Main attractions are easily
walkable from most hotels. The town centre is compact - and flat!
We used the First Hotel Marin on Rosenkrantzgaten
as it is very close to Bryggen, Torget and the funicular.
Bryggen - Hanseatic Bergen
This World Heritage
Site of wooden buildings is the site of the Hansa settlement,
now mainly gift shops and eateries. The main road along the quay
in front is busy, but you can wander through the alley-ways.
From Øvregaten, the old main street behind Bryggen, you
get good views of the medieval plots.
The Hanseatic Museum near
the town centre end of Bryggen shows what the buildings would
have been like around 1770. Good, but buy a guidebook as you
go in - there are no information signs inside. Bryggens Museum
at the far end is a fascinating archæological museum. Exhibits
include foundations of the earliest buildings of 1150 and trace
development of the area. Nearby is Schøtstuene, one of
the stone assembly roomsand kitchens where fires were allowed.
Beyond Bryggen with
Håkonshallen (C13th royal residence) and Rosenkrantztarnet
(C16th), both rebuilt after WW2 explosion. Adjacent park contains
few remains of first cathedral.
Just to the north is Sverresborg,
a large star shaped fortification with good views towards Fløien.
It is best reached from Nye Sandviksveien and a footpath runs
past it towards the Fishery Museum.
Torg means market
place. Bergen's is at the head of Vågen and is a natural
focus. In addition to the fascinating fishmarket (Fiskertorget)
there are fruit and gift stalls. The Information Centre is over
the road. There's even an umbrella vending machine!
In Vetridsalmenningen (towards
the funicular from Torget) on the right you will find an excellent
baker and a splendid toyshop where play is encouraged!
On the opposite side
of Vågen to Bryggen is Nordnes (North headland). Originally
the property of a monastery at Klosteret from the C17th it developed
with a large number of building plots. It retains a wide range
of old houses and is well worth exploring. There is a detailed
link. (Other pleasant areas of old housing are to be found on
the slopes of Fløien behind Øvregaten and the Cathedral.)
The Aquarium at the end of
Nordnes is good, and there is a pleasant walk around the tip
of the peninsula. If you walk anti-clockwise around Nordnes from
Torget you can continue to the museum and university area beyond
Johanneskirken, where there are pleasant parks.
Opening hours are
limited. Pride of place must go to Mariakirken, the C12th church
on Øvregaten originally near the quay. It is an excellent
Romanesque building with a fine Baroque pulpit. Johanneskirken (1894) near the University is
Leaving Torget on on Kong Oscars gate
you will come to Korskirken, a large church mainly dating from
C17th. Further along is Domkirken (the Cathedral) with an interesting
C13th tower, but its interior is unexciting.
The stave church at Fantoft is well worth
a visit. It is one of the few remaining stave churches following
a spate of arson attacks by Satanists a few years ago. Fantoft,
dating from 1150, was one that was destroyed but it has been
rebuilt. It is about ten minutes walk from a very frequent bus
service which takes about twenty minutes from the centre.
Old Bergen Museum
is an interesting collection of old buildings - when the museum
is closed you can see them from the outside. It is about two
miles from Torget (in theory a short bus ride but our driver
forgot us and had to turn round to take us back!). You can walk
there along the shore road from Sandvik.
This is a sort of
rural version of Gamle Bergen with old buildings set around a
bay. There is a new building with permanent exhibitions on various
themes. It is open all year, but the old buildings are only open
in summer, though you can see them from the outside. It is at
Fana some way south of Bergen and about 20 minutes walk from
the bus stop.
Everyone goes up
Bergen's mountain, so click here
The Bergen Card give
free/discounted entry to a number of attractions and free travel
on all Bergen buses (check area). You also get a free trip on
the funicular, but only when the booking office is open. The
bus service is very good with frequent services and it is possible
to get out to see some of the area around the city. Check with
the driver that you don't have to change buses as some services
go through interchange points and the transfer is not always
shown in the otherwise clear timetable. Every driver we spoke
to had excellent English and was very helpful to strangers.
Norway in a Nutshell
For thoughts about
this excellent day-trip from Bergen click
More information and pictures
See external links
Page L2 for Bergen Information
Centre, which will be willing to send you maps and guides, also
other relevant websites some with map downloads. Try Page
L3 for internet map sites to help you find your way round.