If you go to visit Norway then Bergen will be on your list because it is the second largest city in that country and the so-called «Capital of the fjords». Thus, from Bergen the cruises that are in charge of touring these magnificent landscapes of high mountains and icy waters depart.
Bergen is on the southwestern coast of the country, in a beautiful valley surrounded by seven mountains, and within half a century it will celebrate its first thousand years of existence. Despite being an important city, it preserves a certain rhythm or a certain village atmosphere and thus, it is a wonderful tourist conjunction.
The city was founded in 1070 so it is over 900 years old. It had a hectic life as a port because it was not saved from pirates, plagues or fires. The last really destructive fire was suffered in 1916. Then came the German occupation and the Allied bombings.
Undoubtedly, despite its history or perhaps because of it, Bergen is a beautiful city. The old town It is on the northern part, a site where the old wooden houses so typical of the XNUMXth century are, its cathedral and ancient churches or the medieval fortress. The area known as Nygardshoyden It is also popular for its XNUMXth century buildings, so it is basically a city that, due to its hectic history, combines different architectural styles.
Is Bergen a very cold city? Not so much, thanks to the Gulf Stream it is rather temperate, although it rains a lot. Let's say its climate is similar to Scotland. Is it easy to get here? Sure, it is accessible from anywhere in the world. You can arrive by plane or ferry from Denmark, for example, or by train from Oslo. If you arrive in the city by plane there are many ways to link the airport with the center.
You can opt for the Airport Bus or the light rail, the Bybannen, or the taxis. The train is the cheapest option and only takes 45 minutes at a cost of NOK 38 per adult. If you also already have the Bergen Card, the tourist discount card, you can now travel for free. If you take the Airport Bus or Flybussem with the same card you have a 20% discount, paying NOK 30 on board. This bus has several stops in the center.
There is much to see but doing a synthesis if it is your first time you must not miss Bryggen, the Floibanen Funicular, the Aquarium and the Fish Market. Bryggen is a World Heritage Site and is the historical part of the city.
Today Bryggen's houses and buildings have been converted into workshops, art galleries and restaurants. Since the founding of Bergen these streets have been the heart of commerce so it is a good walk, full of picturesque alleys where you can see and buy clothes, drawings, paintings, crafts or jewelry. Also here is the Bergenhus fortress and Fishing Market, as well as dozens of restaurants and cafes.
During the summer months the city offers the shuttle bus service what part of Hanseatic Museum and Schotstuene towards the Norwegian Fishing Museum. The first museum tells us the story of the merchants who operated in Bergen for four centuries. For fear of fires, neither heating nor lighting were allowed to shopkeepers, so there was a communal hall with a kitchen and they met here in winter.
Afterwards, the museum related to fishing tells us about the coastal view and the sea. It works in a real warehouse in the harbor in the old part of Bergen and is packed with information about the fishing activity. Now, regarding the entrance to these museums, the same ticket includes the entrance to the three museums and can be purchased online. This bus departs from the Bergen Tourist Office: the first stop is at Schotstuene, via Stranskaien, Strandgaten, Torget and the Floibanen funicular.
From Schotstuene continue to the Norwegian Fisheries Museum and then return to the starting point. This service departs every half hour and is free. Between May and September the first time is 10:15 am and the last at 5 pm. In June, July and August the first time is the same and the last one is at 6 pm.
Another colorful and fun attraction is the Floibanen funicular that climbs Mount Floyen. From the top the views are great as it is 320 meters high. The funicular is picturesque, with traditional wagons that worked a century ago. The starting point is the heart of downtown Bergen and the top is just a six-minute drive away. The city views, the mountains and the fjord are great.
Upstairs there is a small bakery with a cafeteria and gift shop so you can always sit for a while and enjoy the moment. If you go with children, there is a small park called Bosque de los Trolls and a lake for pedaling canoes. You walk in ten minutes to the shore of the lake where there is also another cafeteria. In summer it is beautiful and if you like to walk Up the mountain there are many trails that take you to other wonderful vantage points.
You can even walk Mount Floyehn to Mount Ulriken. The route is called Vidden and it is one of the most popular walks. Of course, it is five hours of walking. If you have the Bergen Card, the funicular is free from October and with a 50% discount between May and September. The regular price per adult is NOK 100.
Another popular destination is the Edvard Grieg Museum, just outside the center. This man was a famous composer and the house remains as it was in 1907. If you go in summer you can eat and enjoy a concert. These concerts are very popular so if you are interested you have to buy them online fast. To visit more museums, but about art you can know the KODE. There is also the Bergen Cultural History Museum, Theta Museum, Hakon Hall, Rozenkrats Tower and Iglesia de Santa Maria, as places full of history and culture.
Last but not least, there is the Old Bergen open-air museum and with a collection of 40 traditional wooden houses, typical of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There is everything from a bakery and barbershop to a dentist to private homes. And in summer there are actors who reproduce the daily life of "old Bergen".
La Bergen card It is the recommended tourist card if you are going to stay a few days and want to visit and get to know the city. There are three versions:
- Bergen card 24 hours: NOK 280/100
- Bergen card 48 hours: NOK 360/130
- Bergen cargo 72 hours: NOK 430/160
These prices are for adults and children from 3 to 15 years old. By last, Given the critical pandemic that we are experiencing, Norway also takes precautions: Anyone arriving today must quarantine, whether or not they have symptoms. Domestic transport remains normal until further notice, pleasure trips are discouraged and public transport avoided if not necessary. Yes, a terrible time for tourism. Fingers crossed to make it happen.