If I have to choose a destination for a short trip to Norway. Or a destination that is the starting point for a long journey in the country of these beautiful fjords, I will choose to travel to Bergen. Bergen is the second largest city in Norway after the capital of Oslo, but here there are too many interesting things. Many colorful wooden houses on the slopes of the mountain, the port of Bryggen is recognized as an UNESCO world cultural heritage, signature delicious seafood of the North Sea. So, what to do in 3 days in Bergen (Bergen itinerary 3 days)? Let’s check out our Bergen Norway travel blog (Bergen travel blog, Bergen blog) with the fullest Bergen travel guide and how to spend 3 days in Bergen (Bergen itinerary 3 days) perfectly for the first-timers from best time to go, how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit and top things to do in Bergen to find out the answer!
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Bergen travel blog: A few things you need to know before visiting Bergen, Norway
Bergen is the starting point of a long day trip in Norway. Simply Bergen is extremely suitable place to explore the fjords. Norway is famous for its fjords, small rivers running between two majestic mountain ranges. Can you imagine the beautiful view of the Nho Que river in Ha Giang? Norway has thousands of such rivers. Colors and spectacular scenery are much more mesmerizing, with extreme variety of natural scenes.
Exchange money when traveling to Norway
The currency of Norway is Norwegian Krone – NOK. With USD 1 ~ NOK 10.22, or 1 NOK ~ 0.087 EUR.
You can exchange NOK at the airport or the pier. Note that if you arrive late at night it will be difficult to exchange money as the counters will be closed. Because I traveling in Bergen only for 3 days, so the demand for money exchange was not much, I used my credit card to withdraw at ATMs. There is a fee, but it is not significant because the amount withdrawn is not much.
Most people in Bergen can speak English, especially in tourist locations. So you do not need to worry about language barrier when traveling to Bergen.
Stay safe when in Bergen
Norway is one of the safest countries in the world. However, you also need to be careful with pickpocket situations here. Especially in public places like on buses and subway. However, compared to other European cities like Paris, Barcelona and Rome, this is much less.
Bergen blog: When is the best time to visit Bergen?
The best time to visit Bergen in particular or other destinations in Norway in general is from June to August every year. At this time, Norway is really worth experiencing, with beautiful sunshine and the “longest” day time. Because it is located at the top of the Northern Hemisphere, it is hard to feel satisfied if you coming to in the winter to enjoy outdoor activities. In the morning it will be nearly 10 o’clock, it starts sunshine, in the afternoon just more than 3 o’clock is dark. The sun is only standing in one direction during the day.
The summer weather is quite cool, the parks are almost full of people, the temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius. Europeans love to participate in outdoor activities so this is the time they often garthering their families and children for a walk, playing in the park, exercising or simply getting a breath of fresh air.
If you coming to in the Shoulder season (May or September) is also quite ok. You will need to pay attention the weather a little more, because in Bergen it rains quite a lot during the year. This time it will be less crowded of tourists or locals, the cost is less than the peak season. Some tourist attractions also close starting in early October each year.
Bergen Norway travel blog: Basic costs for a trip to Bergen
Bergen or Norway is one of the most expensive destinations in Europe. Yes, it is Northern Europe! All expenses from food, transportation and hotels are high compared to the average of Western Europe. You can refer to the table below, the cost depends on your travel style (unit: NOK):
|Transport||Hotel||Eating||Entrance fees||Cost per day|
Bergen travel guide (Bergen guide): Top things to do, best places to visit in Bergen
Bergen is not too big, located in a valley surrounded by the sea and mountains. Most of the attractions or discoveries are located in the central area, only a few points need to move far. You can spend 2-3 in Bergen to visit this city.
Some sights and activities you can consider when visiting Bergen
Wandering around Bergen Harbour
The harbour of the city – Bryggen, is probably the symbol of Bergen. That’s where you might have seen a lot on the posters of Bergen. The most highlighting of Bryggen is the colorful painted houses with tiled roofs.
Many houses here were built in the 18th century, with many houses dating back to the 16th century. Today these buildings are used as souvenir shops and restaurants. You can see the fish market and Bergenhus fortress in this area.
The museum, opened in 1825, displays a lot of archaeological and folk artifacts. Admission is 60 NOK for adults and children is free.
Address: Haakon Sheteligs plass 10, 5007 Bergen, Norway
Hours: 11AM–5PM/Monday: Closed
This seafood market is located near Bryggen harbour, which dates back to the 13th century. This is a place to selling seafood, fresh fish, typical products in Northern Europe. Fishes found only in the North Sea, such as Norwegian salmon, lobsters, and giant crabs! Price will be a bit more expensive than other places because it is located in the center. There will usually be small stalls for sale around the harbor.
Address: Torget 5, 5014 Bergen, Norway
Hours: 11AM–9PM; Monday/Tuesday: Closed
This is definitely the place to visit if you are traveling with family with young children. Bergen Aquarium can be considered as the largest collection of sea creatures and invertebrates in Europe. The kids will surely enjoy the super cute seals and penguins. Admission is 280 NOK for adults and NOK 190 for children.
