Mount Fløyen is the most central of the mountains. It is easily accessible by the funicular running from downtown, but the better fit will probably choose the 20-minutes walk up. A good compromise can be to take the funicular up and walk down. The way is well signposted, so you won't get lost. In the steep slope towards Fløyen (right above the city) there is the popular ''Fjellveien'', a long, gentle, horizontal pedestrian road with a perfect panorama of the city. From Fjellveien there several alternative roads to the top.
Mount Fløyen is the most central of the mountains. It is easily accessible by the funicular running from downtown, but the better fit will probably choose the 20-minutes walk up. A good compromise can be to take the funicular up and walk down. The way is well signposted, so you won't get lost. In the steep slope towards Fløyen (right above the city) there is the popular ''Fjellveien'', a long, gentle, horizontal pedestrian road with a perfect panorama of the city. From Fjellveien there several alternative roads to the top.
| || |
From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to ''Brushytten'' (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal if you have kids. ''Brushytten'' is a kiosk usually open on Sundays
. From late 2007, the cabin is closed for reconstruction. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram). |+|
From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to ''Brushytten'' (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal if you have kids. ''Brushytten'' is a kiosk usually open on Sundays. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram).
[[Image:Above_1.jpg |thumb|View from Mt Fløyen]]
[[Image:Above_1.jpg |thumb|View from Mt Fløyen]]
| || |
Revision as of 22:42, 27 August 2008
- For other places with the same name, see Bergen (disambiguation).
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway.
Founded around 1070 AD, Bergen quickly evolved into one of the most important cities in Norway. It was the country's administrative capital from the early 1200s until 1299, and the largest city in Scandinavia. Bergen was one of the most important bureau cities of the Hanseatic League, interconnecting the continental Europe with the northern and coastal parts of Norway, thus becoming a central spot for the vending of stockfish and the commercial hot spot in Norway. It was the largest city in Norway until the 1830's and has a long maritime history in shipping and finance.
The city still has relics of its Hanseatic heyday, most notably the old harbour of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bergen has been ravaged by several fires; the most recent major fire took place in 1917, a fire which destroyed most of the buildings in what is today the central parts of the city centre, centered around the large square Torgallmenningen.
Bergen is located far west in Norway, sheltered from the North Sea only by a number of islands. It is situated along latitude 60 degrees north, as Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki, Saint Petersburg and Anchorage. The city is the most hilly and mountaineous in Norway. The city center is surrounded by a group of mountains and peaks known as the Seven Mountains, a defining characteristic which has given the city its name. The geographic conditions of the city are very visible; limited space to build on made it necessary in the 19th century that new city blocks be built on the steep slopes of mount Fløyen.
Except for the dense city centre, which made up the entire city before 1916, Bergen is the least dense of the four largest cities in Norway. Most of the settlement inside the very wide city borders is concentrated in the western part of the municipality. The rest of the municipality is made up of mountains, as well as some farmland and smaller settlements.
Due to the city's location relatively far north, close to the northern sea and surrounded by mountains, special weather conditions occur, resulting in approximately 240 days with precipitation a year and a mean temperature of 7.6 °C (45.7 °F). In January 2007, a record of 85 rainy days in a row, was set. Still, local people claim there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Although rainy, in winter time it is also the warmest city in Norway.
For the rest of us, the trick is obviously to choose the time of visit with caution. If you're lucky enough to catch the city on a sunny day, you will find an incredible atmosphere as citizens really know how to appreciate nice weather. City planners have probably had this in mind the latest years, resulting in open spaces, parks, flowers and lawns scattered all over downtown.
July has the highest mean temperature, 14.3 °C (57.7 °F), with August, 14.1 °C (57.4 °F) following close behind. May is usually the month with the least precipitation. Considering the number of local events this months, May is probably the best time to visit Bergen, with the the summer months of June, July and August as an almost as good second choice.
Bergen is one of the most important cultural centers in Norway. The city is the home of the Bergen International Festival, Nattjazz and Bergenfest, festivals of international renown within their genres. The local symphony orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, was founded in 1786. It is one of the world's oldest orchestral institutions. Bergen was the home of Norway's great composer, Edvard Grieg. Henrik Ibsen, the famous playwright, started his career in Bergen as the manager of the Norwegian theater.
Around 2000, a number of artists from the rythmic music scene in Bergen gained international fame. In the domestic press this became known as the Bergen Wave. Musicians and bands with roots in Bergen include Annie, Burzum, Enslaved, Gorgoroth, Immortal, Erlend Øye, Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp, Sondre Lerche, and Datarock.
Recent years, the people behind the Bergenfest festival have been hosting concerts the rest of the year. International artists who have visited Bergen include Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Black Sabbath, P!nk, Amy Winehouse, Dolly Parton, Iron Maiden, Roger Waters, Snoop Dogg and Rufus Wainwright. Neil Young will play an outdoor concert in Bergen in August 2008, and R.E.M. in September.
Bergen Airport Flesland (IATA: BGO)  is located 19 km south of the city. The main international airports with flights to Bergen are Copenhagen, London and Amsterdam. There are also flights from various cities in the United Kingdom (such as Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen), Prague, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, various cities in Spain and some other airports. There are also a number of domestic flights, such as Oslo, Stavanger and Sandefjord, connecting Bergen to additional international airports. The main carriers in Norway are SAS and the low cost airlines Norwegian Air Shuttle. The Dutch KLM has flights to Amsterdam, Sterling has flights to Copenhagen, Lufthansa to Frankfurt. The smallest airports in Norway are usually served by Widerøe.
There is a frequent airport bus service (Norwegian: Flybussen), which takes about 30-40 minutes to downtown (costing kr. 80, cash only). Taxis are also available but they cost much more (kr. 250-300 on weekdays, 400 in weekends to downtown). There are some local buses occasionaly going to and from the airport. They have limited space for luggage and take longer time, but only cost kr. 23 (schedules available online), refer to the schedules for bus line 523 or 523/524, use buses marked 100 and/or Sentrum, Busstasjonen or Birkelandskrysset from the airport, or 523 and/or Flyplassen or 520 Overgang, from the city centre).
The car rental companies AVIS, Budget, Hertz, Europcar and National all have offices at Bergen Airport Flesland. Located in the terminal building, by the exit, most of them are open 7AM–9PM on weekdays. Opening hours in the weekends are limited, but some of the companies will offer 24 hours rental if you make a reservation.
Bergen is served by a railway line which runs from Oslo. The railway line is operated by the Norwegian State Railways. The journey takes about six hours and gives you beautiful views for the last three hours. From passing Geilo, you will cross over a high mountain plateau and then travel downwards through some of the most wonderful scenery in Norway. If you buy your ticket online well in advance, fares may be as low as kr. 199 for a one-way ticket. For an additional fee of kr. 75 you may upgrade your ticket to NSB Komfort, the equivalent of first class, with better seats, free coffee and tea, power supply and a more quiet spot in the train. The railway station is located on the east side of downtown, close to the bus station and the Bygarasjen garage.
There should be a special car accessible for people using a wheelchair on all trains between Oslo and Bergen. A reservation is recommended. The train staff will assist you to get the wheelchair on board. In Bergen railway station, there are tactile lines on the floor to assist the visually impaired. The station area is completely accessible with a wheelchair.
When travelling by car from Oslo, European road E16 is usually the best choice, especially for unexperienced drivers. Between Lærdal and Flåm, the road goes through Lærdalstunnelen, the longest road tunnel in the world. The trip usually takes between six and seven hours, depending on the conditions and whether you choose to make any stops on the way. There are several alternatives. You can choose to drive on RV 7 from Oslo and continue on RV 50 until Lærdalstunnelen, where RV 50 and E16 meet. Another alternative is to follow RV 7 as above but continuing on that road instead of changing to RV 50. The road takes you across the mountain plateau Hardangervidda and along the innermost parts of Hardangerfjorden. From Brimnes, take the ferry to Bruravik and continue to Voss where RV 7 meets E16. Finally, you can take a long way round and drive on E134 from slightly south of Oslo through the counties of Buskerud, Telemark, south of Hardangervidda in Hordaland and through the town of Odda. When you arrive in Odda, take RV 13 north. Upon arriving at the ferry dock at Brimnes, follow the same instructions as above.
From Stavanger, choose E39, which takes you past Haugesund, Stord and Os. The trip takes approximately four hours. From Ålesund, Trondheim or any of the other cities, towns and villages north of Bergen, the geographically shortest road is also E39, but if you're coming from Trondheim or even north Møre og Romsdal the inland roads might be a better choice. However, for the most scenic road, choose E39 and consider detours along road 60 or road 5.
Generally, you will find that roads in rural areas, even the highways between the cities, are of poor quality. There are no motorways except in the areas in and around the largest cities, due to the rather low traffic and the somewhat difficult conditions in the mountains. Even if some people drive very fast, you should mind the speed limits (usually 80 km/h - the same speed limit as on the aforementioned motorways) and drive according to the conditions. In the mountains, help can be hours away. Furthermore, you will find traffic controls and police in unmarked cars nearly everywhere. Fines are very high.
If you plan to cross the mountains (for instance by driving from Oslo to Bergen) in the winter season, it is imperative that you are prepared for the journey. The conditions are harsh. Always keep a full tank of fuel, and keep warm clothes, food and drink in the car. Make sure your tires are good enough and suited for winter conditions (studded or non-studded winter tires, "all-year" tires is not enough), and that you have the sufficient skills for driving in snowy and cold conditions. Roads are often closed on short notice due to weather conditions. For advice on conditions and closed roads, call 175 in Norway or check the road reports from the Norwegian State road authorities.
If arriving in Bergen by car, you will be better off not taking your car into the city center unless you know exactly where you're going, as most streets are one-way or do not allow cars at all (only buses and taxis), read more in the Get around section. Arriving by car in Bergen can be confusing for the first time visitor: On E39/E16 from the North you can enter the city centre from Sandviken (along the fjord) or you can enter the city centre from the south by going through a long tunnel under Mt Fløyen bypassing the centre, at present (2008) however road signs only give directions to international ferries.
Via the network of NOR-WAY Bussekspress, Bergen is accessible from almost the entire country. Bus is usually the cheapest way to travel, but can take some time. The national buses are very comfortable, but not suitable for people using a wheelchair. Schedules and fares are available online, and it is also possible to pre-book. Booking may be required on some routes. The bus station is conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the city center. The terminal for long distance buses is situated on the rear side of the station.
