- For other places with the same name, see Bergen (disambiguation).
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway and the most popular gateway to the fjords of West Norway. The city is renowned for its great location amidst mountains, fjords and the ocean. Steep mountains and highlands within the city offers excellent hiking opportunities. Having fostered many of Norway's greatest bands and artists, the city is also famous for its cultural life and underground/indie music scene. Bergen's unpredictable weather adds to its quirky, unmistakable charm. Bergen was Norway's main city for centuries, and many patritotic inhabitants believe it still is.
Founded around 1070 AD, Bergen quickly evolved into one of the most important cities in Norway. It was the country's administrative capital from the early 1200s until 1299, and the largest city in Scandinavia. Bergen was one of the most important bureau cities of the Hanseatic League, interconnecting continental Europe with the northern and coastal parts of Norway, thus becoming a central spot for the vending of stockfish and the commercial hot spot in Norway. It was the largest city in Norway until the 1830s and has a long maritime history in shipping and finance.
The city still has relics of its Hanseatic heyday, most notably the old harbor of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen has been ravaged by several fires; the most recent major fire took place in 1917, a fire which destroyed most of the buildings in what is today the central parts of the city center, centered around the large square Torgallmenningen.
While few mediveal buildings remain, the historical centre of Bergen is along the eastern shore of the harbour, notably Bryggen (the Wharf), the fortress and the two key churches (Mariakirken/St Marys and Korskirken/Holy cross church). The pattern of settlement is largely unchanged for almost 1,000 years, including Øvregaten/Lille Øvregate − one of Norway's oldest streets.
Bergen is located far west in Norway, sheltered from the North Sea only by a number of islands. It is situated along latitude 60 degrees north, as Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Anchorage. The city is the most hilly and mountainous in Norway. The city center is surrounded by a group of mountains and peaks known as the Seven Mountains, a defining characteristic which has given the city its name (berg is an old Norse word for mountain). The geographic conditions of the city are very visible; limited space to build on made it necessary in the 19th century that new city blocks be built on the steep slopes of mount Fløyen
Except for the dense city center, which made up the entire city before 1916, Bergen is the least dense of the four largest cities in Norway. Most of the settlement inside the very wide city borders is concentrated in the western part of the municipality. The rest of the municipality is made up of mountains, as well as some farmland and smaller settlements.
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The best site for weather forecasts in English is yr.no
Due to the city's location relatively far north, close to the northern sea and surrounded by mountains, special weather conditions occur, resulting in approximately 240 days with precipitation a year and a mean temperature of 7.6 °C (45.7 °F). In January 2007, a record of 85 rainy days in a row was set. Still, local people claim there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. An annual mean at close to 8 °C, with even January on average above 0 °C, makes Bergen the warmest city in Norway. Frost just below 0°C and some snow occurs between December and February, but temperatures colder than -10 °C are very rare. Temperatures above 30 °C are also extremely rare.
For the rest of us, the trick is obviously to choose the time of visit with caution. The infamous rain should not keep visitors away in summer, because when the sun breaks through after a rainy day, hardly any city twinkles and glows like Bergen. If you catch the city on a sunny day, you will find an incredible atmosphere as citizens really know how to appreciate nice weather. City planners have probably had this in mind the latest years, resulting in the creation of open spaces, parks, flowers and lawns that are scattered all over downtown.
July has the highest mean temperature, 14.3 °C (57.7 °F), with August, 14.1 °C (57.4 °F) following close behind. May is usually the month with the least precipitation. Considering the number of local events this month, May is probably the best time to visit Bergen, with the summer months of June, July and August almost as good. April is also a relatively dry month, although cooler than the summer months. These averages are merely indications as weather is famously unpredictable and rain does not appear in any regular pattern.
Bergen is one of the most important cultural centers in Norway. The city is the home of the Bergen International Festival, Nattjazz and Bergenfest, festivals of international renown within their genres. The local symphony orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, was founded in 1786. It is one of the world's oldest orchestral institutions. Bergen was the home of Norway's great composer, Edvard Grieg. Henrik Ibsen, the famous playwright, started his career in Bergen as manager of Den Nationale Scene.
Around 2000, a number of artists from the rhythmic music scene in Bergen gained international fame. In the domestic press, this became known as the Bergen Wave. Musicians and bands with roots in Bergen include Annie, Burzum, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Immortal, Erlend Øye, Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp, Sondre Lerche, and Datarock. Bergen still has a thriving underground/indie music scene.
In recent years, a number of great international artists have visited Bergen, including Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Foo Fighters, Coldplay, Muse, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Kent and Mark Knopfler. And in the summer of 2011 several artists including Roxette, Mastodon, Avenged Sevenfold, Suzanne Vega, Bob Dylan, Kaizers Orchestra, Kanye West and Rihanna appeared.
Research and education
Bergen is home to important institutions of research and education: The University of Bergen, the College of Applied Sciences, and the Norwegian School of Economics. Even before these institutions were created important work were done in Bergen. Armauer Hansen in 1873 discovered that leprosy was caused by a bacteria, a major breakthrough in medical sciences that laid the foundation for modern epidemiology and was also a major input to microbiology. Fridtjof Nansen, the great explorer, humanitarian and diplomat, made his first contribution to the novel science of neuroanatomy when he worked at Bergen Museum. Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Bergen school of Meteorology developed the basis for modern weather forecasting.
Bergen Airport Flesland (IATA: BGO) is located 19 km south of the city. The main international airports with flights to Bergen are Copenhagen, London, and Amsterdam. There are also flights from various cities in the United Kingdom (such as Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen); Prague, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, various cities in Spain, and some other airports. There are also a number of domestic flights, such as Oslo, Trondheim, Stavanger, Tromsø, Kristiansand and Sandefjord, connecting Bergen to additional international airports. A flight ticket from the capital Oslo to Bergen usually costs around kr 300-400. The main carriers in Norway are SAS and the low cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle. The Dutch KLM has flights to Amsterdam, Lufthansa to Frankfurt. The smallest airports in Norway are usually served by Widerøe.
Flybussen departs from right outside the terminal building. Flybussen makes frequent stops and the journey downtown takes about 30–40 minutes. Adult tickets are kr 100, return ticket kr 170 (discounts for children, students and senior citizens apply). Buy your ticket before boarding to save kr 10, either online, from a machine or from a ticket vendor.
Taxis are also available but they cost much more (kr 300-350 on weekdays to downtown, more at night and at the weekend).
There are some local buses occasionally going to and from the airport (see the Get around by bus-section for more information on local buses). They have limited space for luggage, take longer and you have to change buses on your way downtown, but the ticket is only kr 50 (kr 35 if bought in advance - there is no ticket machine on the Airport, but Narvessen store at the airport sells them). If you don't mind a little exercise, you can also walk 2km to Birkelandsskiftet terminal station, from which buses 50E, 51 and 53 can be taken to Bergen city center. Please consult the Skyss travel planer beforehand, because the busses are not that frequent (expect two busses per hour in the mornings and evenings of weekdays and one bus per hour on weekends).
The car rental companies AVIS, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and National all have offices at Bergen Airport Flesland. Located in the terminal building, by the exit, most of them are open 7AM–9PM on weekdays. Opening hours in the weekend are limited, but some of the companies will offer 24 hours rental if you make a reservation.
Bergen is served by a railway line which runs from Oslo through Hønefoss. Bergen is the last station and there is only one station in the city (in addition one station in Arna suburb). The railway line is operated by the Norwegian State Railways. The journey takes about seven hours and gives you beautiful views, especially for the last three hours across the plateau and down towards Voss and Bergen. When passing Geilo, you will cross over a high mountain plateau and then travel downwards through some of the best scenery in Norway. If you buy your ticket online well in advance, fares may be as low as kr. 199 for a one-way ticket. For an additional fee of kr. 90, you may upgrade your ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, with slightly better seats and free coffee and tea. If you want to make more out of your journey, get a window seat on one of the most recent upgraded trains (they're quite stylish and have power outlets by every seat) on the left hand side (this will give you the best view). The railway station is located east of the city centre, close to the bus station and the Bygarasjen garage.
Universal access is a priority to the Norwegian State Railways. Book your ticket on the phone or buy it at the train station at least a day in advance to inform staff if you have any special needs. You will have the same offers as are available online. Most trains are equipped with lifts or ramps and handicap toilets. Wheelchairs can be secured on board. For the seeing impaired, there are tactile lines in the larger stations. Staff will assist you in the station. If you need an assistant and can provide documentation, you and your traveling companion will get a 50% discount off the full ticket price.
For more details see: Driving in Norway
If arriving in Bergen by car, you will be better off not taking your car into the city center unless you know exactly where you're going, as most streets are one-way or do not allow cars at all (only buses and taxis), read more in the Get around section. Parking is generally forbidden (unless explicitly permitted) downtown inside zone 1, and restricted outside zone 1.
Generally, you will find that many roads in rural areas, even the highways between the cities, are partly narrow and slow. There are no motorways except a few kilometers around the city, most main roads (E16, road 7) are two lane undivided and limited to 80 km/h (50 mph). Even if some people drive very fast, you should mind the speed limits (usually 80 km/h) and drive according to the conditions. In the mountains, help can be hours away. Furthermore, you will find traffic controls and police in unmarked cars nearly everywhere. Fines are very high. Do also keep in mind that to avoid dangerous situations, it's a very good idea stop and let faster going traffic pass you. Except in and around Bergen, traffic is generally very light, although there may be some traffic on road 7 during summer vacation and around weekends.
Road E16 from Oslo and Voss makes a circle from Arna through Aasane where it joins E39 on a motorway to the centre (northern approach). At Sandviken the wide road continues through a long tunnel towards the southern city in order to avoid the centre, while those heading for the centre can either exit at Sandviken or just after the tunnel. The southern approach (E39) comes from the Halhjem ferry dock at Os and arrives downtown just before the long tunnel. Find a good parking, and use legs or public transport inside the centre.
From Oslo and Eastern Norway
The trip from Oslo to Bergen takes between seven and nine hours, depending on the route, the driving conditions and whether you choose to make any stops on the way. Be prepared to add some hours driving time in the winter - and remember that the daylight will be scarce for many months. All routes Oslo to Bergen run through mountain passes. It might be a good idea to use two days on the tour in the winter if you're not accustomed to these conditions. A 12 or even 14 hour drive on icy, dark roads in bad weather is not very nice. Keep in mind that many roads in Norway are often of narrow and slow due to relatively low traffic and difficult weather conditions.
|Name (mountain pass)||Itinerary, number(s)||Description||Notes|
|Filefjell mountain pass.||The official main road through Filefjell mountain pass. Continues via Oslo airport to Gävle, Sweden.||Scenic drive with iconic fjords, waterfalls, mountains and lakes, as well as cultural heritage (stave churches). Reliable in winter as it is less prone to be closed on short notice due to weather conditions - compared with the other mountain crossings. Mostly light traffic. E16 is the longest, but easiest drive, a bit slow through the villages of Valdres. Between Lærdal and Flåm, through Lærdalstunnelen, at 24.5 km the longest road tunnel in the world, separated into 6-km bits by large caverns, in which tunnel-lagged drivers can pull over and rest.|
|Hemsedal mountain pass||///||Through Hemsedal mt pass. Alternative to the above.||Preferred by truckers. Also scenic. Occasionally closed in winter if strong wind (blizzard).|
|Aurland-Hol route||--road 50-||Hol-Aurland mt pass. Road 50 is county road.||Also scenic. Partly steep and narrow, few or no trucks. Some times closed in winter. From upper Hallingdal to Flåm. Take road 7 to Hagafoss, then road 50 to Flåm. This is a quick route many Norwegians prefer, but be prepared for some narrow, dark tunnels and the rather steep, but breathtaking descent just before Aurland.|
|Hardangervidda route.||-||Through Hardangervidda plataeu and mt pass.||Very scenic drive with iconic fjords, waterfalls, mountains and lakes. Often closed during winter. Designated a national tourist route and one of the most scenic route, but also more difficult with regards to both weather and driving conditions except in summer. Runs across the mountain plateau Hardangervidda, descending along Vøringsfossen waterfall and through the wild canyon beneath, and along the innermost parts of Hardangerfjord. Cross the fjord on the 1380 m Hardanger bridge (toll) and continue to Voss where road 13 meets E16 - or stay on 7 along the lovely "Hardangerfjord route" from Granvin via Norheimsund, partly narrow and winding, even with single lane roads. Caravanists, be aware!|
|The Numedal Valley route||Road 40||From Kongsberg to Geilo on road 40, and then over the Hardangervidda plateau (road).||Enjoy decent and some good roads along this peaceful valley. This route has much less traffic than Hallingdal. A good alternative if you travel from Vestfold county, but not the fastest route from Oslo. Numedal has a numerous ancient wooden buildings.|
|Haukeli mountain pass||--road 551--road 48--||Through Haukeli mt pass. Includes ferry crossing at Gjermundshamn-Årsnes. Alternative crossing at Jondal-Tørrvikbygd.||Scenic drive passed glaciers and lakes. The Haukeli route via mystic Telemark through the southern part of Hordaland county on E134. Take road 13 to Odda, then 555 to Utne and the ferry to Kvandal. Continue on the Hardangerfjord route (see above). Variant: The “unknown”, fascinating route from Odda via the Folgefonna tunnel to the outer Hardangerfjord area. Visit the Barony at Rosendal or try summer skiing at the glacier, then take the ferry from Løfallstrand to Gjermundhavn. Drive to Eikelandsosen and take the short Venjaneset-Hatvik ferry crossing, or drive to Tysse and over the Gulfjellet mountain to Bergen. Some narrow roads. As for the Numedal route this is a good alternative if you’re starting from the districts south of Oslo - or if you arrive on a ferry (Horten, Sandefjord, Langesund, Larvik etc.).|
If you plan to cross the mountains (for instance by driving from Oslo to Bergen) in the winter season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the journey. The conditions are harsh. Always keep a full tank of fuel, and keep warm clothes, food and drink in the car. Make sure your tires are good enough and suited for winter conditions (studded or non-studded winter tires; "all-year" tires are not good enough), and that you have sufficient skills for driving in snowy and cold conditions. Roads are often closed on short notice due to weather conditions. For advice on conditions and closed roads, call 175 in Norway or check the online road reports (in Norwegian only) from the Norwegian State road authorities. Remember that not all parts of the country have cellular phone coverage.
