Bergen in Norway has been on your bucket list for a while, hasn’t it? Been sitting there, on that list you keep magnetised to the fridge, for a couple of years right? Sitting there, looking at you, and whispering at you while you’re rustling up a penne arrabiata “Pssst. Come to Bergen. It’s real nice.”
“Bergen’s city centre is flanked by seven mountains”
Situated on the country’s southwestern coast, Bergen is Norway’s second city. It’s surrounded by epic mountains and fjords, and couldn’t be more postcard-perfect if, well, it was literally made of postcards. The fact that Bergen’s city centre is flanked by seven mountains means it is often called ‘the city between the seven mountains’ (catchy).
How To Get There
From the UK, you can get direct flights to Bergen from London, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen. If you’re going to Bergen by car, it’s about a seven hour drive from Oslo. Another great shout, if you’re coming from Oslo, is to take the train. Taking 34 years to build, it’s a train journey that’s widely cited as one of Europe’s very best (it takes just seven and a half hours, station to station). The scenery out the train’s window needs to be seen to be believed. Google it, if you don’t believe us.
Things To Do In Bergen
OK. OK. So much we could talk about in this section but this being Norway (basically Disneyland for fjord enthusiasts) we’d be mad not to start by citing the spectacular Nordic fjords as one of the top reasons to visit Bergen. After all, as well as being dubbed ‘the city between the seven mountains’, the city is also known as the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’.
North of Bergen is Sognefjord. Sognefjord is the largest and deepest fjord in Norway, and nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’. Hardangerfjord, south of Bergen, meanwhile is an absolute beauty and home to the iconic Trolltunga rock formation. If you haven’t seen this formation on Instagram, a formation which literally translates into English as “Troll tongue,” then, quite frankly, you’re not on Instagram.
“Hardangerfjord… is an absolute beauty and home to the iconic Trolltunga rock formation”
Another cool thing to do while in Bergen is hiking up and around Fløyen. The summit, situated 400 metres above sea level, serves up incredible views over the Bergen Peninsula; making it a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike. There is, it’s worth pointing out, also a funicular system if you can’t be bothered walking the whole way that’ll get you about 320 metres up in approximately eight minutes.
The highest of Bergen’s seven mountains is Mount Ulriken and, just like with Fløyen, it offers amazing views of the surrounding area. Two of the best places to start your Ulriken hike from are the Ulriken Cable Car (there’s a trail point just behind where it goes from), and Montana (near the Montana Hostel).