13 Best Things To do in Bergen 2024

Bergen is a city that has it all: stunning nature, rich culture, and exciting urban life. Whether you’re looking for adventure, history, or relaxation, you’ll find something to suit your taste in this beautiful Norwegian city. Table of Contents Show 1 1. Explore the World Heritage Site of Bryggen 2 2. Experience the Magic of…

13 Best Things To do in Bergen

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Bergen is a city that has it all: stunning nature, rich culture, and exciting urban life. Whether you’re looking for adventure, history, or relaxation, you’ll find something to suit your taste in this beautiful Norwegian city.

Here are 13 of the best things to do in Bergen that will make your trip unforgettable.

1. Explore the World Heritage Site of Bryggen

Explore the World Heritage Site of Bryggen
View of Bryggen in the beautiful city of Bergen

If you want to step back in time and experience the history of Bergen, you can’t miss a visit to Bryggen, the city’s old wharf.

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This is where Bergen was founded in 1070 as a trading center for stockfish, a type of dried fish that was highly valued in Europe.

Bryggen was also the headquarters of the Hanseatic League, a powerful alliance of merchants that dominated the trade in Northern Europe from the 14th to the 16th century.

  • Bryggen is a stunning sight, with its colorful wooden houses lined up along the harbour.
  • These houses are more than 300 years old, as they were rebuilt after a fire in 1702 that destroyed most of the original buildings.
  • However, they still follow the same medieval patterns and methods, preserving the ancient urban structure that was once common in Northern Europe.
  • You can walk along the narrow alleys and passages between the houses and imagine how the German merchants lived and worked here.

Bryggen is not only a beautiful place to see, but also a cultural treasure that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.

It contains several museums that tell the story of Bryggen and its people, such as:

  • The Hanseatic Museum
  • The Bryggens Museum
  • The Theta Museum

You can also find many shops, restaurants, and pubs that offer local products and specialties. Bryggen is a place where you can enjoy both the past and the present of Bergen.

Pro Tip: Join a free walking tour of Bryggen to learn more about the history and heritage of this fascinating UNESCO site from a local guide.

📍Location

2. Experience the Magic of the Fjords

Experience the Magic of the Fjords
The enchanting beauty of the Fjords

One of the main reasons to visit Norway is to witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the fjords.

These are long and narrow inlets of water with steep cliffs, formed by glacial movement over millions of years.

Norway has over 1,000 fjords along its coast, and some of them are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The most famous fjords are:

  • Sognefjorden – The longest (204 km) and deepest (1,308 m)
  • Geirangerfjorden – Captivating nature and waterfalls
  • Nærøyfjorden – Dramatic scenery, part of UNESCO site
  • Hardangerfjorden – Orchards and blooming fruit trees
  • Nordfjord – Less touristy, great for adventure
  • Lysefjorden – Iconic cliffs and Pulpit Rock

You can experience the magic of the fjords in many ways:

 

Tours & Things to do hand-picked by our insiders

 

  • Fjord tours and cruises
  • Driving scenic routes along the fjords
  • Hiking, biking, skiing or kayaking
  • Visiting fjordside villages, farms, churches

The fjords offer stunning scenery, adventures, local food, and insights into Norwegian history and traditions. They are an iconic part of any trip to Norway.

Some of the most popular fjord experiences from Bergen include:

  • Fjord cruises
  • Norway in a Nutshell tour
  • High speed RIB safari
  • Sea kayaking tours
  • Private fjord tours

Don’t miss the chance to experience the enchanting magic of Norway’s famous fjords on your trip to Bergen and beyond.

📍Location

3. Enjoy the Vibrant Music Scene

Enjoy the Vibrant Music Scene
Captivating melodies resonate through the stunning streets of Bergen

Bergen is not only a city of natural beauty, but also a city of music. Known as the birthplace of famous composer Edvard Grieg, Bergen has a long and rich musical history that spans from classical to contemporary genres.

Today, Bergen is home to many successful artists and bands, such as Kygo, Aurora, and Röyksopp, who have put the city on the global music map.