From Western Norway
- From Stavanger, the quick route is E39, which takes you past Haugesund, Stord and Os. The trip takes approximately five hours and includes two ferries.
- The more scenic route includes a long detour along road 13 through the inner fjords via Odda and Hardanger.
- From Ålesund or any of the other cities, towns and villages north of Bergen, the shortest road is also E39.
- The moore scenic drive includes detours along road 60 (Hellesylt and Stryn), road 63 (Geiranger) or road 5 (Fjaerland and Sogndal).
- From Trondheim and the north part of Møre og Romsdal the inland roads (via E6 and E16) might be a quicker and easier albeit less scenic option.
- E6 until Otta then towards road E39 via Stryn is a scenic alternative, or road 55 Lom to Sogndal via Sognefjellet mountain pass.
Via the network of NOR-WAY Bussekspress, Bergen is accessible by direct links from all of South Norway. Bus is usually the cheapest way to travel, but can take some time. The national buses are very comfortable, but not suitable for people using wheelchairs. Schedules and fares are available online, and it is also possible to pre-book. Booking may be required on some routes. The bus station is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the city center. The terminal for long distance buses is situated on the rear side of the station.
There are fast boat services from several communities north of Bergen. Because these passenger ferries stop at various small towns on the way there, you get a great view of the coast and its islands. Fjord1 runs ferries north of Bergen, Norled runs services south of Bergen. The boat terminal is on the Nordnes peninsula in the city center. Service from/to Stavanger has been discontinued.
Bergen is the southern terminus for Hurtigruten, a week-long passenger ship route with stops along Norway's coast all the way to Kirkenes in the far north of Norway. Ålesund can be reached overnight, and Trondheim will take one full day and two nights. The terminal is located at Nøstet. The Hurtigruten ships are accessible with a wheelchair.
Downtown Bergen is compact and easy to walk for most visitors. Most sights and hotels are located within few minutes walk within downtown. While the very centre is located on a relatively flat piece of land, there are hills in virtually every direction out of the centre so heading downhill usually leads to centre. The main square is the east/west Torgallmenningen, a pedestrian zone. The Nordnes peninsula points north from the very centre, on the eastern side is the Vaagen, a small bay and once Bergens main harbour, lined on the eastern side by Bryggen and the Fortress. Overall navigation is generally easy as the summits and the bay provides clear indication of general direction, Mt Ulriken is a key landmark for large parts of the city, while downtown St John’s Church (Johanneskirken) with characteristic red brick and green roof is another landmark. The sturdy theater building at the top of Ole Bulls place is also a point to note. Precise navigation through many irregular streets may still be challenging. Navigation by car can be equally difficult because of hills, narrow streets and many one way streets, what seems close on the map may in fact be a long drive.
Bergen is idiosyncratic in many ways, including layout and names of streets:
- Allmenning are wide streets or squares, laid out at strategic points to prevent fires spreading through the city, often perpendicular to main streets, the main square is Torgallmenningen
- Smug/smau are narrow alleys, usually too narrow for cars, some are so steep that there are stairs
- Smalgang is even more narrow than smug
- Strede old name for street (rarely used)
- Gate street
- Vei/veg, road or street
- Kai, quay or dock
- Plass, square
In addition there is a handful of specific names without generic suffixes like “−gate”, for instance Bryggen (“the Wharf”), Strangehagen (“Strange's garden”, a street), Klosteret (“the Monastery”, a square), Georgernes Verft (“Georges' Shipyard”, a street), Marken, Engen (“the Meadow”, a square), Arbeiderboligen (“Workers' residence”).
Within the city center, walking is the best way to get around. You can walk across the downtown in 20 minutes in any direction. The most central streets of the city are relatively flat and generally have a good accessibility for the disabled, sidewalks have rounded corners to allow access by wheelchair. The characteristic alleys and narrow streets (often with stairs rather than ordinary streets) on the slopes are however not available by wheelchair and may be difficult to walk for the disabled. The most important pedestrian crossings have sound signals and are indicated by tactile paving. They are also accessible with a wheelchair. Although cobble stone is a popular material in the streets, it is rarely used in pedestrian areas. A map with more information on this subject is available from the municipality's website.
Bus schedules can be a bit difficult to understand. Ask a local or a bus driver; both will usually be able and happy to assist you. There are information desks at the bus station and off Torgalmenningen providing information on all local bus and train lines free of charge. Calling 177 will also put you in contact with the information center (if you call from a cell phone, be sure to ask for the information center for Hordaland county, as this is a national service).
Schedules and outline maps of the services are available online from the Skyss website together with an online travel planner. There are schedule and travel planner apps available for Android and iOS mobile phones and tablets. Printed schedules can be picked up from any bus, but are only available in Norwegian.
For a few major stops, the bus may have a fixed departure time, and will not leave before schedule. At other stops though, a bus may leave a few minutes ahead of schedule. During periods of high traffic, the bus may be several minutes late. Rush hour traffic is sometimes accounted for in the schedule by greater time allowances, but busy Saturday shopping is often not.
Tickets can be bought from the driver, from ticket machines at major stops, from many grocery and conveniences stores, from the information desks at the bus station and off Torgalmenningen, or via the "Skyss billett" app for iOS and Android (available free of charge on Google Play and the App Store).
The driver only accepts cash payment. Tickets are more expensive when bought from the driver.
If you purchase your ticket in advance, you will be given a receipt and a grey card that is actually your ticket. The ticket must be validated when you enter a bus by holding it close to the electronic card reader until you get a green light. Tickets purchased via the apps do not require validation.
The following ticket options are available (prices listed apply to adults and only for travels within Bergen municipality and Straume on Sotra, Kleppestø on Askøy, and Søfteland in Os):
- Single ticket - kr 35 (kr 50 when bought from the driver)
- 10 journeys - kr 290
- 24-hour ticket - kr 90
- 7-day season ticket - kr 235
- 30-day season ticket - kr 745
- 180-day season ticket - kr 3725
At night, only special (and expensive!) night tickets are valid.
Senior citizens (67 years or older), children (15 years or younger) and disabled persons are entitled to discounts on all tickets. Students are entitled to discounts only on season tickets.
One child (between the ages of 4 and 15) can travel free of charge together with an adult travelling on an single ticket. Children under the age of four travel free of charge.
Groups of ten or more get a discount on single journeys.
A person accompanying a disabled person who can present a companion/escort card travels free of charge on single tickets. The companion/escort must present the companion/escort card to the driver when embarking or in the event of a ticket inspection. The companion/escort does not need a separate ticket.
If you are caught without a valid ticket or fare card, you will be kicked off the bus and get a stiff fine. Controls are common and performed by both uniformed and plain-clothes personnel.
Fare cards in the form of the electronic "Skysskort" can be obtained at the customer service desks at the bus station and off Torgallmenningen.
Lines and services
Regular bus services operate throughout the day, major trunk routes running through downtown run with a 20-minute frequency or better. In the suburbs, there are smaller lines, generally operating from a local terminal, with less frequent services. There are not so many buses between the city centre and the southern neighbourhoods of Fana and Ytrebygda, instead the light rail runs from the city centre to the regional terminal at Nesttun, where feeder buses bring passengers onwards.
Most major lines operate seven days a week, including all holidays (usually a regular Sunday schedule with a few exceptions), but some of the lesser lines may have little or no service in the weekends. During the school vacation (mid-June to mid-August), buses are less frequent, so make sure you have an updated bus schedule. On Christmas Eve (December 24), there are no buses after about 4PM. On Constitution Day (May 17), the parades and celebrations shut down the downtown streets, though buses do run to and from downtown, they will generally not run through downtown on that day.
After about 1AM, regular bus services cease to run. In the weekends, there are a few night bus lines available. Tickets are more expensive than on the regular lines (kr. 60 within city limits), and travel passes can not be used.
The process of replacing old buses with newer ones accessible for people using wheelchairs is ongoing. Most buses on central lines have low floors and a built-in ramp. On the new buses, that are now a majority, the stops are announced on a display. The bus driver will usually be able to assist you in English, if required.
By light rail
A light rail line runs between the city centre and southwards towards Nesttun. This is the primary means of public transportation to southern parts of Bergen. The line passes the railway station, the bus station, Brann soccer stadium and the student homes at Fantoft along the route. The line operates from 6AM to 1AM, seven days a week, generally with a 10-minute frequency (a bit more often during rush hours, 15-minute frequency on Saturday mornings, 30-minute frequency on Sunday mornings). The entire journey takes about 25 minutes.
Night lines operate all Friday and Saturday night with departures every 30 minutes.
You need to buy your ticket from the ticket machine at the station before you board. Apart from that, the ticket and fare card system is the same as for buses, see the Get around by bus section for more details. It's possible to change from bus to light rail and from light rail to bus within the time of validity of a ticket. Tickets for the night lines must be bought on board. Fare cards can not be used. The price is 60 kr.
The light rail is accessible with a wheelchair. All stops are announced and displays also show the name of the next stop.
It is an expressed goal of both local and national authorities to reduce car traffic in the city center. Thus, the speed limit downtown is very low, and most streets are one-way streets. If you plan on getting from one part of downtown to another, walking is often faster then driving, even for locals who know their way around. Furthermore, parking in the streets is reserved for the handicapped and for residents with a special permit with only a very few exceptions. If you plan to drive to the city center from outside of it, unless you have any special needs, park your car in a garage, such as Bygarasjen (very large, at the bus station) and Klostergarasjen (at Nøstet, northern downtown), Bygarasjen being the cheaper. There are also several smaller (and more expensive) garages around town. If you take the chance to bring your car further downtown, be sure to read all signs – most streets are one-way streets and some are for buses and taxis only.
To park in a spot reserved for the disabled, you need a standard European "blue badge", a special parking permit (generally, handicapped parking permits from most countries will be accepted). It must be placed on the inside of your car's front window, clearly visible from the outside.
The municipal parking authorities provide a brochure with some information on the general rules of parking along with a map of parking spots, including parking spots for the disabled.
Driving in the area outside the city center is quite convenient, with expressways going in most directions. The roads are well sign-posted, but a map will probably come in handy anyway. Mind the speed limits; traffic controls are common and fines are stiff. Do also keep in mind that a lot of the roads are toll roads. All toll stations are automated. When approaching one, keep driving and do not slow down. A photograph of your license plates will be taken, and you will receive an invoice per mail. During rush hours (7:30AM-9AM and 3PM-5PM) traffic is jammed many places, but it's nothing compared to larger cities in Europe.
Between 1 November and 31 March, the use of studded tires is legal. Within Bergen municipality, you have to pay a fee to use such tires. You can pay at automated payment stations on the main roads into Bergen (Norwegian: oblatautomat), Statoil gas stations or by visiting the municipal parking authorities in Bygarasjen or Vincens Lunges gate 3 (directly south of the railway station).
Taxis are generally expensive in Norway. Throughout Bergen, there are a number of taxi stalls where taxis are parked waiting for customers. During the day, taxis will usually not pick up customers nearer than 300 metres from the stalls, except when called to an address. During the night in the weekends, taxi queues can be very long (up to one hour), and all customers are therefore required to go to the stalls. It is possible to order taxis to addresses also at this time of the week, but you shouldn't really expect the taxi to arrive.
The places where the taxis are stationed changes from time to time because of renovation of the city streets, but usually you will find them at the bus station, the railway station, Festplassen, Ole Bulls plass, Torget and in Torggaten and Vetrlidsalmenning. Look for signs saying "Taxi". Some taxi stalls are only open during the night, and vice versa. Information about this is printed on a separate sign below the taxi sign. If no taxis are available at the taxi stall, call 07000 (Bergen Taxi), 08000 (Norgestaxi), +47 55 70 00 00 (Taxi 1) or +47 55 70 80 90 (Bryggen Taxi). Note that there is usually a fee associated with calling a taxi. Taxis may also be ordered in advance by calling one of these numbers, which is recommended if you have the possibility.
Fares are approximately the same regardless of the taxi company. All companies are regarded as reliable and safe. If several taxis are available at a taxi station, you may pick the one you want from the line.
It can be added that taxi drivers rarely expect or receive any tip.
