BERGEN – THE GATEWAY TO THE FJORDS

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is known as “The Gateway to the Fjords”, and some believe that Bergen is the most beautiful city in Norway. The most popular fjord cruises start from Bergen Bus Station, Bergen Railway Station and from Bergen Strandkaiterminal.

Mt Fløien and Fløibanen Funicular, the UNESCO World Heritage protected Bryggen in Bergen and the composer Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen are three of the main attractions in Bergen.

Visit Bergen

Visit Bergen is the official destination company for Bergen.

Bergen – The Gateway to the Fjords

Bergen - The Gateway to the Fjords. Mt Ulriken in the background.
Bergen – The Gateway to the Fjords. Mt Ulriken in the background.

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is known as “The Gateway to the Fjords”, and some believe that Bergen is the most beautiful city in Norway.

Bergen is also the gateway to the Hardangerfjord. The most popular fjord cruises start from Bergen Bus Station, Bergen Railway Station and from Bergen Strandkaiterminal.

Charming Bergen.
Charming Bergen.

Mt Fløien and Fløibanen Funicular, the UNESCO World Heritage protected Bryggen in Bergen and the composer Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen are three of the main attractions in Bergen.

Bryggen (The Hanseatic Wharf) in Bergen has since 1979 been on UNESCO´s list over World Cultural Heritage Sites. Bryggen is a series of wooden houses along Bergen Harbour, originating from the Hanseatic (German) activities in Bergen from around year 1350.

At the innermost part of Vågen, the Bergen Harbour, you find the famous Fish Market where you can buy all sorts of fish, shellfish and local products from the fishermen and farmers in the Bergen area.

If you visit Bergen, you should take the Fløibanen Funicular to Mt Fløyen. Both Fløibanen and Fløyen are great experiences, with the best view over Bergen City, Vågen Harbour and Byfjorden (the City Fjord).

Bergen – What to see and do

Bergen Fish Market

At the innermost part of Vågen, the Bergen Harbour, you find the famous Fish Market where you can buy all sorts of fish, shellfish and local products from the fishermen and farmers in the Bergen area.

Bryggen (The Hanseatic Wharf)

Bryggen in Bergen has since 1979 been on UNESCO´s list over World Cultural Heritage Sites. Bryggen is a series of wooden houses along Bergen Harbour, originating from the Hanseatic (German) activities in Bergen from around year 1350. There has been several fires during the years, and the oldest remaining building is reckoned to be from around year 1702. The buildings were taken over by Norwegians in year 1754.

Fløibanen and Mt Fløien

If you visit Bergen, you should take the Fløibanen Funicular to Mt Fløyen. Both Fløibanen and Fløyen are great experiences, with the best view over Bergen City, Vågen Harbour and Byfjorden (the City Fjord). At Mt Fløyen you have Fløirestauranten and Fløien Shop and Café. Mt Fløyen is a great starting point for hiking in the surrounding mountains. And there are also many activities for children, like the Troll Forest and the best playground in Bergen.

Bergen Cable Car to Mt Ulriken

Mt Ulriken is a great start for getting a view over Bergen and it´s surrounding nature. The Ulriksbanen cable car start at Landås, close to Montana Youth Hostel, and ends at Mt Ulriken (643 masl). During summer, you can do the 13 kilometer long hike over “Vidden”, the mountain from Mt Ulriken to Fløien, and then take the Fløibanen Funicular down to the center of Bergen. At Mt Ulriken, there are also a restaurant.

Edvard Grieg´s home Troldhaugen

The composer Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen is situated at Hop, approximately ten kilometer outside Bergen. Edvard Grieg´s house was built in 1885 and is now a museum. The composer´s hut and Nina and Edvard Grieg´s tomb are located down by the lake in a close distance to the house. Troldsalen Music Hall is a new concert hall which is used for concerts. There is also a café at Troldhaugen.