There are fast boat services from Stavanger as well as several communities north of Bergen. Because these passenger ferries stop at various small towns on the way there, you get a great view of the coast and its islands. Fjord1 runs ferries north of Bergen, Tide runs services south of Bergen (including Stavanger-Bergen connection). The boat terminal is located on the Nordnes peninsula in the city center.
Bergen is the southern terminus for Hurtigruten, a week-long passenger ship route with stops along Norway's coast all the way to Kirkenes in the far north of Norway. Ålesund can be reached overnight, and Trondheim will take one full day and two nights. The terminal is located at Nøstet. The Hurtigruten ships are accessible with a wheelchair.
There are car ferries which run to and from northern Denmark, Shetland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, companies running the various lines are DFDS Seaways, Fjord Line, Color Line and Smyril Line. The terminal is the Skoltegrunn pier, some hundred meters beyond Bryggen.
Within the city center, walking is the best way to get around. You can walk across the downtown in 20 minutes in any direction. The most central streets of the city generally has a good accessibility for the disabled. The most important pedestrian crossings have sound signals and are indicated by tactile paving. They are also accessible with a wheelchair. Although paved stone is a popular material in the streets, it is rarely used in pedestrian areas. A map with more information on this subject is available from the municipality's website .
Within the city center, bus is not really an alternative as buses only travel a few main streets through town.
Outside the city center, there is a fairly good local bus service. Buses are administered by the county public transport administration, Skyss, and are operated by Tide. Schedules for buses within Bergen and outline maps of the services are available from Tide's web site.
Schedules can also be picked up from any bus, but are only available in Norwegian, like their web counterparts. There is an information desk at the bus station providing information on all local bus and train lines free of charge. Calling 177 will also put you in contact with the information center (if you call from a cell phone, be sure to ask for the information center for Hordaland county, as this is a national service). Tickets and fare cards can be bought from the driver (cash payment only).
The process of replacing old buses with newer ones accessible for people using a wheelchair is ongoing. Most buses on central lines, including the parking bus, has a low floor and a built-in ramp. Unfortunately, no stops are announced neither on a display nor by voice, except for the few trolleybuses in operation on line 2. The bus driver will usually be able to assist you in English if required.
When you purchase a ticket, you will find a time printed on it. Within this time you may use the ticket on one more bus than the one where you bought the ticket. You may get on one bus, buy a ticket, get off the bus after a few stops, have a break, then get on a new bus and travel the same or a different direction. The only exception is that it is not possible to use the ticket for a return trip. If unsure, show your ticket to the driver and ask if it is valid for the trip you are planning to take. If you are caught without a valid ticket or fare card, fines are stiff.
As long as you stay within Bergen, the fare structure is simple: Tickets within the Bergen municipality cost kr. 23 per trip for adults, and kr. 12 for senior citizens (67 years or older), children (15 years or lower) and other people entitled to a rebate. Travelling out of Bergen subjects you to Hordaland county's zone system of payment, and prices can be considerably higher from travelling even one stop out of the city limits. (There are several fare zones within Bergen as well, but as long as you stay inside the city limits, any fare increases from crossing these zone boundaries are suppressed. Once you travel outside the city limits, the cost of crossing the zones inside Bergen catch up with you.)
Tourist discounts and passes are not very convenient. A 6-trip card with 17% discount can be bought at all buses. On weekdays between 9 AM and 2PM, and again after 5PM, and all Saturday and Sunday, an adult travelling on a single ticket may bring a child under 16 free of charge. Children under 4 always travel for free, so do their carriage. There is also a day pass, available from the information at the bus station. It covers Bergen and surrounding areas, and is not very good value at NOK 80, unless you want to go out of Bergen municipality or travel very extensively. A value card, costing a minimum of NOK 200 and giving you 15% discount throughout Hordaland county, may also be of interest.
Schedule information at stops is hardly possible to understand for other than locals. All times refer to the bus' departure time from the originating station, and there are ususlly few indications on how long the bus takes to reach your stop. Indeed, the name of your stop is not always written on the stop itself either. Patience, luck and a good sense of humour helps when traversing Bergen by public transport.
After about 1AM, regular bus services cease to run. In the weekends there are a few so-called night bus lines available. Tickets are more expensive than on the regular lines (NOK 50 within city limits), and fare cards can not be used.
It is an expressed goal of both local and national authorities to cut car traffic in the city center. Thus, the speed limit downtown is very low, and most streets are one-way streets. If you plan on getting from one part of downtown to another, walking is usually faster then driving, even for locals that know their way around. Furthermore, parking in the streets are reserved for the handicapped and residents with a special permit with only a very few exceptions. If you plan to drive to the city center from outside, unless you have any special needs, park your car in a garage, such as Bygarasjen (very large, at the bus station) and Klostergarasjen (at Nøstet, northern downtown), Bygarasjen being the cheaper. There are also several smaller (and more expensive) garages around town. If you take the chance to bring your car further downtown, be sure to read all signs – most streets are one-way streets and some are for buses and taxis only.
To park in a spot reserved for the disabled, you need a standard European "blue badge", a special parking permit (generally, handicapped parking permits from most countries will be accepted). It must be placed on the inside of your car's front window, clearly visible from the outside. You will find a list of parking spots for the disabled in the city center on the municipal parking authorities' website , along with some information on the general rules of parking . The accessibility map  mentioned previously also indicates where parking spots for the disabled are situated.
Driving in the area outside the city center is quite convenient, with expressways going in most directions. The roads are well signposted, but a map will probably come in handy anyway. Mind the speed limits; traffic controls are common and fines are stiff. Do also keep in mind that a lot of the roads are toll roads. All toll stations are automated. When approaching one, keep driving and do not slow down. A photograph of you license plates will be taken, and you will receive an invoice per mail. During rush hours (7:30AM-9AM and 3PM-5PM) traffic is jammed many places, but it's nothing compared to larger cities in Europe.
From 1 Nov to 31 Mar the use of studded tires is legal. Within Bergen municipality, you have to pay a fee to use such tires. You can pay at automated payment stations on the main roads in to Bergen, Statoil gas stations or by visiting the municipal parking authorities in Bygarasjen or Vincens Lunges gate 3.
Taxi is generally expensive in Norway. Throughout Bergen, there are a number of taxi stalls where taxis are parked waiting for customers. During the day, taxis will usually not pick up customers nearer than 300 metres from the stalls. During the night, taxi queues can be very long (up to one hour), and all customers are therefore required to go to the stalls. The places where the taxis are stationed changes from time to time because of renovation of the city streets, but usually you will find them at the bus station, the railway station, Festplassen, Ole Bulls plass, Torget and in Torggaten and Vetrlidsalmenning. Look for signs saying "Taxi". Some taxi stalls are only open during night, and vice versa. Information about this is printed on a separate sign below the taxi sign. If no taxis are available at the taxi stall, call 07000 (Bergen Taxi), 08000 (Norgestaxi) or +47 55 50 00 37 (Taxi 1). Note that there is usually a fee associated with calling a taxi. Taxis may also be ordered in advance by calling one of these numbers, which is recommended if you have the possibility.
Usually, taxis from Bergen Taxi are the most expensive, Taxi 1 is the cheaper. All companies are regarded as reliable and safe. If several taxis are available at a taxi station, you may pick the one you want from the line.
It can be added that taxi drivers rarely expect or receive any tip.
There is one local commuter train service, between Bergen downtown and the not so interesting suburb of Arna in the east (schedules available from the Norwegian State Railways' web site). If you for whatever reason are going to Arna, the train is by far the fastest option from downtown since the roads run around the mountains while the railway line runs straight through them.
There's a number of attractions in Bergen and the surrounding areas. Surveys do however show that most tourists in Bergen find the atmosphere, cultural landscape and architecture more compelling than the typical sights, so pick a few things to see and spend the rest of your time in Bergen sitting down in a park or café, strolling around the city, enjoying a concert or hiking the mountains. On sunny summer days, stay downtown until late to enjoy the sunset in the north.
