In this article, read about Bergen Things To Do with guided tours, boat tours, and the best spots to have overlooked in the city.
Bergen Things to Do and Activities – Places to visit in Bergen
Bergen is a charming city on the southwestern coast of Norway, surrounded by majestic mountains and picturesque fjords. It offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here’s a detailed list of things to do, activities, and mid-budget hotel options that make Bergen worth visiting:
Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf:
Stroll along the historic Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to admire the colorful wooden buildings that once served as the Hanseatic League’s trading post. Learn about Bergen’s maritime history at the Hanseatic Museum.
Fløyen and Ulriken Mountains:
Take the Fløibanen funicular or hike up Fløyen for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Alternatively, you can venture to Ulriken, Bergen’s highest mountain, for more hiking and stunning vistas.
Edvard Grieg’s Home:
Explore Troldhaugen, the former residence of renowned composer Edvard Grieg. The museum exhibits his life and works; you can enjoy musical concerts in the beautiful surroundings.
VilVite Science Center:
This interactive science center is perfect for families and offers hands-on exhibits and activities, making it fun and educational.
KODE Art Museums:
Bergen boasts a collection of four art museums known as KODE, exhibiting various art from the Middle Ages to contemporary works.
Mount Fløyen Zipline:
Thrill-seekers can experience the exhilarating zipline from Mount Fløyen to the city center, providing a unique perspective of Bergen.
Take a boat tour to explore the stunning fjords and nearby islands. The Mostraumen fjord tour is top-rated, offering picturesque landscapes and cascading waterfalls.
Visit the royal residence of King Haakon VII and enjoy this historic mansion’s beautiful gardens and architecture.
Discover marine life at the Bergen Aquarium, which features an extensive range of fish, penguins, and other aquatic animals.
Bergen Hotel Options – Bergen Things To Do
- Scandic Ørnen: Located in the city center, this modern hotel offers comfortable rooms and great amenities, including a rooftop terrace with stunning city views.
- Thon Hotel Bristol Bergen: Situated near Torgallmenningen Square, this hotel provides easy access to the main attractions and offers stylish rooms and a hearty breakfast buffet.
- Clarion Hotel Admiral: Overlooking the harbor, this hotel boasts a maritime theme and has spacious rooms, a restaurant, and a terrace with scenic views.
- Augustin Hotel: Established in 1909, this family-run hotel has a rich history and charming decor.
Why Bergen Is Worth Visiting:
- Bergen’s unique combination of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene makes it a city worth visiting.
- Its location amidst the fjords and mountains provides endless opportunities for outdoor activities, making it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.
- The charming streets of Bryggen and its maritime history add a distinctive charm to the city.
- Bergen’s art and music scene are also significant attractions, with the KODE museums and the Edvard Grieg Home offering insights into Norway’s artistic heritage. The city’s warm and welcoming atmosphere and friendly locals make it a pleasant destination for all travelers.
In summary, Bergen’s scenic beauty, cultural richness, and various activities cater to a wide range of interests, making it a memorable and worthwhile destination to explore in Norway.
Cruise/Boat tours in Bergen
One of Bergen’s most popular and highly recommended boat tours is the “Norway in a Nutshell” fjord tour. While it’s not based in Bergen, it’s easily accessible from the city and provides a comprehensive and stunning experience of the Norwegian fjords.
Norway in a Nutshell Tour:
This tour takes you through some of Norway’s most breathtaking landscapes, including fjords, mountains, waterfalls, and charming villages. It’s a full-day journey that can be quickly done as a round trip from Bergen. Here’s a general overview of the tour:
- Bergen to Flåm: Start your day by taking a scenic train ride from Bergen to Flåm, passing through the picturesque Flåm Valley with its lush landscapes and cascading waterfalls.
- Flåm to Gudvangen (Fjord Cruise): Once in Flåm, you’ll embark on a 2-hour fjord cruise that takes you through the UNESCO-listed Nærøyfjord, one of the narrowest and most dramatic fjords in the world. You’ll also sail through the Aurlandsfjord, surrounded by towering mountains and serene waters.
