Tourist’s guide to Bergen City – Gateway to the Country of Fjords

The main tourist center of the country of Bergen (Norway) is surrounded on three sides by picturesque hills and is conveniently located on the shore of Wagen harbor. In a city with 280 thousand inhabitants, there are many medieval sights, interesting objects of later architecture and no less interesting present.

Bergen’s charm is that different pleasures are not represented anywhere in the world in such a combination as here.

Bergen, Norway
Quay Bruggen

Do you want natural rides? Please, but you just need to calculate the time well and see not one, not two, but many – they are all so different … And you also need to have time to fish: fishing in Bergen is excellent; have a picnic among the flowering hills, relax your soul in a magic house on the shore of a crystal lake …

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Want urban delights? So there are many! Have a desire to touch history? Just get lost in the old wooden blocks, the most famous of them – right at the port. Hungry and want to taste Bergen? Welcome to the Fish Market: the freshest fish and other edible marine life here are sold “off the wheels”.

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If you only have a couple of days to explore the city, you will be interested in what you can see in Bergen in two days .

Meet Bergen

Composer Edward Grieg

 

Edward Grieg

All the Bergen hills are low and accessible to tourists and travelers, and two peaks can also be reached by mechanical transport: to Mount Feulen by cable car, and to Ulriken by cableway.

Well-known writers, artists and musicians (composers, singers and performers) were born in Bergen, including our contemporaries. Of these, the writer-educator (17-18 century) Ludwig Holberg and the world-famous composer Edward Grieg are heard. In Bergen on the lake there is his Trollhaugen house-museum.

The wood-grass style of the concert hall, built nearby, blends seamlessly into the environment.

See also: Geiranger fjord – a bay in Norway, which is visited by 600,000 people annually.

Past and present

The year of birth of the second largest Norwegian city is the 1070th, and its founder is King Olaf III. Bergenhus Castle made of stone – this is from the time of the first Viking journeys to the shores of Iceland. Everywhere – the sea: channels, winding bays with bridges, small and large islands. Natural obstacles never upset those wishing to live here, most likely they even stimulated the laying of settlements on these shores.

In the 12-13 centuries, there was a royal court, and the city itself until 1299 was the capital of the Norwegian Kingdom, long before Oslo. And since the 14th century, for almost four centuries, Hanseatic merchants actually held power in Bergen.

Although the city was not part of the Hanseatic community – only its representation was located here – the influence of the Norwegian monarchy in Bergen in the 14-17th centuries was minimal. This period in history most of all influenced its development.

And the Hanseatic Quay, a visiting card of the city, has become one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The development of the tourism industry, the city of Bergen owes primarily to this original medieval architectural complex.

Photo: Hanseatic Quay

 

Hanseatic Quay

Bruges, the promenade and the entire block with colorful wooden houses – preserved and restored – the main plot of the city’s photo and video frames brought by travelers from Bergen.

The history of the city is rich in battles and battles (1665), destruction from explosions (1944) and fires (1702, 1916, 1955). Bubonic plague (1349 g), pirate devastation (1429 g) … But each time Bergen “rose from the ashes.” Water, fire and enemies took turns destroying it, but people stubbornly rebuilt their homes.

Modern Bergen is known as the center of the oil industry and as a large cruise and commercial port on the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Due to its geographical location, Bergen is in our time an ideal place for trade: the southwestern side of the Scandinavian Peninsula “looks” at the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany. There are dozens of bays and harbors protected by numerous islands, which at all times of the year and in any weather provide the ships with peace and security. At the same time, the winding fjords are a convenient way deep into Norway, sometimes several hundred kilometers.

University of the city

 

University of Bergen

Bergen is also a major cultural center: it has its own university, more than a dozen different museums, a theater and opera, and well-known philharmonic orchestras. The city hosts an open-air jazz and rock festival, an international film festival. The Grieg Hall often hosts solo concerts by local and touring artists.

And the white architecture of the old quarters of Bergen deserves a separate story. If all the streets of Bruges that overlook the sea are colored like a Christmas tree, then a little further the old quarters shine with snow-white.

