Destination Norway: Day 7 Journal Our Bergen City Break

This is journal entry 7, our sixth day in Norway a Bergen city break. Here we’ve highlighted places to eat, things to do and how to get around for a successful afternoon in this colorful Norwegian city. 

My six-year-old son and I have embarked upon a 14-day Eurail trip from Oslo, Norway to Bodo in the Arctic Circle. We started in Oslo for 2 days then to Stavanger where we had a city break and explored Vikings. Yesterday we explored Haugesund, the homeland of the Viking Kings. Follow our Daily Journal Entries on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with #VisitNorwayUSA. 

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Exploring Bergen, Norway’s Little Big City

Bergen is situated on the west coast of Norway, on the peninsula of Bergenshalvøyen. The city was established before 1070 AD and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen. As it stands today, in all its colorful splendor, it paints a memory of the town’s importance as part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to the mid-16th century.

 

Bergen Norway

The Old Wharf from the other side of the harbor. If you’re looking for pretty pictures, there’s some pretty shots in the afternoon.

 

Up until today, I had only seen this city in photos. Its colorful pointed rooftops against a clear blue sky made me want to one day visit this waterside city. Finally we were here. It was freezing, but we were in here. My first snapshot impression of this popular Norwegian destination was how pretty it was, wrapped in layers around the harbor and reflecting into the water as if a giant mirror were on the ground.

Getting There by Bus Via Haugesund

You can easily get to the city by bus via Haugesund which is exactly what we did. It was under two hours and just as scenic as all the other trips through Norway. Like our trip to Haugesund, our bus was loaded onto another ferry which lent scenic views of the surrounding mountains and hills. There’s no shortage of beauty on this ride.

 

Bus ride to Bergen from Haugesund

Just one of the many pretty views from the front seat of our bus ride.

bus to Bergen from Haugesund

More of the journey from Haugesund… bus and ferry.

Bus from Haugesund to Bergen

A perfect shot of the view from our bus on the ferry. This was taken from the top service deck.

 

The first thing that caught my eye about Bergen when we arrived were all the tiny mountainside homes layering over the city like a collection of pretty boxes. Before we knew it we were at the bus station. Our Radisson Blue Royal Hotel was a short five minute taxi ride from the bus station. An easy walk in the summer.

Our Afternoon Adventure

The Old Hanseatic Wharf

By the time we settled into our hotel and freshened up it was about 1:00. We were starving and ready to seize the afternoon. The sky was clear and the colors of the Bryggen Wharf were far too pretty to ignore. So we set off to meet our guide at the Hanseatic Wharf of Bergen, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a major inspiration for Arendelle/Frozen.

 

Bergen Old Wharf

The Old Wharf a UNESCO World Heritage Site just feet from our hotel the Radisson Blu Royal.

Bergen Old Wharf UNESCO

Such pretty photo ops at the Bryggen Old Wharf. Of course, I can’t resist snapping a unicorn.

 

The site is literally twenty something feet from the hotel, and a perfect place to start an afternoon adventure. We walked and listened to the history of the wharf while we meandered in and out of shops, through crooked alleys, and up and down narrow steps. We were smitten by the story book feel of this heritage site. It was like something that popped out of Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. I can see why the creators of Frozenchose this as a reference.

 

Bergen Bergenhus Fortress

At the Bergenhus Fortress there are rolling green hills which the Little LOVED runnig down.

 

Bergenhus Fortress

Our next stop was Bergenhus fortress located at the entrance to the harbor. This is one of the oldest and best preserved castles in Norway, and just a five minute walk from the wharf. As we approached Haakon’s Hall, a medieval stone hall located inside the fortress, I could immediately see the resemblance to Frozen (despite not having been mentioned as a reference). Though it may not look that big now, in medieval times it was the largest building of the royal palace in Bergen, then the capital of Norway.

 

Bergenhus Fortress Bergen

The Bergenhus Fortress is home to a medieval stronghold as well. The stones are so pretty.

Bergenhus Fortress Bergen

We couldn’t have had a prettier day. The sky was impossibly blue.

Bergenhus Fortress Bergen

More pretty buildings at the Bergenhus Fortress.

Bergen Norway

There’s so many pretty things along the walk from the fortress to the fish market… be camera ready!

 

Some Helpful Travel Tips

This destination is totally worth a few days visit, but if you only have a few hours, here’s some tips on getting a taste of this colorful city. You can use the Visit Bergen tourism site to plan it out for yourself.

  • Head straight to the Old Wharf as a starting point via taxi from the station. You can work you way back walking.
  • You can easily go from the Bergenhus Fortress, to the Old Wharf, to the Ulriken Cable Car, to the Bryggens Museum in a couple hours taking time for photos along the way.
  • Once you’ve reached the end of the harbor, you will have a few dining options. There’s an Egon’s (family friendly and reasonably priced) or a Mcdonalds if that’s you’re thing. There’s also a killer ice cream spot on the waterside.
  • If you walk just around the bend to the other side of the harbor, there’s an AWESOME fish market that sells lunch and fresh seafood. You can sit by panoramic windows and enjoy the view of the city.
  • From this point it’s about a ten minute walk to the main bus station.
Bergen

We loved window shopping in the souvenir shops at the Old Wharf.

Where to eat in Bergen Norway

There’s a few good places to eat but my favorite by far was the fish market just on the other side of the harbor. This is as fresh as it gets folks.

places to eat in Bergen

This is the Fish Market I keep going ape over… below are the hours of operation. This is a great way to take in Norwegian culture in so many ways.

places to eat in Bergen

Hours of the Fish Market

Places to eat in Bergen

The Little loves his ice cream. There’s a great spot at the end of the harbor.

 

For more information check out their tourism site. For trip planning to Norway VisitNorway.com! Check out my Yonderboxes for the cheapest hotel booking exclusive to my readers!

Special thanks to Visit Norway USA. While they and the local tourism offices are funding all air, hotels and meals, this in no way shapes my opinion of my journey through Norway. An additional thank you to Visit Haugesund for guiding us during our stay.

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About Christa Thompson

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Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

10 Comments on this post

  1. […] Heritage Site Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen. We are on our second day in Bergen, yesterday we explored the city on foot, and today we set off for the Bergen Aquarium. We always love the opportunity to see animals when […]

  2. I have been longing to visit Norway and we’re hoping we might get there for a multi-generational trip in the summer of 2016. These photos and your descriptions have convinced me that we must go!! Now I’m going to go and read all about the other places you have visited in Norway so far – I look forward to following this adventure!

    katja - globetotting / Reply
  3. Scandinavia is somewhere I really want to explore more – I’ve yet to make it to Norway at all, but Bergen sounds great with kids, and I love the idea of a rail trip (albeit in a few years) #globalkids

    MummyTravels / Reply
  4. These are gorgeous pictures – it’s just beautiful to look at. I haven’t made it to Norway yet but it’s just jumped up to the top of the my want-to-do list!!

    Globalmouse / Reply
  5. […] My six-year-old son and I have embarked upon a 14-day Eurail trip from Oslo, Norway to Bodo in the Arctic Circle. We started in Oslo for 2 days then to Stavanger where we had a city break and explored Vikings. Then we explored Haugesund, the homeland of the Viking Kings and then Bergen!  […]

  6. Such great pictures. We have long wanted to go to Norway – looks so beautiful.

    Sarah / Reply
  7. […] break and explored Vikings. Then we explored Haugesund, the homeland of the Viking Kings and then Bergen! Now we’re in […]

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