It’s that time of year again. Time to welcome new students, “Hei hei and velkommen til Bergen!!” And time to make a post about how the heck you get into the Sentrum (city center) on your first day in Bergen. It is totally normal to want to know what to expect when moving to a brand new city. Not to worry, getting into town is very doable!
Don’t wander the streets of Bergen, lost… read this blog, or ask a stranger for directions, they tend to speak excellent English. Photo: Stand Hiestand
OMG, I’m coming to Bergen! Now, how the hell do I get into town?
Et veldig godt spørsmål (a very good question). First be sure to explore the information available on the UiB website that may be helpful including information pertaining to important dates and resources for new students generally such as the ‘New Student’ information. There are instructions for coming into town offered in the Arrival and Directions page including printable PDFs. But if you want an overview on getting here from the airport, here it is:
1. In the Airport.
On your way out of the airport, you may want to grab some cash at an ATM. It is highly recommended to buy a little something (yes, it will seem overpriced). It is important to have some change (10 krone increments) for:
- A luggage locker later, or
- For taking Bybane (light rail) into town if you plan to buy a ticket for it with cash: the Skyss ticket machine (where you buy Bybane tickets) doesn’t take cash notes, only coins or bank cards (BankAxept, Visa and MasterCard)
High above Bergen’s clouds. Photo: Stand Hiestand
2. Get your luggage and get a ride into town
I offer information below about the two reasonably priced options for getting into town. One is Flybussen (the airport bus). It is the ‘middle range’ option in terms of price (a taxi will be much more expensive, and only slightly more convenient). The other is Bybanen (the light rail), it is the cheapest option so long as you are careful to be prepared to buy a ticket ahead of time. Flybussen is a good choice for someone trying to be economical, but who has a lot of luggage. Bybanen is good for saving money, but may be inconvenient if you have a lot of luggage or haven’t paid attention to the ticketing procedures (see the Bybane information below for more details).
A) Flybusser (airport buses) run regularly and are accessible outside the ‘Arrivals’ terminal, you want the Flybuss going into the Sentrum. You can always ask if you’re not sure which one to get on!
B) Have luggage? You’re gonna wanna get off at Busstasjonen (the bus station). The bus station shares space with a mall called Bergen Storsenter, and looks more like a mall than a bus station. The Flybussen stop is called Bergen Busstasjon.
C) Let the driver know what stop you want (Bergen Busstasjon) and (s)he will tell you when you’ve arrived there.
- You can buy your Flybussen ticket on the bus (but you need cash or a credit card with a chip and a pin code).
- You can buy it ahead of time online (link in next section) and print it or have it on your phone.
- Or, you can use the ‘Flybussen Bergen billett’ app (from the iTunes AppStore or Google play), if you are confident you’ll have data. Billet means ticket as you may know. I’d still recommend buying the app ticket ahead of time (you can buy tickets on the app whenever you want, then activate them shortly before boarding). There is Wifi on the Flybussen and in the airport, but I wouldn’t rely on it for activating your ticket.
Flybussen runs regularly but you can:
- If necessary change to English (upper right corner)
- Make sure you choose the ‘from airport’ tab when coming into town from the airport
- Make sure you choose Bergen (BGO) as the city
- Choose Bergen Busstasjon as your destination
If you are trying to save money and don’t have much luggage, Bybanen run by Skyss may be an option. It is easily accessible down an escalator just outside the ‘Arrivals’ airport terminal, and offers service to the Sentrum.
- It is very important to remember that Bybane tickets should be purchased ahead of time at certain retailers, ticket machines (these only take coins and bank cards with a chip), or via an app (if you will have data on your phone) ahead of time. If you don’t have the Skyss app and data on your phone, it is important to remember to buy a ticket at the Skyss Ticket Machine (with Norwegian krone coins or a bank card with a chip) before leaving the airport. The Skyss Ticket Machine is right next to the exit doorway.
- Physical tickets must be activated upon entry to the Bybane, app tickets should be activated just before.
- The bybane has announcements for all stops. You will exit at Busstasjonen.
3a. Drop your luggage at Busstasjonen (the bus station) if you took Flybussen
Ok, the bus driver told you to get out. You are now abandoned on a street corner next to a large yellow building, what now?
Flybussen drops you off on the side of Storsenter (near the yellow cab in this photo). Image: http://www.thoneiendom.no/Naringseiendom/Kontor/fleksible-og-flotte-kontorlokaler-i-bergen-storsenter-til-leie/
Some views of Storsenter and its parking structure, under which is the ‘bus station’ (really more of a bus terminal). Photos: Stand Hiestand
Views of where the Flybussen lets you out at Storsenter/the Bus Station. You will be let off near the side entrance of Storsenter (shown in the next set of photos). Photo: Stand Hiestand
A) Enter the Storsenter (the shopping center that’s attached to the bus station), get on in there!
