*Disclaimer: I was gifted the Bergen Card in collaboration with Visit Bergen for my stay in the city. Also, the Norway in a Nutshell Tour was gifted in collaboration with Fjord Tours, Norway in a Nutshell and Visit Flam.As always, all experiences, photos, thoughts and opinions are all my own!
My recent trip to Scandinavia was one for the books, kicking off the excursion in the beautiful western city of Bergen.
Bergen is Norway’s second largest city, after Oslo, and is completely surrounded by mountains and fjords, specifically the Sognefjord which is Norway’s longest and deepest.
Here’s 3 Days in Bergen: A Norwegian Fairytale
Bergen is located within the municipality of Hordaland on the west coast of Norway, nearly 300 miles from Oslo.
Flights to Bergen through Norwegian Air or SAS (Scandinavia Airlines) are fairly reasonable. I flew from Chicago O’Hare to Gatwick airport in London and then a direct flight on to Bergen, a one-way ticket costing around $325.
With a slew of options for places to stay in Bergen, I booked a fairly reasonable AirBnb that was located on the cutest street (see the listing here). Having a full size kitchen and a washer and dryer came in handy to help save money! I shopped at the nearby grocery store and made dinner nightly because, y’know, budget backpacker here!
Click here to save some money on your first stay with AirBnb!
The Bergen Card
If you’re planning a trip to Bergen, definitely take advantage of buying a Bergen Card for up to a 72 hour time period. Not only will it grant you a free transport to and from the airport, but you’re also able to get a ton of different discounts and free admissions to museums, attractions and restaurants!
Bergen is considered Europe’s most rainy city as it experiences precipitation for nearly 70% of the year. I definitely experienced that on the first day when I planned to spend my time exploring the best parts of the town.
After grabbing a cappuccino at the Espresso House, we walked through the pedestrian-friendly square called Torgallmenningen, full of shops, restaurants, benches and sculptures.
The first stop in the morning was the Fish Market, one of the most popular areas in Bergen. Operating since the 1200s, the market sells fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables in a picturesque atmosphere at the base of the fjords.
An indoor fish market, Mathallen, is located near the outdoor fish market, below the Visit Bergen tourist information center.
Continuing on to the north is the Hanseatic Museum, dedicated to the German Hanseatic merchants who have conducted port business here since the 1300s.
The Pomnik Mina Morska is a popular sculpture located near this area as well, along with the picturesque European architecture in the background.
Following along the water’s edge, the Port of Bergen and the Bergen Havn can be seen with the various fishing boats docked and the view across the water at the more modern parts of Bergen.
A quick 180 turn away from the water will display the opposite of that modern look with the most popular spot in Bergen, the UNESCO-site of Bryggen.
This “Old Town” of Bergen has been standing since the city was established in the late 1000s, but this portion was constructed after the great fire of 1702.
We made a quick stop into Baker Brun, a small café that’s been operating here at Bryggen since 1893.
Taking the alleyways hidden between Bryggen opens up a whole other world where Bryggen’s old town name earns its name. Schøtstuene, an area depicting the life of German Hanseatic merchants and their meeting hall can be found behind the picturesque colorful buildings of Bryggen.
Multiple shops full of artwork, cafés and structures exist at the back portion of Bryggen and the colorful buildings continue on.
Dinner was spent back at the AirBnb cooking up some pasta before getting an early night’s sleep.
Up and at ’em bright and early today, I headed off for coffee and breakfast then up to Mount Fløyen via the Fløibanen funicular.
Since I had my Bergen Card gifted by Visit Bergen, I was granted a free roundtrip ticket on the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen to spend the day soaking in the views and hiking around the mountain.
Read More: Exploring Mount Fløyen with Visit Bergen
After making it back down to the bottom, I snagged dinner at Fish Me in the Fish Market where I had the best fried cod I’ve had in my life (no joke!) I also received 10% off my meal by using the Bergen Card.
After dinner, I decided to head out on this side of Bergen through the residential areas to see the cute cobblestone streets and the colorful homes.
The sun was nearly setting at this point so I walked back down to Bergen’s waterfront near the ferry port in front of the Fish Market to snap some pics of the incredible views of Bryggen across the water.
You must take an entire day from Bergen to embark on the Norway in a Nutshell tour! This completely customizable, self-guided tour transports you on the Bergen Railway, along the UNESCO fjords and to the picturesque village of Flåm with a scenic train ride down the iconic Flåm Railway.
My favorite part of the day was the 2 hour fjord cruise on the stunning Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, both UNESCO-protected sites.
Read More: Cruising Through the Fjords of Norway
My other highlight of the day was something I had been dreaming about for years, visiting the picturesque colorful village of Flåm and a ride on the Flåmsbana, regarded as one of the most scenic train rides in the world.
Read More: A Visit to Flåm + The Flåmsbana
The route brought me back to Bergen from the Myrdal train station via the Bergen Rail.
Bergen: a Norwegian Fairytale
I’m so incredibly grateful that I finally got the opportunity to visit Norway’s most western city. A huge thank you to Visit Bergen for collaborating and gifting me the Bergen Card! If you’re looking to take a trip to Bergen, I really couldn’t recommend it more and the Bergen Card will make your stay that much more enjoyable!
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