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Bergen. The heart of the Norwegian Fjords. Bergen is known as the city between the seven mountains and offers an unrivalled combination of historical charm, natural beauty and a vibrant cultural scene. Whether you're an adventurous traveller or a cultural explorer, Bergen has something for everyone.

1. UNESCO World Heritage Site Bryggen

Bryggen, in the very heart of Bergen, , was once a Hanseatic trading post. It is now an iconic landmark in the capital of Fjord Norway. The distinctive wooden buildings, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are steeped in centuries of history. Explore the narrow alleyways, soak up the smells of the old wooden buildings, visit Bryggens Museum to learn about the city's past, and experience the timeless atmosphere that fills the air.

The wonderful atmosphere at Bryggen on a summer’s evening.|© Girish Chouhan/

2. The Fløibanen funicular– from the city to the mountains in six minutes

Take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen and experience a view that is inspiring and spectacular in equal measure. The sunlight dancing off the picturesque fjords and the surrounding mountains will take your breath away. From Bergen’s rooftop, with city life bustling below, you can get a glimpse of everything from glaciers and narrow fjords in the east, to the islands dotting the sea in the west. For a truly special experience, bring a picnic and watch the sun set over the city. The popular Mount Fløyen also offers plenty of experiences, with everything from bike hire, playgrounds, accommodation and an excellent selection of hiking trails. Mount Fløyen is the start or end point of one of the city's most popular hikes – ‘over Vidden’ – between Mount Ulriken and Fløyen.

3. Mount Ulriken – feeling on top of the world

Get your hiking boots on and enjoy an adventurous hike on Mount Ulriken. The trail leads through lush forests and opens up to a spectacular panoramic view from the mountaintop. The feeling of conquering Bergen's highest mountain is unforgettable, not because the hike is that demanding, but because the view from the top is so magical. If you would rather save your energy, or just fancy a more comfortable way up the mountain, you can take the Ulriken 643 cable car through the clouds and all the way to the top. It was recently renovated with new cable cars and is open throughout the year. You can enjoy fine dining at the top of Mount Ulriken in Skyskraperen restaurant, or just take a picnic with you. If you want to feel the sensation of flying over Bergen then check out the zipline, or one of the other activities on offer. There are a number of hiking trails from the top, such as to Mount Fløyen, or there’s also a less strenuous trail to Turnerhytten cabin.

4. The Fish Market and Mathallen food court – culinary delights by the sea

The fish market, with its lively atmosphere, is a treasure trove of fresh delicacies from the sea. You can sample everything from smoked salmon to crabs and oysters. Take a seat at one of the eateries or grab a delicious takeaway to enjoy on a nearby bench or the harbourfront. Then check out the Mathallen food court to experience the best local produce and culinary masterpieces. Enjoy fine dining at the restaurants Fjellskål or Fish Me, or take some world-class fresh food with you. Mathallen food court and the fish market are an absolute must when you visit Bergen.

There are many delicacies to be found at the fish market.|© Robin Strand /

5. A cruise on the fjord – nature's spectacular showroom

Many people choose to visit Bergen to experience the fjords. On a half-day fjord cruise to Mostraumen, for example, you get to experience a journey through the magical world of the fjords. The narrow fjord arms are surrounded by steep mountains, roaring waterfalls, and small houses and farms clinging to the precipitous mountainsides. You can also take a day trip to Rosendal with the Hardangerfjord Express, or spend a night in the beautiful pearl of Hardanger. Experiencing the fresh fjord air is indescribable. It’s both invigorating and delightful.

6. KODE art museums and composers' homes – a celebration of Bergen's cultural heritage

Visit Troldhaugen, home of composer Edvard Grieg, and take a guided tour of his world of music and creativity. You can also explore Lysøen, the picturesque island where the legendary violinist Ole Bull created his dream world. These are places that helped inspire some of Norway's most famous artists and composers. Visit KODE’s museums in the city centre, with exhibits by Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and many other well-known artists. You will also find many other exhibitions of more recent artworks. The KODE art museums are located alongside Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake – in the heart of Bergen.

KODE Art Museums are located along Lille Lungegårdsvann lake.|© Gjertrud Coutinho

7. World-class seafood – from fjord to table

Did you know that Bergen and Western Norway have the world's best seafood? The shellfish and scallops in Western Norway inhabit such a cold climate that they almost don't survive the winter. At the same time, the climate and the cold weather are the reason the seafood tastes better here than anywhere else in the world, and restaurants, such as Cornelius Sjømatrestaurant, offer delicious dishes that are second to none. The ‘floating’ restaurant, situated on an island outside Bergen, offers a unique seafood experience using the freshest ingredients - from the sea to the table in seconds. You can sample a number of local fish dishes, while enjoying the view of the fjord.

The restaurants Lysverket and Enhjørningen in Bergen also serve exquisite dishes based on fresh fish and seafood. Sampling this fare is a must during your stay in Bergen.

Cornelius is beautifully situated.|© Bergen Reiselivslag/Gjertrud Coutinho -

8. Bergen Aquarium – a playground for kids, adults and animals

Wander through tunnels that give you the sense of being underwater, watch penguins swim by, and be captivated by the incredible variety of creatures from the deep. This aquarium is a place to play, and also a place to learn about the ocean and the life within it. At the centre of the aquarium’s operations is animal welfare, not least the dissemination of information about how to improve the life of the underwater creatures on which we are so dependent.

The Aquarium in Bergen offers feeding shows and lots of fun|© Sverre Hjørnevik /

9. Bergen’s wooden buildings – down passageways and alleys

Explore Bergen's charming wooden buildings, such as in Sandviken and Nordnes. Wander the alleys, admire the beautiful houses and feel the sense of history as you embark on a journey back in time. Bergen's local residents live in these houses, and the lively atmosphere in these narrow streets comes from the city's vibrant student life and the proud residents who love their city and communities. We recommend spending a few hours wandering the city's narrow streets, walking on centuries-old cobblestones, sitting in a café and just soaking up the atmosphere.

Charming Nordnes.|© Norwegian Guide Service

10. City of festivals – a year-round cultural festival

Bergen is the city where art, culture, music and festivals come together. As the city of festivals, Bergen flourishes all year round. In spring, the Nattjazz Festival and the Bergen International Festival enrapture the city with music and culture. Weekly concerts at Troldhaugen offer the chance to enjoy Edvard Grieg's music in the very place it was created. The big concerts at Koengen let you experience world-renowned acts playing under the open sky, and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, of which Grieg himself was artistic director in his time, offers weekly concerts.

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