There is one local commuter train service, between downtown Bergen and the suburb of Arna in the east (schedules are available from the Norwegian State Railways' web site). If you are going to Arna, the train is by far the fastest option from downtown since the roads run around the mountains while the railway line runs straight through them; it is an eight minute train ride, running every half hour during most of the day. Tickets should be purchased beforehand in the office at the downtown station or in the machines both downtown and in Arna.
Getting around by bike can be difficult in Bergen. Many central streets are paved with cobblestone, and there are only a few roads with designated cycling lanes. Cycling in such lanes can even be dangerous, as car and bus traffic may cross the lane. It is however legal to cycle on the sidewalks as long as you do not disturb pedestrians. Front and rear lights are mandatory after dark. Bicycle theft and vandalism is common, so be careful where you leave your bike and always use a lock.
There's a number of attractions in Bergen and the surrounding areas. Surveys do, however, show that most tourists in Bergen find the atmosphere, cultural landscape and architecture more compelling than the typical sights, so pick a few things to see and spend the rest of your time in Bergen sitting down in a park or café, strolling around the city, enjoying a concert or hiking the mountains. On sunny summer days, stay downtown until late to enjoy the sunset in the north.
Because of its rugged landscape Bergen has an abundance of panorama points and these give an intense feeling of space, notably Mt Fløyen and Mt Ulriken served by funicular and cable car respectively but also available hiking for the sporty. At lower altitudes the Fjellveien panorama road and the highest point of Nordnes peninsula are easily available. Sandviksbatteriet just above Sandviken hospital also offers excellent panorama. The Montana residential area likewise gives a nice outlook.
- Fjellveien panorama road, Fjellveien (Uphill from city centre). Runs for several kilometers between Sandviken and Bellevue, largely horizontal and pedestrian.
- Skansen panorama point (Skansen brannstasjon), Blekeveien (Uphill from funicular station). Excellent and easily available panorama point just above the funicular lowest station. Right in front of the old fire outlook, a small white wooden tower, now used by one of the citys buekorps.
- Tippetue panorama point (Hike uphill from city, or downhill from Mt Floyen). 24 h. Panorama point on the Tippetue footpath to Mt Floyen Free.
- Nordnes panorama, Haugeveien. Lovely place on the highest point of Nordnes peninsula, towards the aquarium.
- Nordnes park (Tip of Nordnes peninsula, beyond aquarium). 24 h. Pleasant park at the very top of the peninsula, towards the sun set late summer evenings. Free.
- St Johns (Johanneskirken), Sydnesplass. St Johns Church (Johanneskirken) dominates the top of Nygaardshoyden, the hill that hosts the University of Bergen. Nice view of the very centre
Traditional wooden architecture
Traditional small wooden houses, often placed in an irregular pattern around narrow streets and passages, dominated most Norwegian cities during the past centuries. Bergen is one of the few major towns where this traditional style still dominates several neighbourhoods downtown. A number of houses have also been relocated to Gamle Bergen (old Bergen) museum. Some of these are merely pockets of cute little houses between stone and concrete structures; others are wider areas of these dollhouse-like buildings. Show respect for those living there while you walk by. These areas are best seen on a relaxed stroll (although the view from Fjellveien gives a birds eye view):
- Nordnes on the slopes on both sides of the Nordnes peninsula, towards the aquarium and Verftet, as well as adjacent Nøstet area.
- Fjellsiden neighbourhood, øvregaten, Lille øvregate, øvre Blekeveien (streets). Traditional neighbourhood on the steep slopes behind Bryggen and around Fløibanen track. Free.
- Marken, Marken (street). On the flatland just north of the railway station, pedestrian zone, and also in the hills above, around Skivebakken street. Free.
- Ladegården and upper Sandviken neighbourhood, Ladegårdsgaten, Absalon Beyers gate. An area with more regular and wider streets, highly characteristic style. Free.
- Skuteviken neighbourhood, Skuteviksveien. day time. A small traditional neighbourhood around a small bay just east of the fortress. Free.
- Sandviken neighbourhood, Sandvikstorget/Sandviksveien. In Lower Sandviken near the small market square, there is a nice collection of traditional white wooden houses. Free.
- KODE Art museums (Kunstmuseene), Rasmus Meyers allé 3, 7 and 9 (by Lille Lungegårdsvann), ☎ +47 55 56 80 00, fax: +47 55 56 80 11, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 15 May–31 Aug: daily 11:00–17:00. 1 Sep–14 May: Tu–Su 11:00–16:00. One of the largest art museums in the Nordic countries, with art from the renaissance as well as contemporary art. The museum houses several of Edvard Munch's works. Adults: kr 100, Students: kr 50, Children: free.
- The fish market (Fisketorget), Torget, ☎ +47 55 55 20 00, e-mail: email@example.com. Jun–Aug: daily 07:00–19:00, Sep–May: M–Sa 07:00–16:00. Bergen's outdoor fish market has a long history, being the historical center for fish trade. Most tourists find their way here, but with locals changing their shopping habits, the fish market today does not compare to what it once was. The fish market is dominated by makeshift souvenir shops and seafood stalls. The seafood is generally of only OK quality as the fishermen no longer deliver their catch directly to the market. Still, you can get a pretty good idea of what the locals eat by having a look at the various fish they sell here, and try some of the stranger ones, if you feel adventurous. Free samples of are usually available of the more common items such as whale, salmon and salmon caviar. Although somewhat crowded, getting around with a wheelchair is fairly easy.
- Fløibanen, Vetrlidsalmenning 21, ☎ +47 55 33 68 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 07:30–23:00, Sa–Su 08:00–23:00. Fløibanen is a funicular which goes up Fløyen, a plateau in the mountain massif north-east of the city center. From here, you get a great view of the city. Accessing Fløibanen and the plateau on Fløyen with a wheelchair is a piece of cake. More than 1.2 million people rode with Fløibanen in 2007, and it has become the attraction that the most tourists are content with. Expect queues, but don't worry, they move fast. There are no steps where lifts are not available without assistance, and all doors are wide. Single: kr 43, Return: kr 85.
- The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art (Permanenten), Nordahl Bruns gate 9 (by the music pavilion), ☎ +47 55 33 66 33, fax: +47 55 33 66 30, e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Su 12 noon-4PM. A museum of design and decorative art. Norway's largest collection of Chinese art. Kr. 60.
- St. Jørgen's Hospital (The Leprosy Museum), Kong Oscars gate 59, ☎ +47 55 55 20 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 21 May–2 Sep: Daily 11AM–3PM. St. Jørgen's Hospital is one of very few preserved leprosy hospitals from the 18th century in Northern Europe. The large wooden building in Kalfarveien 31 (Pleiestiftelsen for spedalske) was the largest institution caring for the many leprosy patients in Bergen. This was where Armauer Hansen discovered the bacteria that causes leprosy in 1873. Hansen's discovery was a major breaktrhough in medicin as he proved that a cronic illness was contagious rather than hereditary. The Leprosy archive was a complete record of all patients and is assumed to be the first patient archive in the world. The Leprosy archive is enscribed on UNESCO list of Memory of the World. The Leprosy Museum tells the story about the disease and its history in Norway, in addition to showing life at the hospital. A visit to the museum is a unique but disturbing experience. The complex in Kong Oscars gate 59 also includes a wooden church. Kr. 40.
- Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet i Bergen), Nordnesbakken 4 (indoor parking available, but usually full in the summer season; walk for 20 minutes from the city center or use bus line 11), ☎ +47 55 55 71 71, e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 10:00–18:00. The aquarium has a nice selection of aquatic life, especially penguins and seals. Typical Norwegian aquatic life is well documented, and there is also a collection of tropical fish and animals and a shark tank with an underwater glass tunnel. Fun for kids. Adults: kr 250, Children: kr 150.
- Statsraad Lehmkuhl, usually at Bergen harbor shed 7 – Bradbenken 2 (at the end of Bryggen, across the street from Bergenhus fort), ☎ +47 55 30 17 00, fax: +47 55 30 17 01. A three-masted barque sail training vessel built in 1914, one of the best kept in its kind. Mini cruises (approximately five and a half hours) available a few times a year, at the cost of kr. 425 including food. Tickets should be bought well in advance. For the more adventurous up to week-long cruises to Europe are available where you live and work as a sailor.
- St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken), Dreggsalmenningen 15 (behind Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 59 32 70, fax: +47 55 59 32 89, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Closed for renovation. The oldest remaining building in Bergen, St. Mary's Church was built in the 12th century. It is the best preserved of the city's three medieval churches and one of the few basilica-shaped churches in Norway. It was originally Romanesque, then enlarged in Gothic style. Having belonged to the German community in Bergen for many centuries, it contains a unique pulpit, one of Norway's most beautiful altarpieces and characteristic twin towers.
- The Theater (Den Nationale Scene), Ole Bull's plass (centre). The main theater is a monumental art noveau building in a prominent position on Ole Bull's square. As an institution the theater played a key role. Ole Bull, a major international star on the violin, established the theater and employed the young Henrik Ibsen as instructor. Later Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, another national icon, worked there. Ole Bull also discovered the young music talent Edvard Grieg. This theater made Norwegian, rather than Danish, into the standard language on stage, and it was long the #1 stage in Norway.
- Bergenhus fortress (Bergenhus), Bergenhus (past bryggen), ☎ +47 55 54 63 87. Once the seat of the king, Bergenhus fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved forts of Norway. The oldest surviving buildings are from the mid 13th century, but the area was a royal residence from the late 11th century. The fortress is situated close to the international ferry terminal. The royal hall, Håkonshallen, (Haakon's Hall), named for King Haakon Haakonsson, was built some time between 1247 and 1261. It is used today for royal galas, as a banqueting hall for the city council, and other public events. The roof is reconstructed after a blast during World War II. The nearby Rosenkrantz tower has the same appearance as it had in the 16th century. The oldest part of the tower dates back to the 1270s, a few decades after Håkonshallen. It was expanded in the 1560s by the governor, Erik Rosenkrantz, to its present shape. The rest of the medieval buildings in the fortress have been replaced or demolished over the centuries, with some ruins still visible. Among these is the medieval cathedral, the Church of Christ, which was used for coronation and as a royal burial site in the 13th century. A memorial marks the site of the high altar. Guided tours of the royal hall and the tower start every hour between 10AM and 4PM every day from 15 May to 31 Aug in the royal hall. From 1 Sept to 14 May tours are only available between noon and 3PM on Sundays. Entrance fee is kr. 40 for adults, 20 for students and free for children under 16. A small cafeteria with coffee, tea and basic snacks is open from June to August. The fortress grounds serve as a city park; you can hang out here and eat that fish you just bought at the nearby fish market - or just enjoy the sunshine and the view. The park is popular among locals and tourists, but usually not crowded. It is normally not a problem to find a good spot for your picnic or a round of Frisbee. There is a very good view of the bay. The use of open fire, including barbecues, and the drinking of alcoholic beverages are forbidden. Unlike in many other parks, the prohibition of alcohol is enforced strictly here, as the fort is still a military area with occasional military guards on patrol.
- Bryggen, Bryggen (north side of the bay). Between 1350 and 1750, this area used to be a Hansa dock, trading and processing area. The wooden houses at Bryggen today were built after the devastating city fire of 1702, but are probably very similar to the buildings that were there before. Despite neglect and fires (Norwegian cities had a habit of burning down because everything is made of wood), a considerable number of buildings have survived and are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you enter some of the alleyways between the storefronts, you really get a feel of what Bergen must have been like in the Middle Ages. There are a few museums on the history of Bergen and of Bryggen, but the most interesting aspect is probably that almost all of the buildings are still in use. One example is the restaurant Bryggen tracteursted , serving food and drinks in a building first opened for this purpose in 1708. Wandering about on Bryggen is possible with a wheelchair, but getting in and out of buildings can be very difficult.
- Bryggens musem, Dreggsalmenningen 3 (by St. Mary's church and Radisson SAS Royal Hotel), ☎ +47 55 58 80 10, e-mail: email@example.com. M-F: 11AM-3PM. Sa: 12-3PM. Su: 12-4PM. After the fire in 1955, when a lot of Bryggen burnt down, remains of the first settlement on Bryggen were discovered. The museum is built over these up to 900 years old wooden building foundations, giving a unique insight in Bryggen's architectural history. It contains the world's largest collection of medieval runic inscriptions, mostly inscribed on wooden items, but only a small number of these are on display. It also hosts themed exhibitions. If you are not a student, and would like to also visit the Hanseatic museum, it is cheaper to buy a ticket for the guided tour (and skip it if you want). adults kr. 70, students kr. 35, children (under 16) free, guided tour (includes ticket to Hanseatic Museum) kr. 120.
- The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene, Finnegårdsgaten 1 A and Øvregaten 50 (museum: the first building on Bryggen when walking from the fish market, Schøtstuene: the street behind Bryggen, a little bit towards Bergenhus from the Hanseatic Museum), ☎ +47 55 54 46 90, fax: +47 55 54 46 99, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Hanseatic Museum: 15 May–15 Sep: Daily 9AM–5PM. 16 Sep–14 May: Tu–Sa: 11AM–2PM. Su: 11AM–4PM. Schøtstuene: 15 May–15 Sep: Daily 10AM–5PM. 16 Sep–14 May: Su: 11AM–2PM. The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene are the only places on Bryggen where the original interior is preserved or restored. A tour of The Hanseatic Museum gives you a good introduction to the Hanseatic Bergen and the Hansa life, as you walk around an authentic Hanseatic merchant's house from the early 1700s. The building was in use until the late 19th century, when it was converted into a museum. In Schøtstuene, buildings from other parts of Bryggen are rebuilt to show where people ate, celebrated and held meetings. Neither the museum nor Schøtstuene is accessible for those using a wheelchair. Schøtstuene are closed until december 2014. Adults: kr. 70, Students: kr. 50, Children: Free.
