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Bergen Travel Guide

About Bergen

Known as the Gateway to the Fjords, Norway's second city, Bergen, is also one of its most attractive.

Nestling amid seven imposing mountains and perched on a squeaky clean bay, the former trading port is a riot of rainbow-painted houses that cling precariously from the flanks of the mountains and straggle all the way down to the waterfront.

Water, both of the sea and rain varieties, is something that Bergen is all too familiar with. One major upside of the many deluges is some of the greenest countryside in Norway, plus it has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to indoor activities, not least in the city’s many art galleries and museums.

When the sun does shine, the old parts of town, in particular the Hanseatic wharf of Bryggen, come into their own. A striking series of brightly coloured wooden buildings set back from the harbour, more than 60 of the original homes in the old harbour have been preserved and are now shops, studios and restaurants, making it a pretty and vibrant area to explore.

Other key attractions include the lively Fish Market, Rasmus Meyer’s art collection, the Aquarium and Old Bergen. A funicular ride and cable car ride also mean you can set off to the peaks of two of Bergen’s mountains for panoramic views over the city – all without having to break a sweat.

Of course, if you want to get hot and bothered, there’s no shortage of choice for the sporty. Winter brings the chance to go skiing and sledging, while the mountains, lakes and fjords provide a scenic backdrop for hiking, glacier walking, biking, fishing, rafting and swimming.

The warmer months are also a good time to take advantage of the fjords themselves, many of which are in close proximity to Bergen. Among the best are Sognefjord, the largest of its kind in the country, and Hardangerfjord which is renowned for its blossoming fruit trees in spring.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels


Hotel Park Pension

Exquisite family-run pension offering 33 beautiful rooms, all with en-suite bathroom, cable TV and antique furniture. The hotel's buildings date back to the 1890s and are situated on either side of what used to be one of Bergen's most fashionable streets.

Radisson SAS Royal Hotel

The Radisson SAS Royal Hotel has 273 well-equipped rooms. Located on the famous Bryggen, the hotel, which has preserved its old traditional architecture, blends in perfectly with its historical and charming surroundings. There is a fitness centre, indoor parking, as well as high speed Internet, mini-bar and TV in each room.

Scandic Bergen City

An excellent choice for business travellers, the hotel is in the centre of Bergen, just a short walk from all the city sights, including the wharf, the fish market and the theatre. All 254 rooms are spacious and comfortable with all mod cons. Restaurant and bar on site.

Marken Guesthouse

Marken Guesthouse is centrally located and reasonably priced. The hostel-style guesthouse offers rooms and dormitories for between one to 10 people. The rooms are modern, and there is a comfortable communal sitting room, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Klosteret 5 Guesthouse

Klosteret 5 Guesthouse is located in a charming alleyway among old wooden houses on the Nordnes peninsula in downtown Bergen. There is an affordable breakfast café across the street and a variety of restaurants nearby.

City Box

This hotel by Grieghallen offers basic but comfortable rooms at rock bottom prices right in the city centre. The reception is unmanned at night, so you'll have to pay by card if you get there after hours, but if all you're after is a place to crash at the end of the day, this is a good option. Family rooms are available.