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buying liquor upon arrival in Bergen

We are flying to Bergen in mid-September via Iceland and want to avoid buying wine at the expensive government-monopoly liquor stores for consumption in our rented apartment. I've read elsewhere that one can purchase alcohol (subject to certain limits) at the duty-free store upon arrival at the Bergen airport, but this information is a few years old. Can someone please confirm or refute that such an airport purchase is possible? Could we do the same at the Alesund airport upon arrival from Bergen a few days later? I suspect not since the flight is within the country, not international. Thanks so much for any education on this matter.

Posted by
18772 posts

This is a half answer. I have never encountered a duty free shop on the way into the country. The idea behind duty free is that you are leaving the country with the product. Always have required a copy of your board pass in order to purchase the product. So I would guess you could not buy going into the country.

Posted by
4484 posts

I have not flown in to Bergen but have arrived in Garadenmoen OSL and Sandeford Trop TRF. My recolletion is that the Norwegians bee line for the duty free shop before exiting the green door with full bags. You should be able to shop duty free on arrival.

Posted by
4484 posts

Bergen Airport: https://avinor.no/en/airport/bergen-airport/shopping-and-food/shopping/#all

Duty Free

International and arrivals hall

Use the opportunity to buy duty free goods at the airport’s duty free
store during international departures and arrivals. The store
stocks recognized and leading brands in perfume/cosmetics, alcoholic
beverages, tobacco and chocolate at attractive prices.

News! Now you can pre-order products and pick them up ready packed
when you arrive at the airport. See the selection and make shopping
list on tax-free.no.

Posted by
10119 posts

" I have never encountered a duty free shop on the way into the country."

Some airports do indeed have this. The only one I have personally seen is Rio de Janeiro, but there certainly are others. And it appears Bergen is one of them; their website says "Use the opportunity to buy duty free goods at the airport’s duty free store during international departures and arrivals." (emphasis mine). https://avinor.no/en/airport/bergen-airport/shopping-and-food/shopping/#all

However, looking at that page, I don't see alcohol for sale.

To use duty free, you do indeed have to be on an international flight, so Erik, you are right - you cannot do this flying from Bergen to Alesund.

Posted by
7146 posts

Switzerland also has duty free on arrival. EU countries do not. And there is no duty free at all between EU countries (because the EU is a Customs Union, for customs purposes it is one unit); you still have departure duty free if you are leaving the EU (flying to Norway or Switzerland).
Bergen to Ålesund is an internal flight, so no duty free.
You could also buy your duty free in Iceland as you pass through.

According to this official Norwegion government website you are allowed to bring in 4½ litres of wine (6 bottles) duty free: https://www.toll.no/en/goods/alcohol-and-tobacco/quotas/

BTW, I thought "liquor" meant spirits only, not wine or beer?

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you for your replies; I really appreciate the information.

Chris--I take your point on the use of the word "liquor" vs wine/beer. I'm not a hard liquor guy so should have remembered the distinction.

Erik

Posted by
4484 posts

Even if you are not a hard liquor fan you should try aquavit, the Linie Aquavit in particular. Aquavit in Norway is a cultural as "skaal".
And while shipping aquavit across the equator is more symboic these days, it is nostalgic.

A bottle of Linie Aquavit is a nice souvenir (not a problem if you check the bottle or buy it at the outbound duty free. If you need to pass through American customes and immigration on you return, I beleive that you will need to check the duty free bottle before going through American security to your final destiantion. Looking at my bottle of Linie in the liquor cabinet renews memories of fellowship in Norway.

Posted by
2209 posts

In most parts of the US, a "Liquor Store" is where you go to purchase any type of alcohol for drinking -- beer, wine, spirits, moon shine, and so on.

Posted by
4484 posts

https://cheapskates.guide/oslo/drink/buying-alcohol-at-the-supermarket

Buying alcohol at the supermarket

If you want to pick up some beers, cider, or pre-mixed drinks while in
Oslo, you can drop into the nearest supermarket. Keep your eye on the
time though as alcohol can only be sold during set times and there are
no sales on Sundays. If you want something a bit stronger (higher than
4.7% ABV) you’ll need to head to Vinmonopolet or the nearest bar.

There is a Vinmonopolet in the Oslo S terminal.

Posted by
7 posts

We just returned from a month long Scadanvia trip spending about 2 weeks of it in Norway. We bought our wine at the vinmopolie stores - it was expensive - about twice plus US prices. Most of the stores are fairly large and have a decent selection. We were able find suitable wine (red/white) in the $12-$15 range a bottle. When we left Bergen we looked at the wine prices at the airport duty free, and they had basically nothing less than 200+NOK (about $24+ US) for sale. Bergen has a nice vinmopolie not too far from the tourist TI center downtown. Check the hours - closed on Sunday, close early on Sat (around 3). Open until 6ish I think weekdays. Vinmopolies outside of Oslo/Bergen are not “everywhere”. Check for locations in advance. Compared to what you will pay in restaurants - the vinmopolie looks like a “bargain” :-)

Posted by
1030 posts

Solved this problem by bringing 6 bottles from the USA with us! Worked out great! Bought wine sleeves and nothing broke!

Posted by
594 posts

Glad you figured it out and brought your own. I'll add this for anyone else who looks at this posting. We definitely shopped and bought our alcohol when we landed at the Bergen Airport. No problem. Decent prices for tourists coming from Washington State where liquor prices are higher than many states.

Posted by
827 posts

@diveloonie
love your answer. that's exactly what we do, pack up couple bottles and in our checked bags they go. it's a celebration when we reach our apartment/hotel. don't have to worry about looking for a store when we arrive at some crazy hour. thanks for the laugh
aloha

Posted by
107 posts

I stayed in aurland near flam, I had the most beautiful deck right on a fjord but I couldn’t enjoy it with a bottle of wine because it wasn’t available for miles and I didn’t have a car. I didn’t want to get anything at the airport because I had only a full backpack with trains and boats to catch. I figured I’d find wine somewhere, but I was wrong. I’d stock up at the airport.

Not having wine on that fjord was the disappointment of my trip.

Posted by
1 posts

Most of my relatives buy on leaving and buy when they return. We have shopped at local stores and they are more expensive.

Posted by
2677 posts

Bergen (and several other international airports in Norway) do have a duty free shop selling alcohol. However these stores are more focused on higher end products than the cheapest offers on Vinmonopolet.

There are obviously limits on how much you can buy.

The idea behind these stores is to provide less incentives for people to bring alcohol from abroad. This is less of an issue now that airlines themselves have much tighter luggage regulations than 20yrs ago.