Top free things!

Top free things!

Great hikes with panoramic views of Bergen

Top 10 Free Days Out in Bergen

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to experience Bergen. In fact, many of the attractions and activities comes for free.

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.

1. Bryggen

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. Meet the passionate artists and designers who work in these historic surroundings.

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.

Free things to do in Bergen - Bryggen
Bryggen in Bergen. Photo: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland - 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.

Fish Market
The Fish Market in Bergen. Photo: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland - visitBergen.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.

In summer you can also go canoeing on the lake called Skomakerdiket, both canoe and loan of lifejackets are free.

  1. Walking down from Mount Fløyen
    A walk suitable for all ages! Enjoy the beautiful views and winding roads from Mount Fløyen down to the city center.
  2. Ulriken - Fløyen ("vidden")
    The hike between Mount Ulriken and Mount Fløyen is one of the most popular hikes in Bergen with beautiful views of Bergen and the region.
  3. canoe rental Fløyen
    Free canoeing at Lake Skomakerdiket on Mount Fløyen every day during Summer.
    1. Hiking On Bergen's 7 Mountains
      Hiking in Bergen and outside the city

    Trollskogen is also great 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 attractions in Bergen.

    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 Aquarium. 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.

    Wooden houses Nordnes Bergen Norway
    The charming area of Nordnes in Bergen city center. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho

    Useful travel tip on sunny days: Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up for free  

    Norwegian tap water is clean, safe, and tasty! So instead of buying bottled water in Bergen, bring your own bottle and refill it for free! Water points are available at six different locations in the city centre of Bergen: Bryggen,  The Fish Market, The city park (Byparken), Vågsallmenningen, Vetrlidsallmenningen (by Fløibanen Funicular), and Marken. Forgot to bring your bottle? You can buy the Bergen bottle at the Tourist Information at The Fish Market.  

    Refill your water bottle in BergenWater point at the Fish Market. Photo: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland - visitBergen.com

    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. The Bergen International Festival has a large free outdoor program.

    Free festival Tall Ships Races Bergen Norway
    From the free festival Tall Ships Races. Photo: Bergen kommune / Tall Ships Races 2014 Bergen – Eivind Senneset

    7. Free church concerts

    Bergen has several beautiful churches and many of them offer more than ordinary Sunday services. The churches are often used as concert arenas for Norwegian and international artists, and they are often open for visitors who wants to have a look around. St. John's Church, Bergen Cathedral (Domkirken) and St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken) hosts different concerts throughout the year, many of them with free entry.

    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 Norway
    Old Bergen Museum. Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho

    9. Bergenhus Fortress Museum

    At Bergenhus Fortress Museum you can lean more about the resistance movement in and around Bergen 1940-45, Women`s contribution to the Norwegian Armed Forces and the history of Bergenhus Fortress. The entry to the museum is free.

    Free entry at Bergenhus Fortress Museum
    Photo: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland  - visitBergen.com 

    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 or at the Airport 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 City Light Rail, and you get free access or discounts on several muses and attractions in the region. You can choose 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.

    Free admission to many museums with the Bergen Card
    Norwegian Fisheries Museum is one of many museums that offer free entry with the Bergen Card. Photo: Silje Katrine Robinson.

    Final tip for budget stays:

    If you are looking for budget accommodation try the HI Bergen Hostel Montana on the hillside of Mount Ulriken. Perfect starting point for hiking and easy to get to the city center by bus. If you are a group travelling together, then Amunds Appartment in the charming area of Nordnes in the city center is also a great and affordable option.

    Budget accommodation at Montana
    Photo: HI Bergen Hostel Montana 

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