Bergen is a city on Norway’s southwestern coast and famous as the gateway to the Fjords of Norway . It’s surrounded by mountains and fjords, including Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest. Bryggen features colorful wooden houses on the old wharf, once a center of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire. The Fløibanen Funicular goes up Fløyen Mountain for panoramic views and hiking trails.
Bergen is today Norway’s most international city, packed with history and tradition. Ever since King Olav Kyrre sailed into the charming harbor and founded the city in the year of 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all over the world. Bergen became an important European city of trade in the 13th century, as the Hansas opened one of their four offices on the wharf, making Bergen a European hub of commerce, seafaring and craftsmanship.
Eventhough it is the 2nd largest city in Norway, Bergen still has the vibe of a small town, packed with charm and urban characters. It is also famous for the constant rain so you are in luck when you visit the city and you get a sunny day.
How to get from Bergen Flesland airport to the city
- Airport Express Bus
The Airport Express bus stops at the left hand side just outside the main terminal building of the airport. The Express Bus follows a route by Fyllingsdalen and takes approximately 20 minutes to Bergen Bus Station. With a total of 6 stops in the city centre, Flybussen stops within walking distance to most hotels. After drop off in the city centre, Flybussen continues its service to Åsane.
Up to 4 children under the age of 17, travels for free with one adult paying regular adult ticket. Ticket price adult 129 NOK and can be bought at the ticket machine at the airport (in the baggage claim area), thru website with your credit card or from the driver (more expensive)
- Light Rail (Bybanen)
The Light Rail takes you all the way to and from the airport. The light rail stop is right outside the terminal. Tickets for the Light Rail can be bought using the Skyss app from your mobile phone, at the Light Rail stop, or at the ticket machine at the baggage claim area. Credit cards are accepted in all methods.
Ticket Price for Zone A (Flesland Airport to Bergen city) adult 40NOK and children 20 NOK. The journey takes 45 minutes
Taxi stops just outside the terminal building. In case of extra needs, the taxi host will gladly help you, or you can pre-book a taxi from the desired company.
Norgestaxi – phone +47 08000
Christiania Taxi – phone +47 02365
Bergen Taxi – phone +47 07000
Taxi1 – phone +47 05501
A-Taxi – phone +47 55 90 10 90
Bryggen Taxi – phone +47 55 70 80 90
Distance to center of Bryggen is 16km and the trip takes about 18 minutes on normal traffic
We took the Bybanen from and to the airport because the stop (Byparken) was only 400m flat surface to our Hotel in Torget, it was the cheapest option out of the three and we were not in a hurry.
What to do in Bergen
Today Bryggen is a reminder of the city’s importance as a part of the Hanseatic League, and has a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. A stroll through the back streets of Bryggen brings you back to the Middle Ages, as a lot of the architecture is preserved or rebuilt as it was built. Several museums, like the Hanseatic Museum, Bryggens Museum and the Theta Museum provides a deeper sense of the history of Bryggen, what is has meant for the people of Bergen and Norway as a nation.
With Bergen known in Norway as the city of the seven mountains, it is only natural that you would want to visit one of them. By far the most easily accessible is Fløyen, which is close to the city centre. It’s connected to the town by a funicular, Fløibanen, that will take you to the top in less than eight minutes. Once at the top, you are free to enjoy spectacular views of Bergen and the surrounding landscape. Take Fløibanen back down, enjoy a leisurely walk down the mountainside, or go on a hike further into the mountains.
Price round trip: Adult 150NOK Children (4-15yo) 75NOK. Ticket can be bought at the website, their apps or at the ticket machine at every station to the Floibanen funicular
Monday- Friday 07:30 to 23:00 . Saturday-Sunday: 09:00 to 23:00
April + October – December: Saturday – Sunday 09:00 to 23:00
May – September : Saturday – Sunday 08:00 to 23:00
There are plenty activities to do at the top of Mt Floyen: several hike trail, playground for the children, snowshoeing when there is enough snow, mountain bike and you can also meet their cashmere mountain goats.
Bergen Fish Market
Because of the country’s extensive coastline, traditional sea industries have been extremely important to Norway’s economy and cultural life throughout the centuries. With the busiest seaport in the country, it is only natural that Bergen is the go-to place for fish and other seafood. Take a trip to the outdoor Fish Market in the middle of the city centre to experience the lively atmosphere and the colorful selection of treasures of the sea. One of Norway’s most-visited outdoor attractions, the Fish Market offers an abundance of fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables and hand-made crafts for you to buy, see and taste.
