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What to see and do in Bergen our complete guide

Bergen norway

Wondering what you should see and do in Bergen on your trip to Norway? What are the must-see places around Bergen? We had the same questions when planning our stay.

Bergen, nestled between mountains and fjords, is a city of instant charm. Stroll through the colorful alleys of the Bryggen district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or soar above the city on the Fløibanen funicular to the summit of Mount Fløyen.

To guide you, we’re sharing our tips for exploring Bergen, so you don’t miss out on any of its treasures, our secret corners and our recommendations for savoring the local cuisine and choosing the best accommodation.

Our opinion on Bergen

After Oslo and Stavanger, we hesitated to make a stopover here before continuing our tour of northern Norway. Our curiosity led us to explore the country’s second-largest city (which looks more like a small village), and we were seduced by its charming residential districts and the funicular ride up to Mount Floyen.

Despite its reputation as one of the rainiest cities in Norway, we were lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful sunny blue sky during our visit, which changed everything.

It’s also renowned for being a major hub for cruise passengers, boosting local tourism, but if, like us, you arrive at the same time as a cruise ship, you’ll have to share the harbor and Bryggen district with hundreds of other visitors…

➡️On gives you a tip below on how to get a nice view of these neighborhoods without too many people.

How long can I stay in Bergen?

Half a day is more than enough time to visit Bergen’s very small center. We recommend staying 2 days to explore the surrounding area.

  • D1 visit to Bergen in the morning and 3:30-hour cruise on the Osterfjorden in the afternoon (weather permitting). We recommend booking your cruise online in advance (approx. €70 per person).
  • D2 Exploration of the surrounding area, hike to the mythical Trolltuga, an accessible hike offering incredible panoramic views. Or you can hire a car to visit the Tvindefossen waterfall , undreal village and Stegastein viewpoint (all north of Bergen in the same area).

➡️Nous recommends that you opt for accommodation in the city center and book it in advance and online as early as possible to have the widest choice.

What to see and do in Bergen: our must-sees on our map

1. Bryggen historic district

The Bryggen district is a stunning area that you won’t want to miss on your visit. Strolling along its cobbled streets, we were immediately transported to another era. These colorful wooden facades, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, tell the story of centuries of trading history. The neighborhood has been ravaged by fire on several occasions. The houses have been completely rebuilt to their original appearance.

Today, the houses house museums, boutiques, a hotel and restaurants with terraces overlooking the harbor, all of which were packed on the day of our visit.

The only downside was that we arrived at the same time as a huge cruise ship, bringing with it a huge influx of cruise passengers, just like when we visited Stavanger. We had to share this area with many other tourists.

➡️Pour to learn more about the incredible history of this district, we recommend exploring it with a guide.

2. Fish market

We recommend you then walk along the quays to the fish market. It’s a lively place, where you can discover Norway’s culinary wealth, salmon, crab and shellfish directly from the fishermen. For our part, we were astonished by the high prices charged for the quality offered….

➡️Nous recommends a visit to the covered market, also on the harbour, to enjoy an (almost solitary) photogenic panorama of Bryggen and the hillside houses in the background. It’s Bergen’s postcard. We loved this part of our stay in Bergen.

3. Nordnes and Fjellsiden residential districts

We strongly recommend that you move away from the touristy port area and explore the residential areas of Nordnessometimes also called Nøstet, located to the west of the port, as well as in the charming residential district of Fjellsiden perched on the hill above Bryggen (around the Floyen funicular railway), which was our a real favorite.

These corners are little frequented by tourists, and we were completely seduced by their white or colorful wooden houses. We loved this area, both flowery and peaceful. It’s the perfect setting for a gourmet break away from the hustle and bustle, and we took the opportunity to sample our cinnamon rolls – we plan to try them all!

4. Getting high at Mount Fløyen

Mount Fløyen, the summit of one of the 7 hills surrounding the city, is a must-see and easily accessible from the city center. In just a few minutes, thanks to the Funicular, we were high above the city, with a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and port from the belvedere.

The best time to go is at the end of the day, when the cruisers have returned to their boats and you can enjoy a beautiful sunset.