Address: Nordnesbakken 4, 5005 Bergen, Norway
Painted by artist Axel Revold in the 1920s, Fresco Hall includes colorful murals depicting local industries and commerce. Fresco Hall has long been recognized as a national treasure of Norway. So this place is worth a visit when you come to Bergen.
Bergen International Festival
In May every year, Bergen International Festival will be taken place with a lot of artistic activities in music, opera, ballet … This is the biggest festival in Scandinavia region. The fare applies depending on each object, there will be discount for people under 30, the elderly and children. The information about the festival can be found here: https://www.fib.no/en/
Wandering in the old streets of Nordnes
The neighborhood with rows of wooden houses close together and painted in colorful colors. You can wandering here all day without getting bored, wandering through alleys, paved stone roads with backdrop is the sea and mountains far away. It will take about a half-day to explore this old streets of Nordnes.
Take the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen
Bergen is surrounded by 7 high mountains, and the peak of Fløyen is suitable for you to experience panoramic views of Bergen from above. To get to Fløyen you can take the Fløibanen funicular from the foot of the mountain (right next to the harbour of Bryggen) and go through the mountain to reach the top.
You can buy tickets at the vending machines placed at the station at the foot of the mountain. The round-trip ticket for adults in the winter (before April 30) is 100 NOK, in the summer (May 1-August 31) is 125 NOK. The price for child ticket is 1/2 of adult ticket. If you buy online here the price will be a little better.
Actually, you can hiling follow the trails from the foot of the mountain to reach the top of Fløyen. If you do not want to climb to the top you can stop at some stations halfway up of the mountain. This is an area with many rows of houses located on a very beautiful ridge, walking and breathing super fresh air, and the view down to Bergen harbour is also great.
Take the cable car to the Mount Ulriken
If you have time, you should experience Mount Ulriken – the highest peak of the 7 mountains in Bergen by cable car. Here you can see Bergen with the widest and highest view. From Ulriken you can also hiking to Fløyen via Vidden trail. Ulriken Peak also has plenty of adventure sports games like paragliding, zipline, and restaurant with local food.
However, the cable car is quite far from Bergen center (about 3km), if you traveling by taxi is quite expensive. You can take a bus (route no. 2, 3, 12) from central Bergen to Haukeland hospital. Then continue walking about 400m to the bottom station of Ulriken Cable Car.
In addition, the cable car company has available a shuttle bus route (Ulriken Express bus) departing from Strandgaten 1 (only 2 minutes walk from the fish market) to the cable car station. Bus runs 30 minutes/trip from the center from 9am to 6pm daily from April 1 to August 8 every year. Round trip cable car ticket is 185 NOK/adult and 115 NOK/child, if including the shuttle bus, the price is 285 NOK/adult and 180 NOK/child.
If you like hiking, Bergen is the special place for you. From Fløyen you can follow the Blåmansveien path to the left, cross the Lake Revurtjernet to Brushytten and continue to the top of Rundemanen. From here, the beautiful view to the Hordaland mountain range with lots of lakes on the mountains and poetic valleys.
Strolling around the Lille Lungegårdsvannet lake
Lake Lille Lungegårdsvannet is quite large and is only a few minutes walk from the center. Near the lake is Festplassen park, which is often used for many exhibitions or fairs. Especially if you come at Christmas then the city will place a huge Christmas market here. On a sunny day, nothing is more interesting than sitting on a bench and reading a book, or feeding pigeons by the lake.
Norway fjord tour
Did you know that what makes nature spectacular in Norway? It is this country has many spectacular, breathtaking fjords. The fjord is create by narrow rivers weaving through steep cliffs on either side. It is the result of the process of oceans and glaciers cutting into the mainland.
Bergen located close to the Nærøyfjorden is one of two Norwegian fjords recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site (along with Geirangerfjord). The most popular tour people often take is the “Norway in a nutshell” tour. This tour goes through Voss, Gudvangen, Flåm to Myrdal within 12 hours for 1.740 NOK/adult.
From Bergen there are many tours to explore the fjords during the day with prices ranging from 500-3.000 NOK. You can book these tours online here. There are tours of only about 3-10 hours, completely complete during the day. Simply take a yacht around some bays, visit some famous places.
Bergen Norway travel blog: How to get to Bergen?
There are many ways to get to Bergen from Oslo or other cities in Europe. You might consider choosing one of the following options.
Fly to Bergen
There are many direct flights from other cities to Bergen. Flying from Paris by Air France takes only over 2 hours, not transit in Oslo. The airline with the most frequent flights between Bergen is SAS Airlines (Scandinavian Airlines). The quality service of SAS is quite good, the price if you buy not too close to the date of departure can be very good, only about EUR 20/one-way. You can also refer to the cheap airline Norwegian Air.
How to take a train or bus to Bergen?
The best option to getting to Bergen is still by airplane, however you can also choose a train or a bus. Because of Norway’s mountainous terrain, there are no intercity trains in inland Europe to reach here. Usually you will fly to Oslo then take the train or bus to Bergen, it takes about 7-8 hours.
