Bergen might be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s set on a peninsula, so the city is surrounded by mountains and water.
If you ever have a chance to visit this wonderful city, here are some of the things I would highly recommend doing to get the most out of the city.
1. Fjord tour
One of the most beautiful and iconic things about Norway is the plethora of fjords. If you have time, doing a tour of the fjords is a must.
According to National Geographic, “a fjord is a long, deep, narrow body of water that reaches far inland. Fjords are often set in a U-shaped valley with steep walls of rock on either side.”
Some tour groups offer shorter trips that take around three hours to see the Mostraumen Fjord, while you could make a day out of it and do a longer tour to see more fjords. The tours can be a little pricey, but the sense of grandeur and peace when the boat stops in the middle of a fjord and you can see the reflection of the rock perfectly in the water is worth it.
- Cost: Starting at $100 and goes up from there.
2. Take a historical walking tour
This is one of my favorite things to do in a new city. If you book a tour through a small business, you usually get smaller groups and a guide who is truly passionate about the history of the city.
Bergen’s history stretches all the way back to viking times, so there’s lots of ground to cover. Bryggen, the stretch of colorful buildings along of the wharf, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, per Visit Bergen. The area also has the renowned fish market that has a host of shops open during summer.
I recommend booking the walking tour toward the beginning of your trip so your guide can give recommendations for restaurants, activities and must-see spots. I took the Walking Tour in Bergen of the Past and Present, and I highly recommend it. You can book through Viator.
- Cost: Starting at $28 per person.
3. Take a cable car ride or funicular
One of the most highly recommended things to do in Bergen is to get up high to see views of the water, city and mountains. Taking a cable car up was fun and quick. You’re always welcome to hike, but it is steep.
You can take a funicular to shoot you to the top of Floyen mountain. There are cable cars that take you to the highest mountain in Bergen, Ulriken. There’s a cafe and restaurant at the top, so you can buy a danish to enjoy while you take in the stunning views.
- Cost: Starting at $28 roundtrip.
4. Taking some neighborhood walks in some of the historical neighborhoods is fun and colorful. Nordnes has a host of old residential buildings that capture the minimalistic style of Scandinavia.
It’s also a great opportunity to see how local people go about their day and escape some of the crowds near Bryggen. You can walk into a Norwegian bakery to enjoy the tasty simplicity of Scandinavian desserts and breakfasts.
- Cost: Free.
5. Visit Fantoft Stavkirke — a church built by the vikings
It’s a little tricky to get to, and for some reason Google Maps really struggles in this area, but the church is a fascinating window into Norway’s history.
“One of the unique expressions of the Norwegian national heritage can be seen in the careful ornamentation of the stave churches, ranging from simple, spartan constructions to the dizzyingly complex,” Culture Trip writes.
This church is a recreation because the original from 1150 was burned down in 1992.
- Cost: $5 to walk on the grounds and inside the church.