Bergen, a coastal city in southwestern Norway, is a true gem with its breathtaking natural beauty and rich history. Surrounded by seven mountains and hugged by stunning fjords, it is no wonder that Bergen is often referred to as the “Gateway to the Fjords.” The city’s iconic waterfront area, Bryggen, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing colorful wooden buildings that date back to its Hanseatic trading past. Strolling along these historic streets evokes a sense of stepping back in time.
Bergen’s proximity to the majestic fjords makes it an ideal starting point for exploring some of Norway’s most awe-inspiring landscapes. Sognefjord, the longest fjord in the country, is easily accessible from the city and offers a jaw-dropping display of nature’s wonders. The mountains that embrace Bergen invite outdoor enthusiasts to embark on exciting hiking adventures, with Mount Fløyen and Mount Ulriken being popular choices. From their summits, visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of the city and its surrounding beauty.
The city’s vibrant fish market, located near Bryggen, is a hub of activity where locals and tourists alike come together to indulge in fresh seafood and a variety of Norwegian delicacies. The market’s lively atmosphere adds to the charm of this coastal town. Bergen also boasts a thriving cultural scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and music festivals. The Bergen International Festival, in particular, attracts artists and performers from around the world, making it an exciting time to experience the city’s artistic flair.
The best time to visit Amsterdam is during late spring and summer, from April to August, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The city comes alive with blooming flowers and greenery, and outdoor activities are enjoyable. April and May are particularly popular for the famous tulip season. Summer offers longer daylight hours, but it’s also peak tourist season with more crowds. For a quieter and budget-friendly experience, consider visiting during late March to early April or September to early October. Amsterdam’s relatively mild climate allows for year-round exploration, but be prepared for rain, especially in the fall and winter months.
The currency used in Amsterdam and throughout the Netherlands is the Euro (€).
Bergen’s cuisine is a celebration of its coastal location, highlighting an abundance of fresh seafood and traditional Norwegian dishes. As a city nestled among majestic fjords and the North Sea, it comes as no surprise that fish and seafood play a central role in the culinary offerings. From succulent grilled salmon to delicate shrimp dishes, visitors can indulge in a wide variety of ocean delights. The famous Bergen Fish Soup, a hearty and flavorful specialty, captures the essence of the city’s maritime heritage with its rich blend of various fish, shellfish, and vegetables, all simmered in a creamy broth.
Norwegian cuisine takes center stage in Bergen’s culinary landscape, with classic dishes like Lapskaus making a comforting appearance. This traditional stew, made with beef or lamb, potatoes, and vegetables, warms the soul and provides a taste of authentic Norwegian comfort food. Another local favorite, Raspeballer, showcases the use of potatoes in Norwegian cooking. These potato dumplings are stuffed with klippfisk, dried and salted cod, or other fillings, and served with bacon and melted butter, creating a delightful and satisfying dish.
For those with a sweet tooth, Bergen offers delightful treats like Kanelboller, Norwegian cinnamon buns, perfect for pairing with a cup of coffee or tea. The city’s surrounding forests contribute to the cuisine as well, providing an abundance of berries such as blueberries, lingonberries, and cloudberries. These berries are often used in desserts and jams, adding a burst of natural sweetness to various dishes.
No culinary exploration of Bergen would be complete without savoring its famous smoked salmon. With access to some of the freshest seafood available, the city serves up this delicacy in various forms, offering a true taste of the sea. Additionally, visitors should not miss trying Brunost, a uniquely Norwegian brown cheese with a sweet, caramel-like flavor, often enjoyed with bread or waffles for a distinctive culinary experience.
Lastly, Bergen’s local sausage, Vossakorv, provides a delightful mix of flavors with a blend of lamb, pork, and beef seasoned with spices and served with mustard. This savory treat showcases the diversity of tastes found in Norwegian cuisine.
In Bergen and throughout Norway, tipping is not expected as it is in some other countries. The standard practice is to include service charges and taxes in the prices of goods and services. However, if you receive exceptional service at a restaurant or cafe, it is appreciated to leave a small tip, usually rounding up the bill or leaving a gratuity of around 5-10% of the total.
Transport in Bergen is well-developed and offers convenient options for getting around the city and its surroundings. The primary modes of transportation include buses, trams, and taxis, providing efficient and reliable services for residents and visitors. Additionally, Bergen’s ferry system connects different parts of the city and offers a scenic mode of travel across its beautiful coastal waters. With its accessible public transportation and stunning natural beauty, getting around Bergen is a pleasant and enjoyable experience.