Picture this: you’re on a dream tour of Norway and you have some free time in beautiful Bergen. What do you do?
To help you along, Petra, one of the Norway experts here at Nordic Visitor, has jotted down some suggestions to guide your sight-seeing in the gateway to the fjords.
- See all Bergen has to offer on a holiday to Norway
Visit Bryggen & Fisketorget
We mentioned that Bryggen is a treasure trove for history buffs back when we were gushing over Norway’s gorgeous and numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so it should come as no surprise that it’s on our list of must-see Bergen sites. The colourful buildings comprising the town’s old wharf and tourist-friendly centre were established as a center for Hanseatic merchants way back in the 14th century.
The area also houses Bergen’s famed Fisketorget (fish market) where shoppers can pick up the fresh catch, as well as fragrant flowers and other goods for sale by local merchants.
Says Petra: “The place has such a great history. Bryggen has been Bergen’s nerve centre since the late Middle Ages. And to take a walk in between the old wooden warehouses is really something special. Also the fish at the fish market is really fresh and the atmosphere there is great. There are a lot of cute little shops in the area.”
So, of course, a stroll through Bryggen has got to be considered a must when you’re in Bergen. And if you’re really into the history of the area, then visits to the Bryggens Museum and Hanseatic Museum would likely tickle your fancy. The former showcases many artifacts uncovered during excavations in the Bryggen area over time, and the latter is a great look at the Hansa and their operations in Bergen and beyond.
Take a hike
Take a hike on the Vidden trail, to be more precise. Petra says this scenic trail is her favourite in the area “because you get to experience both Fløyen and Ulriken mountains, starting from one mountain and walking to the other. You have great views, and you can just take the funicular up Fløyen or the cable car up Ulriken and walk either direction.”
Visit the Arboretet
Here’s a tip from Petra that isn’t as well known among travellers to Bergen: pay a visit to the botanical garden, Arboretet. Petra says this gorgeous garden is an oasis for locals looking to luxuriate among the greenery with a picnic blanket and a good book. The catch: it’s 25 km outside the centre...
Still, if you’re a fan of roses, rhododendron and relaxation, it’ll be worth the detour.
Check out the Bergen Aquarium
Whether you’re travelling with children or not, a visit to the Bergen Aquarium will make for a fun morning or afternoon. The facility features penguins, sealions, crocodiles and many, many species of fish. The sealions even put on a show for the guests!
It's not likely you’ll actually get lost, says Petra, but this advice is good to take to heart. Just walk away from the main square and explore all the little nooks and crannies that make Bergen so special. You’ll see the city, charmingly picturesque Scandinavian houses, and gorgeous scenery to boot. You can’t go wrong!
This post has been part of Nordic Visitor’s In Brief series, where our travel experts share how they would spend a day in a Nordic destination of their choice.
Learn more about other towns and attractions in Norway, as well as practical travel advice, at our Norway Travel Guide.