Bergen is on Norway's west coast, northwest of Oslo. Bergen is considered the gateway to the beautiful fjords of Norway's west coast. Bergen is Norway's second largest city with about a quarter million people in the municipality.
Why Go to Bergen?
Bergen is a UNESCO World Heritage City, and was European City of Culture in 2000. Seekers of beauty with an eye toward culture will enjoy Bergen.
Weather and When to Go
Bergen temperatures are moderate, but quite wet. Called the "Seattle" of Norway, Bergen gets almost 90 inches of rain a year. Temperatures are moderated by the sea, so it doesn't get bitterly cold in the winter nor stifling hot in the summer. See some charts and graphs before you plan your Bergen Vacation: Historic Weather Data for Bergen.
Bergen Public Transportation:
The Tide transportation company runs buses, car ferries and boats out of Bergen, covering the nearby western coastal region of Hordaland. The Fløibanen, one of Norway's most visited attractions, is a funicular that takes you up the mountain of Fløyen. Bergen's train station is in central Bergen, next to the bus station. The trip on the Bergen railway between Bergen and Oslo, considered by many "The World's Finest" railway journey" takes around 6.5 hours. Some cars have panoramic windows. Reserve a seat in summer.
Norway Rail Passes
The Scanrail Pass (check Prices) offers discounted train travel throughout Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. A Scanrail Youth Pass (check prices) is available at a further discount for those under 26. Traveling just within Norway? A single country Norway pass (check prices) is what you want; also available as a Youth Pass (check prices)
Bergen Airport, Flesland is 19 km from the center of Bergen. The airport serves some international routes, notably Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Riga, as well as local plane and helicopter routes.
The summer Bergen International Festival is Bergen's best known celebration of the arts. Founded in 1953, The Bergen International Festival presents prominent international and Norwegian artists in the fields of music, ballet, opera, theatre, dance and the performing arts. Website with dates and program: Bergen International Festival
The Bergen Card
If you really spend time intensively exploring Bergen, then the Bergen card may save you money on transportation and entrance fees, and provides discounts on tours and car rentals. The card comes in one and two day denominations, and can be purchased online: The Bergen Card.
Where to Stay
Like many places in Scandinavia, Bergan hotels tend to be quite expensive. To find user-rated hotels, see: Bergen Hotels from Venere.com (book direct).
If you're a country person, you may wish to rent a vacation home or cottage amognst the Norwegien Fiords.
Top Bergen Attractions
Bergen is a walk-around city. Bryggen is an area along the waterfront characterized by its parallel rows of buildings with a history of construction dating back 900 years to the time of the German Hanseatic League who established a trade center on Bergen's waterfront. You can visit the Hanseatic Museum, opened in 1872, which preserves the original flavor of the interiors of the period.
Since the water is what Bergen is all about, you'll want to visit Bergen's famous Aquarium.
For great views of Bergen and surroundings, you'll want to hop on the Floybanen Funicular to the top of Mount Floyen and have a look around. At over 1000 feet above the fjords, you'll have a great view of the islands and the town of Bergen. Check out the website; you can see a web cam picture of the view.
Really into viewing the fjords and beauty of Norway's western coast? Hurtigruten offers cruises all the way to the artic circle. The Coastal Express departs from from Bergen, arriving in Kirkenes on day 7, and then turns back and sails back to Bergen on the 12th day.
If your travel plans include the scenic train trip to or from Oslo, be sure to stop off in Myrdal along the way and transfer to the Flaam Railway for a trip on the steepest rail line in the world down to Flåm.
To get the flavor of Bergen, see our Bergen Photo Gallery.