Bergen 101 – Gateway to the Fjords

Winter fishing in Norway

After Oslo, the next most visited place in Norway is Bergen.  You can fly to Bergen directly from overseas,  but some go to Bergen as a side trip from Oslo.   Bergen is known to be the gateway to the fjords.  Norwegians say that it always rains in Bergen, so better take an umbrella or a raincoat to be sure.

Always raining in Bergen
Picture from Visit Norway

I have been to Bergen several times. Sometimes on a private tour while the other times are in relation to work. I worked with one of Norway’s largest business travel companies and we had company kick-offs. As we were more than 400 employees, we all stayed at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.   Another occassion was hubby’s business trip and since they were also a large group of about 700, they had to split up the accommodations. Some stayed at the Radisson Blu Royal while some stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel Norge.   

On a more recent trip, I did dispatch work for a cruise line.  They had four of their cruise ships docked in one day.  That was a fun and very hectic day.

Both Radisson hotels are in excellent locations. If you like to stay near the sea, then the Blu Royal is for you, but if you prefer to stay at the city center, then Hotel Norge is your choice.   There are other hotels in Bergen in all price categories.  Ask me for some suggestions.

Wherever you stay, these hotels are easily accessible to each other and the rest of Bergen.  It’s a compact city and if you are wearing good walking shoes, you can walk through the city center in just under half an hour.

Depending on the time of day you arrive, why not take a rib-safari?  Might as well get wet in anticipation of the rain.  The tour also includes a tour to the Fish Museum.  Price is from NOK 495 per adult.  Read more about it here.

Sea-rafting in Bergen. From visitnorway.com
Sea-rafting in Bergen. From visitnorway.com

Bergen is surrounded by very stunning scenery. Not a lot of big cities can boast of that. Being surrounded by the sea and having a long tradition for fishing, you get really good seafood here. It’s a modern city with preserved old buildings. In fact, the place called “Bryggen” or wharf in english is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You have a good mixture of old and modern architecture. It is vibrant and always full of people.  

Bergen Bryggen

If you love seafood, then go to Fisketorget.  You won’t miss it if you are by the city center.  As fresh as it can be.   Aside from the shellfish, I suggest you to try the fish soup.  It is divine.

Seafood from Bergen
Picture from Visit Norway

A view from the top is always a good idea.  Take the Floiebanen to the top for great views of the city.  Lines can be long so you have to pack a bit of patience.

Picture from Visit Norway

The view from the top for the Floyen mountain is quite magnificent.  There is a restaurant where you grab something to eat before taking the same Floeiebanen back to the city.

bergen-from-the-viewpoint-floien-062014-99-0101_1500

During the 14th and 16th centuries, Bergen was one of Europe’s  most important trading ports. Today, it is one of the most visited tourist destinations. The Coastal Cruise (Hurtigruten) starts here.   There are also several other cruise ships that drop by Bergen.

Bergen is also called the city with the seven mountains.  If you love the outdoors and enjoy hiking, then you are in the right place.  You may not have time to visit all seven mountains, but if you only have time for one more, choose Ulriken, Bergen’s highest mountain.   Remember that Floyen is also a mountain. Read more of your options here. 

View from Ulriken
View from Ulriken

You can also get to know the city on your own.  Check out this app and their suggested walking tours in Bergen. Your smart phone is your guide so make sure to have enough battery and take a power bank with you.  You get to choose from Bergen Religious Tour, Museums and Galleries, Shopping Tour, Kids Entertainment Tour, Architecture Walking Tour, and Culture Tour.

Walking tour around the city
Walking tour around the city

Bergen is a great place to hold an event or a conference or any group tour for friends, family and colleagues.  Need help with this?  Feel free to request for a quote. 

If you want to see Bergen through the water, then take a Fjord cruise.  The fjord cruise is different from the rib-safari because it is at a slower tempo.

Picture from Visit Norway
Picture from Visit Norway

Want to be a “Rock Star”?  Why not extend your trip from Bergen to Hardangerfjord and take a hike to the Troll’s Tounge?  Read my suggested itinerary here.  The itinerary starts in Stavanger, but you can also do it in reverse.

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