If you have the time, this is the ideal place for a hike: a 6 km loop leads to Lake Storediket, and as always in Norway, the trail is well signposted. We recommend walking to Bergen, as the path is pleasant and offers beautiful views.

One-way ticket price 60NOK per adult (approx. €5)

5. Bergenhus fortress

Just a stone’s throw from Bryggen stands Bergenhus Fortress, one of Norway’s oldest and best-preserved castles.

We recommend you take a look before or after your visit to the Bryggen district. The fortress, with its thick walls and towering towers, has watched over Bergen for centuries.

Fjords to visit around Bergen

Bergen is surrounded by water and nicknamed “the capital of Norway’s fjords”, as it is located next to Osterfjorden and positioned between the country’s 2 largest fjords (Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord).

Osterfjorden and Sognfjord

Exploring a fjord is definitely the experience of a lifetime in Norway, and we treasure all the beautiful images in a corner of our minds.

But what exactly is a fjord? It’s a question we also asked ourselves when preparing our stay. A fjord is an arm of the sea wedged between mountains or cliffs (it’s salt water, all right). It’s the result of millennia of glacial erosion, a masterpiece shaped by ice and time.

After our exploration of Lysefjord in the south, we were delighted to discover a new one, as this is obviously the activity to do in Norway. We’ll tell you how to visit the fjords from Bergen.

Exploring Osterfjorden

It’s the most accessible of Bergen’s fjords, with many cruises departing from the port of Bergen to reach the village of Mostraumen at the far end of the fjord.

Favourite ❤️Departure from port of Bergen (at the fish market), we embarked aboard a small boatWe then set off to discover the Osterfjorden. As always, arriving by boat on a fjord is impressive, making you feel very small surrounded by the impressive cliffs.

For 3h30 we sailed along the tranquil waters of the fjord, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The company operating the cruise, Rødne Fjord Cruise, has an excellent reputation.

We recommend you take the highly reputed Rødne Fjord Cruise for a panoramic cruise on the Osterfjorden to the village of Mostraumen, departing from Bergen harbor (next to the fish market).

➡️ A word of advice: don’t forget to book your tickets online in advance (around €70 per person), especially during the tourist season, as these excursions are very popular and the number of places is limited.

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Exploring Sognfjord

Bergen is located 1h30 from Sognfjord, Norway’s deepest and longest fjord, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Its tranquil waters reflect the snow-capped peaks and picturesque villages nestling on its shores, an almost unreal vision of tranquillity and majesty.

The Aurlandfjord arm is a stretch with the picturesque villages ofUnredal and Flam, and a footbridge has been built to enjoy the view. The Stegastein viewpoint can be reached via a beautiful winding road.

From Bergen, you can opt for a full-day, round-trip guided excursion to explore this corner of Norway. Bergen: with a stop at the village of Flam.

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What to do in Bergen


For music lovers, Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg, is a must, located 10km from Bergen. It was here that the famous Norwegian composer lived, worked and drew inspiration from the breathtaking scenery surrounding Bergen.

A visit to Grieg’s home, now converted into a museum, provides an intimate insight into the influence of nature on his work.

Hiking on Mount Ulriken

For hiking enthusiasts, Bergen and the surrounding area offer an ideal playground. Mount Ulriken, the highest of the seven mountains surrounding Bergen, is particularly popular for its hiking trails, which offer spectacular views of the city and beyond.

A less touristy option than Mount Floyen, the Ulriksbanen cable car to the south of the city takes you to its summit.

Water sports: viking ship / kayak

From Bergen, several companies offer kayak tours or a trip on a Viking ship.

Trolltunga hike

It’s Norway’s most famous hike, after the Preikestolen, located 3 hours south of Bergen. It’s a hike that Matthieu did all by himself. We’ve devoted an entire article to organizing your hike to Trolltunga, which requires a little time and research to find all the (right) information. You’ll find all the information you need to avoid the crowds, where to park…

Undredal village and Stegastein viewpoint

On the shores of theAurlandfjord, the small village ofUndredal (3 hours north of Bergen) is a great place for a stroll, with the world’s smallest standing wooden church at its center! The village is bordered by a beautiful river that flows into the fjord. Of course, we stopped off to taste the delicious goat’s cheese at the Undredal Stølsysteri cheese dairy. We advise you to choose this village over Flam (just next door), which is the destination of many cruise ships.

