Bergen is one of the Southwestern coastal cities in Norway. Once the capital of Norway, Bergen is now a wonderful tourist spot to discover old and new in one unique city. With a diverse representation of people in this small city, you’ll find many cuisine types besides the fresh seafood that should be expected. Outdoor activities, like hiking, diving, and boating are also great things to do while in Bergen, but shopping and sightseeing should be at the top of your list.
1.The Floibanen Funicular
© Pierre Violet/stock.adobe.com
A funicular is a railway track that goes straight up a mountainside. The Floibanen Funicular takes you over 450 feet up the side of Mount Floyen to see the beauty of Norway. It takes approximately six minutes to reach the top, and once up there, hiking and vista viewing should be in mind. There are six stops along the Funicular since many locals use this as a mode of transportation and not just a sightseeing tool. The top of the mountain also houses a restaurant, souvenir shop, and park for the whole family to play and take refreshment.
Vetrlidsallmenningen 21, 5014, Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-33-68-00
The Rosenkrantz Tower was once home to King Eric Magnusson until 1299. This tower is considered the most important historic monument in all of Norway. With a history starting around 1270, the tower has changed, rebuilt, and escalated in size and grandeur since then. Today’s guests can climb all the narrow stairways to reach the top of the tower for a gorgeous look over Bergen and the waters. Given the piecemeal building of the tower, the rooms all vary in size, and the ceilings and floors do not match from room to room. It remains a piece of the Bergenhus fortress, so be sure to check out the rest of the fortress during your visit.
Bergenhus 4, 5003 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-30-80-38
3.Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf
Bryggen is Norwegian for dock, so visitors should expect plenty of gorgeous buildings with a view of the water. The original dock, and some of the surrounding building date back to the Middle Ages. Though fires have ravaged the site, most of the current buildings are still over 300 years old. Today, guests can check out the famous Fish Market, Bergenhaus Fortress, shops, and restaurants on the Wharf. The most popular attraction on the Wharf may be the brightly colored row of buildings. In fact, UNESCO named Bryggen a World Heritage site in 1979 because of its age, importance, and architecture.
Bryggen, 5003 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-55-20-200
When you’re ready to get some Brunch in Bergen, you may want to check out Café Bastant. AS a bakery, pub, and restaurant, Café Bastant is a triple threat to your hunger. The bakery at Bastant creates delicious rolls, loaves of bread, pastries, and cakes that can be preordered or purchased on the spot. Popular cakes, like the Suksesskake, known as the Success Cake, are offered year-round. Food and baked goods can be selected for delivery, meaning you won’t even have to leave your hotel to get some of Bastant’s best goodies. Some popular sandwiches to order are the shrimp with mayo, lemon, and dill, or brie with fig jam, apricots, and grapes.
Stolegaten 8!, 5003 Bergen, Norway
5.VilVite Bergen’s Science Centre
© VilVite Bergen’s Science Centre
VilVite is a fantastic attraction to visit when you’re in Bergen. It is fun and educational for the whole family, and you are pretty much guaranteed a great time. They believe that learning through play helps you learn better and retain new knowledge, so all exhibitions are hands-on. One of the most popular exhibits in the G-Force, which is the only one like this in Europe. The Creative Garden gets visitors into a technology-building setting, where everyone can experiment and build. Science shows are performed every weekend for families, which often include flames and explosions.
Thormohlens Gate 51, 5006 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-59-45-00
6.Aksdal I Muren
© Aksdal I Muren
With an average high of 64 degrees during the summer in Norway, you may find that you require some warmer clothing than you originally planned. Whether you want a taste of Norwegian style, warmer clothes, or just to shop for something new, Aksdal I Muren is the place to go in Bergen. Aksdal has been selling jackets and other cold-weather items since 1883. They sell some popular European brands, such as Barbour and Blaest Rainwear. No matter what, be sure to consider when you’re visiting, since the weather can get quite wet and cold. You may find yourself in need of galoshes, raincoats, or scarves.
