A Comprehensive Guide to Living as an Expat in Bergen, Norway

bergen life

Bergen, the picturesque coastal city in Norway, is known for its vibrant culture, breathtaking scenery, and thriving expat community. With its rich history, excellent work-life balance, and high quality of life, it’s no wonder that many people from around the world choose to call Bergen their new home. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the details of living conditions for expats in Bergen, covering everything from housing and food to entertainment and leisure activities. We’ll provide you with prices and links to official sources of information to help you plan your life in this beautiful Nordic city.

  1. Housing in Bergen

Renting an apartment in Bergen varies greatly in price, depending on factors like location, size, and age of the building. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center may cost between NOK 9,000 and NOK 12,000 per month, while a similar apartment outside the city center would likely be priced between NOK 7,000 and NOK 10,000 per month. A three-bedroom apartment in the city center could range from NOK 18,000 to NOK 25,000 per month, while outside the city center, it could cost between NOK 15,000 and NOK 22,000 per month.

For the most up-to-date and accurate rental prices, you can consult the Norwegian real estate portal Finn.no (https://www.finn.no/realestate/lettings/).

  1. Cost of Food

Grocery shopping in Bergen can be more expensive compared to other European cities due to Norway’s high import taxes and the general cost of living. However, shopping at local markets and discount supermarkets can help you save money. Here are some average prices of common food items:

  • Milk (1 liter): NOK 17
  • Loaf of bread: NOK 30
  • 12 eggs: NOK 35
  • 1 kg of apples: NOK 25
  • 1 kg of potatoes: NOK 15

For a more comprehensive list of food prices in Bergen, you can visit Numbeo (https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Bergen).

  1. Entertainment and Leisure Activities

Bergen offers a wide range of entertainment options for expats, from museums and galleries to outdoor activities and nightlife. Some examples include:

  • Bergen Art Museum (KODE): Adult tickets are priced at NOK 150, while students and seniors can enjoy a discounted rate of NOK 100. (https://kodebergen.no/en)
  • Bergen Aquarium: Adult tickets cost NOK 290, while children and seniors pay NOK 240 and NOK 270, respectively. (https://www.akvariet.no/en/)
  • Cinema tickets: Expect to pay between NOK 110 and NOK 140 for a standard movie ticket.
  • Concerts and theater performances: Prices vary depending on the event, but you can typically expect to pay between NOK 200 and NOK 600.
  1. Dining Out

Eating out in Bergen can be pricey, but it’s possible to find affordable options if you know where to look. Here’s a rough guide to the cost of eating out in Bergen:

  • Budget meal (fast food or ethnic cuisine): NOK 80 – NOK 120
  • Mid-range restaurant meal for two: NOK 600 – NOK 800
  • Fine dining for two: NOK 1,200 – NOK 2,000

For a detailed list of restaurant prices, you can visit Numbeo (https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/in/Bergen).

5.  Transportation

Bergen boasts an efficient and well-connected public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a funicular railway. The cost of public transportation in Bergen is as follows:

  • Single ticket: NOK 37
  • 24-hour pass: NOK 95
  • 7-day pass: NOK 280
  • 30-day pass: NOK 840

For more information on Bergen’s public transportation and ticket prices, visit Skyss (https://www.skyss.no/en/).

Taxis can be more expensive, with a starting tariff of around NOK 50 and an additional NOK 16-20 per kilometer.

  1. Healthcare

Norway offers a comprehensive public healthcare system, providing high-quality medical services to residents. As an expat living in Bergen, you will be eligible for public healthcare once you have registered with the National Registry and received a Norwegian personal identification number (fødselsnummer). Public healthcare services are mostly funded through taxes, and patients usually pay a nominal fee for each visit.

For more information about the Norwegian healthcare system and how to access it as an expat, visit the official website of the Norwegian Directorate of Health (https://www.helsenorge.no/en/).

  1. Education

If you’re moving to Bergen with children, you’ll find a variety of education options available, including public and private schools. Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 16, and public schooling is free for all residents. There are also several international schools in Bergen, such as the International School of Bergen (https://www.isbergen.no/) and the Bergen French School (https://www.ecolefrancaisedebergen.com/), which offer education in English and French, respectively. Tuition fees for international schools vary, so it’s essential to contact each school directly for specific pricing.

Living in Bergen as an expat can be a rewarding experience, offering a high quality of life, stunning natural beauty, and a welcoming community. While the cost of living can be higher than in many other European cities, with careful planning and budgeting, it’s possible to make the most of your time in this incredible city. By researching and understanding the various costs involved, you’ll be well-prepared for a successful and enjoyable life in Bergen.