Here’s the side entrance to the Storsenter (top), you can enter here (bottom left is the view as the sliding doors open), taking a left (at the shopping woman poster shown in the bottom left photo), you’ll find the corridor pictured (bottom right), this leads into the mall. Photos: Stand Hiestand
B) Buy something to get change if you haven’t already
There are many stores including fast food restaurants, a coffee shop, and a couple grocery stores inside the Storsenter. Or, you see if they can break your Norwegian cash (kroner, or kr) at the information desk – but be warned, it is tucked away upstairs. Below is some guidance to get you to the information desk if you didn’t take my earlier recommendations 🙂
Mall interior (top), red outlined arrow shows the direction to walk for the Information Desk, green arrow shows the direction to walk for the lockers, view towards the hallway where the lockers are (bottom left), a couple folks walking towards the lockers (bottom right). Photos: Stand Hiestand
Head past the Burger King to seek out the Information Desk (top left). Keep walking straight towards the moving walkway (top right). Take the moving walk way to the next floor up (bottom). Photo: Stand Hiestand
The Information Desk in Storsenter is to the right as you get off the moving walkway (top), just outside the pharmacy (vitus apotek, bottom). Photo: Stand Hiestand
If the photos weren’t enough, I made you a video of how to get to the Information Desk.
C) Put your luggage in the lockers
…that are down the long hallway that extends from the main entrance of Storsenter (hallway pictured below). Keep in mind the lockers may not be able to accommodate very oversized luggage. However, there are some lockers that are a bit larger than those pictured below. If you have many bags you may want to try to get a lot of change in case you need more than one locker to fit everything. If you have very large luggage, you may need to go across the street to the train station (Strømgaten 4). Here they have larger locker options.
A couple of views of the lockers (top) and the hallway in which they live (bottom) within the Bus Station/Storsenter. Photos: Stand Hiestand
3b Drop your luggage at the Storsenter if you took Bybane.
If you rode the Bybane in you’ll be dropped off at a different location in the bus station, however it is not far away from where the Flybuss drops passengers. You may wish to take a look at 3a for pictures of Storsenter (the mall that the bus station is attached to) and other helpful information. Below are photos and instructions for getting to the lockers and into Storsenter from where the Bybane lets you out.
A view of the Bystasjon stop, where you will exit the Bybane (bottom left). You want to cross the street at the crosswalk (top) in order to access the stairs to Storsenter (bottom right). Photos: Stand Hiestand
Take the stairs down to the walkway (left), walk down the corridor (top right) and access the lockers at the end of the corridor (bottom right). Continue down the corridor past the rest of the lockers to enter Storsenter. If you have forgotten to get change, make change at a store in the Storsenter or see the instructions to the Information Desk in 3a (instructions from the Flybussen).
Pictures not enough? I made you this video too:
4. Walk to the Student Center/SiB Housing Desk
It’s only a 10 minute walk, but be warned, this walk is up a pretty sizable hill, it is likely you will not want to be overburdened with luggage to carry (see Step #3a or 3b).
The image below shows the UiB’s instructions for getting from Storsenter to the Student Centre. If you’d rather have a slightly longer but maybe just slightly less hilly version, you could walk this way (to be frank, though, it’s all going to be hilly).
Image: Directions to the student centre PDF
Once you arrive at the Student Centre, Sammen’s Student Housing Desk is straight in front of you as you walk inside. Take a number and wait to talk to a representative.
On your journey to collect keys for your new student housing, remember these important details:
Sammen’s (Student Welfareorganization) Student Housing Desk is located in the Student Centre (Parkveien 1). If you have specific questions about student housing you can get their contact information here. Make sure to know the Housing Desk’s hours for the day you arrive, keeping in mind there are some extended hours on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of January (08.00 to 20.00).
Student Centre Address:
Student Centre. Image: http://wushu.no/2011/10/
5. Head to your new home
Are you at Fantoft? You’re probably at Fantoft. Check out the directions to Fantoft here. If you happen to be at the Alrek student housing instead, click here for instructions. If you are housed elsewhere, or if don’t feel clear about some aspect of the directions, you can ask for directions at the Sammen Housing desk when you pick up your keys.
If you took Flybussen in and want to know how to collect your luggage and head to the Bybane (if you are taking it to Fantoft, for example) check out this final video I made:
Curious to see the Student Centre and some of the faculties of UiB before you arrive? Take a look in this video made by UiB:
Welcome to UiB! Are you a new student coming to Bergen in January who wants advice about student life? Ask me questions by commenting below!