- Bergen Art Museum (Bergen kunstmusem), Rasmus Meyers allé 3, 7 and 9 (by Lille Lungegårdsvann), ☎ +47 55 56 80 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 56 80 11), . 15 May-14 Sep: M-Su 11AM-5PM. 15 Sep-14 May: Tu-Su 11AM-5PM. One of the largest art museums in the Nordic countries, with art from the renaissance as well as contemporary art. The museum houses several of Edvard Munch's works. Kr. 50 (). (60.389594,5.327728)
- The fish market (Fisketorget), Torget, ☎ +47 55 31 56 17 (email@example.com), . Daily 7AM-7PM (). Bergen's outdoor fish market has a long history, being the historical center for fish trade. Most tourists find their way here, but with locals changing their shopping habits, the fish market today does not compare to what it once was. The fish market is actually small and generally overrated, and in the tourist season joined by makeshift souvenir shops selling items of greatly varying quality. This is reflected in that more than 17 % of visiting tourists in 2007 was dissatisfied with the market. Still, you can get a pretty good idea of what the locals eat by having a look at the various fish they sell here, and try some of the stranger ones if you feel adventurous. Free tastes are usually available. Although somewhat crowded, getting around with a wheelchair is fairly easy. (60.394706,5.325467)
- Fløibanen, Vetrlidsalmenning 21, ☎ +47 55 33 68 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 2 Jan-1 May: M-Th 7:30AM-11PM, F 7:30AM-11:30PM, Sa 8AM-11:30PM, Su 9AM-11PM. 2 May–21 Aug: M-Th 7:30AM-midnight, F 7:30AM-midnight, Sa 8AM-midnight, Su 9AM-midnight. 1 Sep-31 Dec: M-Th 7:30AM-11PM, F 7:30AM-11:30PM, Sa 8AM-11:30PM, Su 9AM-11PM. Fløibanen is a funicular which goes up Fløien, a plateau in the mountain massif north-east of the city centre. From here, you get a great view of the city. Accessing Fløibanen and the plateau on Fløien with a wheelchair is a piece of cake. More than 1.2 million people rode with Fløibanen in 2007, and it has become the attraction that the most tourists are content with. Expect queues, but don't worry, they move fast. There are no steps where lifts are not available without assistance, and all doors are wide. Single kr. 35, return kr. 70 (). (60.396375,5.328469)
- The West Norway Museum of Decorative Art (Permanenten), Nordahl Bruns gate 9 (by the music pavillion), ☎ +47 55 33 66 33 (email@example.com, fax: +47 55 33 66 30), . Tu-Su 12 noon-4PM (). A museum of design and decorative art. Norway's largest collection of Chinese art. Kr. 60 (). (60.390711,5.324403)
- St. Jørgen's Hospital (The Leprosy Museum), Kong Oscars gate 59, ☎ +47 55 96 11 55 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 96 11 55), . 21 May–2 Sep: Daily 11AM–3PM. St. Jørgen's Hospital is one of very few preserved leprosy hospitals from the 18th century in Northern Europe. This was where Armauer Hansen discovered the bacteria that causes leprosy in 1873. The Leprosy Museum tells the story about the disease and its history in Norway, in addition to showing life at the hospital. A visit to the museum is a unique but disturbing experience. Kr. 40 (). (60.39175,5.333022)
- Bergen Aquarium (Akvariet i Bergen), Nordnesbakken 4 (indoor parking available, but usually full in the summer season; walk for 20 minutes from the city center or use bus line 11), ☎ +47 55 55 71 71 (email@example.com), . May-Aug: Daily 9AM-7PM. Sep-Apr: Daily 10AM-6PM.. The aquarium has a nice selection of aquatic life, especially penguins and seals. Typical Norwegian aquatic life is well documented, and there is also a collection of tropical fish and animals. Fun for kids. Kr. 150 (). (60.399433,5.30485)
- Statsraad Lehmkuhl, usually at Bergen harbor shed 7 – Bradbenken 2 (at the end of Bryggen, across the street from Bergenhus fort), ☎ +47 55 30 17 00 (fax: +47 55 30 17 01), . A three-masted barque sail training vessel built in 1914, one of the best kept in its kind. Mini cruises (approximately five and a half hours) available a few times a year, at the cost of kr. 425 including food. Tickets should be bought well in advance. For the more adventurous up to week-long cruises to Europe are available where you live and work as a sailor. (60.399508,5.316458)
- St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken), Dreggsalmenningen 15 (behind Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 59 32 70 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 59 32 89), . June 19-August 20.: Mon-Fri 9.30AM - 11.30AM and 13PM - 16PM, rest of the year: Tue-Fri 11AM - 12.30PM. The oldest remaining building in Bergen, St. Mary's Church was built in the 12th century. It is the best preserved of the city's three medieval churches. Having belonged to the German community in Bergen for many centuries, it contains a unique pulpit and one of Norway's most beautiful altarpieces. NOK 20 in the summer. (60.3989,5.3232)
Bergenhus fortress (Bergenhus), Bergenhus (past bryggen), ☎ +47 55 54 63 87, . Once the seat of the king, Bergenhus fortress is one of the oldest and best preserved forts of Norway. The oldest surviving buildings are from the mid 13th century, but the area was a royal residence from the late 11th century. The fortress is situated close to the international ferry terminal.(, ) The royal hall, Håkonshallen, (Haakon's Hall), named for King Haakon Haakonsson, was built some time between 1247 and 1261. It is used today for royal galas, as a banqueting hall for the city council, and other public events. The roof is reconstructed after a blast during World War II. The nearby Rosenkrantz tower has the same appearance as it had in the 16th century. The oldest part of the tower dates back to the 1270s, a few decades after Håkonshallen. It was expanded in the 1560s by the governor, Erik Rosenkrantz, to its present shape. The rest of the medieval buildings in the fortress have been replaced or demolished over the centuries, with some ruins still visible. Among these is the medieval cathedral, the Church of Christ, which was used for coronation and as a royal burial site in the 13th century. A memorial marks the site of the high altar. Guided tours of the royal hall and the tower start every hour between 10AM and 4PM every day from 15 May to 31 Aug in the royal hall. From 1 Sep to 14 May tours are only available between noon and 3PM on Sundays. Entrance fee is kr. 40 for adults, 20 for students and free for children under 16. A small cafeteria with coffee, tea and basic snacks is open from June to August. The fortress grounds serve as a city park; you can hang out here and eat that fish you just bought at the nearby fish market - or just enjoy the sunshine and the view. The park is popular among locals and tourists, but usually not crowded. It is normally not a problem to find a good spot for your picnic or a round of frisbee. There is a very good view of the bay. The use of open fire, including barbeques, and the drinking of alcoholic beverages are forbidden. Unlike in many other parks, the prohibition of alcohol is enforced strictly here, as the fort is still a military area with occasional military guards on patrol. (60.400135,5.318080)
- Bryggen, Bryggen (north side of the bay). Between 1350 and 1750, this area used to be a Hansa dock, trading and processing area. The wooden houses at Bryggen today were built after the devastating city fire of 1702, but are probably very similar to the buildings that were there before. Despite neglect and fires (Norwegian cities had a habit of burning down because everything is made of wood), a considerable number of buildings have survived and are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you enter some of the alleyways between the storefronts you really get a feel of what Bergen must have been like in the middle ages. There are a few museums on the history of Bergen and of Bryggen, but the most interesting aspect is probably that almost all of the buildings are still in use. One example is the restaurant Bryggen tracteursted, serving food and drinks in a building first opened for this purpose in 1708. Wandering about on Bryggen is possible with a wheelchair, but getting in and out of buildings can be very difficult. (60.397411,5.324045)
- Bryggens musem, Dreggsalmenningen 3 (by St. Mary's church and Radisson SAS Royal Hotel), ☎ +47 55 58 80 10 (email@example.com), . M-F: 11AM-3PM. Sa: 12 noon-3PM. Su: 12 noon-4PM. After the fire in 1955, when a lot of Bryggen burnt down, remains of the first settlement on Bryggen were discovered. The museum is built over these up to 900 years old wooden building foundations, giving a unique insight in Bryggen's architectural history. It contains the world's largest collection of medieval runic inscriptions, mostly inscribed on wooden items, but only a small number of these are on display. It also hosts themed exhibitions. Kr. 40 (). (60.398403,5.322825)
- The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene, Finnegårdsgaten 1 A and Øvregaten 50 (museum: the first building on Bryggen when walking from the fish market, Schøtstuene: the street behind Bryggen, a little bit towards Bergenhus from the Hanseatic Museum), ☎ +47 55 54 46 90 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 54 46 99), . The Hanseatic Museum: 15 May–15 Sep: Daily 9AM–5PM. 16 Sep–14 May: Tu–Sa: 11AM–2PM. Su: 11AM–4PM. Schøtstuene: 15 May–15 Sep: Daily 10AM–5PM. 16 Sep–14 May: Su: 11AM–2PM. The Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene are the only places on Bryggen where the original interior is preserved or restored. A tour of The Hanseatic Museum gives you a good introduction to the hanseatic Bergen and the Hansa life, as you walk around an authentic Hanseatic merchant's house from the early 1700s. The building was in use until the late 19th century, when it was converted into a museum. In Schøtstuene, buildings from other parts of Bryggen are rebuilt to show where people ate, celebrated and held meetings. Neither the museum nor Schøtstuene is accessible for those using a wheelchair. Adults: 15 May-15 Sep: kr. 45. 16 Sep-14 May: kr. 25. Children: Free (). (60.395858,5.325831)
- Theta museum, Bredsgården 1 D (entrance from the front of Bryggen, by Enhjørningsgården), ☎ +47 55 31 53 93. Tu Sa Su 2PM-4PM. During the first half of World War II, the Theta group, formed by people between the ages of 19 and 22, established radio contact with London and reported movements of the German fleet in Norway. The group headquarters and radio station was located in the heart of occupied Bergen, but remained active for two years before it was discovered and raided by the nazis. In the 1980s, the small room was reconstructed to its original state by orders of the Directorate of Cultural Heritage. It is now probably the country's smallest museum, displaying radio equipment and the Theta group's own security system. Not accessible with a wheelchair. Kr. 20 (). (60.397439,5.323442)
Nygårdshøyden and Møhlenpris (southern downtown)
- Bergen Museum – The Cultural History Collections (Kulturhistorisk museum), Haakon Sheteligs plass 10, ☎ +47 55 58 31 40 (email@example.com), . Tu–F: 10AM–3PM, Sa Su 11AM–4PM (). Bergen Museum is a part of the University of Bergen, and is located in the heart of campus. It is divided in two collections, the Cultural History Collections and the Natural History Collections, located in two different buildings. The Cultural History Collections include archaeology, anthropology and art- and culture studies sections. Among other things, the museum has a large collection of Norwegian folk art and national costumes. It is notable for its unique exhibition of Norwegian medieval church art, including painted altarpieces, crucifixes and portals from demolished stave churches, all in wood. Kr. 40 (). (60.386983,5.319353)
- Bergen Museum – The Natural History Collections (Naturhistorisk museum), Muséplass 3, ☎ +47 55 58 29 20 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Tu–F: 10AM–3PM, Sa Su 11AM–4PM (). The Natural History Collections include botany, geology and zoology. The zoology exhibitions is preserved more or less as they were when they were put up almost a hundred years ago. Enormous whale skeletons suspended from the ceiling in the exhibition halls are visible through the windows from the outside. The geology exhbition is modern and varied and contains samples from most part of the world, in addition to a nice local collection. Around the museum is a garden which is at its finest in spring and summer. There is also a green house where you can enjoy tropical plants. Kr. 40 (). (60.387839,5.321758)
- Vilvite (Bergen Science Center), Thormøhlensgate 51, ☎ +47 55 59 45 00 (email@example.com), . Tu-F 9AM-4PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Sponsored by the state and the city in addition to some of the largest industrial companies in Norway, this all new science center features interactive exhibitions of science, technology and mathematics. It targets children and young people with the intention to inspire the to learning more about science, but is popular also among the adults. It has special exhibitions about the weather, the ocean and energy, with altogether 75 different interactive machines and experiments. Kr. 120 (). (60.381956,5.329381)
- Bergen Maritime Museum (Bergens Sjøfartsmuseum), Haakon Sheteligsplass 15, ☎ +47 55 54 96 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 54 96 10), . all week 11AM-3PM. closed on holidays, christmas eve, new year's eve and the 17th of May. This traditional maritime museum is located in the middle of the campus of the University of Bergen. Exhibitions of maritime history, shipping history, the vikings, naval warfare, maritime archeology, and more. NOK 30 (). (60.3869,5.3190)
South of the city center
- Fantoft stave church (Fantoft stavkirke), Fantoftveien 46 (about 6 km from the city center, bus line 2 from the front side of the Xhibition shopping center), ☎ +47 55 28 07 10. Stave churches are built in a distinctive style using the logs of trees as pillars, by the early Christians. This is a reconstruction of a church originally built in Fortun, by the Sognefjord, around 1150. On the 6 Jun 1992 the church was totally destroyed by arson, but is has since that been rebuilt. (60.341281,5.352981)
- Gamlehaugen, Gamlehaugveien 10 (about 10 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 525, 60 over Fjøsanger, 20–24, 26, 560 and 620–630 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 51 20 (email@example.com, fax: +47 55 92 51 33). Castle open for guided tours only. Guided tours Tu-Su at 12 noon, 1PM and 2PM in Jun-Aug. Tour at 12 noon will be given in English if necessary, other tours will be given in Norwegian only (). The castle on Gamlehaugen was the home of Christian Michelsen, former prime minister who helped free Norway from the Swedish rule through the peaceful dissolution of the "union" in 1905. Nowadays, the castle is the royal family's residence in Bergen. There is a large and very popular park around the castle. Bathing possibilities. Tour tickets are kr. 50 (). (60.343144,5.3367)
- Siljustøl museum, Siljustølveien 50 (about 20 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 23 and 26 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 29 92 (fax: +47 55 92 29 93), . Museum open 24 Jun-23 Sep: Su 12 noon-4PM. The home of the composer Harald Sæverud, famous for late romantic and neo-classistic works now houses a museum with occasional concerts. The somewhat mystic park around the house is open for the public. Museum admittance: Kr. 50 ().