City street with white houses

In order not to dazzle the audience, dilute the whiteness and give individuality to their monastery, the owners decorate the entrance, windows and courtyard with flowers. Roses and tulips, rhododendrons, marigolds, daisies and lilacs – all of them at one time become the decoration of the city.

Some of Bergen’s houses are three centuries old. Paving stones in the old quarters are clean and clean, but the city authorities have nothing to do with it. The secret is simple: in the pantries of the residents there are mops, vacuum cleaners and shampoos in huge packs and every time the owners clean the part of the street, not counting this huge work. But on these small and steep streets it is always clean, and the residents themselves are pleased.

And the municipality deals only with the main avenues and streets with apartment buildings.

Weather and climate

Bergen is located in western Norway, on the shores of the North Sea. Three islands: Askey, Sutra and Halsney protect the Bergen Peninsula, on which the city is located, from the northern winds. For this reason, the climate in the region is slightly milder than in Norway as a whole. The warm Gulf Stream (Norwegian Current) also contributes. In winter it is not cold, but snowy, and summers are cool and it often rains.

The sun in the sky in Bergen shines most often in June, and air and water, as in our latitudes, are warmest in July-August. True, heat is relative. The average daily temperature of the hottest summer months is only 16-17 ⁰C. And only the most seasoned and fans of this activity can swim in the sea at + 14 ⁰C.

However, there are 8 official beaches in Bergen. The best of them is Helleneset near the village of Lönbor, which has a Blue Flag.

On sunny days, there are a lot of people on the beach, there is a smooth rocky shore and a sandy bottom, there is a children’s pool, beach outlets, an outdoor cafe, grill areas, showers.

The coldest and windiest months in Bergen and its environs are from December to March, the rainiest are from September to December. Although it rains here almost all the time, regardless of the time of year, and the main accessory in the hands of urban fashionistas and fashionistas is an umbrella. You have to carry it with you and tourists.

It is not in vain that the city of Bergen is called the capital of rains (or the capital of umbrellas, which is the same thing): it rains here about 270 days a year. In the wettest months, this is approximately 20-30 cm of water, and more than 2200 mm of precipitation falls in Bergen during the year.

The city is interesting at any time of the year, but the best season is May-August.

Bergen, how to get there: by land, air or sea?

You can get from Oslo to Bergen in different ways, and each option has its own advantages. The train will give a colorful impression of the Bergen Railway, and this option is worth a separate story. A trip by car (taxi, bus) will somewhat empty your wallet, but it will also give stunning landscapes to the valleys of Central Norway.

The plane will give you the opportunity to admire the intricacies of land and water, but you will only have a few minutes before landing and then at your own peril and risk, because such a shot is prohibited.

But a trip by sea will fill the heart with an incredible sensation of a pioneer, as well as landscapes and city views from a ship or ferry, when they are preparing to moor in the port, in the very center of the city.

By Air

Airport of Bergen

 

Flesland Airport

From 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Oslo to Bergen airport, SAS planes fly hourly, the journey time is 50-55 minutes. The ticket can also be ordered at home on the company website www.flysas.com. The cost is 95-165 $.

By liners of airlines Lufthansa, KLM, Sterling, Bergen can be reached not only from the main city of Norway, Oslo, but also from the capitals of countries such as France, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Poland and the Netherlands.

How to get from Flesland Airport to the center of Bergen

  1. A taxi to the center will cost 270-320 NOK on weekdays and up to 400 NOK on weekends. This is the most expensive option. It is customary to leave drivers a small tip.
  2. It is cheaper to get by bus: in half an hour you will be in the center if you board the shuttle of one of the companies – FlybussBergen (www.flybussen.no) or Flybussen. A return ticket costs 195 NOK, only one ticket costs 115 NOK.
  3. The cheapest option to get from the airport to the center of Bergen is by city bus number 23. But the journey will take more time – about 1 hour 10 minutes. Tickets cost 38 NOK. The schedule of city buses and routes can be found on the website www.skyss.no
  4. The current schedule and fares can be found on the official website of the Bergen airport avinor.no/en/airport/bergen-airport.

By Bus

An express company Nor-Way Bussekspress (www.nor-way.no) will take tourists from Oslo to Bergen in 9.5 – 10.5 hours, a ticket costs 579-705 NOK.

