Last updated on May 2nd, 2023
Are you renting a car in Norway and arriving in Bergen by it by any chance? Are you wondering if there are any free parking spots in the city?
Free parking in Bergen is difficult to find.
Local authorities are trying to make Bergen more “green” and walkable. They encourage guests and residents to use public transportation, bike, and walk more. This is why you’ll find tolls on every road leading into the city center and limited parking spots. Those parking meters and garages that exist are usually pretty expensive.
The government is doing a great job by restricting vehicles in the city. There are fewer cars on the streets indeed.
Although I support the idea of making Bergen more environment-friendly the cost of public transportation doesn’t really help. Paying nearly $6 for a tram ride one way seems a little excessive. Especially, with taxes being gone through the roof, prices for public transportation for residents could be if not free then at least cheaper.
But the purpose of this post is not to talk about taxes but to give you tips on how to travel on a budget and save on parking and tolls, so let’s dive in!
How to Find Parking in Bergen Free of Charge
So, if you happen to visit Bergen while driving a car, I would rather park it a little bit outside of the city center and walk towards the old town on foot.
When Anya and I were looking for free parking in Bergen, we could find zero information on this topic on google. We got the impression that free parking as such doesn’t exist. Lots of information is out there about the garages but of course none about the free spots.
This is why I turned to google street views and started simply to “walk” the virtual streets of Bergen looking for free parking. After getting an idea of where to possibly park I went for a ride to check if parking for nonresidents was available and free indeed. Together with Anya, we went to all neighborhoods that were relatively close to the city center and found only a few options were to park for free. All of it was done in July 2018. Below is what we have discovered:
Side note: Another thing about Bergen is the number of tolls in a city. There are lots of them but the majority is in the South. That is another way the authorities restrict incoming traffic to Bergen.
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Option 1: Free Parking in Bergen While Avoiding Tolls if You Are Coming From the South:
If you are coming from the South, you can find street parking in Damsgård and Frydenbø neighborhoods. Try Nylundsveien street.
I believe that is the closest spot to the bridge. From there it is about a 15-minute walk to Bergen University which is practically a downtown area. We’ve used those spots a number of times. If you can’t find parking on Nylundsveien Street, drive around. There are always spots available.
Now, to get there avoiding tolls is a little trickier since there is a toll on 580 going North. To avoid it you can turn left onto 556. Make sure to take a right turn to the left, otherwise, you’ll hit another toll, right on 540. Your route should look like this:
** UPDATE JUNE 2019: It seems that new tolls have been added in the Bergen Area and now it is impossible to avoid tolls completely. Check this map for reference. But you can still find free parking.
Option 2: Free Parking in Bergen in the North:
If you are driving from the North, consider Starefossen neighborhood, which is roughly a 20-25 minutes walk to the city center. If getting here from the North, you won’t be passing through any tolls. From any other part of the city, expect to pay.
The neighborhood itself is very quiet and peaceful. And, it is a really good location for hiking to Fløyen and other trails in the Bergen Fjellstrekninger mountains. Even if you don’t go hiking, the views of the city from this neighborhood are stunning.
One local lady told us that we were supposed to have a residential permit to park here, but we checked many cars and they didn’t have the permits displayed. So we took our chances, left our car there and everything was good. It worked for us but double-check.
Also, a good website to check the tolls is www.fjellinjen.no
It shows on the map where the tolls are, so you can plan your way around it. However, you cannot avoid tolls driving through Bergen unless you take a long detour by 580 and E16. Considering the gas cost you will not save any money by taking it.
More posts about the Bergen area:
- Should you visit Ulvik? – a small village on the way from Bergen to Hardangerfjord
- How to travel to Bergen on a budget – tips & personal experience
- Norway in summer – the most beautiful places to visit & things to see
Do you have more tips on parking in Bergen? I would love to hear about them!