Bergen at a glance
Norway’s second largest city, Bergen, is known for its Hanseatic history, beautiful setting and thriving cultural scene. Embracing its natural surroundings of rolling mountains and sea, it is hard to separate Bergen from the natural beauty that is popularly known as the gateway to West Norway’s fjords. But this World Heritage city proves it is much more than a nature lover’s paradise, with the popular Bergen International Festival, a thriving dynamic music scene and a host of art galleries, exhibits and museums to explore.
Emerging early on as one of the most important cities in the Hanseatic League, Bergen’s location made it a busy centre for commercial maritime activity from the 14th to the mid 16th century. Today, visitors can enjoy the picturesque old harbour of Bryggen, with its pastel wooden buildings that stand testament to the areas wharf-side history. Many of the historic buildings house museums, shops, restaurants and pubs, while the entire area is celebrated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Picturesque setting
- Natural landscape
- Arts and culture
Bergen’s city centre is compact and a great destination to explore by foot – an easy 20 minute walk will cover the downtown area. For those wanting to venture further abroad, there are a variety of transport options to choose from including light rail, local buses, taxis and ferries. Understanding local bus lines can be challenging, but bus drivers are happy to help with any questions. A Bergen Card can be purchased for 24, 48, or 72 hours of unlimited travel on light rail and city buses.
Dining in Bergen
The sometimes limited traditional Norwegian fair has received a facelift in more recent years, with an expanding variety of dishes making their way into the gastronomy as well as organic and locally grown produce growing in popularity to bring fresh new flavours to the table.
Bergen has a thriving student culture which brings to life a wide range of cafes, bars and pubs. Enjoy your drink of choice in a variety of settings from cosy corner cafes and quiet whisky bars to glamorous espresso cafes and vaulted underground wine bars.
Must-try local dishes:
- Raspeballer – potato dumplings, usually served with meats such as bacon and sausage as well as mashed rutabaga.
- Bergen fish soup – typically made with root vegetables, fish and cream.
- Krumkake – a waffle cookie rolled into a cone - enjoy plain or filled with whipped cream.
Shopping in Bergen
With a tempting variety of high street, boutique, artisan and market shops to explore, Bergen has brought its history of trade into the 21st century to offer a multifaceted shopping experience for the window shopper right up to the serious spender. The pedestrianised streets of Gamle Strandgaten, Marken and Torgallmennigen offer native handcrafted items, antiques, jewellery and much more, while the popular harbour fish market provides a pleasant afternoon stroll complete with a selection of places to sit and enjoy lunch.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Bergen designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 265,857 Languages Norwegian Currency Norwegian Krone Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Distance from airports
Bergen Airport 17km
- Railway stations