At the end of 2016, my husband and I embarked upon our very first Round The World (RTW) trip for just five weeks! We started in the Summer heat in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, spent Christmas in New York and then decided to spend our New Years in the Winter chill in Bergen, Norway.
As much as Norway can be a spectacular Summer destination for travellers, we found it to be just as wonderful and enchanting during the Winter season. Winter season offers travellers unique perspectives and experiences that you wouldn’t experience any other time of the year, so I highly recommend giving the European Winter a try!
Here are a few fun things you can get up to in Bergen, Norway during the Winter season!
1. Go up the Fløibanen Funicular for spectacular views over Bergen
This was definitely one of my favourite things to do in Bergen. The views of the city from the top are just spectacular!
A few tips for the Fløibanen Funicular:
- Get there early: Even though it was Winter time, we happened to get the first funicular to the top for the day. Throughout the rest of the day there were a lot more people coming up to the top.
- If you purchase the Bergen card, the funicular is FREE!
- Without the Bergen card, the funicular costs: Adults NOK 90 roundtrip, Children and Seniors NOK 45 roundtrip
- During Winter if there has been some snow activity, it can become quite slippery! Be careful and walk with caution up the top!
2. Go on a Fjord Cruise to see Winter in all its beauty
Note: Make sure you check the calendar dates for the Fjord cruises especially over the Christmas and New Year period to see which cruises are operating. You can check on their website here: http://www.rodne.no/en/
A Winter tour that was highly recommended to us was the Bergen to Montraumen tour, which was absolutely spectacular!
Prices for the Bergen – Montraumen tour:
- If you have the Bergen card: You get 20% off the adult and child ticket price if you book via email or you make a phone call.
- Adults: NOK 550
- Children under 4: FREE
- Children (4-15 years): NOK 350
- Family ticket (2 adults and up to 4 children): NOK 1500
- Group of 15 or more: You get a 15% discount on ticket prices
Tips for a Winter Fjord Cruise:
- Get there on time!
- Book in advance and online if you can: We went on the tour with Rødne Fjord Cruise
- Bring layers of warm clothes! It is super cold, especially up on the top of the boat, and very very windy!
- Take your camera! The Fjords in Norway are absolutely stunning, and during Winter is even more beautiful!
Here are a few photos of the beauty you may be seeing on a Winter Fjord cruise! On our Fjord cruise, we had just experienced the first official snowfall in Bergen, so the Fjords were covered in this beautiful blanket of fresh, fluffy snow!
3. Visit the famous coloured buildings of Bryggen
Bryggen is a series of commercial buildings located by the old dock of Bergen. Since 1979, Bryggen has been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites!
Bryggen is definitely one of the most popular attractions to see in Bergen, as the commercial buildings along with the old dock and spectacular mountainous scenery are a truly magical sight! What’s even better is Bryggen is a stunningly beautiful and FREE attraction to see in Bergen.
4. Visit the World’s Largest Gingerbread City ‘Pepperkakebyen’
Only in Bergen, and only during the Winter season can you visit the World’s Largest Gingerbread City by the name of Pepperkakebyen.
Every year Schools and Kindergartens contribute miniature houses, trains, cars, ships, made from real gingerbread to make the miniature version of Bergen city!
To visit the gingerbread city it will cost:
- Children under 12: FREE
- People who have submitted gingerbread structures: FREE
- Youth 12-18 years and students with a student ID: NOK 70
- Adults: NOK 90 (about AUD $14)
5. Stay for New Years!
As someone who comes from Sydney, Australia with one of the most spectacular New Years fireworks displays around the world, it was a breath of fresh air to see the New Years fireworks in Bergen.
In Sydney, it is normal for people at least two days before New Years to line up in locations within the city in order to get the perfect spot for the New Years fireworks! It is one of the busiest times of the year in Sydney and definitely the most intense, as there are thousands upon thousands of people!
In Bergen, it was very much a different story; we were told that we could wait along the old port of Bryggen for the New Years fireworks at 11:30-11:45pm. We were shocked that we didn’t have to line up earlier! We soon realised, that with the city of Bergen being a lot smaller than Sydney, there were less people around and the atmosphere a lot more relaxing. As I mentioned earlier, coming from the busy city of Sydney it was a breath of fresh air to have a relaxing and stress free New Years.
6. Take a stroll around this beautiful city
Bergen city is stunning! Take some time out of your sightseeing schedule to marvel and appreciate the beauty of this city. The cobble-stoned streets and the beautiful houses were definitely something I really loved about being in Bergen and I hope you will too when you visit!
We were lucky enough to witness the first snowfall while we were in Bergen, and it turned the city into a magical Winter wonderland!
7. Eat at Trekroneren
Hands up if you know that Norway can be a pretty expensive country!
We soon realised how expensive it was to eat around Bergen, so thanks to Tripadvisor we survived on Subway, and also on the best hotdogs you will ever eat at Trekoneren! The guy who owns the places is so nice and welcoming, and there are so many varieties of sausages and garnishes to choose from (including reindeer!). What’s more, is with your purchase you are offered a free cup of juice to go with it! (and by the way, it tastes DIVINE!)
We ate here frequently during our stay in Bergen! If you want to find it, it is located right next to the McDonalds, only a short walk from Bryggen.
Where should I stay in Bergen?
I highly recommend staying near the old dock in Bergen, which is right in the centre of the city. We splurged a little for New Years and stayed in Bryggen at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel which was lovely. All sights and attractions were in walking distance, and the New Years fireworks were right outside our door!
As it turned out, the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is actually one of the colourful commercial buildings in Bryggen!
Bergen Information you might find useful!
- Visit Bergen Website: Lots of great information to help you plan your visit to Bergen!
- The Bergen Card
- Mount Fløyen Website
- Rødne Fjord Cruises
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel website
Have you been to Bergen?
Have you ever travelled to Bergen, Norway before?
What were your favourite things to do there? Places to see? Places to eat?
Leave a comment below!