You can enjoy the vibrant music scene in Bergen in many ways:

  • Catch live performances at venues like Grieghallen, USF Verftet, or Bergenhus Fortress, where you can listen to everything from jazz to rock to electronic music.
  • Attend one of the many music festivals that take place in Bergen throughout the year, such as Bergenfest, Nattjazz, or Bergen International Festival. These festivals feature diverse artists and genres.
  • Discover new and emerging talents, like Young Dreams, Razika, and Verdensrommet.
  • Explore the underground scene and find DJs and producers pushing the boundaries of sound and style.

In this musical city, you’ll find something to suit any musical taste – don’t miss it!

4. Ride the Fløibanen Funicular up Mount Fløyen

Best Things To do in Bergen
- Ride the Fløibanen Funicular up Mount Fløyen
Ascenic journey up the Fløibanen Funicular with breathtaking views

One of the best ways to enjoy panoramic views of Bergen and its surroundings is to take a ride on the Fløibanen funicular up to Mount Fløyen.

This is one of Norway’s most popular attractions, offering a unique and exciting experience for visitors of all ages.

  • The Fløibanen funicular is a cable railway that runs from the city center to the top of Mount Fløyen, 320 meters above sea level.
  • The 5-8 minute journey has amazing scenery along the way.
  • The funicular was built in 1918 and upgraded for its 100th anniversary in 2018.
  • It has two carriages that transport 1200 people per hour.

At the top of Mount Fløyen, you will be greeted by stunning 360° views of Bergen, the harbor, the fjords, and the surrounding mountains.

There are many fun attractions and activities at the summit:

  • Playground, trails, and sport facilities at Fløyen Aktiv
  • Shops and restaurants like Fløistuen Shop
  • Fløyen Turlag guided hiking tours
  • Goat farm where you can pet and feed the animals
  • Skomakerdiket Lake for canoeing and paddle boats

Riding up Fløyen mountain is an iconic Bergen experience not to miss! Or hike up and take the funicular down to admire Bergen’s beauty from above.

📍Location

5. Taste Bergen’s History at the Fish Market

Best Things To do in Bergen
- Taste Bergen’s History at the Fish Market
Fresh catches await at Bergen’s lively fish market

If you want to experience the authentic flavor of Bergen, visit the bustling Fish Market located in the heart of the city near the harbor.

This is where local fishermen and merchants have converged to sell their fresh catch and products since the 1200s.

At Bergen Fish Market you will find:

  • A wide variety of the freshest seafood like salmon, cod, herring, mackerel, crab, lobster
  • Locally harvested fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats
  • Traditional dishes like fish soup, smoked salmon, fish cakes
  • Trendy restaurants, cafes and bars

The Fish Market is a great place to taste Bergen’s history and culture. You can:

  • Sample delicious local specialties prepared just as they were centuries ago
  • Watch the busy harbor activity – seeing fish mongers at work preparing the catch
  • Soak in the atmosphere and admire the scenic views of the fjord and mountains
  • Visit the indoor Fish Market open year-round for more shops and eateries

The Fish Market is one of Bergen’s can’t miss attractions! Come hungry to savor the city’s rich culinary heritage in a unique waterfront setting steeped in tradition.

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6. Get to know Grieg at Troldhaugen

Best Things To do in Bergen
 -Get to know Grieg at Troldhaugen
Enchanting and picturesque pathway of Troldhaugen

If you are a fan of classical music, visit Troldhaugen – the cherished home of Norway’s famous composer Edvard Grieg located on a picturesque lake just outside Bergen.

Here you can gain intimate insight into Grieg’s music and life in an incredibly scenic setting he adored.

  • Tour the villa he called his “best opus yet”, preserved with original furnishings
  • See his compositions scribbled on the desk of his rustic Composer’s Hut lakeside
  • Visit the Grieg family’s final resting place inside a solemn rock tomb
  • Attend a concert surrounded by nature at the modern 200 seat Troldsalen hall on site

Troldhaugen provides a personal, meaningful way to understand Grieg’s passion and legacy. It’s a highlight of any trip to Bergen – don’t miss this chance to visit one of Norway’s most inspiring cultural landmarks!

Good to know: Troldhaugen is located a short bus ride outside Bergen’s city center. It’s open daily May-September from 9am-6pm and in the winter from 10am-4pm. Entry tickets cost NOK 100-200.

