A 1.3 km nice walk from the Blue Stone (Den blå steinen) in Bergen’s central square Torgallmenningen, through Vestre Torggate, up the new stairs with fountains and running water, to St. John’s Church on the top of the stairs. Further you pass Museum of Natural History and the Museum Garden at your right side. If you turn left up Parkveien, you can walk through Nygårdsparken Park to Vilvite Science centre. Now, however, we walk straight ahead along the museum tram rails, which take us directly to the Technical Museum.
The walk from the Bergen railway station to the town centre in central square Torgallmenningen will just take you some 5 to 10 minutes. A pleasant walk!
Your train arrives in Bergen through the 7 kilometers long tunnel from Arna, opened in 1964. These days, a construction work is advancing on a second tunnel, due for opening in 2022.
On your way to the town centre
On your way through the town centre, you pass the little lake Lille Lungegårdsvann, which some hundred years ago was connected to the fjord. The street along the lake is still called Kaigaten, meaning quay street, which seems rather odd today. On the opposite side of the lake, you’ll find the art galleries Kode-museums.
Further on, you pass the open square Festplassen, used for big occations like the national day. Finally you pass city park Byparken with the music pavilion and one of the town’s Edvard Grieg statues, before arriving at the Blue Stone at central square Torgallmenningen. This is where local people often meet.
Cruise tourists to Bergen arrive on to alternative locations: either in the cruise port at Jekteviken, or in the cruise port at Skoltegrunnskaien / Bontelabo.
If you arrive at the cruise port at Jekteviken or the nearby Dokkeskjærskaien, there is just a nice city walk of about 1km between you and the town centre. I takes you past some blocks of houses and pedestrian streets, past the theatre, until it ends in the town centre. From here you can reach most of the town’s attractions by foot. The walk ends by “the Blue Stone” (Den blå steinen), a popular meeting point for locals Bergen. Take a look at our video!
By cruise ship you arrive in Bergen to one of two possible ports, either the cruise port in Jekteviken or the cruise port at Skoltegrunnskaien / Bontelabo. Your ship supposedly arrives at the Cruise port at Bontelabo / Skoltegrunnskaien. From the you have a very short walk to the main sights of Bergen. You’ll pass King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkrantz Tower, St. Mary’s Church close to the route, the Hanseatic Bryggen before reaching the Fish Market you can walk 200 meters to the Fløibanen funicular. Watch the video for a visual guide to your walk from cruise ship to town centre
Go to Fløibanen, or to the Fish market and Torgallmenningen
If you don’t branch off to Fløibanen, but head on just a little further across the Fish Market, you arrive at the central square Torgallmenningen. The walk in the video leads you to Den blå steinen (The Blue Stone), which is a popular meeting point among locals. From this here, most sights and attractions in Bergen are within reach by foot.
Within short time, we are going to publish some other routes to various sights and activities in the town.
Go to Nordnesparken for a stroll, a bath in the sun or the seawater, or some fishing. Nordnesparken Park covers the tip of the Nordnes peninsula, around the Bergen Aquarium. Within the park you find the public Nordnes Seawater bath (Nordnes Sjøbad).
The park is a great spot for relaxing, and for activities like watching the ships in the harbour on their way to and fro, or for fishing from the shore.
Among the many great things to do in Bergen during a day, a visit to Nordnes gives you access to sunbathing, bathing, fishing, walking the narrow streets of the nabourhood and of course spending some hours with the fish and seacreatures in the Aquarium. And when you are tired from all the activities and fresh air, you might stroll down to Verftet, to have a drink on the edge of the fjord, watching the sun set close to midnight in early summer.
The Museum Garden surrounds the Natural History Museum in Nygårdshøyden / the University area. Established as a botanical garden for research and education in 1897–99, over the years the garden gathered and cultivated a wide range of species. Today there are some 3,000 species in the garden, thriving in the wet and relatively mild climate of Bergen.
