Surrounded by mountains and fjords and full of colourful wood buildings, it is not obscure why the town of Bergen is such a favourite amongst guests to Norway. I imply, let’s face it: this metropolis is fairly gorgeous!
Nevermind that Bergen’s climate is often fairly moist, or that it boasts the famously excessive costs of Scandinavia – there’s nonetheless one thing undeniably charming about Bergen.
It took me three visits to Norway to lastly go to Bergen, however once I did I lastly understood what all of the fuss was about.
When you’re visiting Bergen for the primary time, listed here are all of the belongings you will not need to miss:
Issues to do in Bergen in your first journey
The colourful wood homes alongside Bergen’s outdated Hanseatic Wharf are by far essentially the most iconic sight within the metropolis. And it simply so occurs that that is essentially the most historic a part of the town, too. The wharf was first constructed within the 14th century when the Hanseatic League (a company of service provider guilds) established a “Hanseatic Workplace” in Bergen.
The buildings have burned down and been rebuilt a number of instances, however the rebuilding has all the time adopted the identical structure and used the identical constructing strategies – that means that exploring Bryggen makes you’re feeling such as you’re stepping again in time. (This can be a large purpose why Bryggen is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site at the moment.)
Again when Bergen retailers have been buying and selling in stockfish, all of the buildings of Bryggen have been used as places of work and storehouses. As we speak, the wharf homes outlets, eating places, and a small museum.
Ensure you take a while to wander via the maze-like alleyways between the outdated buildings.
Just like Rome and its seven hills, Bergen is surrounded by The Seven Mountains. It is one of many causes Bergen is so visually spectacular – and in addition the explanation why Bergen is so wet. However if you happen to catch a pleasant day in Bergen (I promise that they do exist!), you will undoubtedly need to stand up on considered one of these mountains.
Essentially the most accessible of the Seven Mountains is Mount Fløyen, which will be reached by funicular from Bergen’s metropolis middle. The Fløibanen is a enjoyable approach to stand up the mountain (although you too can hike), and the views on the prime are really improbable.
Make certain to offer your self some further time on the prime to take a brief hike – and do not be stunned if you happen to’re met by some pleasant goats!
(Or, you too can take the Ulriken Cable Automotive to the best of Bergen’s Seven Mountains. I did not have an opportunity to do that whereas I used to be there, nevertheless it’s additionally fashionable!)
Situated near the doorway to Bergen’s harbor, Bergenhus Fortress has been a staple in Bergen for hundreds of years. A few of the present buildings date all the way in which again to the 1240s, although there’s proof that there is been a construction on the spot since earlier than 1100. Again when Bergen was the capital of Norway (up till 1299), the fortress served because the royal palace.
As we speak, the fortress is well-preserved and continues to be used for banquets and live shows. Guests can take a look at Haakon’s Corridor and Rosenkrantz Tower, or simply wander across the fairly grounds.
Identical to most notable issues in Bergen, the town’s fish market has an extended historical past. Its spot close to the harbor has been used for hundreds of years as a gathering/buying and selling place for retailers and fishermen, and at the moment the fish market is considered one of Norway’s most-visited out of doors markets.
As you stroll via the market stands, hold you eye out for all types of recent seafood, which you’ll be able to often order and have cooked up on the spot.
Additionally take a look at the indoor “extension” of the fish market, which is positioned beneath the Bergen vacationer data middle. Right here you will discover a extra restaurant-style area the place you possibly can sit all the way down to have a meal.
Like every metropolis, Bergen has a pleasant assortment of museums. However Bergen’s museums are (for my part) extra distinctive than what you sometimes discover in a mean metropolis.
Listed here are a number of museums you may need to take a look at:
- Hanseatic Museum – Present in one of many historic wood buildings alongside Bryggen, this museum exhibits what life would have been like for Bergen’s Hanseatic retailers within the 18th century. It is a small museum, however an attention-grabbing one.
- KODE – This museum complicated is without doubt one of the largest museums for artwork, design, and music within the Nordic area. KODE contains 4 buildings in Bergen’s metropolis middle (KODE 1, 2, three and four), and in addition a number of houses of well-known composers.
