Nestled between the sea and the mountains, with a history spanning 1,000 years, Bergen is Norway’s second largest city and a popular cruise port. A big city with small-town charm, Bergen manages to blend urban sophistication with unspoilt natural wonder so well that it continues to draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Boasting a thriving international community, Bergen has a lot to be proud of: from the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Bryggen quarter, to its intoxicating entertainment, to its excellent food and coffee scene. Indeed, Bergen has more than most cities – but in a small package.
With stunning nature never too far away, and some of the friendliest city dwellers in all of Northern Europe, Bergen is just waiting to be explored.
Cruise ships may dock at a number of different piers throughout central Bergen. However, most dock at the Skolten cruise port – only a short 10 minute walk along the waterfront to the popular Bryggen wharf area.
The cruise ship terminal at Skolten is rather basic. However, all the essential facilities and amenities can be found just a short walk from the terminal.
Facilities nearby include:
- Public toilets
- Souvenir and shopping options
- Wi-Fi and Internet access
- Restaurants, cafés and bars
- Tourist information centre.
Most of Bergin’s attractions can be reached on foot, although taxis, buses and car hire offices abound through the city centre.
There are also numerous hotels spread throughout Bergen.
How To Get Around
Bergen is best explored on foot. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other.
Travel times from the cruise ship terminal:
- It is a 5 minute journey to the Fish Market
- It is a 3 minute journey from the starting station on the Fløibanen Funicular
- It is a 1 minute journey to the historic Bryggen quarter.
- Currency – The local currency in Bergen is the Norwegian Krone (NOK). Coins come in 50 øre (1/2 krone), 1, 5, 10 and 20 kroner denominations. Notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 kroner denominations.
- Time Zone – Bergen is on Central European Time (CET). It is 1 hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather – Bergen enjoys a temperate oceanic climate with cool winters and mild summers. Thanks in part to the Gulf Stream, Bergen has the warmest winters of all the cities in Norway, averaging around 2 degrees Celsius between the months of December and February. During the summer months of June to August, Bergen sees average daytime temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius. However, the city averages around 2,250mm of rainfall each year, making Bergen one of Norway’s wettest cities. Most of this rain falls between September and January.
- Bryggen – Running along the eastern shore of Vagen Harbour, right in the heart of the city, Bryggen is Bergen’s oldest quarter and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Rebuilt after a fire in 1702, the 58 buildings that comprise the quarter were constructed and designed in the 12th century style, giving Bryggen a distinctly medieval look and feel. Losing yourself in the wooden alleyways of Bryggen is a definite must do while in Bergen. Just don’t forget to bring your camera for those stunning views across the bay come sunset.
- City sightseeing by boat – Spend the afternoon sailing around Bergen’s stunning harbour basin and enjoy the views of the city from the water. Sailing past the Old Bergen Museum, the famous Bergen Aquarium, and the world-famous Bryggen quarter, a 90-minute ride up the Puddefjorden on a sunny day is truly a highlight. Boat trips mostly depart right by the Fish Market.
- Floibanen Funicular – Ride to the top of Floien Mountain with the Floibanen Funicular and take in sweeping views of Bergen and its surroundings. Departing right from the city centre – just a 10 minute walk from the Fish Market – the cable car ride to the top of the mountain (320 metres above sea level). The ride takes approximately 7 minutes. After admiring the views on top, visitors can hike around the mountain, as well as grab a bite to eat at the mountaintop restaurant. The Fløibanen Funicular runs every day from early morning until 11pm.
- Fish Market – The lively and insanely photogenic Fish Market in Bergen is a feast for all the senses. Stalls selling freshly caught crab, cod and lobster stand side-by-side with stands selling bouquets of colourful flowers, fruit and vegetables, and locally-made handicrafts and souvenirs. The Fish Market is open all year long from 7am.