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A Weekend in Beautiful Bergen, Norway

The seaside city of Bergen, Norway, is about as cute as it gets

The hills, fjords, and harbor of Bergen, Norway, make it the ideal destination for a weekend in this beautiful country. Bergen exudes so much charm and small-town feel, you’d never know it’s actually Norway’s second largest city. For many visitors, a sunny day in Bergen is like a unicorn, but we lucked out and had fantastic weather for most of our time here which allowed us to explore all the great things to do in Bergen. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

Things to do in Bergen

Visiting the fish market is one of the most popular things to do in Bergen, Norway

Visit the fish market

Of course, given our obsession with markets, Bergen’s bustling fish market was our first stop. From king crab to live lobster to fish and chips, you can find almost anything seafood-related in this harbor-side space.

One of the delicious options at the fish market in Bergen, Norway

In the off-season, head inside to wander the displays of edible treats and have a sit-down meal at one of the eateries. Grab a seat by the giant window (and a blanket) and watch the activity outside. In the warmer months, visit the vendors outside and try all the fresh, free samples you can get your hands on.

Fantoft Stave Church is located just outside the city center of Bergen, Norway

Make a pilgrimage to the stave church

We have always been fascinated by the intricate, multi-layered stave churches of Norway. When we saw that one of these masterpieces was only about 20 minutes from Bergen’s center, it was a no-brainer to visit.

Originally built in Sognefjord around 1150, the Fantoft Church was moved to Bergen in 1883. Sadly, arsonists burned it to the ground in 1992, so what you see now is a re-creation, along with a cross that dates from the 11th century. Even though the current structure is a reconstruction, it’s still a remarkable example of Norwegian design and heritage.

Bergen, Norway, as seen from the top of the city's funicular

Have fun on the funicular

Taking the funicular up Mount Floyen is one of the best things to do in Bergen. A quick 8-minute ride takes you up the mountain for fantastic views above the city. On a clear day, it feels like you can see forever.

From the top of the funicular, you’ll watch the activity in Bergen’s harbor and along the waterfront. You’ll see the ferries leaving on their fjord cruises. When you’re done gazing at the city below, you can visit the troll in front of the forest or grab a snack at the café.

Taking a cable car to the top of Mount Floyen is one of the most fun things to do in Bergen, Norway

See the city from Mount Ulriken

Riding the cable car to the top of Mount Ulriken is similar to the experience on Bergen’s funicular but provides an altogether different view. At 643 meters high, Mount Ulriken is the highest of the seven mountains that surround Bergen. From the top, you can see not only Bergen’s cute harbor but the whole city and suburbs and islands stretching out for miles. There are even free telescopes at the top if you want a closer look.

Bryggen, the UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit stop in Bergen, Norway

Visit colorful Bryggen

We were captivated by Bryggen before we ever set foot in Bergen, and finally seeing the UNESCO World Heritage site in person did not disappoint. Bryggen is the oldest—and possibly most colorful—section of the city, with footprints dating back to the 1200s. The current 58 buildings date from after a fire that devastated the city in 1702.

Bryggen is home to a series of workshops and stores

From the front, you would never know that these narrow buildings lead to a maze that includes workshops, specialty stores, boutiques, and more. It’s easy to lose yourself in the history, architecture, and shopping here.

Sausage is an affordable, filling meal in Bergen, Norway

Stop for a sausage

Like the famous hot dog spot in Reykjavik, Trekroneren is a bit of an institution in Bergen. For over 70 years, this kiosk in the city center has been serving fabulous sausages to people at all hours of the day (it’s open until 4am on weekends). Its longevity should tell you something about how good it is.

The selection ranges from traditional frankfurters and bratwurst to wild game sausage. We opted for the reindeer (because, Norway) and currywurst varieties topped with curry sauce and raw onions. Our breath probably wasn’t very good, but the sausages certainly were. So good, in fact, that we went back twice. You can’t beat an $8 meal in Norway.

It's easy to take a fjord tour from Berge, Norway

Take a tour of the stunning fjords

Surrounded by fjords, Bergen is the perfect place to catch a ferry to explore the natural wonders of Norway. Several cruise companies leave from the center of Bergen. From here, you can visit the beautiful Sognefjord, head to Baroniet Rosendal—the smallest castle in the country—or start the famous Norway in a Nutshell train and fjord journey.

The Leprosy Museum in Bergen, Norway

Visit the unexpected leprosy museum

Bergen once had the largest concentration of people with leprosy in Europe and was home to three hospitals for leprosy patients. St. George’s Hospital which once cared for lepers is now a museum about the disease, its sufferers, and its treatment, pioneered by Dr. Gerhard Armauer Hansen in Bergen. Exhibits detail Norway’s contributions to leprosy research, including the work of Dr. Hansen, who discovered the leprosy bacterium and gave his name to the modern name for leprosy.

Great street art murals exist throughout Bergen, Norway

Enjoy the street art

Bergen is a very walkable city, and there’s lots to see everywhere you look. Among the shops and cafes and historic buildings, there are works of art on many blank walls throughout the city. We found murals big and small all over the city, but there’s a great collection in the streets near the Leprosy Museum.

Visit Bergen provided a Bergen Card for us to enjoy some of the city’s sights. All opinions are our own.


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What do you think about A Weekend in Beautiful Bergen, Norway?

  1. Anne McKinnell May 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

    Hi from a fellow travel addict 🙂 I loved this post! Norway has been on my radar for awhile, but you just made it bump up a few spots. Those shrimp look amazing.

    • Laura Longwell May 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm #

      Norway is probably in the top 3 of our favorite trips ever. Highly recommended!

  2. maadziak May 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Oh! I have been in Bergen too but the weather was not that nice 🙂 Norway is beautiful and you can find some wild places where you can rest and enjoy the nature 🙂 I love it

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