- Theta museum, Bredsgården 1 D (entrance from the front of Bryggen, by Enhjørningsgården), ☎ +47 55 31 53 93. Tu Sa Su 2PM-4PM. During the first half of World War II, the Theta group, formed by people between the ages of 19 and 22, established radio contact with London and reported movements of the German fleet in Norway. The group headquarters and radio station was located in the heart of occupied Bergen, but remained active for two years before it was discovered and raided by the Nazis. In the 1980s, the small room was reconstructed to its original state by orders of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage. It is now probably the country's smallest museum, displaying radio equipment and the Theta group's own security system. Not accessible with a wheelchair. Kr. 20.
Nygårdshøyden and Møhlenpris (southern downtown)
- Bergen Museum – The Cultural History Collections (Kulturhistorisk museum), Haakon Sheteligs plass 10, ☎ +47 55 58 31 40, e-mail: email@example.com. Tu–F: 10AM–3PM, Sa Su 11AM–4PM. Bergen Museum is a part of the University of Bergen, and is in the heart of campus. It is divided in two collections, the Cultural History Collections and the Natural History Collections, located in two different buildings. The Cultural History Collections include archeology, anthropology and art- and culture studies sections. Among other things, the museum has a large collection of Norwegian folk art and national costumes. It is notable for its unique exhibition of Norwegian medieval church art, including painted altarpieces, crucifixes and portals from demolished stave churches, all in wood. Kr. 40.
- Bergen Museum – The Natural History Collections (Naturhistorisk museum), Muséplass 3, ☎ +47 55 58 29 20, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Closed for renovation. The Natural History Collections include botany, geology and zoology. The zoology exhibitions is preserved more or less as they were when they were put up almost a hundred years ago. Enormous whale skeletons suspended from the ceiling in the exhibition halls are visible through the windows from the outside. The geology exhibition is modern and varied and contains samples from most part of the world, in addition to a nice local collection. Around the museum is a garden which is at its finest in spring and summer. There is also a green house where you can enjoy tropical plants. Kr. 40.
- Vilvite (Bergen Science Center), Thormøhlensgate 51, ☎ +47 55 59 45 00, e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-F 9AM-4PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Sponsored by the state and the city in addition to some of the largest industrial companies in Norway, this all new science center features interactive exhibitions of science, technology and mathematics. It targets children and young people with the intention to inspire the to learning more about science, but is popular also among the adults. It has special exhibitions about the weather, the ocean and energy, with altogether 75 different interactive machines and experiments. Kr. 120.
- Bergen Maritime Museum (Bergens Sjøfartsmuseum), Haakon Sheteligsplass 15, ☎ +47 55 54 96 00, fax: +47 5 554-9610, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. all week 11AM-3PM. closed on holidays, Christmas eve, new year's eve and the 17th of May. This traditional maritime museum is in the middle of the campus of the University of Bergen. Exhibitions of maritime history, shipping history, the Vikings, naval warfare, maritime archeology, and more. NOK 30.
- Nygårdsparken. Always open. This is a very nicely landscaped park laid out in the late 1800s after English patterns. The park is a popular picnic place for families, and in the summer there's always several groups of students and young people having barbeques. You are very welcome to step on the grass and it's a nice place to play frisbee, kubb or croquet. If you want to save a few kroner on food and drink stop by a local grocery store to pick up some ingredients to a picnic, bring along a blanket and a few beers and spend a cheap and relaxing afternoon in this park. It's highly unlikely that the police will bother you for drinking in public in this park as long as you behave. It's also one of the places where it's rather easy to get in contact with the locals. There's no public toilet here, but pop over the road to Vilvite and use their facilities for free. If you arrive from Nygårdshøyden, don't be scared by drug addicts hanging out in the upper part of the park, just walk past them and you will find the lower and beautiful part after a few metres. Free.
South of the city center
- Fantoft Stave Church (Fantoft stavkirke), Fantoftveien 46 (about 6 km (4 mi) from the city center, bus line 2 from the front side of the exhibition shopping center, or light rail ("Bybanen"). Get off at the Fantoft stop and walk.), ☎ +47 55 28 07 10. Stave churches are built in a distinctive style using the logs of trees as pillars, by the early Christians. This is a reconstruction of a church originally built in Fortun, by the Sognefjord, around 1150. On the 6 Jun 1992, the church was totally destroyed by arson, but a perfect copy has since been constructed. The inside of the stave church has no wall paintings and the altar is quite austere. If you have seen the stave church in the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo, then save yourself a few kroners and skip this one.
- Gamlehaugen, Gamlehaugveien 10 (about 10 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 525, 60 over Fjøsanger, 20–24, 26, 560 and 620–630 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 51 20, fax: +47 55 92 51 33, e-mail: email@example.com. Villa open for guided tours only. Guided tours Tu-Su at 12PM, 1PM and 2PM in Jun-Aug. Tour at 12PM will be given in English if necessary, other tours will be given in Norwegian only. The villa at Gamlehaugen, built to resemble a castle, was the home of Christian Michelsen, former prime minister who helped free Norway from the Swedish rule through the peaceful dissolution of the "union" in 1905. Nowadays, the villa is the royal family's residence in Bergen. There is a large and very popular park around the villa. Bathing possibilities. Tour tickets kr. 50.
- Siljustøl Museum, Siljustølveien 50 (about 20 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 23 and 26 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 29 92, fax: +47 55 92 29 93. Museum open 24 Jun-23 Sep: Su 12 noon-4PM. The home of the composer Harald Sæverud, famous for late romantic and neo-classicist works now houses a museum with occasional concerts. The somewhat mystic park around the house is open for the public. Museum admittance: Kr. 50.
- Troldhaugen, Troldhaugveien 65 (about 15 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 20–24, 26, 560 and 620–630 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 29 92, fax: +47 55 92 29 93, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. May-Sep: Daily 9AM-6PM. Oct-Nov: M-F 10AM-2PM, Sa Su 12AM-4PM. Dec: Closed. Jan-Mar: 10AM-2PM. Apr: M-F 10AM-2PM, Sa Su 12AM-4PM. This is the house of the famous composer Edvard Grieg, who wrote the Peer Gynt suite and is Norway's national composer. His country house (just outside the town center of Bergen) has been preserved in the state it was in when he died in the late 19th century. You can also see his grave; he was buried on his own estate. There is a museum devoted to Grieg and his work, and a concert hall with regular concerts. Kr. 60.
- Ulriksbanen, Ulriken 1 (southbound bus lines 2, 31 and 50 from the front side of the Xhibition shopping center to Haukeland hospital). Cable car to the top of Mt. Ulriken, the highest of the mountains surrounding the city. Re-opened May 2009 with a new restaurant at the top.
North of the city center
- Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen), Nyhavnsveien 4 (half an hour by walking; a few minutes by bus or car from the city center, northbound bus lines 9, 20-29, 50, 71, 80, 90, 280, 285), ☎ +47 55 39 43 00, e-mail: email@example.com. A reconstructed town with about 50 wooden houses from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a beautiful place to stroll on a sunny day. The more cultural traveler will enjoy a guided tour of the area and the houses. NOK 50.
- The Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum (Norsk Trikotasjemuseum), Salhusvegen 201 (by car, drive north on the motorway E39/E16 until Åsane senter. when you're off the motorway, drive west and later north-west on RV 564. eventually, the signs should start pointing to Salhus. by bus, take northbound line 280), ☎ +47 55 25 10 80, fax: +47 55 25 10 99. T-Su 11AM-4PM (June 1 - August 31); T-F 11AM-3PM and Su 12PM-4PM (September 1 - May 31). Located in the buildings that used to house the first fully mechanized knitwear factory in Norway. The machinery is still in working condition and is used. Guided tour, exhibitions and film. students: kr. 25, children: free.
West of the city center
- Alvøen (twelve kilometers west of the city centre by road; follow the signs towards Sotra, and then to Alvøen a while after the end of the dual-lane carriageway, westbound bus line 42), ☎ +47 55 58 80 10, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An old and picturesque formerly industrial community situated on the west coast of the Bergen peninsula. The manor building at Alvøen has been converted into a museum with several exhibitions. for entrance to the main building: NOK 50.
- Damsgård Hovedgård (Damsgård Manor), Alléen 29 (just across the fjord south-west of the city center, walk or drive across the Puddefjord bridge, then turn right and keep going for a kilometer, the manor is visible from the road on your left hand side), ☎ +47 55 94 08 70, e-mail: email@example.com. This 18th century manor is the most splendid of the many country retreats built by Bergen's aristocracy in the past centuries. The roccoco main building is surrounded by several beautiful gardens. NOK 50.
- Bergen Jazzforum, Georgernes verft 12, ☎ +47 55 30 72 50, fax: +47 55 30 72 60, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Concerts every Friday except in the summer and during the Christmas holidays. Jazz club with focus on modern jazz. Norwegian Jazz Club Of The Year 2008.
- Bergen Live. Producing most of the larger pop, rock and hiphop concerts in Bergen.
- Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Harmonien), Grieghallen, Edvard Griegs plass 1. Classical concerts so to say every Thursday evening at 7:30PM. The Bergen philharmonic is one of two national orchestras and was originally established in 1765 - now regarded as one of the oldest orchestras in the world.The program is varied, but the repertoire is usually quite easy listening. The orchestra plays of course a lot of Edvard Grieg's works.
- Det Akademiske Kvarter, Olav Kyrresgate 49, 5015 Bergen, e-mail: email@example.com. Popular student venue, usually hosting concerts several times a week except during holidays and the summer.
- Garage. Rock venue, concerts every weekend.
- BIT Teatergarasjen, Nøstegaten 54, ☎ +47 55 23 22 35, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. BIT (Bergen International Theater) presents Norwegian and international contemporary stage art productions of high quality.
- Den Nationale Scene, Engen 1, ☎ +47 55 54 97 00, e-mail: email@example.com. The national theater in Bergen. In a beautifully restored building, the theater presents a variety of plays on three different stages, from traditional Ibsen to contemporary plays. The largest stage (Store scene) is where most mainstream plays are played, while the two smaller stages features more alternative plays, often the most interesting ones. The plays are in Norwegian.
- Bergen Nasjonale Opera (Den nye Opera), ☎ +47 55 21 61 20, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Although Bergen does not have its own opera house, it does have its own opera company. Den Nye Opera (The New Opera) usually put on a few productions throughout the year. Summer performances are often at the Bergenhus Fortress while other productions are performed at Den Nationale Scene or at Grieghallen. Tickets are available online. Tickets usually range from kr. 200 to kr. 550 depending on seating and availability. Bergen does not attract the top performers, and the quality may vary a bit, usually anywhere between superb and a bit below average.
Hanging out by the ocean can be one of the best ways to spend a hot summer day in Bergen, although Bergen is hardly a sun and sand destination. The temperature in the ocean around Bergen is warmer than most places on the west coast because of the outer islands protecting the area from the constant flow of cooler water from the North Sea, and allowing the water to heat in smaller bays in the area. Temperatures can rise to 20 °C (68 °F) after consecutive days with good weather. The water is clean and fresh. There are sandy beaches at Arboretet at Milde (Hjellestad), Kyrkjetangen at Nordåsvannet and Helleneset, "bathing houses"/beaches at Nordnesparken and Elsero situated in Old Bergen in Sandviken. After a day hiking in the mountains, Skomakerdiket above Mount Fløyen has a sandy fresh-water beach.
- Nye Sydnes Sjøbad, Nøstegaten (close to the Hurtigruten terminal, just beside the Nøsteboden pub). Public seawater "pool". Free.
- Nordnes outdoor pool (Nordnes sjøbad), approcah through Haugeveien (Nordnes park near Aquarium). M to F 07.00 - 19.00, S and S 07.00 – 14.00 (fleixble in good weather). Outdoor swimming pool 25 meters, heated saltwater taken from the fjord 65 NOK *children 30 NOK.
De syv fjell
Locals refer to de syv fjell (the seven mountains) when they talk about the mountains surrounding the city. But there's no agreement on which mountains these seven really are, as there are in fact at least nine mountains and peaks in the area. Most people do however agree that Fløyen, Ulriken, Løvstakken and Damsgårdsfjellet are among the seven, plus three out of Sandviksfjellet, Blåmanen, Rundemanen, Lyderhorn and Askøyfjellet. As locals are known to have strong opinions on most subjects, the question of which mountains to include has been up for debate in local newspapers since the morning of time. The reason for the controversy is probably that the number seven is more of a roman-inspired gimmick, and that it is impossible to distinguish some of the mountain tops from each other when in the city center, as many of them are part of the same massif.
