Bergen is the second largest city of Norway. It is known as one of the hidden gems of Europe, and that’s true. When I went to Bergen I realized that it was even more beautiful than Oslo. Compared to size & population of Oslo, this city is very small. Almost all attractions can be covered on foot (And I’d recommend that).
Oslo to Bergen
How to reach: Although Bergen has flights from all over Europe, I’d recommend the scenic train route. Get on an early morning train from Oslo (NSB) & enjoy the raw, untouched & mesmerizing landscape of Norway.
Even though most of the sights of Bergen can be covered in 2 days, I’d recommend you to spend at least 3 days in this peaceful Norwegian heaven. But what if you have only 1 full day? How should you explore the city in a day? Worry not. Here’s a complete guide to explore Bergen in 1 day.
Starting point: Marken Guesthouse
I stayed with Marken Guesthouse for 2 nights. Their hostel has won lots of International awards & if you are looking for a budget friendly & clean stay, I strongly recommend them.
1. Fløibanen Funicular
If you have want to watch the entire city together, from the top, like a god, there is only place – Fløibanen Funicular. This place is my personal favorite spot in this dreamy city. It’s not only about the view from the top, but the entire journey from the ground level to the top is equally exciting. It takes approximately 7 minutes to reach the top. I highly recommend that you sit towards the front to enjoy.
There is a cute souvenirs shop there on the top, from where you can buy duty-free gifts. There is also a restaurant watching over the city from the top.
Similarly, when you are getting down by a train, sit in the back (towards down side) & take a pretty video. It’s worth spending every penny.
After you’re done admiring Bergen from the above, get back on the ground. Just 5 minutes away from the station, you will find Bryggen – the UNESCO World Heritage site.
Facing the harbor, Bryggen is a series of colorful buildings in a single line. The history of this Hanseatic structures stretches back to 11th century. In the present time, it’s a pleasant place to take pictures, roam around & indulge in their rich history. If you don’t like historical aspect much, just chill near these quaint buildings & be at peace.
If you visited Bergen & didn’t see Bryggen, you haven’t seen anything.
3. Fish Market
I am a vegetarian. It was a little difficult for me to get something vegetarian to eat in Norway. I do not usually go to places which sell only non-vegetarian food items (Because it’s a waste for me) but Bergen’s fish market was an exception.
This was the BEST fish market I have ever seen in my life. The fish looked delicious (imagine a veggie saying that), it didn’t stink & it was just wonderful strolling around the market for some time.
For seafood lovers, you can order a fish directly from the market & they will make a dish of your choice in front of you. The fish market is exactly opposite Bryggen.
4. Norwegian Fisheries Museum
Bergen is full of exception museums which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Norwegian Fisheries Museum is just 5-7 minutes away from the fish market by bus.
In case you are traveling between June to August, you can take a ferry from the fish market & reach the museum in 20 minutes. It’s totally worth the experience!
The museum says all about Norwegian fishermen’s lives throughout thousand years. It has a lot of information about Norway’s connection with sea. I’d recommend a visit to this place at least once & especially by a ferry if you are going between June & August.
5. Leprosy Museum
Leprosy Museum is one of its kind. This is very different from other museums. The name might not interest you but the intention behind this entire facility is very noble.
150 years ago, Bergen had thousands of patients suffering from Leprosy. This museum throws light on Norway’s contribution to identify the disease (It was discovered by a Norwegian physician Armauer Hansen), research about Leprosy & experiment with therapies.
It’s 5-7 minutes walk from Bryggen.
6. Bergen Aquarium
You probably have seen a lot of aquariums but this one is different. This aquarium contains many aquatic creatures which are found in the Scandinavian region. The aquarium contains many species of fish, crocodiles, snakes & of course, the sea lions.
The entry fee is a bit steep but if you are going in between November & February, you will get a free entry with your Bergen card. It’s a good attraction, but can be skipped.
7. Haakon’s Hall
Bergen was the first capital of Norway. In 12th century, the king of Norway resided here. King Håkon Håkonson built Haakon’s Hall as a part of his royal residence. It’s a magnificent structure from the medieval time.
It’s been 750 years, Haakon’s Hall is standing tall & still been used for Norwegian king’s dinners. They also give it on rent for important events. So if you’d like to get married here, you can send your proposal to them. 😀
8. Bergen Maritime Museum
There is something about Viking ships that intrigues me. I had written the same thing in my Oslo guide that my most favorite museum in Oslo was The Viking Ship Museum. I shall repeat the same thing here. The Bergen Maritime Museum is my favorite because they have a Viking ship here as well! Their collection of artifacts are really good.
They have a cafe as well, so if you are tired, get yourself something to eat and drink here.
9. Old Bergen Museum
I love European countries for their way of preserving culture. Sadly, India lacks that kind of sensitivity & preservation towards our history. Old Bergen Museum is an open-air museum & it contains structures (mostly houses) dating back to 18th century.
You can visit the museum to get the feel of 18th or 19th century of this beautiful city. They have live performances happening there to make it look real. This attraction has to be on your day’s agenda.
10. The City Center
That’s right! The city center. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend city center as one of the recommended places but Bergen is different. I was standing in the middle of the city center, I spent almost 2 hours roaming around & it was wonderful. You shall discover new places to see, you shall see cute buildings around, all your major global brands are lying around. It’s just fun to be in the center of the city which has preserved its heritage so well. Modern yet traditional, you see?
Other than that, dedicate at least an hour to Bryggen & walk inside of it. Bergen is a beautiful city, so please keep at least 3 days to explore this place. But if you have just 1 day, you know where all to go now. 🙂