Getting around Bergen
A travel information service operated by Ruteopplysningen (tel: 177, in Norway only or +47 8150 0182) provides advice on all aspects of public transport in the city. Bergen Busstasjon A/L has an information centre in Bergen Storsenter (a shopping centre), Strømgaten 8, that helps out with travel information, maps, fares and schedules.
Skyss (tel: 177, in Norway only; www.skyss.no) operates Bergen's buses and light rail system, which has one line. Buses and trains operate throughout the day, but services to outlying parts vary greatly, so it is best to check details before setting off. Bergen is divided into zones and bus tickets are priced accordingly. Night buses operate on Friday and Saturday nights until 0400 and are considerably more expensive. The Bergen Card permits free day-time bus and light rail travel within the city limits. Day tickets are also available.
More than 20 ferries operate out of Bergen to outlying settlements around the fjords. These tend to be used by the locals. A passenger ferry crosses Bergen harbour from Dreggekaien to Munkebryggen Monday to Friday.
Taxis can be ordered by telephone (tel: 07000, in Norway only) or hailed in the street. Taxis cost more after 1500 and on weekend evenings. An additional charge is made for pre-booked trips. There are permanent taxi ranks at Bryggen, Strandkaien and Vågsallmenningen (by the main tourist information office). It is common practice to tip about 10% of the total fare.
A toll, ostensibly financing road improvement schemes, is levied on all cars entering Bergen Monday to Friday 0600-2200 (excluding public holidays). When driving, visitors should anticipate vehicles pulling out from side turnings on the right - Norway operates a 'priority from the right' rule except on designated 'priority' routes indicated by yellow diamond signs. Roundabouts can also be hazardous, as Norwegian drivers generally do not indicate their intentions before entering them.
Bergen is a relatively straightforward city to drive in. There is a one-way system in the city centre but only a small area (part of Ole Bulls plass and Torgalmenningen) is pedestrianised. Rush hours are Monday to Friday 0700-0830 and 1530-1630.
The biggest indoor car park is Bygarasjen, Vestre Strømkai (tel: +47 5556 8870), which is open 24 hours, provides parking for over 2,200 cars, and is a five-minute walk from the centre. Another centrally located multistorey car park operated by the same company is Klostergarasjen, Vestre Murallmenningen 14. Parking is free overnight, all day Sunday and after 1000 on Saturdays.
Regulations about the age of the person hiring the car tend to differ between hire companies but generally drivers must be over 21 years old and have held a licence for a minimum of one year. A deposit must be paid with a credit card. Insurance is compulsory and is included in the cost of the car hire. Major providers include Avis (tel: +47 5555 3955; www.avis.no), Budget (tel: +47 5532 6000; www.budget.no) and Hertz (tel: +47 5529 2500; www.hertz.no). Europcar (tel: +47 5522 7320; www.europcar.com) also has a desk at the airport.
If you're planning on cycling in Bergen, be prepared for steep hills. Sykellbutikken, Kanalveien 107 (tel: +47 5536 1800; www.sykellbutikken.no), hires out bikes.
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