Interesting facts and ideas for your own excursion in the Norwegian port city
- Regular berth: Bontelabo
- Regular berth: Skolten Nord
- Regular berth: Skolten Süd
- Regular berth: Festningskaien
- Regular berth: Jekteviken
- Port shuttle: free of charge and only at berth Jekteviken
- Taxis: usually available at the piers
- Public Transport: very well-developed bus line network and one tram line
- Car rental*: Sixt, Minde Alle 35/Frydenbø and at the airport
- Car rental*: Hertz, Kanalveien 48 and at the airport
- Car rental*: Avis, Agnes Mowinckels gate 5
- Car rental*: Europcar, Kanalveien 48 and at the airport
- Post office: Småstrandgaten 3
- Tourist-Info: Strandkaien 3, at the fish market
- Banks and ATMs: in the city centre of Bergen
- Berths of the cruise liners
Norway's second largest city, Bergen, is an integral part of many Northern European cruises and a popular destination for travellers. Surrounded by seven hills or smaller mountains, the charming port city is located on the southwest coast of Norway, more precisely on the Inner Byfjord. It has one of the largest cruise ports in the country. The modern port facilities are in a quite central location and are about 1.3 kilometers away from the city center, which is about 15-20 minutes by foot. Frequently, the northern, closely spaced moorings Bontelabo, Skolten North, Skolten South and Festningskaien are used by cruise ships. Larger ships, on the other hand, also head for the southern part of the harbour and then moor at Jekteviken. There, by the way, are also the landing stages of the famous Hurtigruten mail ships. Moreover, in this harbour area, the authorities use free shuttle buses that commute between the cruise ship and the harbour exit at the ferry terminal / parking place for the Hurtigruten.
- Local public transport
There are numerous buses and trams (Bybanen) operated by Skyss on the streets of Bergen. The public transport network in and around Bergen is closely knit and divided into 7 zones. Zone A includes the areas of Bergen, Sotra, Askøy, Øygarden, Osterøy, Meland, Radøy, Lindås, Austrheim, Fedje and Os. Zone B includes the area around Bjørnefjord, Zone C = Sunnhordland, Zone D = Odda, Eidfjord and Rosendal, Zone E = Voss, Granvin and Ulvik, Zone F = Samnanger, Kvam, Vaksdal and Modalen and Zone G includes Masfjords. A single ticket for adults aged 18 and over and valid for one zone currently costs NOK 38, for two zones NOK 59, for three zones NOK 100 and for four to seven zones NOK 141. In zone A there is a surcharge of NOK 22 per adult if you buy a ticket on board with cash, and for credit card payments on board Askøy boats. Day tickets for one zone cost NOK 100, for two zones NOK 150 and for three to seven zones NOK 255 each. Children aged 6 to 17 years pay half the cost. Tickets are available from some kiosks, shops, vending machines (for example at every tram stop) or directly in the vehicles from the driver. They are valid for the buses, trams and boats to Askøy. Up to four children aged 6 to 17 can travel free of charge on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays together with a full-paying adult.
- Tourist Card - Bergen Card
If you want to see a lot of things during your stay in Bergen and use public transport, it might be worthwhile to buy the Bergen Card. The Bergen Card is a discount card for tourists, which gives free or reduced admission to many facilities, and with which the buses and trams operated by Skyss in Bergen and in the Hordaland region can be used free of charge. The Bergen Card is valid for 24, 48 and 72 hours. For most cruise passengers, the first option should be interesting, which costs NOK 280 each for "adults" from the age of 16 and NOK 100 each for children aged 3 to 15. Use of the NSB trains is not permitted with the Bergen Card.
- Sightseeing tour
Also in Bergen the famous red Hop On Hop Off buses of City Sightseeing are on the way, but here only when a cruise ship has moored in the harbour. The tours are designed for cruise guests and only take place in spring and summer from 09:00-16:00. There is always a bus stop near the berths. With a frequency of 30 minutes, the buses need a good 45 minutes of pure travel time for a round trip and in the meantime they make 13 stops where you can get on and off as often as you like. The fare is currently 38 euros for persons aged 16 and over. Children between 5 and 15 years of age pay 19 euros each. Explanations of the sights can be received via headphones in 8 different languages, including German and English.
- Centre of Bergen and shopping
The charming port city Bergen is not stingy with shopping facilities, but bargains are less to be expected due to the quite high Norwegian price level. Cruise ships of well-known shipping companies dock right at the city and thus, the city centre can be easily reached on foot from all berths. There, and especially at the extended main square and pedestrian zone Torgallmenningen, the surrounding side streets and in the street Strandgaten, there are a lot of different shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafés. In the southern part you will find the well-kept city park (Byparken) and in the northern part the old town with the famous fish market and the historic Hanseatic quarter Bryggen, which is well worth seeing. There are some small shops, which offer handmade handicrafts among other things.