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7. See Amazing Art at the KODE Museums

Best Things To do in Bergen
- See Amazing Art at the KODE Museums
Iconic art pieces in Kode Museum

Art lovers visiting Bergen absolutely must see the KODE art museum, one of Norway’s premier cultural institutions.

Housed in four stunning buildings near tranquil Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake downtown, the KODE presents over 50,000 works spanning 5 centuries and an array of mediums.

Highlights of KODE’s expansive galleries include:

  • Edvard Munch collection – see his iconic “Scream” & masterpieces
  • Golden Age works showcasing Norway’s renowned landscape painters
  • Rasmus Meyer’s collection boasting art by Harriet Backer & more
  • Exquisite architecture adorned with art nouveau flourishes
  • Changing contemporary exhibits & special events

KODE is a must-see for art admirers to encounter Norway’s vibrant creative scene. Wander through inspiration at this world-class cultural hub housing some of Norway’s most precious art treasures.

Good to know: KODE ticket packages allow access to all the museums. Open 11am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays.

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8. Journey Back in Time at Old Bergen Museum

Go back in time at the Old Bergen Museum
Stepping into the past at Old Bergen Museum #TimeTravelTuesday

The charming Old Bergen open-air museum lets you discover over 400 years of Bergen history spanning the 18th to 20th century.

This living history village located in a beautiful coastal setting recreates vintage Bergen with 55 painstakingly preserved wooden houses originating from the once thriving city center.

At Old Bergen you can:

  • Peek inside merchant, fishermen & artisan homes reflecting various walks of life
  • See period rooms outfitted with authentic artifacts & furnishings
  • Meet colorful costumed characters bringing Bergen’s past inhabitants to life
  • Experience old-time activities like baking, fishing, and craftmaking
  • Enjoy special events & reenactments transporting you back through time

This richly detailed glimpse into historic Bergen is great for all ages. Come see the wooden architecture Bergen was famed for at the incredible Old Bergen museum village!

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9. Take a Hike on Mount Ulriken

Best Things To do in Bergen
- Take a Hike on Mount Ulriken
Embracing the breathtaking views on Mount Ulriken #NatureNirvana

For awe inspiring panoramas and a rewarding trek, hike up the tallest of Bergen’s 7 mountains – Mount Ulriken towering 643 meters over the city with magnificent vantage points.

There are a few routes up Ulriken catering to different skill levels:

Easiest:

  • Take bus 12 to Montana stop
  • Climb the steep “Sherpa Steps” to the top in around an hour

More Scenic:

  • Begin at Ulriken Cable Car station
  • Hike gravel roads and trails first, joining Sherpa Steps later
  • Take cable car down

Longer Hike:

  • Follow the “Skiveien” – an old ski slope trail
  • Pretty forests and streams with great valley views
  • Takes around 2 hours up

At the summit you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views across stunning landscapes. The sleek mountain top restaurant and cafe provide refreshments and shelter from changeable weather.

The hike up Mount Ulriken makes for an invigorating mini-adventure with magnificent rewards when you reach the top!

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10. Visit St John’s Church

Visit St John’s Church
Location of Patrick Henry’s “give me liberty, or give me death” speech

Looming large above Bergen with its striking red brick facade and towering 61 meter high spire is the majestic St. John’s Church – the city’s largest house of worship.

This imposing cathedral in the Sydnes district was built between 1891-1894 in the Gothic Revival style. Marvel at features including:

  • Intricate stained glass windows with Biblical themes
  • Colorful ceiling frescoes depicting the liturgical year
  • An enormous pipe organ with 2500 pipes & 36 stops
  • Soaring rib vaults & buttresses reinforcing massive walls

St. John’s grand interior provides a meditative respite from bustling Bergen. Gaze in wonder at the dazzling church named after the city’s patron saint, appreciating the immense efforts it took to construct this enduring architectural gem.

📍Location

11. Bergen Fjord Experience Aboard Viking-style Ship

Best Things To do in Bergen
 Bergen Fjord Experience Aboard Viking-style Ship
Sailing through enchanting fjords on a Viking-inspired ship

Experience Bergen’s heritage to the fullest with a fjord sailing tour aboard a dramatic replica Viking longship!

