Top Things to Do in Bergen

21 Best Things to Do in Bergen, Norway

Julia Norway Leave a Comment

As the second largest city in Norway, you’ll find a lot of things to do in Bergen. From fjords to museums, there’s a variety of activities and definitely something for everyone to enjoy in this coastal town – whether you’re a city or nature lover.

Let’s first take a look at some of the classic Bergen experiences. Then we’ll dive into the adventure activities available in Bergen if you’re looking to spice up your time in this beautiful Norwegian destination! And lastly, you’ll find some of the best ways to get around Bergen to truly experience the city.

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15 Best Things to Do in Bergen

With so many sights and attractions in Bergen, you will have to pick and choose what you want to see to create your custom itinerary.

You’ll notice the top three sights in Bergen are “must sees”, so no matter how much time you have in the city, you’ll want to check them out. They will help you at least scrape the surface of what makes Bergen such a wonderful city.

1. Stop at Bryggen *Must See*

The most iconic sight in Bergen, Bryggen is an area full of old wooden houses featuring restaurants, shops, and lots of tourist traps. It was first established back in the 14th century and then was rebuilt after a fire in 1702. Today it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can walk in-between the wooden houses into the alleyways to really transport yourself back hundreds of years.

2. Admire Mount Floyen and Floibanen *Must See*

Like every city surrounded by hills or mountains, you have to get to the top to take the view in. For some, this means taking the Mount Floyen Funicular, Floibanen, but for others, like me, it seems like a good idea to hike to the top.

The hike is about 45 minutes uphill and depending on the time of year you may hit freezing weather, snow, or ice on the way up. No matter what weather you run into, the spectacular views at the top will make it well worth it! Also – keep an eye out for troll statues hidden in the woods near the top.

Visit the Mount Floyen website for hours and tickets.

3. Take a Fjord Tour *Must See*

One of the most beautiful parts of Norway are the mountains and fjords, and conveniently Bergen is the fjord capital of Norway! Because of that, it’s easy to find and book fjord cruises from Bergen.

No matter which fjord you decide on, you will not be disappointed, but some of the most popular fjords near Bergen are Nærøyfjord, Sognefjord, Gudvangen, and Flåm, or Mostraumen and Osterfjord. Or, you can opt for a fjord tour by speed boat that takes you through multiple fjords.

Alternatively, if you came across the country from Oslo to Bergen, maybe you did the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour, which takes you through some of the most scenic parts of the country. If this was not in the cards for you, you should not miss taking a fjord tour from Bergen. After all, it is one of the top things to see in Bergen!

4. Visit Market Square and the Fish Market

Norway has an extensive coastline with Bergen being the busiest seaport in the country, so naturally you will frequently find seafood on the menus. Head to the Fish Market for a mixture of fish, fresh produce, and handicrafts.

The Fish Market is located on Market Square in the center of town and is worth a stop. While once it was more of a local market, over time it has transformed into more of a tourist center, which is a bit disappointing, but, you won’t regret stopping to grab some lunch here. It’s absolutely delicious.

5. Explore the Bergenhus Fortress Museum

Back in the late 16th century, the Bergenhus Fortress dominated the entrance to Bergen’s harbor. Now this fortress offers a museum featuring exhibits on the contributions of Norwegian women in history, particularly during WWII. It also features exhibits about the illegal press that took place throughout the war, information about the Fortress itself, and details of other conflicts Norway has been part of.

Visit the Bergenhus Fortress Museum website for further details.

6. Check Out the Royal Residence: Gamlehaugen

Designed back in 1899, Gamlehuagen features architectural qualities of a fortress and a castle and is framed by a beautiful English-landscaped park. This park is open to the public and frequently used for swimming and walking. In the summer months, the state rooms on the ground floor are open to the public.

Visit the Royal House of Norway website for further details.

7. Climb Up or Cable Car Up Mount Ulriken

Bergen’s tallest mountain, Ulriken is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. While it might not make the short list for those limited on time in Bergen, it is a worthy option for those staying longer in the area or for hiking enthusiasts. You can either make the 1.5 – 2 hour hike up or you can take the Ulriken Cable Car to the top.

