When I was researching this trip I managed to find a bus from Stavanger up to my next destination of Bergen and as read that it became booked pretty quickly during the summer so immediately purchased a ticket. I was not happy at the thought of 5.5 hours on a crowded coach, especially when it cost 460NK (around £40) which included a 20% discount so imagine how annoyed I was when I later discovered there are also many flights each day lasting around 35 minutes that you can pick up for around £30!
The coach left at 8.15am with only a handful of people aboard, so plenty of room to spread out and I got ready to settle in with a good book and catch up with some sleep (did it have free wifi?). Imagine my very happy shock to discover this was to be 5.5 hours of absolutely stunning scenery and include 3 ferry trips on the fjords. Definitely one of the most beautiful coach journeys I have been taken.
Top things to do:
Bergen Card 24 hours 240NOK; 48hr 310 NOK; 72 hrs 380NOK –
Bergenhus Fortress – including The King Håkon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower
Bryggen area (Tyskebryggen) – Hanseatic Harbour – UNESCO – runs along eastern shore of Vagen Harbour – also cobbled lanes off main road
Fløibanen funicular (Floyen Mountain Funicular), Vertrlidsalmenning 21 – 90NOK (50% off with Bergen card) for a round-trip with a funicular every 15 minutes – holds around 30 people? and in operation from 7.30am-11pm – great views up top of Mount Floyen with a nice looking restaurant. Several hiking trails including a 6 hour one over to Mount Ulriken which will definitely have to do next time.
Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen Museum), Nyhavnsveien 4 – open air museum – 90Nkr free with Bergen card – people in period costumes and role playing – 40 min walk from centre of town but nice views over the water – take bus 3 from Fish Market to Nyhavnsveien – takes about 10 minutes
Maritime Museum, Haakon Sheteligs plass 15 – 50NOK (free with Bergen card) – although I didn’t go in, I came across this museum on the way back from the Gamle Bergen and discovered they do a shuttle boat back to the harbour so I hopped on. Was the only one on the journey on the way back with a captain that looked like an old fisherman telling me great stories in his broken English. When I went to pay he said no charge so then I felt really guilty.
Mostraumen and Osterfjord Cruise – 550NOK (20% off with Bergen card) – leaving from Zachariasbryggen next to the fish market. It was my first chance to glimpse the Bryggen and although pretty I could not really understand the fuss (more on that later!). You then sail under Nordhordalandsbrua and into the Osterfjord. Approaching Mostraumen the fjord gets narrower and narrower and you are surrounded by steep mountains with many waterfalls, idyllic scenery with small villages. The captain pulled in against one of them and several passengers were given waterproof suits and a bowl to collect water from the waterfall – served to us it was gorgeously cool and fresh. After this we sailed around Osterøy and made a stop by a beautiful waterfall called Heskjedalsfossen. The whole cruise takes about 3.5 hours and although the catamaran had a lovely large sun deck the weather was a little wet and windy even in August! Audio guide provided in several languages.
St. Mary’s Church? – cannonball?
Torget fish & flower market torgetibergen.no 7-7 daily
- Altona Vinbar, C Sundts Gate 22 eve only – 400 year old tavern with a romantic vaulted underground; food including smoked deer 129NOK and whale steak 265NOK – only open evenings
- Bryggen Tracteursted, Bryggestredet 2 – traditional Norwegian dishes in the beautiful Bryggen but high prices
- Krog og Krinkel, Lille Ovregaten 14 11-7 – streetside tables on cobbles or shelter from storms in the cosy basement – books and cakes, what could be better!
