Fjords are everywhere in Bergen. Either dotted with tiny houses along the shores, or in the shape of grass covered cliffs too steep to occupy. A majestic backdrop to the quaint and charming city, Bergen's location attracts many outdoorsy travellers coming for the hikes. Add hoards of cruise guests visiting for an afternoon, and I was positive that Bergen was less hip and happening than its Scandinavian neighbours Copenhagen and Stockholm. I was wrong. An emerging coffee scene featuring some of Norway's best baristas, a restaurant worth traveling for, and a buzzing music community make the city of Bergen much more than just its surroundings—as breath taking as these may be.
I ventured up north to reseach and photograph a guide for Danish newspaper Berlingske Tidende and their travel section 'Rejseliv' which will be published with the paper this spring. Despite the popular notion that it always rains in Bergen, I enjoyed the most beautiful late summer weather, and walking around the cobblestone streets, I couldn't help but envy the residents of Bergen. Imagine having a little wooden house on a hill and waking up every morning surrounded by the sea and mountains—whilst still having great coffee shops, restaurants and a creative community just outside your door. Sure, it does rain a lot, and I won't even give you an example of how much a sandwich and a coffee will cost you. But still, life in Bergen seemed so relaxed and easy-going and it made me feel at home right away.
The fact that Bergen is small, and everything is within walking distance made my quick 30-hour work trip feel much longer. I took the Fløibanen funicular up to Mount Fløyen for great views of the city and the fjords, hiked down and strolled around narrow streets with white wooden houses at the edge of the mountain. For quality coffee (plenty of those in Bergen), I went to Kaffemisjonen and Blom. At restaurant Lysverket, I had one of the best meals in quite a while. With his 'Neo-Fjordic' restaurant located by the little lake Lille Lungegårdsvannet, chef Christopher Hatuft has put Bergen on the gastronomic world map. The vibe is relaxed, the interior design just beautiful, and dishes are modern and created from seasonal produce and catch of the day in the fjords surrounding Bergen. Book a table and enjoy the signature menu (prices start at 695NOK) or sit at the bar and order from the à la carte menu. After dinner, catch a concert with one of the many local bands or a drink in one of the nearby bars. Or simply stroll around the lake that lights up beautifully at night, and take in the majestic views of the fjords. They may not be everything, Bergen has to offer, but they sure are worth a peek or two.
Eat + Drink
Lysverket | Neo-Fjordic cuisine in beautiful surroundings
Kaffemisjonen + Blom | Popular third wave coffee shops serving lunch and home baked goods
Det Lille Kaffekompaniet | Tiny coffee shop in one of the prettiest streets in town
Una | Micro-brewery and cocktail bar with a seasonal menu
Fløibanen | Funicular to Mount Fløyen for great views of Bergen
Bryggen | Old wharf and World Heritage Site
Sandviken | Charming neighborhood north-west of the city
Norwegian Fisheries Museum | Rent a kayak or rowing boat, and venture out in the harbour