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.
Bergin in Norway is a beautiful seaside town with a population of about 280k in the city 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.
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.
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.
If you are looking for additional information about this hotel, click here.
There are many parks in Bergen Norway. We captured images of Byparken Park 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 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.
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.
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.
IMAGE CREDITS: 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!
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.
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