The 90 minute Bergen Fjord Sailing Adventure begins at Bryggen harbor where you’ll board the Storskarven ship operated by Vikingskipet.

Feel like a sea warrior of yore when the square sail is raised as you sit alongside the friendly crew dressed in traditional garb. Learn about Viking lore and Bergen sights like Bergenhus Fortress drifting by as you meander through the sapphire waters of Byfjorden.

The ship motors too offering steadier faster sailing. You can take hands hoisting lines or just sit back snapping photos of Norway’s stunning islands and mountains from this special vantage point.

Coffee, tea and light snacks are provided on board to sustain you during the voyage. You’re welcome to bring additional food and drinks if desired.

This one-of-a-kind sailing trip lets you embrace Bergen’s seafaring background while taking in incredible views of the fjords and surroundings. It’s an easy breezy way to admire the city and its history from offshore that visitors of all ages love.

So what are you waiting for? Get ready to hop on a Viking-style ship for the Bergen Fjord Experience! It’s all about getting up close with Norway’s nature and heritage, but in a totally interactive and legit way.

Book Now!

12. Take a Walk with a Witch through History

Best Things To do in Bergen
- Walk with a Witch in 16th Century Bergen
Unleashing my inner Viking at the historical Fantoft Stave Church

For an immersive journey back to one of Bergen’s darker eras, join the self-guided “Walk with a Witch” audio tour.

You’ll retrace the tragic final footsteps of Anne Pedersdotter, an alleged witch burned at the stake in Bergen in 1590 amidst the flurry of witch trials sweeping Europe.

As Anne’s dramatic story unfolds, you’ll explore Bergen’s historic landmarks central to her tale, like:

  • The UNESCO Bryggen district where she once walked
  • The haunted St. Mary’s Church where her fate was sealed
  • Sinister spots where witches were thought to gather

Let the ambient soundtrack of whispers, screams and crackling fire transport you back to the frenzied witch hunt era as you view the sights through the eyes of the condemned.

This darkly intriguing walking tour lasts around 70 minutes. Download the VoiceMap app and audio file before embarking on Anne’s chilling final journey through the historic alleys of Bergen.

It’s an evocative urban trek ideal for the bold traveler craving an unconventional sightseeing experience beyond the usual tourist trails. Allow the tragic drama of Anne Pedersdotter’s last footsteps to vividly bring history to life during your Bergen visit!

Book Now!

13. Devour Bergen Flavors on a Food Tour

Best Things To do in Bergen
- Food and Culture walk Bergen
Immersing in the flavors and traditions of Bergen’s culinary scene

One of the best ways to savor Bergen’s dynamic culinary scene is by joining an expert local food guide for tasty discoveries in the historic heart of the city.

On a 3 hour walking Bergen Food Tour, you’ll uncover food gems like:

  • Fresh & flavorful seafood bites at the lively Fish Market
  • Iconic Norwegian specialties such as:
    • Brunost – sweet brown cheese
    • Fårikål – lamb & cabbage stew
    • Lefse – soft flatbread
    • Krumkake – rolled waffle cookie
  • Innovative cuisine fusing global influences
  • Sweet treats like chocolates, berries, pastries

Between noshing on local delights, you’ll learn all about Bergen’strading legacy, architecture, culture and daily life. It’s a vibrant deep dive into Bergen’s food, history and people.

Hungry travelers shouldn’t leave without experiencing Bergen from this delicious perspective! Check available tour times and book your spot.

Good to know: The Fish Market is open daily but the best time to visit is first thing in the morning when fishermen arrive with their overnight hauls.

If you wanna have a blast in Bergen, try out the food and culture walk. It’s the coolest way to see this place! You’ll totally dig exploring all the tasty treats and interesting tales it has to offer. Go ahead and book your tour now. Trust me, you won’t be sorry!

Final Words

Bergen is a city that offers something for everyone, whether you’re into history, culture, nature, or adventure. You can explore the colorful and historic Bryggen district, where you can learn about the Hanseatic League and visit the museums and galleries. You can also enjoy the fresh seafood and local delicacies at the Torget Fish Market, or join a food and culture walk to taste and hear more about Bergen’s cuisine.

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