KODE Museums

Consiting of seven Museums and Composers Homes, KODE Museums has more than 50.000 Paintings, Sculptures, Fine Craft and Installations. The homes of the three composers from Bergen; Edvard Grieg, Ole Bull and Harald Sæverud are all part of KODE, and many concerts are arranged in these homes. The other four KODE Museums are LYSVERKET (temporary exhibitions and permanent works from the collection), RASMUS MEYER (Works by Edvard Munch and other Norwegian artists), STENERSEN (alternating exhibitions, contemporary art, architecture, handicraft and graphic art ) and PERMANENTEN (temporary exhibitions, both contemporary art and works from own collection).

Bergen Aquarium

At Nordnes, the outer part of Vågen (Bergen Harbour), you find the largest aquarium in Norway, Akvariet i Bergen. The aquarium is a great playground for people in all ages, and of course fun for children. With more than 500 species, there are special events every hour during the opening hours. Sea Lion training, Penguin feeding and Guided Tours are some of the events.

Heit Sauna in Bergen

Enjoy the heat in a sauna and jump into the fresh water in Bergen. HEIT BERGEN has two areas with saunas by Puddefjorden. The saunas are located on Marineholmen and in Laksevåg, they are heated with wood. On Marineholmen there are two saunas on floating docks, and in Laksevåg there are two saunas on land, at the far end of the quay. Sauna season: All year round, but check the website for season and booking. You must book an appointment in the saunas in advance, remember to book in the right place. Swimming at your own risk.

A beautiful sea voyage between Stavanger and Bergen

The sea voyage between Stavanger and Bergen is a journey through beautiful coastal scenery with islands, fjords and reefs. On this ferry trip with Fjord Line you can bring your car, and the trip lasts approximately 5.5 hours. The ferry runs along the Norwegian coast and cross the outer part of Boknafjorden and the Hardangerfjord on the ferry trip between the two fjord towns. This ferry trip can be taken both ways.

Fjord Tours from Bergen

Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord.
Fjord Cruise on the Aurlandsfjord.

Bergen is known as “The Gateway to the Fjords”. With boats from Strandkaiterminalen at Bergen Harbour and with bus and train from Bergen Bus Station and Bergen Railway Station there are numerous fjord tours to choose between.

We recommend several tours from Bergen. One of them starts with bus from Bergen to Norheimsund. On this tour you will experience a fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord, from Norheimsund to Eidfjord.

Another tour starts with train on the Bergen Railway from Bergen via the wild and beautiful Flåm Railway to Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord. From Flåm you take a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and the Nærøyfjord.

Hotels and Where to stay in the Bergen area

Here is a small selection of hotels and places to stay in Bergen and the surrounding area.

KLOSTERHAGEN HOTEL

Klosterhagen Hotel at Strangehage 2 in Bergen is a small but great hotel. The hotel has 15 high standard rooms at a favourable price. The hotel´s breakfast has a very good reputation. It is only a short 12 minutes walk from the Fish Market to the hotel.

OPUS XVI HOTEL AND RESTAURANT

Opus XVI Hotel is located in the heart of Bergen, at Vågsalmenningen, only a short walk from the Fish market. The hotel is classic, yet modern and luxurious. There is a brand new restaurant, bar and café at the hotel, offering seafood and local produce food.

BERGEN BØRS HOTEL

Bergen Børs Hotel is located in the heart of Bergen, at Vågsalmenningen, a short walk from the Fish market. With it´s elegant rooms and suites, restaurant and bar, and the central location, this is a great hotel to stay at if you want to explore Bergen City.

MONTANA YOUTH HOSTEL

Montana Youth Hostel at Landås is a great and reasonable low-budget accommodation at the hillside by Mt Ulriken and close to Bergen Cable Car that takes you to the top of Mt Ulriken (643 masl). The hostel is situated five kilometers from the city center of Bergen with good bus-connection between the city and the hostel. Also excellent parking, free of charge for guests.

HOTEL HAVNEKONTORET 

Hotel Havnekontoret is located right in the middle of Bergen’s Bryggen area that is characterised by charming streets and historic buildings. With the best location in town, and an elegance shaped by local history and Baroque Revival architecture, the Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret now stands as one of the smartest hotels in Bergen.