- Leprosy Museum – Situated in the previous St Jørgen’s (St. George’s) Hospital, the leprosy museum might be in contrast to most different museums you’ve got visited. Bergen truly had three hospitals for leprosy sufferers between 1850 and 1900 – the most important focus of sufferers in Europe – with St. George’s being the oldest. The museum not solely covers the story of those hospitals and their social affect on Bergen, but additionally highlights Norway’s scientific contribution to leprosy analysis.
- Bergen Maritime Museum – Being a maritime metropolis, Bergen naturally has a devoted maritime museum. Right here you possibly can find out about Bergen’s maritime historical past, and see a Viking ship.
- Previous Bergen Metropolis Museum – This open-air museum simply north of the town consists of greater than 50 wood homes from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, most of which got here immediately from Bergen’s metropolis middle.
Get the Bergen card
When you plan to do a whole lot of sightseeing in Bergen and doubtlessly do one of many day journeys listed beneath, then you definately’ll need to look into shopping for a Bergen Card.
This card means that you can journey free on Bergen’s Gentle Rail and buses, and in addition offers you free or discounted admission to dozens of museums, points of interest, and excursions all through Bergen. (You possibly can even use it to economize at eating places.)
You should buy a Bergen Card for 24, 48, or 72 hours, relying on how lengthy you will be on the town. Get yours right here.
Day journeys from Bergen
When it comes all the way down to it, Bergen is not actually an enormous metropolis. You possibly can see all the key highlights in Bergen in about 2 days with out dashing.
However I like to recommend permitting some further time within the space so as to additionally take a day journey or two. Fashionable issues to see/do that are not too removed from Bergen embrace:
Fantoft Stave Church
Stave church buildings are well-known in Norway, and the Fantoft Stave Church is very well-known in Bergen. The unique church was in-built 1150 in Fortun, and was moved to Fantoft in 1883. However then it was sadly destroyed in a fireplace in 1992. The present church is a reconstruction, however an excellent one which’s nonetheless a superb instance of conventional Norwegian design.
The church is positioned 6 kilometers from downtown Bergen. You possibly can attain it by taking the Bergen Gentle Rail to Fantoft, or by taking bus quantity 2 from Småstrandgaten to Birkelundstoppen, after which stroll down the hill.
Troldhaugen – Edvard Grieg Museum
Formally a part of the KODE museum complicated, Troldhaugen was the summer season house of Norway’s most well-known composer, Edvard Grieg. Grieg and his spouse spent greater than 20 summers at this villa eight kilometers outdoors of Bergen. As we speak, Troldhaugen serves as a museum. You possibly can tour the villa and Grieg’s Composer’s Hut, see the composer’s private Steinway piano, and go to his gravesite.
There are additionally frequent live shows (twice day by day throughout the summer season months) in a devoted live performance corridor on the property, so you should definitely inquire about efficiency instances.
There are not any nice public transport choices to get to Troldhaugen, so it is advisable that you just guide a tour/transport from the town middle.
With Bergen being positioned on the water, you would be lacking out if you happen to did not get a glimpse of Norway’s well-known fjords. Bergen is near the well-known Sognefjorden, the longest fjord in Norway, and taking a fjord cruise is spectacular it doesn’t matter what the climate is like.
If the variety of fjord cruise choices on-line is simply too overwhelming (there are such a lot of!), it is not a foul thought to move over to the Bergen Vacationer Data middle close to the Fish Market, the place somebody can assist you guide precisely what you are in search of.
Norway in a Nutshell
Lastly, if you’d like a very epic journey from Bergen that can embrace fjords, mountains, and trains, then you definately need to look into doing a Norway in a Nutshell tour. I did this self-guided tour from Oslo to Bergen, however you are able to do it roundtrip from Bergen in 1 or 2 days, too. (Try this tour.)
Highlights of Norway in a Nutshell embrace a fjord cruise and driving the well-known Flåm Railway.
The place to remain in Bergen
I stayed on the First Lodge Marin, positioned simply behind the colourful Bryggen homes. The resort has a superb location, and my room had a view out over the Bergen harbor. (Learn evaluations on TripAdvisor | Ebook a room right here)
Different good inns in Bergen embrace:
Do you know there have been so many issues to do in Bergen? Which of those would you need to do in your first journey?
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*Notice: Due to Go to Norway and Go to Bergen for internet hosting me throughout my time in Bergen. As all the time, all opinions are my very own.