger traffic in Northern Norway is by bus. Buses go to almost all inhabited places in Northern Norway.
Here is an overview of useful buses for travellers. As timetables are changed ahead of every summer season and again when the schools start up in the autumn, we have avoided going too much into detail. All the details are found in the seach engines of the three provinces of the north (see below), but this will hopefully help you know what to look for. Be aware of public holidays, especially Christmas and Easter, when public transport can close down entirely.
From the railway
There is no bus from Southern Norway to Northern Norway, instead there is the lovely Nordland Train Line. From the stations along the Nordland Train Line, there are buses to the coastal communities of Helgeland. Notably:
- Leave the train in Grong, Trøndelag, for a bus to Brønnøysund
- Leave the train in Mosjøen for a bus to Sandnessjøen.
From Fauske you go north by bus
Fauske, just ahead of Bodø, is where you take the bus from when going further north. Buses to Narvik await every arrival, and at the Bognes ferry dock, ahead of Narvik, there are onward connections via the Bognes-Lødingen ferry to Sortland/Vesterålen and Harstad.
Narvik is a bus hub
Narvik is a railhead, since the Ofoten Railway connects it with the Swedish and European network. Popular routes include:
- South to Fauske, Bodø and the Norwegian rail network
- West to Svolvær/Lofoten, Sortland/Vesterålen and Harstad, stopping at the Harstad/Narvik airport
- North to Tromsø, with connections to Finnsnes and Senja
Take the bus from Tromsø to the north
From Tromsø there is one daily bus traveling north-east to Alta, stopping at Storslett on the way.
The North Cape is the end of the bus line
Do the Alta – Hammerfest – North Cape triangle by bus
Alta has an airport with direct connections to Oslo. To explore the area, there are 1 to 2 buses a day between Alta, Hammerfest and Honningsvåg (with buses to Nordkapp/the North Cape). There is also a daily bus to Lakselv/Karasjok.
4 weekly buses go Alta-Kirkenes
The Alta-Karasjok bus continues 4 times a week to Kirkenes. There is also a bus from Karasjok til Finland.
Eastern Finnmark is easily explored by bus
Bus 64 from Kirkenes to Vardø and Vadsø is of particular interest to travellers, as it passes many interesting points. There are onward connections to Tana bru, Berlevåg and Båtsfjord. If well planned, one can explore this area with only short hops.
Go around Norway’s far east
Smaller places throughout Northern Norway have fewer departures, so read the bus timetables carefully. As a rule, local bus routes correspond with the arrival of the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Voyage) ships or passenger ferries. Local buses operate within towns and larger villages in Northern Norway. These run more frequently.
Where do I search for bus departures?
Northern Norway’s three regions have different travel planners. However, buses crossing country borders are listed in both.
- For travel info in the county of Nordland: www.reisnordland.no
- For travel info in the county of Troms: www.tromskortet.no
- For travel info in the region of Finnmark: www.snelandia.no