Bergen - Gateway to the Fjords of Norway

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    Bergen - Marvelous Port of Call on Western Norway Cruises

    Bergen, Norway
    ••• Bergen, Norway as seen from Mount Floyen. Linda Garrison

    Bergen Is a charming and historical city, and its old Hanseatic buildings along the waterfront are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cruise ships sailing the Norwegian fjords of western Norway almost always include Bergen as a port of call. Ships with northern European itineraries also stopover since Norway's second largest city has much to do and see for visitors. Hurtigruten, a Norwegian cruise/ferry/freight company, sails one of its coastal liners every day from Bergen. These ships make the roundtrip voyage to Kirkenes above the Arctic Circle, returning 12 days later. Cruise passengers can stay on for the entire voyage, or disembark to spend more time in some of the quaint villages or towns where the coastal liner stops. 

    Cruise ships dock either at Skuteviken near Bryggen on the main Vagen Harbor or at Jekteviken near the business district. Passengers can walk into town from either port, although some ships provide a shuttle from Jekteviken. 

    Although ships offer many shore excursions...MORE in Bergen, those who like to walk might want to just explore on their own. Many of the historical buildings are on Bryggen Wharf, and the Torget (market) on Fish Square at Vagen Harbor is not to be missed. If it's a beautiful day, be sure to ride the Floibanen Funicular to the top of Mount Floyen. The views of Bergen and the harbor below are spectacular, and the hiking trails are well marked and interesting.

    Those with more time might want to venture a little outside of Bergen to visit the home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Afternoon piano concerts of his music are often held in a concert hall on the grounds. Tours are sold at the Tourist Office near the Fish Market on Vagen Harbor.

    More Photo Galleries of the Fjords of Norway

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    Rosenkrantz Tower in Bergen, Norway

    Rosenkrantz Tower
    ••• Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway can start at Rosenkrantz Tower. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

     Rosenkrantz Tower, which is a 16th-century fortified tower and castle, greets visitors at the Jekteviken Harbor. Rosenkrantz Tower sits next to Haakon's Hall, and is also on the grounds of Bergen's old fortress. It was built of stone in the 1560's and survived many fires.

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    Hakonshallen or Haakon's Hall in Bergen, Norway

    Hakonshallen in Bergen, Norway
    ••• 13th Century Royal Ceremonial Hall Was Part of Bergen's Fortress Hakonshallen in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The first recorded party in Haakon's Hall was the 13th century, 3-day, 1000-guest celebration for the wedding of King Magnus Haakonsson and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark.

    Like nearby Rozenkrantz Tower, Haakon's Hall is built of stone and survived the numerous fires that plagued the wooden buildings of Bergen over the centuries. However, during the 5-year occupation of Norway by Germany in World War II, Haakon's Hall was extensively damaged in 1944 when a Dutch ammunition ship exploded in the harbor. It has been reconstructed.

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    Bergenhus in Bergen, Norway

    Bergenhus in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Bergenhus in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    This large grassy park is near Hakonshallen, Bergen's old fortress. Cruise ships dock along the pier or Bryggen Wharf.

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    Bryggen - Bergen's Hanseatic District

    Bryggen - Bergen's Hanseatic District
    ••• Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The Bryggen is the old wharf running alongside the harbor in Bergen. Many of the original buildings were destroyed by fire​ but have been reconstructed. 

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    Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, Norway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, Norway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
    ••• Bryggen Wharf in Bergen, Norway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Bryggen is the site of the historical Hanseatic merchant's warehouses. Today the reconstructed buildings are filled with shops, restaurants, and bars.

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    Hanseatic League Houses

    Bergen Hanseatic League Houses
    ••• Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    Narrow alleyways like this one break up the row of 14th to 16th century Hanseatic houses on the waterfront in Bergen, Norway

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    Downtown Bergen, Norway near Fish Square

    Downtown Bergen, Norway near Fish Square
    ••• Downtown Bergen, Norway near Fish Square. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Near Fish Square, these quaint old buildings sit on the waterfront and have Mount Floyen behind them. 

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    Torget Market (Fish Square) in Bergen, Norway

    Torget Market (Fish Square) in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Torget Market (Fish Square) in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Be sure to take time to explore this daily fish, fruit, flower, vegetable, and tourist market at the end of Vagen Harbor in Bergen.

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    Fish Market in Bergen

    Fish Market
    ••• Fish Market - Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Photo Courtesy of Claire Johnson Cline

     It's fun to see all of the different fish, vegetables, fruits, and souvenirs for sale at the Torget Market.

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    Lille Ovregate - Oldest Street in Bergen, Norway

    Lille Ovregate - Oldest Street in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Lille Ovregate - Oldest Street in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The city of Bergen dates back to the 11th century. It was once a Hanseatic League port and the capital of Norway. Today, Bergen is Norway's second largest city.