The mountains surrounding Bergen offers great hiking possibilities, and unlike most cities the first hiking trail starts downtown and no need for transport out of town. There are options for anyone from those just looking for a fifteen-minute stroll in the sun to the more adventurous interested in daytrips and steep hills. Byfjellene (lit. "the city mountains") have good networks of dirtroads and paths, usually well signposted. Good maps are available in most bookstores – look for Tur- og friluftskart Bergen (1:25 000) from the Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority (Norwegian: Statens kartverk).
For advice on hiking, as well as hiking opportunities elsewhere in Norway, you should consult Bergen Turlag (Bergen Hiking Association), the local branch of Den Norske Turistforening (Norwegian Trekking Association), located in Tverrgaten 4-6. The Norwegian right to access entitles you to hike in all uncultivated areas.
Mount Fløyen is the most central of the mountains. It is easily accessible by the funicular running from downtown, but the better fit will probably choose the 40-minutes walk up. A good compromise can be to take the funicular up and walk down. The way is well signposted, so you won't get lost. In the steep slope towards Fløyen (right above the city) there is the popular Fjellveien, a long, gentle, horizontal pedestrian road with a perfect panorama of the city. From Fjellveien, there are several alternative roads to the top.
From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to Brushytten (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal, if you have kids. Brushytten is a kiosk usually open on Sundays. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram).
From Brushytten, you can walk up the hill to Mount Rundemanen and get a beautiful view. From Mount Rundemanen, a good choice for a not-so-long hike will be to walk to Sandviksfjellet, and from there down to Sandviken, where you can get on a bus or walk back to the city center. Another possibility is to cross the Vidden plateau and walk to Mount Ulriken, the highest mountain in Bergen, a hike which takes about five hours. You should be somewhat fit to take this trip, and also be prepared for bad weather. The trip across Vidden is among Norway's most popular hiking trips.
For both kids and adults, a popular activity on snowy days is to take the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen and toboggan to the city center.
The islands, fjords and lakes surrounding Bergen provide excellent conditions for both saltwater and fresh-water fishing. Fishing from fresh water lakes usually requires a local rod permit, even permition from the land owner. Pay attention to signs marking lakes used for drinking water.
Coast and deep sea fishing is free and there is no need for any license. However, no more than 15 kilos of fish fillets or fish products can be exported from Norway per person and there are some regulations concerning the minimum size of the fish. Consult the web site of The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs for more information .
Fishing in the city centre (Bryggen, Vågen, Bontelabo, Dokken) is possible, but there are some concerns about traces of mercury in white fish fillet and liver. A new report may indicate that the situation is better than expected, but a good advice is to avoid fishing in Vågen, from old ship yards and the Åstveittangen and Eidsvågen areas.
A general, very cautious advice could be not to eat liver from fish caught in areas close to the city centre - and pregnant and breast feeding women should not eat this fish at all.
The buekorps (literally meaning archery brigade) is a tradition unique to Bergen. Formed by children and young people, these brigades have their roots back to the 19th century when kids imitated military troops performing closed order drill. The brigades parade the city streets with drummers, officers and privates carrying crossbows throughout spring, with Constitution Day being the high point. While not universally loved by the citizens, these brigades certainly add to Bergen's unique character.
- Bergenfest. Music festival from the end of April to start of May. A number of concerts in most rhythmic music genres (pop, rock, hip hop, blues, soul) all over town.
- Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF), ☎ +47 55 30 08 40, fax: +47 55 30 08 41, e-mail: email@example.com. BIFF is a week-long film festival held in October every year at Bergen kino (the Magnus Barfot multiplex cinema). In 2007 BIFF had 40,000 visitors. Single ticket kr. 65. BIFF discount card: New card kr. 520 (card kr. 20, account kr. 500), account refill kr. 200, enables you to purchase tickets at kr. 40/50 for screenings starting before/after 3PM.
- Bergen Reggae Festival (BRF), ☎ +47 400 74 249, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yearly event hosted by the reggae collective Cushion in the beginning of June.
- Constitution Day. On 17 May, every business in town, except restaurants downtown, is closed as the citizens dress up in their finest clothes and celebrate all day long. You will be stunned by the amount of people in the streets – one can hardly move around – and by the beautiful national costumes every second person you meet will wear. This is the day people will look oddly on you if you wear anything less than a suit or dress. At 7AM, there is a twenty-one-gun salute from Skansen, half way up Mount Fløyen, as the morning parade starts from Dreggen. At 10:30AM, the main parade starts at Torgalmenningen, goes around town and ends up at Festplassen. The parade is formed by children and organizations such as sports teams, and only a very few military troops, unlike in many other countries. The level of nationalism can perhaps be a bit overwhelming for foreigners, but try to say gratulerer med dagen (literally "congratulations on the day") to anyone you meet, and you will probably get the same in response, even if you're not Norwegian at all.
- 16 May. The night before Constitution Day is the definite party night in Bergen.
- Bergen International Festival (Festspillene). With about 160 events in two weeks from the end of May to start of June, Bergen International Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the Nordic countries. The festival presents literature, dance, theater and classical music. The latest years, focus has been on art from the Nordic countries.
- Nattjazz. Nattjazz is a two-weeks long jazz festival from the end of May to the start of June, the longest jazz festival in Northern Europe. All concerts take place at Verftet USF, a former sardine factory located at Nøstet, with a capacity of over 4000 guests. With a day-pass, you get access to all concerts that night for a fair price. Usually, there are six or seven concerts every night, some simultaneously on the various stages. The festival's musical profile ranges from traditional jazz to world music. Some of the artists that previously has played on Nattjazz are Gotan Project, Ahmed Jamal, Jan Garbarek, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison and James Brown.
Institutions of higher education in Bergen include the University of Bergen, The Norwegian School of Business and Economics, Bergen National Academy of the Arts and Bergen University College. The university is Norway's second largest and covers most areas of education, though the educations in law and in medicine are probably considered the best. The Norwegian School of Business and Economics is considered the best education within these fields in the country. All the aforementioned institutions are members of the Nordplus and Erasmus exchange programmes and offer courses in English.
Bergen has a number of shopping centers, and international chains are well represented. As prices are rather high in Norway, regular shopping is probably not the most interesting thing to do in Bergen, even if you get a VAT refund (see the Tax Free shopping section below). But if you know where to go, you can find rare and unique items, both traditional crafts and stuff made by local designers - and some other fun stuff. Keep in mind that with a very few exceptions, Bergen shuts down completely on Sundays and holidays.
- Apollon, Nygårdsgaten 2 A, ☎ +47 55 31 59 43, fax: +47 55 31 58 08. Combined bar and music store, sells CDs, vinyls and band merchandise in addition to a decent selection of beers.
- Blonder og stas, Bryggestredet (in the heart of Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 31 83 81. A small shop selling beautiful Norwegian handmade textiles, such as tablecloths and napkins.
- Kjøttbasaren, Vetrlidsallmenningen 2 (between Torget and Fløibanen). M–W, F: 9AM–5PM, Th: 9AM–7PM, Sa: 9AM–3PM. This market hall built in 1877 was once the only one in its kind in Norway. Nowadays it houses Bergen's finest gourmet food stores, the most interesting for tourists being Havets Grøde and Sesong. Havets Grøde has a large selection of top quality seafood, with fresh deliveries every day. The quality is usually much better than at the fish market. Sesong offers the season's food directly from local farms and producers.
- Norsk Flid Husfliden, Vågsallmenningen 3 (near the tourist office), ☎ +47 55 54 47 40, e-mail: email@example.com. Husfliden is a chain of stores throughout Norway with focus on traditional Norwegian crafts. The most interesting things for tourists found in these stores are traditional jewelry and tableware. Husfliden also sells beautiful national costumes (Norwegian: bunad).
- Pepper, Christies gate 9, ☎ +47 55 56 39 75. Expensive, but cool clothes and shoes for both men and women
- Bryggen Husflid, Bryggen 37 (in one of the old houses at the charming wharf area Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 32 88 03. Handknitted pullovers, cardigans and accessories from the brand Norsk Håndstrikk. The sweaters are made by hand in Norway, knitted by Norwegian ladies in their homes. Rare and unique products. The shop also carry a great selection of other Norwegian made products, in addition to other souvenirs like trolls, soft toys etc. The prices are very good compared to other shops at Bryggen.
- Robot, Skostredet 16. Robot features a range of hip clothes for men and women, a small but excellent selection of music on CD and vinyl, and a large selection of books on pop culture, art, comics, music and design.
- Ruben's skattkammer, Vetrlidsalmenning 5, ☎ +47 55 31 41 11, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Unique, fun and stimulating toys for kids and adults.
- Stormberg, Småstrandgaten 3 (Xhibition), ☎ +47 454 04 157. Store for Norway's largest brand of outdoor wear.
- Søstrene Hagelin (The Hagelin Sisters), Strandgaten 3 (By Torgalmenningen), ☎ +47 55 90 20 13. M-F: 9AM-7PM, Sa: 10AM-5PM.. Søstrene Hagelin has been a tradition in Bergen since 1929. Famous for their traditional fiskekaker, fish-burger. There are some tables in the shop where you can eat the fish-burger, or their fish soup.
- Twisted, Nygårdsgaten 1 B, ☎ +47 55 96 01 87. Independent fashion store for men and women with brands such as IVANAHelsinki, Moods of Norway, Namso, GTP, Birna, Pernilla Svenre, Maria Weterlind, El Naturlista, William Rast, Gabba, Scotch&Soda, Minium, Insight, Pace and Pour. Voted Bergen's best clothing store in 2010.
- ZUMM design, Holmedalsgården 1, ☎ +47 930 69 578, e-mail: email@example.com. Sweet and handmade clothing for girls from 2–11 years of age.
- Bryggen Husflid, Bryggen 37 (At the old wharf , Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 32 88 03, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Handknitted pullovers,cardigans and accessories from the brand Norsk Håndstrikk. The sweaters are made by hand in Norway, knitted by Norwegian ladies in their homes. Rare and unique products. The shop also carry a great selection of other Norwegian made products, in addition to other souvenirs like trolls, soft toys etc. The prices are very good compared to other shops at Bryggen.
Tax Free shopping
VAT (value added tax/sales tax, Norwegian: mva. (merverdiavgift) or moms. (merverdiomsetningsavgift)) is 25% for most items in Norway. It is included in the retail price, which makes the VAT content roughly 20% of the price you pay. As Norway is not a member of the European union, all foreign citizens (apart from those of Sweden, Denmark and Finland) are eligible for a refund of the VAT if the goods purchased are brought out of the country at the latest one month after the purchase. The prerequisites for such a refund is that the goods are not used or consumed, even in part, within Norway, and that you spend at least kr. 315 in a store.
Look for stores with a Global Refund/tax free flag or sticker. You need only to ask the shop assistant for a global refund check, and provide documentation of your citizenship. When leaving Norway, go to a Global Refund office with the goods, the check and your passport, and you will receive up to 19% of the sales price in cash. In Bergen, the only Global Refund office is at the airport, but there are also information desks on a couple of the ferries leaving from the city. Check the Global Refund website for more information.
Unlike in many other countries, the customs authorities are not involved in the VAT refund process in Norway.
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||Up to 130 kr|
|Splurge||Over 210 kr|
There is a great variety of restaurants and cafes in Bergen, but you should expect to spend some time looking for the best places. In the most central parts of the city, many of the restaurants are all the same. Move a block away from the most central parts of downtown to find lower prices and better food. Kitchens usually close at 11PM at the latest.
Waiters and other restaurant staff have good wages. You are not required to leave any money to cover the service, but many people choose to tip the waiter if he or she has been helpful and nice, and if the food was good. If you choose to leave a tip, rounding up or adding about five to ten percent will be appreciated. A rule of thumb would be that the more expensive the food is, the more are you expected to leave a tip.
Keep in mind that tap water is safe to drink and (usually) free of charge. To save money, ask for tap water to drink.
Finding local food might take some effort, but there are some options. There aren't that many local dishes available at restaurants. "Norwegian" food is the food of the husmann (cottager) – nutritious and cheap, not what you usually find in a restaurant. The Bergen fish soup might be the most important, as well as raspeballer and cooked cod. If you want to get that Norwegian taste and have a gourmet meal at the same time, look for dishes that use "local" ingredients (such as reindeer, stockfish and cod) with a twist, such as Bryggen Tracteursted's filet of reindeer farced with goat cheese.
Many cafe's and restaurants serve "raspeballer" on Thursdays. Raspeballer are local potato dumplings, in Bergen usually served with bacon, sausages, salted meat from sheep, melted butter and mashed rutabaga. You can get takeaway raspeballer at Kjøttbasaren (kr. 50), cheap ones at Lido, excellent ones at Pingvinen and Bjellands Kjøkken. You can get reasonable take-away fish soup, fish-balls, "plukkfisk" and fish-gratin at Madam Bergen.
In November, December and January, traditional Christmas food is served in many restaurants. Look for "pinnekjøtt" (cured, dried and sometimes smoked meat of lamb or mutton), "lutefisk" (lit. "lye fish", dried cod prepared with lye) and "ribbe" (oven-baked pork ribs). For a very special experience, try smalahove (sheep's head). It is a traditional dish from Voss not far from Bergen.