- Fish market and tourist information
Directly at the harbour and so in the middle of Bergen you will find the famous Fish Market (Fisketorget) on the Torget Market Place since the 13th century. Here you can buy different kinds of freshly caught fish and sea animals, but also meat from whales and moose, fruit, vegetables and handmade souvenirs. The busy market is open daily from 07:00-19:00 in summer and from October to April daily except Sundays from 07:00-16:00. But many stands like to close also later in the evening. The local tourist information office has moved into the directly adjacent fish hall on the first floor. Besides information about the city and its sights, you can also get city maps there. Moreover, it is possible to exchange money, whereby in Norway mostly and usually almost everywhere you pay by credit card. Cash is rarely in use. Not even in the toilets that are located in the building and accessible to the public, one cannot pay the due 10 Norwegian kroner with it.
Not far from the fish market is the historic old town and Hanseatic quarter Bryggen (Tyske Brygge). In the middle of the 14th century, German merchants founded their first trading post there, which was later expanded and placed under the control of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. The wooden houses, some of which are quite long, stand close to each other, were also used for residential purposes and had to be rebuilt twice after major fires caused devastating damage. Various restaurants, cafés, shops and small craft businesses can be found in the narrow streets of Bryggen today. Since 1979, the 61, original and listed buildings have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
- Bryggen's Museum
In the north-west of Bergen's oldest part of town there is a cultural history museum, where you can get a good impression of life in those days. As a result of the last fire in 1955, extensive archaeological excavations took place in the destroyed area. The Bryggens Museum was founded in 1976 to exhibit the numerous finds, most of which date from the Middle Ages. The new building was erected on top of the remains of the oldest buildings in the city, which are now an important part of the museum's permanent exhibition. A souvenir shop and a café are integrated in the building. In addition, the exhibition is barrier-free and open daily from 10:00-16:00. From September and until April a visit is possible daily from 11:00-15:00. Children under 16 years of age are admitted free of charge to the exhibition area and from this age a charge of NOK 100 per person applies.
- Hanseatic Museum and Schötstuben
Also located in the historic Bryggen, but at the south-eastern tip, is the visually appealing former and very well preserved Finnegården office building. In 1872 the Hanseatic Museum (Det Hanseatiske Museum) opened there, but its doors were closed in 2018. The reason is extensive renovation work that will probably last until 2024. A large part of the exhibition was moved to the other end of the old town, to the Schötstuben (Schøtstuene), which belongs to the Hanseatic Museum and is located near St. Mary's Church, originally used as heated meeting and common rooms. Today, you can learn a lot about the history of the Hanseatic League and get an insight into the living conditions of the merchants at that time. The exhibition is open daily from 11:00-15:00 and in summer from 10:00-18:00. Children up to the age of 15 years get free admission and from the age of 16 years 160 NOK per person is charged.
- Bergenhus fortress, Håkons hall and Rosenkrantz tower
Directly at the northern berths of the cruise ships is one of the oldest fortifications in Norway. The Bergenhus fortress, which dates from the 12th century, was the seat of the Norwegian king Håkon Håkonsson and still houses buildings from that time. The oldest building is the Håkons hall, which has been restored several times. Last damaged by the explosion of a Dutch ammunition ship in 1944, it now shines in its old glory again. If no events are taking place, the interior can be visited daily from 10:00-16:00 and for a fee of NOK 100. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge. In the immediate vicinity is the Rosenkrantztårnet tower, built in 1562, which owes its name to the governor Erik Rosenkrantz and was also damaged by the devastating detonation in 1944. Today it is restored and offers a beautiful view of the city and the harbour. Inside, a model of Bergenhus Fortress is on display. If you do not have a Bergen Card, you have to pay NOK 100 per person for admission from the age of 16.
- Bergenhus Fortress Museum
In 2006, a small museum was opened on the grounds of the fortress, with an exhibition area spread over three floors. The so-called Bergenhus Festningsmuseum focuses, among other things, on the history of the Norwegian military and the past of the fortress itself. Other topics are the Norwegian resistance in the Bergen area from 1940 to 1945, Bergen newspapers during World War II, the underground press from 1940 to 1945, Norwegian women's contribution to national defence, veterans of the UN troops and the Germany Brigade from 1947 to 1953. A free visit is possible Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00-17:00. Mondays are closed. During the months of May to September, however, it is also open on Mondays from 11:00-17:00.
