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5 Ways to Explore a Trip to Bergen, Norway

UNESCO World Heritage City Bergen is a glorious mix of history, culture, and nature – right in the heart of the Norwegian fjords. With fascinating museums, stunning scenery and tasty local delicacies, this European City of Culture makes a perfect, year-round destination.

Photo by Lars Korvald for VisitBergen
Enjoy a piece of living history at Bergen’s UNESCO World Heritage waterfront

Experience seven centuries of history among the famous, colorful, wooden houses that line Bergen’s atmospheric waterfront. Known as “Bryggen”, this area once housed the import and export offices of the German Hanseatic League. Today the wharf and buildings enjoy new lives as shops, restaurants, and galleries. Wander through the narrow alleys, marveling at the uneven walls and tilting staircases of the faithfully restored houses. Or visit the two museums documenting the history of the area and the lives of the Hanseatic merchants who lived and worked in the region for over 

four centuries

Funicular Railway. Photo by Caper Steinsland.
Take a trip on a funicular railway to the peak of one of Bergen’s seven mountains, then spend the night in a giant pinecone

Enjoy views over the city, as you travel 320m to the top of Mount Fløyen by Bergen’s famous funicular railway which has been carrying passengers to the peak for over a century . At the summit, explore misty pine forests, populated with troll sculptures, on one of several marked trails.  If you want to linger, you can find some unusual accommodations, suspended from trees and reachable by ladder. Known as “Konglen” (“The Cone” in English) for its beautiful organic shape, this hotel room with a difference was designed by Jacob Schroll from Utmark Architecture, and brought to life by carpenter Ole Iden. Fashioned from strips of spruce and pine, The Cone is roomy enough to sleep a small family and is available for hire throughout the year.

The famous Bergen buns. Photo by Lucy Morgan.
Explore Bergen’s culinary scene, from humble to high-end 

Delicious “skillingsboller” or cinnamon buns are a must-try for all travelers to Bergen. Brought to the city by Hanseatic merchants over 500 years ago, they soon became so popular that local bakers began to recreate them. Their name comes from the currency – these delicious, spicy buns used to cost just one Norwegian “skilling.” A little pricier now, but still made to the traditional recipe, skillingsboller can be found all over the city.

Feeling fancy? Why not soak up the glamorous atmosphere in the former home of Bergen’s stock exchange? Frescohallen is one of the city’s newest hotspots, serving top-end gastronomy in possibly the most important neo-renaissance building in the city. The dining room’s high ceilings are decorated with colorful scenes with motifs of business life, painted by renowned local artist Axel Revold.

Beach bathing. Photo by Robin Strand for VisitBergen.
Enjoy the therapeutic power of the sea, all year round

Just 1 km from the city center, close to Bergen’s fun aquarium, Nordnes sea bathing center offers a bracing way to enjoy the healing power of the ocean, whatever the weather.  A 30m long heated saltwater pool allows bathers to enjoy the fresh outdoor air, while keeping warm in the water.  Next to the pool, a ladder leads down to a roped off area of ocean, where bolder swimmers can enjoy a refreshing plunge, all year round. With warm changing rooms and toasty sauna cabins next to the ocean – sea swimming can be an activity for every season.

City streets. Aquarium. Photos by Lucy Morgan.
Fjords. Photo by Lucy Morgan.
Explore the dramatic fjords with a trip to Norway’s second-smallest municipality

Bergen’s coastal location makes it the perfect starting point for a trip through Norway’s scenic fjords. Boat trips of differing lengths take visitors from the heart of Bergen’s harbor, past dramatic cliffs along narrow waterways, to visit some of the most remote parts of the country. One exciting day trip runs through the winter months when the fjords are streaked with wisps of cloud, taking around three hours from start to finish. Passengers embark at the Zachariasbryggen quay at the Fish Market and are then ferried up the 27-kilometer-long Osterfjord towards Modalen, the country’s second smallest municipality with only around 380 inhabitants. Along the way, the boat passes tiny settlements, and interesting rock formations and draws dramatically close to a vast, noisy waterfall where passengers can stand on deck to feel the spray. 

Sunset on Bergen. Photo by Lars Korvald.

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