Built around 1240, Bergenhus Fortress is one of the best-preserved Medieval buildings in all of Norway. Functioning as the royal palace when Bergen was still the capital of Norway, until about 1300, the Fortress contains some of the best-preserved secular buildings in the country, including Haakon’s Hall and the Rosenkrantz Tower. Today, these are open to the public and used as venues for concerts and official banquets. Visit Bergenhus Fortress to see some of the sites that witnessed the foundations of the Norwegian state and its rulers, and follow them from the Viking Age until today.
There is a reason Bergen is called the gateway of Fjords in Norway. There are several cruise companies stationed in the city, eager to show you the wonders of the famous Norwegian landscape: see here. One of the most spectacular offers for people interested in a more extensive voyage is Hurtigruten. This cruise sets off from Bergen daily and travels all the way along the Norwegian coast to its northernmost point. There are also simpler day trips, like those connecting Bergen to the nearby Sognefjorden, the longest of fjord in Norway; to Baroniet Rosendal, the smallest castle in the country; or to the surrounding fjords and mountains for a sightseeing trip. The legendary Norway in a nutshell tour combining Flamsbana railway and nærøyfjord cruise also start/end in Bergen. Instead of buying the tour you can also do it yourself here.
Old Bergen Museum
In the 19th century, Bergen was one of the largest cities in Europe to consist of wooden buildings; it has therefore been susceptible to major fires. To preserve the memories of a city that changed rapidly, the Bergen City Museum was established. Walk along constructed streets, with authentic buildings on either side, and experience the distinct atmosphere of the old city streets. Through shops, workshops, details, ornaments and objects, history is brought back to life in its original setting
If you are into music and art, KODE is one of the largest museums for art, design and music in the Nordic region, mainly due to its collection of artists’ homes, and external buildings in addition to its central buildings in the middle of the Bergen city centre. These buildings house temporary displays of the works of contemporary artists, as well as extensive permanent collections containing works by Edvard Munch, JC Dahl, Nikolai Astrup and others. Visit KODE’s main buildings and experience a truly diverse display of art and culture.
Fantoft Stave Church
One of the unique expressions of the Norwegian national heritage can be seen in the careful ornamentation of the stave churches, ranging from simple, spartan constructions to the dizzyingly complex. Fantoft Stave Church was built in 1150 but was completely destroyed in a fire in 1992 – the suspected work of notorious musician and convicted arsonist and murderer Varg Vikernes. The church, as it exists today, is, therefore, a reconstruction but is still very much a spectacular example of early Norwegian art, design and heritage.
Take a late afternoon stroll from Festplassen to Opera
Festplasen is located in the city center, close to the harbour and the fishmarket. It is an open space by the lake, with beautiful views to the surrounding mountains. There’s also a small green park around it, that’s quite charming. Festplassen continues up the hill into Byparken, another sweet little park – and all the way up to the Bergen opera. There are Lots of cafes and restaurants along the way, too. Bergen is said t be at best in the month of May where all the cherry blossom in Festplassen and Byparken will bloom.
We only had 1.5 days in Bergen and we wanted to spend one full day doing Flamsbana Railway and Naerofjord Cruise. With only half a day and seeing the weather was sunny on the day we landed in Bergen, we wanted to go to Mt Floyen. However the funicular was closed for maintenance when we were there and we were too lazy to hike for one hour so we ended up strolling around fish market, Bryggen and walked up to Bergenhuss Fortress. There was a trail in the fortress that took us up to the hill where we can see Bergen from the top.
Where to stay
Hotel in Bryggen area: Radison Blu Royal Hotel : They have family room and connecting room for family stay , Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret :Have family room. Fika and dinner included, Thon Hotel Orion: Have standard room triple/family, Clarion Hotel Bergen: Have family room, Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz: have standard room triple/family
Hotel in Torget/Fish market: Scandic Torget Hotel: Have standard quadruple room/Family Room, Clarion Hotel Admiral: have family room, Augustin Hotel : have family room, Bergen Bors Hotel: only Suite room for 1-4 people
We stayed in Scandic Torget Hotel for our 3 days in Bergen. We chose the Hotel because of its proximity to fish market and Bryggen, only 400m from Byparken light rail stop, they have family room and the highlight is their view of Bryggen from the harbour. What I don’t like is the size of the family room. It was too cramped for the four of us. I have stayed in family room in Radison Blu Hotel airport and Scandic Lofoten Leknes, their family room was much more spacious. I still think it is one of the best Hotel in Bergen to stay at but next time I will ask for double room with connecting door. Their staff are nice and helpful and the breakfast choice is excellent.
Here’s video recap of our day in Bergen