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You’ve properly heard about Bergen. For several times, I guess. Norway’s 2nd largest city, with a lot to offer to any kind of tourists: from shopping to fine dining, from hiking the mountains to strolling through the old town, from outdoor activities to museums and aquarium for kids…
With all of these options, it’s easy to miss or skip some. However, just bear in mind these 6 unmissable things to do in Bergen:
As one part of the famous “Norway in a Nutshell”® trip, Flåm railway is the most breathtaking railway on Earth! You can start the tour package from Oslo by taking the train Oslo – Myrdal, then switch to the Myrdal – Flåm one to experience the trip.
The Flåm Railway, Myrdal Station
It takes up to 1 hour to reach the main station from either way, and the ticket costs you 220NOK / one way (ca. 24€). Quite expensive (hello, it’s Norway), but trust me, it’s worths every single penny!
My advice: Instead of taking the tour from Oslo by train, try to make it the other way: fly from Oslo to Bergen with Norwegian Air (they have flights with very good price), and then take the tour “Norway in a Nutshell”® all the way from Bergen back to Oslo.
OK, so now you’re in Bergen. What’s next? If you’re still not bored of train and transportation in general, take the Fløibanen up to Mt Fløyen, one of the seven mountains in Bergen.
Situated in the very heart of Bergen, Fløibanen is the experience that no one should leave Bergen without doing. This view from the top of Fløyen will explain:
Panoramic view from Fløyen
Some outdoor-ers may choose to climb up the mountain instead, as it’s not that difficult as it may sound.
My advice: Take the train up, enjoy the astonishing panoramic view, have an ice-cream if it’s a warm summer day, then hikes or walks down. Here are 10 inspiring walks for the whole family from Mt Fløyen.
For more information about location, opening hour, and price tickets, please click here.
THIS is the view you’ll see from 99% of all postcards or whatever about Bergen: Bryggen.
Since 1979, Bryggen has been on the UNESCO list the World Cultural Heritage sites. From the outside, it’s just like any other Hanseatic commercial buildings in Europe: colourful thin houses with pointed roofs facing the waterfront.
But once you step inside Bryggen, it’s just like another world: very old wooden houses as boutiques, some of them are like the top of Bergen, small restaurants and cafés in such small corners that you can almost ignore them, and more.
My advice: Wake up early, go to the other side of Bryggen and watch the sunrise over Bryggen as well as the hilly city behind it. You’re welcome!
4. Bergen Aquarium
Perfect for a trip with kids. I mean, it’s the aquarium. With penguins so close that you can even touch them (No, don’t!). And a huge crocodile that is really huge. And seals. Rolling and swimming and playing.
Although it’s a little bit out of the city centre, it’s still reachable on foot. The entrance ticket is quite expensive (once again, it’s Norway we’re talking about), 500NOK (ca. 55€) as far as I can remember. But if you can make it between 1. September of this year and 30. April of next year, you get the deal. Check price here.
It’s said to be one of Norway’s most visited outdoor markets. Since the 1200s it’s been a meeting place for merchants and fishermen. Nowadays, it’s a place to sell and buy seafood, vegetables, and other meat products.
Norwegian king crab (kungekrabbe)
For first-time travellers, it can be quite confused as you’ll see TWO fish markets. One outdoor and one indoor. Unfortunately, I was also confused. My in-laws must have told me what is what, but… 🙂 Anyway, they are just a few steps away from each other. So unless you’re extremely busy or lazy, pay them a visit, no, two visits then!
My advice: If you want to try some dishes, go for the outside one. It’s cheaper. Don’t wear your finest shoes unless you want them to get dirty and smell fish.
6. Strolling the streets
First, just to have the impression of the city / town you’re visiting.
Second, Bergen old town is quintessentially charming and serene. Strolling up and down the hilly streets in the old town is never boring for me.
Make sure you visit Bergen Cathedral (Bergen Domkirken). It has a long history, back to ca. 900 years. And try to find the canon ball in the west wall. Yes, a canon ball on the wall. It’s been sitting there since the battle on the bay of Bergen in 1665. For more historic information, you can click here.
My advice: As always, when it comes to strolling some old town, take your best walking shoes with you. Also bring along a good, warm wind jacket. It’s kinda windy there in Bergen, especially when you walk through those small hilly cobbled streets.
Bonus: Climb Mt Ulriken 643
Ulriken is the highest mountain in Bergen, which is 643 metres above sea level. It’s the perfect place for paragliding, mountain climbing (duh), and other outdoor activities.
If you’re a fan of any kind of sport stated above, then head to Ulriken 643. You can take the free shuttle bus next to the indoor Fisktorget. Tickets for cable car (Ulriksbanen) are sold at the bus stops, Tourist Information, and right at Ulriken. Check price and time table here.
My advice: Take the cable car up. Enjoy a cup of hot drink and some sweet treats and the mountain restaurant. Decide whether to go down on foot or take the cable car again 😀
This is my list of ACTUALLY 7 unmissable things to do in Bergen. This summer we’ll travel there for the third time. Hope there will be more fun with my whole family.
How about you? Have you been in Bergen before? Do you have any advice to add to this list?
Feel free to leave a comment below!