A Tourist in Bergen
Welcome to the city of Bergen! Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with over 250,000 inhabitants. It is situated on the west coast of Norway and is also know as the Gateway to the Fjords. We hope that you will choose from the numerous cultural and natural highlights which the city and the county has to offer. We would like to give you some suggestions about what to see and do in Bergen and in the surrounding area during the beginning of September to make your stay in Norway pleasant and unforgettable.
Sightseeing in Bergen
The city center offers plenty of activities of different kind. The tourist information office can give you exhaustive information about the city and also offer you help with booking of accommodation, various activities, fjord tours, sightseeing, train tickets, currency exchange and souvenirs. It is located in a nice and spacious fresco hall very close to the harbor. The September opening hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., for more information visit their official homepage.
If you plan to visit more sights during short time, it might pay off to purchase the Bergen Card also available at the tourist office. It costs 240 NOK/24h or 310 NOK/48h and entitles you to do numerous activities at discounted fees. Here you find the complete list of benefits.
You can find the most important sights on this interactive map. We selected few points of interest in the city center:
- The fish market. Do you want to taste raw oysters? The fish market is very popular. There are plenty of stands selling fresh fish and other seafood, flowers, vegetables and handicraft. In September it is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9p.m. and there is no admission fee. For more information, visit the tourist information webpage.
- Bryggen is the name of the most famous waterfront in Bergen located just few steps from the fish market. It was founded in late Middle ages by German Hanseatic League. The characteristic parallel rows of wooden buildings facing the seaward represents a building tradition dating back almost 900 years. The old wooden buildings in Bryggen were placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979. The site is an open air attraction and free of charge. For more information visit the homepage.
- Dyvekegangen is a street, or rather a narrow passage, where you find no house numbers in this street. The reason is maybe that the street is only 99 cm wide. The street is located in the center of Bergen, next to the fish market.
- The Hanseatic museum shows how German hanseatic workers lived and worked. It is located on Bryggen and open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in September. The admission is 100NOK and tours are given in Norwegian, English, French and German. To read more about the museum, visit the homepage
- From Fløyen, approx. 320 metres above sea level, you can enjoy the beautiful view and study the cityscape in detail. On the summit, there is a small souvenir shop and a restaurant – perhaps the most unusual restaurant in Bergen. The Fløibanen funicular runs daily from early morning until 11 p.m. The funicular has easy access for prams/pushchairs and wheelchairs.
- Håkonshallen is the most imposing building in Bergen. It was built by King Håkon Håkonsson in the 13th century and became a royal residence. It is located within a walking distance from the fish market. Read more about its history. For more information, opening times and admission please visit the homepage.
- Rosenkrantz Tower also dates back to medieval times and is located very close to the Håkonshallen. You can combine the visit of both and take a combined guided tour starting in Håkonshallen. For more information visit the homepage.
- Skansen fire station was built after a city fire in 1901. It is not open for visitors but offers a nice view and place to relax. The viewpoint is located ca. 7 min walking uphill from the fish market.
- Bergen Kunsthall houses one of the city’s art exhibits. For more information, visit their homepage.
- The Aquarium is home to many different sea animals and only 1.6km from the fish market. In summer the admission fee is 250NOK. Visit their homepage for opening hours, feeding and show schedules.
- Mount Ulriken is the highest of the 7 city mountains. The view from the summit is really magnificent! Beside the viewing platform, there is a panoramic restaurant and a souvenir shop. To reach the summit, you can either hike up or take the Ulriken cable car. However, the cable car station is far from the city center, but you might buy a combined package called “Ulriken643 Panorama Tour” which includes a round trip by bus from the city center and a round trip by the Ulriken cable car. Visit their homepage for more information.
- Other interesting museums include VilVite – Bergen Science Center, The Museum of Leprosy and many more.
Some of the point of interest are not within a walking distance from the city center but worth to be seen.
- The Fantoft Stave Church was originally built in Fortun in Sogn in 1150 and moved to Fantoft in 1883. It burnt down on 6th June 1992. It has been rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire. You can reach it by taking the tram “bybanen” from the center to “Fantoft” and then walking ca. 1km. The entrance fee is 55NOK.
- The official residence of King Harald in Bergen is called Gamlehaugen. It is located ca. halfway from the airport to the city. Unfortunately, you cannot see it from the airport bus but a taxi from the airport can easily take you there. Even though it is open for visits only in summer, a visit might be arranged for groups outside this period. For more information, visit their homepage.
- Troldhaugen, the home of composer Edward Grieg, is now a living museum comprising an exhibition centre with shop and cafe, concert hall, composers’ cabin and Grieg’s villa dating from 1885. Guided tours of the villa run continuously for both groups and individual tourists. For more information including the concert schedule and prices, visit their homepage.
Shopping in Bergen
In the city center of Bergen, you will find a variety of shops ranging from small boutiques and kiosks to shopping malls. In the autumn time, you can find many stalls selling souvenirs on the fish market. Other souvenir stores in the city are located on Bryggen. Some shopping malls are located in the area of Torgallmenningen and nearby streets. Many smaller boutiques and shops can be found also around the streets Kong Oscars Gate and Marken.
Norway is famous for its beautiful nature. If you wish to visit the fjords, we recommend either to rent a car and explore the nature on you own or sign-up for an organized trip. Here are some suggestions.
- The closest fjord to Bergen is called Hardanger fjord. To read about places to see in Hardanger, visit the official tourism site.
- Norway in a nutshell offers a variety of trips to norwegian fjords from one-day to several days trips. Visit their homepage for details.
- Those who plan hiking in Norway on their own should visit UT.NO which is an interactive hiking-path map system of Norway.
- Voss is a small town only 1h from Bergen by train. Their official site contains all information about various activities. Voss is in particular known as a mekka of extreme sports.
- The region of Stavanger is located south of Bergen and offers several breathtaking hiking destinations such as Prekestolen and Kjeragbolten. Visit the webpage for more information about what to do there. The fastest transport from Bergen to Stavanger is by plane. Norwegian.no often has good offers for domestic flights.