5 of the Best Things to Do in Bergen, Norway

Bergen is known as the “gateway to the fjords”, and with its prime location smack in the middle of the major fjords in Norway, it’s easy to see why it’s such a coveted destination. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, yet the quaint vibe it projects would never lend itself to that. Resist the urge to breeze through this city and stay for a few days to experience five of the best things to do in Bergen!

Things to do in Bergen

1. Marvel at colorful Bryggen
Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Colorful houses of Bryggen

Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Colorful Bryggen

This UNESCO World Heritage site is the iconic poster site for Bergen. The colourful row of toy-like houses is the most recognizable landmark of the city and arguably the most photographed spot in Bergen. Tragically, Bryggen has been the the victim of many fires, as the houses were traditionally made with wood. Fortunately, Bryggen has been restored several times, and revamped into the cultural center of the city.

Don’t miss: You may be tempted to snap a few photos and leave. However, I highly recommend wandering through the back streets to truly appreciate the architecture and to discover some local hangouts of the city.

2. Get out onto the water
Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Fjord cruise

Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Fjord cruise

You can’t go to Bergen and miss out on the magnificent surroundings that make this destination so popular. As the gateway to the fjords, a fjord cruise is an absolute must and arguably the most popular attraction in Scandinavia.

Pro tip: If you’re on more of a budget, opt for the mini cruise from Bergen to Mostraumen. This wonderful tour offers a nice sneak peek into the smaller fjords of Norway. You’ll pass by traditional Nordic villages and impressive waterfalls where you’ll get to sample the fresh mountain water. You may even get to feed some friendly goats if they’re in the mood to come out and play!

3. Feed your inner child at the aquarium
Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Aquarium

Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Aquarium

The aquarium is a nice break from the city. It’s small and cozy, but has enough to keep you entertained. It’s a great place to take your kids, and also the perfect place to bring out the inner child in you.

Don’t miss: The walk leading to the aquarium will take you past a few beautiful neighborhoods, so take a few extra minutes (or hours) and get lost in the alleys.

Pro tip: Check online (or at the entrance) for feeding times. A few times a day, there’s an entertaining feeding of the penguins, sea lions, and even crocodiles.

4. Enjoy panoramic views at Mount Fløyen
Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Mount Floyen

Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Mount Fløyen

I firmly believe the best way to appreciate the beauty of a city is from above! Take the funicular to the top for stunning panoramic views over the city and surrounding landscapes. The viewing platform is a great spot to set up camp with a bottle of wine and enjoy the sunset.

Pro tip: There’s a park at the top, so take a walk and enjoy the nature. If you’re feeling up for the hike, there’s also a path leading to Mount Ulriken, another prime spot for spectacular views over the city.

5. Stimulate your senses at Bar Barista
Things to do in Bergen Norway | Bar Barista

Photos by Instagram users Emily Cintron @liiivethedream and Zach Krame @zkrame

This colorful little cafe is great for coffee by day and turns into a hotspot for cocktails at night. The funky decor will lure you inside, with an eclectic mix of umbrellas, musical instruments, clocks, and other random items hanging aimlessly from the ceiling. It’s also very affordable compared to the usual prices of Norway and has more of a local crowd.

Pro tip: Get there early, or you’ll be fighting for a seat!

Things to do in Bergen, Norway | Colorful Bryggen

You may be tempted to quickly pass through Bergen as you make your way to the well-known fjords, but that would be a big mistake. There are many unique things to do in Bergen and it’s best to stay for a short weekend to really savor all of it. For extra help planning your ideal Norway trip, check out the Eurail Norway itinerary.

You might also like:
Europe’s 10 must-see natural wonders
Norway’s stunning Rauma scenic train ride
8 winter train travel moments with Eurail