- Bergen Kebab, Christian Michelsens gate 7, ☎ +47 55 23 00 17. M–W, Su 11:00–00:00, Th–Sa 11AM–3AM. Though selling the cheapest kebabs in town, Bergen Kebab manages to maintain a decent level of service and quality. Serves an ok pizza as well. kr 40 for a regular kebab.
- Bjellands Kjøkken, Strandgaten 201, ☎ +47 55 90 02 44. Closes around 18:00. Bjellands Kjøkken is a tiny cafe at Nordnes, run by 76 year old Randi Bjelland which is worth the walk herself. She does everything by herself in a tiny kitchen, makes everything from scratch. Serves a great variety of traditional food depending on season; huge flesh-pancakes, homemade fish-cakes, meatballs, cooked cod, salted meat, whale-meat etc. 6 tables, good portions and reasonable prices.
- Zen Cafe Bar, Strømgaten 26 (close to the city center, 200 meters from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 32 14 38. A fantastic place to eat. The prices are cheap, and the food and service are excellent. It is definitely worth trying at least once.
- Hot Wok City, Vestre Torggaten 1, ☎ +47 55 21 85 88. M–Sa 12:00–23:00, Su 14:00–23:00. Good-quality Chinese food freshly cooked in the open kitchen. Service is fast, and the prices are low. This is a place with many regular customers, especially between 16:00 and 18:00. Courses from kr 86.
- Kroathai, Nygårdsgaten 29, ☎ +47 55 32 58 50. M–Sa 11:00–22:00, Su 13:00–22:00. The Thai equivalent of Hot Wok, although with slightly smaller portions. Service is usually fast, and the staff is friendly. Can often be full, so take-out can be a good plan B. There is also a Kroa Thai restaurant with the same menu in Åsane senter, a few miles outside of the town center. Multiple options for vegetarians. Serves lunch for kr 59.
- Pasta Sentral, Vestre Torggate 5-7, ☎ +47 55 96 00 37. M–Sa 11:00–23:00, Su 13:00–23:00. Cheap but decent pasta and pizza for students and budget travellers alike. Pasta Sentral has been an institution in Bergen since its opening in 1990. Provides a take-out service as well.
- Pygmalion Økocafe, Nedre Korskirke Allmenning 4 (near the fishmarket and tourist information), ☎ +47 55 32 33 60. daily 09:00–23:00. Organic restaurant situated in the heart of Bergen. Featuring live concerts and art exhibitions. kr 70-170.
- Thai Curry House, Nedre Korskirkeallmenningen 11, ☎ +47 55 31 11 99. Affordable thai restaurant. Interior decoration may look a little tacky, but don't let it put you off. The food is good and freshly prepared, however, service can be a little slow. The place is very small, yet quite popular so you may want to have a plan B before going here.
- Zupperia, Nordahl Bruns gate 9, ☎ +47 55 55 81 14. Soups and salads – tasty, cheap and big portions. Tu–Sa 11:00–00:00, Su 12:00–22:00.
- Søstrene Hagelin (Hagelin Sisters), Kong Oscars gate 2 A. Traditional fishfood, as well as creative such as fishburger with taco. Eat there or take home. Corner of Kong Oscars gate and Vetrlidsallmenningen.
- Kafe Spesial, Christies gate 13. Value for money, particularly pizza. Wide selection of beer. Situated on the slope towards the university area so clientel is largely students. Basic service (order at the counter).
- Bocca Restaurant, Øvre Ole Bullsplass 3, ☎ +47 55 32 11 45, e-mail: email@example.com. M Tu 11:00–22:00, W–Sa 11:00–23:00, Su 12:00–22:00. One of the most popular restaurants in Bergen, probably most due to its location. It has an exciting interior and decent food, but is a bit overpriced.
- Café Opera, Engen 18 (by the theater), ☎ +47 55 23 03 15. M Tu 10:00–00:30, W–F 10:00–03:30, Sa 11:00–03:30, Su 11:00–23:30. An institution on one of the best corners in Bergen. Great food for the money. This is a place with many regular customers. During the day they serve lunch and cakes. Early in the evening it is a place for dinner and beer. Late night is for dancing. Main courses are between kr 80-150.
- Ichiban, Håkonsgaten 17 (close to the university campus), ☎ +47 55 90 04 60. Fresh, tasty and fast sushi at the cheapest prices in town. Primarily take-away, but you can also eat in if you don't mind the complete lack of atmosphere.
- Kafé Kippers, Georgernes verft 12 (Kulturhuset USF), ☎ +47 55 30 40 80. M–Th Su 11:00–23:00, F Sa 11:00–00:00. The café serves a variety of meals, from sandwiches to dinners. The view is extraordinary. If you are lucky enough to catch a sunny day, you can observe a range of activities that happens in the bay. Indoors the café has a quiet atmosphere. There are large panorama windows facing the water giving you a romantic view even on rainy days. In connection with the restaurant, there is a changing art exhibition. Accessible with a wheelchair.
- La Bottega Italiana, Strandgaten 80, ☎ +47 55 31 81 10. Run by a Sicilian, La Bottega Italiana serves Sicilian-style pasta dishes, salads, a few main courses and Tiramisu for Dolce.
- Ma Ma-Thai, Kaigaten 20 (Close to the bus terminus), ☎ +47 55 31 38 70, fax: +47 55 31 91 83. Daily 2PM-11PM. Delicious Thai cuisine.
- Naboen Pub & Restaurant, Sigurds gate 4, ☎ +47 55 90 02 90. Open from 4PM every day. An informal restaurant with two price ranges: You can get the best priced gourmet food in town, or you can go for the cheaper "Swedish" menu. Regardless of what you choose, the food is prepared from first class local ingredients, and you get to enjoy the freshly baked bread and white table cloths. One of the best restaurants in town. For dinnertime dining you need a reservation. If you don't have reservations, try the rather crowded pub downstairs - they serve the "Swedish" menu there too. Main courses from the Swedish menu are from kr. 80-150, main courses from the gourmet menu are from kr. 180-280.
- Pingvinen, Vaskerelven 14. A very nice, but usually crowded bar where you can also get a good portion of Norwegian food. Recommended by Time Magazine. Food available throughout opening hours. One of very few venues where genuine Norwegian homecooking – and large bowls of popcorn – are available. Nice prices on food and drink, main courses from kr. 80-140.
- Yr Café & Restaurant, Marken 32, ☎ +47 97 63 62 37. From noon. A refreshing cafe/restaurant run by two young girls, which is reflected in the interior and menu. Try out the fried Smil-chokolate with caramel icecream. Main courses range between 90-190 NOK.
- Bryggen Tracteursted, Bryggestredet 2 (in the middle of Bryggen, towards the rear side), ☎ +47 55 33 69 99, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Bryggen Tracteursted offers a modern kitchen inspired by Hanseatic and local traditions, served in historic surroundings. A hidden treasure with its somewhat anonymous appearance. The restaurant can in principle fit up to about 200 guests, but the kitchen is very small, and expansion is not allowed by the cultural heritage authorities. This forces the restaurant to accept a relatively low number of patrons at a time – giving a peaceful atmosphere. A reservation is recommended. Main courses kr. 185–335.
- Søtt + Salt, Hotell Norge (At Torgallmenningen), ☎ +47 4000 3713, e-mail: email@example.com. Bergen's latest and perhaps best (according to local newspaper BT) restaurant. Very ambitious but more reasonably priced than Colonialen and Cornelius. Located at Hotell Norge, Søtt+Salt leaves you with the option of 3,5 or 7 course meals. Reservations are recommended.
- Enhjørningen, Bryggen, ☎ +47 55 32 17 19, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 4PM-11PM. Bergen's most traditional – and expensive – fish restaurant. Located in a building restored to its 18th century appearance, Enhjørningen is well reputed for its excellent food, served in classical manners. A reservation is required. Ask for a window table if possible, as you will have a beautiful view of Bergen harbor. Main courses kr. 280-385.
- Munkestuen, Klostergaten 12, ☎ +47 55 90 21 49, e-mail: email@example.com. Tu-Sa 2PM-11PM. A small and traditional gourmet restaurant. Main courses kr. 285-325.
- Potetkjelleren, Kong Oscars gate 1A, ☎ +47 55 32 00 70, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Partially situated in a medieval basement, Potetkjelleren offers gourmet food in very special surroundings. The place is often crowded and a reservation is required. Main courses kr. 255–275.
There is a great variety of bars, night clubs, concert venues etc. in Bergen. Night clubs are usually open from 11PM, but life never starts before 1AM. Bars opens at different hours, some can be open all day. No places are allowed to serve alcohol after 3AM, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages must cease at 3:30AM at the latest. Many places are required to close earlier. The establishments are only allowed to let people bring their drinks outside if they have been granted a special permit. A requirement to get this permit is that they have a confined space outdoors for their guests. All drinks must be indoors by 1AM. People go out all week, but Fridays and Saturdays are the best nights, Saturdays being the clear winner (most places will be a bit too crowded on Saturdays). Some clubs have a 2 for 1 policy on Wednesdays, and Sunday is usually the night for people in the industry.
Most places require that you are 20 years of age (look in the list for details) and that you can provide a valid ID, even if you are much older. Valid IDs are Norwegian bank cards, European standard driver's licenses and ID cards and passports. Drinking in public is illegal. Emptying a can in front of a police officer on a Saturday night will earn you a kr. 2500 fine. If you stroll through a park a bit outside the city center on a sunny day you will still see a lot of people having a beer or a glass of wine with the picnic. The police usually won't mind as long as everything passes in an orderly fashion.
Prices vary great from place to place, ask at the door if you need to know. In the weekends, there is usually a cover charge from kr. 50 to kr. 100 at night clubs.
Almost all night clubs and some bars have a dress code. The required attire varies; look in the list for more information (when the listing indicates "no dress code" normal, nice clothes are accepted). Supporter gear is generally not accepted even in sports pubs.
Remember that smoking in all indoor areas where people work is strictly prohibited by law in Norway. Most restaurants, bars, night clubs etc. will require you to leave if you try to smoke indoors.
Nightlife is largely concentrated in the central downtown (streets Vaskerelven, Engen, Torgallmenningen, Ole Bulls plass, Nygaardsgaten) and Bryggen area (streets Bryggen, Rosenkrantz gt, Vetrlidsallmenningen, kong Oscar gate).
- Calibar, Vaskerelven 1 (between the theatre and the university area). M-Th 3PM-1AM, F 3AM-3PM, Sa noon-3PM, Su 6PM-1AM. A fancy café during the day, a hot bar/night club at night. The place to be if you were young in the eighties and make good money now. Dress code: Smart casual. Age limit is 24 years. Kr. 59 for 0.4 litres draft beers.
- Feliz, Øvre Ole Bulls plass 3 (between the theatre and the blue stone). Th-Sa 10PM-3AM, Su 11PM-3AM. Currently the place to be for a very pretentious night out. Bergen's most arrogant club scene features a bar, a club and a lounge. Full of people who want to show off their money & people pretending to be important. Dress code: Smart casual. Age limit is 24 years on Fridays and Saturdays, 20 years on Thursdays and Sundays.
- Landmark, Rasmus Meyers allé 5 (at Bergen Kunsthall by Lille Lungegårdsvann), ☎ +47 55 55 93 10, e-mail: email@example.com. A cafe and club usually visited by the alternative crowd. Popular among art students. The stylish locale is almost cube-shaped, and often has video installations projected on one of the walls. Usually has DJs playing electronic music on weekends, although most punters tend not to arrive before around 1AM on Saturdays. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. No dress code.
- Baran, Håkonsgaten. Small and nice pub with an excellent selection of reasonably priced beers, and a small selection of cheap food. A bit run-down, but rather cozy. Clientele between 20-35. The staff wants to appear very knowledgeable and might tell you which beers are similar to which (e.g., "Marston's Oyster Stout is similar to a Guinness and not at all watery"). Being sceptical to this advice will keep you from being disappointed.
- Biskopen, Neumannsgate. A nice pub that caters mostly to people between 25 and 40. Nice selection of beers. If it looks crowded, check the basement.
- Henrik Øl og Vinstove, Engen 10, ☎ +47 55900384. Su-F 1600-0030, Sa 14-0030. A bar that possibly has the widest selection of beer in Bergen with over 40 beers on tap, and a large selection of bottled beer. It has a quiet, friendly atmosphere and the bartender is extremely knowledgeable and personable.
- Inside Rock Café, Vaskerelvsmuget 7 (close to the blue stone). M-Sa 3:30PM-3AM, Su 3:30PM-midnight. The place to be if you like metal. Cheap beer, long hair and rock. Excellent burgers. No dress code, but a band t-shirt is recommended. Kr. 50 for 0.5 litres draft beer at night.
- Logen Bar, Øvre Ole Bulls plass 6 (between the theatre and the blue stone). A bar where actors from the repertory theatre and intellectuals of every stripe meet over beer and drinks. There is a strict no-music policy, which leaves room for conversation. Frequently houses roaming exhibitions of visual art, often ones of astounding quality. Inaccessible with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- Pingvinen, Vaskerelven 14. A very nice, but often crowded, bar where you can also get a good portion of Norwegian food. Recommended by Time Magazine. One of few places where genuine traditional Norwegian food is available. Nice prices both on food and drinks.
