Travel

10 things to do in Bergen, Norway

10 things to do in Bergen

Bergen is marketed as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’; it’s where countless excursions to glaciers, Fjords and mountains depart from, and the ease of getting to some of Norway’s most incredible landscapes was probably the main reason we wanted to go there. The city itself is wonderful though, so it’s well worth making sure you get some time to explore if you’re using it as a base for trips into the countryside. Despite the fact that Bergen Tourist Information centre is listed as one of the top Tripadvisor ‘things to do’ there, which kind of makes it sound like there are limited activities, there’s a lot going on. (To be fair, the Tourist Information centre provides a panoramic view of the harbour and is an interesting building, so do check it out – cheeky little extra one for you there). Here are 10 things to do that are in, or very close to, the city of Bergen itself.

Things to do in Bergen - BryygenThings to do in Bergen - Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf

Explore Bryggen

It would be impossible not to start with this one really, and it’s probably the defining image of the city; UNESCO world heritage site, Bryggen. The iconic row of buildings along the wharf is a must see – there are multiple restaurants, cafes and shops within the buildings but they still retain all of their old fashioned charm. Behind the front facades of the buildings are little alleyways and overhanging wooden galleries, and it truly is like stepping back in time.

Bergen view from top of mount FloyenMount Floyen and the Funicular

Mount Floyen

Mount Floyen is one of Bergen’s top attractions, since it’s easily accessible and the top provides incredible views overlooking the city centre. There’s no need to walk up if you don’t want to; many people take the popular funicular railway that takes you from the heart of Bergen to the top of Floyen in a matter of minutes. There’s nothing special about the ride itself, but it’s got the novelty factor for sure. The top of the mountain and Fløibanen get VERY busy as the day goes on, and as well as amazing views (even in the fog!) there’s bike rental, a zipline park, mutiple walks and shops up at the peak.

Ulriken 643

Mount Ulriken is the highest of seven mountains that surround the city and is home to a mountain restaurant and plenty of walks. The best way to reach the top, unless you fancy the hike up there, is by cable car, which is an attraction in itself. Warning, though; unless you just really like the inside of cable car carriages, check how clear it is that day. We could see literally nothing from through the windows apart from mist hanging in the air – although that was okay because we weren’t there just for the ride, which brings me nicely on to the next one…

Things to do in Bergen - Mount Floyen

Get moving (and possibly out of breath)

The Vidden trail is a 15km hike between Mount Ulriken and Mount Floyen, and you can do it starting from either peak – walk/get the cable car/ride the funicular to the top of one of them, then hike the trail across to the other and walk/get the cable car/ride the funicular back down. I would recommend starting at Ulriken, so you get the more tricky parts of the 5 hour walk done early on. There’s also a short but challenging walk – Stoltzkleiven – which the locals run to keep fit that offers beautiful views from the top, and plenty of other hikes and walks that you can start from the city itself.

Join a tour

If you’re a fan of a guided tour, Bergen has you covered. There are no end of tours in and around the city – there are bus tours, bike tours, ferry tours, walking tours, segway tours, food tours – you name it, Bergen might well have it. The option to hop on a bus is probably one to bear in mind if you get a particularly rainy day!

Things to do in Bergen fish market

Fish market

As I’m vegan I feel really weird about including this one – but I expect this sort of thing will crop up time and time again in my travels from now on, so I’ll save the discussion on that for another post. Bergen is a UNESCO city of Gastronomy and the fish market is one example of the cultural, trading and culinary traditions that reflect that. It’s undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions and is situated right on the harbour near Bryggen and next to the tourist information centre, so chances are you’ll end up in it or near it during any trip there.

Museums and galleries

As you would expect from a European City of Culture and a World Heritage City, there’s no shortage of museums and galleries. You can meet masters and servants from Bergen’s past at the open air Old Bergen museum, check out the Bryggen museum or visit others dedicated to a range of subjects – from shipping to knitting to leprosy (really). For art buffs there is a row of galleries housing both Norwegian and international collections from classical to contemporary.

Exploring Bergen things to doThings to do in Bergen - explore

Take a wander

I know, I know. I talk about walking in every travel post ever. But exploring on foot is my favourite thing to do, so I’m not going to stop anytime soon. Bergen is one of the most lovely cities for wandering in I’ve ever been to, with its distinctive colourful wooden houses and maze of pretty streets. They’re great instagram fodder and oh-so-charming.

Catch some live music

Something that we were not expecting that really struck us during our time in Bergen was how many concerts and gigs were being advertised in the city. As it turns out, Bergen is a quite the hub for music of a variety of genres, so it’s worth checking out what’s going to be on during your stay!

Things to do in Bergen city - Rosenkrantz tower

Bergenhus Fortress

Two notable buildings you are likely to see in ‘things to do’ lists – Rosenkrantz Tower and Haakons Hall – are housed in Bergenhus Fortress, just along from Bryggen. Rosenkrantz tower is a renaissance monument that you can climb up, coming out onto the roof for impressive views out over the sea and city, and Hakonshallen is an imposing 750 year old building that is still used for official occasions. Each of them costs 80 NOK (£8 or thereabouts) to enter and it gets cheaper if you visit them both because you get a discount on subsequent purchases, but you can enter the fortress for free if you just want to look around and see both of them and many other buildings from the outside.

So there we have it; 10 things to do in Bergen around any trips to the wild and wonderful Norwegian countryside you might be taking. Have you been to Bergen – and if so, is there anything else I should put on my list for next time?

Exploring BergenThings to do in Bergen

Interested in more Scandinavia travel posts?

Oslo on a budget

Norway in a Nutshell

7 reasons to make Oslo your next city break

16 hours in Gothenburg

60,000 steps through Stockholm

Let’s be pals! Hit me up on Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin

8 thoughts on “10 things to do in Bergen, Norway”

    1. That is so true – getting outdoors in Norway truly is wonderful, the landscapes and scenery are out of this world! I’m sure you will enjoy it when you go there one day 🙂

      Like

  1. You have me so convinced on Scandanavia with all your posts and pictures and it seems like the kinds of things that have going on are right up my street – I’m all about walking and pretty views! There are officially too many places on my travel bucket list!
    Amy xx
    http://www.callmeamy.co.uk

    Like

    1. Haha I’m very pleased about that because I bloody loved it! So many great destinations in Scandinavia and loads of them are walking and pretty view heaven. I know what you mean about the travel bucket list though, I’ll never make it to all the places on mine but I’ll give it a good go anyway! xxx

      Like

    1. It really is – so many gorgeous sights! I hope you love it when you go – although I know what you mean about the money, its definitely not the cheapest of destinations! x

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s