Visit the Ulriken website for further details.

8. Visit Fantoft Stave Church

Located just a short distance from Bergen, the Fantoft Stave church is a reconstructed stave church based off of the original that was constructed back in 1150. The church you’ll find today was finished in 1997 but features the same style as the original. It is easily accessible by light rail, bus, or car.

Find further details, including ticket information, on the Visit Bergen website.

9. See St. Mary’s Church, St. John’s Church, and Bergen Cathedral (Domkirken)

As you explore Bergen, you will come across a number of beautiful old churches. Stop in and check them out. They not only offer a variety of beautiful architectural styles, but they also have some great history. St. Mary’s Church in particular tops the charts of best things to do in Bergen.

10. Stop at Nordnes Park

Nordnes Park is a local favorite, and as Seattle’s sister city, you will find a special treat in the park – a totem pole! It’s a perfect place to take a walk in nature or to sit down and relax for a bit. Additionally, the Bergen Aquarium is located on the grounds of Nordnes Park.

11. Experience the Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet i Bergen)

One of the better known museums in Bergen, the Aquarium is located in Nordnes Park. It was first opened in 1960 and contains more than 300 species across 60+ tanks. Among my favorites are of course the seals and penguins!

Visit the Bergen Aquarium website for further details.

12. Learn at the Bergen Maritime Museum

Located near the university of Bergen and St. John’s Church, the Maritime Museum presents Norwegian maritime history and the evolution of seafaring. Interested in the Vikings? This may be a stop you want to make!

Visit the Bergen Maritime Museum website for further details.

13. Take in the KODE Museum for art, design and music

The KODE Museum has four separate buildings in the Bergen city center featuring an extensive collection of art and design.

  • Fine craft and design in KODE 1
  • The main venue for temporary exhibits in KODE 2
  • Ramus Meyers Collection and the works of Edvard Munch in KODE 3
  • Art museum with ArtLab in KODE 4 – great for children and families

Visit the KODE Museum website for further details.

14. Experience the Grieg Museum (Troldhaugen)

Located just south of Bergen, Troldhaugen is the former home of Edvard Grieg, a famous Norwegian composer. This museum is dedicated to his life and work. It is also the site of Troldsalen, a music performance hall that seats 200 people. From June to September regular concerts are performed here. Check the website to see what concerts are going on and grab a ticket before you arrive in Bergen!

Visit the Greig Museum website for further details.

15. Visit the Old Bergen Open Air Museum

The Old Bergen Museum features 55 wood houses, most of which originally stood in the center of Bergen, and offers living history interpreters go about their day. It gives you a sense of what Bergen used to be like. It is located just a 7 minute bus ride from downtown Bergen or a 30 minute walk.

Visit the Old Bergen Museum website for further details.

Find the best way to spend 2 days in Bergen.

Top of the list for how to spend two days in Bergen? Visit the wooden houses of Bryggen

6 More Adventurous Activities in Bergen

Have you already done most of the top things to see in Bergen? Get a bit further outside of the city center to take part in these additional amazing Norwegian experiences!

1. Hike from Mt. Ulriken to Mt. Floyen on the Vidden Trail

Hit the trails in Bergen on this day hike that runs from peak to peak at Mt. Ulriken to Mt. Floyen. This 8 mile (13 km) hike starts from the top of Mt. Ulriken and follows the popular Vidden Trail admiring the views of mountains and fjords around Bergen.

Learn more about hiking in Bergen.

2. Take a Ski Tour of the Mountains around Bergen

Easily one of the best things to do in Bergen is to go skiing. In fact, it’s right up there with seeing the fjords, and on this ski tour, you can do both! You’ll get to explore untouched territory with less ski traffic in one of the following areas: Outside of Bergen, Voss, Myrkdalen, Naeroyfjorden, Kvamskogen, or the Hardanger Fjord!

Learn more about skiing in Bergen.

3. Take a Kayaking Tour in Herdla

Explore the waters around Bergen with a guided kayak tour of the surrounding reefs and islands. You’ll learn more about the history of the area, including ruins from WWII, see rare wildlife, like eagles and other birds, and of course get unforgettable views across the water!