- Pingvinen, Vaskerelven 14 – norwegian home cooking in casual surroundings – fish pie, reindeer, whale, dumplings
- Terminus Bar, Grand Terminus Hotel, Zander Kaasgate 6 5pm – midnight – voted one of worlds best whisky bar
For next time:
Alvøen Country Mansion, Alvøveien 150, Godvik – 70NOK (free with Bergen card)
Aquarium, Nordnesbakken 4 – 250NOK (25% discount with Bergen card or free during winter months). Bus 11 from city centre or 20 minute walk
Bryggens Museum, Dreggsalmening 3 – 80NOK (free with Bergen card) – archeological remains of Bergen’s first settlements from the 1000s
Damsgård Country Mansion – Alléen 29, 5160 Laksevåg – 70NOK (free with Bergen card) – built in the 18thc, Europe’s best preserved wooden Rococco building with the original interior – bus no. 16 or 17 – entry via guided tour only
Edvard Griegs House (Troldhaugen), Troldhaugenven 65 – 100NOK (50% off with Bergen card) – former home of the Norwegian composer; the composing hut near the water is pretty
Fantoft Stave Church, Fantoftvegen 38 – 55NOK (free with Bergen card) – catch the Bergen Light Rail/ Tram from port area to Fantoft (approx. 15 mins) then 10 min walk, go past grocery entrance, turn left on the road running parallel to the city rail or bus 83 then steep hike through woods – not the original as that burnt down in 1992 – viewing platform at back of church to get good photos
Fjærland glaciers/ Sognefjord – 1440Nkr – leaves 8am and lasts approx. 13 hours including entry to the Norwegian Glacier Museum
Fjell Fortress, Festningsvegen, 5357 Fjell – 100NOK (free with Bergen card) – biggest German fortress in Norway during WW2. Bus 450 or 468
Fjord Safari with Rib-boat 90 mins – runs between May and August – 795NOK (approx. £65) – departs 11.30am – meet Bergen harbor 20 minutes before departure
Hanseatic Museum, Finnegården 1A – 100NOK – shows how the German merchants from The Hanseatic League lived and worked from 1350 to 1750 when these merchants traded stockfish and grains. The museum was opened in 1872 and has two trading houses, one facing the sea and one in back of the tenement. It’s the only house on Bryggen which has kept its original interior.
Hardangerfjord – 770NOK – leaves at 7.30am and lasts approx 11.5 hours – the bus goes to Norheimsund where the boat takes you to the beautiful Hardangerfjord with. many beautiful villages surrounded by beautiful snow-covered mountain peaks. The boat docks at Eidsfjord where you get a few hours to explore by useful and take another trip to explore the Eidsfjord for 350NOK. A bus then takes you back to Bergen. Tour also takes in Hardangervidda Nature Centre and the Måbødalen valley which offers a fantastic view of Norway’s most famous waterfall, Vøringsfossen.
Lysoen and Ole Bull’s Villa, 5215 Lysekloster – 60NOK (free with Bergen card) – the Lysøen museum consists of the violinist Ole Bull’s villa, Gamletunet, a 17th century homestead and farm settlement, and the island itself with the park. Ole Bull’s summerhouse on Lysøen was constructed in the years 1872-73, and is unique in Norwegian architectural history being called his “little Alhambra,” with onion domes and exotic ornamentals both outside and inside the high ceiling of the music hall – all carved out of Norwegian pine – the villa emerges like a dream of a blue fairytale castle – open for guided tours. On the island are 13km of nature trails.
Mount Ulriken – catch a cable car up Mount Ulriken for panoramic views of Bergen & the surrounding fjords – a shuttle bus goes to the cable car station from Torget fish market every 30 mins otherwise 45 min walk or bus 2, 31, 50 – restaurant at top Sky Skraperen – apparently good in evening
Rodne Fjord Cruise to Rosendal rodne.no
School Museum, Lille Øvregate 38 – 80NOK – in the old Bergen cathedral school it tells the history of Norwegian schools from medieval times to the current day – site is shared with the Holberg museum
University Museum of Bergen, Nygårdshøyden – one of the largest collections of cultural & natural history in Norway – 50NOK
Walking Tour – 11am and 12midday (90 mins) 150NOK (including entry to the Bryggens Museum, the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene on the same day) in English meeting at Bryggens Museum run by Bryggen Walking Tour or 2pm (2hrs) 100NOK in English & Norwegian meeting at Holmedalsgården 4 run by Bergen Guide Service
Basic Bergen, Håkonsgatan 27 – is approximately 800NOK per night (£60). Norway is incredibly expensive so this is really good value. Situated almost a mile from the coach station so a bit of a trek with a back-pack but if arriving by airport bus it is closer. However, once you are there it is only a 5-10 minute walk to the Bryggen waterfront itself. The rooms in this hotel are most certainly not basic but very well-equipped with hairdryer, fridge, kettle, flat-screen TV and modern decor; free wifi with a great connection – check-is from 3pm May to September but the rest of the year reception is only open until 4.30pm so you will need to arrange arrival time in advance which may not be convenient for some. Check out is a very respectable 12midday. Breakfast is available for 140NOK at a nearby hotel. Cleaning is only weekly if you are staying that long.
- Citybox hotel, Nygårdsgaten 31
To the airport:
Bus from outside Radisson Blu Norge hotel and various other pick-up points – takes around 40 minutes – 100NOK single, 170NOK round trip
Tourist office, Vagsallmenningen 1