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The best parts of Bergen for families to live

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
The best parts of Bergen for families to live
There are many parts of Bergen where families can strike a good balance between living a fulfilling urban life and enjoying the benefits of a community-centric atmosphere. Pictured are houses in Sandviken. Photo by Christine Johannessen on Unsplash

With a robust tourism industry and vigorous regional economy, Bergen is a magnet for international citizens. In this guide, we'll explore the family-and budget-friendly neighbourhoods that make it a great place to call home.


Nestled along Norway's breathtaking western coastline, Bergen has a number of things going for it – it's well-known for its rich cultural heritage, fantastic natural surroundings, and vibrant international community.

For many families seeking a safe and prosperous place to put down roots, the city's allure is undeniable.

From widespread educational opportunities and unspoilt nature at the city's doorsteps to an array of family-friendly amenities, Bergen offers an excellent quality of life for those looking to embrace both city and outdoor life.

While individual considerations – such as budgets and proximity to your place of work – will have a significant impact on where you end up living in Bergen, there are many parts of the city where families can strike a good balance between living a fulfilling urban life and enjoying the benefits of a community-centric atmosphere.

In this guide, we'll go through our five top picks.


Housing in Nordnes can be expensive. Photo by Agent J on Unsplash

Nordnes: An expensive neighbourhood with many attractions

Situated between Vågsbunnen and Nøstet, Nordnes is a coastal neighbourhood that offers a host of attractions.

While the name Nordnes applies to the outermost part, the entire district is a gem waiting to be explored.

At its tip, you'll discover some of Bergen's most prominent tourist destinations, including the Aquarium, Nordnes Park (great for family picnics and barbeques!), and Nordnes Sea Bath.

If you're visiting the city centre, a pleasant walk to Nordnes is recommended to truly appreciate the neighbourhood's character.

Along the way, you'll stumble upon the Fredriksberg Fortress (open in the summer) and concerts at the USF Verftet art and culture hub.

With its coastal charm and proximity to Bergen's centre, Nordnes offers families a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences.

Just keep in mind that housing in the neighbourhood tends to be quite pricy, as it's a well-off, centrally located area.


Møhlenpris: A busy and well-connected urban hub

Møhlenpris, a short distance from the UNESCO-listed Bryggen wharf, offers a unique blend of housing developments, parks, and cultural attractions.

It can get a bit pricy, but it is quite central and well-connected, especially when it comes to bus lines.

The Bergen Technical Museum is a hidden gem in this district.

Cafes, a football pitch, and industrial landmarks around Damsgårdsundet add to its charm.



Møhlenpris is centrally located, and well-connected when it comes to bus lines. Photo by Alan Bowman on Unsplash

Sandviken: Picturesque, relaxed – and home to many students

Located north of the city centre, Sandviken is one of Bergen's most picturesque neighbourhoods. It features charming town villas, cosy gardens, and inviting streets.

While there are places to enjoy a coffee, Sandviken primarily serves as a residential area. For a cultural experience, you can take the family to visit Gamle Bergen, a living historical museum at the northern end of Sandviken.

Sandviken offers more affordable housing prices and has, therefore, become a very popular area for students. If you can tolerate a bit of noise every now and then, Sandviken is among the most suitable options for people looking to settle down in Bergen on a budget.

The area is within walking distance of the city centre, just behind the Bryggen wharf and the Bergenhus Fortress Museum.

"Controversial" picks

The first three areas are no-brainers and follow the general consensus on nice Bergen neighbourhoods to live in.

However, the next two are somewhat controversial – mostly due to their bad reputation in the 2000s and 2010s.

However, as conditions in these two areas have changed in recent years, they should be re-evaluated, especially if you're looking for a home while trying not to break your budget.

READ MORE: What's the best area of Bergen to live in for international residents?

Loddefjord: A budget option with a bad rep

Situated just under a mile outside the city centre, Loddefjord tends to have a bad reputation. For example, it was singled out as the area with the worst living conditions in Bergen in a 2009 report by the Bergen Municipality.

However, things have taken a turn for the better in recent years, and the area is considered safer nowadays, shedding some of its historical issues (such as problems with drug addicts and small crime).

If you're looking for a place where you'll find reasonable housing prices along with convenient shopping options, this might be the place for you.

The district boasts the Vestkanten Storsenter shopping mall, loved by many a budget-conscious shopper, and Vannkanten Badeland, a water park ideal for family water fun.

Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the nearby Storavatnet and Småvatnet lakes, which are great for relaxing walks and quality outdoor family time.

Just note that you'll need a car if you decide to put down roots in the area.


Laksevåg: Great hiking opportunities, but…

Located in the western part of Bergen, Laksevåg also tends to get somewhat of a bad rep among Bergen locals due to its vicinity to the reception centre for substance abusers, located at Gyldenpris.

However, this part of Bergen has lovely residential areas on the hillside of the Damsgårdsfjellet mountain, which offers fantastic hiking opportunities.

It's quite family-friendly, with multiple kindergartens and a relatively new elementary school. It also has various supermarkets servicing the broader area (Kiwi, Extra, and others), as well as a shopping centre (Laksevåg Senter) home to over 30 stores, a couple of restaurants, a Vinmonopolet, and a gym.

Furthermore, Laksevåg has a diverse residential profile, also reflected in the fact that it has an international kindergarten.

The borough has several historical sights that visitors often flock to, including the rococo-style Damsgård Manor, which is among the best-preserved wooden buildings from 18th-century Europe to stand to this day, and Alvøen Manor, where you can see the traces of one of the oldest industrial communities in Norway.

The borough is well connected to the city centre via regular bus lines (6, 19), and the trip to the centre usually takes around 10 minutes.

If you're looking to get the most out of your budget (in terms of square meters), Laksevåg is a decent option.


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