- Troldhaugen, Troldhaugveien 65 (about 15 minutes by car from the city center, southbound bus lines 20–24, 26, 560 and 620–630 from the bus station), ☎ +47 55 92 29 92 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 92 29 93), . May-Sep: Daily 9AM-6PM. Oct-Nov: M-F 10AM-2PM, Sa Su 12AM-4PM. Dec: Closed. Jan-Mar: 10AM-2PM. Apr: M-F 10AM-2PM, Sa Su 12AM-4PM. This is the house of the famous composer Edvard Grieg, who wrote the Peer Gynt suite and is Norway's national composer. His country house (just outside the town center of Bergen) has been preserved in the state it was in when he died in the late 19th century. You can also see his grave; he was buried on his own estate. There is a museum devoted to Grieg and his work, and a concert hall with regular concerts. Kr. 60 (). (60.319761,5.330756)
- Ulriksbanen, Ulriken 1 (southbound bus lines 2, 31 and 50 from the front side of the Xhibition shopping center to Haukeland hospital). Cable car to the top of Mt. Ulriken, the highest of the mountains surrounding the city. Currently closed for legal reasons. (60.373903,5.36355)
North of the city center
- Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen), Nyhavnsveien 4 (a few minutes by bus or car from the city center, northbound bus lines 20, 50, 80, 90, 280-301), ☎ +47 55 39 43 00 (email@example.com), . A reconstructed town with about 50 wooden houses from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a beautiful place to stroll on a sunny day. The more cultural traveler will enjoy a guided tour of the area and the houses. NOK 50 (). (60.418469,5.3096)
- The Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum (Norsk Trikotasjemuseum), Salhusvegen 201 ("by), ☎ 55 25 10 80 (fax: 55 25 10 99), . Located in the buildings that used to house the first fully mechanized knitwear factory in Norway. The machinery is still in working condition and is used. Guided tour, exhibitions, and film. NOK 50 (). (60.5079,5.2712)
West of the city center
- Alvøen, (twelve kilometers west of the city centre by road; follow the signs towards Sotra, and then to Alvøen a while after the end of the dual-carriageway. westbound bus line 42), ☎ +47 55 58 80 10 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . An old and picturesque formerly industrial community situated on the west coast of the Bergen peninsula. The manor building at Alvøen has been converted into a museum with several exhibitions. for entrance to the main building: NOK 50 (). (60.3538,5.1891)
- Damsgård Hovedgård (Damsgård Manor), Alléen 29 (just across the fjord south-west of the city center. walk or drive across the Puddefjord bridge, then turn right and keep going for a minute. the manor is visible from the road on your left hand side.), ☎ +47 55 94 08 70 (email@example.com), . This 18th century manor is the most splendid of the many country retreats built by Bergen's aristocracy in the past centuries. The roccoco main building is surrounded by several beautiful gardens. NOK 50 (). (60.3832,5.3021)
- Bergen Guided Tours, departing from the tourist information. Daily at 11AM from May to September. A three hours long tour by coach to the most important sights in Bergen, including Troldhaugen and Fantoft stave church.
- Bergen Highlights. Offered from May to September. A 1,5 hours long tour by coach to the most important sights downtown Bergen.
- The Bergen Express, . 1 May–31 May: Daily every hour from 11AM to 5PM. 1 Jun–20 Jun: Daily every hour from 10AM to 7PM. 21 Jun–20 Aug: Daily every half hour from 9AM to 7PM. 21 Aug–31 Aug: Daily every hour from 10AM to 7PM. 1 Sep-15 Sep: Daily every hour from 11AM to 5PM. A 55 minutes long tour by a diesel-powered train imitation starting at Bryggen, travelling around downtown past a nice viewpoint half way up Mount Fløyen. Kr. 100 ().
- Bergen Jazzforum, Georgernes verft 12, ☎ +47 55 30 72 50 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 30 72 60), . Concerts every Friday except in the summer and during the Christmas holidays. Jazz club with focus on modern jazz. Norwegian Jazz Club Of The Year 2008. (60.396097,5.308644)
- Bergen Live, . Producing of most of the larger pop, rock and hiphop concerts in Bergen.
- Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Grieghallen, Edvard Griegs plass 1, . Classical concerts so to say every Thursday evening at 7:30PM. The program is varied, but the repertoire is usually quite easy listening. The orchestra plays of course a lot of Edvard Grieg's works. (60.38875,5.326375)
- BIT Teatergarasjen, Nøstegaten 54, ☎ +47 55 23 22 35 (email@example.com), . Teatergarasjen, a black box theater, is the home of BIT – Bergen International Theater. It houses Norwegian and international contemporary stage art productions of high quality. It is the stage of The Norwegian Company of Contemporary Dance, Carte Blanche in Bergen. (60.393375,5.314236)
- Den Nationale Scene, Engen 1, ☎ +47 55 60 70 80 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The national theater in Bergen. In a beautifully restored building, the theater presents a variety of plays on three different stages, from traditional Ibsen to contemporary plays. The largest stage (Store scene) is where most mainstream plays are played, while the two smaller stages features more alternative plays, often the most interesting ones. The plays are in Norwegian. (60.392453,5.319422)
De syv fjell
Locals refer to de syv fjell (the seven mountains) when they talk about the mountains surrounding the city. But there's no agreement on which mountains these seven really are, as there are in fact at least nine mountains and peaks in the area. Most people do however agree that Fløyen, Ulriken, Løvstakken and Damsgårdsfjellet are among the seven, plus three out of Sandviksfjellet, Blåmanen, Rundemanen, Lyderhorn and Askøyfjellet. As locals are known to have strong opinions on most subjects, the question of which mountains to include has been up for debate in local newspapers since the morning of time. The reason for the controversy is probably that the number seven is more of a roman-inspired gimmick, and that it is impossible to distinguish some of the mountain tops from each other when in the city center, as many of them are part of the same massif.
The mountains surrounding Bergen offers great hiking possibilities. There are options for anyone from those just looking for a fifteen-minute stroll in the sun to the more adventurous interested in daytrips and steep hills. Byfjellene (lit. "the city mountains") have good networks of dirtroads and paths, usually well signposted. Good maps are available in most bookstores – look for Tur- og friluftskart Bergen (1:25 000) from the Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority (Norwegian: Statens kartverk).
For advice on hiking, as well as hiking opportunities elsewhere in Norway, you should consult Bergen Turlag (Bergen Hiking Association), the local branch of Den Norske Turistforening (Norwegian Trekking Association), located in Tverrgaten 4-6. The Norwegian right to access entitles you to hike in all uncultivated areas.
Mount Fløyen is the most central of the mountains. It is easily accessible by the funicular running from downtown, but the better fit will probably choose the 20-minutes walk up. A good compromise can be to take the funicular up and walk down. The way is well signposted, so you won't get lost. In the steep slope towards Fløyen (right above the city) there is the popular Fjellveien, a long, gentle, horizontal pedestrian road with a perfect panorama of the city. From Fjellveien there several alternative roads to the top.
From the top of Mount Fløyen, the 1.8 km (1.1 mi) walk in relatively flat terrain to Brushytten (lit. "the soda cabin") is ideal if you have kids. Brushytten is a kiosk usually open on Sundays. There are several ways to get there, if you follow the signs, you're on the safe side and will walk on dirtroads all the way (easily accessible with both a wheelchair or a pram).
From Brushytten, you can walk up the hill to Mount Rundemanen and get a beautiful view. From Mount Rundemanen, a good choice for a not-so-long hike will be to walk to Sandviksfjellet, and from there down to Sandviken, where you can get on a bus or walk back to the city center. Another possibility is to cross the Vidden plateau and walk to Mount Ulriken, the tallest mountain in Bergen, a hike which takes about five hours. You should be somewhat fit to take this trip, and also prepared for bad weather. The trip across Vidden is among Norway's ten most popular hiking trips.
For both kids and adults, a popular activity on snowy days is to take the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen and toboggan to the city center.
The buekorps (literally meaning archery brigade) is a tradition unique to Bergen. Formed by children and young people, these brigades have their roots back to the 19th century when kids imitated military troops performing closed order drill. The brigades parade the city streets with drummers, officers and privates carrying crossbows throughout spring, with Constitution Day being the high point.
- Bergenfest, . Music festival from the end of April to start of May. A number of concerts in most rythmic music genres (pop, rock, hip hop, blues, soul) all over town.
- Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF), ☎ +47 55 30 08 40 (email@example.com, fax: +47 55 30 08 41), . BIFF is a week-long film festival held in October every year at Bergen kino (the Magnus Barfot multiplex cinema). In 2007 BIFF had 40,000 visitors. In 2008, the festival is from October 15th to October 22nd. Single ticket kr. 65. BIFF discount card: New card kr. 520 (card kr. 20, account kr. 500), account refill kr. 200, enables you to purchase tickets at kr. 40/50 for screenings starting before/after 3PM.
- Constitution Day. On 17 May, every business in town, except restaurants downtown, is closed as the citizens dress up in their finest clothes and celebrate all day long. You will be stunned by the amount of people in the streets – one can hardly move around – and by the beautiful national costumes every second person you meet will wear. This is the day people will look oddly on you if you wear anything less then a suit or dress. At 7AM, there is a twenty-one-gun salute from Skansen, half way up Mount Fløyen, as the morning parade starts from Dreggen. At 10:30AM, the main parade starts at Torgalmenningen, goes around town and ends up at Festplassen. The parade is formed by children and organizations such as sports teams, and only a very few military troops, unlike in many other countries. The level of nationalism can perhaps be a bit overwhelming for foreigners, but try to say gratulerer med dagen (literally "congratulations on the day") to anyone you meet, and you will probably get the same in response, even if you're not Norwegian at all.
- 16 May. The night before Constitution Day is the definite party night in Bergen.
- Bergen International Festival (Festspillene), . With about 160 events in two weeks from the end of May to start of June, Bergen International Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the Nordic countries. The festival presents litterature, dance, theatre and classical music. The latest years, focus has been on art from the Nordic countries.
- Nattjazz, . Nattjazz is a two-weeks long jazz festival from the end of May to the start of June, the longest jazz festival in Northern Europe. All concerts take place at Verftet USF, a former sardine factory located at Nøstet, with a capacity of over 4000 guests. With a day-pass, you get access to all concerts that night for a fair price. Usually, there are six or seven concerts every night, some simultaneously on the various stages. The festival's musical profile ranges from traditional jazz to world music. Some of the artists that previously has played on Nattjazz are Gotan Project, Ahmed Jamal, Jan Garbarek, Stan Getz, Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison and James Brown.
- The Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (Norges Handelshøyskole, NHH), Helleveien 30, ☎ +47 55 95 90 00 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +47 55 95 91 00), . NHH offers two Master's degree programs in English, Master in International Business and Master in Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment. There is a number of courses taught in English, a PhD program and a graduate summer school in natural resource management and policy. There is no tuition fee. Students not part of the Socrates, Erasmus, Nordplus and bilateral student exchange programs will be charged a semester fee of kr. 420 by the student welfare organization. (60.422975,5.302811)
- The University of Bergen, ☎ +47 55 58 00 00 (fax: +47 55 58 96 43), . The university offers a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught in English. The university also offers about 40 Master's degree programs in English. The university has no Bachelor's degree programs taught in English. International students be admitted as full Master’s degree students (2 years) or as exchange students from their home universities for a 1 or 2 semesters long period of study abroad. The university participates in the Socrates, Erasmus and Nordplus student exchange networks and bilateral exchange agreements, check with your local university for more information. As an international student you are guaranteed housing as long as you apply within a certain deadline. There is no tuition fee. Students not part of the Socrates, Erasmus, Nordplus and bilateral student exchange programs will be charged a semester fee of kr. 420 by the student welfare organization.
Other schools include the Bergen University College (HiB) and Bergen National Academy of the Arts (KHiB).
Bergen has a number of shopping centres, and international chains are well represented. As prices are rather high in Norway, regular shopping is probably not the most interesting thing to do in Bergen, even if you get a VAT refund (see the Tax Free shopping section below). But if you know where to go, you can find rare and unique items, both traditional crafts and stuff made by local designers - and some other fun stuff. Keep in mind that with a very few exceptions, Bergen shuts down completely on Sundays and holidays.
- Apollon, Nygårdsgaten 2 A, ☎ +47 55 31 59 43 (fax: +47 55 31 58 08). Music store, sells CDs, vinyls and band merchandise. (60.389358,5.323833)
- Blonder og stas, Bryggestredet (in the heart of Bryggen), ☎ +47 55 31 83 81. A small shop selling beautiful Norwegian handmade textiles, such as tablecloths and napkins. (60.397314,5.324411)
- Kjøttbasaren, Vetrlidsallmenningen 2 (between Torget and Fløibanen), . M–W, F: 9AM–5PM, Th: 9AM–7PM, Sa: 9AM–3PM. This market hall built in 1877 was once the only one in its kind in Norway. Nowadays it houses Bergen's finest gourmet food stores, the most interesting for tourists being Havets Grøde and Sesong. Havets Grøde has a large selection of top quality seafood, with fresh deliveries every day. The quality is usually much better than at the fish market. Sesong offers the season's food directly from local farms and producers. (60.395764,5.326431)
- Mink, Strandkaien 18 (by the high-speed ferry terminal). Mink has a selection of tasteful designer items from around the world. These include books, toys, radios, lamps, furniture, greeting cards and a bunch of other stuff. (60.394992,5.321817)
- Norsk Flid Husfliden, Vågsallmenningen 3 (near the tourist office), ☎ +47 55 54 47 40 (email@example.com), . Husfliden is a chain of stores throughout Norway with focus on traditional Norwegian crafts. The most interesting things for tourists found in these stores are traditional jewelry and tableware. Husfliden also sells beautiful national costumes (Norwegian: bunad). (60.3935,5.3270)
- Pepper, Christies gate 9, ☎ +47 55 56 39 75, . Expensive, but cool clothes and shoes for both men and women
- Robot, Skostredet 16. Robot features a range of hip clothes for men and women, a small but excellent selection of music on CD and vinyl, and a large selection of books on pop culture, art, comics, music and design.
- Ruben's varme gleder, Vetrlidsalmenning 5, ☎ +47 55 31 41 11 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Unique, fun and stimulating toys for kids and adults.
- Tilsammans, Kong Oscars gate 26, ☎ +47 55 32 55 55 (email@example.com), . A sort of designer's collective run shop with clothes, art and scooters. Don't be fooled by the amateur looking website, it's a gimmick.
- T Michael, Skostredet 9 A, ☎ +47 55 55 80 37, . Extremely stylish menswear.
- ZUMM design, Holmedalsgården 1, ☎ +47 930 69 578 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Sweet and handmade clothing for girls from 2–11 years of age.
Tax Free shopping
VAT (value added tax/sales tax, Norwegian: mva. (merverdiavgift) or moms. (merverdiomsetningsavgift)) is 25 % for most items in Norway. It is included in the retail price, which makes the VAT content roughly 20 % of the price you pay. As Norway is not a member of the European union, all foreign citizens (apart from those of Sweden, Denmark and Finland) are eligible for a refund of the VAT if the goods purchased are brought out of the country at the latest one month after the purchase. The prerequisites for such a refund is that the goods are not used or consumed, even in part, within Norway, and that you spend at least kr. 315 in a store.
Look for stores with a Global Refund/tax free flag or sticker. You need only to ask the shop assistant for a global refund cheque, and provide documentation of your citizenship. When leaving Norway, go to a Global Refund office with the goods, the cheque and your passport, and you will receive up to 19 % of the sales price in cash. In Bergen, the only Global Refund office is at the airport, but there are also information desks on a couple of the ferries leaving from the city. Check the Global Refund website  for more information.
Unlike in many other countries, the customs authorities are not involved in the VAT refund process in Norway.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
|| Up to 130 kr
|| 130–210 kr
|| Over 210 kr
There is a great variety of restaurants and cafes in Bergen, but you should expect to spend some time looking for the best places. In the most central parts of the city, many of the restaurants are all the same. Move a block away from the most central parts of downtown to find lower prices and better food. Kitchens usually close at 11PM at the latest.
Waiters and other restaurant staff have good wages. You are not required to leave any money to cover the service, but many people choose to tip the waiter if he or she has been helpful and nice, and if the food was good. If you choose to leave a tip, rounding up or adding about five to ten percent will be appreciated. A rule of thumb would be that the more expensive the food is, the more are you expected to leave a tip.
Keep in mind that tap water is safe to drink and (usually) free of charge. To save money, ask for tap water to drink.
Finding local food can be troublesome, especially for budget travellers. In fact, there are only a very few genuine local dishes, the Bergen fish soup being the most important. It is not the most interesting culinary experience, as with a lot of typical Norwegian food. "Norwegian" food is the food of the husmann (cottager) – nutritious and cheap, not what you usually find in a restaurant. If you want to get that Norwegian taste and have a gourmet meal at the same time, look for dishes that use "local" ingredients (such as reindeer, stockfish and cod) with a twist, such as Bryggen Tracteursted's filet of reindeer farced with goat cheese.
- Hot Wok City, Neumanns gate 20, ☎ +47 406 09 550. Good-quality Chinese food freshly cooked in the open kitchen. Service is fast, and the prices are low. This is a place with many regular customers, especially between 4PM and 6PM. Around kr. 86 for most courses.
- Kroathai, Nygårdsgaten 29, ☎ +47 55 32 58 50. The Thai equivalent of Hot Wok, although with slightly smaller portions. Service is usually fast, and the staff is friendly. Can often be full, so take-out can be a good plan B.
- Pasta Sentral, Vestre Torggate 5-7, ☎ +47 55 96 00 37, . Cheap but good pasta and pizza for students and budget travellers alike. Pasta Sentral has been an institution in Bergen since its opening in 1990. Provides a take-out service as well.
- Thai Curry House Restaurant, Nedre Korskirkeallmenningen 11, ☎ +47 55 31 11 99. Affordable thai restaurant. Interior decoration may look a little tacky, but don't let it put you off. The food is good and freshly prepared, however, service can be a little slow. The place is very small, yet quite popular so you may want to have a plan B before going here.
- Zupperia, Nordahl Bruns gate 9, ☎ +47 55 55 81 14. Soups and salads – tasty, cheap and big portions.
- Bien, Fjøsangerveien 30, ☎ +47 55 59 11 00. This used to be a pharmacy, but has now been converted to a neighborhood pub in the Danmarksplass area. Wooden drawers with labels for bandages and haemorroidal cream still line the walls. "Bien Spesial" can be particularly recommended, consisting of locally made sausages and lentils. Friendly staff. Most dishes around kr. 100.
