Earth > Europe > Northern Europe > Scandinavia > Norway > Bergen
<map lat='60.432831853362394' lng='6.1248779296875' zoom='8' view='0' float='right' /> Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and the largest in Western Norway, with a population of 255,490 as of 1 October 2009.Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, which includes rural areas, has a population of 377,116 as of January 2010.
Except for a few periods of the year (notably in the early winter when it snows a lot), Bergen is very rainy and good waterproof gear is recommended, as things can get pretty soaked! Given the somewhat long waiting times that you'll have to face (even in good spots), finding a covered bus stop (busslomme in Norwegian, different from bussholdeplass meaning simply bus stop) to hitch from and having a waterproof sign is vital!
As in whole of Norway, but especially on the West Coast, a smart thing to do before setting off for hitchhiking is checking the road conditions (especially in the spring when all the snow is melting down from the mountains onto the roads) and traffic by calling 177 (active from 10 a.m. though). Especially if you're taking secondary roads, it's a good thing to check whether they're open and if there is any traffic at all.
From the City
The extensive network of tunnels make hitching out of the city close to impossible. The speedways almost completely go through the city, so it's quite hard to find an exit point. If you don't find it right inside the city, you'll have to walk a lot North, because of the long tunnels and the strange shape of the city.
You may try to get a ride from the city centre. Behind the central bus station there is the Goods Terminal of Schenker, a big freight company. You could also try your chance at traffic lights and hopefully succeed, but nobody reading or writing this ever has! There is a big junction close to the central lake and it is the main exit of Bergen, but there are many directions connected, and the place is not pleasant.
If you are willing to walk, or are somehow in the northern part, try Sandviksveien junction with Sjøgaten. It is about 1.5 km north from Central Bay. Another option would be the several entries from Breiviken village - this seems the most legal place to hitch, there isn't much traffic, and it's 3 km away from the bay, but more cars will turn on the main road and that place seems more friendly.
If you are South from the Big Bay, try the crossing of Fjosangerveien and Ibsensgate, where the traffic lights are. The problem is always that there are many directions from there (including the centre).
If you can get a lift to Nyborg, then you won. They have a huge roundabout. It is 12 km North from Bergen.
From Outside the City
There are plenty of CouchSurfers in the northerly Sandviken suburb, so you might want to hitch from there in the morning. But unlike it may look like from the map, it's impossible to hitch a ride from the juncture between Sandviksveien and the many tunnels on Åsaneveien leading north. It's better to take a bus to Åsane Senter (a huge mall half an hour North of the city, which is very close to the juncture between the E39 (North) and the E16 (East). From Bryggen you can take bus number 50, 71, 80, 90, 270 and 285. Apparently there used to be a free IKEA bus going exactly there, but not any longer (to be confirmed). Close to the bus terminal there is a Statoil gas station where you can ask drivers, or just take a nice walk further to the next big roundabout, where you'll find two nice hh spots perfect both for hitching North and East. It's quite a walk, but considering the rain and the not excellent hitchability of Western Norway, reaching those two spots does pay off!
A good alternative for going East is taking a bus or train to Arna or Takvam and hitchhike just before the point where the E16 and and the RV7 meet. There is a bus station where cars can pull over easily since they slow down for the forthcoming roundabout. There is a good flow of traffic even in winter. But if that doesn't work you may still try the Tourist Info & fastfood place across the highway. It's advisable to find rides at least to Voss where you can continue further.
E39 South towards Stavanger
Hitching south of Bergen implies hopping from island to fjord to island and involves lots of ferries, that are time consuming. You may start from the big roundabout in the city centre just south of the train station (more info needed).
Hitching in is not a problem, since the city is not so big and nice to walk in. A good spot to be dropped off coming from Oslo is next to the Bus Terminal, which is behind the train station and very close to the Schenker truck terminal.
Within the municipality of Bergen there is a one price policy (e.g. NOK 23,- per adult single ticket for any distance within the municipality.) A night bus ticket costs NOK 50,-.
- Tide, the local public transportation company
Other Useful Info
Once in Bergen it might become impossible to find a public toilet that you don't have to pay for. While you can find a good shelter from the rain in the bus terminal (not in the train station, it doesn't rain on the benches but it's open so cold in the winter months), if you need a toilet you might want to try one of the many university buildings scattered around the city (the faculty of psychology is on the main street close to the pond).