Hello there to all the new international students coming into Bergen! I want to wish you a warm welcome and I want to use this post as an opportunity to direct you to some helpful resources for settling in – whether you’re here for a Semester, a year, or the course of a programme.
Without further ado, here are some short descriptions of blogs past (with links in case you need more information) that address practicalities in Bergen for new arrivals:
There’s no quick answer to where to go to save the most money grocery shopping, but the stores most often considered inexpensive are Rema 1000, Rimi, and Kiwi, you can also check some of the many international stores throughout the city such as Global Foods for deals or speciality items. And, no the same deals will not necessarily be at all locations of a chain grocery store (it is hit or miss). Grocery store hours can vary (often ~8:00 – 21:00 or later Monday – Saturday), and all but a very select few small (and often extremely busy) grocery ‘kiosks’ are closed Sundays. Remember to save your plastic bottles to recycle them for a small refund at a machine in many grocery store locations (the bottles that can be returned indicate they have a ‘pant’ on the label.
Just don’t be like this moose when you are gathering your groceries…
Other grocery resources:
- This app shows you nearby stores and their hours, Mat (“Food”) App.
- Read practical tips for saving money when grocery shopping in Norway here.
- Try this app featuring sale items in Norwegian grocery stores.
- For a special treat, seek discounted baked goods from local cafes at closing time with this app.
- For more details on groceries, read my blog post on grocery shopping here.
If you came unprepared for Norwegian winter you may need to gear up (read more about gearing up for the outdoors here), or perhaps you have a need for other supplies (such as nesting accoutrements for your new living quarters).
Buy from your fellow students:
(and yes, you can join these groups even if you don’t live at those locations)
Typical Shopping highlights (look for sales – the sales tend to be pretty good):
- Ikea. (complete with Gratis Buss to get out there *in the past the Gratis buss has made special stops at Fantoft and Alrek at the beginning of Fall Semester). Read more about the joys of Ikea in “Nesting in Bergen” and “Did you know about this?!“.
- Bergen Storsenter (Bergen shopping center), located at Bystasjonen (the bus station) Storsenter has shops and a Vinmonopolet – read more about ‘the deal with Vinmonopolet’ in “Study Break: So what’s the deal with Vinmonopolet?”.
- Sletten senter (Sletten mall), a small shopping center close to Fantoft.
- Lagunen Storsenter (Lagunen mall) is large mall, also convenient for those living in Fantoft.
For some shops that might be kinder to the Student budget, try these options:
- Fretex (used clothes and other treasures).
- Flea Markets may be another way to search for inexpensive used gear
- XXL (sports store).
- Stormberg (may have more reasonably priced outdoor options).
- Coop OBS Hypermarked in Lagunen may have some cheaper basic rain gear options.
- Spar Kjøp (next to the police station in the Sentrum), may be less expensive (but more utilitarian).
- Vera Moda (woman’s clothes), H&M, and Cubus.
- Zalando.com (online)
- Finn.no (online and generally used items sold by individuals)
- Nille (for small home items like candles)
- Clas Ohlson (for a variety of needs including kitchenware and electronics)
You’re coming to Norway? You might need a Norwegian sweater… Image: http://www.originalsouth.de/en/norwegian-sweaters/
Groceries and gear cost money, if you’re considering your budget, you may wanna take a look at my blog on the cost of living in Norway. You can take a look at other past blogs for information about financial information such as banking in Norway including opening a bank account or information about other essentials such as cell phones. Confused about Bergen’s layout? Take a look at my blog highlighting some useful places to know about in Bergen.
Skyss (pronounced “shiss”), Bergen’s public transit, encompasses many ways to travel including bus, Bybanen (the light rail), and ferries. Find travel planners and timetables on Skyss’s website. To ride, buy a registered (have your name attached) or unregistered skysskort online or in person at the Skyss office at Bystasjonen, or get Skyss Apps for your phone. More information about the skysskort can be found here. Students 32 years and under receive a discount of 40% on season tickets (lasting for 7, 30, or 180 days). Make sure you have your student ID with you when riding public transit; Skyss security can ask you to show your ticket and valid student ID (if you have a student ticket). Read about other discounts here. Skyss runs late on Fridays and Saturdays but you have to buy a separate individual fare called nattbillett (night ticket) even if you have a season pass; nightbillett prices apply to any time marked with an ‘N’ on the Bybane schedule.
- Take a look at Bybanen’s schedule here.
- Explore bus options here.
- Puruse where the ferries travel at this link.Check out other travel options, including Ikea’s Gratis Buss, Ulriken’s cable car (Ulriksbanen), and Fløyen’s funicular (Fløibanen), as well as the practical Flybussen (the airport bus)
- Timetable for Flybussen
- Buy Flybuss tickets here
This has been so practical. What about some fun? Maybe start out searching for fun activities in my upcoming blog: “I’m coming to Bergen! Now What?” In the meantime, Velkommen til Norge!