The new botanical garden is situated in Milde 23 km south of the town centre. It contains 5,000 plant taxa from all over the World, Norway’s largest collection of Roses, The largest Rhododendron collection in Scandinavia, Heather Garden, Japanese Garden and Alpine Garden, displays of historical garden plants and traditions. The Arboretum is Accessible for disabled persons.
Nygårdsparken is a wonderful park in Nygårdshøyden / Møhlenpris, about 10 minutes by foot from the town centre. Both the park and its neighbouring institutions Vilvite Science Centre and the Technical museum, offer lots of activities and things to do, enough for several hours.
If you are heading for the Vilvite Science Centre for some entertaining scientific experiments, the shortest way is through Nygårdsparken.
On warm and sunny days the park usually attracts lots of locals with their barbecue equipment, food and suntan oil. The lower part of the park is home to swans, geese and ducks, who thrive in the ponds, along with the always present seagulls and doves.
Until only a couple of years ago, the upper part of the park was notoriously famous for being the biggest drug-dealing site of Northern Europe. Fortunately there has been done a great job for the upper part of the park, where you nowadays can find a cafe open weekdays 10–16, with a playground for the kids. Now and the cultural events take place outside the cafe.
There are even some artwork to find south of the town centre.
Street art at Nygårdshøyden and Møhlenpris areas.
Artwork like these suddenly appear on city walls during night time. And often, during day time, they dissappear. Bergen has several well known street artists, among whom DOLK has earned the greatest reputation.
From the town centre on Vetrlidsallmenningen Fløibanen funicular takes you directly to the top of mount Fløien, 320 meters above sea level. Visiting Fløyen is one of the most popular among Bergen’s many things to do during a day. The top station of the funicular offers a wonderful view of the town centre and the fjord. The 850 meters trip is a 5–8 minutes ride, while you ascend above town, watching the town centre from a bird’s perspective. The panorama extends itself gradually, until you can see the the North Sea in the distance.
A little more about the funicular
The Fløibanen funicular has three stations on the way up, offering the opportunity to jump on and off, doing part of the journey on foot. It was opened in 1918, and the cars have been replaced three times—the last time in 2002, when the whole funicular was subject to a thorough overhaul.
Floibanen funicular is loved by both locals and tourists, and is one of the most popular attractions of Bergen. If the ticket line seems long, consider the option to walk to the top, or to one of the stops further up the hill (see our page Fløyen by foot).
Fløien has a nice restaurant on the top, and a whole web of walking routes into the woods and further into the Bergen mountains for some nice hiking, and downhill to the town centre. During summer, some of the lakes are nice for bathing and canoeing, espescially Skomakerdiket. Please observe signposts prohibiting bathing in many lakes that supply drinking water for the town.
Visit Fløibanen’s website for timetables.
VilVite Science Centre is an exciting experience for all ages. There is much to do and explore in their large exhibitions. Play for the day – learn for a lifetime!
Thormøhlens gate 51,
Tel. +47-55 59 45 00
Fløyen mountain is the most accessible of the Bergen mountains, within reach by foot, approx. 1 hour walk up-hill, 45 minutes down-hill. In nice weather you won’t need more robust footwear than the shoes you would use walking the streets of the town. There are several routes you could up the hill. The Fløyen by foot route suggested below is not very steep uphill (proposing you start up the right hand sidewalk of Vetrlidsallmenningen). However, the downhill route takes you through some quite steep streets at the lower part. The lower part of our suggested up-hill route is identical to the bicyle 2017 UCI Road World Championships individual time trial uphill sourse to mount Fløyen. The upper part of the UCI Championship course is identical to the upper part of our suggested downhill route.
Fløyen by foot uphill
You’ll pass Skansen Brannstasjon (Fire station) , which was opened in 1903. The building is a significant landmark in town, which used to play an important part in preventing fires in the wooden house area in the hillside below. This fire station was closed in 1969. Today the local crossbow brigade (buekorps) has its base in the house. (Continued below photos.)