- Gudvangen to Voss (Bus Ride): From Gudvangen, you’ll hop on a scenic bus ride to Voss, another beautiful town in the Norwegian countryside.
- Voss to Bergen (Train Ride): Finally, you’ll board a train from Voss back to Bergen, offering more stunning views along the way.
This tour lets you witness the best of Norway’s natural beauty, including the iconic fjords and breathtaking landscapes, all in one day. It’s a memorable and convenient way to experience the essence of Norway’s pristine wilderness.
It’s a popular tour, so booking in advance is advisable, especially during the peak tourist season.
Events and festivals – Bergen Things To Do
Bergen is a city with a vibrant cultural scene. It hosts various events and festivals annually that offer a unique glimpse into Norwegian traditions, music, arts, and culinary delights. Here are some of the top events and festivals you must consider attending in Bergen:
- Bergen International Festival (Festspillene i Bergen): Held annually in May and June, one of Norway’s oldest and most prestigious cultural festivals.
- Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF): Movie enthusiasts should attend BIFF, which takes place in October. It’s one of Norway’s leading film festivals, screening a broad selection of international and Norwegian films, including feature films, documentaries, and short films.
- Nattjazz (Night Jazz): If you love jazz music, Nattjazz is a must-attend event. Held from late May to early June, this jazz festival features a mix of established and emerging jazz musicians from Norway and worldwide.
- Bergen Food Festival: This culinary event in late August celebrates the rich Norwegian food culture. Local chefs, food producers, and restaurants come together to showcase traditional and modern Norwegian cuisine.
- Bergen International Festival of Street Art, Music, and Theatre (Bergen Internasjonale Kulturfestival): Known as BIKFEST, this festival occurs in July and features a diverse program of street performances, music, and theater.
- Bergenfest: Music lovers will enjoy Bergenfest, an annual festival in June. It features an eclectic lineup of international and Norwegian artists spanning various genres, such as rock, pop, indie, and electronic music.
- Christmas Market in Bergen: During the festive season, Bergen’s historic squares and streets transform into charming Christmas markets. You can find a variety of stalls selling handicrafts, decorations, and delicious seasonal treats. The Christmas lights and decorations add a magical touch to the city.
- Bergen Art Week: Art enthusiasts should consider visiting Bergen during Bergen Art Week, typically held in September. The event showcases contemporary art from local and international artists, with exhibitions and open studios scattered throughout the city.
Nightlife Options In Bergen – Things To Do In Bergen Norway
Bergen’s nightlife scene offers a mix of trendy bars, live music venues, dance clubs, and cozy pubs. Here’s a list of highly-rated nightlife options in Bergen:
- Hulen: One of Bergen’s iconic and oldest music venues, Hulen is a rock and indie club set inside a cave.
- Apollon Platebar: A combination of a vinyl record store, bar, and live music venue, Apollon Platebar offers a unique experience.
- Garage: Garage features live bands and DJ nights, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists.
- Bastant: This vibrant bar is known for its friendly atmosphere, tasty cocktails, and a wide range of craft beers.
- Vermilion Bar & Nightclub: For those looking for a lively dance floor and a more upscale experience, Vermilion is the place to be. It often hosts famous DJs, ensuring an exciting night out.
- Logen Bar: Located in a historic building, Logen Bar is an elegant setting for a night of cocktails, jazz performances, and occasional live concerts.
- Klubb Kok: If electronic dance music is your preference, Klubb Kok regularly hosts techno and house music events, attracting a dedicated crowd of partygoers.
- BISKopen: This cozy and welcoming pub is a favorite among beer enthusiasts, offering a wide selection of local and international brews.
- Pingvinen: A classic Bergen pub with a traditional vibe, Pingvinen serves excellent beer and hearty Norwegian dishes, making it a great place for an authentic local experience.
