Bergen, Norway

This was our third stop on our 2017 European Adventure titled “Fjords, Mountains, Windmills and Lakes (click here to view that trip overview page). Bergen was the end goal of our "Norway in a Nutshell" Train Tour. We started our trip from Oslo early in the morning; rode a train to Flam, rode a catamaran ferry to Gudvangen where we caught a tour bus that took us to Voss, Norway. At Voss, we caught a train into Bergen (this was all part of the “Norway in a Nutshell Tour”). Our travel to Bergen Norway from Oslo was a long but fascinating day in beautiful Norway! One that is imprinted in our brain. We were making lots of memories that day.

Bergen is a beautiful seaside town with a population of about 280k according to the World Population Review.

Is Bergen Norway worth visiting? We had no expectations when we arrived in Bergen and we were surprised by this beautiful city. As is normal in Norway the city was clean and picturesque. It has a wonderful fish market and city parks. You can take a funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for spectacular views of the city on a nice day. Review our Bergen Norway Images in the sections below to get a feel for the city.

Many people had told us (including Norwegian friends) that we should expect some "less than perfect" weather while in Norway, but that never happened. Bergen Norway weather in July was perfect with blue skies, no rain, and pleasant temperatures. Perhaps July is the best month to visit bergen norway. Our experience may vary from yours…

Interesting Bergen Facts 
  • Bergen was founded in 1070 and is situated on inlets of the North Sea.
  • It is Norway's second largest city and a major shipping center.
  • Formerly a major textile and ship-building center, the city's economy is now mainly service-based, including educational, medical, technical, insurance, financial, and retailing services. A small shipyard and ship-repair facilities remain.
  • Other manufacturing includes fish processing, steel, machinery, and electrical equipment.
  • Bergen is one of Europe's rainiest places. On average, it rains 265 days a year, making it the wettest place in Europe.

Bergen Coat of ArmsImage is the property of Heraldry of the World

Where is Bergen Norway?   Map

Click Image to view a larger map

Where is Bergen Norway on the map?

Bergen is located in the southern part of the west coast of Norway. It is 1,562 kilometers north of Amsterdam and 486 kilometers west of Oslo Norway. Click the map link above to view an interactive Bergen Norway Google map.

How to get to Bergen Norway:

You can get to Bergen easily by plane from many major cities in Europe and even direct from Newark in the USA. It’s also easily reached by train or car. As part of the Norway in a Nutshell tour we took the train from Voss.

Bergen Norway Lodging Options

We selected the Scandic Ornen Hotel during our trip research planning, because it was central to the downtown area, looked comfortable, and received many 4 star reviews as well as being reasonably priced. It opened in May 2014 and is a large hotel with 368 good sized modern rooms. We found the hotel true to the four star reviews. It was comfortable, we could walk everywhere in the city and it was right next to the train station for easy access when we arrived. The sky view bar was wonderful after a long day of traveling and we had a fascinating discussion with the bartender about living in Norway and the difference in education between Norway and the U.S.A at the college level.

Click here to perform your own search on the "Hotels in Bergen" website.

If you are looking for additional information about this hotel, click here.

The Scandic Ornen Hotel (or anywhere downtown) is easily reached from the airport via rail. The train station is near the center of downtown, and immediately adjacent to the Scandic Ornen Hotel.
Parks in Bergen Norway

There are many parks in Bergen Norway. We captured images of Byparken Park (AKA "The City Park") as we walked through it, but click here to find out more information for a complete list.

Byparken is in the center of Bergen. You'll find locals walking and playing in the park on beautiful days.It was the first public park created in 1855 after a fire changed regulations and straightened the roads in the area. The park includes a pond and music pavilion. It is a peaceful park with beautiful flowers and statues. One statue is of Edward Grieg, a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is widely considered as one of the leading Romantic era composers.

We thought of how similar Bergen is to San Francisco - Hills surrounding the town, deep harbor with the city surrounding that harbor, although much smaller and more welcoming, we think. It was a pleasant surprise!

Strandgaten - Pedestrian Shopping Center of Bergen

Strandgaten is a "pedestrian only" area, surrounded by a number of stores, shops and eateries. You will find street performers there entertaining passersby. The southern part of the street burned down in 1916 and was rebuilt between 1919 to 1936. It is full of Norway’s big name stores. Our walking route from the hotel to the Pedestrian Shopping district in the Strandgaten, took us through Byparken Park and then on to the Fish Market and eventually to the Fløibanen Station (funicular train). You can see in the map that Bergen is a very walkable city, it was only 2.7 kilometers from our hotel to the funicular.

Bergen Norway Waterfront

The Bryggen wharf area is notable for it's wooden structures lining the waterfront; it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. Bergen is Norway’s second largest seaport, and it is one of the most popular cruise destinations in Northern Europe. This seaport is one of Northern Europe's oldest port cities and was established as a centre for trade by the 12th century. In 1350 the Hanseatic League established a “Hanseatic Office” in Bergen.

