Bergen - The heart of the fjords

Bergen - The heart of the fjords

The fjords – one of the world’s most popular attractions

Bergen - The heart of the fjords

Bergen is surrounded by one of the world's most spectacular tourist attractions - the fjords, which have now been included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Let's guide you through the Bergen fjords!

Bergen is situated between the longest fjord Sognefjord north of Bergen and the beautiful Hardangerfjord in the south and is therefore called the heart of the fjords. Bergen offers a large variety of fjord cruises and other things to do.

Bergen Fjords

Bergen is the second largest city in Norway, and is located on the west coast. Most international visitors come to Bergen to see the Bergen fjords. Norwegians mostly come to Bergen to experience the culture, concerts and the many well known restaurants. So a good tips when planning to see the Bergen fjords, is to allocate a few extra days to make sure you have enough time to experience the beautiful World Heritage City of Bergen - in addition to the fjords.

Bergen fjords - bergen city center
Bergen city center located by the fjord. Photo: Visit Bergen / Lars Korvald - 

Fjords near Bergen

In and around Bergen you will find several fjords. Even the sea that you will see from the city harbour is a fjord, which is called Byfjorden. However, the most impressiv fjords with the high mountains on either side, is located to the north and south of Bergen and can be seen on a day trip from Bergen. But just to be clear; there is not one specific fjord called Bergen fjord. But that said, the most popular fjords near Bergen are Sognefjorden, Hardangerfjorden and Osterfjorden. The most popular village in Sognefjorden is called Flåm and in Hardangerfjord it is probably the village called Eidfjord. You can take a boat from Bergen all the way to Flåm, which takes about 5,5 hours one way.

The Hardangerfjord
Photo from Hardangerfjord: Visit Hardangerfjord & Øystein G. Haara

Sognefjorden near Bergen
Photo from the Sognefjord: Visit Bergen / Casper Steinsland -

Bergen Fjord Tour

There is a large selection of fjord tours from Bergen. There are more tours available in the summer, however, the most popular tours are available throughout the year. More and more visitors prefer seeing the Bergen fjords in the winter to avoid the peak season. If you would like to experience the narrow fjords and the high mountains, you need to allocate a full day if you are doing it on a day trip from Bergen. If you only have half a day at your disposal, then there are a few options available as well closer to the city. The mountains are not so high and the fjord not as narrow and deep, but the tour is still nice.

  1. Fjord tours & Cruises
    Start exploring the world famous fjords on a cruise from Bergen.

Bergen Fjord Cruises:

There are many different fjord cruises you can take from Bergen, but here are three of the most popular options:

1. Guided tour and fjord cruise to Nærøyfjorden, Flåm and Stegastein viewpoint:

Stegastein Viewpoint on a fjord cruise from Bergen
Stegastein Viewpoint with a view to the Aurlandsfjord (a fjord running off the Sognefjord). Photo: Gjertrud Coutinho

On this tour you get to see a lot in one day. You start with a mini-bus from Bergen and the first stop is at Tvindefossen waterfall. You then continue to Gudvangen where you will be dropped off right at the harbour to catch the fjordcruise from Gudvangen to Flåm. This cruise takes about 2 hours and you get to see the absolute best part of the fjord, including the Nærøyfjord, which is on UNESCO's list of world heritage. You then have some time at your own disposable in Flåm, before the journey continues by bus up to Stegastein Viewpoint, another highlight on the tour. The bus then returns to Bergen.

There is a limited number of seats, so remember to book early.

Read more about Guided tour and fjord cruise to Nærøyfjorden, Flåm and Stegastein viewpoint here.

2. Norway in a nutshell®:

Bergen fjords - Nærøyfjorden
The fjord cruise between Flåm and Gudvangen. Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik 

This tour is a classic and has been running for many years. The actual fjord cruise is the same as the tour above. But the difference between these two tours is that this one is by train instead of the bus and instead of the Stegastein Viewpoint you get to travel on the Flåm Railway.

The tour starts by train from Bergen to Myrdal. From Myrdal you change train to the Flåm Railway that will take you down to the village of Flåm. The Flåm Railway is spectacular and is one of the steepest normal gauge railways in the world. In Flåm you take the cruise from Flåm to the village of Gudvangen where you catch a bus to Voss and then change for a train back to Bergen. You can also do the trip the opposite direction or even start from Bergen and end your journey in Oslo. There is no guide on this tour and you will have to make your own way from one leg of the journey to the next. But the tour is quite easy to follow and you will get a detailed itinerary when you book.

Read more about Norway in a nutshell® here.

3. Fjordcruise Bergen - Mostraumen:

Bergen Fjords - Mostraumen
Photo from Mostraumen: Robin Strand - Rødne Fjordcruise 

If your time is limited, then this is the option for you. The cruise takes 3-3,5 hours and leaves from the Fish Market in Bergen city center. During the summer it has several departures every day, and during the winter it leaves in a perfect time so that you have just enough day light to enjoy the views. 

There are two quite similar tours going to Mostraumen.

Read more about "Fjordcruise Bergen - Mostraumen" here.
Read more about "4 hour fjord cruise to Mostraumen" here.

Bergen to Flåm ferry

If you want to experience Bergen Fjords over the period of a few days or even a week, then the passenger boat leaving from Bergen to Flåm is a good way to start your journey.

Bergen fjords - Flåm
The boat from Bergen to Flåm is operated by Norled and is here docked in the village Flåm. Photo: Eivind Senneseth 

The boat takes 5,5 hours, and stops at a number of places along the Sognefjord on its way from Bergen to Flåm. In Flåm you can go hiking, take a tour up to Stegastein Viewpoint or take the Flåm Railway, before you continue your journey after a day or two.

  1. Bergen - Flåm
    The Sognefjord area is said to be one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world. It is the longest fjord in Norway and by many described as “The King of Fjords”
    1. Monday, 1st April 2024Thursday, 31st October 2024

As the journey from Bergen to Flåm takes quite a long time, we recommend that you either book the boat as part of the round trip called Sognefjord in a nutshell or stay overnight along route or in Flåm. If you join the Sognefjord in a nuthshell tour, you take the Flåm Railway from Flåm to Myrdal and then the regular train from Myrdal to Bergen.

Read more about boat from Bergen to Flåm here.

Norway Fjords

The fjords in Norway have been voted the world's most unspoiled tourist destination by National Geographic and Bergen is a great starting point if you wish to explore the fjords. 

These fjords are deep and narrow, surrounded by high, steep mountains with snow-covered tops and both small and huge waterfalls. Here and there you see small farms, some by the fjords and some even high up in the mountains, evidence of people having lived and survived here for centuries. 

So when is the best time to visit a fjord? What is the weather in the fjords like? And what are the best fjords in Norway? Not to worry, here is all you need to know about the fjords!