Europe Norway

A practical guide to Bergen – the gateway to the fjords of Norway

Often nicknamed “the gateway to the fjords of Norway”, Bergen is a hub both for travelers who share a passion for nature and the outdoors, as well as tourists who’s ticking off one of their top things to do on their bucket lists – exploring the fjords. But before you jump on the ferry, spend a few days exploring Bergen and you’ll find that it actually has quite a lot to offer.

How to get there

While you can fly there both from Oslo and internationally, we highly recommend taking the train up from Oslo. The journey on the Bergen line is one of the most stunning in Europe, and is absolutely enchanting both in the winter and summer. It is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe, crossing the Hardangervidda plateau at 1,237 metres (4,058 ft) above sea level. Some travelers decide to stop here for a night or two to go hiking in the unique landscape, and you can always watch the adventurers who practice here for their antarctica crossing.

Where to stay

There are several hotels to choose from, but we decided to stay at an Airbnb apartment in an old traditionally Scandinavian house located at the top of a cobble stoned hill in the middle of the city. It gave the unique experience of living like a local, and the opportunity to cook your own food which is great when visiting Norway as restaurants are very expensive.

Where to eat

Like I mentioned above, eating out is expensive, there is simply no way around it. A beer costs at least €10, so maybe save on the alcohol and spend that money trying some great food instead. Bergen is a wonderful place to eat out, the range is quite good and the prices are definitely better than in Oslo.

What to do

Bergen is known as the gateway to the Norwegian fjords, and is literally surrounded by four mountains. The great thing about Bergen is that it allows anyone to explore nature their own way. While many adventurers go there to go hiking and climbing, you don’t have to be a workout freak to enjoy nature. You can choose to go the top of XXX by foot (about a 2 hour climb), or take the gondola either both ways, or just the way up and walk down.

You can check out my whole list of activities here.

For how long?

How long you choose to spend in Bergen depends on what you want to do. Since itäs surrounded by mountains the weather is very unpredictable, and it rains many days throughout the month, so I would recommend being flexible with your activities as you definitely want to go on the day cruise to the fjords on a day when the fog and rain doesn’t ruin it all. I would say you can easily spend three days there to explore the fjords, the mountain view and the city without feeling too rushed.

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