Before you read this blog ask yourself three questions.
1. Would you like to see beautiful snow covered mountains?
2. Do you want to hike through breathtaking, bright green, landscapes?
3. Would you like to stay is a seaside city with water so clean you can see your reflection?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then Bergen is a place you must visit! But, before we get into visiting Bergen let’s talk about how to get there.
Getting to Bergen…
The Bergen Railway
Of course you can fly or drive, but the most scenic way to get to Bergen is via The Bergen Railway. The Bergen Railway runs between Oslo and Bergen and is the highest mainline train ride in Europe.
The journey takes about 7 1/2 hours and covers about 300 miles, but along the way you will view some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery including frozen lakes, snow covered mountains, and grassy plains. It is no surprise that The Bergen Railway has been called one of the most beautiful train rides in the world!
The train is very clean, the seats are comfortable and there is a cafe with a variety of food and drinks.
Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before your journey and don’t bury your head in a book, because every second of this ride could be a postcard picture. I promise if you take the Bergen Railway to Bergen you won’t regret it!
What to do in Bergen…
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and known for being the gateway to the Fjords. It is also the rainiest city in Europe so make sure you grab an umbrella before you head out to explore.
Bryggen is a must-see during your stay in Bergen. Not only is it the most famous site in Bergen, but also has been on the UNESCO World Heritage site list since 1979. Bryggen has been a place of trade for thousands of years and consists of a series of brightly colored Hanseatic cultural buildings that were originally built when the Germans dominated the area.
These buildings are made of wood and in 1702 many were lost in a fire. Lucky for us, Bryggen is always rebuilt on its original foundations that date back to the 12th century, and architects follow old patterns and methods, so what you view today is what the town looked like centuries ago. Today, Bryggen has many shops, restaurants and cafes. It is a lovely place for an afternoon stroll.
The Fisketorget, Bergen’s Fish Market, has been providing the people of Bergen with fresh seafood since 1276! With its vast selection of seafood and shellfish it’s no wonder it is one of Norway’s most visited outdoor markets. You won’t find seafood fresher than it is here so I highly recommend stopping by!
Lille Lungegårdsvannet is a park in the center of town that is absolutely breathtaking. If you get lucky enough to be in Bergen on a sunny day it’s a wonderful place to take photos or enjoy a picnic!
Take Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen!
View from the top of Mount Floyen
The funicular railway is one of Norway’s most famous attractions. To ride the funicular railway go to the city center and buy a ticket. The trip is about 8 minutes long and takes you the top of Mount Floyen. On your journey you can see all of Bergen and the view is magnificent. At the top there is a restaurant, souvenir shop and hiking trails. The Fløibanen funicular runs daily from the early morning until 11pm. The next time we go I want to see the city at night!
Seven mountains surround Bergen, which means there are incredible hiking trails all around the city.
I know I mentioned you can hike at the top of Mt. Floyen but another option is to take the Ariel tram to the top of the highest mountain in Bergan, Mt. Ulriken. While a popular hiking area, it is strenuous so bring plenty of water. Be prepared for stunning views and don’t be surprised if you run into sheep along the way!
Where to dine in Bergen…
There are tons of great dining options but here are some of our favorites!
Bryggen Tracteursted is located in the heart of Bryggen and is the oldest restaurant in Bergen. The building itself dates back to 1708 and it’s really fun to eat in such a unique location. (My husband kept singing the Game of Thrones song while we ate…) This restaurant serves traditional and Hanseatic cuisine and has a nice selection of beers. Try the reindeer steak!
Enhjørningen, also known as the Unicorn restaurant, opened in 1983 and Norwegian seafood is the focus. The restaurant is located in the wharf and has a view of the waterfront. The building it is housed in has been restored to its condition in the 18th century. Be prepared to step back in time and make sure to try the fish soup!
Cornelius is actually just outside of Bergen but is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in Norway. It is located right on the water on a small island and a boat is required to get there. You can catch the boat from the Bryggen Wharf and the ride takes about 25 minutes. The restaurant features 3-course or 5-course menus and while a bit pricey compared to some of the other restaurants in town the food is well worth it. Enjoy!
De Stefano is a small Italian restaurant with delicious salads, pizza and pasta! The prices are affordable compared to many other restaurants and if you need a break from seafood this is a great option.
Altona Vin Bar and restaurant is a 400-year-old tavern located in the Augustin Hotel. The menu offers a selection of meals made with products from west Norway. Try the Suertes del Marqués, 7 Fuentes Red, 2013 if you like peppery wine. It’s delicious!
The best way to end your day!
The best way to end any day in Bergen is with a stroll along the Harbor as the sunsets, which can be as late as 11pm in the summer! Be sure to watch it at least one night because the colors in the sky are beautiful and sometimes you may just catch a rainbow!
Have fun in Bergen! Our next post will talk about the famous, “Norway in the Nutshell Tour,” you can start from this amazing city!
Lindsay & Christopher