Trollstigen (Troll path). Photo credit: Norway Connects
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Bergen, Norway's second largest city, was founded more than 900 years ago, with roots from the Viking Age and beyond! It has a quaint and charming city center with a very urban feel, and is perfectly situated between fjords, mountains and the vast North Sea...it has the best of everything! From its picturesque waterfront (brygge), the Seven Mountains, and one of the best seafood markets, to its many museums and exhibitions, concerts and plays, and top-rated restaurants, Bergen is a city that is richly steeped in culture, tradition, entertainment and history.
The top 5 recommended things to do the first time you visit Bergen are:
1. Bryggen (the waterfront), is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it is here where you will find, not only spectacular views of the sea, colorful wooden buildings that line the waterfront and cobblestone streets, but a wide array of markets, restaurants, cafes and shops. Bergen has the freshest seafood and the sweetest shrimp you will ever taste! One of the top restaurants located nearby, is called Lyseverket, which serves everything from oysters, mussels and fish cakes, to the catch of the day, steak and ham entrees, and a variety of vegetarian dishes as well. You can see more of the menu here: http://www.lysverket.no/
2. The Seven Mountains. While there are more than 7 mountains surrounding Bergen, the Seven Mountains are famous for their peaks, and therefore, singled out. The ranges in order of height are:
The easiest mountain to visit from downtown Bergen is Fløyen. You can grab the Fløibanen, which runs every 15-30 minutes, and will take you to the top and back down again; the cost is only $10.50 (85 NOK) roundtrip. There are trails galore to explore, and a lake where you can rent a canoe. Ulriken, Bergen's highest peak, is also reachable by cable car; the cost is very reasonable at $19 (155 NOK) roundtrip. https://www.visitnorway.com/places-to-go/fjord-norway/bergen/listings-bergen/ulriken643-(ulriken-cable-car)/2580/
3. Fjord tours by boat. There are many options when it comes to boat tours. You can have a day tour or an extended cruise, which will give you a closer look at the fjords from a different viewpoint. You can go by sailboat, RIB-boat, hydrofoil, or on one of the popular Hurtigruten ships. Day trips can run for about 2-6 hours and focus mainly on Bergen, nearby ports, fortifications and shipyards. The RIB-boat (rigid inflatable boat) will first take you on a gentle tour around the harbor, then will bring you further out for a high-speed adrenaline rush! Hurtigruten cruises tend to be more for extended tours of the fjords, taking you passed the Arctic Circle and beyond, and can last any where from 7-23 days. They have many package deals to choose from, which can be seen here: https://www.hurtigruten.us/find-your-voyage/
4. Nordnes & Sandviken. Take a walk back in time around the oldest part of Bergen. It is easy to get to from the city center and is home to the Bergen Aquarium. The oldest building dates back to the 12th century, when King Øystein was on the throne. As you continue to walk up the steep, narrow streets, the views over Bergen just get better and better!
5. Last, but certainly not least, you shouldn't leave Bergen without visiting their world famous Fish Market! You can test taste all the goods, and if you don't plan on buying anything to cook yourself, there are plenty of nearby restaurants where they serve up the freshest seafood, hand-picked right from this market. God spise! Good eating!
For more information on Bergen, things to do, accommodations, etc., visit: https://en.visitbergen.com/things-to-do