Bergen is a European World Heritage City, which is full of culture and history while offering world-class experiences to have. The city has the true combination of culture, nature, and exotic urban attractions as the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway.
Being the second largest city in Norway, Bergen also houses the largest port on the west coast and one of the busiest stops of cruise ships in Scandinavia. Covered by a ring of hills locally called as Seven Mountains, the beautiful natural harbor and idyllic city of the city has made its presence as one of the best tourist spots in Norway.
It is one of the top cultural destinations in the country, with popular music events and summer arts, including the Nattjazz Festival, Bergen International Festival, and Bergenfest.
It also houses oldest orchestras in Europe, including the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, dated back to 1765, and summer home to Edvard Grieg, a famous music composer.
There are so many things to do in Bergen, and its museums are ideal for exploring the rich history of the city.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Quick information and Bergen travel tips
- 2 Experiences and top things to do in Bergen
Quick information and Bergen travel tips
- Currency? Norwegian krona
- Languages? Norwegian and English
- Where is this place? Located in Southern Norway
- What is Norway famous for? Skiing, The Royals, fjords, and architecture.
- Best time to visit Bergen and Norway? All year round. But if you’re not a fan of winter, come in summer, spring, or autumn. The weather won’t be extreme but mind that spring and autumn might be wet from the rain. Just make sure to bring a good winter jacket and travel shoes with you!
- Other famous places in Norway? Oslo, Tromsø, Åleslund, Trondheim, Svalbard, West Fjords, Bodø, Fredrikstad, Alta, Røros, Helgeland, and Jotunheimen National Park. You can check all the top places to visit in Norway, click this to read the post.
- Famous neighboring countries? Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland
Do you need a visa for Norway?
Norway is part of the Schengen area and citizens of EU group of countries can freely enter this Baltic state while citizens of USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia can enter the country just with their passports and stay for 90 days.
You can check our guide on how to get a Schengen visa and as well to see if you’re eligible to enter the country with just your passports or if you’ll need to apply for a visa prior entry – read it here.
Where to book your flights to Norway?
Check our handy-dandy guide on how to find the cheapest flights around the world – read it here.
Do you need insurance?
Remember this: anything can happen! Read our take on why you need travel insurance and how it can save you money when things go unplanned – read it here.
Experiences and top things to do in Bergen
Fløyen and the Fløibanen Funicular
Located only 150m from Bryggen, there is Fløibanen Funicular, which leads you towards the top of Fløyen Mountain by covering the height of 425m.
In 1918, the Fløibanen Funicular flew first and became the only tourist attraction in Bergen.
It is 850m long track, and it carries the passengers over 300m up the slip within 6 minutes.
Stand at the Fløytrappene when you arrive and explore the stunning views of Bergen, facing the water traffic and fjords to make way to and fro the North Sea.
It can be your first step to hike through the balcony high above the city. There is also a kids play area and restaurants over a huge flight of stairs.
Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene
Raised due to fire at the beginning of the 18th century, the Hanseatic Museum is housed in the striking timber complex, and it is one of the best attractions for Bergen sightseeing.
The museum has been located since 1872 where you can learn about the 400 years old history of guild’s association of German merchants with Bergen, which lasted from 1350 to 1750.
In Bryggen, it is the only complex with original structures. Because of the risk of catching fire, its inhabitants were prohibited from lighting the fire for heat, light, or food.
They used to work downstairs in the offices and warehouse in the daytime and go to dormitories upstairs to spend the nights.
You can also have a quick walk to Schøtstuene on the same ticket at the rear of Bryggen.
You can visit the meeting rooms, Hanseatic League assembly halls, courtrooms and banquet halls.
KODE Art Museums
KODE is a combination of four cultural sites and art institutions, which was introduced in 2013 in Bergen. Hence, you may visit all these attractions with one ticket.
KODE 1 includes design and craft, along with a permanent exhibit of silver and gold objects produced here, along with paintings created by Old Masters as well as Asian and European antiques.
KODE 2 is a museum showing contemporary art, which had exhibits for Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota when it was being built.
KODE 3 features artwork in the Golden Age of Norwegian art, which includes paintings by Johan Christian Dahl, a Romantic artist, and Edvard Munch.
KODE 4 is another art museum endowed with creations of Paul Klee, Dahl, Asger Jorn, and Picasso. For kids, it has Kunslab, where they can have fun and discover art.
Like Fløyen, you can easily reach the top of Mount Ulriken, the highest of seven crests of the mountains in Bergen, at 643m. In the case of Mount Ulriken, you can take Ulrikbanen aerial tramway. It ferries visitors to the peak and takes back since 1961.
There is another fantastic vantage point at the summit, which is set up with telescopes, along with TV tower and restaurant, which can be seen from afar.
For some adventures, you can also hike up via trail system, and the route starts at Montana. Once you hit the top, you can keep trekking from Vidden Trail to Floyen.
You can get close enough to the second longest fjord in Bergen and feel like you are at the top of the world to experience ethereal beauty and it takes at least a day. Hardangerfjord is a fruit orchard in Norway.
There are lush strawberry farms and apple orchards at the base of high walls beside the water. You can even buy apples in season through the honor system.
You may also interact with folk culture in the villages. See the nature at its best and the Folgefunna glacier.
Fish Market is a trading spot for fishers at the innermost Vagen bay. It is touristy today and something you should not miss when you get to Bergen.
It also has stalls around the new swish indoor hall, which is truly a culinary destination. You can taste some fresh oysters with Riesling; mango-salmon roll, fried calamari, warming fish soup, or taste some excellent meals.
The opening hours are short in the outdoor market during winters, as it is open only on weekends. However, you can visit here any day in summer.
Fantoft Stave Church
In this reconstructed timber church, you can hop on the Bergen Light Rail, which runs a few km south of the city center.
Originally, the Fantoft Stave Church was erected in 1150 from Fortun village in the Sogn district. It was moved in 1883 to avoid demolition.
The church was rebuilt to give an exciting sight.
The Vagen bay’s opening has been guarded since the mid of 13th century in any form. The outline of this complex dated back from the 19th century and it has buildings dating from the 1200s to 1900s. A ceremonial hall, Haakon’s Hall is one of the oldest halls here. There are also window openings made in Gothic and Romanesque architecture on the walls.
If you are getting here for the first time, a self-guided tour is available to explore the German bunker, fortress enclosure, stables, quarters for the commandant and guards, and other attractions.