Ostre Muralmenning 23, 5012 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-24-24-55
7.KODE Art Museum of Bergen
© KODE Art Museum of Bergen
KODE is more than just one building, it is a group of museums and composer homes in the Bergen area. The Art Museum of Bergen, in particular, crosses four buildings. Each is called KODE, with a respective number. KODE 1 is where most of the permanent exhibits are housed, KODE 2 is where the temporary exhibits are shown, KODE 3 is where the Edvard Munch and other Norwegian artists are hung, and KODE 4 is the children’s art museum. Though some travel is required to hit all four buildings, they are worth it for the whole family.
Rasmus Meyers Alle 9, 5015 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-53-00-97-04
Pingvinen, which translates to The Penguin, is a restaurant that celebrates Norwegian cuisine with fresh ingredients. Be sure to look for lamb, fish, and mutton on the menu, though items are not limited to that. In the morning, to go with coffee, you may want to try the eggs & bacon with beans, a very traditional European dish. Or you may want to delve into some of their homemade liver pastry. After all, met cakes and stew are always served. The bar is fully stocked with local and international beers, wines, and liquors.
Vaskerelven 14, 5014 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-60-46-46
© Apollon Platebar
Apollon may be the only place in Norway where patrons can still find vinyl records for purchase. Since 1976, Apollon has been an independent record store, not catering to any big box stores or branding. Apollon simply wants its customers to come on in, enjoy a coffee or beer, and check out all they have to offer. You can purchase almost any of the older technology formats that you may still love to listen to. While browsing the racks, sample the 30+ beers on tap and then discuss your favorite rock ‘n roll with some locals.
Nygardsgaten 2A, 5015 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-31-59-43
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Fantoft Stavkirke is a stave church located in Bergen. With roots back to 1150, this historic church is worth a tour when visiting Bergen. Stave churches were once a huge part of Norway, but the Fantoft Stavkirke saw a tragedy in 1992 when a fire burned it to the ground. Not to be disheartened, the church was rebuilt to look exactly as it once did in 1150. Be sure to check out the amazing architecture and the old Norse elements, like the dragon heads that adorn the steeple. This is not open year-round, only during the summer months.
11.Marg & Bein
© Marg & Bein
Marg & Bein is a Bergen restaurant that focuses on snout to tail cooking. The menu has some commonly occurring items, but the menu changes often (sometimes day-to-day). You’re guaranteed a gourmet meal with ingredients you may never think to try before now. Some examples of menu items include blood pudding with rhubarb-apple chutney, beef tongue with celery root emulsion, and fried mackerel with tomato chutney and sour cream. Some of the more popular dishes include beef jerky and bone marrow. Deserts typically include cheeses and berries. With a rotating menu, each time you visit will be an adventure.
Fosswinckels Gate 18, 5007 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-32-34-32
© Restaurant 1877
Inspired by Western ingredients, Restaurant 1877 focuses on Norwegian cuisine with a twist. The chef works with local suppliers for many ingredients, most importantly, seafood. The menu is typically set depending on the hour you dine. You may choose a 3-course meal or a 5-course meal, but each course is expertly paired with a wine that complements the ingredients. While the 5-course meal is set ahead of time, the 3-course allows for a few different options, depending on your tastes. For instance, you can choose between shellfish or fish for the appetizer and meat or fish for the main course.
Vetrlidsallmenningen 2, 5014 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 92-87-18-77
© Munken Bistro
Opened in 2014, Munken Bistro is a family-run restaurant inspired by Peruvian cuisine. The master chef is from Peru, so the food here is a Peruvian-Norwegian fusion. While the menu offerings are small depending on the season, the portions are very large. Each dish is a piece of art, looking just as beautiful on the plate as it tastes. Similar to some other Norwegian restaurants, Munken offers set menus, so that each dish complements the next. There are four groupings to choose from: el classico, el pescetariano, el pato, and el venetariano. Depending on your preference, you’ll be sure to enjoy the trio of dishes you choose.
Klostergaten 12, 5005 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-47-46-24-55
Colonialen 44 provides a 4-course experience that is going to delight your tastebuds. Since Colonialen 44 has a wine cellar, each course is paired with its perfect wine partner. However, with over 100 wines on the list, you are encouraged to also try something new during your eating experience. Be treated to a different experience each time you go, since the menu changes with ingredient offerings every Tuesday. This encourages the chef to be creative and offer new and exciting dishes each week. Consider some pasta dishes that have been a success: mushroom risotto with pumpkin, scallops with four sauces, and pork with apples and carrots.
