24 Hours in Bergen

November 19, 2011 (Last Updated: April 27, 2020)
by Carolyn
24 hours in Bergen

Flying into Bergen from Helsinki as part of a quick three day visit to Norway we were greeted with grey skies, despite it being the middle of summer.

By the time we reached the centre of town, though, a quick 20 minute bus ride from the airport, the clouds had parted and Bergen was bathed in sunshine. And what a glorious sight it was!

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Alighting at the Fish Market around midday, we were right in the heart of Bergen and it was just a five minute walk, even with our luggage in tow, to our hotel, the Scandic Hotel Neptun.

Our room, which we’d pre-booked from Australia, was huge, with a separate bedroom and large living area. Like other hotels we’d stayed at on this visit to Scandinavia, the hotel provided free Wi-Fi.

Bergen fish market Sampling the catch of the day at the Bergen fish market.

After checking in and depositing our bags, we headed straight back to the Fish Market where we enjoyed the freshest fish and chips right by the harbour’s edge. We then set off to explore as much of Bergen as was possible in half a day.

With their brightly painted facades, the buildings along the old wharf area of Bryggen stood out and beckoned us closer. A photographer’s dream, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings are now home to souvenir and craft shops, galleries, cafes and the Hanseatiske Museum.

It’s easy to spend a lazy couple of hours wandering the laneways behind the wharf area or people watching at one of the outdoor cafes. 

No doubt you’ll be snapping photos at every turn as Bergen is such a picturesque city in a wonderfully photogenic country as these 20 pictures of Norway prove.

Bryggen wharf area Bergen The Bryggen wharf area is one of Bergen’s main attractions.

Just past Bryggen you’ll find the imposing Rosenkrantz Tower, part of the old fortifications of Bergen Castle. Built in 1560 as a defence post and residence, visitors today can still climb the medieval tower for a great view over Bergen and her harbour.

The best place for a view, though, is from Floyfjellet mountain, more commonly known as Floyen. A funicular whisks visitors up 320 metres to the summit from where you can drink in the most spectacular views of Bergen and the harbour.

Like to explore more of Scandinavia? This 3 days in Stockholm itinerary will help to convince you to include the Swedish capital in your travels.

Dinner on the restaurant terrace, with views to die for, was one of the many highlights of our trip.

After dinner, we wandered along a couple of the walking paths on Floyen, stopping at the many vantage points for more jaw-dropping views, before we boarded the funicular for our return to the city below.

View of Bergen from Floyen The funicular ride to the top of the Floyen mountain provided spectacular views over Bergen.

Despite it now approaching 9.30pm, there was still plenty of daylight (we were in Scandinavia in Summer, after all!), so we spent some time browsing the streets near the funicular station before heading back to our hotel.

Bergen buildings We enjoyed wandering the side streets of Bergen, away from the many tourists.

Our fleeting visit to Bergen was almost over as we had an 8.30am departure the next morning.

Joining our Fjord Tours cruise, we sadly watched Bergen disappear into the distance as we glided towards Flam, the next stop on our Norwegian visit, as part of the Sognefjord in a Nutshell cruise and tour.

We’d spent less than 24 hours in Bergen but it stole our hearts and we’ll definitely be back for another visit.

Bergen architecture Everywhere you look in Bergen the architecture is spectacular.

Bergen Facts

How to get to Bergen:

Bergen airport is serviced by flights from most European airports.

The Norwegian Railways operate a daily service between Oslo and Bergen and vice versa with a journey time of around 7 hours. The Oslo-Bergen line also forms part of the Norway in a Nutshell rail/cruise tour.

If you prefer the freedom of driving yourself, driving from Oslo to Bergen (or in reverse) is a great way to travel between the two cities.

Airport Bus:

Flybussen – around NOK115 per adult one way

Where to Stay in Bergen:

We stayed at the Scandic Hotel Neptun and couldn’t fault the hotel’s service, facilities or location. Click here to check current rates

What to See in Bergen:

  • Fish Market (lunch of fresh salmon and chips NOK120 pp
  • Bryggen – free
  • Rosenkrantz Tower – NOK50 per adult
  • Floyen – Floibanen NOK70 pp return trip, Cafe meal on Floyen NOK180 pp.

All prices subject to change.