While planning this trip, it wasn’t hard to put Bergen as part of the list. Seen as a city fjord, Bergen is also surrounded by stretches of mountains (that you can even hike on them). Though it is considered as the rainiest city in Europe, you can do a lot of outdoor activities, even during winter. I would suggest a 2-night stay rather than 3 as Bergen is considerably small:)
Keep in mind that purchasing Bergen Pass will be totally worth it as it is super cheap in any case! A 24-hour pass worths 280NOK (26€), 48-hour for 360NOK (33€), and 72-hour for 430NOK (40€). The best way to purchase it might be when you arrive at the airport, in my case, it was Bergen Lufthavn Airport, you’ll find Deli de Luca shop (or at the tourist information) at the arrivals hall, they accept cash. If you decide not to purchase it at the airport, you can always buy them in the city center, at the fish market tourist information.
So here’s what I did on the first day:
Need some fresh air after your flight? Come and chill here for a bit, they have a lot of benches around for you to sit on. You can also see so many birds, swans, and ducks flying around. Since Bergen is a small city, you can also have a look at the hillside from here.
Being a city just by the coastline, Bergen is well known for its seafood. Here, you can see (and eat of course) different types of fish (halibut, turbot, monkfish, salmon, cod, trout, etc), crabs, and shells. Don’t get surprised, the average price for a good lunch is a minimum of 30€ without a drink, so I didn’t get the chance to taste some of the freshest seafood here.
Go hiking at Mount Fløyen
You will need to take a cable car to get up to Mount Fløyen, the cable car’s name is Fløibanen, it’s in the city center! Since I have my Bergen Pass on hand, the cable car is included. They are open all year round, from 08:00-23:00. Winter price is always cheaper for most attractions, it’s 100NOK (9€) for a round-trip for an adult. If you have time and you love hiking, it’s better to just hike up for 1.5 hours and take the funicular down for 50NOK instead.
By the time you’re up there, you will get a crazy view of Bergen and you can also hike around the mountain. There are so many routes you can take, I chose the short one, where I visited a small lake named Skomakerdiket. FYI, there’s also a choice of visiting a troll garden (they are man-made troll statues). Be prepared for some slippery road (it was icy!). The routes are very well marked, so don’t be scared to be lost;)
Visiting Bergen during winter is not the best idea first of all. Most museums close at 15:00, so early! That’s why you really have to pack up all the museums on your list during midday. Since I started late today, I decided to go to this museum first since they close at 17:00. The museum is free of admission, lovely!
The facility is not that great first of all, they only have the English pamphlet on some printed paper that you can get on hand around the museum, no audio guides available. But customer service is so amazing there, the lady explained so many things about Bergen’s history, not only about the fortress either. This museum has several areas to check out, you can even walk out and see the whole fortress area including:
- King Håkon’s Hall
Being 750 years old, this building is originally built for royal residence and feasting hall. Eventually, during the 20th century, it was used as ammunition storage for Bergenhus Fortress. They open from 12:00-15:00 daily and adult ticket price for 100NOK.
This is a renaissance era monument built for defensive purposes. They open from 12:00-15:00 daily and adult ticket price for 100NOK.
Who’s up for a 20-minute walk from the last bus stop? Don’t be surprised that not even one bus goes here. Save up around 45 minutes of your time at least to go back and forth from the city if you really wanna see this aquarium. They’re opening time is from 10:00-18:00, it’s a great place to spend your time just before dinner time (since most museums close at 15:00). The ticket price is 275NOK (25€) for all ages, though it is included in the Bergen Pass. This is where your Bergen Pass will “harvest” some money;)
Is it worth it? I would say yes:) You can see so many different animals, from fish, crocodiles, sharks, and insects. I enjoyed every single second of it, they even have different movie screenings, I saw the “Whale Migration”, so beautiful<3
Night stroll and check out Norwegian style houses
There’s nothing like Scandinavian houses in other parts of the world. As a person who adores architecture (not a pro obviously), walking around and checking out different styles and designs is such a unique experience. Those houses with all pastel colors, from grey, brown, light blue, and beige are just beautiful… The view that you’ll get from walking southeast to the central city is also breathtaking, Bergen with its fjords!
