Picture it: You touch down in Bergen and have 24 hours to spend. We have hand-picked the must-do highlights, eateries and coffee breaks, hour by hour.
A WESTERN NORWEGIAN BREAKFAST
If you are coming straight from the airport at the crack of dawn, you’ll need to kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast. From nine o’clock in the morning, Colonialen serves you up a proper, decadent Eggs Benedict breakfast. If you are very early at it, it is worth knowing that the bakery Godt Brød is up early too, opening at seven o’clock. Several hotels in town also let you order a generous hotel breakfast, even if you haven’t stayed the night.
UP IN THE CLOUDS
A good breakfast will give you the energy you need to enjoy everything the day has to offer and hiking up to one of the many magnificent viewpoints in Bergen is a perfect start. Situated a mere 150 metres from Bryggen and the fish market in the city centre, the Fløibanen funicular takes you 320 metres up to the top of the Fløyen mountain. If you are feeling a bit sporty, the route up the mountain makes for a nice walk, taking just under an hour at a comfortable pace. The route takes you through charming, narrow cobblestone streets and lush woodland paths, and past cheerful people enjoying a nice walk.
If you are still feeling ambitious, you can walk up Bergen’s highest mountain, Ulriken. Seeing as you only have 24 hours in Bergen, you may be thinking that you would rather not spend them climbing mountains. We can reassure you that the Ulriken funicular will take you comfortably to the top in just seven minutes. The viewpoint offers a panoramic, 360-degree view of Bergen with the sea, archipelago, fjords and mountains.
THE BEST COFFEE IN BERGEN
With your feet safely back on the ground, you deserve a break, and nothing could be better than enjoying a cup of the best coffee in Bergen. And perhaps something sweet?
Det Lille Kaffekompaniet (the little coffee company) lies nestled in a side street behind the Fløibanen exit. This cosy, charming café is the oldest coffee place in Bergen and serves up a very popular carrot cake. Tucked between the historic, leaning wooden houses of Bryggen lies Kaffemisjonen, named the best barista in town in 2017. Judging by the setting, you’d think you were in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, but the only magic going on here is the magic of a great coffee and croissant.
If you want to see a different part of the city, enjoy your coffee in Møhlenpris instead. This area lies just outside the city centre and has in recent years seen something of a hipster renaissance, with places like the hip and enjoyable café Nobel Bopel. And if, by chance, the sun decides to shine, the Bergen Kaffebrenneri coffee house, situated in an abandoned shipyard, offers the perfect conditions for an outdoor coffee break.
LUNCH WITH A TASTE OF THE SEA
Pop in to the legendary fish market and taste some juicy pieces of king crab before strolling on to The Hanseatic Museum. Here the smell of stockfish clings to the walls, and visitors are given a unique view of the lives of the German Hanseatic League fishermen in the period between 1350 and 1750.
Your museum visit may have left your stomach growling, and what could be better than an appetising seafood lunch? Try some exciting tapas with a coastal feel at Bare Vestland, or go for a proper, classic fish soup at the historic Finnegaardsstuene at The Hanseatic Hotel.
Do not despair. Take shelter indoors and experience the art treasures of Bergen at KODE (the Bergen Art Museums). Become an art connoisseur in no time, and wander among the works of great artists such as Edvard Munch, Nikolai Astrup and Pablo Picasso, or learn the unknown history of “The Red Woman” Marie Hvoslef.
If you would rather travel to the future than visit the past, the VilVite science centre is the place for you. Take the lift into outer space and travel in orbit around the Earth or conduct your very own experiment.
P.S.: These places are worth a visit, even if it doesn’t rain.
Oslo may be the city of burgers and tacos, but Bergen is nicknamed Little Italy and home to some great Italian restaurants.
Da Stefano is run by Stefano Tavassi, who grew up in Naples, Italy. He imports quality goods from Italy and offers Italian specialities in a warm, informal and cosy setting.
If you’re looking for something extra special, check out Trattoria Italiana in Strandgaten, serving up a combination of authentic Italian recipes and fresh seasonal ingredients in a charming restaurant. Try their tagliatelle with a venison ragout, for instance!
If it’s proper, crispy and juicy Italian pizzas you want, visit Ruccola in its warm, rustic and pleasant venue. Their restrooms also feature proper Italian finesse, and both they and the food receive high praise in the Bergensavisen newspaper.
BERGEN’S BEST NIGHTLIFE
If you only have 24 hours to spend in Bergen, going to bed after dinner is out of the question. Bergen nightlife is an experience in itself, and there are plenty of places to choose from.
If you’d prefer to escape the noisy nightlife and DJ scene, enjoy a nice glass of wine in the atmospheric and historic wine cellar Altona Wine Bar.
The long-established Café Opera offers not only beer and wine, but also concerts and quiz nights.
When night falls, we recommend checking out the cocktails of the renowned Lysverket. The Lysverket cocktails have received international media attention and are mixed using self-made juices, syrups and bitters. We also recommend trying the cocktails at Muskedunder. They also offer a great selection of beer. Perhaps a round or two of shuffleboard, before your day in Bergen comes to an end?
Top picture: View from Skansen in Bergen. Photo: Aqwis/Wikimedia Commons