You have two ways to take the train to Bergen, depending on your preference and itinerary. You can go directly to Bergen by train, or buy a Norway in a nutshell tour.
Take the Bergen Railway
The railway between Oslo and Bergen – Bergen Railway, also known as Bergensbanen. This is the highest railway line in northern Europe. Bergensbanen train is quite comfortable, has wifi and goes through many beautiful lands of Norway. There are 4 trains daily between Bergen and Oslo, you can even take a night train to save time.
The Oslo – Bergen route has a stop at Myrdal, from Myrdal you can change trains to getting to Flåm. This is a land with gentle peaceful scenery, a real countryside. Flåm Railway is also the most beautiful railway in Norway, passing many spectacular mountains and stunning waterfalls.
Travel between Bergen and Oslo by buying the Norway in a Nutshell tour
Bergen and Oslo are two destinations in the Norway in a Nutshell tour package. This tour also includes the Flåm Railway, so you can buy this tour to go from Oslo to Bergen and experience the tour. The tour includes mountain scenic train, cruise crossing the fjords with the super beautiful Nærøyfjord fjord, and a bus route through Stalheimskleiva.
Bergen Railway Station located in the heart of the city center, just steps away from the fish market and Bryggen harbour.
Bergen travel blog: Getting around the city by public transport
Getting from the airport to the city center
The easiest and most convenient way to get from Flesland airport to the city center is by Light Rail. You go straight to the arrival hall door on the first floor of the arrival hall, right in front of the door is an escalator going down to the basement, which is the light rail station. Travel time by Light Rail is about 45 minutes to get to Bergen Central Station, priced at NOK 38 for adult and NOK 19 for child. If you buy a Bergen Card, this service is free.
Alternatively you can choose the transfer bus to the center by Flybussen. Buses run only 30 minutes faster, but the price is as high as NOK 105/adult if purchased online. If you buy at the airport costs NOK 135 for adult.
How to get around downtown Bergen
Bergen center is quite small, so public buses are the most possible means to explore the city. You can refer to some of the options below:
Bus is the best way to getting around Bergen, convenient and fast. Ticket price of NOK 38/adult for every single trip. However, I bought a 24 hour ticket for only NOK 100 to go for the whole day. Some short distances you can walk and not have to wait for the bus.
You should buy tickets online in advance, otherwise you will have to buy single tickets for each trip of NOK 60. Bus tickets are also included in the Bergen Card and can be used for the airport route. Buying online is quite easy via the Skyss Billett app.
Taxis in Bergen are quite expensive, starting at NOK 80 and NOK 12 per subsequent kilometer. In addition, you can rent bicycles to explore Bergen for only NOK 215/day.
Bergen travel blog: Nice hotels and good accommodation in Bergen
Hotel rates in Bergen are definitely not cheap. Basic hotel room costs about USD75-80/night for 2 people with king bed. With a slightly better hotel from 3 stars or more cost about USD90/night. However, in the low tourist season, the room rates down quite deep only from USD50/night. You can find rooms on Booking.com, Agoda.com for a reasonable price.
I went to Bergen in November so the room rate was pretty good. I booked through Airbnb a room in a large apartment. However, when I arrived, I stayed there for 2 nights without any guests more, so I used the whole apartment for those whole 2 nights.
The apartment is located close to the central station, so I went from the airport by light rail to the accommodation, quite convenient.
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Bergen travel blog: What to eat when traveling to Bergen?
The cost of eating in Bergen is among the most expensive in Europe. Because here the main food is seafood. As for other foods, they have to import a lot because they cannot cultivate by themselves. A popular meal in a small restaurant must be about 20EUR/meal/person. Prices for meals in luxurious restaurants must be about 30-40EUR/person.
You can buy food from the supermarket to cook for yourself to reduce costs. Although eating out is quite expensive, there are quite a lot of food at reasonable prices in the supermarket. Juice, fruit or yogurt, bread is not expensive, in return it is very ok. I bought a lot of things at the supermarket to use as snacks during the day.
Visiting Bergen, of course, you cannot miss the opportunity to enjoy seafood, typical of this Nordic region. The seafood market is located right near the harbour of Bryggen, and a few outdoor stalls, processing and serving customers right at the spot. Because I did not have much time, I chose Fish Me Fishmarket restaurant at Bryggen harbour. This restaurant is like a seafood market with many restaurants in a small area. They have both indoor and outdoor areas, beautiful view to the harbor.
The price here is definitely not cheap at all. My meal is for one person only, including 1 serving of fish and a small sea urchin. The total price is about 400NOK, the tax is up to 25% here. In addition to the two main courses, they also served bread and butter.
Although expensive, in return it is an evening of extremely rich Scandinavian cuisine experience, worth the money. The fish is very fragrant and firm, the sea urchin is eaten with mustard, it’s so fresh and delicious! Come here definitely to try a meal for a lifetime.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Bergen you can refer to
- Bergen City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass
- Mostraumen Fjord Cruise from Bergen
- Hardangerfjord Express Ferry Between Bergen and Rosendal
- Magic Ice Bergen Admission Ticket
Are you looking for more top things to do in Bergen: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.