My second day is literally just the fjord tour and a suggestion of a cheap dinner;)
Fjord Tour with Norway in a Nutshell®
There will be a specific blog post about this, stay tuned<3
Dinner at Søstrene Hagelin
Where else to find a delicious dinner under 10€ here in Bergen? Here you go. Eating healthy as a traveler is not that hard here:) They have a wide range of menu of fish cakes; fishball, fish burger, fish on brown sauce (the one that I ordered), fish soup, fish wrap, fish pudding, until fish gratin. Originally invented by two sisters from 1929, their recipes are always made by fresh fish fillets.
Expect yourself to feel half full after eating a 3-piece fish cakes on brown sauce, they even add some boiled diced potatoes, boiled veggies, and pomegranate jam on your plate. It is a great portion for me, though I believe it won’t fill your regular belly! I will definitely go back.
Remember to rest enough after a day full of exploration, let’s move on into another fresh day!
As one of the rainiest city in Europe, don’t expect Bergen to always have sunshine. I planned to take the gondola/lift but the weather was super cloudy and wet (from the night before), so it’s definitely not worth the money. FYI, they open all week except Monday from 10:00-17:00 and the ticket price is 185NOK (2-ways) on winter months (Sep-Mar). If you have a Bergen Pass you will get a 20% off, making it 148NOK (it helps!).
The road labeling from the last bus stop which is Haukeland Hospital (you can take Bus #2, 3 or 12 from the city center) is not clear at all, so make sure to open your own map! You should walk through Haukelandsbakken Tunnel to get into the right way. It was quite weird that I even have to pass through the hospital to find the right exit to reach the cable car area.
As I decided not to get the cable car, I decided to go for a 45-minute hike (out of the whole journey of 1.5 hours) to find out how cool the view would be. It was quite slippery since I wasn’t equipped with any hiking gears, be careful especially when you reach the icy part of the mountain.
Going back from the mountain took me at least half an hour to reach the city! Make sure you reach before 14:00 as they close at 15:00 (FYI, opening hours is 11:00-15:00). Ticket price is 100NOK (9.7€) for adults and 50NOK (5.7€) for students (make sure to bring your student ID), it’s really worth the visit if you have an interest in history. The museum is mainly about the life of medieval people in Bergen and other western parts of Norway. They show thousands of artifacts, ranging from kitchenware, a ruin of a house, to human skeletons.
Another must-visit museum if you love history and economy. Opening time is the same as Bryggen’s museum, 11:00-15:00. The ticket price is 120NOK for adults and FREE for under 18 (yay for me). The museum is mainly about the Hanseatic merchants who worked and lived in Bergen for at least 400 years, they come from different regions; Germany and The Netherlands. The museum building is one of the preserved wooden houses from the Hanseatic era, look at the details of the glass window❤
They also provided us a guided tour included in the ticket. It’s daily at 15:00, the meeting point is in front of the building. The route that we’re gonna do is Schøtstuene – Bryggen – Midthuset. We’re gonna check out that famous icon of Bergen, Bryggen, and really know the history behind it, so cool! Imagine those merchants standing where you stand right now! For the last stop, the guide will bring you to Midthuset (The Middle House) to check out the museum shop🙂
I guess we need a break! Here’s a very cool bar where you can order coffee, tea, wine, and beer. Though it’s a Swedish drink, you can also warm yourself with glögg, a hot mulled wine. The vibe is so calming here, bring your travel friends to chit chat for hours! The price is standard, a cup of coffee for around 50NOK and a glass of beer for 80NOK.
Well, that’s all for now, I hope you will enjoy your next trip:)