Well well well – look who’s back! And with a brand new name?? What a shock! I’ll publish a little blog post about the ‘rebrand’ ASAP, but I’m going to chat about Norway first. Sorry not sorry.
A few weekends ago, Ollie and I took a long weekend trip to Bergen, Norway. ‘Where?’ I hear you cry. Think of it as Norway’s second city, besides Oslo. A fjord-side city with all the charm of a town half its size. We decided on Bergen as our February destination of choice pretty quickly over a ‘we’ve both had bad days’ dinner in some chain restaurant in central London. A case of wanting to go somewhere different (classic us being the actual worst!) but cool and okay in February but not a beach. Turns out we absolutely smashed it with our choice of Bergen.
Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t head to Norway in February hoping for some winter sun, or a relaxing weekend by the pool. We 100% went to Bergen because we knew no other people that had been there, and as I say, we’re the WORST.
I must also point out that I got major food poisoning on the Saturday night and so spent all of Sunday asleep. Literally 24 hours sleeping. The perfect Sunday? Actually yes. When was the last time you slept for 24 hours??? Though because of that I did miss out on the art galleries, but Ollie assures me that they’re great.
With all of that in mind, we at the time of booking we had no idea what there even was to do in Bergen. Turns out actually a lot of really cool things. I’ve compiled a list of the top 5, perfect for a long weekend in the city.
01. Take a trip on the Fløyen Funicular
A real highlight of our weekend in Bergen was taking a trip on the Fløyen Funicular to the top of the mountain. There we watched the sun set over the mountains across from us, and enjoyed the views over Norway’s fjords.
One of the great things about Bergen is the Bergen Card. Starting at around £24 (NOK 280) for 24hr, the card gets you some sweet discounts on food around Bergen, free public transport, and free (or discounted) entrance to most of Bergen’s tourist spots. For the Fløyen Funicular, the card grants you a free trip (up and down) every 24hrs.
While you wait for the sun to set, there’s a maze of trails to explore. While we were there everything was covered by a thin layer of frozen snow and I had totally the wrong shoes on. Not a lot of exploring for us. If you’re not like me and you wear appropriate footwear on the reg, I couldn’t recommend even the tiniest walk enough.
If you’re more like me, grab a hot chocolate and sit on the steps that make up the Fløyen viewing platform. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as beautiful as the sun setting over Bergen’s mountain backdrop. Simply bloody divine.
02. Explore the wooden streets of Bryggen
I wish I’d actually taken more photos of Bryggen, Bergen’s picture-perfect original quarter. Think tiny wooden streets and brightly coloured shop fronts, all selling traditional arts, crafts and souvenirs (some less traditional, obv). You’ll see from the photo right at the top of this post, and that one up on the right there, that Bryggen is a picture of scandi seafront architecture. Orange tones, living their best life against the blue sky.
Take an hour to explore Bryggen and its shops and cafés, or even stay alongside them at the Radisson Blu. Or don’t. Entirely up to you.
03. Take a trip on the Ulriken cable car.
Now, I’ll be honest with you, we didn’t get to do this. The weather was a little OTT on the wind front so the cable car wasn’t running. A real sorry affair. Absolutely gutted to have missed it.
I’ve been assured by the internet that the Ulriken cable car is a banger and a half. Amazing views, a sick-ass restaurant at the top, etc. Maybe don’t go in February and see if it’s open. I’ll probably be back to Bergen just to head on up. I’ll even wear appropriate footwear next time.
04. Wander round Bergen’s famous fish market
If there’s one thing Bergen does well, it’s fish (and hot dogs, actually). Take a wonder around Bergen’s historic fish market, right on the sea front in the town centre, and stop to eat at any of the stall/restaurants inside. We headed down for lunch on our very first day and were not disappointed by the incredibly fish soup. Incredible. Fish soup aside, everything was on the menu. From fish and chips to octopus and oysters, it really is a fish lover’s paradise.
Look at my happy little face about to get her spoon involved in the best meal of her life! She’s nothing but heart eyes!
05. Just get lost (sorry, that sounds so shit WHO AM I?)
Bergen has some truly amazing little streets, away from the regular tourist routes. The alleys below were tucked at the back of Bergen, stumbled across on our way back from… the aquarium. Okay we went to the aquarium and it was GREAT and I’m not sorry that we went all the way to Norway and spent one day in an aquarium (for free with the Bergen card!). Anyway, the walk there was through town, but the walk back was a little more explorey.
We had no idea where we were going, other than a general ‘follow the mountains’ vibe, and we discovered some absolute gems on the way. Look at these perfect little streets. LOOK AT THEM!
*BONUS!!* Explore Norway’s jagged coastline with a 3hr Fjord Tour
A nice little bonus thing for you here – don’t say I never give you anything! On our last day, Monday, I woke up from my monster 24hr sleep and got straight on a boat. That’s right, lads. I was ill for 36 hours and then decided to get a three hour boat tour of Norways stunning fjords. Am I okay? Who knows. You can definitely tell from the picture over there that I wasn’t 100% but also it was one of the most magical trips. We set off at 10am on the tour and were back in time for lunch (lol as if I was able to eat?) at 1pm.
Our fjord tour was easily the best part of our trip to Bergen – hands down. I bloody love boats. I honestly cannot express enough how much I love being on boats. Should I join the navy? Probably not… but! Boats! And also scenery!! Norway is stunning. Stunning.
Overall, would I recommend Bergen, Norway? Completely and utterly. The perfect weekend away from the hustle and bustle of London. x