THON HOTEL BRISTOL

Thon Hotel Bristol is a completely renovated and beautiful hotel located close to Torgalmenningen, right in the center of Bergen. From Bristol it is a short distance to everything that can be experienced in Bergen, it is only a few minutes to walk to Fisketorget, Fløibanen, Bryggen, Vågen and all the nightlife and shopping in Bergen.

Where to eat in the Bergen area

There is a large selection of eateries, cafes and restaurants in Bergen, two of which are mentioned in the Michelin Guide. It is Lysverket that has one Michelin-star and Moon that has the MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View.

Here are some places to eat that have been recommended to me by a real “Bergenser”, someone who has visited most of the places to eat in Bergen.

Hoggorm (Viper) Pizza

Hoggorm Pizza in Nygårdsgaten close to Grieghallen Concert Hall. A good friend of mine said this, quote: –This pizza is simply out of the ordinary. You just have to visit this restaurant, nothing can compare to this extremely great food.

Bryggeloftet & Stuene

Bryggeloftet & Stuene at Bryggen is a great old fashion and a “genuine traditional Bergen” Restaurant. Try the traditional Raspeball every Thursday, or during November and December the traditional Christmas menu, but be sure to book in advance.

Enhjørningen Seafood Restaurant

Enhjørningen Seafood Restaurant at Bryggen is the oldest fish restaurant in Bergen. Enhjørningen has always been considered to be one of the last Hanseatic restaurants, and the seafood is recommended with great reviews.

Spisekroken Restaurant

Spisekroken Restaurant is located at Klosteret on Nordnes, close to the city center. The restaurant is small, but the food is great. The menu changes with the seasons, and the specialities are dishes of calf. The fish is wild-caught white fish and changes from day to day depending on what the fish supplier has to offer.

Kaf Kafé

Kaf Kafé is a cozy café at Bryggen. The coffee and the Cinnamon Buns are superb. And of course, lots of other things to eat, drink and buy.

Bare

Restaurant Bare is located on Torgalmenningen in Bergen in the same building as Børs Hotel. Bare has several restaurants.

Lysverket

Restaurant Lysverket is located in Rasmus Meyers Allé in Bergen. The restaurant has one Michelin-star and is located in the same building as Lysverket Museum, one of four KODE museums in Bergen.

Bekkjarvik Gjestegiveri

Why not combine a Fjord Cruise with a great meal. Take a speedboat from Strandkaiterminalen in Bergen to Bekkjarvik Gjestegiveri at Austevoll where you can experience high standard cuisine based on local ingredients. The cruise will take you around 90 minutes. Bekkjarvik Gjestegiveri also provides accommodation.

Bergen – Some Pictures

The Hardangerfjord Area – What to See and Do

Kjeåsen in Eidfjord, Hardanger
Hardangerfjord.

The Hardangerfjord area,  the orchard of Norway, is known for Summer Skiing at Folgefonna Glacier and a spectacular fruit tree blossoming in spring.

Lake Bondhusvatnet and the Bondhusbreen Glacier in Kvinnherad was one of the first places the English tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid 1800´s.

Drive in the Hardanger area and see the Vøringsfossen Waterfall in Måbødalen in Eidfjord, the Låtefoss Waterfall in Oddadalen and all the other great waterfalls in the Hardangerfjord area.

In summer, you can take part in a Cider Cruise on the Hardangerfjord, where you can combine a fjord cruise in beautiful nature with a visit to some of the local farms along the fjord. Remember that if you want to visit local cider producers, you must book this in advance.

Odda, in the heart of Sørfjorden,  has now transformed from an industrial town into an adventure town. Trolltunga Active and Trolltunga Adventures are based at Odda, and offers guiding and equipment rental. Some of the adventures they offer are Trolltunga hikes, the Dronningstien hike, Via Ferrata Trolltunga and Tyssedal, Fjord Adventures and Winter Adventures.

Combine a fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord with a trip to Måbødalen to see the mighty Vøringsfossen Waterfall from the new viewing platform and viewing bridge built in connection with the Hardangervidda National Tourist Route.

The Hardangerfjord is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and is known as The Gateway to the Fjords. Bergen is also the gateway to the Hardangerfjord.

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

Bergen – Map Overview