A medium-sized city in the Hordaland region of Norway, Bergen is the second largest settlement in the country. Serving as a good alternative destination to Oslo, Bergen is famous for being a gateway to the fjords, while its proximity to a number of great hiking routes helps to bring people here. The city is also renowned for being home to a number of famous music acts and authors.
Founded back in 1070 AD, the city has changed a lot over the years, although the historic port of Bryggen still stands in part, acting as a monument to its importance as a fishing port. Today, the city attracts people who have a love of live music, be it classical, metal or indie. It also has its fair share of museums and galleries.
Due to the complex nature of the road system in central Bergen, driving anything other than a small car in the form of a supermini might make it difficult to get around.
Bergen Art Museum (Bergen kunstmusem) is one of Scandinavia’s largest art museums. Here, as well as a range of contemporary and classical pieces, there are several works from Norway’s most celebrated artist, Edvard Munch.
If travelling with the family, a trip to Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet i Bergen) should be fun. Along with many native species of sea life from the nearby North Sea, there are tropical fish and a shark tank. Admission is cheap if buying a family ticket.
Bryggen, the area of Bergen which used to be the main dock during the 14th and 18th centuries, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today, many of the wooden houses serve as shops selling plenty of souvenirs, as well as offering a window into life in Bryggen during its heyday.
Bergen has a number of top-class music venues. The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestera plays at the Grieghallen, while the Bergen Jazzforum hosts jazz acts from all over the world. Rock, pop and metal take place at Garage and Bergen Live.
Most of the streets in the city centre are one-way and narrow, partly to help ease traffic congestion, which can be a problem at times.
There are two large car parks outside the city centre which are ideal for parking cheaply and long-term. They are Bygarasjen and Klostergarasjen to the north.
It is legal to drive within Bergen using studded winter tyres between the beginning of November and end of March.
Bergen Airport is located approximately 11 miles from the centre of Bergen and is accessible via the 580/E39 motorway.
The airport mainly serves domestic and regional flights, although seasonal flights from outside Scandinavia are available.