- Bergen's top sights
- Bryggen - UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Bergen's fish market
- Bergenhus Festning, Håkonshalle and Rosenkrantztårnet
- Excursions Bergen - GetYourGuide
- Bergen's important churches
- Two spectacular vantage points
- City tour through Bergen
- Important to know
Located on the Inner Byfjord, Bergen is Norway's leading cruise port. In 2019, before the start of the global corona pandemic, 330 cruise ship calls and around 600.000 passengers were expected. The city with 284.000 inhabitants has the Bryggen district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a number of notable sights.
Welcome to mountains
Bergen's top sights
Almost all attractions in Bergen are within walking distance of the cruise and Hurtigruten berths. With a little preparation, you can easily discover the city on your own. The top sights for short visits include the UNESCO World Heritage Bryggen, the Bergenhus Fortress, the varied, urban city center, several churches and the local mountain Fløien and Ulriken643.
Bryggen - UNESCO World Heritage Site
The old Hanseatic district of Bryggen has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. Bryggen is Bergen's oldest district. The Low German Hanseatic League, the association of German merchants, set up a trading post in Bergen in 1360. The narrow streets and corridors of the quarter could have sprung from the Hanseatic period. If it hadn't been for the fires of 1702 and 1955, which destroyed large parts of the district. The long rows of houses and narrow streets that were then rebuilt still give an idea of what it might have looked like in this part of the city in the days of the Hanseatic League.
In the present day, Bryggen is home to cafes, art galleries and shops. The 61 listed buildings also house several museums.
Bergen's fish market
At the fish market on Strandkaien, within sight of the Bryggen district, sea fish and seafood are in abundance. Tables and benches, conveniently protected against wind and rain, are ready to sample the delicacies from the sea.
The fish market is open continuously between 8am and 11pm
Bergenhus Festning, Håkonshalle and Rosenkrantztårnet
In the 12th century the construction of the Bergenhus Fortress began. It is strategically located at the entrance to the natural harbor of Vågen. King Øystein Magnusson resided in the fortress area. As a result, Norway's kings were crowned in Bergen, and Bergen rose to become the capital of Norway. The royal court was later expanded into a fortress. The fortifications are used for military purposes.
The Håkonshalle was built at the behest of King Håkon Håkonsson in the mid-13th century for use as a residence and festival hall. Centuries later the building fell into disrepair. From 1683 it was used as a granary. The hall was renovated in the second half of the 19th century. Today it is used as an event location.
The powerful Rosenkrantztårnet was only built in the second half of the 16th century. Two older buildings of the fortifications were included in the fortress and residential tower.
The three objects have been released for viewing. Access restrictions apply during celebrations and concerts.
The buildings are freely accessible to holders of the Bergen Card, which is subject to a fee.
Excursions Bergen - GetYourGuide
Bergen's important churches
St. Mary's Church
The Marienkirche can be recognized by two high, square towers. It is said that it is the oldest surviving building in Bergen. But it has not been proven. The church was built as a Romanesque basilica based on the model of Speyer Cathedral. The church dates from around 1130. The building adjacent to the Bryggen quarter was mainly used by the German merchants of the Hanseatic League. That is why the church was nicknamed "German Church" for a long time. Preaching in German continued until 1868. The triptych is particularly worth seeing. The winged altar probably dates from the 15th century.
St. Olav Cathedral
The "Bergen Cathedral" is the main church of the Lutheran diocese of Bergen. The construction of the cathedral began around 1150. The church is 60 meters long and 20 meters wide. In 1537 the church was elevated to a cathedral. The square tower comes from the 17th century. The cathedral is located in the city center. In the wall of the church tower is a cannonball that was fired in 1665 during the "Battle of Bergen".
Fantoft stave church
Stave churches are a Norwegian peculiarity. Although they are Christian churches, they integrate pagan symbols such as dragons and depictions of Odin, the father of gods, into the church.
Fantoft stave church
The stave church in Fantoft is a faithful replica of the church destroyed by arson in 1992 at the same location. The previous church was built from wood in Fortun by the Sognefjord around 1150. In 1883 the church was supposed to be demolished and sold as firewood. A wealthy Bergen citizen bought it and had it rebuilt based on the historical model in Fantoft, a suburb of Bergen. The stave church is outside the Fantoft estate in a wooded area.
Medieval stone cross next to Fantoft stave church
Individual Bergen visitors can reach the stave church by taking tram line 1, which runs between Bergen and the airport.
our recommendation: At the final stop Bergen / Byparken, take the train towards Lufthavn. After about 18 minutes, leave the train in the Fantoft district and follow the signs to “Stavkirke”.
The Bergen Card allows you to use the tram for free. Access to the church is also free for cardholders.
