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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


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.

Clarion Admiral Hotel

One of the most characterful hotels in Bergen, on the premises of old, dignified storehouses from the turn of the century that were converted in 1987. The hotel's 210 rooms are all elegant and comfortable. The hotel has a business centre, conference facilities and Wi-Fi access.

Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret

This stylish hotel opened in May 2006, in the former premises of the Port of Bergen harbour company. Originally built in 1919-1920 in the neoclassical/neo-baroque style, the building has been converted into a modern hotel with 116 rooms and suites, a fitness room, a restaurant and bar.

First Hotel Marin

This tasteful and elegant hotel on the Bryggen, in the heart of Bergen, offers 152 spacious, well equipped rooms, all with hardwood floors. Restaurant and bar, conference facilities, gym and sauna are on offer.