- Bryggeloftet & Stuene: A restaurant and lively bar, Bryggeloftet & Stuene offers a charming setting with waterfront views and a great selection of beers and cocktails.
- Villani: One of the best jazz clubs in Bergen is “Villani.” Villani is a popular venue for its intimate setting and dedication to jazz music. It has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making it a favorite spot among jazz enthusiasts and music lovers.
Best city view & sunset views – Things To Do In Bergen Norway
Bergen offers several vantage points from where you can enjoy the best city views and breathtaking sunset vistas. Here are some of the top spots to experience the beauty of Bergen from above:
- Mount Fløyen: Easily accessible by the Fløibanen funicular, Mount Fløyen offers one of Bergen’s most iconic city views. From the top, you’ll see the city’s colorful houses, the harbor, and the surrounding fjords. It’s also an excellent spot to catch the sunset, as the golden hues bathe the city and the surrounding landscapes in a warm glow.
- Mount Ulriken: As the highest of Bergen’s seven mountains, Mount Ulriken provides a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. You can hike up the hill or take the Ulriken cable car for a leisurely ascent. The view from the top is incredibly stunning during sunset when the fading light casts a magical ambiance over the city and the fjords.
- Fjellveien (Mountain Road): Fjellveien is a scenic road along the mountainside, offering picturesque views of Bergen and the surrounding landscape. You can walk or cycle along this road to enjoy the sights at your own pace. There are several lookout points where you can stop and admire the city below, making it a fantastic option for sunset photography.
- Skansen Fire Station: Located in the city center, the Skansen Fire Station’s rooftop terrace provides a unique and less-known spot to witness the beauty of Bergen from above. This spot is trendy among photographers looking to capture stunning shots of the cityscape and sunset.
- Bryggen: The UNESCO-listed Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf is an important historical site and a great place to view the city from the water. Stroll along the waterfront and admire the colorful wooden buildings and the charming harbor scene, which is even more enchanting during sunset.
- Vågsallmenningen: This square is centrally located and offers an unobstructed view of the harbor and Bryggen. Sit on the benches by the water’s edge or grab a spot on the stairs for a relaxing sunset experience in the heart of Bergen.
Must take guided tours from Bergen.
Bergen is an excellent starting point for various guided tours that explore western Norway’s stunning landscapes and cultural highlights. Here are some must-take guided tours from Bergen:
- Norway in a Nutshell: This is one of the most popular and comprehensive tours, taking you through some of Norway’s most iconic scenery in a single day. The tour includes a train journey from Bergen to Flåm, a scenic fjord cruise through the Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord, a bus ride to Voss, and a train back to Bergen. It’s an unforgettable experience, offering the best of Norway’s fjords, mountains, and picturesque villages.
- Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen: Embark on a guided fjord cruise from Bergen to Mostraumen, where you’ll sail through narrow fjords, passing under waterfalls and enjoying breathtaking views of steep mountains. Some tours include a seafood meal during the journey.
- Hardangerfjord Day Trip: Explore the stunning Hardangerfjord, the second-longest fjord in Norway, on a guided day trip from Bergen. The tour often includes visiting the beautiful Vøringsfossen waterfall and stopping in charming villages like Eidfjord.
- Guided Walking Tour of Bryggen: Join a guided walking tour of Bryggen to learn about the history and architecture of this UNESCO-listed Hanseatic wharf. Explore the narrow alleyways and hear fascinating stories about Bergen’s past.
- Fløibanen Funicular and Mount Fløyen: Take a guided tour to Mount Fløyen, either by hiking or by riding the Fløibanen funicular. Your guide can offer insights into the surrounding nature and point out landmarks and historical sites along the way.
- Kayaking in the Fjords: If you’re feeling adventurous, join a guided kayaking tour near Bergen. Paddle through serene waters while surrounded by majestic mountains and waterfalls.
- Culinary Tours: Taste your way through Bergen’s culinary delights on a guided food tour. Sample local dishes, seafood, and traditional treats while learning about Norwegian culture.
