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Bergen

Historic Nordnes: Merchants, Witches, Crime, & Hidden Alleys

Explore beautiful Nordnes on a guided tour and hear the stories you won't hear on a regular walking tour of Bergen.

Looking for a unique walking tour in Bergen that takes you away from the busy crowded areas of Bryggen and the fish market? Discover one of the best-kept secrets in the city with this walking tour of the Nordnes peninsula.

There’s more to Bergen than Bryggen, the fish market and the funicular, and on this walking tour our local guides will take you completely off-the-beaten path into one of the best-kept secrets of the city. Nordnes is a 1km (0.6 mile) long peninsula that stretches into Bergen harbour. While the Hanseatic League were dominating trade on Bryggen, Nordnes is where the Norwegian merchants developed their businesses. But Nordnes was also the centre of power in Bergen, and it was the city’s courthouse and execution site for hundreds of years. It's also where witches were burned in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 19th century, it became a hub of sailors and red-light district, with the narrow, dark alleys the perfect place to hide undercover activity. Today it is a popular (and expensive) neighbourhood with families, schools, and beautiful parks. It feels like a small town rather than an inner-city suburb.

On our walking tour, you will meet the Norwegian merchants and see how their buildings functioned for trade, including their 500-year-old wine cellars. You’ll also see one of the most authentic streets in Bergen and one of the only streets in Nordnes not affected by World War II damage. You’ll also meet Anne Pedersdatter Beyer, the most famous (and hated) witch from Bergen and learn about how crime and punishment was in the city. After all, Bergen in the 16th century had a murder rate comparable to New York during prohibition. We’ll even stop at the place where Bergen’s last execution took place and talk about the crowds it brought in. We’ll show you the alley that was voted the prettiest by locals and take you to the historic rough sailor’s district.

This historic walk will give you stories that you won’t hear on a regular walking tour. We’ll also wander through the narrow alleys that only locals about. Here you will see some of the most photogenic spots in all of Bergen. While this is a history walk, we will also cover life in Bergen today – we will pass schools, parks, the Marine Research Institute, the Maritime School, and places that give us an insight into everyday life. This area also has some of the city’s most popular cafes. See you in Nordnes!

Maximum number of participants: 14

We limit the group size as this is a tour through a residential neighbourhood. It also allows you to ask as many questions as you want.

Please note – this tour is not suitable for children but they can join the tour if approved by parents. We do discuss crime, punishment, torture, death, and prostitution. The tour will not be altered for children if requested.

This is a moderate tour with cobblestone paths on hills. Good and comfortable walking shoes are required.

Meeting point: We meet at Østre Murallmenningen 23, outside the Aksdal raincoat store. All guests are required to be at the meeting spot at least 10 minutes before the tour start time. We do not wait for latecomers and guests more than 15 minutes late to a tour have their booking cancelled without refund.

Finishing point: This tour ends at The Blue Stone (Den blå steinen) on Torgallmenningen.

Language: English (private tours in other languages are available on request)

Booking: The tour must be pre-booked online in advance. We do carry card machines if you wish to pay on site but cannot guarantee a spot on the tour at the last minute – we strictly stick to our group size. Tours require a minimum of 1 person to operate and the first booking must be done at least two hours before the tour begins, or the tour will not operate.

Cancellation policy: Guests can cancel the tour and be fully refunded up to 24 hours before the tour start time.

There are no refunds due to bad weather. If extreme weather is forecast, the company will cancel the tour and contact travellers in advance to select another time or day. If another time isn’t suitable, the guest will be fully refunded. The tour runs on rainy days.

Source: Visit Bergen

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Historic Nordnes: Merchants, Witches, Crime, & Hidden Alleys

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