Bergen was founded around 1070 and has always held a place of importance in Norway and Scandinavia. It is one of the most important cities of the Hanseatic League, as it connected Norway with continental Europe through trade and commerce. Today it is best known for the wild beauty of its mountains and fjords, and attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year. With Choice Hotels in Bergen, you will enjoy amenities and hospitable staff during your adventure in Norway. Nearby attractions include:
Start your Bergen visit with a bird’s-eye view of the city from Mount Fløyen via the funicular. Pick it up near the fish market downtown (ask for a map of the hiking trails when you purchase your ticket) and take the eight-minute ride to the top where you can see a panoramic view not only of Bergen itself but of all the surrounding mountains and fjords. There is a café at the top to get a bite to eat and you can take the funicular back down again or walk if you would prefer a little exercise.
For another set of spectacular views with more physical exertion, take the cable car up Mount Ulriken for the Vidden Trail. The path is well marked at the top: it takes you along a ridge that is fairly rocky (be sure to wear sturdy shoes) that offers breathtaking views. Pass above the Svartediket reservoir and the Jordal Valley and finally descend to Fløyen where you can take the funicular back down into Bergen. This is a trip that lasts several hours, so be prepared with good footgear, food and water. Weekends are best when you will be joined by local hikers, as there are a lot of trails to follow and it is easy to get confused.
Back in Bergen, take an afternoon to visit the Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf, the old part of the city that reflects the wealth of the medieval Hanseatic merchants’ league. Brightly colored buildings lean against each other at odd angles and tiny alleyways draw you back into another era. Ongoing restoration is happening one building at a time, and the area has a UNESCO World Heritage listing. Shops, cafés and restaurants are all on offer here as well and every photograph you take looks like a picture postcard.
Now that you have seen the port, take a trip out to the Hardanger Fjord itself to enjoy the beauty of the wild unspoiled nature that surrounds Bergen. You will see sharp cliffs rising above the water, forests bursting with green, waterfalls and more. Whether you go by land or water, you will be stopping off at various villages around the fjord, some of which are lovely and well worth exploring on their own. This is a trip best done in the summer months for comfort and security.
Its name translates as “Troll Hill,” and Troldhaugen is a must-see for lovers of music. Included in the lovely grounds are a museum, Edvard Grieg’s house and composer’s hut, a concert hall and Grieg’s grave. There are frequent lunchtime recitals so that you can hear Grieg’s music at the same time that you are learning about him. Plan to take your time and spend the day; even the architecture is worth commenting on, as it is built specifically into its environment with multiple levels. Have lunch at the restaurant and enjoy the extraordinary views from the concert hall.
Your children in particular will enjoy a visit to the VilVite Bergen Science Center, and you may find it just as interesting as they do. There is no shortage of activities to do here, with hands-on exhibits focusing on energy, weather, oceans, the human brain and body and much more. There are ongoing science shows and demonstrations, a 3-D dinosaur movie (that makes them seem truly very real), and your kids can go on a 360-degree loop ride that teaches them about g-forces.
Winner of Trip Advisor’s 2013 Vacation Destination award, Bergen is a gateway to the country’s famous fjords and a spectacularly beautiful city with a long mercantile history. Outdoor activities abound, and the area is teeming with culture. You may also just wish to sit at a café and soak in the language and customs along with the sun. Choice Hotels offers many options so book now and save.
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