- Bergen Art Scene Tour: Explore Bergen’s vibrant art scene with a guided tour of the city’s galleries, studios, and street art. Learn about the local artists and their works.
- Biking Tours: Join a guided biking tour to explore Bergen and its surrounding areas on two wheels. It’s a fun and active way to see the city’s highlights.
Bergen Things to do with children
Bergen is a family-friendly city with plenty of activities and attractions to entertain children. Here are some fun things to do with children in Bergen:
- Bergen Aquarium: The Bergen Aquarium is a hit with kids of all ages. It’s one of Norway’s best aquariums, featuring various marine life, including fish, penguins, seals, and sea lions.
- VilVite Science Center: VilVite is a hands-on science center where children can engage in interactive exhibits and experiments. They can learn about physics, technology, biology, and more while having fun at the same time.
- Fløibanen Funicular and Mount Fløyen: Kids will love taking a ride on the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen. Once at the summit, they can explore the playground, hike the trails, and enjoy the stunning views of Bergen and its surroundings.
- Gamlehaugen: Visit Gamlehaugen, the royal residence in Bergen. The beautiful gardens and architecture make for a pleasant outing. Remember that particular events or concerts might be held on the grounds during certain times of the year.
- Bergen Science Centre (Barnas Vitensenter): Located near the city center, this science center is specially designed for children aged 3-12. It offers hands-on exhibits and activities that encourage curiosity and learning.
- City Park (Byparken): Byparken is a lovely park in the heart of Bergen, perfect for a stroll, a picnic, or some playtime at the playground.
- Beaches and Parks: Bergen has lovely beaches and parks where children can play and enjoy the outdoors. Nordnes Park, Nygårdsparken, and Helleneset Beach are some great options.
- Bergen Maritime Museum (Bergens Sjøfartsmuseum): Children interested in ships and maritime history will enjoy this museum. It features model ships, artifacts, and interactive exhibits.
- Outdoor Adventures: Take your kids on a boat tour to explore the fjords and islands. You can also go hiking in the mountains surrounding Bergen or take a family-friendly bike ride along scenic paths.
- Fantoft Stave Church: A short trip from the city center, the Fantoft Stave Church is an interesting historical site that kids might find fascinating.
- Bergen Skatepark: If older children enjoy skateboarding, head to the Bergen Skatepark for some active fun.
Bergen is a safe and family-oriented city, making it an ideal destination for a memorable vacation with children. Many of the attractions and activities listed above are easily accessible and located near each other, making it convenient to plan a fun-filled day for the whole family.
Frequently asked questions, Bergen Things To Do.
- Q: What is the best time to visit Bergen?
Bergen is beautiful throughout the year, but the summer months (June to August) offer the most pleasant weather with longer daylight hours. However, be prepared for occasional rain, as Bergen is known for its wet climate.
- Q: How do I get from the airport to the city center?
Bergen Airport Flesland is well-connected to the city center. You can take the airport shuttle bus, light rail (Bybanen), or a taxi to the city. The light rail is the most cost-effective and convenient option.
- Q: Is the Bergen Card worth it?
The Bergen Card offers free public transportation access and admission to museums and attractions. It can be a good value if you plan to visit several places quickly.
- Q: Is it possible to see the Northern Lights in Bergen?
While Bergen is not the best place to see the Northern Lights, it is possible during periods of high solar activity. For a better chance of witnessing the Northern Lights, consider traveling further north in Norway.
- Q: How can I experience the fjords near Bergen?
You can take a guided fjord cruise from Bergen to Mostraumen or join Norway in a Nutshell tour, which includes a scenic fjord cruise and train journey through the stunning landscapes.
- Q: Is English widely spoken in Bergen?
English is widely spoken and understood in Bergen, especially in tourist areas. Most locals speak English fluently, particularly in the service and hospitality industry.
Now you know Bergen Things To Do with the best boat tours, fjords to visit, sunset spots, stay options, and other valuable tips.
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