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Taking a harbour trip in Bergen is an excellent way to get a first impression of Norway's second-largest city - Photo: Bergen Tourist Board/Per Eide
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Taking a harbour trip in Bergen is an excellent way to get a first impression of Norway's second-largest city Photo: Bergen Tourist Board/Per Eide

What to do in Bergen

Take part in Bergen's vibrant cultural scene. The nearness to nature makes Bergen a good starting point for outdoor activities.

Entertainment

Bergen hosts a wide variety of activities ranging from the fine arts to lively football matches at Brann Stadium. The city has one of the world’s oldest symphony orchestras, a professional ballet company, an exciting jazz and blues scene, repertory theatres, imaginative revues and a wide choice of festivals.

Well-known celebrities
The city has fostered many well-known celebrities: The world-famous composer Edvard Grieg, the international solo violinist Ole Bull and the composer Harald Sæverud to name but a few.

Renowned for its vibrant and contemporary design and music scene, Bergen has helped cultivate acts such as Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band, Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp, Sondre Lerche and World Idol Kurt Nilsen, to name but a few.

Festivals
Every year there are several different festivals in Bergen, the most famous one being Bergen International Festival. This festival was founded in 1953 and has focused on presenting prominent international and Norwegian artists in the fields of music, ballet, opera, theatre, dance and the performing arts. It takes place every year over 12 - 14 days at the end of May and presents 120 - 140 events.

Other music festivals which are arranged in Bergen every year:

  • Night Jazz, the longest jazz festival in Northern Europe. It takes place at the same time as the Bergen International Festival. In the festival period concerts are held, both in the festival area and at other venues in the city. Traditional jazz is presented along with world music.
  • Bergenfest is arranged at the end of April/beginning of May each year. The festival focuses on folk music and authentic American blues in particular, as well as R&B, funk, gospel, rock, country and Cajun.
  • Bergen International Film festival
  • Bergen Art Festival (BergArt)
  • Bergen Food Festival

For updated information on all the events in the cultural city of Bergen, check out what's on in Bergen.

Outdoor activities

Bergen and its surrounding areas can offer a good variety of activities ranging from golf at an 18-hole course, to fishing and hiking.

The wild outdoors is just seven minutes away by the Fløibanen Funicular. The mountains around the city have some splendid marked trails. A map of these is available from Bergen Turlag and at the tourist information office.

The city is also an ideal starting point for yachting.

Many dream of going deep-sea fishing and Bergen is ideally situated. You may choose between fishing on the open sea or in the relatively calmer waters of the surrounding skerry guard - either way, the prospects are excellent! Marsteinen and Fedje are two destinations close to Bergen where fishing is particularly
good.

Bergen Base Camp
The latest activity offer in Bergen is Bergen Base Camp offered by EXin. From their location in the city centre of Bergen (just opposite the Fish Market), Bergen Base Camp can offer a range of activity products to the individual traveller such as GPS-guiding in Bergen, guided mountain walks and climbing.

Njord AS runs the sea kayaking centre at Møvik, only a 25-minute drive west of Bergen. The area is unique for kayaking - a lot of small islands and sounds, but also closeness to the roughness of the open sea. The season is from March to November.

During summer the centre arranges daily guided kayak trips, deep-sea fishing, hiking and climbing activities. The centre also offers kayak and boat rental.

Nordic Ventures, based in Voss, offers high quality sea kayaking tours out of Bergen to the UNESCO protected area of the Nærøyfjord.  

In Voss, one hour from Bergen, there is a comprehensive list of options. Organised rafting trips, family rafting, sports rafting, river boarding and waterfall abseiling are some of the activities on offer. The season is from the end of April to the end of October.

Voss Rafting Centre has a wide selection of activity options. If you want to walk in the footsteps of world heritage, Heritage Adventures is waiting for you. If you would like to see Voss from the air or get a real rush, paragliding or hang-gliding or a parachute jump may be the thing for you. 

Extreme Sports Week in Voss
At Voss there are also challenges galore during the Extreme Sports Week at the end of June/beginning of July. The Extreme Sports Week has been created around the four elements; water, air, earth and fire.

Voss is also one of Norway’s oldest and most popular winter destinations.

Cycling 
Bergen and its surrounding areas offer cycling experiences both for those who want to enjoy the ride and the scenery, and for those who are looking for a real challenge.

Why not cycle Rallarvegen (the Navvies' Road) - one of the most popular and most scenic bicycle rides from the vast mountain plateau of Hardangervidda right down to Flåm and the Aurlandsfjord, or Voss.  

