Excerpt of the houses at the pier in Bergen

Things to do in Bergen

The experiences are waiting in the capital of Western Norway. Here you’ll find the best tips for sights, restaurants, cafes, activities and other things to do when you’re in Bergen.

Dazzlingly beautiful when the sun shines. Great nature experiences even when the umbrella has to be used. Bergen offers fantastic holiday experiences and shines whatever the weather!

Framed by "The Seven Mountains" and with the fjord as its closest neighbour, Bergen is perfect for those who want urban experiences interspersed with action-packed activities and beautiful natural gems.

The charming world heritage city also has a lot to offer for those interested in culture and history. And with the status of an international city of food by Unesco, Bergen is also the gourmet’s paradise, with local seafood as its biggest draw.

Pack both swimwear and an umbrella and come hungry – welcome to the capital of western Norway! See our hotels in Bergen.

Museums and attractions

Historical Bryggen

Bryggen is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and is the best preserved memorial of the Hanseatic period, when Bergen was one of the most important trading cities in Northern Europe. It is still bustling with life here, with small shops, eateries and galleries in the narrow alleys hidden behind the well-known facade. Since 1979, Bryggen has been included in UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites and is a living cultural monument – a stroll here is almost like a journey back in time.

Tips! At the Hanseatic Museum and the Schøtstuene you can learn more about the history.

Fløyen

An almost as well-known attraction as Bryggen and a must on every Bergen traveller's bucket list is the city mountain Fløyen. The old, funicular railway Fløibanen takes you to the top of the city mountain in a majestic way, with great views, a cosy cafe and lovely hiking trails into the mountains awaiting. One tip if you want to have the view and the mountain to yourself is to walk the path or jog to the top before the railway starts. The hike takes about one hour to walk.

Bergen Aquarium

The aquarium in Bergen is Norway’s largest aquarium, and houses over 60 large aquariums and its own shark tunnel with 400 different species from all over the world. In addition, you can meet penguins, otters, crocodiles and geckos – or watch the funny sea lions as they train and get fed. If you’re hungry, head to Spiseriet for a delicious meal or Mattorget for some lighter food "on the go". The aquarium is open every day – a perfect activity on a rainy day!

Hustle and bustle at Fisketorget

Ever since the 13th century, the iconic fish market in Bergen has attracted people from near and far with an abundant market of freshly caught fish, delicious seafood and local fruit and vegetables. The fish market is open in the summer, while the associated Torghallen food hall is open all year round. There are also a number of restaurants here. A must if you’re in town!

Bergen in the old days

What was it like to live in Bergen in the past? You can find out at the Gamle Bergen Museum, where you can enter private homes, shops and workshops in a reconstructed town with around 50 wooden houses from the 18th-20th centuries. Several times a day, the town is also brought to life with theatre performances, where local actors give a vivid insight into history.

The World of Edvard Grieg

Join Edvard and Nina Grieg’s world at the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen. Troldhaugen currently consists of the Villa, the Composer's hut and the couple's grave site. There is also a modern museum building and the Troldsalen concert hall. The villa where the couple lived the last 22 summers of Edvard’s life is filled with wonderful memories of Grieg. The place opened in 1928 and has since then become a destination for Grieg lovers from all over the world.

Idyllic Skostredet

The street Skostredet is a small gem in Bergen, filled with charming niche businesses and nice restaurants, cafes and an ice cream shop. If you’re looking for something that no one else has, you will find it here. Among others, there’s a vintage shop called secondLove on this street. Unique treasures from both home and abroad are sold here, for the wardrobe as well as for the home.

More tips: Fun experiences for the whole family in Bergen

Activities on land

Great mountain hikes

In Bergen, there are many lovely mountain hikes to choose from – after all, the town is surrounded by mountains. One of the most popular hiking classics is called Over Vidden and goes from Ulriken to Fløyen. The hike takes about five hours and offers beautiful views along the way. If you really want to push the boat out, you can challenge yourself on the 7-mountain hike that takes you to all of Bergen’s city mountains. The hike is around 35 kilometres long, has a total ascent of 2,500 metres and takes an average of 8-12 hours.

