Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains, and one of the most popular attractions of the world: the fjords. The city offers the ideal combination of nature, culture, history and exhilarating city life. What has made Bergen famous is its unique charm, which is something you have to experience for yourself. Enjoy strolling around the old streets and alleyways where people have lived for centuries.
Walking through UNESCO-listed Bryggen’s narrow alleyways, made even darker and more mysterious by overhanging balconies, feels like stepping back in time. Bryggen is not a museum but part of the cultural heritage that is still in use - a living historical area of the city. The Fløibanen Funicular is a very popular attraction, running from the city centre to the top of Mount Fløyen in about 7 minutes. From the viewing platform you can admire spectacular views of the city, mountains and fjords. In addition to the wide range of hikes, you'll find a restaurant, café, souvenir shop and playground.
The picturesque and lively Fish Market is one of Norway's most visited outdoor markets. Mingle with the crowds, enjoy some seafood or just experience the atmosphere. Visit the Aquarium to see fish, penguins, sea lions and seals, as well as crocodiles, snakes and spiders. Take a stroll to the old fortress at Bergenhus, or visit one of Bergen’s many museums and galleries.
There are plenty of tempting shopping opportunities, from small and specialized shops to large department stores. Bergen also has a varied year-round entertainment scene that ranges from world-class musical and theatrical performances to exciting football matches. Enjoy a good meal and get a taste of the city’s nightlife before departure. You'll find just about everything - from coffee shops, fish restaurants and delicious international cuisine, to small arty cafés, discothèques, bars and nightclubs. Choose according to your taste, appetite, mood and budget.
Before departure, you can explore more of the area as part of our pre-voyage programmes. Norway in a Nutshell takes you through some of the most magnificent scenery in the area with breathtaking fjords, rural idyll and the spectacular Flåm Mountain Railway. Sognefjord in a Nutshell lets you discover the dramatic landscape that is claimed to be one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. A guided hiking tour at Mount Fløyen will give you an active start of your journey. These are all great ways to transform your voyage into a total Norwegian holiday; one that you will remember for the rest of your life.
King Olav Kyrre founded Bergen in 1070 AD, and it became Norway’s first real capital in the 13th century. Bergen was a major European trading and seafaring port. It was one of the Hanseatic League's most important trading centres, making it the largest town in Scandinavia during the late middle ages and early modern period. Until the 1830s, Bergen was the biggest town in Norway. Today Bergen has a population of approximately 270,000. Trade and seafaring still play an important part in Bergen’s economy. Industry, trades, tourism, fisheries and the oil and gas industry are other important sectors. Bergen is also a major university city.