Great walks with panoramic views of Bergen
In the compact city core, you don’t have to worry about expensive tickets to get around. Just take a walk in downtown Bergen, and you will realize that free and exciting experiences are all lined up in front of you.
We have gathered some ideas to what you can see and do when visiting Bergen on a budget.
Take a walk at the historical Bryggen and you will see that a lot of the experience comes for free. By just walking through the narrow alleys, past the crocked buildings gives you a complete historical experience as you travel back to the Hanseatic times.
Back then, Bergen was one of the big cities of international trade in Europe. A lot of the history is conserved or rebuilt as it was in the Medieval days, and you can take a close look at the 61 buildings on UNESCOS list of world heritage sites all for free.
Bryggen in Bergen. Photo: Bergen Tourist Board / Robind Strand - visitBergen.com
2. Fish Market
Even if you don’t plan on buying the fresh ingredients for today’s dinner, the Fish Market in Bergen is worth a visit. The lively atmosphere, the smell of freshly made seafood and inspiration to create the most delicious dishes with the best from the Norwegian coast is all free.
Every day the stallholders arrive at the Fish Market, seafood specialists with unique knowledge on recipes and preparation of seafood dishes. They are prepared to give you advice on how to make the most delicious dishes with the best from the ocean.
The Fish Market in Bergen has a history back to the 1200s, when this was a meeting point for merchants, fishermen and locals in Bergen. Visit Torghallen next to the market and you will get a historical view on what Fisketorget has meant to the city of Bergen through times.
The Fish Market in Bergen. Photo: CH visitnorway.com
3. Hike at one of the seven mountains
Mt. Fløyen is today one of the biggest tourist attractions in Bergen. Standing at the view point on top of the mountain, breathing the fresh sea air with the wind in your hair, is a magical experience. You can see Bergen city underneath your feat and the fjords, sea and mountains in the background.
To get to Mt. Fløyen you can take the Fløibanen funicular, but if you want to save money you can choose to walk up, or buy a one way ticket up and walk back down. The trip up to Mt. Fløyen takes about one hour and is not known to be a tough trip, and there are great experiences for both young and old waiting for you on the top, with playgrounds and a kiosk.
Mt. Fløyen is the starting point for many of the well known hikes in Bergen. Take a 4-5 hour walk across Vidden to Mt. Ulriken – Bergen’s highest mountain. But if you just want a short hike, you can take a 10 minutes walk to Skomakerdiket, idyllically located in the forest creating a peaceful atmosphere.
Trollskogen is perfect for the kids, with the trolls placed behind the trees. Take a trip to Mt. Fløyen, and you will see why Fløyen is one of the big symbols of Bergen.
Playground at the top of Mt. Fløyen. Photo: Nils Olav Mevatne
4. Experience the alleys of Bergen by foot
A lot of the charm that Bergen has to offer is free and accessible for everybody. Take a walk through the small backstreets towards Nordnes and Bergen Aquairum. Here you will find many small and romantic streets – a mix of houses, small stores and cafés create a cozy atmosphere in the narrow streets.
Much of the architecture is a result of Bergens thousand year old history as a city of trade. Many of the buildings are preserved and have great historical value for Bergen. There is no need for maps to navigate through the charming streets.
The charming area of Nordnes in Bergen city center. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho
5. Contact Bergen Tourist Information
If you want some good free experiences in Bergen you should get in touch with the Bergen Tourist Information next to the Fish Market. Here you can watch several free presentations of Bergen and the region, which is a great free experience in itself.
You get a tasty presentation of what the region has to offer with video, pictures maps and other presentation material. Highly competent advisors are ready to give you free advice on what to do and experience in Bergen. They will help you finding what you are looking for.
6. Free festivals
Bergen is a city of culture, and during many of the big events there are lots of free things to do. Many festivals offer free transportation and activities for everybody, and during the big festivals just being in the city is a big moment in itself.
Bergen International Festival has a varied free outdoor program, and the UCI Road World Championships (2017) you will offer extensive free outdoor programs.
From the free festival Tall Ships Races. Photo: Bergen kommune / Tall Ships Races 2014 Bergen – Eivind Senneset
7. Free church concerts
Bergen has many beautiful churches and many of them offers more than ordinary Sunday services. The churches are often used as concert arenas for many Norwegian and international artists, and they are often open for everybody who wants to have a free look.
Bergen has a 50 year long tradition of arranging free summer concerts. In 2015 Johanneskirken, Bergen Cathedral (Domkirken) and St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken) hosted different concerts throughout the summer. A powerful and beautiful experience for everybody who enjoys music, history and church art.
8. Experience Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen)
Experience Bergen in the 1800s by walking in the narrow streets, between historical wooden houses and squares. At the outdoor Old Bergen Museum you can experience what once was Europe’s largest wooden city.
Old Bergen Museum is a reconstruction of this city, with about 50 houses from the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. During the summer season it is free to walk aound on the outdoor area in the evening, giving you a unique experience of the history of Bergen. Outside the summer season it i it is free to visit the outdoor part of the museum all day.
Old Bergen Museum. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho
9. A refreshing swim
How about a refreshing swim after a busy day during the summer? There are many free sites where you can take a swim along the coast, and you don’t have to travel far to find a suitable place. At the tip of Nordnesparken, close to Bergen Aquarium, lies Ballastbryggen.
A beautiful bay with view to the fjords, a perfect place for a swim close to the city. Gamlehaugen is a great family place. It lies a short bussdrive (Bus 67 or 84) from Bergen centre. If you visit the Old Bergen Museum, Sandviken sjøbad is located just a few minutes walk from the museum.
10. Experience Bergen with the Bergen Card
If you want to experience as much as possible, spending as little money as possible, you should order the Bergen Card online or pick one up at the the Tourist Information in Bergen when you arrive. It is a cheap and practical way to experience all the activities and attractions with just one card.
You travel free with the buss and Light Rail, and you get free access or discounts on several muses and attractions in the region. You can chose to get the 24-hour, 48-hour or 72-hour card, depending on how long you are staying in Bergen. You will get plenty of free experiences with the Bergen Card.
Tags: Top 10 Free Days Out in Bergen