The cycle route Voss - Bergen through the beautiful Eksingedalen Valley is designated National Cycle Route no 4. It is possible to cycle on the old main road between Voss and Dale through the Bergsdalen Valley from May to September. You cycle from Voss to Bulken and then follow the signposts to Hamlagrø. You have the option of spending a night at a farm at Lid en route.

Mountain hiking
The mountains surrounding Bergen offer a wide range of walks in mountainous and wooded terrain. The Bergen Mountain Touring Association organises walking tours at weekends and supplies information on cabins and mountain routes all over Norway.

In Bergen,  The 7-mountains walk has become a popular attraction and pursuit. This walk allows you to experience many of the mountains around Bergen, affording beautiful views of the city along much of its course. Times are not recorded, the entire Sunday is spent on the walk of approximate 35 kilometres and a total ascent of 2,400 metres.

The 4-mountains walk is an option for those who find the 7-mountains walk too long. The walk is held at the end of May every year.

If you want to make your pulse race even faster, the Ulriken Opp race is for you. You can enter either the keep-fit class or the competitive class up to the pylon on the top of Ulriken, 605 metres above sea level. 

Sightseeing

A guided tour by bus, sightseeing train or boat is a great way of seeing Bergen’s attractions and learning about the city.

An organized bus tour of central Bergen which will include visits to some of the museums and attractions, is an excellent way of whetting the appetite for looking at Bergen in more detail later.

Explore Bryggen - the Hanseatic wharf
A stroll through the UNESCO protected Bryggen harbour area will take you 800 - 900 years back in time and provide an intimate image of Bergen as a medieval town, where Hanseatic traders maintained one of their four European offices.

Bryggen is a living example of the formidable status that Bergen enjoyed as part of the Hanseatic League. The old wooden houses which still survive and happily snuggle into the hillside, make wandering along the narrow passageways called "smau", a truly unique Bergen experience.

During the summer, you can also join one of the historic walks around Bryggen.

Guided walks
In Bergen, guided walks around the city centre are available all year.

Fjord excursions

Bergen is the gateway to the fjords of Western Norway. Whether you only have time for a short sightseeing trip, or whether you want to see the area in more detail, there are plenty of tours to provide you with unforgettable memories.

 

Norway in a nutshell® 
Among the broad selection of excursions to the fjords, Norway in a nutshell® is perhaps the most popular. This classic tour provides you with an excellent insight into Norway's magnificent nature and astounding scenery - all in one day. The tour includes the famous Flåm Railway and the UNESCO protected Nærøyfjord.

The tour leaves Bergen in the morning and returns in the evening.

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Last updated:  2013-01-04
Go rafting in Voss, less than an hour from Bergen by train or car. - Photo: Voss Rafting Senter
Go rafting in Voss, less than an hour from Bergen by train or car.
Experience sea kayaking on the Hardangerfjord in fruitful Hardanger in Norway. - Photo: Reisemål Hardangerfjord/Flatearth
Experience sea kayaking on the Hardangerfjord in fruitful Hardanger in Norway.

Interest:  Tours & Safaris, Festivals, Sightseeing, Fjords & Mountains

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Taking a harbour trip in Bergen is an excellent way to get a first impression of Norway's second-largest city - Photo: Bergen Tourist Board/Per Eide

What to do in Bergen

Take part in Bergen's vibrant cultural scene. The nearness to nature makes Bergen a good starting point for outdoor activities.

What to do in Bergen

Source: Visitnorway

Related

Tour suggestions in Bergen

Go sightseeing in the city centre, explore the surrounding fjords and mountains, or join the popular round trip Norway in a Nutshell®.

Attractions in Bergen

Top attractions in Bergen include Bryggen, the Fløibanen Funicular, the Fish Market, the Edvard Grieg Museum at Troldhaugen and Fantoft Stave Church.

Top of the fjords

Almost a week is required for this trip where you visit the Jotunheimen Mountains, the Sognefjord and the UNESCO protected Geirangerfjord.

Visitors' recommendations in Bergen

- We were presented to real Norwegian culture, says Peter Fostekew from England after visiting Otternes Bygdetun.

About Bergen

Bergen

Bergen is known for Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, the Fish Market, and surrounding mountains and fjords, such as the Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord.

Key facts on Bergen

Bergen is Norway’s second largest city with 240.000 inhabitants. The city was founded more than 900 years ago.

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