Although it was one of the colder places we visited, with light snowfall even in early April, I really enjoyed our time in Bergen. The city is extremely walkable and a great gateway to the fjords, if you’re looking to explore some of Norway’s unparalleled natural beauty.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Clarion Hotel Admiral in Bergen, and couldn’t have been more pleased with our stay. The hotel is located right on the water across from the iconic colorful houses, so I never tired of the view. It’s centrally located, an easy walk from all the fun restaurants, sights, train station, and airport bus stop.
The day and night view from our hotel was such a treat.
Where to Eat
We enjoyed a lovely dinner at our hotel’s restaurant, Kitchen and Table. Kitchen and Table is Swedish master chef Marcus Samuelsson’s restaurant and offers a unique take on Norwegian food. And the view from the restaurant isn’t too shabby either, as it’s on the water. The service here was absolutely impeccable.
We also enjoyed a little cafe called, Kaffekompaniet. They had cakes and teas. A great place to take a little break while walking around the town. We definitely needed to warm up a bit and this place did the trick.
What to Do
We spent the first day or so walking around the town, checking out the old harbor of Bryggen, a Unesco World Heritage Site. There’s old wooden shops that you can wander around here.
The second day, we did the Norway in a Nutshell “tour.” I say “tour” because it’s not guided, it’s just a collection of nicely timed transfers that take you from a train to a bus to a fjord boat tour, to a scenic train ride.
We started the tour in in Bergen. The first train you’re on is not super scenic so don’t worry about where you sit too much, the best is yet to come. The bus ride is nice, but you can’t get too many good pictures, since you’re whizzing by on the road.
The first stop, Gudvangen, sits near the end of the Naeroyfjord. You will have a little break here and I suggest not spending it shopping or eating, as there’s food sold on the boat, but taking pictures. It’s absolutely gorgeous and haunting, with the mist and slightly green waters. You’ll board the boat here, for what I think is the most gorgeous part of the trip.
You’ll sail through still waters. The TV’s on the boat point out points of interest, so it’s a good idea to keep and eye on them and grab a seat near the door so you can run out to take photos.
After the fjord cruise, you will take a short break in Flam where you’ll catch the scenic train. They will make a stop along the way for you to view a waterfall along the tracks. I don’t know if it was because it was snowing and by this point, I was pretty cold and tired, but the railway part of the tour was nice, but didn’t take my breath away like the fjord cruise did. There’s whole blog posts centered around what side of the train you should sit on for the best view, honestly, we sat on the right side and it was fine. Whichever side you sit on, I’d suggest putting the window down to get a clear shot of the mountains.