By Train

Many consider this method to get to Bergen the most convenient and interesting. From the window of the Oslo-Bergen train you will see snowy peaks, rivers and waterfalls, large and tiny villages on the green slopes, lakes with clouds drowning in them.

Photo: night train from Oslo

 

Oslo Bergen Train

On Art. Finze (1222 m above sea level) sometimes even from the calendar summer you can get almost in real winter, it’s good that not for long. This is the “roof of Norway.”

Depending on the season, the schedule includes several trains per day. Travel time is about 7 hours. The fare is from 779 kroons. The Oslo-Bergen RT 605 night train leaves at 23:25 and runs half an hour longer.

A ticket will cost less if you book it in advance on the NSB website (www.nsb.no) or www.acprail.com.

By Ferry

Photo: Fjordline.com Ferry

 

Ferry Fjord line

A significant part of the Stavanger-Bergen ferry route runs between small islands along narrow straits.

The schedule and price can be found here – www.ferries.ru. Booking tickets in advance is also convenient on the same site. The price fluctuates depending on the season, the cheapest crossing is in September. The ferry leaves 14 times a week, travel time is 5 and a half hours, the estimated cost for one passenger without a vehicle is 260 NOK.

Prices on the page are for July 2019.

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Gateway to the country of the fjords

Bergen is not for nothing called the “gate of the fjords.” Closest from here to the famous southwest Norwegian fjords, the longest, largest and most picturesque in the country: Sogne Fjord and Hardanger Fjord – the “flowering garden” of Norway . Therefore, tours to Norway often begin with this city, and not from the capital Oslo . Bergen also serves as a starting point for travels to the Fjordkisten (coast of the fjords) and Sanfjord (country of waterfalls).

“King of the Norwegian Fjords” – Sogne Fjord

Photo: Sognefjorden fiord

 

Sogne fjord

The Sognefjorden (Sognefjorden, 204 km) is located just north of Bergen. In terms of length, it is the second in the world (the first is Scorsby in Greenland) and the first in Europe. It is also Norway’s most visited fjord.

Due to its accessibility, it is included in all excursion routes in Norway: both very short, familiarization, and longer. The depth of the fjord is 1308 meters.

Sognefjord has its own branch arms, which number about 20. The Neroy Fjord – one of such picturesque branches (18 km) – is part of the daughter Eurlandsfjord.

Kayaking

 

Kayaking in Bergen

Trekking and water safaris, kayaking and boating along the coast, diving to sunken ships, stops at fishing and farming villages, big fishing – this is a list of popular activities and recreation when traveling through the fjords from Bergen.

Bergen’s beauty is not hidden at all, but she envelops it slowly, softly and delicately. In one second you can choose solitude or dive into the crowd, go to the museum and fly a hundred years ago, swim in the fjords and get into the geological past, which borders on eternity.

Fishing in Bergen

Bergen (Norway) actually does not make much effort to create his own reputation. But that is why the trip here makes a special impression. Until the very end you don’t know what to expect, and the stronger the later discovery. There is no pathos, so familiar to most other cities. In Bergen, nature prevails. This is his main charm and main secret.

Interesting Facts

  1. Grieg’s music is everywhere in Norway. Familiar tunes can be heard in transport, they ring in phones, they are accompanied by announcements in the supermarket. You can hear them both at the airport and even on the plane during a landing in Bergen.
  2. In 1986, Bergen was the organizer of the Eurovision song contest and hosted participants from 20 countries. The 31st contest is notable for the fact that 13-year-old Sandra Kim from Belgium, the youngest participant in the entire history of Eurovision, won it.
  3. In 2000, Bergen, along with 8 other cities, was proclaimed the cultural capital of Europe.
  4. In the Middle Ages, the groom did not give the bride an engagement ring, but an umbrella. In Norway, they joke that every resident of Bergen is born with webbed feet: it is much easier to slap in puddles. And again: there is no bad weather, there is only bad clothes – so say the locals.
  5. You can save in Bergen using the Bergen Card. The map provides free travel on city buses, trams and visits to museums. Bergen Card also gives a discount on some city and fjord excursions, car rental.

A lot of useful information about Bergen, transport and food in the city – in this video.

 

 


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