Hei hei again new international students! As promised in last week’s blog of practicalities, this week I wanted to provide some ideas of what to do and where to go for fun in Bergen.
Norwegians tend to be an active and outdoorsy people. You can encounter them frolicking through the mountains like obnoxiously well-coordinated gazelles – this sight happens with enough frequency to inspire (or depress) some of the less than graceful foreigners (myself included)… and possibly some of the less graceful Norwegians. I have chosen to feel inspiration. I try to get outside most days and up Fløyen at least a couple times a week, and enjoying the nature is enough to distract me from my clumsy embarrassments.
- Hiking awaits you, just remember that ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing‘ – so be sure to ‘gear up’.
- Skiing (especially cross-country) – Voss, for example, is just a train ride away (about 1.5 hours), complete with a ski resort.
- Ice-skating, it appears that Bergenshallen rents skates Bergenshallen rent skates Monday to Friday. 10:00 – 14:00 (kr 30), and Sunday from 12.00 -15.30 (kr 50). I’ve also been seeing people ice-skating on the Skansedammen Pond on the way up to Fløyen – apparently that’s a thing now. I assume you need your own skates, though.
- Climbing – also available indoors through SiB and Bergenshallen.
Many many other opportunities for outdoor activities await. Current students and other Bergen-dwellers, have any activity suggestions? Feel free to comment below!
Check out my blog “I’ve arrived in Bergen, now what?” for some student opinions on outdoor and other activities.
A great way to meet Norwegians is to get involved in some type of community group, festival or project. Norwegians not only have a tradition of “dugnad”, or voluntary community efforts, but often tend to make friends by being involved in these types of activities or other groups. If you can’t find a community project to work on, you can volunteer at one of the many festivals that occur throughout the year, or join a student group.
Check out being a volunteer or just attending some of the following festivals:
- Borealis Music Festival (coming up!)
- Bergen International Festival
- Natt Jazz
- Bergen International Film Festival or BIFF
- Bergen Ølfestival (Beerfest)
- For more festival options, click here.
Try joining an organization:
- International Student Union
- Erasmus Student Network
- Student Parliament
- Explore a number of student organizations here.
- Or think about hanging out with the expats at Internations once a month.
Not ready to be a joiner?
- Maybe you’d prefer to just explore Study Bergen’s upcoming student events (hopefully will be updated soon), and check out what’s happening tonight on their student culture calendar.
- Peruse ESN’s (Eramus Student Network) page to view some popular nightlife spots/activities and get an idea of pricing.
- Or, check out UiB’s campus life information.
Get out on the town
Sometimes it is necessary to splurge on a coffee, meal, or beer at a coffeeshop, restaurant or bar. Here’s a short list of some of my favorites:
- Kaffemisjonen – their coffee is delicious
- Krok og Krinkel – lots of ambience
- Henriks øl og Vinstove – my favorite bar in town
- Una – while a little more expensive, is a bar with a pleasant atmosphere – and they have some food options, at least part of the day
- “Mikromandag” (Micro-Monday for reduced prices on microbrews), or just hanging out any ol’ day at the bar, cafe, or event spaces at Kvarteret
- Colonialen Litteraturhuset (the cafe at the Litteraturhus) has awfully good breakfast… and other meals as well, of course!
- And there’s always the all-you-can-eat (59kr) Frokostbuffé (breakfast buffet) at Ikea – I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite food, but it is reasonably priced! Read more in my past blog Did you know about this?!
Alternately, you could stimulate your brain with an academic event or public lecture
- Get an idea what’s going on around campus at UiB news
- You may also want to check the UiB calendar (hopefully this will be updated soon)
- Look for English language events at Litteraturhus or check out my past blog for a little more information on this venue
- Attend a lecture at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)
Of course there’s all sorts of other options, including
- Students get in for FREE on Thursdays to all of the Kode Art Museums.
- Students always get into the Cultural History Museum for free.
- There may be student discounts at many other local museums.
- A movie at the Kino, perhaps? No, not cheap, but a large amount of English language selection.
- Look for a play to attend at Den Nationale Scene
- Find information and a calendar here.
- Or, just check out Carte Blanche’s (Bergen’s dance company) page here.
There’s a lot of music venues in Bergen, some examples include:
- Grieghallen – for classical, opera, etc
- USF – a variety of musical genres play here, including Jazz
- The Garage – primarily rock and contemporary music
- Hulen – again, contemporary
Hope you get out there and have some fun! Image: http://memegenerator.net/instance/54858856
What did I leave out? Let me know below!