Mountaintops and markets!
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Bergen is the second largest city in Norway (only topped by Oslo, the capital city). Despite this, the centre feels very compact and cosy. Although there is so much to explore in the surrounding areas, you could probably explore most of the actual city centre in a matter of hours, not days. But, this is not to say that you'd be bored in Bergen, we could not get enough of this city and can't wait to go back.
Picture perfect - Bergen is situated right in the middle of some amazing Norwegian mountains, providing lots of experiences that every adventure lover would just adore. If you love to hike, then this should definitely be a bucket list destination for you. One of the most popular routes is the Vidden trail, where you hike from the top of Mount Ulriken to Mount Fløyen. It's 15km and takes around 6 hours, but the sweeping views of the fjords, lakes and the city itself below are incredible.
If 15km sounds a little extensive, you can get the funicular up to the top of Mount Fløyen to experience some of the amazing views. You can see the city from above, enjoy refreshments in the cosy café, and wander to the absolutely stunning lake only a few minutes away! It's really not worth missing, the scenery will absolutely take your breath away. Alternatively, you can take a cable car up to Mount Ulriken, the higher peak which is a little further out of the city centre, and witness those unforgettable views from a different perspective.
A bit fishy... - If Bergen wasn't so known for its stunning scenery it would be mainly famous for its markets. Yes, the city is small, and the markets are not vast, but what they lack in quantity they absolutely make up for in quality. The outdoor fish market is situated just on the edge of the water and is open in Summer for merchants to sell their fresh, local produce and hot street food! The indoor fish market is open all year round, and surprisingly also holds other products such as fruit and vegetables, despite its name.
We've also heard that Bergen holds an absolutely amazing, very festive Christmas market. Unfortunately we visited in May, so it wasn't quite the right time of year, but it's on the bucket list, so keep your eye out for updates!
The classic city - Bergen itself is a wonder to see, even without the amazing food and even more amazing surroundings! The first image you see when searching Bergen isn't actually the mountains, but the classic colourful wooden houses that sit on the harbour. This area is called Bryggen and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site - and we can understand why! These houses don't just characterise Bergen, they're a part of the entire country's culture. Plus, they're extremely postcard worthy, and house some amazing gift shops where you might be able to pick one up. There's even a Christmas shop that's open all year round, so if you're like us and picked Summer to visit, you still get to experience a little bit of that festive spirit on your trip!
We genuinely adore this city, and would return as soon as possible to soak in as much of that amazing atmosphere and beautiful scenery as we can! Just make sure to prepare yourself to spend plenty of Krone, Norway is a very expensive country and Bergen is definitely no exception. We loved wandering through the cosy gift shops admiring all the souvenirs, but window shopping is often enough when a postcard costs the equivalent of around £4. So before we return, we definitely need to get saving...
Getting there: Bergen is easily accessible by air, with direct flights from many major cities around the UK. It's easy to get from the airport into the city centre either by either a coach transfer, the (much cheaper) public light rail service, or a (much more expensive) taxi. Bergen is also accessible by train or coach from major cities in Norway and surrounding countries.
Visas: Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to visit Norway for a stay of up to 90 days.
Currency: The currency of Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Be careful, a lot of places will convert prices to Euros but add on a pretty large conversion fee. It's always so much better to pay in the local currency if you can.
Language: The official languages of Norway are Norwegian and Sami. But English is widely spoken in Bergen.
Time zone: Norway is in the Central European Time Zone, usually an hour ahead of the UK.
Ready to go?
- Search for a hotel in Bergen on Expedia here
- Find tours, experiences and things to do in Bergen on GetYourGuide here