Bergen is located on the Southwest coast of Norway and the city itself is like a natural amphitheatre surrounded by mountains. It is probably most well-known for the waterfront area called Bryggen, an old wharf, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This old part of Bergen dates back to the 14th to 16th century when the city was part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire. The traditional wooden houses have over the years been subject to a number of fires, but have been restored using traditional materials and building materials to preserve the original futures.
Bergen is also the perfect location as it provides great access to the Norwegian fjords and everything the Scandinavian outdoor lifestyle has to offer. It can easily be reached by plane, rail, bus or ferry. Here are just some of the things you can expect to do if you visit Bergen.
Bryggen / Hanseatic League Trading Empire and other museums
There is nothing better than to enjoy a morning or an afternoon exploring this historic area. Stroll along the Old Wharf and admire the traditional features. Take the time to visit some of the shops and cafes and don’t miss out on the narrow backstreets and pathways.
Make sure you also visit the Hanseatic Museum. Located centrally on Bryggen it is one of the oldest buildings. You can walk back in time and see how it was with its original interior when these buildings were bustling with merchants trading fish and grain.
Your ticket also gives you access to the Schøtstuene. These were assembly rooms that the merchants used over the winter. Here they served hot meals, held meetings and they also served as courtrooms and as a place of teaching.
There are also a number of other museums and art galleries in Bergen, including; Troldhaugen Edvard Grieg Museum, home of the great Norwegian composer, The Leprosy Museum and the KODE Art Gallery to name just a few.
Bergen outdoor fish market - Fisketorget
Located in the heart of Bergen just along the waterfront from Bryggen, the Fisketorget or fish market it is a must! The products are locally sources and are of the highest quality. Feast your eyes on an assortment of cooked and fresh shellfish such as scallops, oysters and fresh Norwegian shrimp. You can choose to either eat in or take away.
Fløibanen Funicular railway
The Fløibanen is a funicular railway, which takes you directly up the top of Mount Fløyen in just six minutes. Here you get the best views of the city and the surrounding areas. If you can time it to coincide with a sunset then you get to see the sun sinking into the sea!
It is also a great place to start hikes, and explore the forests. Don’t miss the Troll Forest Trail which is great for all ages, and if you want some refreshments, the Fløien Folkerestaurant at the upper station has the most fabulous views!
Ulriken 643 - Cable car
The Ulriken 643 cable car gets its name from the altitude of Mount Ulriken, which is 643 meters above sea level making it Bergen’s highest mountain. The cable car gives you an unforgettable journey and panoramic views at the upper station. It is another popular place to start a hike and enjoy the magnificent views of the area.
Seven mountains surround the city of Bergen and they all provide excellent hiking opportunities. Hiking up Mount Fløyen rather than taking the Fløibanen is a great challenge as it is so steep, and many people prefer to take the easy route up and start their hike from there. The Fløyen website has ten different hikes to choose from, so you can find something that suits the whole family and all abilities. You can literally walk just ten minutes from the Fløibanen and find yourself on a wonderful remote hike.
Other popular hikes in the area include Mount Ulriken, the highest mountain, the Vidden plateau and the Stoltzekleiven. This is a steep staircase up to Sandviksfjellet, one of Bergen’s seven mountains, and is a popular 908 stair challenge for anyone visiting Bergen.
If you are planning to hike around Bergen then it is important to remember the rules and regulations for hiking in Norway as well as keeping safe.
Bergen has always been a great place to cycle, and the city proved it’s cycling credentials by hosting the UCI Road World Championships in 2017. From extensive road and mountain trips to local rides there is something to suit everyone.
Map my Ride has a number of suggested routes around the city if you are looking for inspiration.
Bergen became a UNESCO City of Gastronomy in 2015 and its location among; the fjords, the sea and the land, have helped create a number of specialities. It is proud of its history and traditions and sustainability when it comes to food and ingredients. It is also home to a number of world-class chefs and some first class restaurants. Even if you can’t afford to dine at these, don’t worry, there are plenty of top notch places you can enjoy the taste of Norway and some of its specialities!
Bergen is famous for the fish market, which has a charming location in the heart of the city between the fjords and Bergen's 7 mountains. The Fish Market in Bergen has since the 1200s been a meeting place for merchants and fishermen.
Persetorsk is a sugar-salted cod fillet, which is pressed for around two days and is traditionally served at Christmas.
Bergensk fiskesuppe or Bergen fish soup a delicious creamy shellfish soup made from whatever ingredients are available with the addition of wild herbs and garnishes.
Smoked fish including salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, cod and blue whiting and Tørrfisk, or dried fish, which is normally rehydrated as it is cooked.