- Café Capello, Skostredet 14, ☎ +47 938 50 238, . M-W noon–6PM. Th–Sa noon–10PM. Su 1PM–6PM.. A retro-style café serving among other things the best milkshakes and pancakes in town, reasonably priced.
- Café Opera, Engen 18 (by the theatre), ☎ +47 55 23 03 15. Great food for the money. This is a place with many regular customers. During the day they serve lunch and cakes. Early in the evening it is a place for dinner and beer. Late night is for dancing. Main courses are between kr. 80-130.
- Kafé Kippers, Georgernes verft 12 (Kulturhuset USF). The café serves a variety of meals, from sandwiches to dinners. The view is extraordinary. If you are lucky enough to catch a sunny day, you can observe a range of activities that happens in the bay. Indoors the café has a quiet atmosphere. There are large panorama windows facing the water giving you a romantic view even on rainy days. In connection with the restaurant, there is a changing art exhiition. Accessible with a wheelchair.
- La Bottega Italiana, Strandgaten 80, ☎ +47 55 31 81 10. Run by a Sicilian, La Bottega Italiana serves Sicilian-style pasta dishes, salads, a few main courses and Tiramisu for Dolce. On the ground floor, they sell imported Italian products. This includes a Salumeria in the back, where you can also get the owners' wonderful olive oil produced by themselves in Sicily.
- Naboen Pub & Restaurant, Sigurds gate 4, ☎ +47 55 90 02 90, . Open from 4PM every day. An informal restaurant with two price ranges: You can get the best priced gourmet food in town, or you can go for the cheaper "Swedish" menu. Regardless of what you choose, the food is prepared from first class local ingredients, and you get to enjoy the freshly baked bread and white table cloths. One of the best restaurants in town. For dinnertime dining you need a reservation. If you don't have reservations, try the rather crowded pub downstairs - they serve the "Swedish" menu there too. Main courses from the swedish menu are from 80-150, main courses from the gourmet menu are from 180-280 NOK.
- Pingvinen, Vaskerelven 14. A very nice, but usually crowded, bar where you can also get a good portion of Norwegian food. Recommended by Time Magazine. Food available troughout opening hours. One of very few venues where genuine norwegian homecoocking – and large bowls of popcorn – are available. Nice prices on food and drink, main courses from 80 - 140 NOK.
- Bryggen Tracteursted, Bryggestredet 2 (in the middle of Bryggen, towards the rear side), ☎ +47 55 33 69 99 (email@example.com), . Bryggen Tracteursted offers a modern kitchen inspired by hanseatic and local traditions, served in historic surroundings. A hidden treasure with its somewhat anonymous appearance. The restaurant can in principle fit up to about 200 guests, but the kitchen is very small, and expansion is not allowed by the cultural heritage authorities. This forces the restaurant to accept a relatively low number of patrons at a time – giving a peaceful atmosphere. A reservation is recommended. Main courses kr. 185–335.
- Potetkjelleren, Kong Oscars gate 1A, ☎ +47 55 32 00 70 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Partially situated in a medieval basement, Potetkjelleren offers gourmet food in very special surroundings. Recently, the food quality has been discussed. Despite this, the place is often crowded and a reservation is required. Kr. 255–275 for main courses.
Aquavit (Norwegian: akevitt) is a distilled beverage of about 40 % alcohol originating in the Nordic countries and Germany. Norwegian aquavit, however, separates from other aquavits in that they are always made from potatoes, and that they are aged in used sherry casks. Receipes remain secret, but most Norwegian aquavits are spiced with caraway and anise. There are at least 27 different Norwegian aquavits, suitable to different kinds of food, in drinks or as avec. Aquavit is especially popular with traditional food for Christmas. The classics are Lysholm Linie (a nice all-round aquavit to go with not too heavy food), Løiten Linie (with salted and smoked meat), Gammel Opland (all-round, especially good with traditional lutefisk) and Simers Taffel (to go with herring), you should also try Gilde Non Plus Ultra (as avec) if you enjoy the taste. The "Linie" aquavits have in fact travelled across equator twice while aging!
There is a great variety of bars, night clubs, concert venues etc. in Bergen. Night clubs are usually open from 11PM, but life never starts before 1AM. Bars opens at different hours, some can be open all day. No places are allowed to serve alcohol after 3AM, and the consumption of alcoholic beverages must cease at 3:30AM at the latest. Some places are required to close earlier. The establishments are only allowed to let people bring their drinks outside if they have been granted a special permit. A requirement to get this permit is that they have a confined space outdoors for their guests. Serving alcohol outside is not allowed after midnight, and all drinks must be indoors by 0:30AM, except in the summer season, when the deadlines are 1AM and 1:30AM respectively. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays are the best nights, Saturdays being the clear winner. Some clubs have a 2 for 1 policy on Wednesdays, and Sunday is usually the night for people in the industry.
Most places require that you are 20 years of age (look in the list for details) and that you can provide a valid ID, even if you are much older. Valid IDs are Norwegian bank cards, European standard driver's licenses and ID cards and passports.
Prices vary great from place to place, ask at the door if you need to know. In the weekends, there is usually a cover charge from kr. 50 to kr. 100 at night clubs.
Almost all night clubs and many bars have a dress code. The required attire varies; look in the list for more information (when the listing indicates "no dress code" normal, nice clothes are accepted). Supporter gear is generally not even accepted in sports pubs.
Remember that smoking in all indoor areas where people work is strictly prohibited by law in Norway. Most restaurants, bars, night clubs etc. will require you to leave if you try to smoke indoors.
- Calibar, Vaskerelven 1 (between the theatre and the university area), . M-Th 3PM-1AM, F 3AM-3PM, Sa noon-3PM, Su 6PM-1AM. A fancy café during the day, a hot bar/night club at night. The place to be if you were young in the eighties and make good money now. Strict dress code usually requiring suits for men. Age limit is 24 years. kr. 59 for 0.4 litres draft beers.
- Feliz, Øvre Ole Bulls plass 3 (between the theatre and the blue stone), . Th-Sa 10PM-3AM, Su 11PM-3AM. Currently the the place to be for an exclusive night out. Bergen's hottest night scene features a bar, a club and a lounge. Strict dress code usually requiring suits for men. Age limit is 24 years on Fridays and Saturdays, 20 years on Thursdays and Sundays.
- Landmark, Rasmus Meyers allé 5 (at Bergen kunsthall by Lille Lungegårdsvann), +47 55 55 93 10 (e-mail: email@example.com), . A cafe and club usually visited by the alternative crowd. Popular among art students. The stylish locale is almost cube-shaped, and often has video installations projected on one of the walls. Usually has DJs playing electronic music on weekends, although most punters tend not to arrive before around 1AM on Saturdays. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. No dress code.
- Studenten, Torggaten 5 (close to the blue stone), . Th-Sa 10PM-3AM. A very popular disco among the younger students. You may be required to present a valid student ID. Very cheap drinks and party music from the 90's. Crowded on Saturdays. Usually hard to find a place to sit, but if you're looking for a place to party and dance this might just be it. Also a good pick-up place. Guests are normally happy and open-minded, and the place is visited by both straight and gay people. Accessible with a wheelchair. Age limit is 20 years. People above 30 years will usually not be allowed in. kr. 23-25 for 0.4 litres draft beer, depending on the day of the week.
- The Sailor, Olav Kyrres gate 28 (close to Fincken). F-Sa 10PM-3AM. A new disco for gay people. High glam factor. Age limit is 18 years. Inaccessible with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- Aquabar, Torget. A small bar with a somewhat unclear profile, squeezed in between other restaurants and bars at Torget. Aquabar carries a good selection of aquavits. It is popular among smokers as there is a number of tables outdoors. Age limit is 20 years.
- Baran, Håkonsgaten. Small and nice pub with an excellent selection of reasonably priced beers, and a small selection of cheap food. A bit run-down, but rather cozy. Clientele between 20-35.
- Biskopen, Neumannsgate. A nice pub that caters mostly to people between 20 and 35. Nice selection of beers. If it's crowded, check the basement
- Inside Rock Café, Vaskerelvsmuget 7 (close to the blue stone), . M-Sa 3:30PM-3AM, Su 3:30PM-midnight. The place to be if you like metal, where the dark lords that used to frequent Garage now hang out. Cheap beer, long hair and heavy metal music. Kr. 50 for 0.5 litres draft beer at night. No dress code, but some nails or spikes are recommended.
- Logen Bar, Øvre Ole Bulls plass 6 (between the theatre and the blue stone), . A bar where actors from the repertory theatre and intellectuals of every stripe meet over beer and drinks. There is a strict no-music policy, which leaves room for conversation. Frequently houses roaming exhibitions of visual art, often ones of astounding quality. Inaccessible with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- Pingvinen, Vaskerelven 14. A very nice, but usually crowded, bar where you can also get a good portion of Norwegian food. Recommended by Time Magazine . One of few places where genuine traditional Norwegian food is available. Nice prices both on food and drinks.
Former quarters of feared Nazi Secret Police now popular nightlife complex
The building now housing Rick's was during World War II the quarters of the Gestapo and the Sicherheitspolitzei in the Nazi occupied Bergen. There were prison cells in both the basement and the building's top floor. Several prisoners comitted suicide by jumping out the windows on the 5th and 6th floor so that the Nazis could not torture them into revealing any secrets of the resistance, and a number of those not taking their own life died from the treatment they received during interrogations. The open place by the entrance to Rick's has a monument in memorial of those who lost their life. This has been the subject of repeated discussions in the local media due to a request from the owners of Rick's to use some of the area to serve alcohol.
- Rick's, Veiten 3 (just by the theatre), . A large complex featuring among other things a scene, a disco, a bar and an English pub, most popular among people between 30 and 40 years. If you are a woman, expect sleazy guys in the disco. Age limit is 24 years in weekends.
Bryggen, Dreggen, Inner Sandviken area
- Baklommen, Bryggen (Enhjørningsgården), . Probably Bergen's smallest bar. A place to sit down and relax with a coffee or a drink. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. Age limit is 23 years. No dress code.
- Dampen, Bryggen 7, . A bar with a maritime environment. Steak house on first floor. Only accessible with a wheelchair when assisted. Age limit is 20 years. No dress code.
