Posted by: Sarah | August 6, 2011

Touring West Norway Day 4/5: Beautiful Bergen


Time to move on so Mum and I picked up the Hurtigruten again – this time the MS Trollfjord from Ålesund at midnight. It was quite a nice boat and we joined it on its last leg. All of the Hurtigruten ships finish in Bergen so you can imagine the disembarkation chaos that ensued once everyone had to check out of their cabins early on the final day.

The scenery coming into Bergen is quite different to what we had seen previously but stunning in its own way. Surprisingly the sun came out for us as we joined the Hurtigruten transfer bus to our hotel – the Clarion Havnekontoret. A fantastic hotel near to Bryggen – the street that is most famous in Bergen for its UNESCO protected buildings. Our room wasn’t ready but as soon as the kind lady offered us free pancakes all afternoon my mood changed immediately. The Clarion Collection hotels are super for breakfast, afternoon pancakes and evening meals all included. Most impressed.

I quickly fell in love with Bergen. You soon realise that the old charming buildings aren’t just restricted to the Bryggen area. The whole city is full of winding streets and alleyways that take you to more charming old wooden buildings. Even the drain covers looked attractive. Bergen is Norways second largest city and probably the oldest. It was founded in 1070 by King Olav Kyrre just after the viking age. Most of the buildings are made from wood and over the years Bergen has suffered greatly as a result of some pretty horrific fires. It has also lived through a leprosy epidemic and the black plague. It was also occupied by Germans on the first day of the WW2 invasion into Norway in 1940. Bergen has seen its fair share of history over the years.

My top tips for Bergen:

  • Take a an umbrella everywhere – even if the weather looks fine. Don’t be fooled. It rains a lot.
  • There are so many shops, cafes, bars, restaurants – compared to Ålesund we were spoilt for choice! Frustrating when the hotel food is free. I have to recommend the coffee/cake shop “Eat My Muffin“…delicious!
  • Take a trip up Mount Fløyen on the Fløibanan – a little funicular that takes you to a fantastic view of the city.
  • Although I laugh hysterically everytime I see those tourist road train city tours, Mum and I did choose to board the BergensExpressen to see a bit of the city and to get out of the rain for an hour. It was really good!

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Responses

  1. Fantastic. I’m visiting Bergen in October with some friends and I really can’t wait. Flying one way, train the other :)

    • In which case you should certainly consider the Norway In A Nutshell package from Bergen to Oslo so you include the fjord cruise and Flåm railway – incredible! We did it yesterday. Blog post coming soon.

  2. Thank U so much for your updates.!!! Amazing !!! And a big ” THANK U” for the pics !!!!…Just fantastic !!! ( I cant wait to get there next May) !!!!!!!! My best to you and Mom… I thank U again…!

    • Thanks Nick – so glad you find them of use. I can’t recommend Norway In A Nutshell enough – it’s such a super way to tour Norway and cost efficient too! Mum says hi!

  3. I believe Bergen is the 8th oldest city in Norway, but I may be wrong. Kaupang (year 800) or Tønsberg (871) are the oldest cities, but only Tønsberg still exist.

    Looks like a great trip so far!

    • I should perhaps research that a little – thanks so much for the info. I’ve been to Tønsberg. Reminds me a lot of Bergen with the old waterfront buildings.

  4. Great postings, thanks so much! We have friends coming over to visit us in Norway next week and are planning on taking them on roughly your same route (which we haven’t done before), so your posts are timely indeed! Thanks again!

    • So glad it has been of use. Just one more post to go about yesterday which was a super day. Would certainly recommend Norway In A Nutshell – fantastic experience.


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