Bergen City Guide
Bergen - The Gateway to the Fjords of Norway
Bergen, also known as Bryggen, is an ancient city dating from 1070 AD, and is a picturesque international city with a small town flavor. It welcomes visitors to explore its delights before they venture out into the Fjords of Norway. One of the oldest harbor cities in northern Europe, history, lore and the seafaring spirit inhabit Bergen and charms new and returning visitors alike. A World Heritage City, Bergen is home to fewer than 300,000 people, but bustles with activity, as not only a tourist destination but also a regional government center and business hub, with the busiest port in Norway. Vacationers can arrive at Bergen via the international airport, the light rail system, or by one of the numerous cruise ships that regularly dock there.
Welcoming visitors for more than 900 years, Bergen sets the tone immediately, fascinating guests with its historic and vibrantly painted Hanseatic Wharf. An architectural gem of the city and one of the most familiar images of Norway, the Wharf reminds visitors of the city’s ties to the Hanseatic League’s trading empire of the 14th to mid-16th centuries. It was this vital link to one of the most powerful entities of the era that provided Bergen, and her merchants, with its immense wealth. Those merchants created a wharf and town to reflect their culture and prominence in society. While many fires have swept through the wooden wharf throughout history, each time the city has chosen to rebuild using traditional methods and repainting to keep the colorful flavor Bergen has become known for. Enjoy strolling the old wharf, tucking into narrow alleyways and passages, and escaping into the romance of Bergen’s history. With 61 historic buildings housing unique shops and artists’ galleries to peruse, the Hanseatic Wharf is a great experience and a must see when in Bergen
Stepping back into history
Bergen has thrived as a settlement and city through time, and the many museums and historical centers throughout the area attest to that fact, from 12th century St. Mary’s Church, the oldest building in Bergen, to modern museums showcasing artifacts from the Middle Ages and Bergen’s golden era. There is no shortage of educational and enlightening opportunities to visit. Experience ancient halls and towers that housed the city’s rulers, old schools, and historic villages set up to reveal lifestyle in medieval times, or check out the meeting room of the Resistance Movement during WWII, where Norwegians fighting back against the Nazis met in secret to plot and plan.
Fun for the whole family
One of Bergen’s most beloved destinations, with locals and visitors alike, is the Bergen Aquarium. Since the 1960s, it has been a cornerstone of the city’s attractions. With more than 50 aquarium habitats, you can not only become familiar with the animals along the coastal waterways and lakes of Norway, but also visit with crocodiles, snakes, marmosets, and lizards. The aquarium provides up-close viewing of many species, and is a sure delight for families traveling to Bergen.
If visiting during the summer, Leo’s Playland is Scandinavia’s largest amusement park. Year-round, you can take the family for a train-ride to the top of Mount Fløyen, which overlooks Bergen, the harbor, and the nearby scenery. Ideal for mountain walks and picnics, there is also a children’s playground to entertain the kids. For those not afraid of heights, take the hour-long cable-car ride up to the highest of Bergen’s famous ‘Seven Mountains’. Once there, enjoy a breathtaking view of the fjords, Bergen, the sea, and surrounding countryside. When you get hungry, enjoy a fine meal at Skraperson’s Restaurant that serves a variety of local delicacies.
For the adventurous, take a fjord tour and explore the famed local natural beauty. Many trips can be arranged as day trips, some as short as a few hours, others as daylong or overnight trips.
No matter what the weather there is always something to do.
Bergen has long been hailed as the Gateway into Norway’s Fjord Country; come and see why!
Food and drink
Bergen is known as a city that specializes and delights in seafood, the bounty of the northern Atlantic Ocean and the depths of the Fjords, and offers a bounty of fresh fish and shellfish. Dining options go from high-end to the more locally popular and classic hostelries. Don’t forget to try some of Bergen’s wonderful pastry shops! Bergen has some of Norway’s best restaurants, with prices to match all budgets.
Where to stay
Whether you want to stay near the airport, city center, or historic district, there are many fine places to stay in Bergen. Choosing between hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and apartment rentals can be confusing and time-consuming; let World Escape help you find just the right option for your tastes and budget today!
Bergen Holiday Apartments
Bergen is fairly compact, so that the majority of cultural attractions, historic homes and museums are huddled in the city centre and with a choice of Bergen holiday apartments in attractive locations throughout town, you can stay right next to local amenities and attractions.
You can even live in a UNESCO world heritage site by renting a charming wooden house in Bryggen, the city’s historic neighborhood overlooking the harbor. Not only is this one of the most beautiful parts of Bergen, but it is also a great place to feel the rich history of the city.
Period houses and contemporary tenements alike, all of our Bergen holiday rentals comprise homey properties with unique character and modern cons. Whether you seek a secluded flat for a romantic escape or a large apartment for the whole family, including the family pet, you can find diverse options with us.
Bergen Attractions and things to do and see
Situated on seven hills and seven fjords, Bergen is arguably one of the most scenic cities in northern Europe and a great base from where to explore the great outdoors surrounding the city. The combination of pristine nature, outdoor activities, and a vibrant cultural life make Bergen a dream place to visit. Relax in your Bergen holiday home during your stay and explore the city like a local.
Bergen is packed with museums, art collections, beautifully preserved medieval palaces and picture-postcard traditional houses. Families with kids are delighted by the Bergen Aquarium, while foodies fall in love with the colorful Fish Market, which offers some of the numerous fish and seafood treats the city is famous for.
For nature lovers, the stunning landscapes that surround the city on all sides are the main draw. Helicopter, boat and hiking tours are offered by a number of providers, allowing you to see the magnificent fjords and glaciers from land, water and air. When you feel lazy for either option, simply take the Funicular to Mount Fløien and admire the panoramic views from the hillside.
Nothing feels better at the end of an eventful day than cozying up in front of the fireplace or watching the sunset tint the scenic hills and the sea in warm orange hues from your balcony. Find your holiday home now and begin your Nordic adventure!