Enveloped by steep mountains and sitting next to the country’s deepest and longest fjord, Bergen is a little city saved on the west coast of Norway.
Though home to only 220,000 people, there’s a surprising amount of what to see and do in this tiny city. It is simple to spend days here hiking its natural surroundings, relaxing on a fjord cruise, eating fresh seafood, and studying its long history. I stayed around three days within my visit and felt I possibly could have stayed just a little longer. It’s pretty, historic, and filled up with a whole lot of good food options.
Bergen is a fairly big tourist destination in Norway which means you sadly won’t have this city to yourself. That will help you take full advantage of your trip, listed below are my top 12 what to see and do in Bergen:
1. Have a Free Walking Tour
The initial thing I really do whenever I get to a fresh place is to accomplish a free of charge walking tour. They’re the simplest way to get the lay of the land, start to see the main sights, and meet an area expert of whom I could ask all my questions.
Nordic Freedom Tours organizes regular tours in English and Spanish. (Just be sure to tip your guide by the end!)
2. Start to see the Fish Market
The Bergen Fish Market goes back to the 13th century. For years and years, it’s been the hub for local fishermen to market their fresh fish and seafood. The indoor portion of the marketplace began in 2012 and is open year-round (the outdoor market opens on, may 1 for the summertime).
If you’re seeking to sample some local delicacies, additionally, there are plenty of restaurants and food stalls. Just be sure you budget yourself, as prices range between 130 NOK ($14 USD) for an appetizer to around 290 NOK ($30 USD) for a primary dish.
Torget 5. Open Monday-Thursday from 10am-10pm, Friday-Saturday from 9am-10pm, and Sundays from 11am-10pm.
3. Go to the Maritime Museum
Bergen has depended heavily on maritime trade since its inception in the 11th century. You can spend a day at this museum studying the city’s maritime history. The exhibitions include ships, paintings, films, artifacts, original maps, plus some cannons from the 18th century.
The highlight this is actually the Kvalsund boat, a vintage Viking longship that dates to the eighth century. It had been excavated in 1920. There’s also a genuine Halsnøy boat that goes back to somewhere within 390 and 535 CE.
Haakon Sheteligs plass 15, +47 55 54 96 00, museumvest.no. Open daily 11am-3pm. Admission is 100 NOK ($10.50 USD). You may take a guided tour of the museum in English through the months of June, July, and August.
4. Wander Bryggen
Bryggen may be the old wharf and houses over 60 narrow, colorful wooden boathouses. From the 14th through the 16th centuries, Bryggen was the primary hub for the Hanseatic League, a robust merchant guild from central and northern Europe. Fun fact: its office may be the only original building that’s still standing -the rest have already been rebuilt in the same style.
Today, these buildings are utilized by various restaurants, tourist offices, and hotels. Though fires have ruined most of the original buildings, the region is still a lovely spot to wander around. You may take a 90-minute guided walking tour with Bryggen Walking Tour to understand about the annals of the wharf. The tour also contains entry to the Bryggen Museum and the Hanseatic Museum.
5. Explore the Botanical Garden
Bergen’s Botanical Garden was established in 1996 and covers 17 acres. It’s a good spot to grab some oxygen and relax with a book. With over 5,000 species of plants, it’s home to Norway’s largest assortment of roses, along with the largest assortment of rhododendrons in Scandinavia. Additionally, there are different sections, just like the Sunny Meadow (home to summer annuals), a normal Japanese garden, and the Alpine Garden, with all sorts of alpine plants from all over the world.
Mildevegen 240, +47 55 58 72 50, uib.no/arboretet. The garden is open a day and admission is free.
6. Hike Mount Ulriken
Located a few kilometers beyond your city, Mount Ulriken stands 643 meters (2,100 feet) high and may be the tallest of the seven mountains near Bergen. If you’re not feeling up for a hike to the most notable, you may take the cable car, which takes about eight minutes and costs 285 NOK ($30 USD) round trip. At the very top, you’ll get spectacular sweeping views of Bergen and the ocean. There are a few shorter hikes (2-3 hours long) up there aswell.
In the event that you enjoy an adrenaline rush, you can speed down the mountain on Norway’s fastest zipline. It opened in 2016 and is 300 meters long. It is advisable to book tickets beforehand though. Tickets cost 450 NOK ($47 USD).
7. Explore Pepperkakebyen
The Gingerbread City, open in November and December, may be the world’s biggest annual gingerbread festival. It were only available in 1991 and today includes over 2,000 volunteers, bakers, businesses, and schools. It really is made up of a huge selection of gingerbread houses and designed to resemble a snowy wintry nighttime in Bergen. If you’re here through the holidays, don’t miss it!
Teatergaten 30-2, +47 55 55 39 39, pepperkakebyen.org. Open from mid-November until December 31. Admission is 100 NOK ($10.50 USD) for adults and free for children under 12.