A stop not to be missed if you’re in the area, the Stegastein footbridge offers a lovely panoramic view of the fjord. We loved all the free facilities in Norway. The access road is very narrow, so you’ll have to wait on the side for another car to pass. After your stay in Norway, you’ll be able to drive really anywhere.

Tvindefossen waterfall

Before the village of Unreal and the viewpoint of Stegastein, we recommend a stop at the Tvindefossen waterfall, a beautiful natural site nestled on the road between Flåm and Bergen, offering a rich and noisy spectacle, especially in spring, when the surrounding glaciers begin to melt.

The water flows with increased force and volume, creating an impressive noise and a veil of refreshing mist.

Practical advice

Where to stay in Bergen?

In Bergen, as in the rest of Norway, the cost of accommodation can be surprising. It should be noted that the cost of living in Norway is around 30% higher than in France.

To find suitable, well-located accommodation in Bergen, you’ll generally need to budget around €150-€200 per night.

We’re often asked for tips on how to cut costs when traveling in Norway, so we recommend renting an apartment. This will also enable you to cook your own meals, and save money during your stay in a country where the cost of living is high.

  • Our favorite: the Veversmauet Apartments offer fully-equipped, well-renovated apartments with lovely city views. Conveniently located in the city center, you can visit Bergen on foot.

Where to eat in Bergen

We don’t have any restaurant addresses in Bergen, but we do have 1 good bakery to recommend.

  • Good bread Marken: this is an excellent bakery with sweet and savory organic products. This is a (small) Norwegian chain with stores only in city centers, and we’ve also been there in Stavanger and Tromheim.

    It’s a great alternative for eating at lower cost and with good produce right in the center of town. You can also buy their focaccia to make your own sandwiches. We also recommend Kanelboller or cinnamon rolls, or those with cream (I have a slight preference for the latter).

Best time to visit Bergen

Bergen is reputed to be the rainiest city in Europe (not cool). Don’t forget to pack a kway and an umbrella. The summer months, from June to August, offer the longest days and most pleasant temperatures. We were lucky enough to visit Bergen with big blue skies but lots of wind (remember your kways).

How to dress?

We advise you to dress warmly, even in summer, and above all to bring waterproof clothing, a kway and waterproof shoes.

How to get to Bergen

  • By plane: Bergen airport is a 30-minute bus ride from the city. A shuttle bus will take you into town for 155NOK return (approx. €16). If you have rented a car, the pick-up point is usuallyBergen airport.
  • By car: If you like freedom, renting a car is an excellent option. Norwegian roads are well maintained and offer spectacular views. It also gives you the flexibility to explore Bergen’s surroundings at your own pace.

    Don’t plan to cover large distances at once – speed limits are quite low (60km/hour on average) and roads are often too narrow, so you’ll have to wait on the side for another car to pass, plus the constant ups and downs demand a lot of concentration.
  • By bus: Long-distance bus services link Bergen to other major Norwegian cities such as Stavanger, Oslo… with Nor-Way Bussekspress.
  • By ferry: to save you many kilometers of winding roads, ferries run between Bergen and Oslo and between Stavanger and Bergen. You can compare prices on the Direct Ferries website.

From Oslo to Bergen: by train

Bergen station is located in the heart of the city, with direct connections from Oslo (approx. 4 trains a day).

A priori, the 7-hour journey isan adventure in itself, and is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Information at:

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We hope this article will help you plan your visit and take full advantage of all Bergen has to offer. And who knows, maybe, like us, you’ll be captivated by the unique charm of this Norwegian city.

We really enjoyed writing this article. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. We spent 2 months in Norway, so check out our other articles about this incredible country.

Don’t hesitate to leave us a note or 5 stars below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, below we’ll answer you with great pleasure. Vous pouvez consulter nos stories sur Instagram de notre voyage en Norvège, pour vous donner un avant gout de ce qui vous attend !

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My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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