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    City Square

    City Square
    ••• City Square - Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The main square of Bergen is on the opposite side of the Torget Market from Bryggen and the funicular to Mount Floyen. 

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    Seafarer's Monument in the City Square

    Bergen - Seafarer's Monument in the City Square
    ••• Bergen - Seafarer's Monument in the City Square. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The figures on this monument all had something to do with the sea.

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    McDonald's Restaurant in Bergen, Norway

    McDonald's Restaurant in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Where Are the Golden Arches? McDonald's Restaurant in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    I would have never recognized this McDonald's if I hadn't seen the flag and the small sign over the door. For Big Mac fans, this one is found near Fish Square. Buyers beware--the prices are much higher in Norway than in the USA. You might want to hold off on the Big Mac and try some fish at the market.

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    Mount Floyen Funicular Station

    Mount Floyen Funicular Station
    ••• Mount Floyen Funicular Station. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The entrance to the funicular is just a couple of blocks up the hill from the McDonalds.  

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    Mount Floyen Funicular

    Mount Floyen Funicular
    ••• Mount Floyen Funicular. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    Riding the funicular is the easiest way to climb up Mount Floyen. Riding the Floibanen Funicular to the top of Mount Floyen is a great way to see the city and to hike in some amazing countryside. The station is near Bryggen.

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    Maasdam of Holland America at the Dock

    Maasdam of Holland America at the Dock in Bergen
    ••• Maasdam of Holland America at the Dock in Bergen. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The views from the top of Mount Floyen in Bergen are gorgeous, including this one of the Maasdam.

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    View of the Bergen Harbor from Mount Floyen

    View of the City of Bergen from Mount Floyen
    ••• View of the City of Bergen from Mount Floyen. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    Isn't this view of Bergen from the top of Mount Floyen spectacular? 

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    Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen

    Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen
    ••• Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    The top of Mount Floyen is criss-crossed with miles of walking trails. Most are circular and less than two miles. The forest is beautiful.

    Walking around the forest at the top of Mount Floyen is a fun way to spend the day. It looks a little spooky, and you might expect to see a troll!

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    Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen

    Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen
    ••• Forest at the Top of Mount Floyen. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    Bergen is very green because it gets lots of rain. Be sure to carry along a raincoat when walking the city or on Mount Floyen. 

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    Skomakerdiket Lake on Mount Floyen

    Skomakerdiket Lake on Mount Floyen
    ••• Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    This lovely lake is near the funicular station and features a wooden shelter, barbecue and campfire facilities, and swimming and boating.

    We took a short hike over a (mostly) smooth path to see this peaceful lake on the top of Mount Floyen.

    We would have liked to hike back down to Bergen, but didn't have the time (or the energy).

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    Skomakerdiket Lake on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway

    Skomakerdiket Lake on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Hiking Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway Skomakerdiket Lake on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Rocky Hill on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway

    Rocky Hill on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Bergen Is Charming and Picturesque Gateway to the Fjords of Norway Rocky Hill on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Some hikers climbed up this high rocky outcropping, but we chose to just hike the rolling hills along the top of Mount Floyen.

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    Mount Floyen Hiking Trail

    Mount Floyen Hiking Trail
    ••• Walking Tour of Bergen, Norway. Bergen (c) Linda Garrison

    If you have time, it's fun to ride the funicular to the top of Mount Floyen and hike back down along the trail. It takes about an hour since there are lots of switchbacks. 

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    Hiking Trail on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway

    Hiking Trail on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Bergen Is Charming and Picturesque Gateway to the Fjords of Norway Hiking Trail on Mount Floyen in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The mossy forest grounds are very inviting along this forest walk.

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    Troll in Bergen, Norway

    Troll in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Troll in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    Trolls are one of the symbols of Norway, and statues of them are frequently found in front of souvenir shops. Here's another troll in Voss, Norway.

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    View of Vagen Harbor in Bergen from the Top of Mount Floyen

    View of Vagen Harbor in Bergen from the Top of Mount Floyen
    ••• View of Vagen Harbor in Bergen from the Top of Mount Floyen. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Vagen Harbor and Fish Square (Torget) in Bergen, Norway

    Vagen Harbor and Fish Square (Torget) in Bergen, Norway
    ••• Vagen Harbor and Fish Square (Torget) in Bergen, Norway. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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    Bergen, Norway and the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas

    Bergen, Norway and the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
    ••• Bergen, Norway and the Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The Jewel of the Seas docked at Jekteviken and provided a free shuttle to Vagen Harbor and old town Bergen. Close-up photo of the Jewel of the Seas in Bergen.

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    Bergen, Norway - Mount Floyen View

    Bergen, Norway - Mount Floyen View
    ••• Bergen Is Charming and Picturesque Gateway to the Fjords of Norway Bergen, Norway - Mount Floyen View. Bergen Photo (c) Linda Garrison

    The views of Bergen from the top of Mount Floyen on a sunny day are not to be missed!