Renee and I took an overnight train from Oslo thinking we’d have 36 hours in Bergen, maximise our time, and save the cost of a night’s accommodation.
In hindsight it wasn’t the best move as not only did we not see any of the scenery on one of the world’s prettiest rail routes because it was dark outside but the rocky, bumpy train meant neither of us really slept.
But we arrived to find that Bergen was jaw-dropping, as we’d expected Norway to be. It rains about 240 days per year here but we were extremely lucky with the weather and it never rained enough to bother us.
The wooden shops of Bryggen’s waterfront are iconic to the city, the second largest in Norway. The crooked wooden staircases and back alleyways were busy but interesting to explore with shops aimed at tourists selling souvenirs, traditional crafts, Scandinavian jumpers and Christmas decorations as well as restaurants.
We also wandered around the Bergenhus Fortress and the waterfront Fish Markets.
When we went to purchase four prawn skewers at the fish markets the vendor gave us an initial price (over £40) that made me question my hearing. We clarified that we didn’t want them cooked, just to take away. This was still going to be the equivalent of £32.
We left it. Apparently eating seafood in this city is ridiculously expensive.
We had to battle the most unhelpful employee in the Information Centre to book a three hour cruise on a high-speed catamaran into the fjords.
It took us over an hour, several rounds of our own research and a couple of trips to the counter to book but the fjord, complete with waterfalls and beautiful, isolated houses was worth it when we got there.
Our accommodation was right next to the Fløibanen Funicular which whisks you up Mount Fløyen in about five minutes for 95NOK return. We went at around 10am on a weekday, before the peak time for cruise ship visitors as every time we walked past there was a line of people waiting. I’d read of 2-hour queues at lunchtime on weekends.
The ride to the top was basically Wellington’s cable car on steroids.
You can really see how beautiful Bergen is from above, and the way it is set on a fjord.
After taking in the city views we walked some of the trails at the top, even coming across a lake which I don’t think would have looked out of place in Canada.
Is 36 hours in Bergen enough time?
In all we had around 36 hours in Bergen which allowed us to go at a slower pace which we needed at this stage of our trip.
Have you been to Bergen? How beautiful does Norway look!