City Guide: Bergen

Bergen Floyen Viewpoint

Bergen is not only the second biggest city in Norway, it’s also one of the most interesting tourist destinations in whole Europe. The city itself is incredibly charming and a great starting point to so more of Norway and its fjords.

If you are thinking about a trip to Norway, the first city which might come to your mind is Oslo. Fair enough as the capital is a nice enough and accessible place to visit. Nevertheless, I think that Bergen is way more beautiful and unique, even compared to other beautiful cities in Northern Europe like Copenhagen or Stockholm. In this city guide, I’ll explain what you can expect of visiting Bergen and why I think that it’s well worth it!

Bryggen & the historic Old Town of Bergen

When walking through Bergen, you’ll run into various historic buildings. Most of those are located in the cities old town, which can be found right in the centre of town.

 

Walking along Torgallmenningen, the main pedestrian street in Bergen, is a nice experience, too, but the more interesting places are located in the little streets by the harbor.

 

This is also where you can find one of the real highlights of Bergen, the historic Bryggen area.

Bergen Bryggen

This part of Bergen is known all over the world for its historic and colorful houses.

Bergen Bryggen

Not only are these just really beautiful, but you can also visit some and get an idea of how the city must have looked and felt like hundreds of years ago.

 

In this area, right by the water, there are also a couple more other interesting buildings.

Bergen Bryggen

Speaking of the harbour, walking around the water here and just admiring the scenery is really great.

Hotel Havnekontoret Bergen Tower View

There’s also a daily market, where you can buy fresh fish and seafood – highly recommended. Just a stone throw away from Bryggen, you can find the Bergenhus Fortress.

Bergenhus Fortress

To me that sounded a bit more fancy than it really is. There are a few remainings of what must once have been an important defense structure.

 

However, today there’s not all that much interesting to see here, so I wouldn’t both visiting.

The Bergen Aquarium & the Nordnes District

Another area of Bergen that really made an impression on me is Nordnes, located on a pensinula, not far from the actual city center. Getting there involves passing the national theatre, which is worth having a look at.

Bergen National Theatre

It’s way less known than Bryggen and also not as colorful, but you can find very charming little streets with cute little houses here, too.

Bergen Nordnes

If you are looking for a more local experience, this is definitely an area of Bergen you should visit.

 

On the tip of the peninsula, you can also find Nordnesparken, where you can have a leisurely walk or just enjoy the views.

Bergen Nordnesparken

Also in the area is the aquarium of Bergen, which isn’t particularly large, but nice to visit.

Bergen Aquarium

There are penguins, sea lions, various fish and much more.

 

While not cheap, I’d say that visiting is worth it, especially when you are coming to Bergen with kids.

Bergen Aquarium

In any way, visiting Nordnes is totally worth it as it’s just a short walk away from the main touristic sights, but feels way more local and less touristic.

St. John’s Church & Lille Lungegårdsvannet

When you are walking through town, you’ll realize that there’s a church overlooking town, that’s St. John’s Church at the end of Torgallmenningen.

Bergen St. John's Church

It’s not like an incredibly impressive church, but you can enjoy a nice view from here. When you’ve walked here, you should also go to Lille Lungegårdsvannet, which is a lake located in the middle of town.

Bergen Lille Lungegårdsvannet

Around it, there are quite a few museums and other noteworthy buildings.

Bergen Arts Museum

I personally also very much enjoyed the Music Pavilion with the Telegraph Building behind it.

Bergen Music Pavillion

While this area is no must visit, it’s close to the city center and quite nice for a walk around the lake.

Floibanen, Floyen & Hiking in Bergen

One of my personal highlights of visiting Bergen was taking the Floibanen. The station for the funicular can be found right next to Bryggen, making it easily accessible.

Bergen Floyen Viewpoint

The ride up the mountain is scenic and allows for great views of town.

Bergen Floibanen

However, upon arrival and getting to the view point, you’ll definitely be sold. If the weather is great, there’s hardly a better place I could imagine.

Bergen Floyen Viewpoint

The downside, obviously, is the crowding with many people being around.

Bergen Floyen Viewpoint

However, when you get a little further away from the main view point, you can still enjoy a nice view of town, while not being among hundreds of other people.

Bergen Floyen Viewpoint

Not far from the main view point, there’s also a cute little petting zoo with goats roaming around.

Bergen Floyen Petting Zoo

While you can also take the funicular back to town, I’d recommend hiking.

Bergen Floyen Hiking

There are really nice paths down to town and it takes less than an hour if you are quick.

Bergen Floyen Hiking

The views while walking a really nice and it’s great to breath fresh air in Norway.

Bergen Floyen Hiking

We went down to Skansen, another really nice and scenic part of Bergen.

Bergen Skansen

Regardless of what way you do it, visiting Floyen is a must when in Bergen, in my opinion!

Overall impressions of Bergen

Bergen is a real highlight in my opinion and maybe one of the nicest cities to visit in whole Europe. There’s history, there are nice restaurants and cafés and there are just so many beautiful areas of town. All this is complemented by brilliant views, an incredible scenery and tons of possible activites in the area. If there’s a place you have to visit in Northern Europe, it’s Bergen!

Do you have any questions about Bergen? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!

Check here for more reviews of cities all around the world!

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