Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.
Getting To Know Bergen – Cruise Port Guide
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway after Oslo and it is filled with old-world charm and heritage. As a major trading port of the once all powerful Hanseatic League, all of Bergen’s delights can be found around its port area. Stroll through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen, the now preserved and rebuilt wharf buildings that originally date back to as early as the 14th Century, but have been periodically destroyed by fire, the last time in 1955.
Our Bergen cruise port guide is here to help you plan your visit and if we start from the very beginning, no visit to Bergen would be complete without sampling the delights of the famous fish market, in situ since the 1200s. Wander amongst the stalls selling fresh crab, lobster, salmon and much more in the summer months, get a meal to eat on the go, or venture indoors to the year round fish counter to see what’s on offer.
The most popular way to appreciate Bergen is definitely from an elevated vantage point and thankfully the city is surrounded by mountains for this very purpose, seven in actual fact. The two most popular to ascend are Mount Floyen, accessible by the Floibanen funicular, and Mount Ulriken, the highest of the seven mountains at 643 metres (2,110 feet), accessible by the Ulriksbanen Aerial Tramway. Both offer hiking trails for those that like to be active and maybe walk off that seafood sampler lunch.
The currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone. Norway has a reputation as one of the most expensive countries in Europe and the average price of a standard cup of coffee is around £3/$4. Budget accordingly if you plan to dine out each day, as meals are roughly around 110kr per person (£11/$13 per person).
Bergen is a walker friendly city, with Bryggen and the start of the city centre only 1 km from the cruise pier at the Bontelabo. You can either walk around the harbour or for a picturesque introduction to the city, you can walk through the grounds of the Bergenhus Fortress, where the original royal seat of King Håkon Håkonsson (1217-1263) in Haakon’s Hall was located. The grounds are wheelchair friendly as well and the grounds host concerts and events in summertime. Quite a few areas of the city area pedestrianised and easily accessible too, like Torgallmenningen the city’s main shopping precinct.
If you are calling on a larger ship, or on a day when there are multiple ships in port, you may have to dock at the Jetviken Cruise Pierm, which is a mixed use pier for shipping and slightly out of town. Check with your cruise line if a shuttle service will operate from this pier to take you into the city centre.
The Floibanen is a very popular attraction and in the summer months waiting times can exceed 1 hour, especially with cruise ship shore excursions also using it as part of many itineraries.
The indoor Fish Market is open all year and the outdoor Fish Market is open from the 1st of May and during the summer.
Hardangerfjord is a great opportunity for a day trip to experience Norway’s second longest fjord. Expect a full day either driving along the banks of the fjord and through small villages, or on a fjord cruise.
Destination photos courtesy of Sam Whiteside ©
Key highlights of Bergen
- Bryggens Museum
- Fish Market
- Bergenhus Fortress
- Haakons Hall
- Rosenkrantz Tower
- Fortress Museum
- Bergen Cathedral
- Old Bergen
- Hanseatic Museum
- Leprosy Museum
- Mount Fløyen
- Mount Ulriken Cable Car
- Fantoft Stave Church
- Bergen Aquarium
- Bergen Kunsthall – Art Museum
- KODE Art Museums
- KODE 1 – Fine Craft and Design
- KODE 2 – Temporary Exhibitions
- KODE 3 – Golden Age of Norwegian Art, The Rasmus Meyers Collection and works of Edvard Munch
- KODE 4 – Children’s Art Museum, Main Art Collection
- Troldhaugen – Edvard Grieg Museum
- Lysøen – Ole Bull Museum
- University Museum of History
- Day trips to Hardangerfjord and Trolltunga
Regular cruise line visitors
- Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
- P&O Cruises
- SAGA Cruises
- Princess Cruises
- Celebrity Cruises
- Viking Ocean
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