Harbor of Bodø

Bodø is the largest city and administrative centre of Nordland county in Norway. Its population is above 45 000 people, which makes it the second largest city in Northern Norway, after Tromsø.

The city is the largest within a 600 kilometre radius, making it an important centre of commerce and a hub for exploring the North of Norway.

The town is known for its powerful winds, so it would be wise to bring a wind jacket.

Get in

By train

Bodø is situated at the north end of the national railway system in Norway (Narvik train station is further north, but is only connected with the Swedish railway system). You will have to go through Trondheim to get to Bodø. It takes about 10 hours to take the train from Trondheim to Bodø, and about 18 if you go from Oslo. Trains leave and arrive several times a day, but only two a day come all the way from Trondheim (a day train and a night train). They are great if you want to have a look at the Norwegian scenery and nature, taking you from the rolling hills of Trondheim, through Saltfjellet mountain, to the weathered and rough terrain of Northern Norway. Tickets from 199 NOK if you book early enough.

There are also regional trains to Fauske, Mosjøen and Mo i Rana and local trains to Fauske and Rognan.

Bodø train station

Open 6h-21h (Monday-Friday), 7h-21h (Saturday) and 8h30-21h (Sunday). Lockers available (50 NOK for small, 60 NOK for large). Free toilets, and several power supplies in the waiting hall. No Wi-Fi. Also a cafeteria and a youth hostel in the same building.

By plane

Bodø airport serves many domestic flights, from the larger cities as Oslo and Trondheim, to smaller regional towns as Leknes, Brønnøysund and Mosjøen. The airport is within walking distance of the city centre, around 10–20 minutes, or you can take the airport express bus or a taxi. A taxi will cost around 60 NOK. Tickets from 250-350 NOK and up to 2500 NOK for coach. Student/youth discounts.

Get around

Bodø is a long, slender city around 2–3 km in width and over 10 km long in a roughly east-west line. This makes communication by bus well established for a city this size, and during weekdays busses go every fifteen minutes to-and-from town westwards. The Sentrumsrunden bus brings you anywhere you want within the city centre, and there are also buses going northwards to the suburbs. The bus system is zonal, meaning that you pay more the further you are going.

There is also a service of regional buses to other cities, but they only depart a couple of times a day, or even more rarely if the distances are long. A bus to Sweden goes on weekends, making it possible to take a weekend trip, Friday to Sunday, to anywhere between Bodø and Skellefteå.

Many international car rental businesses are established in Bodø. The city has a good road network and many scenic roads. A car is desirable if you are planing to stay in town for a while, or see the areas outside the suburban bus network.

Taxis are also available, but with typical Norwegian prices, you should be cautious about using them on longer trips. A 10 km trip costs about 200-250 NOK in a normal size car, and you pay for the trip, whatever the number of passengers. A full car, four people, will often be cheaper than bus fare, to a certain point.

You can also bike virtually everywhere in Bodø and suburbs, and there is many scenic routes to see.

See and do

Bell tower of Bodø Cathedral.




The first being a rather new popular-music festival, growing fast. Artists like Chris Cornell and Turbonegro have been there, along with major Scandinavian artists like Bo Kaspers Orkester, CC Cowboys, Dum Dum Boys and Timbuktu.

Nordland Musikkfestuke is a more 'cultural' festival, concentrating on jazz, choirs, classical, and many internationally renowned musicians.

In recent years, the alternative music scene of Bodø has flourished. Bodø Hardcore Festival, a festival that attracts basically anything in the Scandinavian alt scene, is held every late autumn, and the very experimental Nødutgangfestivalen, with a focus on Industrial and Avant-Garde, is arranged every summer. Large names that have visited are Faust, The International Noise Conspiracy, and KK Null.


Outside Bodø


Bodø does not have a great abundance of eateries, but there is a decent selection of cheap restaurants, as well as a couple of good gourmet restaurants.


As with everywhere in Norway, alcohol is expensive and limited to those over 18, a law that is vigorously enforced. liquors stronger than 22% vol. is limited to those older than 20. Beer can be bought at groceries, wine and spirits must be purchased at special outlets, Vinmonopolet. There are two of these in Bodø, one a short walk from the Glasshuset shopping mall, the other one inside City Nord, another shopping centre a bit away from the city centre.

Norwegians are known to engage more in binge drinking than many other nationalities, mainly because the culture of starting evenings with pre-parties at home drinking shop bought alcohols. They also tend to drink little during weekdays, with the exception of Wednesdays, something that gives them a tendency to consume a tad too much during weekends.


Go next

Many travelers only pass Bodø on their way to the Lofoten islands. You can go there by boat (ferries, or the coastal express Hurtigruten), or by plane to one of the airports, one located close to Svolvær, and one located in Leknes. The plane trip to these places take about 25 minutes, while the ferry to Moskenes takes 3h15 (ticket bought on board, 187 kr, electricity and cafeteria on the boat).

You can go to Narvik by bus, and you can travel to most parts of Nordland by boat.

There is also a bus connection to Skellefteå from Bodø, which stops several places both in Norway and Sweden.

Bodø is the last (and northernmost) station on the Nordlandsbanen rail line, with which one can travel directly to Trondheim and a large variety of locations in the Helgeland region.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 26, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.