Glide down from Ulriken

Feel your pulse rise as you take on the 300-metre-long and Norway’s fastest zipline from Bergen’s highest mountain, Ulriken (643 metres above sea level). Zipline instructors ensure a safe journey from start to finish – while you can enjoy the adrenaline kick, views and a great sense of achievement.

Høyt & Lavt

A total of 10 exciting trails with a total of 120 challenging obstacles and over 20 zip-lines are what awaits you in Western Norway’s biggest climbing park. Høyt & Lavt Bergen is located in scenic surroundings on Nesttun, around 20 minutes from the city centre. There’s action-packed fun for the whole family, as well as food, snacks and ice cream in the Klatrekafeen. If the weather gods show themselves from a bad side, there are also indoor climbing opportunities at the Bergen Climbing Centre, for example.

Småpudden bridge

The Småpudden bridge opened in 2014 and is a footbridge that runs between the city side and Løvstakk side. Shaped like a Z, it gives great photo subject if you love taking photos. From the bridge you can walk through Nygårdsparken to the city.

Get a taste of Bergen

Fancy something tasty? Bergen Base Camp organises food walks in the city centre with a focus on local ingredients and historical food. Together with a guide, the tour takes in five tasty stops, including Norway’s oldest cellar, Fisketorget and Bryggen, where you can taste both food and drink, as well as learn about Bergen’s exciting culture and history.

Hike up Stoltzekleiven

Ready for a real workout? Stoltzekleiven, also known as Stoltzen, is one of Bergen’s most popular hiking trails. Here you can walk, jog or run up steep stone stairs with around 900 steps up towards Sandviksfjellet. Once at the top, you can feel a clear conscience and enjoy a great view of Bergen city centre.

Join the guided sightseeing

Even though Bergen is a great city to discover on your own, it’s sometimes nice to join a guided sightseeing tour. That way, you can also discover hidden gems and places you might not see otherwise. There are many different hiking trips (see full overview here) or you can dare to discover the city on a Segway.

Vestkanten Storsenter

Vestkanten Storsenter is the largest in Norway for shopping and experiences. Here you’ll find everything from a spa department and Bergen’s only water park to bowling, indoor mini golf, curling and an ice rink – just 10 minutes from Bergen city centre by bus. The shopping centre also has more than 110 shops and restaurants, so there’s something for everyone. 

If you have a car, there is free parking next to the centre. 

Activities at sea

From fjord to mouth

Join Bergen Fjord Adventures on a unique fjord safari, where you’ll be picked up by boat and venture out into the beautiful archipelago for lunch on the shore. The food is cooked on a bonfire, and the menu consists of fresh scallops, oysters, clams, snails, seaweed and crab – depending on what is available, but a delicious shellfish soup and grilled scallops are guaranteed. Here you will also learn tips and tricks on how to prepare food out in nature. The tour runs throughout the year. Bergen Fjord Adventures also arranges archipelago safaris and sunset tours.

Nordnes seawater pool

If you want to get out of the city and get that summer feeling, head to the district of Nordnes district. It is only a small walk from Torgalmenningen, and is the district in Bergen most connected to the sea. Walk through the narrow alleys on beautiful cobblestones and look at the charming old wooden buildings.

When you first find yourself on this side of the city, you can dive into the Nordnes seawater pool, which opened for the first time in 1910. The pool is an outdoor 25-metre salt water pool, usually 25 degrees, and usually opens at the end of May each year. You can also find warm water at the AdO Arena and Vannkanten Badeland.

Kayaking

There are several ways to experience Bergen, but perhaps the closest to nature is in a kayak. At the AdO Arena and Norway's Fisheries Museum you can borrow a green kayak and life jackets free of charge, in exchange for collecting rubbish/trash along the way. A win-win for you and the environment! 

Dive into Sandviken Sjøbad

Around 20 minutes' walk away from the Fisheries Museem, you will also find Sandviken Sjøbad, if you prefer to experience the fjord up close. Here you will find a jetty, diving tower, diving board and floating jetty. The place has both a barbecue area and a lawn to have a picnic on, so remember to bring some food with you!

