Bergen is the second largest city in Norway. Located in the west, it was part of the Hanseatic League, so for several centuries, it was the nerve center through which passed all trade between Norway and the rest of Europe. It is now known for being one of the most important cultural centers in the country, as well as for its beautiful natural environment without losing its ancient maritime traditions.
What to do in Bergen
Bryggen is a historic district located northwest of the city on the eastern shore of the fjord where the city is built. It was the neighborhood of the merchants of the Hanseatic League from 1360, with its wooden houses, is one of the most famous medieval settlements in Norway, which is also part of the World Heritage List of UNESCO since 1979. In this area, you can find several museums in which to learn about the life of the Hanseatic merchants and other issues.
The Bryggen Museum has a number of archaeological sites found at this site, and a exhibition that shows the trade and crafts in the Middle Ages. Next to the museum, it stands St Mary’s Church, the oldest building in Bergen.
Another of the most spectacular attractions of the city is Fløibanen, a funicular that rides up to Mount Fløyen, one of the mountains surrounding Bergen at an altitude of 320 meters above sea level. It’s a fast ride and a unique opportunity to see the city, mountains, the fjords and the sea. It is reccomended to descend the mountain admiring the beautiful scenery to get to the bustling Fish Market, where discover the true essence of the city among its narrow streets and wooden houses.
The impressive medieval Fantonf Satve Church was built in the twelfth century, but in 1992 it suffered a great fire, so it had to be rebuilt.
Like any cultural city has a wide range of major museums like Edvard Grieg Museum, dedicated to the most important Norwegian composer, the Bergen Aquarium or beautiful manor houses of the eighteenth century.
Bergen is also the setting for different activities ranging from fine arts to football matches. The city has one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the world, a professional ballet company, repertory theaters and imaginative magazines as well as a wide number of festivals.
One of the biggest attractions in the city, are the fjords, since, Bergen is considered as the gateway to the fjords of western Norway, Sognefjord and Nordfjord, two of the world’s natural wonders, also close to a impressive glacier, known as Brilsdalsbreen and surrounded by lakes, waterfalls, winding paths and other dreamy landscapes.
The best way to get around inside the heart of the city is on foot or bicycle, although there is a free shuttle service departing from the bus station to the center of the city. It is open from Monday to Saturday and the bus-stops are marked with “Parkeringsbussen“. Other buses that circulate in Bergen, are also very efficient, but it is advisable to check the differente ticket options that exist depending on the duration of our trip, because bonds are usually cheaper than a single ticket. During the weekend there are night buses or nattbuss from 1 am.
Taxis are usually the most expensive means of transportation in the country and also include stops marked for pick up clients.
Where to stay
Bergen and its surroundings count with more that 30 hotels, most of them located near the Bryggen or in the center of the city, although some of them are located opposite the Flesland Bergen airport. In low season (September to May) is usually a large number of special deals for weekend getaways.
There are accommodations of all kinds, from cheap hotels and pensions as Marken Guesthouse or Citybox or most exclusive and luxurious lodgings as the Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret or the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.
Where to eat