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 famous tour in Norway, Norway in a Nutshell, starts from Bergen Railway Station.

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.


Norway in a Nutshell by Fjord Tours

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) 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 Fløien Folkerestaurant 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 at Mt. Ulriken is a great start for getting a view over Bergen and it´s surrounding nature. The 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 KODE 1 (Fine Craft and Design), KODE 2 (Temporary Exhibitions), KODE 3 (Works by Edvard Munch and other Norwegian artists) and KODE4 (Art Museum for Children).

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.

Fjord Cruise from Bergen

Bergen is known as “The Gateway to the Fjords”. And from Strandkaiterminalen at Bergen Harbour, there are numerous fjord-cruises to choose between. And the famous “Norway in a Nutshell-Tour” starts from Bergen Railway Station.

Fjord Cruise to the UNESCO-protected Nærøyfjord

The “Norway in a Nutshell-Tour” with fjord-cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and the UNESCO-protected Nærøyfjord

Tour Summary: Train from Oslo or Bergen via the wild and beautiful Flåm Railway to Flåm by the Aurlandsfjord. Then fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen.

Time to spend: Day trip or more, available all year. We recommend to stay longer and experience more. Read more about what to see and do in the Flåm and the Nærøyfjord area. Season: All year

Fjord Cruise to the Sognefjord and bus to the Geirangerfjord

The 204 kilometre long Sognefjord is “The King of the Fjords”. It is the longest fjord in Norway and the second longest fjord in the world. The Geirangerfjord is part of our common UNESCO World Heritage.

Tour Summary: Fjord cruise from Bergen on the Sognefjord and Aurlandsfjord to Flåm. You can extend this tour with bus through the beautiful fjords of  Sogn, Sunnfjord and Nordfjord via Loen to the UNESCO-protected Geirangerfjord.

Time to spend: Two to three days or more. We recommend to stay longer and experience more. Read more about what to see and do in the Geiranger and Geirangerfjord area. Season 2020: 24. June – 30. August

Fjord Cruise from Bergen to the Hardangerfjord

The second longest fjord in Norway is the 179 kilometre long Hardangerfjord, “The Queen of the Fjords”.

Tour Summary: You can start this tour from Oslo or Bergen with the Bergen Railway. On this trip you will join a Fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord, from Ulvik to Eidfjord. Then you will experience the Vøringsfossen Waterfall, fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord to Norheimsund. You can also see the Steindalsfossen Waterfall and then take the bus back to Bergen.

Time to spend: One day or more. We recommend to stay longer and experience more. Read more about what to see and do in the Eidfjord area. Season 2020: 1. May – 30. September

Where to stay in the Bergen area

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 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 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 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 5 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 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.

Where to eat in the Bergen area

Hoggorm (Viper) 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 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 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 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 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.

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.

Rekonstruction of Bergen, the 14th century

Rekonstruction of the city of Bergen, Norway in the 14th century. Based on archaeological and historical sources. Video made by Ragnar L. Børsheim


Bergen – Some Pictures

The Hardangerfjord Area – What to See and Do

The Hardangerfjord area,  the orchard of Norway, is known for Summer Skiing at Folgefonna Glacier and a spectacular fruit tree blossoming in spring. Drive in the Hardanger area and see all the great waterfalls. Hike the famous Trolltunga Hike or the Queens Panorama Trail between Kinsarvik and Lofthus. Join a Fjord Cruise on the Hardangerfjord which is located in the county of Vestland, near Bergen, in the middle of Western Norway.

FJORDS – Useful Links:

Visit Bergen – The official website for Bergen
Fjord Tours – Bergen Information
Trip Advisor – The 15 BEST Things to Do in Bergen

Fjord Tours: Norway in a Nutshell
Fjord Tours: Plan and book fjord travel, accommodation and activities
Go Fjords: Big and Small Fjord Experiences
Fjord Pass: Great Discounts on Activities and Attractions in the Fjords
Visit Norway: Official page for Norway
Fjord Norway: Official page for Fjord Norway

Bergen – Map Overview