Bergen – where culture, nature and history merge

Bergen – where culture, nature and history merge

Norway's second largest city, Bergen, offers a unique combination of beautiful fjord and mountain scenery, rich cultural life and exciting historical experiences.

Calm sailing on flashing fjords, where the mountains are reflected, while the waterfalls wind like white veils down the dark rock walls. Spectacular hiking or cycling trails, with views of fjords, towns and mountains around every corner. Panoramic views of Bergen from the mountain peaks of Fløyen (320m), reached by cable car, or Ulriken (643m), reached by cable car – these are just some of the world–class nature experiences you have in store if you go to Bergen.

The city is not called the 'Gateway to the Fjords' without reason – here is everything that Fjord Norway's nature has to offer – and much more.

Living history

Bergen's main attraction stems from the city's exciting and colourful history. For several centuries, the city was one of the Hanseatic League's power centres, and the Bryggen district today bears witness to the commercial life this generated in the city. Explore the old wooden houses – walk down the wooden sidewalks and through the narrow alleys, or enter the historic wooden buildings, now converted into museums, where the daily life of the merchants is brought to life. The district looks today exactly as it did in the Middle Ages – and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. It's an experience not to be missed while you're in Bergen.

The royal residence and banqueting hall Håkonshallen (built 1247–1261), Rosenkrantztårnet (parts of which date back to the 1270s) and the open–air Old Bergen Museum are also worth a visit for family history buffs. A visit to the Old Bergen Museum is like visiting a miniature version of a historic town – there are workshops, schools, shops and private homes, all equipped with artefacts from their period, and the staff are dressed in clothes from the time periods they are displaying.

Classical art and contemporary cultural life

The fjord city of Bergen has been a hub of Norwegian cultural life for hundreds of years. Here you can discover several impressive art collections, ranging from the world's third largest collection of Edvard Munch's paintings and drawings in Rasmus Meyer's Collections to contemporary art collections in the many art museums united in the KODE association.

Bergen is also the place to visit Troldhaugen – the house where Norway's most famous composer Edvard Grieg lived for 22 years and composed many of his most famous works. Troldhaugen is now a museum where you can experience the life of Grieg. A visit to Troldhaugen can also be combined with a chamber music concert in Troldsalen, which was built at the house in 1985. Concerts are held here several times a week during the summer and autumn, and a visit to the atmospheric hall is considered by many to be the perfect end to a day of classical music.

In addition to these world–class cultural experiences, Bergen is the centre of a wide range of festivals and events throughout the year, including ballet, opera, theatre, dance, plays and a wide range of music genres. The city attracts a wide range of Norwegian and international artists – keep an eye on the city's activity calendar to see who's visiting while you're there.

Experiences for children

Bergen also offers a wealth of exciting experiences for children. Highlights include the Aquarium, where you can explore penguins, seals, crocodiles and a host of fish and other creatures from the depths of the sea, and the VILVITE adventure centre, which offers an exciting world of experiments for teenagers. Here you can try out almost 100 different experiments and devices on topics as diverse as gravity, calculating weather forecasts, how to steer a ship or submarine – and much, much more! Only your imagination will limit your experiences in this universe of science and technology.

Staying at one of the beautiful Thon Hotels

In Bergen, you can look forward to staying at one of the Thon chain's beautiful and newly renovated hotels, both centrally located in Bergen. This means you'll be within walking distance of some of Bergen's biggest sights, and there's also public transport access right by the hotels.

Your guide to a great holiday in Bergen

Read more about what to do, see and do in Bergen below and find inspiration for your holiday in our travel articles about the area.