TRAVEL | Bergen, Norway - 8 hours of city sightseeing and lots of walking!

The first stop of our 2017 14-days cruise with Norwegian Jade was in the beautiful city of Bergen, Norway.
Fun Fact: Bergen takes its name from the original Bjorgvin meaning "the green meadow among the mountains".  And I personally saw that meaning come to life with my own eyes…
It served as Norway's capital in the 13th century and then after became a bureau of the Hanseatic League. Bergen port is Norway's busiest, where over 300 cruise ship calls happen a year.

From the port, we bought Hop on/Hop off bus tickets for 35 euros each. It was a bad decision! We didn't realize until we reached the city centre that we can basically walk from the port to the first city sightseeing spot - "Bryggen" - in 15 minutes and everything else that this beautiful city offers to tourists like us having a limited time can be reached by foot! Yes, by foot!

***Unlike my usual travelling habit of fully planning the trip from what to see, where/what to eat and what to photograph, I decided that on this cruise, I'll let the trip surprise me. Aside from knowing what to expect with the weather to pack the appropriate clothing, I didn't research much about the cruise's stops, wishing to experience that "living in the moment" type of travelling. lol. So, there's the first consequence to that - money wasted!

Anyhow, we enjoyed this small city, it's beauty and the pleasant weather that day.. it was partly cloudy half of the time and sunny the other half, and the temperature ranged from 58 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here are the places we've seen from my most favorite to the least:

1.) Mount Floyen (with the Funicular ride)
2.) Bryggen and the Hanseatic Museum
3.) The Fish Market
4.) Tollbodkaia Viewpoint
5.) The City Park
6.) The National Stage/Den Nationale Scene

  • Mt Floyen and the Funicular ride
Our hop on/hop off bus tickets included the funicular ride - a 6 minutes ride from the city centre station to the top of Mt Floyen.
An adult ticket from the booth costs 90 NOK or approximately $11.
Since we were with other tourists from the cruise ship, the line was pretty long and we had to wait approximately 30minutes until we got to ride the funicular.
There was also a little confusion between the waiting line with those who already have tickets, from the line of those still wanting to purchase a ticket from the booth by the entrance - that contributed to the length of waiting time as well. But, oh well, that's part of trip - don't let stress ruin your vacation! haha.

This spot is my favourite because it shows all of Bergen and the Fjords surrounding it. I felt like I was on top of the clouds as I look down to the city.
Near the platform where we enjoyed the view, there's a restaurant, a souvenir shop and a play area nearby.
We stayed at the platform for about an hour and just stared at the magnificent view of Bergen and took lots of photos.

  • Bryggen and the Hanseatic Musuem
Due to our limited time, we did not enter the museum and just enjoyed it from the outside. Entrance fee is 100 NOK or approx. $12.55.
The Hanseatic museum is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Bergen, situated centrally on Bryggen.
Bryggen(the dock) is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings. The stores/shops were mostly souvenir shops.. and the prices are outrageous! haha. I remember a small souvenir magnet costs 90 NOKor $11. (just wow) I didn't buy any by the way.
Nonetheless, I fell inloved with how colorful, detailed, tall and close to each other these buildings are.
They renounce the long and grand stockfish trade history of Bryggen and despite many fires throughout the centuries, they still stand beautiful after every rebuilt.
This is where I've seen most of the people (residents, workers & tourists) were at on that day we were there.

  • The Fish Market
It's a picturesque outdoor/indoor fish market that sells seafood, fruits and vegetables.
There are a few restaurants inside the market where the ingredients for their menu dishes are ofcourse directly and fresh from the market.
The prices of food in these restaurants are super expensive. But I guess, to experience the freshest seafood in the city, you must overlook the price?! Well, not always in my case. haha!
I and husband opted on trying their seafood sandwiches, which were reasonably priced and delicious. He enjoyed his smoked salmon sandwich and I loved my lobster and crab sandwich, topped with a refreshing and locally made apple juice - Epleklem. We ate it by the water, overlooking the beautiful Bryggen and the mountains and clouds behind it.

  • Tollbodkaia Viewpoint
I love this spot because of the unbeatable view of the eastern side of the Vagen harbour (with Bryggen and the Fjord as well).
I've seen small boats that come and go at the dock nearby that people take as they come or leave the city. I heard from a tourist guide that most of these commuters are the city workers/employees that work here in Bergen but live somewhere else.
The following photos show the view from this point.

***These next two spots we've seen and passed by as we walked around the city but didn't really stop or spend a lot of time at them.

  • The City Park
It's a huge and beautiful park with a big pond and fountain in the middle. Birds and flowers also add to its nature like beauty found in the middle of the city.
Like any other park, it's used by residents (and even tourists) for a nice walk or jog, a picnic, and for some painting and photography. It's a lovely massive park that anybody can appreciate.

  • Den Nationale Scene
It's the largest theatre in Bergen and also one of the oldest permanent theaters in Norway.
**I wasn't able to snap a nice photo of the theater because of ongoing constructions around it that day, even worsen by crowds of tourists all over the place.

There are so much more to see in this small yet so stunning gem city and 8 hours aren't just enough.
The whole city is a work of art!

The photo below shows the long street of Strandgaten - just one of the busiest shopping streets in Bergen.
And speaking of shopping, Bergen has The Galleriet shopping mall situated just on the opposite side of the street on this photo, closer to the Fish Market. 

Here are some other photos I took around the city centre. I just love how colorful their structures are. Won't you agree?….

After all that walking, hubby and I decided to spend our last hour before heading to the port back to the ship, at Starbucks - yes they have two Starbucks cafes in Bergen - and we stayed at the one located in the centre of the city by the Hanseatic Musuem. There we enjoyed sipping on our mocha cappuccinos while taking advantage of the Wi-Fi to check and post photos on Instagram. lol.

Overall, I enjoyed the time we spent here.... If you ask me if I'd ever want to come back here again, I'd say  “I would love to!”

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and until our next travel destination!
Thanks again for reading!

Much love, Christie 


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