Visiting Norway has been a country on my list for many reasons. Just over 5 million people, this country is very progressive, and really opened my eyes ever since hearing about their apocolyptic seed vault (if you don’t already know about this, it will blow your mind!) I picked Bergen, Norway as the place where I would discover if this country would live up to its stereotypes: copious amounts of salmon, tall skinny people, and families involved in every winter sport known to man.
I decided to take a short trip from Copenhagen to check it out firsthand. It took me only 12 minutes from the second my plane touched down in Norway, to sitting on the bus on the way to the downtown Bergen area. From the first few minutes, I was already very impressed with how efficient everything was running. This was definitely not NYC…
I’m going to share with you the top six things I think are essential when coming to Bergen.
1. Take a day trip to see Fjords
This is definite a MUST if you ever find yourself in Bergen. The tour I went on was to the Mostraumen fjord. It was around 3 hours, departed right from the downtown harbor close to the fish market, and cost around 550 NOK ($70 USD). To say the least, it was probably one of the most worthwhile experiences I’ve ever had.
The views from the ferry are phenomenal. I have never seen such beautiful backdrops in my entire life.
There was such a magical feeling coasting through the immense fjords. The water looked almost like glass and the reflection of the mountains was really powerful.
The fjords really like some surreal Windows desktop background I was obsessed with when I was 10. But no… it was real! I can’t believe how refreshing nature can make you feel.
2. Take the Fløibanen vunicular up to Fløyen
For about 100 NOK (~$13), it is incredibly worth it for a lift up to Fløyen. Before I came up here, I had no clue what I was getting myself into…
Before I knew it, I was “hiking” through the forest, alone, on the top of a mountain, in NORWAY. When getting to the top, I spontaneously decided to walk down one of the trails. Keep in mind I was probably the only person who wasn’t wearing hiking boots haha. Oh well, sometimes you just gotta improvise. It was such a gorgeous and rewarding experience to walk around here. I didn’t go very far, but it genuinely felt so cleansing to be alone in the snowy woods for an hour.
As you can see above ^^ the views from up here are absolutely stunning. It is a fun thing to do especially when you first get to the city, so you can kinda see where the fjords are on the right, and then how the city is layed out. There is so much to offer from this little coastal city.
3. Eat local fish in the Fisketorget (fish market)
Visiting the local fish market was definitely a highlight during my time in Bergen. My friends and I popped in here for lunch one day, because I kept saying how I HAD to eat Norwegian salmon when I was here.
We surprisingly found a big table to seat all 6 of us at a little “restaurant” called Fish Me. This company has been selling fresh fish at this market for over 25 years, so we knew the food could be trusted 🙂 They even had a WHALE burger on the menu, although I definitely wasn’t brave enough to try it.
I ended up order the salmon burger and wow did it hit the spot. It was only 180 NOK (~$22) versus the salmon entrée which was nearing 250 NOK. I know $22 doesn’t sound cheap, and that’s because it wasn’t. But honestly, for Norway, this was a decent price. It was very worth it because I’m a true salmon-lover and it also kept me full for a very long time. I definitely recommend you checking this spot out, but honestly any of the other eateries in the fisketorget will also offer fresh & tasty fish!
Anyways, stroll through this market and check out some fresh fish. Alternatively, you can buy fish here to cook at home. The “take away” price is definitely cheaper, so just throw some dill, salt, olive oil, and lemon on your fish, and that should be enough. You won’t have to worry about any fishy flavors since the seafood is so fresh!
4. Walk around the Bryggen wharf
Walking around the harbor is almost unavoidable, but make sure you make a little time for it. Admire the colorful buildings and breathe in the salty air.
If you have a nice DSLR camera, I would definitely recommend bringing it to Bergen. Many of the views are quite far away, and with a nicer camera, you can definitely capture them.
5. Visit a café and try the bread
Honestly, Norwegian bread is pretty underrated. I feel like bread is notorious of course in countries like Germany and Austria, but what about Scandinavia? Anyways, take my advice and try some rolls or cinnamon buns in Norway 🙂 I really liked the spot Godt Brød since they were many locations around Bergen, they had a wide selection of baked goods, and it wasn’t super expensive!
6. Stroll through Nordnes
This is a beautiful, quaint part of Bergen that our Airbnb host recommended. Here, there are really nice overlooking views of the city, several densely clustered houses, and charming narrow alleyways. This is really a sweet neighborhood to walk through.
I love the red & orange roofs in Norway. The buildings were more colorful than I envisioned (I thought everything would be more sterile since it’s Norway) but I was pleasantly surprised to see so many pops of color. I also like how the buildings look a bit older, but the insides are typically very modern with distinct pieces of furniture and art.
I really, truly fell in love with the little Norwegian city of Bergen. My time here really left an impression on me!
I would love to explore more of Norway someday. Maybe go to Tromsø to see the Northern Lights? Or fight the brutal winter winds and take a road trip through the stunning villages around the Lofoten Islands? Let me know if you’ve ever visited other places in Norway, I would love to get some travel inspiration.
Until next time, Norway!