The gateway to the Fjords in Norway is one stunning and must-visit city. Rich in history, a UNESCO Heritage city as well as also being a gastronomy city, there are so many reasons to visit Bergen. Below you not only get reasons to visit but more than 20 things to do in Bergen to keep you busy for a while. Whether you want to experience the culture, adventure or just leisurely exploring, I hope my list of attractions in Bergen as well as some cool and fun ways to explore inspire you to explore this beautiful city if you haven’t been.
If you are planning for a wonderful trip to Bergen on the way to hike Trolltunga I have also linked to further tips below. Bergen in addition to Oslo over a gateway to many of the amazing hiking trails in the country. This is a city surrounded by 7 mountains so of course there many trails in the city too. Some of which are covered in the lists of magnificent things that you can indulge in exploring Bergen.
- 1 20 Fun Things To Do And Cool Bergen Tourist Attractions To Check Out
- 1.1 Explore Bryggen and its Museums
- 1.2 Do a Medieval Tour of Bergen
- 1.3 Visit the Bergen Aquarium
- 1.4 Ulriken643 Cable Car and View at the Top
- 1.5 St Mary’s Church
- 1.6 Rosenkrantz Tower
- 1.7 Hakon’s Hall
- 1.8 St Johns Church
- 1.9 Hanseatic Museum
- 1.10 Visit The Wooden Houses
- 1.11 Fish Market
- 1.12 Bergenhus Fortress Museum
- 1.13 Floibanen Funicular
- 1.14 Bergen Maritime Museum
- 1.15 Bergen Science Centre
- 1.16 Kode Art Museum
- 1.17 Escape Bryggen
- 1.18 Magic Ice Bergen
- 1.19 Shopping In Bergen
- 1.20 Bergen Nightlife
- 2 How To Explore Bergen
- 3 Additional Tips For Visiting Bergen
20 Fun Things To Do And Cool Bergen Tourist Attractions To Check Out
There are so many ways to experience Bergen, Norway’s point of interest. From museums, parks, cruises, markets and must-see places in Bergen that you cannot miss out on, in addition to cool tours too.
Explore Bryggen and its Museums
Bryggen is known as the UNESCO world heritage site and among Bergen’s top attractions. However, the edifices were considered to be warehouse once for holding cereals from the Europe & stockfish caught from further north. It is filled massively with souvenirs, boutique shops, and café, but it has plenty of charm during night times. The museum at Bryggen is one of the must-see archeological excavations. When the district was got under fire, the city allowed carrying out archeological excavations. It opened up a new window for commerce and Medieval life in Bryggen.
Do a Medieval Tour of Bergen
Tourists who are planning for the medieval tour of Bergan city must not miss out on the museums and churches. You can also plan for the guided tour to visit several old parts of the city, including Hanseatic office and fortress easily.
Visit the Bergen Aquarium
Bergen Aquarium is the biggest aquarium found in Norway. Having a visit to Aquarium is one of the distinct things to do while traveling to Bergen, Norway. This aquarium includes crocodiles to sea lions and exotic species of snakes and fishes. The ambiance of the aquarium is amiable, and you might tend to visit many locals while coming across this place. If you are planning to visit with your kids, this is one of the best things to do in Bergen for the younger travellers.
Ulriken643 Cable Car and View at the Top
One of the most unusual places to view in Bergen, Norway, is Ulriken643 cable car. By standing on the top, you can mesmerize at the unbelievable panoramic views of Bergen. By getting to the top of Mount Ulriken, you will be amazed by the many locals who love hiking. You can hike through the way to the funicular, which is close to the city in few hours. If you are a photo lover, then you can take astonishing photos with a wonderful background.
There are so many activities on offer on Mount Ulriken, make sure you check out my post for more details. There is also a restaurant on the mountain as well.
St Mary’s Church
The oldest building at Bergen is St Mary’s church, which is remarkable example of Norway Romanesque architecture. This church has been established amid 12th century. No other church at Norway seems to have western frontage like this, with unadorned, square towers and curved windows resembling Romanesque style. The triptych displays the Madoonna having child at centre, bordered by St Antony and St Olav at right & St Catharine and St Dorothy at the left.
The Rosenkrantz Tower is named after the governor and nobleman Erik Rosenkrantz who supervise the tower remodeling for prime Renaissance residence of Norway in the 16th century. This tower comprises of real upstairs, and downstairs setup with the king residence was on top floor and later changed to governor residence while the basement seems to be dungeon. Many visitors come to this astonishing place to view the dark and narrow staircase to see over the Vagen bay at the roof.
Hakon’s Hall was constructed between 1247 & 1261 by the famous Hakon Hakonsson. As a national cultural monument, this hall is used both for the sake of official occasions and royal dinners.
