Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and currently has more than 270,000 inhabitants. It overlooks the North Sea and is surrounded by seven imposing hills and seven fjords. The most impressive place is the Bryggen district, which consists of narrow streets lined with typical colored wooden houses. The city isvery characteristic and has been included in the World Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. Recently, the number of people from Norway and abroad who have moved to Bergen has increased.
Public transportation is generally good, but if you live in the suburbs, public transportation is scarce in some places, which can become a problem if you need a car because of the cost of maintaining.
Norwegians are generally very private people. In public places, people mind their own business and rarely converse with each other, and if you try to strike up a conversation with a stranger, they will stare at you as if they are looking at an alien. However, despite their cold and aloof behavior in public, most Norwegians are friendly and kind people in private who will gladly welcome you into their homes.
Norway, like other Nordic countries, is a country where it is very difficult to make friends. Norwegians are generally helpful and friendly when you need help, but if you want to make friends, things are different, especially if you are a foreigner. In general, it is difficult for immigrants to be accepted into a person’s circle of friends. Although almost everyone speaks English, you should make an effort to learn Norwegian, even if it is a difficult language, if you want to get to know the locals.
Bergen offers a quiet, village life, with entertainment limited mainly to a drink in the small, typical cafes of the town. The only change from everyday life takes place on weekends, when the town’s many students break out. On the rare days when it does not rain, one can go hiking in the beautiful surroundings, in the mountains, in the forests, along the rivers or on the lakes that surround the city.
As for the weather, Bergen is known as the city of rain. In fact, it is the wettest city in Europe with more than 200 rainy days per year guaranteed. Winters, as usual, are long and dark, while summers can also be quite hot and humid. Since the city is surrounded by mountains, air exchange is not favored, which can sometimes lead to increased air pollution, especially in the winter months.
Regarding the job market, there are opportunities in various fields, but given the city’s importance to tourism, both as a destination for excursions and as a starting point for many fjord cruises, I would say that the greatest employment opportunities are in tourism. As a tour guide, on board a cruise ship, or in a hotel or restaurant.
If you want to know more about working in Norway, you can read the article Working in Norway published on the blog.
Living and working in Bergen, pros
- Cheaper accommodation than in Oslo
- Beautiful and untouched natural landscapes
- Very low crime rate
- Good services (free health and education facilities)
Living and working in Bergen, cons
- High cost of living
- Very rainy weather
Living and working in Bergen, conclusion
Bergen, although the second largest city in Norway, is not remotely comparable to Oslo, it is much less crowded and life flows more slowly, the city lives in the midst of nature, surrounded by fjords and mountains. It is true that it rains more than in Oslo, but it is also true that the temperature is milder and hardly ever falls below -4 °C.
While Oslo is a beautiful city, but still a typical European capital, Bergen has the special charm of an authentic Norwegian city, with its wooden houses, its picturesque little harbour, its narrow streets lined with small cafes and the impressive nature that surrounds it. The majestic mountains and imposing fjords shape the rhythm of daily life of the inhabitants.
If you want to know more about moving to Norway, you can read the article How to move to Norway