Bergen Fish Market

The Fish Market in Bergen has been around since the 1200s and is an important place for trading between people living there, fishermen and farmers and, of course, tourists. In addition to the merchants on land there were also sales boats along the quay. Fishermen who lived outside the city used to row into the Fish Market to sell their catch of the day. Being seafood lovers we had to stop here for lunch for some fresh fish at a fish market restaurant. A highly recommended place for a casual seafood lunch with a view.

Funicular Line to top of Mount Fløyen

Our research of Bergen had revealed that the hill closest to the fish market area (Mount Fløyen) is served by a funicular, which was within two blocks of where the seafood area was. We decided that this would be a great way to get some elevated images of Bergen, and maybe get a bit of walking in as well.

You can see in image # 1 how the funicular tracks ascend steeply to the top station. Image # 2 is a link to a YouTube Video we took while riding to the top of the mountain. Click the image to start the video.

  

Image # 1 is the property of Rosser1954 via Wikimedia Commons and CC-BY-SA-4.0. All other images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

Funicular Line Base Station

So after walking around the fish market, we headed over to the Fløibanen Station, got our tickets and boarded the funicular to get to the top of the hill.
Because it was still early in the AM, we were able to get right onboard the funicular - later in the day when we came down from the top, the line went down the hill, all the way back to the fish market!
The top of Mount Fløyen was beautiful; covered in trails, trees everywhere, a herd of goats that were having fun with the tourists, and stunning views of Bergen below.







Mt. Fløyen Summit

The top of Mt. Fløyen is covered with this beautiful forest, with hiking trails and great views of Bergen below. The people with the tent were setup for a little longer viewing episode!

 Hiking Tips 

From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to Brushytten (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal, if you have kids. Brushytten is a kiosk usually open on Sundays. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram).

From Brushytten, you can walk up the hill to Mount Rundemanen and get a beautiful view. From Mount Rundemanen, a good choice for a not-so-long hike will be to walk to Sandviksfjellet, and from there down to Sandviken, where you can get on a bus or walk back to the city center. Another possibility is to cross the Vidden plateau and walk to Mount Ulriken, the highest mountain in Bergen, a hike which takes about five hours. You should be somewhat fit to take this trip, and also be prepared for bad weather. The trip across Vidden is among Norway's most popular hiking trips.

 The above information was extracted from Wikipedia


Even though it is possible to hike from the top of Mt. Fløyen to other mountains in the area, or even to hike back down to Bergen - We decided to remain in the general area of the funicular, and use it to return to Bergen so that we could maximize our time in the city.











Mt. Fløyen Goats & City Views

There is a herd of goats on Mt. Fløyen, placed there to keep the greenery trimmed. The goats were moved to Mt. Fløyen in 2016 and even though they do not require humans to feed them, they still gather around to see if anyone brought them a snack.

These 'cashmere goats' each have names, and their photos and names are displayed on a notice board at the back of the viewing platform. Click here to read the complete story about these goats.

You can see what a great view there is of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen. The top of Mt. Fløyen is 400 meters above sea level, enough height to provide a beautiful vista of the city, but not so high as to be uncomfortable. For comparison's sake, the majority of the city of Bergen is between two to 6 meters above sea level (6 to 18 feet), which places Mount Fløyen approximately 390 meters above the city. The summit station sits at 320 meters above sea level, so you can see that the mountain is still a bit higher than the area of the station.






Next Stop Amsterdam

We departed Bergen on KLM flight 1186 at 10:50AM and arrived in Amsterdam at 12:55PM. The route from Bergen Airport was directly over the Raunefjorden near some very pretty islands. This picture was taken as our flight was ascending after takeoff.

Some Useful Links
  • Bergen Norway Viking History:
    Comprehensive information about Bergen, including; history, demographics, etc, on the "Wikipedia" site, click here to go to the article.
  • Best History of Bergen:
    Bergen history article on the 'ESN Norway' site, click here to read the article.
  • Bergen Norway Lodging:
    Complete Google Search results list, click here to view the Search Results.
  • Fun things to do in Bergen Norway:
    Good list of things to do and see on the "Visit Norway" site, click here to read the article.
  • Fun things to do in Bergen Norway:
    Good list of things to do and see on the "Crazy Tourist" site, click here to read the article.
  • Bergen Norway Restaurants:
    Complete list via Google Search, click here to view the Search Results.
  • Bergen Norway Shopping:
    Complete list via Google Search, click here to view the Search Results.
Trip Related Pages
Trip Overview
Copenhagen, Denmark
Oslo, Norway
Norway in a Nutshell Tour
Bergen, Norway
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bruges, Belgium
Lake Hallstatt, Austria
Grindelwald, Switzerland
Susten Pass, Switzerland
Lake Como, Italy

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