Best things to do in Bergen and sightseeing in Bergen
Fløyen - Bergen
Fløyen is the most visited of the seven mountains that surround the city centre of Bergen, Norway. The highlight of the visit, however is the funicular system Fløibanen that transports passengers from the centre of Bergen to a height of 320 metres in roughly 8 minutes. Once we reached there, there was a collective "oooooh!" from the entire group who saw the bird's-eye view of Bergen.
The journey from Bergen to the top of Mt. Fløyen takes under ten minutes, but rewards you with an exciting and scenic climb to 320 m above sea level. The Fløibanen Funicular slowly goes up the track, with views across Bergen and the surrounding mountains and fjords getting more incredible the higher you climb. Once you reach the top, the panoramic view over Bergen and the surrounding landscape is nothing short of magnificent. I loved the trip on the Fløibanen Funicular so much, I did it twice. Once during a lucky sunny morning and another time as dusk came slowly over the landscape, the lights illuminating the shadowy mountains above them. The trip was by far my most favorite experience in Bergen, an adventure full of nature and scenery that is so breathtaking the word isn’t even cliché when used to describe it. There are a multitude of hiking trails, activities, playgrounds for children, and a restaurant and cafe which offer food and drinks. I enjoyed getting lost along the trails in the dense forest of Mt. Fløyen, and would recommend taking an entire day if you have it to fully enjoy the experience. The Fløibanen Funicular has put together an awesome brochure on the different walks and hikes you can take, you can check it out here.
Bergen Museum - De Naturhistoriske samlinger - Bergen
Bergen’s Hanseatic Musuem lies on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen Wharf. A fascinating remnant of one of the world’s oldest trading ports. Since Bryggen achieved World Heritage Site status in 1979, further precautions have been put in place to protect the Hanseatic heritage of the city and this important cultural and historical piece of Bergen’s past. The Hanseastic Musuem stands at the end of Bryggen Wharf. The museum is set in one of Bergen’s old trading houses, which was built after the fire in 1702. Hanseatic merchants would have lived in the rooms, all unmarried, and under strict rules of celibacy when in the area. They would eat in assembly halls, much like today’s cafeterias which would be heated and separate from the living quarters. The Hanseatic Museum is the only building in the area in which the interiors of this time have been preserved. The museum features several rooms which show different aspects of life during the Hanseatic period. There is an office that would have belonged to the merchant. Here, he would have received his visitors and kept his ledger. My personal favorite was the living quarters, where you can see the beds that the traders would have slept in. Two men would have shared a bed, I assume partly because of space issues but it also likely came in handy to have the body warmth in the colder winter months. Bergen’s Hanseatic Museum is one of the most fascinating cultural museums I have ever visited. The rooms feel untouched through time and connect visitors to Bergen’s fascinating past as a trading port. I would highly recommend visiting the museum before you walk along the Bryggen Wharf. Once you have connected with the history and people of Bergen’s past, the Bryggen World Heritage Site will take on new life.
The Fish Market - Bergen
The Fish Market is located right by the Bryggen and is a nice place to window-shop or grab a bite to eat. They sell far more than just fish! Just keep in mind that this is one of the biggest tourist attractions in town and thus extremely overpriced, even by Norwegian standards. More than a dozen stalls compete for business, offering everything from king crab baguettes to lobster salads with Norwegian caviar. Sandwiches cost from NOK40 (£4) !! Like everywhere else, they accept credit cards.
Torget - Bergen
Torget Fish Market is located on the opposite side of the harbor as the Bryggen Wharf. Here you can find everything from salmon to hot pink ‘Princess’ caviar, with both fresh and prepared options available. Ethics aside for a minute, if you had a chance to try whale would you? Go down to Torget Fish Market, where you can buy a chunk for a hefty sum or taste a free sample. Honestly, it tasted like beefy bacon, and I may dream about it until the day it is in my mouth again.
Bryggen - Bergen
Bryggen is Norwegian for 'the quay' - and it happens to be listed in the UNESCO world cultural heritage sites. To me, however, its appeal is different - it has two of my favorite things - old wooden buildings (61 of them) and a fish market (popularly known as the wharf).
Haakon's Hall - Bergen
The Bergenhus Fortress looms over the entrance to Bergen’s harbor. The fortress itself dates back to the 1240s, with Haakon’s hall as it’s gem. Haakon’s Hall was the royal dining hall, a place where Kings of Norway entertained their guests up until the 19th century. Walking the room you can just imagine the parties that went on, the smells of the Norsk men, and the stories that began at it’s table.