The pedestrian road leads you up several u-turns, a favourite track for sledgeriders in snowy winter days. At the point where you reach the plateau, you’ll find Granebo Barnehage, a kindergarten whose children who every day meet the kindergarten staff at the Fløibanen funicular lower station every morning and returned in the afternoon. The road further takes you to the restaurant and view area at the Fløibanen funicular upper station.
From the restaurant, the kindergarten and several other locations, there are walkways further into and above the woods, which could take you for a nice hike all the way over Vidden to mount Ulriken, where you could go down by foot or cable-car. This hike is approximately 4-5 hours, and you’ll have to be bring enough food, clothing and boots to handle some rough weather.
Fløyen by foot downhill
The suggested Fløyen by foot route downhill passes some more sharp u-turns before reaching Skansemyren idrettsplass, an athletics track used by sporty youngsters from the whole town centre. A little further down you can follow along a short stretch of Fjellveien, a mainly pedestrian road beloved by locals for romantic strolls. The last stretch down Endregårdsbakken and Skivebakken is really steep. If you visit during winter, take a good piece of advice and buy a pair of “brodder”, spikes for your shoes. They are often for sale in the local food stores.
Or, of course, you might just as well can go by the funicular Fløibanen—one way or both, or from one of the stations on the line.
Follow the track indicated in the map, or check our video!
Mount Ulriken towers over Bergen town with its distant, characteristic 643 meters high profile, with its tv and radio antenna on top, in night time coloured with cycling colours. However distant, the mountain top is easily accessible if you let Ulriksbanen cable car line bring you there, some few minutes up the nill side. The view is truly spectacular, as is the travel uphill.
Tourist buses take you from Torgallmenningen just across the street from the seafarers’ monument, to the Ulriksbanen cable car line lower station.
The hike up or down the mountain, takes approximately one hour from the lower cablecar station along the shortest and steepest route. The hike is very pleasant, and has several alternative routes. But check that your footwear, as the track after a rainy day—which in Bergen means most days—might be wet, occationally muddy and slippery. Dress according to the weather, before starting off.
Visit Ulriksbanen’s website for timetables and access descriptions.
For tourists on short stay, the small ferry Beffen might be a handy way of crossing Vågen from the Bryggen side to Nordnes, which is has done for more than a century. The small ferry leaves for the other side every 10 minutes during office hours, taking locals and tourists across.
The name Beffen is a popular version of the original acronym BEF which means Bergen Electric Ferry Company. For many years, Beffen was a diesel ferry, but in 2015 a new Beffen was introduced. True to the meaning of her name Beffen is now once again runs on clean electric, renewable energy. She is a cheap, reliable and time-saving helperacross the Vågen who adds a bit of a maritime feel to your visit.
Visit Beffen’s website for prices and operating hours.
Another option for ferry transport is for people travelling between the Fish Market (town centre) and Tollbodkaien on Nordnes—which typically includes guests to the Bergen Aquarium. This boat—MF Vågen is in operation during the tourist high season.
Skyss.no – web portal for public transport
All public transport is managed by Skyss, and their website is the place info about buses, the light rail Bybanen and boats around Bergen.
Nordnes Sea Pool (Nordnes Sjøbad) is situated at the north-western tip of the Nordnes peninsula, in the Nordnesparken park, close to the Aquarium. It has pools for swimming and playing, and you might dive and swim in the fjord if you are comfortable with the temperature. During July and August the sea temperature is warmer than you would believe! Spending some hours in the crowd by the fjord on a summer day, is a highlight among things to in Bergen. You might also lfind a swim in the heated pool on a rainy summer day quite a treat! The pool is open in any kind of weather.
There are pools and lawns for sunbathing and children’s play.
In 2017 the bath opens for summer at 18th May, and closes medio September.
The hike to the top of Mount Ulriken (643 meters above sea level) is somewhat steep, but very pleasant in nice weather. There are several paths, but the one suggested here is the shortest and easiest accessible, although quite steep close to the top. As long as you remember footwear and clothing suitable for light mountain hiking, the path is no challenge for a person in ordinary good shape. Of course you can hike one way, and go by cable car the other. In case you are uncertain, we recommend hiking up-hill, if by chance you find that you over-estimated your capacity, you might just return downhill.