8. Visit KODE
The KODE Museum is among the largest in Scandinavia for music, contemporary art, furniture, videos, historical artifacts, and crafts. It showcases a multitude of over 40,000 objects that date back again to the 1800s. The museum is situated in four buildings; visitors may also go to the homes of three famous Norwegian composers (Edvard Grieg, Harald Sæverud, and Ole Bull).
Head to KODE 1 to start to see the Silver Treasure, a permanent exhibition of silver and gold objects, dating from 500 years previously. For temporary exhibitions and Bergen’s largest art bookstore, have a look at KODE 2. KODE 3, which opened in 1924, houses works from Edvard Munch, who painted The Scream.
Rasmus Meyers allé 9, +47 53 00 97 04, kodebergen.no. Open Tuesday-Sunday (hours vary per season). Admission is 140 NOK ($14.70 USD) in the wintertime and 160 NOK ($16.80 USD) in the summertime.
9. See Bergenhus Fortress
Next to the Bergen Harbor can be an imposing stone fort called the Bergenhus Fortress. It goes back to the 1260s and is among the oldest fortresses in Norway. It encompasses Rosenkrantz Tower, a fortified tower that dates to the 16th century, and Haakon’s Hall, a former royal residence from the 13th century.
Unfortunately, a fire destroyed Haakon’s Hall and every one of the interior decorations in 1944, so that it is currently decorated with tapestries and is principally used for concerts and banquets. The Rosenkrantz Tower was the residence of Eirik Magnusson, the last king to carry court in Bergen. Ensure you climb the narrow stairs to the most notable of the tower, where you’ll get an extraordinary view of the encompassing area.
5003 Bergen, +47 55 54 63 87. Admission is free, though guided tours in English can be found June-August and cost 100 NOK ($10.50 USD).
10. Go to the Leprosy Museum
Leprosy ran rampant in Europe between 1850 and 1900. With three leprosy hospitals, the town had the greatest focus on lepers in every of Europe. This eye-opening museum is situated within St. George’s. Its archives participate in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme. You may take an educational tour to understand about the annals, symptoms, and treatment of leprosy, and also what the conditions were like in the hospitals through the outbreak.
Kong Oscars gate 59, +47 481 62 678. Open May-August. Admission is 100 NOK ($10.50 USD); guided tours in English are 30 NOK ($3 USD) and occur at 11am.
11. Embark on a Food Tour
Bergen’s strong concentrate on local and sustainable food helped it earn its title of UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2015. Bergen Food Tours is an area tour company that organizes tours for some of the tastiest restaurants in the town. The three-hour Bergen Classic tour costs 870 NOK ($91 USD) and can offer you a taste of local dishes like fish soup, wild salmon, reindeer sausage, smoked seafood, and brown cheese, and local craft beer.
Nesttunkollen 9, +47 960 44 892, bergenfoodtours.com. Open Monday-Saturday from 11am-5pm. Check website for tour times. Tickets are 890 NOK ($80 USD) per person.
12. Have a Fjord Cruise
That is a spectacular way to see the fjords close up and have a relaxing break from the town. There are lots of different fjords around Bergen, in order to select a tour that suits your budget and timing.
The main one to Mostraumen run year-round tour and goes 27 kilometers in the Osterfjord along the Mostraumen strait. You’ll see towering mountains, sparkling waterfalls, and you may even spot seals and eagles!
Also you can have a fjord cruise to Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord (Norway’s longest fjord) to get right up near to the gorgeous valleys and gigantic peaks.
Be prepared to pay from 700 to 2,000 NOK ($73-209 USD) per person.
Despite the fact that Bergen is definitely an expensive destination to go to but there are many free and budget-friendly activities here to keep you busy. It’s a favorite destination nonetheless it lives up to its reputation. I loved my visit to Bergan. I suspect you will too.
Book Your Visit to Bergen: Logistical Guidelines
Book Your Flight Look for a cheap flight through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite se’s, because they search websites and airlines around the world, which means you always know no stone has been left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation You can book your hostel with Hostelworld because they have the most comprehensive inventory. If you wish to stay someplace else, use Booking.com, because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and hotels. The best places in which to stay Bergen are:
- HI Bergen Hostel Montana – A great social hostel with free breakfast and a communal kitchen. Feels as though home!
- Bergen Budget Hostel – A little, budget-friendly hostel for backpackers seeking to spend less!
- Marken Gjesthus Hostel – The staff listed below are great and the hostel is clean and well-organized.
Don’t Forget TRAVEL COVER Travel cover will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in the event anything goes wrong. I never embark on a trip without it, as I’ve had to utilize it many times previously. I’ve been using World Nomads for a decade. My favorite companies offering the very best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for all those 70 or more)
Looking to discover the best companies to save lots of money with? Have a look at my resource page to get the best companies to use when you travel! I list those I use to save lots of money – and I believe they will assist you to too!
Looking for more travel tips for Norway? Have a look at my in-depth Norway travel guide for more methods to save money, tips about what things to see and do, suggested itineraries, informational reading, packing lists, and far, a lot more!
Photo credit : 4 – Paul Arps, 5 -Toniu, 6 – Sve