There are many lovely cities and towns to visit in Norway along with the many lovely mountains and the wonderful fjords this is a trip the whole family will enjoy. An international city which is full of history and tradition is Bergen. It is known as “the city between seven mountains’ because of the surrounding mountains. The tallest mountain is Mount Ulriken at 624 meters. At one time Bergen was one of the major Hanseatic cities in Europe and has been a great trade center throughout history. The city’s major export was fish and chief import grain. As far back as 1270 the first German merchants arrived in Bergen and the Hanseatic League was in existence until 1784 at which time it disbanded. These merchants operated in the Bryggen area which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen has many wonderful things for visitors to see and do and is a European City of Culture.
When visiting Bergen you want to take a trip to Mount Floyen. You’ll be entranced by the wonderful nature all about and reaching the top of the mountain around 30 – 45 minutes on foot you’ll be delighted by the spectacular views. If you prefer you can choose to take the famous Funicular from the city center to the top of Mount Floyen. At the top of the mountain you can go hiking and relax in a café and restaurant taking in the magnificent views all about. For your convenience the Funicular runs all year round from early morning to late evening.
A must take trip when in Bergen is to see the Bryggen which is the Hanseatic Wharf. Along this wharf some of the city’s first buildings were built. You can see the remains of the old harbor buildings and this is one of the best known medieval city settlements in Norway. You’ll walk along narrow alleyways and dark external galleries feeling as if you have been transported back in time. Take a look into the life of a Hanseatic merchant by visiting the Hanseatic Museum and Schotstuene and the Hanseatic Assembly rooms.
Bryggen Museum – has exhibitions based on archaeological excavations. It highlights commerce, handicrafts and daily life in the Middle Ages. Right next to the museum you’ll find the 12th century St. Mary’s Church which is the oldest building in Bergen.
Theta Museum is also in Bryggen and shows the Resistance Movement during the Occupation of Norway during WWII.
Visitors are attracted by The Royal Residence and banqueting hall, Hakon’s Hall. These were built by King Hakon Hakonsson from 1247 to 1261. Here you will also find the Rosenkrantz Tower which dates back to the 1270s.
Take a short ride from the city center on the Floibanen Funicular to the top of Floien Mountain rising 320 meters above sea level. Here you’ll have a lovely view of Bergen, the surrounding mountains, the fjords and the sea. After you have delighted in the natural wonders coming back down you can enjoy the active bustle of the Bergen Fish Market.
Bergen has much to offer in the way of art. You’ll discover many impressive art collections to delight the eye. The galleries display international paintings and art treasures that range from classical to contemporary. At the Bergen Art Museum you’ll find a unique collection of paintings by Edvard Munch. Other great art can be seen at the Bergen Contemporary Art Center and West Norway Museum of Decorative Art.
Take the time to take a trip to Troldhaugen which was the home of Norway’s most famous composer Edvard Grieg. The composer lived here for 22 years and composed a great many of his best-known compositions in the little garden hut on the shores of Lake Nordas. You can also visit the cliff-hewn tomb where Grieg and his wife Nina are buried.
The Edvard Grieg Museum exhibits mementos of Grieg’s life and the interior is in 1907 style as the composer knew it. Troldsalen a concert hall that can seat 200 people opened in 1985 to perform chamber music. There is also a museum building with a multimedia room and cafeteria.
Near Troldhaugen is the Fantoft Stave Church which was moved to Fantoft in 1883. Unfortunately the church burned down in 1992 but has now been rebuilt and stands as it did before the fire.
Visitors enjoy taking a trip to the Old Bergen Museum which is an open air museum. Here visitors can take a look at over 40 wooden houses that represent Bergen architecture in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Bergen also features two 18th century manor houses which have become museums:
Damsgard Manor is a great example of wooden Rococo architecture.
Alvoen Country Mansion is the nucleus of the old industrial village of Alvoen.
Bergen Aquarium – is located in the city center. Here you can see lots of different kinds of fish species as well as seals, Antarctic penguins, a shark tunnel and tropical fish. The Tropical section also includes big crocodiles, snakes and sea lions. This is one of the largest family attractions in Norway. Visitors can see shows and animal feedings. The aquarium also offers its own cinema featuring 3D movies and a movie about orcas that was taken along the coastline of western Norway.
Finally don’t forget to take a look at the newest attraction in Bergen – the Bergen Science Center VILVITE. This is a natural science and technology visitor center where visitors have the opportunity to go on a fantastic journey of exploration interacting with 100 different kinds of technology and experiments. You can feel the force of gravity while cycling 360 degrees around a big ring, try to drill for oil, steer a ship or submarine and even forecast the weather.
Combine all of this on your exciting trip to Bergen with nights out at restaurants and being part of the exciting nightlife and you’ll have memories for a lifetime. Some of the wonderful and delicious specialties in Bergen are fish soup, smoked and cured salmon, fresh fish such as catfish and monkfish, herring and game and venison like elk, reindeer and deer.