Bergen, Norway offers so much to do and see. This story book backdrop will make getting out of your Bergen Airport Hotel very easy.
BryggenDistance from Bergen Airport: 11.3mi / 18.2km
The Bryggen was the commercial center of Bergen centuries ago. The set of row houses that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List is set right off of the Bergen Harbor. You can stroll along and among these breathtaking timbered houses that now contain shops, artisans, museums and workshops. Each house is vibrantly painted in typical Hanseatic fashion. The Hanseatic League (a group of merchants from Germany) made the Bryggen a commercial success and was both given certain freedoms in Bergen, but later were isolated and shunned by the locals.
Enjoy walking through the houses that represent the past of Bergen. I especially enjoyed the Bergen Art Museum which is located among the row houses.
This is really THE sight to see in Bergen.
KunstmuseumDistance from Bergen Airport: 10.5mi / 17km
Rasmus Meyers allé 3,7 & 9 , Bergen (Norway)
Most people, associate Bergen, the so-called “Capital of the Fjords,” with natural rather than artistic beauty and think that Norwegian painting begins and ends with Edvard Munch. This superb museum, whose exhibitions are divided between three buildings, caused me to change these naive assumptions. It’s a far more interesting and extensive collection than I saw anywhere else in Scandinavia, and the very thoughtful manner in which it is curated, as well as the extensive explanatory notes provided in English, make a visit an educational as well as an enjoyable experience.
HanseatiskDistance from Bergen Airport: 11.2mi / 18km
Fisketorget , Bergen (Norway)
The first room you’ll enter is the room where the fish were loaded into the house. If you take the guided tour, you’ll be told how the fish were sorted. The tour continues up the stairs to the dormatories of the young German boys, the place where they were trained. You will be told how this small community functioned.
MariakirkeDistance from Bergen Airport: 11.6mi / 18.7km
Dreggen , Bergen (Norway)
The Mariakirke is believed to be the oldest building in Bergen. It dates to the Mid-12th century and is of the Romanesque style. The church is truly beautiful both inside and out. The focale point of the church is its exquisite and ornate altarpiece and pulpit. The altarpiece is in the triptic fashion and can be opened and closed for certain events. The detail and the workmanship are stunning and to think that this was done several hundred years ago is even more remarkable. The pulpit was donated to the church by the Hanseatic merchants that frequented the church centuries ago. It depicts many religious scenes and virtues.
The church has an admission fee of 15NOK = 2USD and a small souvenir table is located at the rear of the church.
The church is easily found on foot between the Bryggen and the Rosencrantz Tower just a block down from the SAS Royal Hotel.
The Main Waterfront
The Main WaterfrontDistance from Bergen Airport: 11.7mi / 18.8km
Bergen Centre , Bergen (Norway)
Immediately beside the shortest side of the waterfront is the market, always thought of as the fish market as this is the most vibrant, colorful, noisy, and appealing part but there are also flowers, fruit, and clothing. It makes a good source for souvenirs to take out of the country. As one rather slick salesman pointed out, “Unless they don’t like salmon, you can’t go wrong. So many of the souvenirs on these stalls are rubbish and they are not even made in Norway.”
Fish for taking away and cooking yourself are not a lot of use unless you are on your way to a self-catering accommodation, but if you are this is a remarkable choice. Mainly, however, it’s ideal as a source for picnics and there is a splendid baker’s shop alongside to obtain an outside for your buddies.
FestspilleneDistance from Bergen Airport: 11mi / 17.7km
The festival takes place every year in May. Tickets vary in price. It’s a good idea to buy tickets well in advance, since they tend to be sold out.
Gamle Bergen Distance from Bergen Airport: 13.2mi / 21.2km
This is an outdoor museum that can be reached through about 20 minutes on the bus. It contains over 40 wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries placed together very convincingly as a ‘town.’ It costs NOK 30 to go in (half for concessionaries). It’s not worth going to unless you can manage short but quite steep uphill ‘streets.’ The guided, English-spoken tour is almost a must as it’s the only way of seeing most of the interiors.
The buildings demonstrate the way of life of the people of the centuries when they were built and, in addition to the church, there are the baker’s, the barber’s, and the chemist’s among others. The guide regarded it as unlikely that more buildings would be acquired because any older places that might become available would have a much higher market value these days. This has to be good in that they will stay in their proper locations but I cannot help feeling glad that the existing ones were acquired.
This is not as good as the outdoor museum in Oslo – which is my overall favorite – and it would come as an anticlimax if you have recently been to the latter. But in any other circumstances, it is well worth seeing. The museum is unfortunately only open from mid-May to the end of August. I know the tourist season in Norway has to be short, but I’m not sure it has to be SO short.