Return to Norway

Bryggen Wharf and harbor, Bergen, Norway
Bryggen Wharf and harbor, © Can Stock Photo / lunfengzhe

Bergen is the Gateway to the Fjords of Norway.  It is located in Western Norway on Vagen Bay and is the second largest city in Norway, with an urban population of about 400,000.  The city is set among 7 mountains, with the highest being Mount Ulriken.  The city was incorporated in 1070 and was a member of the Hanseatic League in the 1200s when haddock drove its economy.  The harbor area, called Bryggen, is a World Heritage site.  Bergen suffered from many fires over the year, typical of many cities in Europe without access to stone building materials.  The locals speak a dialect of Norwegian called Bergensk.  The official web site is visitbergen.com


The weather in Bergen is influenced by the sea and its northern latitude.  The height of summer is July and August, when average highs of 65 F (19 C) can be expected, while average lows are 52 F (11 C).  From December - February, average high temperatures are 40 F (5 C) and average lows are around the freezing point due to the moderating influence of the Atlantic.  The summer months are the most popular for tourism.  June can be an excellent early summer choice.



Bergen Airport - Flesland (BGO) is located in Flesland about 20 minutes from downtown by cab or 40 minutes by bus.  There is currently no rapid transit to the airport, although Bergen Light Rail (Bybanen) is under construction and currently reaches about 2/3 of the distance to the airport from downtown.  Bergen Station, in the downtown, has regular connections on Norwegian State Railways to Oslo, which takes over 7 hours.  The train goes through Voss and a transfer there allows access to Flam.  From Bergen Station it's about a 10 minute walk to the inner harbour.  Despite its small size, Bergen does have an excellent selection of buses, trolleys and trams operated by Skyss.  The cruise ship terminal is located at the beginning of the old harbor beside Rozenkranzt Tower and Hakon's Hall.  It's a 10 minute walk to Bryggen from the cruise ship terminal.  Passenger ferries run from Bergen south to Hirtshals, Denmark on the Fjord Line and north to Sognefjord and Nordfjord.  Bergen is also the southern terminus for the Hurtigurten which visits all the coastal communities to the north. It rounds the northern tip of Norway and travels beyond the Arctic Circle.

Bryggen, Bergen

Bryggen, © Can Stock Photo / scanrail

Attractions in Bergen:

Things to see and do:

  • Fløibanen Funicular - an 8 minute funicular ride for views of Bergen from Mount Fløien, plus the Fløien Folkerestaurant. 

  • Take the gondola to Mount Ulriken for the views and the Sky:Skraperen Restaurant.  Catch a bus to Ulriken from the Fish Market.

  • Bergenhus - 13th century fortress that includes the Rosenkrantz Tower and the adjacent royal residence of Hakon's Hall.  Bergenhus Fortress, beside the cruise ship terminal, guarded the entrance to the harbor and wharf.  The wharf (Bryggen) is a UNESCO World Heritage site next to the fortress.  Along the rows of wooden buildings at the wharf are the Bryggens Museum and the Hanseatisk Museum in an 18th century wooden building.  St Mary's Church (Mariakirken) is a 12th century Romanesque style church nearby, but it is closed for reconstruction.  At the end of the harbour are the Fish Market (Fisketorget) and adjoining flower and vegetable market. The Ludvig Holberg statue faces the harbor.  Take a local fjord cruise with White Lady from the Fish Market.

  • Bergen Cathedral

  • St John's Church

  • Edvard Grieg House/Museum at this famous composer's former home at Troldhaugen.

  • Old Bergen Museum - a reconstruction of about 50 buildings in an open-air museum.

  • Gamlehaugen - Castle and residence of the Royal Family in the city

  • Fantoft Stavkirke - a Stave Church destroyed by fire and rebuilt to identical specifications.

  • Bergen Aquarium

  • Bergen Kunst Hall - contemporary art

  • Damsgaard Manor

  • Buy a Bergen Card

Bryggen, Bergen

Bryggen, © Can Stock Photo / AlenMax

Things to see and do Near Bergen:

  • Take a trip to Flam via the Bergen Railway and the Flam Railway. Then continue with the train to Oslo.  Or take a Norway in a Nutshell excursion, which makes all the necessary arrangements.

  • Travel 3 hours to the Vøringsfossen Waterfall, possibly the most photographed waterfalls in Norway.

  • Travel 3 hours to Odda and then hike up to the Troll's Tongue.  This is not easily accessible and is more than a day trip from Bergen or Flam. 

  • Cruise from Bergen on Hurtigruten, including an option to travel to the most northeasterly port in Norway at Kirkenes.  This route covers the entire coast of Norway, past Sweden and Finland, to a point near the Russian border. 

Bergen Tours:

Hotels in Bergen

View Bergen map

View Bergen Pics