St Johns Church
It is the largest church situated in Bergen with 1250 accommodation – and also considered as the highest point of the city. Visitors are sure to admire the gothic revival exterior with bright-red color details and stunning interior frescoes.
The Hanseatic Museum is considered to be the oldest buildings in Bergen city, and it is preserved perfectly, right down the creaky wooden floors and real dried stockfish. If you like to know about quarters of apprentices, palatial offices, fishers, and farmers of that age, then take a visit to Hanseatic Museum. With the fabulous museum at Bergen, you can know about the German merchants of Hanseatic League survived and worked within Bryggen and visualizes how the complex has modified over centuries.
Visit The Wooden Houses
There are many wooden houses present in Bergen city, including:
Damsgard Country Mansion
Damsgard Country Mansion was constructed in the year 1770 for the minister of ware Gyldenkrantz. This mansion is considered to be a significant example of Rocco architecture in Norway and hence known to be the best sealed wooden building in Europe. By visiting the place, you are sure to take a glance through the building interior and exterior to know about the property history completely. The garden at Damsgard will be found open to the public during museum opening hours.
Old Bergen Museum
If you are unsatisfied with the momentous streets of Bryygen, then you can visit the Old Bergen Museum. This open-air museum is reconstructed small town with perfection comprising about 50 buildings from 18th, 19th, and 20th century which are moved from Norway and Bergen to this place. With astonishing views back to state-of-the-art city, nostalgia-filled actors, and plenty of fresh air during summer months, a trip to the museum is considered to be the must-visit place in Bergen.
Fantoft Stave Church
As stave churches are found to be quite a famous place in Norway but Fantoft Stave Church is particularly popular in Bergen. The church, which was built at Fortun in 1150, seems to be original and moved to the Fantoft in the year 1883. It was sadly demolished due to fire in 1992. The church is situated 6 kilometers from downtown Bergen, and you can attain it by taking Bergen Light Rail to the Fantoft. It is reconstructed after destruction and considered to be perfect place to survive on wood with your frozen fantasies.
Alvoen Manor is considered to be Norway’s ancient industrial communities. It was known as the grandest private homes of Bergen, which is found open for public. You will encounter art history, social history, industrial history, and family history. The main building of the home comprises the memory of Fasmer family’s life, which spans a lifetime of about 300 years.
Similar to other notable things found in Bergen city, the fish market also has a long history. When you take a walk along market stands, you can able to taste wide variety of fresh plates of seafood, which is cooked on the spot. The beautiful thing in the fish market is whale meat, smoked fish and shellfish that you cannot see in other places. This is another place that is among the best things to do in Bergen and not miss out on.
Bergenhus Fortress Museum
Located at the Bergen harbor entrance, this fortress museum is known to be ancient stone fortifications preserved in Norway. It is created to safeguard the city, but presently it has turned to be crowd-puller & thrilling place of interest. It will be open from 11 am to 5 pm from Monday to Sunday.
With about 150 meters from the city of Bryggen, you can take the astonishing views of Funicular by standing on the top of 425-meter Floyen Mountain in sooner time. Much like Ulriken, this is an unmissable tourist attraction in Bergen. There also plenty of opportunity for hiking here as well. If you are a fan of the outdoors and have many of Norway’s hiking trails on your bucket list then also read my post on the best hiking tours in Norway.
Bergen Maritime Museum
The most famous single-visitor attraction of Bergen city, which started to run first in the year 1918, is Floibanen. It has 850 meters long track as the train takes you more than 300-meters on the top of slope in about 6 minutes. You can stand at Floyen and capture the views of Bergen, including the fjords & water traffic, which makes its way towards and from the North Sea.
Bergen Science Centre
If you are at Bergen with your little ones & weather is not good then the Vilvite science center is considered to have great fun & education in equal amount. There are about 75 stations in the center that invites children to learn quickly by getting involved in interactive games and experiments. Nearly all stations are focused on topics of weather, ocean, and energy. During weekends & school holidays, it has 3D movie screenings and distinctly organized science shows.
Kode Art Museum
A group of 4 art and cultural heritage around Bergen were combined under a single roof named “Koda” with single ticket entry for those attractions.
- Kode 1 is meant for craft & design, which exhibits gold & silver objects developed in Bergen and paintings made by old masters, Asian, and European Antiques.
- Kode 2 is meant for a traditional art museum that comprises the writing of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota.
- Koda 3 gathers the work from Norwegian art along with paintings by Romantic artist named Johan Christian Dahl and Edvard Munch
- Koda 4 meant for the art museum, which awards with work done by Dahl, Paul Klee, Asger Jorn, and Picasso. Children are allowed to this floor because it has kunstlab through which they can discover art via play.
If you are looking for cool and fun things to do in Bergen this is one to check out. Escape Bryggen seems to have massive fun-filled and challenging games. The objective of the gameplay is quite simple, escape from the room, and you need to use your creativity, teamwork, and logic. Follow up the clue signs to find out the puzzles to solve out the mysteries.