- St. Mary's Church
Bergen's oldest church is only a few minutes' walk from Bergenhus Fortress Museum and a stone's throw from Bryggens Museum. Built of natural stone around the middle of the 12th century, St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken) with its two striking towers became the main church of the German community in Bergen in the Middle Ages. This was the case throughout from 1408 to 1766. However, German-language church services were held even longer until 1868. During the most recent renovation work, among other things, the mighty organ was renewed, and the building was finally reopened to visitors in 2015. Visits are possible Tuesday to Friday from 12:00-14:00 and during the months of May to September every Monday to Friday from 09:00-16:00. There is a charge for admission, however, which is NOK 75 per person. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge. In July and August there are organ concerts every Tuesday at 19:30 hrs, which cost NOK 100 per person.
- Bergen Aquarium
The Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet I Bergen) is located at the tip of the Nordnes peninsula. From the fish market you have to walk about 1.4 kilometres to reach the largest aquarium in the country. On foot, about 20 minutes in each direction. The aquarium was opened in 1960, is accessible without barriers and today houses more than 300 different species of animals, mainly in about 60 small and large water basins, as well as three outdoor pools. For the youngest visitors, a playground was built and there is also a restaurant and a separate souvenir shop within the walls. It is open daily from 10:00-18:00. During the summer months from May to August you can enter the aquarium one hour earlier. From the age of 16, the adult price of NOK 285 per person must be paid for the ticket. Children aged 3 to 15 years are charged NOK 195 each. A family ticket costs NOK 780 and is valid for two adults and two children. From September to April, reduced admission prices apply during the week, i.e. Monday to Friday.
- Local mountain Fløyen
A very nice view of the beautiful fjord landscape and of Bergen itself with the cruise ships in the harbour can be enjoyed from the vantage points of Fløyen, the 320 metre high local mountain. You can get to the top on foot (60 to 90 minutes in each direction) or much more comfortably by Norway's only funicular. At the top station of the Fløyen cable car you will find a rather spacious viewing platform with stairs, a restaurant, café, souvenir shop and playground. Fløyen's beautiful nature is criss-crossed by a wide variety of hiking trails and invites you to take long walks.
- Funicular railway Fløybahn
The most comfortable way to get to the top of the 320-metre-high mountain is by the Fløybanen funicular, opened in 1918. The valley station is located on Vetrlidsallmenningen 23A road, right in the centre of Bergen and close to the famous fish market. For the complete 850-metre route to the top station, you can expect a journey time of 5 to 6 minutes. The two vehicles on the Fløybanen railway each have capacity for 100 people, are barrier-free and are on the move Monday to Friday from 07:30-23:00. Saturday and Sunday morning depart half an hour later. Between 10:00 and 19:00 the trains run every 15 minutes and outside this time the trains usually run every 30 minutes. Tickets available at the ticket office or from ticket machines cost NOK 50 for a single trip and NOK 25 for children aged 16 and over. Adults pay NOK 95 and children NOK 45 Norwegian kroner for return tickets. During the high season from May to September, however, fares are increased. One-way fares will be NOK 60 per person and up and down fares will be NOK 125 per person. Children are included with half the adult price. Fløybanen rides are very popular, so you should expect to wait at the ticket office, especially if several cruise ships are moored in the harbour. There are three more stops between the bottom and top stations. Cheaper tickets are available for these sections.
- Ulriken, cable car and bus
At 643 metres above sea level, the highest mountain of the charming harbour town on the Byfjord rises. Ulriken is one of the most visited attractions in Bergen. Hiking trails and a cable car take you to the top of the mountain, and a ride on the cable car takes just 7 minutes. From the viewing terrace above you have a unique view of the city with its mountains, fjords and lakes. Local specialities can be eaten at the panorama restaurant "Sky:skraperen" or simply take a break at the Fjellcafè. From the beginning of April until the end of September, the blue shuttle buses of the Ulriken Express, daily and every 30 minutes from 09:00-18:00, commute between the tourist information office at the fish market and the valley station of the Ulriken cable car, which are about 3.8 kilometres apart. The transfer time is about 10 minutes. During these months the cable car itself is open daily from 09:00-21:00. In the winter half year from October to March is closed on Mondays. On the remaining days of the week it is again in motion from 10:00-17:00. For example, the tourist information office offers combined tickets (return) for NOK 285, which are valid for the shuttle bus and the cable car. Children aged 4 to 15 years pay NOK 180 each. If you want to do without the bus, you pay NOK 185 for the cable car (up and down), or NOK 115 as a child. A family ticket for two adults and two children costs NOK 490 up and down. A single trip only by bus costs 70 Norwegian Kroner (children 50 NOK). Except for the family ticket, there is a discount of 10 percent on presentation of the boarding card. It can happen that in very bad weather the bus and the cable car do not operate.