Former quarters of feared Nazi Secret Police now popular nightlife complex
The building now housing Rick's was during World War II the quarters of the Gestapo and the Sicherheitspolizei in the Nazi-occupied Bergen. There were prison cells in both the basement and the building's top floor. Several prisoners committed suicide by jumping out the windows on the 5th and 6th floor so that the Nazis could not torture them into revealing any secrets of the resistance, and a number of those not taking their own life died from the treatment they received during interrogations. The open place by the entrance to Rick's has a monument in memorial of those who lost their life. This has been the subject of repeated discussions in the local media due to a request from the owners of Rick's to use some of the area to serve alcohol.
- Rick's, Veiten 3 (just by the theatre). A large complex featuring among other things a scene, a disco, a bar and an Irish pub, most popular among people between 30 and 40 years. If you are a woman, expect sleazy guys in the disco. Age limit is 24 years in weekends.
Bryggen and Dreggen
- Baklommen. Bryggen (Enhjørningsgården). Probably Bergen's smallest bar. A place to sit down and relax with a coffee or a drink. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. Age limit is 23 years. No dress code.
- Dampen. Bryggen 7. A bar with a maritime environment. Steak house on first floor. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. Age limit is 20 years. No dress code.
- Engelen. Bryggen. W-Su 10PM-3AM. Most popular among people in the 30's and above. A bit younger audience can be expected on Saturdays. Not at all pretentious; some might claim not very classy. Still, an OK place for a beer and dancing. Kr. 58 for 0.4 litres draft beer, kr. 86–94 for cocktails.
- Rubinen, Rosenkrantzgaten 7 (in the area behind the stone buildings at Bryggen), is a very popular nightclub for adults, and one of the largest venues in Bergen. Live music every weekend. Age limit is 23 years.
- Bar Barista, Øvregaten 12 (two small blocks behind Bryggen). Midnight or later. Laid back and weird bar/cafe. Good coffee and selection of beers. Good choice of retro music. Quiet back yard for smokers.
Nordnes and Nøstet area
- USF Verftet, Georgernes verft 12 (Nøstet). Formerly a sardine factory, USF Verftet is a very large venue with different stages for concerts, theatre and dance. Intimate jazz concerts every Friday except around Christmas and in the summer. Home of the Nattjazz jazz festival. Kafé Kippers is a café with a beautiful view of Puddefjorden. The best place for a beer outdoors in the summer, but also family friendly. The café is open every day. Check the program on the venue's website or in the local newspaper Bergens Tidende (BT) for events. Student discount on beer and wine. The café and the two largest stages are accessible with a wheelchair. Access to the remaining stages is possible with assistance. Age limit is 18 years. No dress code.
- Altona Vinbar. C. Sundts gate 22 (Entrance through Hotel Augustin or from Gågaten). The only bar/restaurant in Bergen with Wine Spectators Best of Award of Excellence. Excellent selection of wines, nice atmosphere.
Nygårdshøyden and Møhlenpris – the University Area
- Det Akademiske Kvarter (Kvarteret), Olav Kyrres gate 49, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The student culture house recently re-opened after a long period of renovation and expansion. It is one of the largest venues in Bergen with two large stages and one smaller, a pub, a café and a few other bars. Often popular club concepts and concerts in the week-ends. A very popular place among most people in the 20s. Age limit is 20 years unless you have valid student ID, in which case the age limit is 18 years. No cover charge (except Saturdays after 9PM, kr. 50, and for special events) or dress code. Completely accessible with a wheelchair. Student discount on drinks and generally low prices.
- Fincken. Nygårdsgaten 2 A. W-Th 7PM-1:30AM, F-Su 7PM-2:30AM. Traditionally the center of gay nightlife in Bergen, these days Fincken is a mixed crowd with plenty of men that aren't gay by any stretch of the imagination. No dress code.
- Fotballpuben. Vestre Torggaten 9. Live football from every corner of the globe, except Trondheim, as locals have a rather difficult relationship with the city. Nightlife starts at 11PM and people usually get very drunk by the end of the night. Expect a fight and expect the bouncers to go hard on anyone involved. Age limit is 18 years. Inaccessible with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- Garage, ☎ +47 55 32 19 80, e-mail: email@example.com. Christies gate 14. The rock haven of Bergen. Traditionally the second home of every black-clad character in Bergen, this rock pub-with-a-basement-stage has become more mainstream the latest years, and is now usually crowded with students. The concept "Wineyard" (e.g. cheapest and worst wine in town) on Tuesdays is popular. Poor accessibility for people with a wheelchair, but the staff is very friendly and will rush to help you if you don't mind you and your wheelchair being carried up and down the stairs. No dress code.
- h-bar. Allégaten. Fridays 7PM-1AM. A small bar run by physics students, situated in the bomb shelter of the University's Department of Physics and Technology. Also a popular place for the math-student neighbors of the department, if particle physics and algebraic geometry is your idea of a fun discussion on a night out, this should be right up your alley. No dress code.
- Hulen. Olaf Ryes vei 48. Th-Sa 9PM-3AM (closed during summer). Established in 1969, Hulen is the oldest running rock club in Northern Europe. Hulen can be tricky to find, but with its unique atmosphere it is well worth a visit. The somewhat concealed location is a good buffer against the hords of drunk morons that frequent more central bars. Hulen is situated in a cave (an old bomb shelter), and is run by students with two bars and a stage. Good concerts (Fridays), cheap drinks and the best rock disco in town (Saturdays). Beer costs kr. 36 before 11PM and kr. 44 after. It should be noted that the turnout varies greatly. No dress code.
- Legal, Christies gate 11. A small and very popular 50's style drinking den with brilliant music and ambiance. No dress code.
Outside the city center
- Bien bar, Fjøsangerveien 30 (Danmarksplass, take the light rail (the bar will refund your ticket) or walk for 15 minutes from the city center), ☎ +47 55 59 11 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 11AM–1:30AM, F 11AM-2:30AM, Sa 12 noon-2:30AM, Su 12 noon–1:30AM. This great neighborhood pub used to be a pharmacy. Wooden drawers with labels for bandages and hemorrhoidal cream still line the walls, as the art deco interior is protected by the local cultural heritage authority. Bien has a friendly staff and a good atmosphere. In addition to classic drinks you can also get very good food both for lunch and dinner here. Try "Bien spesial", sausages from a local slaughterhouse served with lentils. Quiz every Wednesday at 8:30PM and regular jazz concerts with free entrance. No dress code, accessible with a wheelchair. Kr. 54 for 0.4 litres draft beer, kr. 86 for most cocktails, lunch from around kr. 100.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Up to 800 kr|
|Splurge||Over 1500 kr|
Outside the summer season, getting a hotel room is usually not a problem, although it can be quite expensive unless you have a reservation. In the summer season (from May to Sept) a reservation well in advance is required. Breakfast is normally included in the price except at hostels and camping sites.
- Bergen Hostel Montana (Bergen Vandrerhjem Montana), Johan Blytts vei 30 (On Landås, about 10 minutes from the city center by car, use bus line 12 eastbound), ☎ +47 55 20 80 70, e-mail: email@example.com. Situated on the hillside of Mount Ulriken. Bus connections are good. For families this typical hostel is an excellent choice for those traveling on a budget, with decent and clean facilities in a quiet area. Its location is however not ideal if you plan to enjoy the nightlife of Bergen. Free Wifi, two well equipped guest kitchens and free parking for guests. Member of Hosteling International receive 10% discount. Breakfast included. Linen and towels not included. Dorm: kr 205-295, Double: kr 660(winter)-850(summer).
- Bergen YMCA Hostel, Nedre Korskirkeallmenning 4 (On the square east from the fish market), ☎ +47 55 60 60 55, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Decent youth hostel right in the center of town, with a rooftop terrace where you can sit and look out over the old town center. Reservations essential. Bed linen included, no breakfast. Reception: 1 Apr–31 May: 08:00–21:00, 1 Jun–31 Aug: 07:00–00:00, 1 Sep–2 Nov: 08:00–21:00, 3 Nov–31 Mar: 08:00–15:30. Dorm: kr 195, Double: kr 850(winter)-950(summer).
- Intermission Hostel, Kalfarveien 8 (East of the railway station), ☎ +47 55 30 04 00, e-mail: email@example.com. A Christian hostel 40-bed dormitory with probably the lowest prices in town. Norwegian evenings every Monday and Thursday with traditional cakes and waffles, free of charge. Open from mid-June to mid-August. Dorm: kr 190, Bed linen: kr 30.
- Marken Gjestehus, Kong Oscars gate 45, ☎ +47 55 31 44 04, fax: +47 55 31 60 22, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A 73-bed hostel located close to the railway station. Lockable closets in all rooms. No mixed sex dormitories. Breakfast not included. Reception: May–Sep: 09:00–23:00, Oct–Apr: 09:30–16:30. Dorm: kr 210-275, Double: from kr 610, Bed linen: kr 65.
- Skansen pensjonat, ☎ +47 55 31 90 80, e-mail: email@example.com. Small and cosy, with only seven rooms. Located near the funicular. Reservations are necessary. Double: kr 900, Single: kr 550.
- Bergen Guesthouse, Stølesmauet 9, ☎ +47 938 74 907, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Situated behind Bryggen, the guesthouse consists of two houses, one with a two bedroom apartment and one in which four rooms are available. All rooms can be fitted with a baby bed free of charge. Some of the bedrooms can also be rented and used as living rooms or offices on request. Double: kr 750 including bed linen and towels.
- Friis Pensjon, Ytre Markeveien 6-8, ☎ +47 467 79 604, e-mail: email@example.com. A small flat close to the city center: a bedroom, a living-room, a kitchen-corner (without stove), a bathroom. There is Wi-Fi in the flat. Suitable for 2 persons, but can be also used by four. Double: kr 800.
- Comfort Hotel Holberg, Strandgaten 190 (Nordnes), ☎ +47 55 30 42 00, fax: +47 55 23 18 20, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A little bit outside the center of downtown, but still no more than a few minutes walk from the fish market, this hotel is probably one of the lesser known accommodation options in Bergen. The hotel is quite new and modern. With facilities in the typical mid-range class, it might however be a bit pricey compared to its competitors. About kr 1500 per night for a standard double room.
- Grand Terminus, Zander Kaaesgate 6 (Opposite the railway station), ☎ +47 55 21 25 00, e-mail: email@example.com. The hotel built in 1928 is elegant and has a classical style. Double: from kr 1150.
- InCity Hotel & Apartments, Øvre Ole Bulls plass 3 (In the heart of Bergen, 50 m from the blue stone), ☎ +47 55 23 16 13, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:30. Large and comfortable rooms with kitchenette and broadband internet. Hotel, restaurant, bar, night club and theater under same roof. Double: from kr 1290.
- Jacob's Apartments, Kong Oscars gate 44, ☎ +47 55 54 41 60, fax: +47 55 54 41 69, e-mail: email@example.com. Decent apartments with bathroom and kitchen, close to the railway station. The apartments vary in size, the largest can hold up to seven people. Double: from kr 990.
- Rica Hotel Bergen, Christiesgate 5-7, ☎ +47 55 36 29 00, fax: +47 55 36 29 01, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A business hotel with good facilities and a central location. Wi-Fi in all rooms. About kr 1500 per night for a standard double room.
- Scandic Bergen City, Håkonsgaten 2 (close to the university area), ☎ +47 55 30 90 80, fax: +47 55 23 49 20, e-mail: email@example.com. A reasonably priced conference hotel, also a good option for tourists due to its relatively central yet quiet surroundings. There is a gym and bath close by, and a cinema across the street. From kr 1100 per night for a standard double room.
- Thon Hotel Bergen Brygge, Bradbenken 3 (close to Bergenhus), ☎ +47 55 30 87 00, fax: +47 55 32 94 14, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. An ok hotel situated in the historic part of Bergen, though not very historic in itself. Single: from kr 695, Double: from kr 895.
- Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Rosenkrantzgate 7, ☎ +47 55 30 14 00, fax: +47 55 31 14 76, e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel Rosenkrantz is a comfortable hotel located just behind Bryggen. The hotel serves an evening buffet included in the room price every night except in the summer season. There is a number of nightclubs in the vicinity. About kr 1300 per night for a standard double room.
- Scandic Neptun, Valkendorfsgate 8 (Torget 400 m; railway station 850 m; Flybussbergen stops outside the hotel), ☎ +47 55 30 68 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Central hotel recently incorporated into the Scandic chain. Good-sized standard rooms with two beds, bathtub, and tea/coffee maker. Breakfast buffet, serviceable wireless internet, and Norwegian newspapers are supplied. Several restaurants on-site.
- Augustin Hotel, C. Sundts gate 22, ☎ +47 55 30 40 00, fax: +47 55 30 40 10, e-mail: email@example.com. Augustin Hotel is Bergen's oldest family-run hotel, owned by the same family for three generations. It is the only hotel in the city center that is not member of a hotel chain, giving room for the management to create a unique atmosphere. The hotel has undergone extensive modernization the latest years. The restaurant and the wine bar are both highly recommended. The hotel is often fully booked, so a reservation well in advance is recommended. About kr 1700 per night for a standard double room.
- Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret, Slottsgaten 1 (at the harbour), ☎ +47 55 60 11 00, fax: +47 55 60 11 01, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This luxurious hotel opened in the beautiful neo-classical building formerly housing the Port of Bergen harbor company in May 2006. The hotel is situated on historical ground between Bryggen and Bergenhus fort. Hotel facilities include a gym and a sauna. About kr 2000 per night for a standard double room.
