Life is a journey

24 hours in Bergen with the Bergen Card

24 hours in Bergen with the Bergen Card

Being a local in Bergen I wanted to be tourist in my own town, experiencing what the city has to offer. With all the Bergen Card advantages, it was an easy choice. You get free or discounted admittance to most museums and attractions as well as many cultural events, various sightseeing tours, restaurants and parking. It also include free travel on Light Rail and buses in the city and the region. Depending on how much sightseeing you want to do (and how much time you have), the Bergen Card is available for either 24, 48 or 72 hours.

Beautiful view of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen. Norway
Beautiful view of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen.

Overview first! Taking the Fløibanen Funicular to the top of Mt. Fløyen gives a great view of the city. Being up on the mountain, you are also away from the city life, and can walk straight into the nature. Fløibanen Funicular has made some tour suggestions for the many hiking options in the area. You can download them for free on their website.

Downtown again, I went for the 10 o’ clock departure for the Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen. I was obviously not the only one that had figured this was the perfect day for a fjord cruise from Bergen. Gliding past Bryggen – the old Hanseatic Wharf, bathing in sun, made me love my hometown just a little bit more. Once outside the harbor, the boat picked up some speed. As it is autumn (even though the sun and temperature could easily fool anyone), I was prepared with warm clothes to be able to stay outside. Even though it is perfectly fine to sit inside as well, there is something special about getting the real full experience, feeling the sun in my eyes and the wind in my hair.

Bryggen in Bergen a beautiful autumn day! Norway

The water was completely flat, reflecting the trees dressed in magnificent autumn colors. Arriving at Mostraumen, the crew picked two persons to get water from the waterfall. I was one of them, together with a Spanish by the name Enrique. Why not stand under a waterfall when the sun is shining..? With that said, we got dressed in proper rain gear, and did not get wet at all. The bucket was filled quickly, and everyone that wanted to taste got a glass. Fresh and cold!

Reflecting water. Fjordcruise to Mostraumen outside Bergen. Norway Nice surroundings on the Fjordcruise to Mostraumen outside Bergen. Norway Beautiful waterfalls on the Fjordcruise to Mostraumen outside Bergen. Norway Water from a waterfall. Fjordcruise to Mostraumen outside Bergen. Norway Getting water from the waterfall. Fjordcruise to Mostraumen outside Bergen. Norway

On the way back I enjoyed a typical Norwegian “lefse” and a “Kvikk Lunsj” chocolate. Not the healthiest, but since I was being a tourist in my own town I pretend to be on holiday. Then everything is allowed, isn’t it?…

Back on shore, I walked passed the colorful, charming houses at Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. The houses were originally built in the 11th century, but burned down many times. The oldest part of Bryggen was rebuilt after the great fire in 1702. In 1955 a new fire burned down a part of these remaining houses. Following this, the archaeological excavations at Bryggen started. I decided to go to Bryggens Museum to have a look at the findings. Luckily for the coming generations, the burned out ruins were not completely cleared out. The water was filled in by the remains of the burned houses and other trash, and the new houses were just built on top of them, causing the waterfront to move several meters throughout the time. The excavations therefore revealed houses from many different periods, the oldest burned in 1170. They also found ceramics, runic inscriptions and other artifacts witnessing the commerce with Europe and daily life in the Middle Ages.

Bryggen in Bergen a beautiful autumn day! Norway

Traces of many of the fires in Bergen can be seen at Bryggen Museum. Bergen, Norway
Traces of many of the fires in Bergen can be seen at Bryggen Museum.

Being in the medieval mood, I went on to Bergenhus Fortress, dating back to the 13th century, when Bergen was the political center of Norway. The Håkon’s Hall was built between 1247 and 1261 by king Håkon Håkonsen as a royal residence and banquet hall. It was finished for the wedding between his son and a Danish princess. About 2000 guests were present for the wedding. However, only the men were allowed in the hall. The women, including the bride, were in another hall that is now destroyed.

The Håkon’s Hall. Bergen, Norway

The Rosenkrantz Tower right next to the Håkon’s Hall is a former royal residence. Climbing the steps all the way from Hell (aka the dungeon) to the rooftop may be steep, but the view was a reward in itself!
Rosenkrantz Tower in Bergen, Norway

On my way to the dungeon in the Rosenkrantz Tower in Bergen, Norway
On my way to the dungeon in the Rosenkrantz Tower.