- Bergen Science Museum
In the southern part of Bergen is the VilVite - Bergen Science Center. It is located on Thormøhlens Gate 51, about 2 km from the fish market, and offers an interesting, interactive exhibition. At the more than 100 experimental stations you can experiment and try things out to your heart's content. Visitors are introduced to science and technology, sometimes in a playful way. An extended program with physical shows, workshops and much more is offered on weekends and holidays. The integrated café offers hot and cold food, sandwiches, cakes and drinks. A large selection of souvenirs, educational toys and books is available in the internal shop VilFinne. The regular opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 09:00-15:00 and on weekends from 10:00-17:00. The shop is closed on Mondays. Especially in summer (mid-June to mid-August), on public holidays and during vacation the week is open longer and also on Mondays. Entrance fees vary slightly and are NOK 180/150/580 for adults/children/families on weekdays, NOK 190/160/600 on public holidays and weekends and NOK 190/165/620 Norwegian kroner during the summer holidays. The family tickets can be used by four people, such as two adults with two children.
- Maritime Museum
Located northwest of the Science Museum, a building designed by Per Grieg was opened in 1962 on the current site of the university. Since then, its mighty walls have been home to the Bergen Maritime Museum (Sjøfartsmuseum), which was founded elsewhere in 1921. The exhibits and collections on display reflect Norway's maritime history, from ancient times to the present day. The focus is of course on the development of Bergen and its important seaport. The exhibitions show ship objects, numerous ship models, illustrations, films and other objects that tell of life at sea. The temporary exhibitions, which take place regularly, are also closely related to Bergen's varied maritime history. The building also houses a small museum shop and a café. The exhibition is barrier-free and open daily from 11:00-15:00. From mid-May to the end of August there are extended opening hours from 10:00-16:00, and on weekends from 10:00-17:00. Admission is 90 Norwegian kroner per person.
- Gamle Bergen Museum
A touch of nostalgia can be felt in the north of the city. The Gamle Bergen open-air museum is located in the Sandviken district, opened in 1946, and today has 55 historically restored wooden houses that are true to the originals, which are modelled on the 18th-19th centuries and can be partially visited from the inside during the summer months. Actors in contemporary dress explain in good English the old customs and explain the detailed, lovingly designed furnishings of the former residential and commercial buildings. From mid-May to the end of August there is an entrance fee of NOK 120 per person. Children under 16 years are admitted free of charge. During this period, some of the houses are open for viewing daily from 09:00-16:00 and you will get an impressive insight into life at that time. Gamle Bergen is about 3.5 kilometres from the fish market. On foot, one would have to plan 40 to 45 minutes for one direction. It is quicker and more comfortable to take the bus lines 3, 4, 5, 6 and 83 from the centre, close to the fish market, which takes about 8 minutes for this route and stops in Sandviken at the bus stop Gamle Bergen. A taxi costs about 100 Norwegian Kroner for this route.
- Norwegian Fisheries Museum
The Norwegian Fishing Museum (Norges Fiskerimuseum) is only about 1000 metres from the moorings at Bergenhus Fortress on the road Sandviksboder 23, and can therefore be easily reached on foot in about 15 minutes. It is extensively devoted to the long history of Norwegian fishing. The interactive exhibition is located in an old wooden warehouse from the 18th century and is open daily from 10:00-17:00. During the high season in the summer, the exhibition closes at 18:00 and during the rest of the year it is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00-15:00. In the integrated café/restaurant you can enjoy, among other things, delicious traditional fish dishes. Children from 0 to 16 years of age are admitted free of charge to the exhibition and from the age of 17 there is a fee of NOK 90 per person. A free museum shuttle bus runs daily from 10:15 a.m. and every half hour until 5 p.m. from May to September between the Tourist Information, Schøtstuene and the Norwegian Fisheries Museum. In June, July and August until 18:00. Rowing boats and kayaks can be hired on site.
