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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Norway > Bergen

Bergen Weather

8°C

Local time Bergen

Currency

Kr

Shopping in Bergen

Bergen has long been a trading town and its shops range from the small and specialised to large department stores. Visitors should not expect too many bargains, however, as Norway is a notoriously expensive country, and prices are high (although depending on where you're travelling from, tax can be refunded upon departure).

Key areas

The pedestrianised streets of Gamle Strandgaten, Marken and Torgallmenningen have shops selling everything from trolls to antiques, handicrafts to Norwegian sweaters and ceramics to silver jewellery. Husfliden, in Vågsallmenningen, is one of the leading gift shops.

Markets

Torget, the famous fish market by the harbour, is open Monday to Friday 0700-1600 and Saturday 0700-1500 (Thursday until 1900 in the summer). Kjøttbasaren, Bergen's restored meat market, dating back to 1887, is the city's epicurean centre, with various places to eat and nine delicatessens. It's located on Vetrlidsalmenning 2.

Shopping centres

The city has four major department stores. At Galleriet, on Torgallmenningen square, 70 shops and restaurants offer a wide choice of goods and menus at all price levels, while live music, entertainment and exhibitions are staged on the fifth floor. Bergen Storsenter, on Strømgaten, is the largest in the city centre. Kløverhuset, on Strandgaten, offers more distinctive shops, whilst Lagunen Storesenter, on Laguneveien, is one of the largest malls in the country.

Opening hours

Normal shopping hours are weekdays 0900-1630 and Saturdays 0900-1500, although some shops stay open later (until around 1900) on Thursdays. During December, many shops also open on Sundays. Late-opening shopping centres include Bergen Storsenter, Kløverhuset and Galleriet, which are open weekdays until 2000 and Saturdays until 1800.

Souvenirs

Handmade sweaters, trolls, silverware, pewter, bunads (traditional Norweigan costumes), Christmas-inspired gifts, outdoor clothing, Nordic caviar, Viking souvenirs, art and antiques are just some of the popular gifts purchases in Bergen.

Tax information

VAT, known as merverdiavgift (MVA) or moms in Norway, is currently charged at 25% and is included in all retail prices (a reduced rate of 14% applies to food items). Many shops in Bergen offer VAT refunds for overseas visitors, of up to 50%. To claim a refund, visitors need to collect a form from the shop at the time of purchase then submit this either at the tax refund office in the airport or at the bureau de change on the ferry.

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Marken Guesthouse

Marken Guesthouse is centrally located and reasonably priced. The hostel-style guesthouse offers rooms and dormitories for between one to 10 people. The rooms are modern, and there is a comfortable communal sitting room, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Klosteret 5 Guesthouse

Klosteret 5 Guesthouse is located in a charming alleyway among old wooden houses on the Nordnes peninsula in downtown Bergen. There is an affordable breakfast café across the street and a variety of restaurants nearby.

City Box

This hotel by Grieghallen offers basic but comfortable rooms at rock bottom prices right in the city centre. The reception is unmanned at night, so you'll have to pay by card if you get there after hours, but if all you're after is a place to crash at the end of the day, this is a good option. Family rooms are available.

Clarion Admiral Hotel

One of the most characterful hotels in Bergen, on the premises of old, dignified storehouses from the turn of the century that were converted in 1987. The hotel's 210 rooms are all elegant and comfortable. The hotel has a business centre, conference facilities and Wi-Fi access.

Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret

This stylish hotel opened in May 2006, in the former premises of the Port of Bergen harbour company. Originally built in 1919-1920 in the neoclassical/neo-baroque style, the building has been converted into a modern hotel with 116 rooms and suites, a fitness room, a restaurant and bar.

First Hotel Marin

This tasteful and elegant hotel on the Bryggen, in the heart of Bergen, offers 152 spacious, well equipped rooms, all with hardwood floors. Restaurant and bar, conference facilities, gym and sauna are on offer.