ByAyla Sofie Vedå

Bergen – Our top 5 experiences in the city between the 7 mountains

Bergen: The city between the seven mountains and the gateway to the realm of the fjords. In Norway’s second largest city, it’s a short hop from vibrant city life to the tranquility of unspoiled nature.  It offers one nice experience after another, whether you want to cruise the beautiful fjords, experience exciting cultural offerings or enjoy fun activities for young and old.  Bergen has something for every taste. Here are our top five choices in this old Hanseatic city.

 1. Fjord cruise to Mostraumen

Mostraumen straight on fjord cruise Bergen-Mostraumen
Photo: Robin Strand

Join us on a fjord cruise to Mostraumen, deep into Osterfjord. The trip lasts 3 to 3.5 hours and takes you through western Norway’s beautiful and varied scenery to the village of Modalen. Along the way, the captain navigates the strong currents of shallow and narrow Mostraumen strait and sails onward through mighty mountain landscapes with thundering waterfalls. You get so close to the falls that you might even feel the refreshing spray of mountain water on your face. The cruise can also be combined with a mountain trip to “Slottet” (The Castle), Osterfjord’s answer to the famous rock formation Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) near Stavanger.

2. The Seven Mountains

When Bergen was founded, it was called Bjørgvin, which means ‘the green meadow between the mountains’. When in Bergen, make sure to make the trip up to one of the city’s many scenic outlooks. On a clear day, you can see all the way out to the sea from the seven city mountains.

Byfjellene Bergen Fløien
Photo: Visit Bergen / Grim Berge

If you want to draw on local expertise and knowledge about the mountains, Norway Mountain Guides is always up for a trip. The Fløibanen funicular railway and the Ulriksbanen aerial tramway carry guests up to some of the city’s most beautiful views. 

3. Music City

The world-renowned composer Edvard Grieg was born in Bergen and lived in his villa at Troldhaugen when not traveling the world to hold concerts. At Troldhaugen, you can visit the composer’s home and, in summer, catch a lunchtime or evening concert at the same venue. As in Grieg’s time, a lot of good, popular music is still being created by the city’s musicians of all ages.

Troldhaugen Bergen
Photo: Visit Bergen / Oddleiv Apneseth

For music lovers, there is a large selection of concerts throughout the year. Well-known guest artists perform at a range of events, including the Bergen International Festival (Festspillene), the International Jazz Festival (Nattjazz) and Bergenfest. For a complete overview of concerts, we suggest checking Visit Bergen’s concert calendar.

4. Historical walk

History buffs don’t have time to get bored in Bergen.  You can wander the Sandviken neighborhood with the old, white and historically listed houses on both sides of the cobblestone streets. On the Nordnes peninsula, the sights become a touch more dramatic as you pass the old monastery and such capital punishment execution sites as Galgebakken and Heksesteinen.

Nordnes Bergen
Photo: Visit Bergen / Norlandblog

Back in the city center, we recommend a visit to Bryggen, the medieval Hanseatic League’s base in Bergen. The wharf is now on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the dark and narrow passages between its houses, as well as a trip to the Schøtstuene Hanseatic meeting house, gives you a fascinating insight into the lives of the powerful German merchants who ruled the Norwegian export trade for several hundred years.

Bryggen Bergen
Photo: Visit Bergen / Anna T. Takle

 5. Art

Bergen is also a city for art lovers, so you can enjoy Norwegian and international art treasures from the past and present. The KODE museum network offers permanent and temporary exhibitions, including collections of Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and J.C. Dahl. You can also see “The Silver Treasure”, which shows the art of silver- and goldsmiths from Bergen at a time when the city was an important center for the production of art and household objects in gold and silver. The Chinese Collection is Norway’s largest collection of Chinese art and crafts and is also worth a visit. There are also many exhibitions around Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake near the city center, while elsewhere in Bergen are plenty of galleries for street and contemporary art.