Bergen is Norway's second largest city with a population of roughly 270,000. King Olav Kyrre founded the city of Bergen in 1070, and it was the country's capital from 1110 until 1299.
Also known as the entrance to the kingdom of the fjords, the city between the seven mountains or the capital of Western Norway? The country's second largest city has a lot to offer both its inhabitants and visitors.
Bergen was founded almost a thousand years ago in 1070 by Olav Kyrre. The town was then called Bjørgvin, which means "the green meadow between the mountains". You will still find green lungs all over the city and on the seven mountains that surround Bergen you will find activities and hiking experiences for everyone.
The seven mountains
The inhabitants of Bergen are known to be loud and maybe a bit quarrelsome. For this reason it is not so strange that there might be some disagreement on which mountains that actually are included in the «seven». We should not interfer with this discussion but we want to mention that the 7 – mountain tour that is organized each year by DNT – Norwegian hiking association includes the following mountains: Lyderhorn, Damsgårdsfjellet, Løvstakken, Ulriken, Fløyfjellet, Rundemanen og Sandviksfjellet.
Ulriken is the highest one with its 643 metres and you might easily access the top using the gondola. Fløyfjellet is perhaps the most known and if you take the Fløibanen funicular to the top you are awarded with a fantastic view of Bergen.
Bryggen i Bergen
Bryggen i Bergen is one of the most famous attractions in the city and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This was the first place in the city where there were buildings, and almost 1000 years later there is still a lot of life and movement here.
As a trade center for the Hanseatic League, former outlets, offices, trade and housing dominated Bryggen. Today you will find several cozy shops, nightclubs, cafes, galleries, studios and art outlets instead. A stroll on Bryggen on a lovely sunny day is highly recommended!
Cultural city of Bergen
For several hundred years, Bergen has has fostered well-known cultural personalities. Previously, it was perhaps Edvard Grieg, Ludvig Holberg and Ole Bull who were most famous, while today it is names like Lars Vaular, Gabrielle, Kygo and Kurt Nilsen we recognize.
The city has always been a good place for musicians, artists and performers, and the creative environment in the city has resulted in what we know as the «Bergen wave». The Bergen wave is a term for popular musical currents from the region and there have been several waves that have hit the Norwegian cultural fauna!
The first "wave" in the 80's produced names like The Aller Værste, Elektrisk Regn and Hole in the Wall, while the 90`s brought up names like Pogo Pops, Ephemra and Sondre Lerche. Turning over to the next millienium artist like Kings of Convenience, Röyksopp, Razika, Annie, Datarock, Lars Vaular og John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen has been washed up on the shore.
Each year several large cultural events are arranged in Bergen. Festspillene, Bergenfest, Bergen Matfestival and Nattjazz are just a few and there are regularly concerts at well-known venues such as Grieghallen, Hulen, Koengen, Ole Bull Scene, Ricks and Studenthuset Kvarteret. You might also go to the theater on Den Nasjonale Scene, see performances by the Norwegian National Company for Contemporary Dance - Carte Blanche, watch films at the Bergen International Film Festival Biff, or experience the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, a European high level symphony orchestra.
In addition to regular annual events, there is a lot to choose from for those who are looking for activities to do. As mentioned, there are several great hikes in the mountains around Bergen, and with proximity to the sea and fjord you will also find several water-based activities. Bergen also serves as the "gateway to the fjords" and from the city you can easily reach beautiful fjords of Western Norway, for example on one of our trips.