A friend of mine had come to town with her son, so we decided to go to Bergen Science Center – VilVite. As it is located in the complete opposite side of the city, we took the bus and light rail to save time. Entering the exhibition, I felt like a child again. I went straight to the police motorbike to feel the wind in my hair for the second time today. Googles on. Bring on the speed! At least the wind, so you can pretend to drive fast and furious. Better keep it safe! Speaking of safe; next up was to bike in a 360 degree loop, with the result of hanging upside down a few meters above ground. It may sound a bit scary, but it is quite fun. And you learn about the G-Force at the same time. That is also the aim of Bergen Science Center – VilVite, to combine teaching with fun, making it amusing to learn about different aspects of science.

Science and fun at VilVite. Bergen, Norway.
Science and fun at VilVite!

It was time to calm down a bit, drilling for oil, “solve” the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle, make a weather forecast and wrap ourselves in a giant soap bubble! Finishing off by reaching new heights, standing still and jumping straight up as high as you can. Or not so high in my case, as my bouncing skills are highly absent… As a bonus, it is filmed, so you can see it in slow motion afterwards. Great fun for children of all ages!

Playing around sure works up an appetite, so we got on the light rail back to the city center, and strolled over to Pingvinen for dinner. With the retro interior and traditional home cooking, it feels like visiting your grandmother. The perfect way to relax and digest all the impressions after an amazing day!

23 thoughts on “24 hours in Bergen with the Bergen Card”

  • Så mange gode tips det var her! De skulle jeg egentlig ha lest før jeg besøkte Bergen i sommer (x 2). Det var bare to dagsturer på vei til og fra et annet sted, men det regnet så sinnsykt mye at jeg tilbrakte mesteparten av tiden på hotellet og ute på kafé. Litt synd i en slik vakker by som dette. 😛 Første gang jeg besøkte byen (for mange år siden) var jeg heldigvis mye heldigere med været, så jeg lever enda på den opplevelsen, haha.

    • Haha, ja, sommeren kom litt på etterskudd i år… Men, du er hjertelig velkommen tilbake en gang snart! Og da må du gi beskjed, så skal jeg vise deg rundt på kjente og mindre kjente steder 🙂

  • So much valuable information in this post for anyone visiting the area. What a gorgeous view of Bergen from Mt. Fløyen. Norway is somewhere I am dying to explore. Those waterfall shots are fab as well!

  • What a great idea to be a tourist in your own town! So often we take for granted what our own town/city has to offer. We are living in Melbourne, but treat our time here as tourists and seem to see more then many locals have in their lifetime here. Loved the photos with the reflection of the water.

  • Always great to have tips from locals! That’s funny, earlier today I was walking in Montreal and I thought I should write about tourism in my hometown!

  • love being a “tourist” in the city I live and where i am from. most times we are too busy going elsewhere. Great pics. Norway looks very nice 🙂

  • I love playing tourist in my own backyard. It looks like you had a really great time in Bergen with the Bergen Card. I wish we had these in Australia

  • It is always fun to explore your own town in a more turisty way. I always like discovering new places and hidden streets I didn’t know of. Bergen is a lovely city, I have never been, but those buildings look lovely and the nature around is beautiful.

    • I absolutely relate to this. Bergen has large areas of small wooden houses with narrow winding streets between them. I try to take a different one every time I have the chance 🙂

  • I have to do the same one day in Copenhagen! Sometimes when people ask me about best places to visit, I don’t know what to tell them even though I lived here long enough 🙂

    • You absolutely should 🙂 The Copenhagen card is great too! I have written a post about it that I haven’t published yet, but maybe I should get around to it and give you some tips, haha 🙂

  • I love the line “Being a tourist in your own town”, it’s such a brilliant idea! I always put off looking at some things that could be considered “touristy” because I tell myself “oh I can always look at that another day” and never get to it. This all definitely has motivated me to go explore London some more. Bergen looks so beautiful and I want to visit to explore it now! Thank you for this.

    • I absolutely recommend getting to know your own city as well, I am sure you will find so many things you did not realize was even there 🙂
      So you live in London? Bergen is only two hours flight away, you should absolutely come visit here also 🙂

  • Sounds like a beautiful place to visit! I had to google where Bergen is though! The photos of the water are stunning. I’ll add it to my list for my Europe trip next year!

  • Always a pleasure to give people completely new ideas where to go. I experience the same with tips from others myself quite often as well 🙂

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