Home to Norway's longest fjord and surrounded by seven mountains, Bergen offers its residents an excellent quality of life, but this comes at a cost. The cost of living in Bergen is fairly steep, as is generally the case in Norway’s big cities. That said, the country offers extensive healthcare and education social benefits, which helps to ease some costs. Salaries in Norway are also typically lucrative – further offsetting the high living costs.

Cost of accommodation in Bergen

Accommodation in Bergen is likely to cost expats an arm and a leg. As the second-largest city in Norway, Bergen's housing market is expensive. In fact, rental prices rose by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2022, largely due to a discrepancy in supply and demand. Expats looking to reduce their monthly expenses should look for accommodation in the areas and suburbs further out of the city centre.

As a university city, Bergen has a strong house- and apartment-sharing culture. This is another fantastic way to save money while building local connections. New arrivals will also need to get accustomed to the steep utility costs in Bergen.

Cost of transport in Bergen

Getting around in Bergen is straightforward and painless thanks to the reliable and efficient public transport network in the city. That said, transport in the city is also pricey. Tourists can purchase a Bergen Card, which allows free travel on the Bybanen (light rail) and buses for a limited period. The Bergen Card also provides considerable discounts for museums, restaurants and other lifestyle attractions in the city. Price-conscious new arrivals will have access to weekly and monthly passes for the bus and light rail services to help reduce their travel expenses. 

Car ownership is largely unnecessary and expensive in Bergen. Expats looking to drive will need to budget for petrol, maintenance and parking costs, which can all be high in Norway. 

Cost of groceries and eating out in Bergen

While food prices in Bergen may be steeper than what most expats are used to due to a hefty VAT on food items, there are still some ways to find bargains and reduce the total monthly grocery bill.

Local markets and international supermarkets such as Mango Supermarked offer reasonably priced fresh produce. Most locals prefer shopping at discount stores such as Kiwi and Rema 1000, while there are also apps that can direct shoppers to the lowest priced option.

Bergen boasts a multicultural local community, which translates into a vibrant culinary scene. Eating out in Bergen is by no means cheap, but there are plenty of student watering holes and restaurants that are easier on the wallet.

Cost of education in Bergen

Expat parents will be delighted to find that education in Bergen is free of charge and compulsory for children between the ages of six and 16. Parents only have to pay mandatory building fees and take care of transport, textbook and stationery costs. Norway also subsidises daycare (barnehage), making it possible for parents with young children to access childcare at a reasonable price.

Parents who are in Bergen on a short assignment or those who would prefer for their children to learn English as a first language usually choose to enrol their children in an international school. These schools typically offer the International Baccalaureate programme. If possible, expat parents should negotiate for a school allowance in their relocation package, as international school fees can be high.

Cost of living in Bergen chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Bergen for February 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NOK 10,710

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

NOK 8,800

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NOK 19,910

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

NOK 15,250


Eggs (dozen)

NOK 40

Milk (1 litre)

NOK 21

Rice (1kg)

NOK 25

Loaf of white bread

NOK 34

Chicken breasts (1kg)

NOK 141

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

NOK 146

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

NOK 139

Coca-Cola (330ml)

NOK 31


NOK 45

Local beer (500ml)

NOK 103

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant 

NOK 995


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)


Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

NOK 488

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

NOK 2,633


Taxi rate (per kilometre)


Bus/train fare in the city centre 

NOK 40

Petrol (per litre)

NOK 21.34

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