Christmas in Bergen
Bergen is one of the top destinations for travelers to Norway, and Christmastime in Bergen is a real experience. Enjoying the festive season in Bergen is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, with plenty of fun and cozy sights to see and activities to take part in – from Christmas markets to the world’s biggest gingerbread town, Bergen has it all!
What is Bergen like at Christmas?
Bergen at Christmas is beautiful, with the city center decked out with lights and Christmas decorations creating a cozy atmosphere during the dark winter months. There’s plenty to do in this gorgeous city for those hoping to enjoy the festive season and get in the Christmas spirit.
Bryggen is one of Bergen’s biggest attractions, and this historic area is always decked out beautifully at Christmastime. This is a UNESCO’s World Heritage monument that was rebuilt after a devastating fire, and seeing Bryggen is a must while you’re in Bergen. The traditional houses in the area are a sight to behold during the festive season, and there is a range of shops and eateries to explore – why not check out the charming Christmas shop Julehuset where you can pick up some souvenirs or gifts to bring back home?
What is there to do in Bergen at Christmas?
Though the winter months are cold and dark in Norway, locals don’t let this stop them from enjoying the holiday season. Thousands of sparkly lights and pretty decorations decorate the charming streets and parks in the city center, and Christmastime in Bergen has plenty to offer travelers.
The Gingerbread Town is a big local attraction, especially for those looking to celebrate Christmas in Bergen. Gingerbread is one of the traditional baked goods eaten by Norwegians at Christmastime, and there are a lot of traditions related to baking and decorating gingerbread. Known locally as Pepperkakebyen, this is the world’s largest city made of gingerbread, with locals helping to put the gingerbread town together every year.
Bergen also has a new Christmas event to offer in 2021: the Lumagica light park at Bergenhus Fortress. Here, you can enjoy a magical walk through a park decked out with a range of spectacular light installations. There are also several Christmas concerts during the month of December if you’d like to enjoy some festive music.
Any visitor to Bergen should also visit Mount Fløyen! Usually, a funicular can take you to the top, but this is currently being renovated and is set to re-open in April 2022. But why don't lace up your hiking shoes and enjoy a scenic trip to the top? From the mountaintop, you’ll be able to enjoy a stunning view of the city and the surrounding mountains. At Christmastime, with the darkness of winter, the snowy backdrop, and the city lights illuminating this beautiful city, there’s no better time to take in the breathtaking atmosphere on the top of Fløyen.
For an extra-special holiday, why not consider a Christmas cruise from Bergen? Getting out on the water and seeing the stunning winter fjord could be the perfect break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas in the city center. There are plenty of cruises and winter activities starting from Bergen that you can choose from.
Are there Christmas markets in Bergen?
Any fan of Christmas markets won’t be disappointed with their visit to Bergen. Located in Torgallmenningen square, right in the heart of the city, Bergen Christmas Market offers plenty of opportunities for getting in the Christmas spirit. At this big market, you’ll find plenty of handmade crafts and local goods, perfect for picking up some Christmas presents to bring back home with you.
You’ll also be able to sample local delicacies and typical Norwegian Christmas food, and the traditional Norwegian Christmas drink gløgg (mulled wine) is also sold here. Bergen Christmas Market is the perfect place to find some lovely and unique Christmas gifts for those you love, or just to wander around sipping gløgg and taking in the magical atmosphere.
What Christmas foods are typical for Bergen?
If you’re planning a Christmas getaway to Bergen, you need to enjoy some of the local seasonal flavors before leaving. Norway has strong Christmas food traditions, and it would be a shame for travelers to miss out on some of the classic foods eaten during the festive season.
The Christmas meal differs in different regions of Norway, but in Bergen, a lot of people will enjoy pinnekjøtt (mutton ribs) or persetorsk (codfish) on Christmas eve. You’ll be able to enjoy a festive feast at several different restaurants in Bergen. Be sure to finish off the meal with a bowl of traditional riskrem (rice pudding) with red sauce!