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On your Norway cruise, the bustling city of Bergen will welcome you with open arms and plenty of fresh seafood. Norway’s beauty shines brighter than ever in Bergen, where colorful wooden buildings line every street. From the historic wharf called the Bryggen to the neighboring fjords just waiting to be explored, a day in port from a fjord cruise in Bergen makes for a fun mix of city and seclusion, outdoor adventure and arts and culture.
Go beyond the city for hiking, or take a cable car ride to the top of Mt. Fløyen to see the city in full view. Leisurely walk the cobblestoned streets as you shop in boutiques, check out the famous Bergen fish market, or enjoy a coffee. Whether you’re interested in a whirlwind afternoon of sightseeing and museum hopping or prefer to take it slow, Bergen has an itinerary in mind for any style of travel.
The Wharf at Bryggen is one of the most famous sights in all of Norway, and it was even declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. This row of colorful, almost symmetrical homes look like a postcard, and there are even guided walks that start at the Bryggens Museum so you can learn all about the history of the area. This is the place to shop, stop for a coffee, or enjoy a romantic waterfront dinner while in port on your fjord cruise to Bergen.
Curious about life in the Middle Ages in Norway? Head to the Bryggens Museum, where you’ll be surrounded by historic artifacts and findings from archaeological excavations. The museum honors the first settlements in Bergen and offers a step back in time for any visitor to the city. It’s small and approachable, making it a perfect stop on an afternoon of museum hopping in Bergen.
Walk in the footsteps and see the home of famous Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg at the museum named for him. This charming, countryside villa is located along a lake. The villa tells the story of Grieg’s illustrious music career and the life he shared with his wife. History buffs will be fascinated by the expert preservation of Grieg’s possessions and his fascinating life story.
A Bergen cruise stop is the ideal jumping-off point for travelers eager to see Norway’s stunning fjord system. Many guided tours will start and end in Bergen, where adventures might include hiking, kayaking, and scaling the dramatic cliffscape of the fjords.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Bergen cruise port is the funicular, which will take you to the impressive summit of Mt. Fløyen. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll be enjoying panoramic views of the entire city below. Enjoy a mountain walk, or hike from Mt. Fløyen all the way to neighboring Mount Ulriken. Leave at least a half day to fully take in the mountains and nature of this area.
Since 1180, St. Mary’s Church has stood steadfastly in the center of Bryggen. It’s the oldest building in all of Bergen, and its Gothic architecture will fascinate you. See the magic for yourself during your stop on a fjord cruise to Bergen. Guided tours offer a short half-hour journey through hundreds of years of history.
It’s no secret that fishing and seafood are a huge part of life in Bergen. Experience it for yourself when you eat out or explore the Bergen Fish Market, which has been around since the 13th century. Fresh catches, vegetables, and locally farmed fruit are market staples. Watch as locals make their grocery purchases, people watch, and admire the day’s catches as you stroll the harborfront.
Address: Strandgaten 203, 5004 Bergen, Norway
Seafood is what Restaurant Cornelius does best, and with fjord views and passing ships just beyond the restaurant, it’s hard to go wrong with this kind of ambiance. The restaurant offers a culinary journey through Norway. The five-course meal is perfect for an upscale, slow evening meal featuring some of the region’s freshest seafood, from fresh-shucked oysters to ceviche, scallops, king crab, and more.
Marg & Bein
Address: Fosswinckelsgate 18, 5007 Bergen, Norway
The trendy Marg & Bein has decadent mains like white fish and mussels in a cream sauce or braised ox and potatoes cooked in duck fat. Creative spins on seafood dishes and an attention to detail make Marg & Bein worth checking out. The atmosphere is modern and Scandinavian sleek, and the menu changes seasonally.
Horn of Africa
Address: Strandgaten 212, 5004 Bergen, Norway
Looking for something other than seafood? Head to Horn of Africa, which caters to your cravings for Ethiopian and African dishes, plus offers plenty of vegetarian options. The injera, or Ethiopian savory pancake, pairs perfectly with both vegetarian and meat options. The cozy restaurant makes for a laid-back atmosphere.
The gateway to Norway’s most famous fjords, Bergen was also once the capital of Norway until it was unseated by Oslo in the 13th century. Bergen has always been a port city, and the impact of fishing has been integral to the economy for hundreds of years. Today, Bergen remains one of Norway’s most important port cities and is the country’s second biggest city, though retains the friendliness of a small town. The official language is Norwegian, but many in Bergen speak English pretty fluently, so English speakers won’t have any difficulty navigating around.
When your Bergen cruise docks in port, you’ll find it’s a quick and easy walk to the city center and most of the attractions and historic sites. Bergen is commonly used as a stopover on the way to the best fjords in the region, but the central location of the cruise port makes it easy to stay local for the day.
It’s easy to get around downtown on foot, and most of the big sights are within walking distance of one another. Bikes, ferries, and buses are all available transportation options here. Note that renting a car can be expensive because of the limited parking options. Taxis can be hailed in the center of the city and in other parts of town, too. The ferry system is commonly used by travelers wanting to get to various fjords throughout the region, but those are often multi-day journeys. Bergen’s light rail is called the Bybanen, which is an effective way to get to popular tourist sights in Bergen.
Because you’re close to the city center on your Bergen fjord cruise, there’s no need to worry about going out of your way to find good shopping. The best shopping is in the historic Bryggen area, and there are also boutiques selling wool goods and locally made ceramics nearby. The city’s main shopping district, where you’ll find dozens of Norwegian name brands, boutiques, and local craftsmen, is just beyond Olav Kyrres Gate.
The official currency of Norway is the krone (kr). Norway is moving gradually toward being a cash-free society, so debit and credit cards are commonly accepted here, unlike some other parts of Europe. MasterCard, Visa, and American Express are widely used. ATMs in Norway are called “mini banks,” so look out for that if you’re looking for a place to withdraw a little cash or check your balance. Don’t worry about tipping your taxi driver or restaurant server, as the tip is usually already included in a service charge on your bill. When you pay with a credit card in Norway, there will usually be a blank line for leaving a tip if you wish to tip additionally.