5 Things to Do in Bergen

There is a whole list of things to do in Bergen from outdoor adventure to museums and culinary tours to shopping. After two weeks in the city, I barely scraped the surface of Bergen entertainment, but a few favourites come to mind immediately.

Here is my list of the top 5 things to do in Bergen, Norway:

1. Mount Fløyen

Mount Fløyen is an absolute must in Bergen–if you do nothing else, you have to go up this mountain. You can climb the mountain by foot, but those of us that don’t get along with our lungs are able to take the funicular up the side without any degree of difficulty.

The ride itself is worth the trip; with sweeping views of the Nordic landscape, sliding backward as you face the disappearing city below.

Once the ride is over you can hop out and make your way over to the viewing point. A wide set of steps leads down to a glass railing where you can stand to see the entire city of Bergen.

You are able to see the city centre below, the suburbs speckling the mountains around and the fjords dipping into the water until they reach the Atlantic Ocean in the distance. Complete an astonishing panoramic view, it’s hard to pull yourself away.

Before you leave, don’t forget to visit the troll in front of the forest. You can sit on his knee or jump up on his back.

2. Bryggen

Bryggen is the oldest section of the city; it’s full of history and dated architecture. From the front, it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Norway; a line of thin, colourful wooden houses with pointed roofs along the harbour front.

Many fires have ravaged the characteristic wooden houses of Bryggen. Its rebuilding has traditionally followed old patterns and methods, therefore leaving its main structure preserved. Today there are 62 buildings that remain of this former townscape.

It isn’t until you enter one of the narrow alleyways between the houses that you realize that it is so much more than a brightly painted façade.

Bryggen may be small, but it wouldn’t take much effort to get lost among the winding walls and corners of the inner streets of the sector. There are plenty of guided tours to choose from, if you want to learn more about the area.

3. Fish Market

The Bergen fish market has recently moved from its original position on Torget street, around the corner on Strandkaien, underneath of the Bergen tourist information office, and inside of a glass structure.

Warm up on a cold day, as you wander the displays of seafood and other edible treats. Purchase a snack or meal, and enjoy the view of Bergen Harbour as you sit at one of the many tables.

Wander around the tanks of live lobsters and ice-beds of fresh crab, fish and many aquatic appetizers.

4. Wander the Streets

Bergen is a modern Scandinavian city, but it still has remnants and charms like any old European town. This can be seen when you explore the back-streets of the city, by heading away from the main square and walking the hilly alleys.

Some of the most picturesque views in the city come from standing atop one of these narrow, winding streets where the small houses converge to create the perfect scene.

Many of the streets in the Nøstet area are perfect examples of this.

5. Bergen Aquarium

The Bergen Aquarium is one of the most fun activities in the city, for children or adults. As a 25-year-old, I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone.

It’s easy to spend at least a couple of hours here, no matter the time of year. Visit the penguins and sea-lions outside, and view the reptiles and fish inside.

Combine the Bergen Aquarium with number 4, as you walk right past Nøstet to get there.

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It’s easy to do all of these in one day, as long as you get an early start (especially during the winter when sunlight is reduced). With these activities alone, I would suggest picking up the Bergen card, because it will help you save some money.

You will receive entrance to the Aquarium, the funicular, as well as free public bus transportation. As your Bergen card is valid for two days, you can choose a whole new set of activities for the following day!

Thanks to Visit Bergen for the Bergen Card!

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4 Responses to “5 Things to Do in Bergen”

  1. Sandra
    July 20, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I love the fact that you visited my country, I´m actually staying in Seattle for a day in November. Can´t wait to see more from your trips around the world 🙂

    Sandra/reisedagboka.net

  2. Iselin
    May 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    I live in Bergen and these are some of my favorite things about the city. So happy you had a good time here 😀 I’m so in love with your blog, all I want to really do in my life is to travel and live a new adventure every day! Hopefully, someday I will 🙂

  3. Ann
    September 7, 2014 at 1:13 am #

    I am traveling with my teenage daughter and we have a 10 hour layover in Bergen two weeks from today- traveling from New York to Scotland. We are hoping to leave the airport and do some sightseeing for the day but am having trouble finding any resources that can give us an idea of what we can accomplish (how much time we will need for travel between the airport and the city/how long it will take to go through customs etc)- there seem to be a number of resources for four hour, eight hour layovers in other cities, I can’t find anything similar for Bergen. Any advice?

    • Seattle Dredge
      September 7, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Customs are pretty quick, as it’s a small airport and aren’t that many people. I’d say try to be back at least 2 hours before the flight–just to be safe (though you certainly won’t need that long). I’m not familiar with the airport to city bus system, but there will be taxis lined up outside, which would be much quicker, though more pricey. Taxi could be 20mins/$50 and bus could be 25-45mins/$14. And my highest recommendations for a short trip to town would be to go up Mount Floyen on the funicular (best view of the city/sea) and just take a wander around the harbour and Bryggen. Hope that helps a bit :]

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