Path improvements by Nepali Sherpas
Sherpas from Nepal are working on improving the path. The middle part and almost up to the top is now a nice walk in Sherpa made stone stairs. If you like, you might still walk the old path, which might be more entertaining for many, with support of hand rails much of the way.
You might also enjoy a hike further on to the mountain plateau Vidden, which during some 4 hours will take you to Fløyen or down the valley Isdalen. In clear weather this is an easy hike. But remember, in fog or bad weather, you are on your own and have to trust your own resources. Stick to the path, to avoid falling off cliffs, which has been fatal to a number of hikers over the years.
From the town centre you can reach the starting point the same way as you would if going by bus to the lower Ulriksbanen cable car station; by public bus or Ulriken express bus.
Hiking from Fjellveien i Sandviken, a well prepared but rather steep row of stairs takes you all the way up to Sandviksfjellet mountain, with a very nice view of the fjord and the town. At this point, you are 313,5 meters above the starting point in Fjellveien. These stairs are popular for working out, and it is the location for the annual Stoltzekleiven opp uphill mountain race, the world’s steepest, taking place in early October. Best until now is Thorbjørn Ludvigsen, who used 7.54 minutes from Fjellveien to the top in 2016. Accordingly, the recommended route down from the top is not via the stairs, but rather via Munkebotn (turn left on the top) or Skredderdalen (turn right).
You also hike further south along the walkway to Fløyen, where there are several options downhill.
The Nordnes wooden house district is a short walk with away, with a lot to offer. Especially the south-western part of the peninsula is dotted with cosy wooden houses and narrow lanes. Fortunately, young people moved moved into the wooden houses during the seventies, when a new understanding of the value of preserving historic neighbourhoods gained ground.
The area has a nice park at the tip of the peninsula, where the Bergen Aquarium and the outdoors public bathing pool is situated.
Picturesque small wooden houses in neighbourhoods close to the city centre. The aquarium at the tip of the peninsula, with a nice park and an outdoor public bath for nice summer days. Enter with the ferryboat from the Bryggen side of Vågen, or walk from the city centre.
In the second half of the nineteenth century Bergen had the highest concentration of leprosy patients in Europe. The city’s oldest leprosy hospital, St. Jørgen’s (St. George’s) Hospital is an important location for the scientific uncovering of the terrible disease’s mystery–the leprosy basillus, which was discovered in Bergen in 1873.
At the same time, the hospital is a monument memorating thousands of personal tragedies, with many of them made visible by photos of patients.
The medieval stone hall Håkonshallen is more than seven hundred and fifty years old, and was built by King Håkon Håkonsson between 1247 and 1261 as a royal residence and feasting hall. When the king’s son Magnus Håkonsson Lagabøte married the Danish Princess Ingeborg in 1261, 2000 guests were hosted in three buildings. “Kings held court in the stone hall”, as the sagas say.
Bryggen is the heart of Bergen’s history, and a World Heritage site. Although often crowded by tourists in summer season, you can still very well feel the atmosphere of the Hanseatic centuries.
The old wooden buildings are the remains of centuries hanseatic merchant activity, and the excavation site of the town’s early settlement.
The guided tours take you through the whole area, and also to Schøtstuene, the hanseatic assembly facilities and St. Mary’s Church.
Bergen town was established in the area between Stretet (today’s Øvregaten) and the sea in 1070 AD. The German Hanseatic Leage established itself in Bryggen in 1350, and controdominated the trade during four centuries until the last of their buildings was transferred to Norwegian citizens in 1754.
The Bryggen warehouses were filled primarily with stockfish from Northern Norway for export overseas, and with cereals imported to Norway.
The oldest buildings of today’s Bryggen date from 1702. Most of the buildings are from more recent times, due to the fact that these wooden buildings have been the victims of fire several times during the centuries. The last great fire was in 1955. Bryggen Museum is built in part of the area which was cleared in this fire.