• The second largest city in Norway, Bergen was founded more than 900 years ago.
    © Patrice Hauser
    Bergen's quays

    The second largest city in Norway, Bergen was founded more than 900 years ago.

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Norway

On the west coast, Bergen has the same assets as Oslo, offering both grand natural spaces and cultural richness. Gate to the fjords, it rises between ocean and mountain. The heart of this quaint town lies around the harbour with the famous fish market on Torget Square and Bryggen Quay. This district and its houses from the Hanseatic era are on the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites. Departure point for the fjord tours, Bergen has not, however, neglected to provide for festivals and museums. European Capital of Culture in the year 2000, it holds many art museums around Lake Lille Lungegardsvann, such as Rasmus Meyers Samlinger's which exhibits the private collection of a patron of the arts.

Bergen: what to do?

Take a cruise on one of the Hurtigruten fleet's coastal express boats.
Go snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding on the vast snow-covered spaces in the north.
Go giant crab fishing.
Take a trip to see the Maelstrom, the famous whirlpool that was once said to have led to an underground abyss.
If you're visiting in summer, take a walk around the islands and try your hand at canoeing in the fjords.

The Lofoten Islands , which form a 75 mile long archipelago, and their snow-covered granite mountains.
Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching inland for more than 62 miles and boasting a series of towering cliffs and waterfalls, which are particularly impressive when the snow melts.
Ålesund, a picturesque town with beautiful architecture that straddles several islands connected by bridges and underwater tunnels.
Bergen, also dubbed the 'Gateway to the Norwegian Fjords', a former Hanseatic city and small trading port lined with tall wooden houses that bring a lot of charm to this little fishing town.
Trondheim, the former Norwegian capital, and its beautiful cathedral full of Romanesque and Gothic sculptures.
The North Cape, the last strip of land before the Arctic Ocean. A complex has been built here with a screening room, a museum, a small chapel and a restaurant.

  • The cuisine, if you like seafood
  • The charm of the city
  • The cold
  • The locals, who are not very friendly


Pack warm clothing, regardless of the season.
Bring something to cover your eyes so as to catch some sleep in the summer, when the sun doesn't set.

To avoid

Don't go out without a good pair of gloves, warm boots and a hat. The wind-swept coastline can be bitterly cold, which is unbearable if you are not bundled up well. It'd be a shame to lose an ear or a toe to frostbite!

Bergen: what to eat?

Norway is generally associated with salmon, and more broadly with seafood. If you like fish, you'll love the quality and freshness of all the products sold here, which are prepared in many different ways. Whether smoked, marinated, cooked over a wood fire, boiled or raw, seafood is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Another Norwegian speciality is red berries, which are served with meat or as a dessert. The meat in question is usually reindeer, which is very tasty and goes well with the sweet taste of red berries.
In the northern part of the country, the speciality is giant crab, which is absolutely delicious!

Bergen: what to buy?

Vacuum-packed smoked fish and all kinds of seafood that you'll find in the supermarkets.
Reindeer skin, a popular souvenir that can be hung on the wall or used as a rug in front of the fireplace on those long winter nights.
Various berry jams that can be served with meat dishes or at breakfast.

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