Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bergen, Norway travel guide and things to do: Nine highlights

Fyllingsdalstunnelen, the world’s longest bicycle and pedestrian tunnel.

Fyllingsdalstunnelen, the world’s longest bicycle and pedestrian tunnel.

A great way to explore Bergen beyond its main sights is to hire a bicycle (preferably electric) from Bergen Bike Rent at Bryggen for a ride through the city and over its waterways to the suburban Fyllingsdalstunnelen. Opened last year, at three kilometres in length this is the world’s longest dedicated commuter bicycle and pedestrian tunnel. See bergenbikerent.no; skyss.no

The architecture

Multi-colour gingerbread houses along the Bryggen waterfront district.

Multi-colour gingerbread houses along the Bryggen waterfront district.Credit: iStock

An extended row of striking UNESCO World Heritage Hanseatic League era timber warehouses, rebuilt after multiple fires over the years, line the city’s Bryggen waterfront district. While a magnet for visitors to Bergen, a more rewarding and authentic experience is to wander Bergen’s residential areas, such as Nordens with its wealth of colourfully painted weatherboard homes built between narrow cobbled laneways. See en.visitbergen.com

The restaurant

Tucked away in Ostre Skostredet in the historic centre of town is Litteraturhuset (Literature House) a relaxed cafe-cum-brasserie that’s part of the city’s small Colonialen group of restaurants. Doubling as western Norway’s centre of literature, Litteraturhuset, with a menu of classic Nordic and continental dishes, is a perfect smart contemporary lunch or dinner spot where you can dine among Bergen’s burghers away from the tourists. See colonialen.no

The fish market

The famous, harbourside Bergen fish market.

The famous, harbourside Bergen fish market.Credit: iStock

Bergen’s small but lively outdoor fresh fish market, full of covered restaurants and retail stalls, has occupied a prime piece of waterfront beside the city centre since the 13th century. Aside from the array of pescatarian delights drawn from the North Sea, for carnivores there’s also a stall, for those who dare, selling Nordic wild moose and deer burgers. See en.visitbergen.com

The food hall

For somewhere a little fancier and fully under cover, visit the modern Fjellskaal glass-encased food hall only steps from the traditional fish markets. While seafood-focused itself, Fjellskaal is an excellent place to sample some other pan-Scandinavian classics such as delicious open sandwiches. See fjellskaal.no

The composer

Composer Edvard Grieg’s charming former home.

Composer Edvard Grieg’s charming former home.Credit: Visit Bergen

Norway’s two principal cities are a tale of two Edvards, both 19th and early 20th century cultural geniuses. Oslo’s home of Edvard Munch, the painter famed for The Scream while Bergen’s the birthplace of Edvard Grieg, the classical composer and pianist. Troldhaugen, eight kilometres from Bergen’s city centre, was Grieg’s for more than two decades while back in town, there are several statues of the composer as well as a grand concert hall named in his honour. See kodebergen.no

One more thing…

Viking Cruises’ 15-day Northern European Viking Homelands voyage from Stockholm to Bergen, Norway, or vice versa, starts from $12,795 a person. Until March 28 this year there’s the offer a bonus $3,000 flight credit per couple for 2025 and 2026 departures. See viking.com.au

The writer travelled as a guest of Viking.

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