Midjourney AI generated picture of Norwegian flag waving in the wind.

Phone & wifi:
You cannot buy anonymous prepaid SIM cards in Norway, so you better arrive with a SIM that includes voice/data in Norway. There is free WIFI absolutely EVERYWHERE, so you will easily get online.

I’ll say it is rather easy to navigate around the city center, as it is fairly small and you just have to look out for a mountain top or two in order to figure out directions. I do however recommend using Google Maps and downloading a map of Bergen for offline use. That will save you some data and make navigation easier. Instructions: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6291838?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid

Unfortunately publicly available toilets are not well marked, or a scarcity in the city center. For our constitution day on Wednesday May 17th, keep this in mind. However social engineering and politeness works in most places.

debet/credit cards accepted pretty much everywhere. Most payment terminals will happily take Apple Pay and other solutions as well. We use contactless for small payments (<=USD 50), contactless + pin or chip+pin for bigger amounts. Nobody uses cash anymore – you might even find those who refuse to accept it as payment, even if they are required by law to accept cash. Everything is expensive in Norway, so be prepared for that. I like to tell visitors they’ll go bankrupt before they can get drunk. You’ve been warned.

Transportation from airport (Bergen airport Flesland) to city center, and back again:
You can use the airport bus to hotels in the city center: https://www.skyss.no/en/, or use the train (“bybane” as we call it here) to get to the absolute center of the city, or take a taxi (EXPENSIVE!). From the city center (“torgalmenningen”) I’ll say it is walking distance to all relevant hotels, plus our event location. That means <10 minutes walking. Send me info on which day, time & flight you’ll be arriving in Bergen, I just might show up at the airport with a big PASSWORDSCON sign to greet you, and offer free transportation to city center & your hotel. Expect 25-45 minutes from airport to city center. For international flights I recommend showing up at the airport at least 1 hour before your departure, that’ll leave you all the time needed to catch your flight home.

Water & weather:
Bergen city is a safe place for visitors. Water in shower and sink is clean and safe to drink. It rains a lot, and the weather can change very quickly. Umbrellas can be purchased almost everywhere because of that. Official weather forecast looks good right now (partially sunny, 16-19C): https://www.yr.no/en/forecast/daily-table/1-92416/Norway/Vestland/Bergen/Bergen.

Venue location & info:
Schedule, speaker bios & abstracts: https://passwordscon.org/passwordscon-2023-bergen/
Nøstegaten 58. Auditorium on ground floor, left side after entering hallway. Several tech companies have offices in the building, there is a cafeteria just opposite of the auditorium. Vegetarian burger place just across the street, and a grocery store 20-30 meters before you get to venue entrance. I’ll have some chargers, power adapters & powerbanks available for those in need. For speakers: HDMI preferred, but other display adapters are also available. Free wifi available. Coffee & tea, snacks & fruits will be available. Lunch will be at 12:30 monday & tuesday.

Monday afternoon we’ll bring in pizza, beer & other beverages for lightning talks, challenges, surveys and more.

Tuesday evening for locals are either for watching football at the local stadium or staying at home with family preparing suits, dresses and kids for constitution day. Depending on the weather a lot of people will also be out at restaurants and bars this evening.

Meetups & things to see:
For people arriving friday, saturday or sunday, I’m ready for meetups & a bit of local guidance around the city center, including up on top of mount Fløien (https://www.floyen.no/en) & mount Ulriken (https://ulriken643.no/en/). I consider them close to mandatory to visit, but there are tons of options in and around the city: https://en.visitbergen.com/. I’ll be around on Friday 19 as well, if you’re still here and want company (& talk passwords along the way obviously!)

IF you are keen on a challenge, like to stay fit and enjoy having a pulse above impossible levels for 10-30 minutes, I can highly recommend https://en.visitbergen.com/things-to-do/stoltzekleiven-p1529323. Estimate approximately <3 hours if you want to walk to the starting point, walk/run up the path, walk further on to mount Fløien and down again. Absolutely beautiful trip, remember good shoes and fitness clothing!

Constitution day – May 17 – and then some!
Experiencing this day here in Bergen – the best city in Norway – is an experience for a lifetime in my opinion. 😄

Bergen has lots and lots of traditions, and the city itself has history back to approximately 1070AD (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen). In fact St. Mary’s church (“Mariakirken”) is estimated to have been built in the period between 1140 and 1250, and is in regular use today as well. Our constitution day starts VERY early for morning birds, and since Thursday May 18th this year is public holiday (ascension day), expect people to party well into the night, with a quiet thursday morning. For those attending day 3 on Thursday 18th, we’ll start at 10:00, for good reasons…

I may have forgotten something here, but feel free to email or ping me on Signal/SMS at any time if you have any questions!

Best regards,
Per Thorsheim