- Clarion Hotel Admiral, C. Sundts gate 9, ☎ +47 55 23 64 00, fax: +47 55 23 64 64, e-mail: email@example.com. A traditional high-class hotel with a view of Bergen harbor. About kr 1600 per night for a standard double room.
- Det Hanseatiske Hotel, Finnegården 2A, ☎ +47 55 30 48 00, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Finnegaarden 2 A. Situated in the very heart of the historic Bergen, the hotel building was rebuilt after the great fire in 1702, but is mentioned in texts dating back to the beginning of the 15th century. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bryggen. With 37 rooms, the hotel opened in May 2006 and has quickly gained renown for its historic atmosphere. From kr 1500 per night for a standard double room.
Bergen has, as the rest of Norway, a generally low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience is car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem in the summer season, but it's still nothing like in larger cities in Europe. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.
There are no particular unsafe areas in Bergen. The upper part of Nygårdsparken is, however, the hang-out place for drug addicts. They are usually completely harmless, but nevertheless not fun to be around. The risk of getting into trouble is very low, but families should be aware of the area. The lower part of Nygårdsparken is a beautiful place popular among the locals, but the upper part is, as previously stated, somewhat of a free haven for all the drug addicts in Bergen. The drug trafficking is out in the open, addicts are shooting up in plain sight, and the police is basically turning a blind eye to the whole area. Although considered harmless by most, there are frequent petty crimes in this area and it should be avoided by tourists.
Until 2009, prostitutes would solicit their services rather openly in the area around Nykirken, the northern parts of Strandgaten and C. Sundts gate. From January 2009 buying sex is illegal in Norway. This has had an effect on the visible prostitution.
People party hard on Friday and Saturday night, and hoards of drunk people will appear in the central areas from around midnight, singing, carousing, and just hanging around. Some foreigners may perceive this as threatening, but they are mostly harmless, even all-male groups chanting football songs. If approached, just smile and stay friendly, but uneasy visitors should avoid groups of drunk young after midnight. Summer evenings has daylight until 11 or 12, adding to the safety for visitors.
There is an emergency and accident ward at Vestre Strømkai 19, close to the bus station. The ward is open all day all week, and provides examination and treatment in case of accidents and acute diseases. The ward is located together with a life crisis assistance center, a psychiatric emergency ward, a reception center for rape victims and a dental emergency ward. All services may be reached at +47 55 56 87 60. If you should be in need of immediate medical assistance, do however call 113.
The police station downtown is in Allehelgens gate 6, across the street from the old town hall.
☎ Emergency numbers
- Police: 112
- Fire: 110
- Emergency Medical Services: 113
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.
The hearing impaired using a text telephone can reach the emergency services by dialing 1412.
Roadside assistance is provided by Falck (tel. 02222) and Viking (tel. 06000). AAA members may call NAF on 08505.
In acute illness or if accident occurs:
- Contact Emergency Medical Services ☎ 113 (Emergencies only)
- Contact Bergen legevakt ☎ +47 55 56 87 00 (Vestre Strømkaien 19) For minor injuries and illness (emergency room/physician seeing patients without appointment).
There are many pharmacies (apotek) in Bergen, that are selling medications and can give you advice on the treatment of injury and disease. Vitusapotek Nordstjernen Bergen (Bergen Storsenter, Strømgt. 8) has extended opening hours.
Do note that a high percentage of the locals are very devoted to their city and by other Norwegians Bergen is sometimes considered to be one of the proudest verging on arrogant cities in Norway, based on their pride for their city and all things related to Bergen. This pride will most likely not be noticed by someone passing through, but beware that some might get offended if you express dislike for the city. This pride also include the local football (soccer) team, Brann.
As for the rest of Norway, it is customary to take your shoes off when entering a home. This in particular done as a practical matter, due to the wet weather (slush and salt in winter).
Bergen people have a reputation for being more loud and direct than many other parts of Norway.
Getting around by foot is easy, and free maps are available everywhere. If you need a better map, you should buy one of the local newspapers' (Bergens Tidende) maps . Maps are sold from the paper's reception in Krinkelkroken 1, close to the blue stone, and in various bookstores. The city map costs kr. 50.
VISA and MasterCard are normally accepted in any restaurant, taxi and store, except grocery stores, some kiosks and McDonald's. Many places, American Express, JCB and Diners Club are also accepted. ATMs accept all major credit and debit cards and are available in English language. The currency is Norwegian kroner (crowns), but euros may also be accepted at some tourist destinations (you should, however, avoid paying in euros as the exchange rates may be stiff). Currency exchange is available in all banks. Exchange is usually associated with an incredible fee, so you should use your credit card or withdraw cash from an ATM unless you have a good reason not to. You will also find that most shops don't handle change manually. A grey machine by the till accepts your change in the top (and counts it for the shop assistant) and provides your change in a hopper at the bottom. Don't feed a large number of coins in at once: put them in one at a time or the machine may jam.
The regular opening hours for grocery stores are 8AM-9PM on weekdays. Some stores open earlier and close later. Other shops usually have shorter hours, except those in the shopping centers. Almost all shops, including grocery stores, close earlier on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Kiosks such as Narvesen, 7-Eleven and Deli de Luca, as well as many petrol stations, are open. These do however often have very high prices for normal grocery items.
There are some smaller grocery stores open on Sundays and public holidays. This includes Bunnpris at Nedre Korskirkeallmenningen (by the Bergen YMCA and the Church of the Cross) and Rimi at Nygårdsgaten 6.
The city's main post office is conveniently located in the Xhibition shopping center, on the 1st floor. Some grocery stores offers limited postal services, and stamps are available from most book stores and kiosks. Post boxes are either red or yellow and are located all over town. Yellow boxes are only for local mail, if unsure use the red box. All post boxes, post offices and grocery stores offering postal services are marked with the emblem of the Norwegian postal service, a stylized red or silver horn, and the word "Posten". For more information on the postal service and to locate post offices and post boxes, see the web site of Norway Post.
The local tap water is fresh, tasty and rich in minerals from the surrounding mountains, and safe to drink.
Public toilets are available for a small fee at shopping centres and at Torget and Bryggen.
Area codes are no longer in use in Norwegian phone numbers. Phone numbers are normally eight digits, some special numbers may be three, four or five digits. In any case you should always dial all of the digits to make a call. The country code of Norway is 47. If you are calling abroad from a land line, dial 00 before your country code and phone number.
Cellular phone coverage is very good throughout the city. Three different networks are available, Telenor, NetCom and Network Norway. Check with your local operator to find out which one is the cheaper for you. The difference is usually not big. Norway, like most of Europe, uses GSM 900 and 1800, which means that some cell phones from USA, Canada and countries in Asia will not work. For those in need of mobile data lines, both HSDPA/3G/UMTS, EDGE and GPRS coverage is good on all networks.
There are no telephone centers in the city, and only a very few phone booths. Most hotels have phones in every room, but international calls from these phones are usually very expensive. There are some calling cards available, this is probably the cheapest way to phone home.
Many cafes and restaurants have free Wi-Fi for their patrons. Free Wi-Fi is also available at Bergen Public Library, Strømgaten 6 (by the bus station). Most large hotels do also have wireless Internet access, however access at a hotel may be pricy.
If you are a registered user at an eduroam participating institution, you can connect to a high-speed secure Wi-Fi network on the university campus on Nygårdshøyden, as well as in other buildings used by the university, the Bergen University College, The Norwegian School of Business and Economics and the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. For information on how to connect, see UNINETTs website .
There are a number of internet cafes around town. At Bergen Public Library, you may also use a computer with high-speed internet access for free. There is a reservation system, ask at the circulation desk.
- Bergen Bahá'í Center, Sydnessmuget 6, +47 930 00 159 (after 5PM).
- Bergen center of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, +47 971 11 302. Meditation hours every Wednesday from 7PM.
- Bergen Hindu Sabha, Storetveitveien 5, +47 55 28 22 45.
- Bergen Mosque, Nøstegaten 43, +47 55 23 37 10.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway (state church), . Services in Norwegian in most churches every Sunday at 11AM. During the study year the student congregation has short services in Johanneskirken (on the university campus at Nygårdshøyden) every Wednesday at 11:30AM and in Domkirken every Sunday at 7PM.
- St. Paul's church (Catholic church), Nygårdsgaten 3, +47 55 21 59 50. Religious services every day of the week. Services are in Norwegian, English, Vietnamese, Tamil, Spanish, Filipino, Polish or Latin.
- The Baptist Church, Vilhelm Bjerknes vei 16. Services every Sunday at 11AM.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Åsbakken 14, +47 55 91 05 10.
- Jehovah's Witnesses, Slåtthaugveien 19/21, +47 55 13 02 18. English speaking congregation.
- Greece, Henschien Insurance Services Ltd AS, Ole Landmarksvei 14, ☎ +47 55 38 98 00, fax: +47 5538-9801, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Havråtunet. 18 May-31 Aug: M-Sa noon–4PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Sep: Su noon-4PM. A farmstead on a steep slope on the island of Osterøy overlooking a fjord. This Norwegian version of a village consists of 36 buildings bundled together with steep fields and plots around it. During the 20th century 60 people used to live there and to this day all the work is done without modern equipment like machines.
- Hellesøy in Øygarden is an island located almost in the North Sea about 1–1.5 hours of driving from Bergen. Enjoy the beautiful, harsh nature, go for a hike and rent a fishing rod. Eat your lunch in open air or at the local cafeteria. Boat trips and extreme sports events can be organized, and if you care to stay for a while, you can rent a room, apartment or a sea house. Activities and lodging is provided by Destination Hellesøy.
- Kvamskogen is a popular target for day trips in the winter season, especially among locals. Kvamskogen is a ski eldorado situated between 400 and 1300 meters above sea level in the Kvam municipality. There is a number of alpine slopes served by several ski lifts, and endless possibilities for those who favor cross country skiing. If you tried neither before - don't worry: Professional ski instructors are available at a fair cost, and so are rental skis and other equipment. There are regular buses to Kvamskogen, call 177 or visit the information desk at the bus station for more information.
- Lysøen, ☎ +47 56 30 90 77, fax: +47 56 30 93 72, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 18 May-31 August: M-Sat 12PM–4PM. Sundays: 11AM-5PM September: Sundays Only: 12PM-4PM. This island belonged to Ole Bull, a famous musician. He bought the island in 1872 and drew the original drawings for the special house he built himself. The island is a great place to go for walks, as well as seeing the extraordinary house, as there are many great paths to walk along. You can attend guided tours at every hour, starting 15 minutes after opening time. To get to the island you must take the ferry from Buena quay. The ferry departs Buena every day at noon, 1PM, 2PM and 3PM, Sundays also 11AM and 4PM. It departs Lysøen at 1:30PM, 2:30PM, 3:30PM and 4:30PM, Sundays also 12:30PM and 5:30PM. Tickets cost kr. 50 for adults and kr. 30 for children (free with the Bergen card). The boat has more departures if necessary. Large groups should book in advance. There is a café and museum shop at the island. adults kr. 30, children kr. 10 – free admission with the Bergen card.
- Os borders Bergen to the south. While the south-eastern part of Os municipality is mainly made up of typical Nordic suburb-style settlements and a quiet urban center, the western part consists of a beautiful and popular coastal area with many small islands with cabins.
- The North Sea Traffic Museum, Telavåg, Sund municipality (Sotra). This museum to the west of Bergen commemorate the Norwegians that fled to Shetland and Great Britain during WWII and the Telavåg tragedy (1942) when the entire village was destroyed and the people were forced to move and most the men were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany.
- Sognefjord. The largest fjord in Norway and Europe, can be visited by car, bus, boat or train from Bergen. The Nutshell includes a brief visit to one branch of Sognefjord.
- Norway in a Nutshell, +47 815 68 222, . Roundtrip Bergen - Myrdal - Flåm - Gudvangen - Stalheim - Voss - Bergen by train, boat and coach. The tour takes you through some of the most beautiful fjord scenery in Norway. It takes one day, but it is possible to spend more time if you wish. Tickets cost kr. 895.
- Voss is a village to the east of Bergen world-known for extreme sports such as paragliding and rafting. Every year in the summer there is a week-long extreme sports festival called Ekstremsportveko. For the little less adventurous Voss is also a great place for hiking and skiing, both cross-country and alpine. One of Norway's largest jazz festivals, Vossa Jazz, is held here in March. Travel to Voss by train (about 1 hr 15 mins) or take the E16 road by car.
- Hardanger. Romantic Hardanger with the grand fjord and glaciers. Can be visited by car, bus, or boat from Bergen. Naturally included en route towards Stavanger, Oslo or Kristiansand.
- Holmengrå fyr is an old lighthouse located on an islet outside the island of Fedje, just north of Bergen. It is possible to rent the lighthouse from this website:
- Stavanger. Bergen′s smaller brother to the south.
- Ålesund. Bergen′s smallest brother to the north.
|Routes through Bergen|
|Edinburgh ← (unconnected) ←||W E||→ Voss → Oslo|
|Trondheim ← Førde ←||N S||→ Os → Stavanger|