Welcome to Bergen!
Engulfed by picturesque fjords and gorgeous mountain ranges, Bergen, Norway, is a dreamy city filled with natural wonders. A city set on the rugged coast, it earns its listing as a UNESCO World Heritage City for its sheer beauty. Considered to be the gateway to Norway’s spectacular fjords, the city has an allure that is begging to be explored. From narrow, cobbled streets to colorful wooden houses, there are plenty of gems to discover aside from its fjords. This is a worldwide local’s guide to the beautiful Bergen.
Begin with Beauty and History
Just a few miles from the center of Bergen is the fascinating Fantoft Stave Church. Wooden stave churches are a distinct architectural design native to Norway, with many scattered around the country--keep an eye out for them as you ride the Oslo to Bergen train. Built in 1150 in a town called Fortune and then moved locally to Fantoft, it is a rebuilt version of the original, which was damaged by fire in 1992. Its dark color and steep spire, along with the scale-like roof, make the design of the stave church unique. The beauty is in the detail, as you see dragon heads on the roof, symbolizing the conflict that existed between Christianity and Norse mythology when it was built.
Worldwide Local Tip: Bergen has a long tradition of fishing, with the fish market dating from the 1200s. Today, it is still an important trading hub in the center of the city. The fishing culture has been relatively unchanged, and the market still sees local fishermen arriving in the morning to sell their fresh catch.
Don’t Miss the Colorful Bryggen
A trip to Bergen is not complete without visiting the colorful facades of Bryggen. Once the epicenter of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire, it is now a tranquil spot across the old wharf, lined with cafes, exuding a rustic atmosphere. Explore Bryggen beyond its colorful houses--head down its narrow alleyways to find small, local shops where you can buy trinkets to take home with you. Pick up a collection of Bergen Trolls to bring to your friends back home!
Worldwide Local Tip: Book your accommodation at the Hotel Park Bergen for a charming stay at the heart of the city. Listed as one of Norway’s historical hotels, the family-run hotel is set in a historic building that dates back to the late 1800s and has a blend of antique and contemporary designs. Its captivating, whitewashed exterior and quaint interior ensures a pleasant stay in one of the best Bergen hotels.
Bergen and the Arts
Bergen is currently cradling a burgeoning art scene, with outdoor sculptures and street art all over the city. Enjoy the crisp Bergen weather by taking a walking tour of the local art.
You can catch a glimpse of Bergen’s contemporary art scene in the Bergen Kunsthall. It displays local and international art dating back to the 1930s, mainly focusing on up-and-coming local artists. The exhibits constantly rotate, which enables the gallery to update its displays with varying themes and makes it a great meeting place for creative minds.
Worldwide Local Tip: Visit the Norwegian composer Ole Bull’s former summer home, situated on the island of Lysøen. Set against the backdrop of magnificent natural scenery, the whimsical house is just as bewitching. Hailing straight from the composer’s creative mind, the design is straight from a fairytale story. The wooden house boasts grand designs, from the spiral entrance staircase to the intricate wooden carvings.
Enjoy Your Visit!
A serene city nestled deep within the breathtaking fjords, Bergen is much more than just a cruise stop through its beautiful landscape. A city full of traditional character with a compelling history, Bergen possesses a plethora of hidden gems. Explore Norway’s “second city” as a worldwide local and you’ll fall in love with Bergen in an instant.