Kong Oscars Gate 44, 5017 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-90-16-00
© Bare Vestland
When you’re craving some other European foods, there are plenty of restaurants that have you covered. Bare Vestalnd is the Spanish tapas restaurant you need to visit. Only seasonal ingredients are used, so you’re guaranteed a fresh meal every day. Like with many other Bergen restaurants, Bare Vestland patrons can also choose from a 3-, 4-, or 6-course meal to share with your tablemates. One option, a 6-course meal, is paired with some of the restaurants best beers to bring out the flavors in the hops and the food. With these meals, you put your trust in the chefs, since they decide what to serve you.
Vagsallmenningen 1, 5014 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-91-90-04-56
© Da Stefano
For Italian cuisine in Bergen, head over to Da Stefano Restaurant. All food is handmade and inspired by all regions of Italy. Travel from cool, coastal Bergen, to Sunny Tuscany with just a few bites of this authentic Italian cuisine. Look for menu items such as focaccia, bruschetta, caprese, pizza margherita, and calzones. Entrees include classic pasta like gnocchi, tagliatelle al quatro formaggio, and spaghetti arrabbiata. You can even look for homemade gelato for dessert or one of the tasty Italian desserts like pannacotta or tiramisu. And, just like in Italy, be sure to pair your dinner entrée with a fantastic wine pairing.
Strandgaten 87, 5004 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-24-24-44
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At KODE 4, while the kids are exploring or when you just need a break from sightseeing, Lysverket is the place to stop. Most of the menu is made with local, fresh seafood, but you will find meats from local slaughterhouses. Try something new, like dill crackers with smoked cod dip or sea urchin butter, or something a bit less adventurous, like grilled leeks and cabbage with mustard seeds and black truffles. Be sure to check out the goat’s milk panna cotta with elderflower and strawberries or the chocolate mousse with bay leaf ice cream and coffee caramel for dessert.
Ramus Meyers Alle 9, Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-55-60-31-00
18.Cornelius Sjomat Restaurant
© Cornelius Sjomat Restaurant
When visiting Norway, you need to sample the local seafood. Straight from the waters before it, the seafood that Cornelius Sjomat Restaurant cooks is fresh and selected specifically for that day. Cornelius uses a Meteorological menu, which looks at the food specific to that season and day. To start your seafood experience, you’ll take a boat ride across the lake to a beautiful little island (if you prefer a grander entrance, they have a helipad). Once at Cornelius, you’ll get a 5-course meal that is created based on the freshest seafood available that day. The views of the fjord and mountains around may make the trip worthwhile alone.
Strandgaten 203, 5004 Bergen, Norway, Phone: 47-56-33-48-80
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18 Best Things to Do in Bergen, Norway
- The Floibanen Funicular, Photo: Pierre Violet/stock.adobe.com
- Rosenkrantztarnet, Photo: fotobeam.de/stock.adobe.com
- Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, Photo: jobipro/stock.adobe.com
- Bastant Stolegaten, Photo: Elena/stock.adobe.com
- VilVite Bergen’s Science Centre, Photo: VilVite Bergen’s Science Centre
- Aksdal I Muren, Photo: Aksdal I Muren
- KODE Art Museum of Bergen, Photo: KODE Art Museum of Bergen
- Pingvinen, Photo: Pingvinen
- Apollon Platebar, Photo: Apollon Platebar
- Fantoft Stavkirke, Photo: mariusltu/stock.adobe.com
- Marg & Bein, Photo: Marg & Bein
- Restaurant 1877, Photo: Restaurant 1877
- Munken Bistro, Photo: Munken Bistro
- Colonialen, Photo: Colonialen
- Bare Vestland, Photo: Bare Vestland
- Da Stefano, Photo: Da Stefano
- Lysverket, Photo: Lysverket
- Cornelius Sjomat Restaurant, Photo: Cornelius Sjomat Restaurant
- Cover Photo: Grigory Bruev/stock.adobe.com