Two spectacular vantage points
Bergen's local mountain, Fløien
One of the seven hills surrounding the city of Bergen is the 320-meter-high local mountain Fløien. With the Fløibanen, the only funicular in Scandinavia, visitors to Fløien can take a seven-minute panoramic ride up the mountain. The panorama of the city, the harbor and the surrounding fjord and mountain landscape is revealed to the visitors from a viewing platform.
Bergen seen from the local mountain Fløien
In the “Fløien Folkerestaurant”, guests are catered for with care. Further tourist offers are: a café, a souvenir shop and a variedly designed children's playground. Beautiful circular routes of various lengths start at the mountain station.
The Fløibanen valley station is only 150 meters from Bryggen or the fish market. The modern train with a glass roof and panoramic windows is also suitable for wheelchair users and prams.
Adults pay NOK 2023 (EUR 1) for a return ticket between April 30 and September 160 in 13,80; Bergen Card holders receive significant discounts.
The highest of the seven peaks surrounding the city is the 643 meter high Ulriken. The view from Ulriken is even more spectacular than that from Fløien. Sporty natures master the difference in altitude on foot; we, on the other hand, use the cable car.
how to get there The Ulriken Express bus, which runs regularly, takes guests from the center of Bergen to the valley station of the cable car, which is about three kilometers away.
Cost: 100 NOK. It is cheaper to use public transport. Bus lines 2, 3 and 80 stop at the valley station. Tram line 2 (starting at Kaigaten; traveling in the direction of Fyllingsdalen) also goes in the direction of Ulriken643. Get off at the fourth stop (Haukeland sjukehus). From there, visitors walk about a quarter of an hour steeply uphill to the valley station of the cable car.
In 2023, return tickets cost NOK 365, equivalent to EUR 31. Bergen Card holders were granted a 20 percent discount. The cable cars operate daily between 1:30 and 09:00 between May 23st and September 00th. Outside of these times, other travel times apply. Additional information is below https://www.visitnorway.de .
City tour through Bergen
A visit to the port city should not be limited to Bryggen, the fish market and Fløien. In the heart of the city there are remarkable buildings that should be viewed during a city tour. Bergen presents itself as a modern city with many imposing buildings, cafes, restaurants, attractive shops and shopping centers. An urban highlight is the wide, traffic-calmed shopping street Torgallmenningen.
Bank building on the Torgallmenninigen
An eye-catcher in the city center is the Lille Lungegårdsvannet. The natural octagonal lake, straightened during the city's expansion, is surrounded by manicured parks and an impressive fountain complex.
The Lille Lungegårdsvannet
On the south side of the lake are the Kode art museums. The exhibits primarily represent the regional art scene; but works by the Norwegian Edvard Munch will also be shown. Somewhat offset from the lake are the Grieghallen at Lars Hilles Gate. Bergen's concert hall, built in 1978, is a modern building that is well worth seeing.
To the west of the lake is the Byparken green area. The eye-catcher there is the classically beautiful music pavilion. It is similar to the "bandstands" of English seaside resorts. To the right of it is an Edvard Grieg statue. One encounters still images of the master in other parts of Bergen as well. The composer is, after all, a famous son of the city.
The music pavilions in by-parking
From the music pavilion, with the lake in the back, the visitors look at the Ole Bull fountain.
The fountain is followed by blå Steinen, a stone monument on Kong Olav Vs Plass. Some distance away, in an elevated position, is Den Nationale Scene, Norway's oldest theatre. Incidentally, it is not far from there to the Hurtigruten pier or the Jekteviks cruise terminal.
On the way to one of the two terminals, visitors to Bergen pass the Nøstedt district after the National Scene Theater. With its tranquil, cobbled streets, picturesque wooden houses and street art, it is one of the trendiest districts.
After the detour to tranquil Nøstedt, you return to the harbor via Torgallmenningen. The seven meter high Sjømannsmonumentet stands in the pedestrian street near the fish market. Four reliefs and twelve statues tell of the achievements of Norwegian seafarers since Viking times.
The three-masted barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl stands out in the harbor basin. The 98 meter sail training ship was launched in January 1914. The tall ship has been operated by a foundation for forty years. The Royal Norwegian Navy regularly charters the ship as a training ship. With 2.026 square meters of sail area, the tall ship enjoys high recognition at international sailing meetings.
Three-masted barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl
Important to know
Bergen is a city of short distances. In the course of a one-day stay, all the sights presented can be linked and visited. There is no need to travel on the hop-on hop-off buses waiting outside Jekteviks or Skolten cruise terminals for ship arrivals.
However, the purchase of the Bergen Card should be considered. The card offers free use of public transport and free or reduced-price access to certain sights in the city.
The 24-hour Bergen Card is offered for NOK 380 (EUR 32,30 - as of 2023). Discounts are available for children, seniors and students. Bergen Tourist Information, located next to the Fish Market, sells the Bergen Card.
Update - June 2023