Learn more about kayaking in Bergen.

4. Go Snowshoe Hiking in Bergen

Head out to the unspoiled wilderness surrounding Bergen with a snowshoeing adventure! You’ll get to escape the city and admire the beauty of Norway in a way that not many visitors get to see. Don’t worry, you’ll have a guide to keep you from getting lost!

Learn more about snowshoeing in Bergen.

5. Try Mountain Biking in the Voss Forest

Head to nearby Voss to explore the Bomoen Forest on a mountain biking tour. Not only will you get out of the city and into the wilderness, but you’ll also be able to tailor your adventure to your skill set with a local guide who knows all of the best mountain biking spots and trails.

Learn more about mountain biking near Bergen.

6. Experience Whitewater Rafting in the Raundal Valley

Discover the “Play Section” of the Raundal River, which features Grade III rapids on a whitewater rafting tour. This beautiful river is located in Voss, the adventure capital of Norway, located just about an hour by train from Bergen. You’ll receive all the necessary equipment, as well as have a professional guide to keep you safe as you sail down the rapids.

Learn more about whitewater rafting near Bergen.

How to See the Best of Bergen

With so many things to do in Bergen, you’ll need to strategize how you explore the city. Fortunately, there’s a few key things that can help you get the most out of your time by helping you navigate the city and experience the top things to do in Bergen without breaking the bank.

Purchase a Bergen Card for Free Travel + Discounted Admissions

If you’re planning to fit as much as possible during a short stay in Bergen, you may want to consider getting a 24 or 48 hour Bergen Card. It will get you free or discounted admission to museums, attractions, events, and sightseeing tours, as well as free travel on the buses and light rail. It’s one of the best ways to fit as many of the top activiites in Bergen in as possible.

Learn more about the Bergen Card.

Take a Walking Tour

Sign up for a City Tour on Foot to take in the top things to do in Bergen with a knowledgable local guide. You’ll gain more insight into the history of this beautiful city while experiencing many of the top sights in a condensed timeline.

Learn more about the City Tour on Foot.

Try the Hop-on Hop-Off Bus

Hop around Bergen with ease with the 24 hour hop-on, hop-off bus. It offers 13 stops around the city to hit as many of the highlights of Bergen as possible over one day. If you are not up to walking extensively or just want to see as many of the top attractions in Bergen as possible, this may be your best option to get around.

Learn more about the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus in Bergen.

Tour Bergen with a Local

Join a local for a private tour of Bergen to learn the ins and outs of the best places to go, the top restaurants to visit, the history of the city, and more! It’s best to do this when you first arrive to know how to best spend the rest of your time in Bergen!

Learn more about the hidden gems of Bergen from a local.

Jump on a Segway

A popular way to see the best things in Bergen is to take a Segway tour! These tours allow you to cover more ground faster than on foot, while learning from an expert guide. Tours start in the touristy center and wind around the top sights in Bergen before heading through the neighborhoods and up to Fjellveien for views over the city.

For something a little different, you can also check out the night Segway tour of Bergen!

Learn more about taking a Segway tour of Bergen.

Do a Food and Culture Tour of Bergen

See the highlights of Bergen while tasting all of the Norwegian delicacies that Bergen has to offer on a food and culture tour. Not only will this walking tour take you to most of the top sights in Bergen, but you’ll also dive deeply into Norwegian dishes, and yes, this tour does include lunch!

Learn more about the food and culture tour of Bergen.

Plan your trip to Bergen with 11 things to know before you go.

View from Mount Floyen in Norway
The view from Floyen

Where to Stay in Bergen

To best experience the top things to do in Bergen, you’ll want to stay in the city center. This will allow you to walk to almost all of the best sights making your trip stress-free.

Here are recommendations for centrally-located hotels in Bergen for each price range:

Learn more about where to stay in Bergen, from the best areas to the best hotels.

Plan More of Your Trip around Norway

With so many top things to do in Bergen, Norway, you’re sure to be busy! Continue planning your adventures to Norway with additional information that will help make your trip a success.

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21 Best Things to Do in Bergen, Norway
Best Things to do in Bergen, Norway
Top Things to Do in Bergen, Norway

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