Magic Ice Bergen
You cannot have a visit to Norway without ice and snow, and fortunately Magic ice Bergen is on hand with its distinct hand-crafted ice bar when you can’t receive your winter wonderland vision outside. With refreshing cocktails, plenty of ice sculptures, and free welcome shot and artworks, having a visit to Magic Bar is a lovely thing to accomplish in Bergen while it’s raining or before night out. However, the staffs are amicable and bar changes usually and you cannot find anything else like this in town. Though the entry price is a bit higher, it is good to visit during Saturday or Friday night when it gets going.
Shopping In Bergen
Bergen has been known as the city of traders & you will acquire much tempting shopping ranging from small, distinct shops to vast department stores.
- Some of the exciting places to shop around include of Strandgaten St, Gagaten, Torgallmenningen, Marken, Hollendergaten, Ovrgaten, Bryggen, and Skostredet. You can also explore Fishmarket, which also has fruit, vegetables, and flowers.
- Lagunen Storsenter: One of the largest shopping centers situated in Borough Fana at Bergen, Norway. This shopping mall has more than 150 shops at the square feet of 60, 000 meter square. It is the must-see place to buy your desired goods.
- Galleriet: Another essential shopping mall is Galleriet with lunch restaurants and cafes. If you are planning to get a trip to Bergen city, then you must not forget to visit Galleriet mall.
Though Bergen seems to be very small, it has famous nightlife districts like Ole Bulls Pass and Bryggen. Bergen possesses a lively cultural scene, and there are plenty of night clubs and bars to explore the whole city like Kava Roofgarden, Bryggen Nightclub, Terminus Whisky Bar, Wave Fun Pub, and Storm Bar. Additionally, some of the cool restaurants like Ulriken643 restaurant with exploring views during nighttime make your life colorful. There are also artsy cafes that are open late in the evening include of Lie Nielsen, Gresk Pai, and Colonialen Kranen.
How To Explore Bergen
There are several ways to explore Bergen city quickly and effortlessly. Some of them are:
Explore by Segway Tour
Do you like to explore Bergen city in a fun and exciting way? If yes, then take a segway sightseeing trip. This specific tour will help you to view the city’s several narrow streets, amazing views, and attractions. Within two hours duration, it is possible to see Bergen city ultimately and get majestic view of 7 mountains.
Explore Bergen through a Food Tour
The Bergen food tour helps you to uncover rich food history and culture of Bergen people. You can taste Norwegian seafood dishes and refreshing drinks. If you wish to eat plenty of different food items, then join the Food tour as it makes you know about local food tastes and its in-depth story.
See Bergen from Above via a Helicopter Tour
If you want to explore Bergen from the top through helicopter, then you are sure to explore significant monuments, mountain views, and some hidden gems. It is a unique means to see the historic streets of Bergen city in a single trip.
Explore Bergen by Bike Tour
If you want to explore Bergen city for a few hours, then you can consider for bike tour, which helps you to view the place completely. It is recommended to either rent a bike or take your bike to explore exciting places in the city.
City Hunt is an appealing option to explore the beautiful attractions of Bergen city. With this trip, you might come across several unusual places, including churches, monuments, mountains, and others.
Additional Tips For Visiting Bergen
If you get stuck while in the city or need information, right next to the fish market, you will find Bergen’s tourist office. There are leaflets and free booklets with information on things to do in Bergen and Norway in addition you can also get tickets for many of the cruises and tours in Bergen and beyond.
If you need information on the accommodation they can help you with that as well, but considering how expensive Norway is I would strongly suggest you book where to stay in Bergen before you arrive in the city. The city isn’t that grand and there arent that many budget places to stay so the more in advance you book the more options you have for reasonably priced hotels in Bergen. Keep in mind that at the time of writing this post there were under 300 hotels and hostels in the city so just imagine the demand during the summer months.
Getting Around In Bergen
There are buses and trams in the city all very easy to use. You can by tickets outside many of the stops, but if you have the Bergen card like we did, you can get discounts on attractions as well as transportation in the city.
What to pack for Bergen
I have covered what to pack for Norway in a separate post but that also covered what to pack for Bergen as well. I find that Norway and Scandic countries tend to feel colder and their summers are very mild compared to summers of southern European countries so even when visiting Bergen in summer make sure you are least pack a scarf and light jacket if you don’t want to pack a coat as the evenings tend to feel much colder even in the summer. For additional tips on what to pack particularly if this is your first trip to Europe then also read my post on essential items to bring to Europe.
Love Norway? Also Read:
- Everything You Need To Know About Hiking Trolltunga
- Where To Stay Near Trolltunga
- A Weekend In Bergen
- Camping In Odda
- Top Things To See And Do In Odda
- How To Get To Trolltunga
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