If a quick search of ‘Bergen’ on Google Images doesn’t entice you to book a flight (do it!) then I will certainly struggle. If you spend 2 days in Bergen, you can expect to see coloured wooden houses which begin at the shore and rise up throughout the surrounding hills and nearby fjords beckon.
If you’re choosing between Bergen and Oslo, which is the only city larger in Norway, I would personally recommend Bergen. Whilst Oslo is chock-a-block with museums and galleries for those who want to step inside and immerse themselves in culture (check out 48 Hours in Oslo if that’s you!) Bergen is a treat for the eyes and more distinctively Norwegian – from a patronisingly unknowing tourist’s perspective, anyway.
How I got there:
Norwegian Air is a great airline and was cheap to fly to from London. We had a lot of turbulence over the North Sea but as I sat and contemplated my death I knew that Norwegian Air was a noble airline to crash with. (I’d flown only once before ten years prior, so this nervousness is not entirely exaggerated!)
Where I stayed:
I shared a room in a youth hostel with my best friend which was super cheap and comfortable, but AirBnbs and hotels are also an option.
What I did:
Museums: Be sure to check opening times before you go! Museums in Bergen closed earlier than we expected. We enjoyed the Bryggens Museum but were unable to visit others on our list. Find the full list of museums here.
Walked around: The best way to see Bergen is by foot. How else will you discover the winding passages lined with buildings of all colours and find hidden shops up narrow wooden staircases? The architecture itself will stun you, particularly if you’ve not visited Northern Europe before. There is plenty to do in the vicinity of Bergen.
Get a tram and catch a stunning view from Mount Fløyen: You can choose to hike or bike it but me? Ew, using my own muscles, gross! The Fløibanen funicular is minutes from the centre of the city and it’s weirdly satisfying to watch Bergen shrink below you whilst you steadily ascent up the hill. As for the great views? During my trip it was super misty so I whipped out my super-power-positivity and ran around shouting ‘We’re in a clouuuuuddd’ to make sure my best friend wasn’t disheartened. Guys. We were in a cloud. And it was awesome.
Drink cocktails: My bestie and I LOVED ‘No Stress!’ We cosied up by an open fire and I drank the best whisky-infused cocktail I’ve ever had. In fact we loved it so much that my BBF/champion of alcoholic beverages walked 15 mins to the youth hostel and back to get more cash – what’s more romantic than your best friend heroically returning with whisky-monies?
For those feeling more adventurous: nearby fjords and mountains are easy to get to for a day trip (or as a stunning way to get between Bergen and Oslo). Check out https://www.norwaynutshell.com/ if you fancy a winding train ride on the supposed most beautiful railway on Earth, The Flam Railway, and a boat ride between the immense mountains spotting tiny villages nestled between the slopes.
Honestly? 2 days in Bergen wasn’t enough! There is something truly magical about walking the streets, particularly when night falls and the lights stretch out along the mountains and are reflected in the sea below. Plus it was my first real holiday for ten years so I would’ve been a complete plum if I hadn’t enjoyed it.
Norway is as expensive as everyone says it is. Be prepared and incorporate that into your planning when you’re choosing how much to spend on accommodation etc. Also at one point I thought my best friend was going to begin cursing the Norse Gods if it didn’t stop raining.
Tip for vegetarians:
DON’T forget to check online before you go. We had to go back to the youth hostel to use the WiFi as we were struggling. Scallops and reindeer are sold everywhere and the options in general cafes were lackluster and expensive. DO check out Pygmalion! We ate there both nights as it has both vegetarian and meat options. Also consider cooking for yourself if you’re in a hostel or AirBnb.
Costs and Budget tips:
- ACCOMMODATION: Hostels in Bergen are usually around £16 -25 for a dorm room, or more like £44 -74 for a private. We opted for a twin private for around £60. This was around the cheapest accommodation when I visited in March 2015, but now AirBnb have some amazing offers so do check these out. A budget hotel could be around £55.
- FOOD: A meal out could be around £13 – £70 depending on how fancy you are. I paid around £9 one morning for a coffee and a croissant because I’m an idiot who didn’t save by utilising my hostel facilities. Save money by cooking in your hostel or apartment, and stock up on cereal bars at duty-free!
- HAVING FUN: Attractions vary. We went to a museum for £7 and on the funicular for around £16. Save money with the Bergen Card https://en.visitbergen.com/bergen-card which includes both these attractions and many more. They have options of 24, 48 or 72 hours from £20 – £34.
- FLIGHTS: Flying from Europe is well-priced. I paid £65 from London. Transport around Bergen will be free if you’re staying in the city as the best way to see it is by foot and everything is close by.
Let’s finish with a photo of me overlooking beautiful Bergen. Much love x
Let me know below if you’ve ever been to Bergen and how you would spend 2 days there… or up to see a cloud. 🙂
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