Fjord sightseeing

If you’re looking for a real sightseeing experience, one of the FjordCruise's cruises leaves from Zachariasbryggen, close to the famous Fisketorget square. The tour runs all year round and takes you through the shallow and narrow Mostraumen and back. During the trip that lasts three hours, there are many experiences. Here you can see beautiful fjords, steep mountains and lively waterfalls. If the water flow is high, you can come across waterfalls that provide a refreshing shower on the face. Before turning around and experiencing the beautiful scenery again, stop at a waterfall to taste the cold mountain water. An unforgettable fjord trip for both young and old.

Enjoy the sun at USF at Verftet

Locals also recommend watching the fjord with a glass in hand as the Hurtigruten docks. For this, the outdoor eatery by the dock at USF at Verftet is recommended.

Food and drinks

Bergen’s first Michelin restaurant

Bare Restaurant is Bergen’s first and only restaurant to be awarded a star in the prestigious Michelin Guide. The restaurant is located on the stylish Bergen Børs Hotel, overlooking Vågen and Fløyen, and serves tasting menus based on local, organic ingredients from small-scale producers. A tasty and unique experience guaranteed!

Lysverket

Lysverket, run by Bergen chef Christopher Haatuft, was mentioned in 2017 in the New York Times as the restaurant that redefines Nordic cuisine. Lunch and dinner are served here, with a focus on modern seafood from Western Norway. You will also find a good selection of meat and vegetarian dishes on the menu, as well as a separate bar menu with appetisers. The bar also serves drinks with self-produced juices, syrups and bitters.

Bien Restaurant

In super cool Art Deco premises of what used to be a pharmacy in the old days, Bien Restaurant has its own wall to wall bar. The snack bar serves dishes such as hamburgers, mussels, oysters and fish & chips, while the restaurant is a Japanese izakaya bar with small and main dishes from South East Asia. You are of course welcome to just have a drink in the bar. Bien is located at Danmarksplass.

Cornelius Seafood Restaurant

On Holmen, just outside Bergen, is the seafood restaurant Cornelius right by the water’s edge. Here you have a fantastic view of the fjord, mountains and sea, as well as passing boats and ships. The restaurant is open whatever the season. In glorious summer weather, sliding doors are opened and tables are set on the quayside. In bad weather, a cosy atmosphere is created indoors with a fire in the fireplace and candles.

Cornelius is known for its meteorological 5-course menu, where the food is inspired by the weather of the day. The restaurant also serves lunch, while in the RAWbar you can taste different types of shellfish that are best enjoyed raw, delivered on the quay by divers. Boat transport is included in the price and the journey over is an experience in itself.

Bergen Coffee Roastery

If you love good coffee, you should head to the Bergen Coffee Roastery. Located in the old Mjellem og Karlse shipyard workshop on Marineholmen in Bergen, it is an informal and cosy place with cakes, appetisers and great coffee.

Inside Rock Café Korskirken

If you ask the people of Bergen, this place is well worth a visit if you fancy a really tasty burger. The menu has several best-sellers, and the chefs are constantly trying out new variations to make sure that you never get tired of them. The place is located three minutes’ walk from Fisketorget, and offers a genuine Rock'n'Roll atmosphere.

Trekroneren

If you like sausages, then this stand is for you. Trekroneren has a wide range of sausages including reindeer sausage, chorizo, bratwurst and cheese sausage. Free juice is included in the purchase, if you ask. Located in the centre of Kong Oscars gate 1, the sausage stand is a popular stop on the way home from the city.

Tips for a city trip

If you want an evening out, there are several good options in the city. Among other things, Dyvekes Vinkjeller, a cosy and intimate wine cellar named after the mistress to the King of Norway and Denmark, is an excellent place for a glass of wine. Folk & Rovere in Skostredet is a local favourite, while at the cocktail bar No Stress you get drinks made from the bar’s own juice and homemade syrup. The latter has also been voted Norway’s best bar!

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