- Engelen, Bryggen, . W-Su 10PM-3AM. Most popular among people in the 30's and above. A bit younger audience can be expected on Saturdays. Not at all pretentious; some might claim not very classy. Still, an OK place for a beer and dancing. Kr. 58 for 0.4 litres draft beer, kr. 86–94 for cocktails.
- Rubinen, Rosenkrantzgaten 7 (in the area behind the stone buildings at Bryggen),  is a very popular nightclub for adults, and one of the largest venues in Bergen. Live music every weekend. Age limit is 23 years.
Nordnes and Nøstet area
- USF Verftet, Georgernes verft 12 (Nøstet), . Formerly a sardine factory, USF Verftet is a very large venue with different stages for concerts, theatre and dance. Intimate jazz concerts every Friday except around Christmas and in the summer. Home of the Nattjazz jazz festival. Kafé Kippers is a café with a beautiful view of Puddefjorden. The best place for a beer outdoors in the summer, but also family friendly. The café is open every day. Check the program on the venue's website or in the local newspaper Bergens Tidende (BT) for events. The café and the two largest stages are accessible with a wheelchair. Access to the remaining stages is possible with assistance. Age limit is 18 years. No dress code.
Nygårdshøyden and Møhlenpris – the University Area
- Det Akademiske Kvarter NG2, Nygårdsgaten 2, . Det Akademiske Kvarter (The Academic Quarter), or Kvarteret for short, is the student house. From mid-April 2007 Det Akademiske Kvarter is closed for renovation and expansion, and student activities have moved temporarily to other locations around town. The café and bar has moved to NG2, Nygårdsgaten 2. It offers cheap drinks and simple dishes near the university area. Usually crowded Saturday night. Concerts every other Thursday night, club concepts Friday and Saturday. The concepts A Moonlight Affair and Definition of iLL are highly recommended. Age limit is 20 years unless you have valid student ID, in which case the age limit is 18 years (though you may be lucky and get in if you're an 18- or 19-year old without a student ID, ask nicely at the door). No cover charge (except Saturdays after 11PM, kr. 30) or dress code. Partially accessible with a wheelchair.
- Fincken, Nygårdsgaten 2 A, . W-Th 7PM-1:30AM, F-Su 7PM-2:30AM. Traditionally the center of gay nightlife in Bergen, these days Fincken is a mixed crowd with plenty of men that aren't gay by any stretch of the imagination. No dress code.
- Fotballpuben, Vestre Torggaten 9, . Live football from every corner of the globe, except Trondheim, as locals have a rather difficult relationship with the city. Nightlife starts at 11PM and people usually get very drunk by the end of the night. Expect a fight and expect the bouncers to go hard on anyone involved. Age limit is 18 years. Inaccessible with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- Garage, Christies gate 14, +47 55 32 19 80 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . The rock haven of Bergen. Traditionally the second home of every black-clad character in Bergen, this rock pub-with-a-basement-stage has become more mainstream the latest years, and is now usually crowded with students. Poor accessibility for people with a wheelchair. No dress code.
- h-bar, Allégaten, . Fridays 7PM-1AM. A small bar run by physics students, situated in the bomb shelter of the university's Department of Physics and Technology. Also a popular place for the math-student neighbours of the department, if particle physics and algebraic geometry is your idea of a fun discussion on a night out, this should be right up your alley. No dress code.
- Hulen, Olaf Ryes vei 48, . Th-Sa 9PM-3AM Closed during summer. Established in 1969, Hulen is the oldest running rock club in Northern Europe. Hulen can be tricky to find, but with its' unique atmosphere it is well worth a visit. Hulen is situated in a cave (an old bomb shelter), and is run by students with two bars and a stage. Good concerts (Fridays), cheap drinks and the best rock disco in town (Saturdays). It should be noted that the turnout varies greatly. No dress code.
- Legal, Christies gate 11. A small and very popular 50's style drinking den with brilliant music and ambience. No dress code.
South of the city center
- Bien bar, Solheimsgaten 33. This used to be a pharmacy, but has now been converted to a neighborhood pub in the Danmarksplass area. Wooden drawers with labels for bandages and hemorrhoidal cream still line the walls. The art deco interior is protected by the local cultural heritage authority. Friendly staff and a great atmosphere. Serves food. No dress code.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Up to 800 kr
|| 800–1500 kr
|| Over 1500 kr
Outside the summer season, getting a hotel room is usually not a problem, although it can be quite expensive unless you have a reservation. In the summer season (from May to Sep) a reservation well in advance is required. Breakfast is normally included in the price except at hostels and camping sites.
- Bergen Montana Family & Youth Hostel, Johan Blytts vei 30 (on Landås, about 10 minutes from the city center by car, use bus line 31 southbound), +47 55 20 80 70 (fax: +47 55 20 80 75, e-mail: email@example.com), . Situated on the hillside of Mount Ulriken. Bus connections are good. For families this typical hostel is an excellent choice for those travelling on a budget, with decent and clean facilities in a quiet area. Free Wifi, two well equiped guestkitchens and free parking for guests. Member of Hostelling International, and members of Hostelling International receive 15 % discount. Low season 2008 (3 Jan-30 Apr and 1 Oct-22 Dec): Bed in a 4-bedded dorm: kr. 200. Single room with private bathroom: kr. 475. Twin room with private bathroom: kr. 325 per person, kr. 650 for the room. 3-bedded room with private bathroom: kr. 230 per person, alternatively kr. 690 for the room. 4-bedded room with private bathroom kr. 230 per person, alternatively kr. 920 for the room. Family room with private bathroom kr. 690 for the room. Family room without bathroom: kr. 550. High season 2008 (1 May-30 Sep): Bed in a 20-bedded dorm: kr. 200. Bed in a 4-bedded dorm: kr. 250. Single room with private bathroom: kr. 650. Twin room with private bathroom: kr. 375 per person, kr. 750 for the room. 3-bedded room with private bathroom: kr. 295 per person, alternatively kr. 885 for the room. 4-bedded room with private bathroom kr. 295 per person, alternatively kr. 1180 for the room. Family room with private bathroom kr. 810 for the room. Family room without bathroom: kr. 750. Breakfast included. Linen and towels not included.
- Bergen YMCA Hostel, Nedre Korskirkeallmenning 4, +47 55 60 60 55 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . 1 May-31 May: Daily 8:30AM-9PM, 1 Jun-31 Aug: Daily 7AM-12 midnight, 1 Sep-7 Oct: Daily 8:30AM-9PM, 8 Oct-30 Apr: M-F 8:30AM-3:30 PM. Located a minute's walk from the fish market, the Bergen YMCA Hostel is a decent youth hostel right in the center of town, with a rooftop terrace where you can sit and look out over the old town center. Member of Hostelling International. Reservations essential. Double room kr. 750, single room (winter only) kr. 555. Bed in 4-bed room: kr. 230. Bed in 6-bed room: kr. 210. Bed in dormitory (summer only): Kr. 155. Bed in female dormitory (summer only): Kr. 175. Breakfast, linen and towels not included.
- Crowded House, Håkonsgaten 27, +47 55 90 72 00 (fax: +47 55 90 72 01, e-mail: email@example.com), . A 33-room hotel conveniently located close to the university area downtown.
- Intermission, Kalfarveien 8 (close to the railway station),  +47 55 30 04 00. A Christian hostel 40-bed dormitory with probably the lowest prices in town. Norwegian evenings every Monday and Thursday with traditional cakes and waffles, free of charge. Open in the summer only.
- Jacob's Apartments, Kong Oscars gate 44, +47 982 38 600 (fax: +47 55 54 41 69, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Decent apartments with bathroom and kitchen, close to the railway station. The apartments vary in size, the largest can hold up to seven people. Jacob's Apartments also has an 18-bed dormitory. There is no curfew in the dormitory. Apartments per person per night: Single apartment (one person): kr. 560-960. Double apartment (two people): kr. 385-630. Per extra person in a double apartment: kr. 210. Bed in dormitory: kr. 165.
- Marken Gjestehus, Kong Oscars gate 45, +47 55 31 44 04 (fax: +47 55 31 60 22, e-mail: email@example.com), . Jan-Feb M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Mar M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Apr M-F 9AM-9PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. May-Aug daily 9AM-11PM. Sep M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Oct M-F 9AM-8PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. Nov Dec M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa Su 11AM-6PM. A 67-bed hostel located close to the railway station. Lockable closets in all rooms. No mixed sex dormitories. Bed in 2-bed room: kr. 250. 2-bed room as single room: kr. 395. Bed in 3-bed room (these rooms have a private bathroom): kr. 265. 3-bed room as single room: kr. 500. 3-bed room as double room: kr. 630. Bed in 4-bed room: kr. 195. Bed in 6-bed room: kr. 180. Bed in 8-bedded room: kr. 160. Breakfast, linen and towels not included.
- Comfort Hotel Holberg, Strandgaten 190 (Nordnes), +47 55 30 42 00 (fax: +47 55 23 18 20, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . A little bit outside the center of downtown, but still no more than a few minutes walk from the fish market, this hotel is probably one of the lesser known accommodation options in Bergen. The hotel is quite new and modern. With facilities in the typical mid-range class, it might however be a bit pricy compared to its competitors. About kr. 1500 per night for a standard double room.
- Scandic Bergen City, Håkonsgaten 2 (close to the university area), +47 55 30 90 80 (fax: +47 55 23 49 20, e-mail: email@example.com), . A reasonably priced conference hotel, also a good option for tourists due to its relatively central yet quiet surroundings. There is a gym and bath close by, and a cinema across the street. From kr. 1100 per night for a standard double room.
- Rica Hotel Bergen, Christiesgate 5-7, +47 55 36 29 00 (fax: +47 55 36 29 01, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . A business hotel with good facilities and a central location. Wireless internet access in all rooms. About kr. 1500 per night for a standard double room.
- Thon Hotel Bergen Brygge, Bradbenken 3 (close to Bergenhus), +47 55 30 87 00 (fax: +47 55 32 94 14, e-mail: email@example.com), . An ok hotel situated in the historic part of Bergen, though not very historic in itself. Fixed low prices; 695 NOK per night for single room, 895 NOK per night for double room.
- Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Rosenkrantzgate 7, +47 55 30 14 00 (fax: +47 55 31 14 76, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Hotel Rosenkrantz is a comfortable hotel located just behind Bryggen. The hotel serves an evening buffet included in the room price every night except in the summer season. There is a number of nightclubs in the vincinity. About kr. 1300 per night for a standard double room.
- Friis Pensjon  - a small flat close to the city center: a bedroom, a living-room, a kitchen-corner (without stove), a bathroom. There is wifi in the flat. Suatable for 2 persons, but can be also used by four. In June 2008 the price was 1700 NOK for two nights, four persons.
- Augustin Hotel, C. Sundts gate 22, +47 55 30 40 00, (fax: +47 55 30 40 10, e-mail: email@example.com), ]. Augustin Hotel is Bergen's oldest family-run hotel, owned by the same family for three generations. It is the only hotel in the city center that is not member of a hotel chain, giving room for the management to create a unique atmosphere. The hotel has undergone extensive modernisation the latest years. The restaurant and the wine bar are both highly recommended. The hotel is often fully booked, so a reservation well in advance is recommended. About kr. 1700 per night for a standard double room.
- Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret, Slottsgaten 1 (at the harbour), +47 55 60 11 00 (fax: +47 55 60 11 01, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . This luxurious hotel opened in the beautiful neo-classical building formerly housing the Port of Bergen harbor company in May 2006. The hotel is situated on historical ground between Bryggen and Bergenhus fort. Hotel facilities include a gym and a sauna. About kr. 2000 per night for a standard double room.
- Clarion Hotel Admiral, C. Sundts gate 3, +47 55 23 64 00, (fax: +47 55 23 64 64, e-mail: email@example.com), . A traditional high-class hotel with a view of Bergen harbor. About kr. 1600 per night for a standard double room.
- Det Hanseatiske Hotel, Finnegaarden 2 A, +47 55 30 48 00 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), . Situated in the very heart of the historic Bergen, the hotel building was rebuilt after the great fire in 1702, but is mentioned in texts dating back to the beginning of the 15th century. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bryggen. With only 16 rooms, the hotel opened in May 2006 and has quickly gained renown for its historic atmosphere. From kr. 1500 per night for a standard double room.
Area codes are no longer in use in Norwegian phone numbers. Phone numbers are normally eight digits, some special numbers may be three, four or five digits. In any case you should always dial all of the digits to make a call. The country code of Norway is 47. If you are calling abroad from a land line, dial 00 before your country code and phone number.
Cellular phone coverage is very good throughout the city. Two different networks are available, Telenor and NetCom. Check with your local operator to find out which one is the cheaper for you. The difference is usually not big. Norway, like most of Europe, uses GSM 900 and 1800, which means that some cell phones from USA, Canada and countries in Asia will not work. For those in need of mobile data lines, both 3G/UMTS, EDGE and GPRS coverage is good on both networks.
There are no telephone centers in the city, and only a very few phone booths. Most hotels have phones in every room, but international calls from these phones are usually very expensive. There are some calling cards available, this is probably the cheapest way to phone home. Look for Lebara  stickers in kiosks.
Many cafes and restaurants have free wireless Internet access for their patrons. Free wireless Internet access is also available at Bergen Public Library, Strømgaten 6 (by the bus station). Most large hotels do also have wireless Internet access, however access at a hotel is usually pricy.
There are a number of internet cafes around town. At Bergen Public Library, you may also use a computer with high-speed internet access for free. There is a reservation system, ask at the circulation desk.
Bergen has, as the rest of Norway, a generally low crime rate. The most likely crimes for tourists to experience is car break-ins and bicycle theft. Pickpockets do also tend to be an increasing problem. It is always a good idea to look after your belongings, this includes never leaving valuable objects visual in your car and locking your bike safely.
There are no particular unsafe areas in Bergen. The upper part of Nygårdsparken is however the hang-out place for drug addicts. They are usually completely harmless, but nevertheless no fun to be around. The risk of getting in to trouble is very low, but families should be aware of the area. The lower part of Nygårdsparken is a beautiful place popular among the locals.
While not dangerous, Danmarks plass should probably be avoided at nighttime for the same reason as above. This should however not prove very difficult as there is almost nothing to see or do in the area.
Prostitutes solicit their services rather openly in the area around Nykirken, the northern parts of Strandgaten and C. Sundts gate. Walking through this area at night may be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it's generally not risky.
People party hard at friday and saturday night, and hoards of drunk people will appear in the central areas from around midnight, singing, carousing, and just hanging around. Some foreigners may perceive this as threatening, but they are mostly harmless, even all-male groups chanting football songs. If approached, just smile and stay friendly
There is an emergency and accident ward at Vestre Strømkai 19, close to the bus station. The ward is open all day all week, and provides examination and treatment in case of accidents and acute diseases. The ward is located together with a life crisis assistance center, a psychiatric emergency ward, a reception center for rape victims and a dental emergency ward. All services may be reached at +47 55 56 87 60. If you should be in need of immediate medical assistance, do however call 113.
The police station downtown is located in Allehelgens gate 6, across the street from the old town hall.
- Police: 112
- Fire: 110
- Emergency Medical Services: 113
If you are unsure which number to call, 112 is the central for all rescue services and will put you in contact with the correct department.
For non-emergencies, the police is to be called on 02800.
The hearing impaired using a text telephone can reach the emergency services by dialing 1412.
Getting around by foot is easy, and free maps  are available everywhere. If you need a better map, you should buy one of Bergens Tidende's maps . Bergens Tidende is a local newspaper. Maps are sold from their reception in Krinkelkroken 1, close to the blue stone, and in various bookstores. The city map costs kr. 50.
VISA and MasterCard are normally accepted in any restaurant, taxi and store, except grocery stores, some kiosks and McDonald's. Many places, American Express, JCB and Diners Club are also accepted. ATMs accept all major credit and debit cards and are available in English language. The currency is Norwegian kroner (crowns), but euros may also be accepted at some tourist destinations (you should however avoid paying in euros as the exchange rates may be stiff).
The regular opening hours for grocery stores are 8AM-9PM. Some stores open earlier and close later. Other shops usually have shorter hours, except those in the shopping centers. Almost all shops, including grocery stores, are closed on Sundays and public holidays. Kiosks such as Narvesen, 7-Eleven and Deli de Luca are open. These do however often have very high prices for normal grocery items.
There are some smaller grocery stores open on Sundays and public holidays. This includes Kiwi at Nedre Korskirkeallmenningen 2 (by the Bergen YMCA and the Church of the Cross), Bunnpris (across the street from Kiwi) and Rimi at Nygårdsgaten 6.
The city's main post office is conveniently located in the Xhibition shopping center, on 1st floor. Some grocery stores offers limited postal services, and stamps are available from most book stores and kiosks. Post boxes are either red or yellow and located all over town. Yellow boxes are only for local mail, if unsure use the red box. All post boxes, post offices and grocery stores offering postal services are marked with the official postal flag, a yellow horn on a red background, and the word "Posten".
The local tap water is fresh, tasty and rich in minerals from the surrounding mountains, and safe to drink.
Looking for a public toilet? Forget it. There are none, except one well hidden at Bryggen, and one even better hidden at Torget. Ask nicely at a restaurant or even better, sneak in.
A number of countries have consulates in Bergen. For a full list, see  (unfortunately in Norwegian).
- Bergen Bahá'í Center, Sydnessmuget 6, +47 930 00 159 (after 5PM).
- Bergen center of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism, +47 971 11 302. Meditation hours every Wednesday from 7PM.
- Bergen Hindu Sabha, Storetveitveien 5, +47 55 28 22 45.
- Bergen Mosque, Nøstegaten 43, +47 55 23 37 10.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of Norway (state church), . Services in Norwegian in most churches every Sunday at 11AM.
- St. Paul's church (Catholic church), Nygårdsgaten 3, +47 55 21 59 50. Religious services every day of the week. Services are in Norwegian, English, Vietnamese, Tamil, Spanish, Filipino, Polish or Latin.
- Engensenteret chapel (Anglican church), Baneveien 1, .
- The Baptist Church, Vilhelm Bjerknes vei 16. Services every Sunday at 11AM.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Åsbakken 14, +47 55 91 05 10.
- Jehova's Witnesses, +47 55 13 02 18. English speaking congregation.
- Kvamskogen is a popular target for day trips in the winter season, especially among locals. Kvamskogen is a ski eldorado situated between 400 and 1300 metres above sea level in the Kvam municipality. There is a number of alpine slopes served by several ski lifts, and endless possibilities for those who favor cross country skiing. If you tried neither before - don't worry: Professional ski instructors are available at a fair cost, and so are rental skis and other equipment. There are regular buses to Kvamskogen, call 177 or visit the information desk at the bus station for more information.
- Lysøen, ☎ +47 56 30 90 77 (email@example.com, fax: +47 56 30 93 72), . 18 May-31 August: M-Sat 12PM – 4PM. Sundays: 11AM - 5PM September: Sundays Only: 12PM - 4PM. This island belonged to Ole Bull, a famous musician. He bought the island in 1872 and drew the original drawings for the special house he built himself. The island is a great place to go for walks, as well as seeing the extraordinary house, as there are many great paths to walk along. You can attend guided tours at every hour, starting 15 minutes after opening time. To get to the island you must take the ferry from Buena quay. The Ferry departs Buena every day at 12PM, 1PM, 2PM and 3PM, Sundays also 11AM and 4PM. It departs Lysøen at 1.30PM, 2.30PM, 3:30PM and 4:30PM, Sundays also 12:30PM and 5:30PM. Tickets cost kr. 50 for adults and kr. 30 for children (free with the Bergen card). The boat has more departures if necessary. Large groups should book in advance. There is a café and museum shop at the island. adults kr. 30, children kr. 10 – free admission with the Bergen card.
- Norway in a Nutshell, +47 815 68 222, . Roundtrip Bergen - Myrdal - Flåm - Gudvangen - Stalheim - Voss - Bergen by train, boat and coach. The tour takes you through some of the most beautiful fjord scenery in Norway. It takes one day, but it is possible to spend more time if you wish. Tickets cost kr. 895.
- Os borders Bergen to the south. While the south-eastern part of Os municipality is mainly made up of typical Nordic suburb-style settlements and a quiet urban centre, the western part consists of a beautiful and popular coastal area with many small islands with cabins.
|This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!