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Bergen is one of Norway’s largest cities, occupying a stretch of land that sits between some of the country’s prettiest and most dramatic fjords. It was founded by the Vikings, as were most coastal towns in this part of the world, and still retains some unique cultural attractions including the Bergen Maritime Museum which houses parts of the ancestor’s original longboats. With its nickname of ‘Gateway to the Fjords’ and inspiring scenery to admire in every direction, it’s little wonder Bergen is one of the most popular cruise ports of the world.
Visitors to Bergen might wish they had more than a day or two to spend here. There are a great number of worthwhile tourist attractions that offer hours of enjoyment for the whole family. From cultural activities to energetic escapes, no two days will ever be the same. And because it’s not a large city, everything is easily accessible. When your cruise docks in Bergen Port, you’ll be just a few streets away from three museums, including the Leprosy Museum on Kong Oscars street, and a collection of street monuments and artwork that visitors like to explore. For something a little different, here are some suggestions for alternative attractions to try:
Ulriken643: During the summer months a cable car takes visitors from the centre of Bergen to the summit of nearby Mount Ulriken, an altitude of 643 metres above sea level. It only operates in good conditions, and might not be for those with a fear of heights, but it’s undoubtedly the quickest way to the top. From the summit you’ll have a wonderful panorama over the city and the distant Fjords, and the restaurant at the top is a great place to enjoy some freshly cooked fine-dining dishes with a superlative view.
Bergenhaus Fortress: Right next to the port, the Bergenhaus Fortress is a fascinating example of early 13th century construction. The fortress was built by King Haakon IV as fortification for the city. It’s survived fires and fighting over the centuries, and although several parts were destroyed, the main tower and palace are still standing.
Explore the Fjords: A visit to Bergen won’t be complete without a trip to view the fjords. They’ll be visible from your cruise ship but getting into them on foot or by bicycle or small boat will truly enhance the experience. Local tours leave from Bergen Port throughout the day, and many can be booked in advance. Tours by bicycle might require a certain level of fitness because the surrounding trails and roads can be very hilly.
Bergen is a vibrant, modern city with a young population and it offers a varied assortment of chain shops that are recognisable to travellers from around the world. Kloverhuset is one shopping mall that’s easy to find not far from the port. It’s filled with fashionable clothing stores, trending boutiques and plenty of entertainment outlets. There are a lot of high-end designer stores here as well as some largely unknown local names.
The city also has a lot of factory outlets where the fashionable items can be bought with a vastly reduced price tag. The Friele & Sønner AS outlet is Norway’s biggest coffee producer, and at two hundred years old it knows a thing or two about beans. Its outlet store is an unusual place to pick up some unusual coffee. It’s great as a gift or just for stocking up at home.
Bergen enjoys a popular restaurant scene that’s favoured by locals as well as tourists. It has a variety of restaurants from around the world within a few streets of the town centre, so when you disembark your cruise ship at Bergen port you don’t have far to go to explore culinary dishes from Spain, Italy or the Mediterranean. If you’d like to sample some authentic Norwegian cuisine, head for Bryggeloftet & Stuene. This restaurant is over two centuries old and serves reindeer and wolf-fish as part of its menu.
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