- Fantoft Stave Church
In the southeast of Bergen there is another popular sight. This is Fantoft Stave Church (Fantoft Stavkirke), which was originally built in Fortun on the Sognefjord in 1150. Threatened with demolition and destruction, the building was acquired by Fredrik Georg Gade, dismantled and rebuilt in 1883 at its present location. As a result of a later arson attack in 1992, the historic church building burned down completely. One year later, four years of reconstruction and rebuilding according to original building plans began. Today, Fantoft Stave Church can be seen in its original state and can be visited from the inside from mid-May until half September, daily from 10:30-18:00. The entrance fee is currently NOK 65 for adults and NOK 30 for children. The handsome wooden building is about 8.3 kilometres from Bergen's city centre at the fish market, which takes 15 to 20 minutes by taxi or rental car*. Alternatively, you can take the local tram in the direction of "Bergen Lufthavn" and get off at "Fantoft" or "Paradis". From there it is a 10-minute walk or about 850 metres to the stave church. By tram it takes 18-20 minutes from the stop "Byparken" in the centre of Bergen.
- Edvard-Grieg-Museum Troldhaugen
The former home of the composer Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) is situated in a beautiful and quiet location by the water. It was used by him and his wife exclusively during the warm months of the year and is located south of Fantoft Stave Church, in the Paradis district at Troldhaugvegen 65. Only the ground floor of the building can be visited today. There you will find the Memory Room, which is filled with objects from Grieg's life, the original dining room, the living room, with Grieg's own Steinway piano from 1892, and a veranda. The instrument is still playable today and is sometimes used for smaller events. The Edvard Grieg Museum is open daily from 09:00-18:00 and in the winter season from October to the end of April daily from 10:00-16:00. It is closed from 14 December to 5 January. A visit to the museum costs NOK 110 per person. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge. If you arrive by the local tram line, you can for example get off at the stop "Hop". From there, however, a further walk of 20 to 25 minutes is required. From May to October, guided, English-speaking bus tours to the Edvard Grieg Villa start daily at 11:00 a.m. at the tourist information office in the centre of Bergen. After the 30-minute transfer, there is a guided tour that takes you through the house, across the green spaces and to the composer's cottage. Included is a small, approximately half-hour concert in the concert hall Troldsalen, built in 1985. The return journey is scheduled for 14:00. Tickets for this tour are available at the tourist information until 10:30 a.m. for a fee of NOK 290 per person. Children under 16 years of age are charged NOK 100.
- Excursion portals and excursion providers
Through the tour and excursion providers GetYourGuide*, Meine Landausflüge* and Viator*, you can book various excursions, activities, tours, tickets and admission tickets in Bergen, which are often offered at much lower prices than comparable excursions offered by the shipping companies. Thus, if you book well in advance, you can realize a large number of excursions on your own.
A small preselection of independent tour operators
for, in and around Bergen,
we have compiled for you here.
- Cruises and special offers
If you have not yet booked a Northern Europe cruise, but would like to get to know Bergen personally and make excursions on your own, you will find great offers from the major cruise operators in the German-speaking world. Aida*, Costa* and Tui Cruises* offer attractive routes with their modern cruise ships, together with other interesting destinations. Book your next dream holiday directly with your favourite shipping company at fair conditions.
All ocean and river cruises can also be booked conveniently and inexpensively online with the sea travel specialist Kreuzfahrten-Zentrale Astoria*. This means that you can choose from a wide range of up-to-date offers from various shipping companies. These include AIDA Cruises, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and TUI Cruises. Also attractive are the popular special offers, with which one can travel at a particularly low price and possibly also get a great bargain.
- Opening hours of the museums: Monday to Sunday from 10:00-16:00
- Opening hours of the post office: Monday to Friday from 09:00-18:00, Saturday from 10:00-15:00
- Opening hours of the banks: Monday to Friday from 09:00-15:00
- Opening hours of the tourist information office: Monday to Sunday from 09:00-16:00 and in summer also until 22:00 o'clock
- Opening hours of the shops: Monday to Friday from 10:00-18:00, Saturday from 10:00-16:00. Shopping centres are usually open from 09:00-21:00 during the week.
- Country code: +47
- Taxi Bergen: Tel. +47 07000 / 55 99 70 00 (Bergen Taxi)
- Police: Tel. 112
- Emergency doctor: Tel. 113
- Fire department: Tel. 110
- Recommended vaccination: Tropical Institute Norway
- German Embassy: Solheimsgaten 15
- Safety information: Federal Foreign Office Norway
- Public transport: Skyss (en)
- Public transport: Skyss Zone map
- Public transport: Skyss Tickets and prices (en)
- City map: Bergen Map
- Climatic table: Bergen Climate
- Port occupancy: Cruise ships in Bergen
- Port occupancy: Bergenhavn, registered berths
- Official language: Norwegian
- National currency: Norwegian krone, 1 NOK = 100 Öre