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- 20 May 2021, 3 nights
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Bergen is known for its postcard-worthy city centre and World Heritage-listed Bryggen wharf, with gaily-painted wooden buildings and steeply slanted roofs. Once the capital of Norway, the city has a long seafaring heritage which has left its mark on the medieval harbour and architecture. Effortlessly cool Scandi design runs through Bergen's DNA, from trendy bars to cutting-edge art galleries, and the city is nestled in gloriously wild landscape. You'll see mountain peaks and dramatic, rugged fjords that plunge down so far that cruise ships gliding on the water seem like toys.
Hostels in Bergen are clean, cosy and well-equipped. You can stay in a refurbished traditional townhouse a few minutes' walk from Bryggen, a modern, airy building next to the train station, or up on the slopes of Mount Ulriken. Most Bergen hostels have social areas such as a common room and shared kitchen, and some have instruments for a late-night jam session. You'll even find one Bergen hostel with a roof terrace and views over the city and its harbour. Others welcome travellers with free traditional Norwegian waffles or free bike rentals.
Bergen has a couple of neighbourhoods to explore. The city's historical district is centred on Vågen, a bay which is home to Bergen's harbour and buildings dating back as far as the 11th century. It's also where you'll find arty Bryggen, where narrow lanes are full of independent boutiques and visitors strolling along the historic wharf. The neighbouring district Sentrum is equally creative – look out for quirky art galleries, cool bars and innovative local restaurants.
Many travellers head to Bergen to take a boat tour through the fjords, or to explore Bryggen's colourful buildings. You can dig further into the world of historical merchant traders at the Hanseatic Museum, or learn about the city's cultural heritage at places like the Edvard Grieg Museum, which pays tribute to one of Bergen's most famous sons. Discover cutting-edge contemporary art at KODE museum, or do as the locals do and get active by trekking up the slopes of Mount Fløyen.
Bergen Airport Flesland to Bergen city centre takes about 30 minutes by bus. There's also a train from Oslo, with a journey time of around seven hours – plenty of time to take in the incredible views! Although travel times tend to be long, Bergen is well connected by bus to many other cities in Norway, which is handy if you're planning a longer tour. The best way to get around Bergen's compact city centre is by foot.