If you have your eye on a visit to Bergen, you may already know it's considered Norway's "Gateway to the Fjords." With several international connections and a location on the North Sea and at the mouth of several fjords, it's the perfect hub for a varied Norwegian experience. But its location is only one perk, as the city itself is an idyllic harbor town waiting to be explored.
There are quite a few cultural and historical opportunities in Bergen, including a charming old quarter and abundant Viking heritage. You can easily experience Bergen like a local, stopping at unknown sites, hiking its hills, and noshing at trendy bistros and cafes in the city. And when you're ready to explore Norway's famous nature, the fjords are just a day's cruise away!
Explore the City of Bergen
Although many visitors focus on the fjords, the city of Bergen is worth a bit of exploration, too. Enjoy visiting some of its renowned museums and discovering its Viking history and heritage.
Viking Heritage Walk with a Local
Follow a local through Bergen's historic center while you listen to stories about Norway's famed Viking heritage. Your destination is Alrekstaðir, the Norse King's residence during the kingdom of Norway, which sits dramatically at the base of Ulriken, one of Bergen's seven mountains. Learn about local, regional, and cultural history, stopping to admire the city's viewpoints, monuments, and historical landmarks along the way. Learn more
Visit the Museums of Bergen
If you like history and museums, Bergen won't disappoint. Start by strolling through the Bryggen area, the city's medieval wharf, to view old wooden houses dating back to the 1700s. Next, visit Old Bergen (Gamle Bergen), a reconstruction of Bergen from the 18th century. Afterward, check out a museum or two! Favorites include the KODE art museums, the Bergen Maritime Museum, and the fortress museum. Learn more
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Discover the Fjord Region
As the "Gateway to the Fjords," a cruise or two is a must in Bergen, with popular choices including Osterfjord and Hardangerfjord.
Fjord Cruise to Rosendal
Enjoy the famed scenery of Norway's Hardangerfjord, known as the "queen of the fjords," as you cruise from Bergen to the small village of Rosendal. You'll have some free time to explore the town, followed by a tour of a 17th-century manor and a two-course lunch featuring locally sourced vegetables, plus coffee, tea, and pastries. After lunch, visit a romantic rose garden before cruising back to Bergen. Learn more
Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen
One of the most picturesque areas of Norway's fjord region is the narrow Mostraumen Strait. This fjord cruise sails from Bergen to the tiny town of Modalen and back, stopping at one of the waterfalls that fall straight from the sides of the dramatic fjord cliffs. This cruise is all about relaxing, as you stay on the boat the entire time, watching the scenery unfold before your eyes. Enjoy passing lush hills, colorful villages, towering cliffs, and snow-capped peaks. Learn more
Hike the Bergen Hills
Bergen is home to seven scenic hills, so a visit to the city can easily involve a beautiful hike.
Hike With a Local in Bergen
Explore Bergen's historic urban scene and surrounding nature with the help of a local. After a stroll through the city center and a stop for coffee at a café, start your hike into the city's famous hills. You'll trek along a picturesque trail taking you up to Mt. Sandviken and Stoltzekliven, following 900 steps built by sherpas from Nepal. Learn more
How to Craft the Perfect Bergen Itinerary
Bergen is already an ideal hub for exploring one of Norway's most popular regions, the fjord region. You can easily combine time in the city with exploring Hardangerfjord, Osterfjord, and Sognefjord. Visit the country's largest glaciers in nearby Folgefonna National Park, or combine Bergen with other regions, such as Oslo and Stavanger to the south or Trondheim and Ålesund to the north.
Plan for about five days to make the most out of a trip to Bergen and the fjords. If you want to hop to different regions or cities, give yourself at least one week. Read more about how much time to spend in Norway and the different regions you can explore.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following itineraries that include Bergen: