3 days in Bergen, Nortway was a perfect amount of time to fall in love with this little city. The waterfront is gorgeous against the mountainous backdrop and it was one of the prettiest places we’ve ever explored. Bergen was our last stop on our honeymoon, after Gothenburg, Stockholm and Reykjavik. For some reason, it was perhaps the place we were least excited about. But it was an absolute treat and exceeded all expectations.
Bergen is definitely somewhere we will go back to. It was our first time together in Norway, too, and it made us both want to see more of it. Considering Sweden is our firm favourite country, it wasn’t hard to feel at home in Norway too. Just don’t tell the Swedes that, obvs…
Here are a few things to do/eat/see over 3 days in Bergen…
Wander through Bergen’s cobbled streets
As soon as we got to Bergen (after we’d checked into the beautiful Thon Hotel Rosenkranz), we headed out to explore.
Bergen is very hilly, with winding cobbled streets full of picture-perfect houses. This is exactly the kind of place I love walking around until we end up lost in a residential area.
Visit beautiful Bryggen
Other than the fjords themselves, Bryggen is the most famous thing about Bergen. It’s a beautifully well preserved whard. The front is all the old shipping warehouses, which are now all the shops you see along the harbour. But hidden behind this are narrow alleyways and crooked paths, with the old wooden houses leaning against each other at angles.
Because it’s the main tourist attraction, it can get busy and a lot of the stuff for sale is very overpriced. But it was nice just for a mooch round.
Go on a river cruise to see the fjords
The Norwegian fjords are what most people visit the area for. I don’t actually remember being that excited to see them, perhaps because a fjord to me conjures up a Fjord pony and being horsey, I’d rather see one of those cuties than some water. But heading out on a river cruise to see the fjords, I realised what all the fuss was about.
Even in overcast Norwegian weather and with my old rubbish camera, the photos speak for themselves.
Fjords are the ‘thing’ in Norway for good reason. They are too beautiful – probably the most stunning thing in nature I’ve ever seen. Every time the boat goes round a bend, more stunning fjordage unfolds.
We passed a local school that was only accessible by boat and saw some spectacular waterfalls that we sailed right next to – so close that passengers could go up onto the deck and hold a cup out to fill with the falling water. Genuinely amazing.
Go up Mount Floyen riding the Floibanen
We headed up to Mount Floyen and the Funicular (Floibanen). Solid 10/10 for the view. And for the funicular itself, which is used not only by tourists but by locals to commute up and down the mountain.
You get a good sense of the scale of Bergen and its surroundings from up there. If we’d had more time, we’d have explored more of the surrounding mountains, which were incredibly green and lush. The air was different up there, in that hyper-fresh way you get at damp altitude. Gorgeous (not for my hair situation though).
Avoid the rain in the KODE museum of modern art
As you may have noticed, the one downside of Bergen’s stunning mountainous and coastal location is the RAIN. When it rains, it does indeed pour. But, with so many pastel-coloured houses to gawp at, it couldn’t put too much of a dampener on things.
There was also the fantastic (and cheap) KODE museum of art, where we whiled away a wet morning.
You couldn’t take photos in there, hence no pictures of it. Here’s some of our damp, frizzing hairs instead. When will someone invent a de-humidifying hat?
Where to eat in Bergen, Norway
Everyone knows that eating out in Norway can be very expensive. We had one posh meal and went mid-range for the rest of the time. Despite spending more than in other Scandinavian countries, the food was good all round and I didn’t feel ripped off for anything.
Fine dining at 1877
The most memorable meal we had in Bergen was a tasting menu at 1877.
Everything was beautifully presented. It wasn’t the most experimental tasting menu we’ve ever had (the sheep dung in Reykjavik would be hard to beat on that front), but it was wall-to-wall quality. And it’s always a good sign (in my book) when the menu has no detail at all and you just get what you’re given.
Lunch at Krok og Krinkel Bokcafe
To avoid returning home the size of a small country, we tend to seek out salads when we’re away as much as possible.
Our salads at the cute Krok og Krinkel Bokcafe were delicious, although copious amounts of cake afterwards kind of defeated any attempts at being healthy.
Affordable food at Pingvinen
Pingvinen was actually the first place we ate in Bergen. We were feeling the monetary effects of two weeks eating out in Scandinavia, so a trip here was welcome. They served good, hearty pub-like grub with no airs and graces, at decent prices.
A nice selection of craft beers washed it all down well.
3 days in Bergen, Norway: useful information
How to get there
We arrived from Reykjavik, which is quite a niche journey to detail on here so it’s probably easier to tell you that it took us about four hours to fly back to Manchester airport.
Where to stay
We stay in the gorgeous Thon Hotel Rosenkranz. We don’t normally go for chain hotels but this one was great and despite a strike being on, the staff were fantastic. Breakfast was brilliant: plenty of healthy options for once.
How to get around
Everything is walkable, but you have to get the cute funicular railway up the mountain, which is an absolute treat. There’s a variety of river cruise boats to take to get to the fjords.
When to go
May was a beautiful time to go, although a bit rainy – but being from the UK, this wasn’t an issue.
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