Norwegian public transport and roads are widespread and well developed, and getting around in Bergen is simple, efficient and comfortable. Bergen has an extensive public transport system that includes buses, light rail and ferries.
Public transport in Bergen
Bergen's public transport is operated by Skyss and offers regular and frequent services around the city and its surrounding areas. Its buses, trains and ferries are modern, comfortable and accessible. Expats can purchase single-use or multiple-use tickets or monthly passes either at the stops and stations or via the Skyss mobile app. Tourists should consider a Bergen Card, which provides free bus travel in the region and free or discounted entrance to a host of attractions, museums, events, tours and more.
Bergen's public bus system covers the entire city and its surrounding areas. The buses run frequently and on time, and the frequency of service increases during peak hours. Buses offer real-time information displays, and bus stops are well-marked and equipped with shelters.
The Bergen light rail system (also known as Bybanen) runs frequently between the Bergen city centre and the suburbs of Nesttun and Lagunen. The Bergen light rail is a modern and efficient mode of transportation, offering comfortable seating, air conditioning, and real-time information displays.
Bergen is surrounded by the fjords, and the city has a water bus service that operates between the city centre and various islands and peninsulas. The ferries offer scenic views and are a convenient way to get around the fjords. The ferry uses the AutoPASS fare system, whereby passengers ride for free and tickets are paid for vehicles.
Walking in Stavanger
Bergen's city centre is compact, and the city has wide sidewalks, well-lit streets and safe crosswalks. With most attractions and amenities located nearby, it's arguably more easily navigated by foot than by bus. The city has low levels of crime, and pedestrians have right of way in many areas. The city of the seven mountains, as Bergen is also known, offers many walking and hiking trails as the best way for expats to take in the area's stunning natural beauty.
Cycling in Bergen
Although lagging slightly behind Oslo and Trondheim, cycling culture in Bergen is growing, and the city hosted the 2017 UCI Road World Championships. The busiest roads have dedicated bike lanes, and this network is gradually expanding. On other roads, Bergen's drivers are typically considerate of cyclists, and Norway's strict driving regulations help ensure that everyone is as safe as possible when sharing the road. Bicycle parking is widely available, including racks and garages, and many public transport stations have bicycle parking, allowing for mixed-mode commutes.
There is a plethora of cycling routes and many guided tours through and around Bergen, and bicycles and e-bikes are available to rent from various providers. Expats can also buy a subscription to Bergen City Bikes and borrow bicycles from stations found around the city.
Driving in Bergen
Driving in Bergen can be a safe and convenient mode of transport for expats, although there are some downsides. Bergen has narrow streets and steep hills, making driving challenging in fair weather and much more difficult in heavy rain or snow. Parking can be difficult to find, especially in the city centre, and although there are public parking lots and on-street parking spaces, these have time limits and costs associated.
Parking violations are taken very seriously by Norwegian law enforcement, as are all traffic rules. Norway has low speed limits, and there are high fines for violations like speeding, using a mobile telephone while driving or not wearing a seat belt.
Taxis in Bergen
Taxis are a convenient, though costly, mode of transport for expats in Bergen who need to travel short distances or who don't have access to other forms of transport. They can be hailed on the street or booked in advance, generally via phone call, website or app, as is the case with 07000 Bergen Taxi, the largest taxi service in Bergen. Another popular option is the Jip app, which is similar to a ride-sharing service but connects passengers to professional cab drivers.
Taxis in Bergen are generally of a high quality, with well-maintained vehicles and professional drivers. Expats should expect a safe and comfortable journey. It is important to check the fare before starting a journey and to be aware of any surcharges that may apply, such as for late-night or early morning trips. Taxis in Bergen typically accept a range of payment methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, in-app payments or via Vipps, the popular mobile payment processor. It is recommended to check the payment options before starting a journey.
International ride-sharing services have a shaky history in Norway – first allowed, then briefly banned, and now allowed since 2020 under certain conditions. Uber, Lyft and Bolt are now active in Bergen, but finding an available driver is not as reliable as it is in areas with longer and more widespread use.
Are you an expat living in Bergen?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bergen. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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