NORWAY,  ROAD TRIP

Things to see and do in Bergen, Norway (step 03)

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Welcome to Bergen, a city that has preserved its historic charm while offering a dynamic urban lifestyle. Located on Norway’s west coast, in the heart of the fjords, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its breathtaking mountains and easily accessible fjords, it’s well worth a visit!

3rd stop on our Norwegian road trip, we stopped here for 2 days. We found it very pleasant and lively. We liked the way the city is organized around its port, and we fell in love with the colorful wooden houses that reflect traditional Norwegian architecture, as well as the street art we discovered everywhere.

In this article, you’ll find our must-see Bergen spots. A word about the weather: Bergen is reputed to be the rainiest city in Europe. So don’t be surprised if it rains when you visit! Despite this reputation, we were lucky enough to have 2 days of great weather.

Bergen
Stage 03 : Bergen

Read next:
Road trip in Norway: the south coast, Stavanger and Lysefjord (stage 01)
Norway road trip: from Suldal to Bergen (stage 02)
Norway road trip: the southern part of the Sognefjord (stage 04)
Road trip in Norway: the northern part of the Sognefjord (stage 05)
Road trip in Norway: Sognefjellet and Jostedalsbreen (stage 06)
Norway road trip: Geirangerfjord (stage 07)
Road trip in Norway : Trollstigen and Ålesund (stage 08)

What to see and do in Bergen

1 | Stroll through the typical Bryggen district

Bryggen is the name of Bergen’s historic harbor district. It’s famous for its colorful wooden houses built in the Middle Ages. In fact, this district is often used to illustrate the city of Bergen, and even Norway!

It has experienced 7 fires, and each time it has been rebuilt according to the same plan. The last fire, and one of the largest, took place in 1955. A third of the buildings were destroyed in this fire.

Bryggen is now home to numerous museums, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. Narrow passageways allow you to walk between the houses. Here you can discover Bergen’s architecture, culture and history, as well as its unique charm and atmosphere.

2 | Getting lost in downtown

Bergen is a city to be discovered on foot, strolling through its charming and historic districts. We really enjoyed getting lost in its narrow streets.

1.1 | Right next to Bryggen – street 1 Fv264

1.2 | Nordnes neighborhood – Knøsesmauet street

The Nordnes district lies on a small peninsula north of Bergen’s city center. It’s a charming district with narrow cobbled streets full of flowers, where you can admire the colorful wooden houses typical of Norway. As you stroll along its cobbled streets, you’ll appreciate the calm and authenticity of this residential area. You can also enjoy the view of the harbor and surrounding mountains. A real favorite!

1.3 | Quartier Nøstet – rue Klosteret and rue Klosterhaugen

1.4 | Sydnes district – 2 Rue Parkveien

Bergen

3 | Take the funicular to admire Bergen from the heights of Mount Fløyen

Mount Fløyen rises to 320 meters above sea level and can be reached by funicular or on foot. The Fløibanen funicular is 2 blocks from Vagen harbor.

The ride takes around 8 minutes and offers panoramic views of the city, harbor and fjords. At the top, you’ll find a restaurant, a café, a souvenir store and a large children’s playground! Several signposted footpaths start from Mount Fløyen. In just a few minutes, you can go deep into the forest and reach a lovely lake.

Bergen
  • Note: Mount Fløyen is Bergen’s most important site. If you’re coming in the height of the summer season, I’d advise you to book your tickets in advance.
  • Prices: NOK 50 (€5) for adults and NOK 25 (€2.5) for children. You can buy tickets by card or in cash directly at the ticket office. If you have a Bergen card, admission is included.
  • Opening hours: 8am-10.30pm June to August. 8am-9.30pm from April to September.
  • Weather: don’t forget to bring something to cover up with, as the weather can change rapidly.

I’d advise you to walk back down from the summit, as it makes for a lovely stroll. The zig-zag path is very well laid out (no problem getting back down with a baby carriage!).

4 | Discover the fjords: immerse yourself in Norway’s natural beauty

Norway is famous for its fjords, narrow, deep inlets bordered by high mountains. Bergen, located in the heart of the fjords, is the ideal starting point for discovering these natural wonders. Whether cruising or hiking, each excursion offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Breathtaking landscapes, majestic waterfalls and abundant wildlife make the fjords a true paradise for nature lovers.

We didn’t do any excursions from Bergen as we were continuing our 3-week road-trip in Norway and had already planned 2 cruises in the Nærøyfjord and Geirangerfjord.

Several agencies offer excursions from Bergen to visit the fjords:

  • Viator offers a wide variety of excursions, including day cruises and guided tours.
  • Fjord Tours offers the “Norway in a nutshell” tour, which takes you from Bergen by train to Myrdal, then cruises the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord fjords.
  • VisitBergen.com also offers a wide selection of fjord tours from Bergen.

It’s a must if you’re staying in Bergen for several days and not on a road-trip.

Bergen
Nærøyfjord (photo taken on one of our cruises)

5 | Enjoy a Kanelbullar

While you’re in Bergen, take the time to try a Kanelbullar in one of the city’s many bakeries. It’s a small Swedish brioche filled with softened butter, sugar and cinnamon: a Scandinavian gastronomic must-try that you won’t want to miss!

6 | Watch out for street art in Bergen

7 | Going to Mount Ulriken

Mount Ulriken is the highest of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen. The cable car ride takes around 8 minutes and offers spectacular views of the city, fjord and surrounding mountains. You can also hike or bike along the marked trails.

We didn’t go because, between all the walks in the city plus the hike back down Mount Fløyen, we’d had a busy day. So we didn’t get a photo of the view from the summit.

  • Access: From Bryggen, take streetcar line 2 from Kaigaten to Haukeland sjukehus (16-minute journey). Then take the cable car up to the heights.
  • Prices: NOK 140 (€14) for adults and NOK 70 (€7) for children.
  • Opening hours: 9am-9pm May to September, Tuesday to Sunday 9am-5pm October to April.

8 | See Fantoft Stavkirke church

Fantoft Stavkirke is a standing wooden church, a type of architecture typical of Norway. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by arson in 1992, but rebuilt to its original appearance in 1997. It is located around 6 km south of Bergen city center, in a green setting.

Bergen
  • Access: Take the number 16E bus from Bryggen harbor to the Fantoftvegen stop.
  • Prices: NOK 60 (€6) for adults and NOK 30 (€3) for children.

Where to sleep in Bergen?

We spent 2 nights in an apartment just a 25-minute walk from the city center (a bus goes right by the apartment). It’s a good location/price ratio for exploring Bergen. Large apartment, very well equipped, with a view. We have one criticism about the soundproofing (windows & walls) and bedding (very basic).

I don’t have a restaurant to suggest, as prices in Norway are really absurd. We shopped and cooked in our apartment.

Airbnb rental link: Charmant appartement dans un emplacement central


Thanks for reading!

Mylène

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